December is supposed to be a joyous month filled with spending time with friends and family and celebrating holidays. Celebrating the birth of your first born child is supposed to share the same joyful excitement. In 2013 both of these celebrated times were given a new meaning with the birth of our daughter Daisy. After a textbook 20 weeks of pregnancy, that final month was filled with fear, anxiety, and pain. That pain was the start of a placental abruption and the ultimate reason our beautiful baby girl came 14 weeks early on December 21st, 2013 weighing 1lb 13oz at 13in long. As a NICU nurse at the time, I knew she would need surfactant to help her lungs at birth. I knew she would need many things that I had to relay to my husband and family, but what I didn’t know, and learned along the way, was how to be a NICU parent. The best way to describe it is helpless. It was 81 long, stressful days of watching, waiting, holding, pumping, and more watching as our tiny, wilted flower bloomed into a beautiful Daisy. We gained an appreciation for life, faith, love, and support that we had never known. It was during those 81 days that we personally reached out to the March of Dimes and our long-standing relationship developed. From the surfactant in Daisy’s lungs to the Share Your Story webpage, to the amazing annual March for Babies events, the March of Dimes has been our support system and foundation for ensuring we can give back to those in our position and ultimately fight to end prematurity today. Our second pregnancy came with a heightened sense of anxiety, but the March of Dimes was there to help, from their advocacy for my weekly Makena injections, to their resources online, we knew that there was someone fighting for us to make it those 39 weeks or more. Our fears were avoided when our second daughter, Harper, entered the world on June 5th, 2016 at 39 weeks 2 days.
Today, Daisy is an intelligent, active four year old off to Pre-K in the fall and Harper is as funny and rambunctious as any two year old should be. We will forever be indebted to the amazing staff at Albany Medical Center for their tireless efforts to save Daisy’s life and ensure Harper had a full term start, but ultimately we know that research started with the March of Dimes and for this organization we owe the healthy, amazing lives of our two beautiful girls. We are forever grateful for your efforts.