This is my daughter at her 5th birthday party last week. A few days later, we went to the doctor for her yearly check-up and learned that she measures in the 75th percentile for height and weight and shows no signs of delays that are cause for concern.
We didn’t know five years ago if that day would every come.
That is because on February 25, 2004, my water broke while I was at work and just 32 weeks pregnant with my first child.
Every year half a million babies – half a million – are born prematurely. This accounts for 12% of all live births. Prematurity is the leading cause of death for babies who die in their first month. It is a nationwide health crisis, and it is a part of my reality.
This is not the place for me to tell you how sick my newborn was or how long she spent in the hospital. This is the place to tell you that because of the life-saving measures available today – due in great part to the work of the March of Dimes – my daughter is healthy, she is happy, and she is blessed.
I began learning all that I could about the work of the March of Dimes soon after Emma’s birth, and the research that they contribute to was partly responsible for my son being born two and a half years later…..full term. Their blogs and networks provided comfort, their educational materials provided answers, and the medical advances for which they are responsible quite simply save lives.
This April – for the third year – I will be Marching for Babies, raising money to give every child their nine months and a chance at a healthy lifetime. With the power of social media, my reach has suddenly exploded, and I’m wondering what would happen if those who support me and other bloggers daily through tweets, comments, and posts would come together and each give just a small amount of money. Five thousands followers on Twitter – can each person give one dollar? Could half of them give two dollars….or five?
How many babies could we save….
How many lives could we change – for the better….
How many moms could we comfort….
Will you join me in this experiment?