Our Story: March Of Dimes
In the spring of 2012, we formed a Family Team to help the March of Dimes raise money for Moms and Babies. Our Team's name is Wendo:In Memory of Aria.
We formed our team in honor of our daughter Aria, who was born 20 weeks too soon and passed away a few hours after birth. Not only did we lose our daughter on October 11, 2008, Cole, at the age of 6, lost his sister. As heart breaking as it was to lose Aria, we need to celebrate the lives of Cole, Athena and Alexa who were also premature. Without medical interventions while pregnant and then later in the NICU, Athena and Alexa may not have survived either.
By sharing our story, we hope to remind everyone of the urgency of the mission of the March of Dimes and inspire our friends and family to join or donate to our team.
We hope to make this an annual tradition.
Hope to see you spring 2013!!
For you my sweet Aria
Sunday, April 6, 2014
Friday, February 28, 2014
For a donation, I will create a custom cap for you that is unique to your team.
3 babies,1 Star-My Angel
When I was 25 I lived in Brooklyn, had a wonderful OBGYN, and became pregnant with my first baby. After 9-11, I moved back to Pennsylvania and this is where my story begins.
At 25, what does a person know about being pregnant? I really didn't know what to expect.
Around the 20th week of pregnancy, I started having pain. Because it was early into the pregnancy, I was seen by an emergency room doctor. I was sent home because I was not dilated; however, I was never placed on a monitor. I was told that UTI's can cause horrific pain. Thankfully, I made it to 34 weeks when I started having that "UTI" pain again. I thought, not again!" When I used the bathroom, there was a trace amount of blood so I decided to go to the hospital. Thank goodness for the blood, otherwise, I may have had Cole at home. When I arrived at the hospital, I was 9cm dilated. It was too late to stop the labor and too late for medication. Within two hours of arriving to the hospital, my son was born on 2/17/02. He stayed in the NICU until 3/3/02. I know now that I was in labor much earlier with Cole.
Our 2nd Pregnancy In 2008, I became pregnant again. I was so excited. The excitement would soon turn to fear and worry. At 8 weeks, I started bleeding and thought I was having a miscarriage. The baby still had a heartbeat and the reason for the bleeding was unknown. For the next few months, I experienced bouts of bleeding. I felt as though something was wrong but the doctors could not find anything. At 17 weeks my amniotic fluid was low, I was placed on complete bedrest by the Maternal and Fetal Specialist.
Needless to say, my gut instinct was right. There was something terribly wrong. I went to the hospital on October 11 because I was having contractions. The doctor said," I am sorry but I think you are going to have the baby tonight." In my heart, I already knew this. I will leave the details of the birth out, but you can read them on my other blog.
She was so tiny and fragile. However, she lived for two hours following birth, which is miraculous for a baby her size. I wish someone would have suggested that I take a picture with her. I was in shock and getting pictures of my tiny baby was the furthest thing from my mind. The pictures that I have do not reflect how small she was. Her little hand grasped my pinky. Her foot was only an inch long.
Words cannot accurately describe feelings as you hold your dying baby. You are totally helpless and in a state of shock. Then reality hits, the baby that you carried for twenty weeks is gone. You can hear babies crying and sounds of joy and laughter from the rooms down the hall. Sadly, in your room, there is only sadness and loss. Lives forever changed.......
What if? What if the doctor didn't send me home the day before? What if my body could have held her until 24 weeks of gestation?
March of Dimes conducts critical research that helps Moms carry their baby to term. The March of Dimes research would help me during my next two pregnancies.
At this point, it is a known fact that I have problems carrying babies. I began seeing the Maternal and Fetal Specialists from Lehigh Valley Hospital. I set goals or mini milestones for the pregnancy. First lets make it to 12 weeks- celebrate. Next 24 weeks because a baby can be saved with medical intervention. Then 28 weeks because the survival rate triples from 24. Finally, 32 weeks because that is what the NICU doctors hope for.
From the beginning of the pregnancy, I began taking aspirin, and a few weeks in, I began taking hydroxyprogesterone 17, a weekly injection to prevent preterm labor. You can read more. http://www.marchofdihttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/17-
In addition, My cervix was measured every two weeks to watch for any changes. Despite these interventions, I went into labor at 28 weeks after discovering I had gestational diabetes. Thankfully, labor was stopped with various medications. At this time, I had steroids to quicken the baby's lung development and I started taking insulin 4X per day to get my sugar under control. Because of my diabetes, I had an excess of amniotic fluid and the baby seemed to be growing faster than she should.
Despite the obstacles, this was the longest that I ever been pregnant! A full 35 weeks; woohoo! Athena needed to spend time in the NICU because of her glucose/ sugar. Once her glucose was regulated, she was able to come back to my hospital room. This was the only normal aspect of my pregnancy.
4th & Last Pregnancy:
This pregnancy was truly an unexpected surprise. Because of all the meds used to treat me in my last pregnancy, they were unable to do much. I did take aspirin daily, weekly injections of hydroproxyprogesterone, had my cervix measured every two weeks, got steroid shots for lung development at 24 weeks. Yet, at 26 weeks, I had a positive fetal fibronectin http://www.marchofdimes.com/pregnancy/pretermlabor_fetalfibronectin.html, which means you can possibly go into labor at any moment.
By 27 weeks, I was fully effaced and because of the positive test the week before, I was placed directly in the hospital for complete bedrest. The NICU doctor came to speak to me and explained all the potential problems of having a baby this early.
I set a goal of 32 weeks. I tried to stay as positive as possible believing that each day that I spent in bed was one less day Alexa would spend in the NICU. This was not an easy task with Cole and an infant at home. However, I made it to 31 weeks!! I impressed the doctors with my spirit and will power. They could not believe that I stayed pregnant as long as I did.
We will always have our light. The shining star lighting our way. We will be together again one day.