1) Go to college so I could have lots of fun.
2) Meet a nice and fabulous looking guy and fall in love.
3) Have the princess wedding of my dreams.
4) Move into a house with a white fence.
5) Decide to have my babies at 28 or 29 and have two - a boy and a girl (in that order).
However also like many my life didn't turnout as I thought that it would. Don't misunderstand I did do the items listed above but not as I had planned. When I was creating the list above I never, ever added the detour towards parenthood that my life took. I never planned on going to the doctor over and over and over again trying to find out why I couldn't have a successful pregnancy. I never planned on having to make the decision that I wanted a child rather than a pregnancy. I never planned on any of it being so painful.
Imagine my surprise, when, at 39 I found myself pregnant. I was so happy but also so aware of the potential complications. I was: old, out of shape, and most of all, I had preexisting conditions that would make it difficult to have a successful pregnancy.
I began to do research, lots and lots of research. One of the first places that I went to was to March of Dimes. I remembered March of Dimes from the past when my mother would go door to door raising money for them. When I went to the website I found a wealth of information. When I knew that Anna Grace was going to be a preemie I spent even more time there - reading about the NICU, reading about gestational ages and what could be expected and when.
In the mist of all of the encouraging information though I also read about the children who were lost. The children that couldn't be saved because they were born too early. Babies who were (and are still) loved by their parents just as much as I love mine.
The March of Dimes is on a mission - the mission to make sure that Americans know that currently we score a 'D' on the Prematurity Birth Report Card. We scored a 'D' last year as well. The rate of premature birth in America is higher than for most other developed nations.
I write today to tell you that although my experience had a happy ending it is important to remember those who's stories did not. I write today for all the babies who were lost. For all the parents who have been through hell and have, or are trying, to make through to the other side. For the parents who continue to try and create their families and are having success due to the work of the March of Dimes. For parents who go an alternate paths towards having a family.
But most of all for the babies. Those that I never met but have gotten to know.
-Maddie -Myles -Abigail -Ella -Elodie -Olivia -Addison -Gabriel