Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Thankful for Their Light

Early on Monday morning, Britt, Finn and I loaded up Derek (our Uplander) with all the things we would need for a baby for several hours away from home, some breakfast, and our excited selves.  We pointed the van towards I-35 southbound, and once again headed for Edmond.  Seems like we have been doing that trip a lot these days - but we love it and wouldn't trade it for the world!  This time, destination was Edmond North High School and the Huskies Senior Class!  We were going to be speaking to the Class of 2013 about March of Dimes NICU Family Support program being chosen as the BALTO (Bringing a Light To Others) gift recipient this year.  We just LOVE telling our story, and we would not be able to if not for the March of Dimes!  So, of course, we were fired up and willing to do so.

Each morning this week, they are having an assembly with one class form the school in order to let them know what is going on each day of BALTO week, what to expect, and to educate them a little bit about the charity they are raising money for.  Julie Leclercq is the March of Dimes NICU Family Support Specialist at Mercy, where Finn was born.  I was lucky enough to meet her soon after I was put on bed rest in the hospital, and we have grown to be better friends over the last 18 months!  She is truly a bright shining star, and we are so lucky to have her on our side.  She introduced the cause, and then the Weaver Family.

Once we were up on stage, our micro-preemie miracle boy Finn OF COURSE stole the show!  What's that line about not working with dogs or babies?  Anyway - the plan was for me to speak, and for Britt to hold the baby.  So, I told a short version (it can be done!) of our Story with Finn, then I told about what the March of Dimes and NICU Family Support have meant to us.  We were so blessed by the programming put on by Julie and her team.  We made name plates for our babies beds in the NICU, we made hats and blankets.  At Christmas time, we made adorable little onesies, and at that meeting I met another set of parents that I am still very close with today!  They had pizza parties for the siblings and many other activities that helped make our 3month + stay in the hospital a positive experience.  I am grateful we were in a facility that had this service - I know many others who were not and it seems their journey was not as positive as ours was as far as the services and education we received.  Then we let Finn take over - he smiled, and cooed and was generally adorable - as usual!

I truly hope the BALTO candidates meet and exceed their fundraising goals.  I see so much value in the job that is done by the Family Support Specialists!  Right now, Mercy is the only hospital in Oklahoma that has one, and that needs to change!  This money will hopefully help start a position at another Level III or Level IV NICU in the state!  Hmmmm...  Sounds like a job I might need to apply for...

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