On a whim, George and I decided to create a fundraising team for the March of Dimes, and actually take all four babies to participate. This was a major feat for us. First of all, we just came off lock down at the beginning of the month so we are still germ-fearing and highly protective of our brood. Plus, we are extremely rigid with our schedule, and the walk was scheduled to occur during the morning nap. Despite all of our reservations, we knew the March of Dimes was a cause close to our hearts and worthy of true support: walking the walk. Since very little prior planning was involved, we knew there was a real possibility it would be the two of us waking four babies too early and hauling them into a mass of people. Fortunately, my sister graciously met at our house to help get the babies ready and to join us. George’s aunt and youngest cousin, Brandi also met us to walk the walk.
Being rookies to the March of Dimes, George and I didn’t know what to expect or how to prepare. I am horrible at estimating distances and numbers so there could have been 1,000 walkers or 100,000. Regardless of the actual number, I can say there were people as far as the eye could see and the entire trail was packed. By far this is the most public event we’ve attended with the babies. The path was gridlocked with families and friends marching for a united cause, and it was moving to say the least. We enjoyed seeing all the team t-shirts and learning about the stories behind them. Our hearts were touched by several families walking for preemies much smaller than even Sydney (she was 2 lbs, 6 oz) and in remembrance of the tiniest of family members. It was a solemn reminder never to take our babies’ health for granted and to always remember the medical staff who helped us along the journey. We have a team of perinatologists who helped us keep the babies healthy prior to delivery and then an entire NICU staff who cared for our fragile preemies.
Even in a large crowd of thousands, a quad stroller is not the most conspicuous. Needless to say, we attracted a great deal of attention. As far as comments and questions, we heard nothing but niceties. Many people shared the notion we believe to be true: “you are blessed!” I beamed each time a passerby told us that and I always will. I don’t recall any rude commentary. However, the paparazzi was in full force. George and I are becoming accustomed to questions and photo requests. The paparazzi is different. They don’t bother to ask questions or dole out compliments. They gawk and snap pictures from their iphones then paste them up on their social networks. I presume I shall eventually get used to that sort of thing, but it made me feel totally violated. After all, I have no idea what happened to pictures snapped of us after the fact. I’m not sure I’ve ever intentionally taken a photo of a stranger without their knowledge or consent, but I will think twice about it if I ever get a notion to do so. That bit of drama aside, we had a great walk together as a family and plan to keep the tradition alive. Next year, we would like to coordinate better and rally a team to join us in the walk. We even brainstormed about creating team t-shirts in the same shade of blue as our stroller.
What causes are close to your heart?
We would like to extend a special thanks to the following people who donated in honor of our team: