Monday, April 27, 2009

thank you!

This past Saturday, we walked in honor of Owen, Eliot, and ALL of our wonderful preemie friends. Team Two Early raised $4,200 this year - an incredible accomplishment.

Thank you so much to those of you who walked with us, donated to the team, and cheered us on.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

walk for . . .

The March of Dimes, March for Babies is this Saturday. If you can't join Team Two Early in downtown Atlanta, there are thousands of walks across the country that you can join.

Walk for early labor, for PROM, for placenta previa, for preeclampsia, and for crappy cervixes everywhere.
Walk for premature babies on ventilators, C-Paps, and nasal cannulas.
Walk for infections, PDA ligations, immature lungs, blood transfusions, and teeny-tiny IV's.
Walk for long days and nights in the NICU.
Walk for feeding tubes. (We know Eliot will be walking for this one!)
Walk for the parents that sit in fear and wait.
Walk for the babies that are fighting for their lives.
Walk for their homecomings.
Walk for the babies that will go home to heaven.
Walk for all of the prayers that are answered.
Walk for the ones that are not.
Walk for the doctor's appointments, the issues, the delays, AND the milestones.
Walk for the emotions.
Walk for the answers.
Walk to raise awareness.
Walk to give hope.
Walk for the babies.

If you can't walk, how about a donation??

Team Two Early has already raised over $3,500! Thank you so much for supporting the March of Dimes.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

march for babies - join us!

There is a story going around the blogosphere about a little girl named Maddie.

Maddie was born at 29 weeks, and, like all tough-willed preemies, she fought hard to survive her first few months. She had been home for over a year - big, beautiful, happy eyes and a HUGE personality; she meant everything to her parents. Maddie was doing very well, but a couple of weeks ago, she came down with some congestion and a cough. The next morning she was in the hospital, and the next day, Maddie passed away.

I have been completely torn up for days by the passing of this little girl. I didn't know Maddie, but her story was so much like my own children's. As preemie parents, we sometimes think that the roller coaster ride ends when we leave the NICU. But the struggles continue for these kids, and the repercussions of their early births continue to haunt.

My heart aches for this family - as if the long, awful trip through the NICU isn't enough. Now this? Life can be so unfair. Please pray for some peace for Heather and Mike Spohr - the parents of Maddie.

Prematurity can affect anyone at anytime. My contractions started at 20 weeks, and to this day, no one knows why. If Michael and I choose to have another child, no one can guarantee that my body will carry it to term. But, the March of Dimes is working to find answers, and that's why I am asking for your support.

Please come and walk with us on April 25th at Centennial Park at this year's March of Dimes, March for Babies. If you can't walk, consider making a donation . . .

Because babies like Owen and Eliot deserve to be honored for the fights that they have fought;
Because babies like sweet, little Maddie deserve to be remembered . . .

To read more about Maddie Spohr, please visit her web site:

To walk with or donate to Team Two Early, please visit:

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

eliot's "gotcha day"

Eliot. My sweet Elie Mak,

You've been home now for one full year. And since your first "Gotcha Day" on April 8, 2008, you have changed our lives with your captivating charm and amazing resilience.

Your first few days on this world were miserable. Miserable for everyone involved. Your father and I used every bit of our beings, every emotional resource we had, every favor we thought an angel could grant us to bring you out of the pain and unknown, and onto this beautiful world.

And then, a week later, there you were - emerging from absolute preemie hell into this teeny-tiny ball of strength and courage that had everyone filled with awe.

You have certainly had your share of speed bumps along the way. But you are SO MUCH more than your past. You have refused to let your rough start define you, and I am convinced that you will always have that attitude throughout your life.

"Delayed in this or slow on that; she may never do this, or be less able to do that . . ." You have never listened to a word of it. You MUST hear them though, because you continuously work on all of your "issues," and you practice. And then you practice some more - and when it's perfect (and not until it is perfect), you do what they said you would never do, and you do it with the cutest damn smile anyone has ever seen.

People that don't know you hear your story and say, "Ohhhhh. Poor Elie." But you hate that. Because you believe that there is nothing "poor" or lagging about you. You try to make the most of everything you've been given, and you seem to be on a path to prove that you are on this Earth for a reason. You are definitely gearing up to do great things in your life.

Sweet Beans, you must spit up more than any creature in the history of the world, but when you're done tossing your breakfast (or lunch, or dinner, or snacks, or piece of paper you have found on the floor and snuck into your mouth), you are the most delightful baby to be around. Your therapists don't want to let you go at the end of a session; your doctors hug you as if you were their own; your babysitters pat your butt to help you go to sleep because they can't bear the sound of your crying (although, they do the same to Owen, but only because they can't ignore him). You are just that kid. It's so easy to fall in love with you. One bat of those big blue eyes, one coy look in someone's direction, and you have them forever hooked.

Lover of reading books and spitting out Ritz crackers, of dancing to music, and anything daddy, of playing chase (but not understanding the rules of it, and playing "chicken" instead); lover of homemade tents, and audience applause, of g-tube chewing, and playing peek-a-boo, of watching people eat, and then HATING everything about food, you are undeniably stubborn - I mean, adorable.

And all of that is why we love you; why we are proud of you; and why we couldn't imagine our home without you. (Though the floors would probably have a little less puke stain.)

Congratulations, Eliot, on your one-year-at-home anniversary. We're glad we gotcha.