“Oh! She’s a feisty one!”
These were the first words spoken about our baby girl as she entered the world. And since she was three months early and a whopping 2lbs 8oz, her loud cry and those five words were music to our ears. And eight years later, those words still ring true!
This year we decided to start a family tradition, to walk in the annual March for Babies. So, a few weeks ago, my husband wrote Chloe’s story for out March for Babies team site (you can check it out here: marchforbabies.org/chlobotsgobots).
Since he told it better than I ever could, here it is:
Back in the summer of 2008 we were naively unaware of the storm that was headed our family’s way. Like most couples pregnant with their first child, we figured the hardest part of bringing a baby into the world would be choosing the right decor for the nursery. But in August, three months before our due date, the normal discomforts of pregnancy started to spin out of control, and before we knew it, Ryan was in the hospital fighting HELLP syndrome, a variant of preeclampsia with a 25% mortality rate, with a tiny baby inside her that we didn’t think was ready to come out.
Time in a hospital slows down and speeds up without any regard for the memories of those experiencing it. The hours and days were filled with fear and confusion. Chloe was delivered in an emergency procedure and rushed off to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). But things only became more complicated as Ryan’s condition worsened and Chloe fought to survive in a whole new world. Separated by tubes, masks, and machines, our family spent its first days and weeks trying desperately to overcome unnatural distances with the love in gazes and prayers. These were the most difficult moments of our lives. At times, tragedy seemed inevitable and hope that our family would walk out of the hospital unscathed waned. But everyone did their part. The doctors, the nurses, and our beautiful fighting girls never gave up.
Today Chloe is a kind and fierce eight year old ball of energy. Aside from her asthma, she has fully recovered from her prematurity. We consider ourselves lucky to have been in a place where doctors and nurses knew the right things and had the right equipment to help mom and baby survive. Without them, we wouldn’t have our Chlobot and we wouldn’t be the family we are today.
Premature birth affects about 380,000 babies here in the United States. We’re walking in the March For Babies to get the message out about this terrible problem and to continue to do our part. You can help. You can come walk with us or make a secure donation to help us reach our goal. We’d appreciate either equally. Chloe is so excited to lead her first march and probably won’t sleep a wink tonight!
Together we can help the March of Dimes fight prematurity so more babies can get the strongest start possible!