There are a few things that get on our calendar and stay there permanently. The Children's Hospital of Illinois Neonatal Intensive Care Unit's Small Wonders Miracle Walk is one of them. This year's walk is on Saturday, October 15.
2 1/2 years have gone by and some of the little details surrounding the twins hospital stay start getting fuzzy. But I will always remember the Thursday morning that I was supposed to have my 28-week doctor appointment and instead I was timing contractions 5 minutes apart. And I will remember the first time seeing my 2lb 12oz son across the room on a small bed with a team of people surrounding him and hearing the words "he's so tiny" being whispered from my mouth. My daughter matched my amazement with her 2lb 9oz cry. It felt like I was holding a feather the first time I cradled her, one week into her life. I will certainly always remember the 3am phone call that I got from Dr. Picah as I jotted notes quickly on a small yellow tablet beside my bed. Adam. Heart rate above 250. SVT. Of course I can close my eyes and picture standing next to Adam's incubator, Shannon on my left, facing Dr. Makwon, as he carefully explained the news that an ultrasound of Adam's brain revealed a Grade III IVH. Bleeding that had penetrated the wall of his brain. Follow up with Easter Seals would be certain. Risk of cerebral palsy would increase from 10% to 35%. And then the tears came as I sunk into Shannon's arms.
With so many things stacked against tiny little babies, there were 2 things in their favor - the best NICU in the country and the biggest God watching over them. Paired together, we have watched our kids grow from fragile human beings who needed medication to help them remember to breathe to running, giggling 2 1/2 year olds. Adam has graduated from Easter Seals and physical therapy with no signs of cerebral palsy. Both kids are solidly on the growth chart, developmentally on track with their peers, and talking up a storm! Not many days go by that we don't marvel at what they are learning. We know things could have turned out so differently if we weren't blessed by the team of doctors and nurses that were part of their journey.
That is why we participate in the Small Wonders Miracle Walk. Because we remember like it was yesterday. Because we don't want to forget where we have come from and how far we have come. Because we want it to be part of our kids' legacy.
Won't you consider joining us, in some way, in that celebration?
Here is the link for information about the walk: http://www.childrenshospitalofil.org/body.cfm?id=549
If you have Saturday morning, October 15 free, come on out and walk with us!
If you feel passionate about it, a financial gift would be greatly appreciated! Last year they raised over $28,000 that went directly to support the NICU by providing things like teaching opportunities, a computer for parents on the unit to share, and equipment. You can complete the registration form and mail it in as a "virtual walker", which means you will be walking in spirit and donating a gift. Please note "Team Project Little Mo" on the form. A second option that removes your anonymity is to forward your gift to either myself or Shannon and we will submit our total pledge gifts on the morning of the walk. Checks may be made payable to Children's Hospital of Illinois (CHOI).
Thanks for helping us say thanks!