Some of the most cherished memories of parenthood are the first milestones of your baby. From the first smile to the first step, each milestone is met with just as much excitement. These special moments are a reminder of just how special parenthood is. Not only is your child growing with each milestone, but you’re growing as a parent.
I remember my daughter, Ava’s, first steps like they were yesterday. When she let go of her dresser at 14 months and made those first wobbly steps to me, I was the proudest mommy. At five year’s old, the milestones haven’t ended. Last month, she officially became my ‘big girl’ when she attended her first day of kindergarten.
Those special milestones never seem to stop in my house. In March, I welcomed twin girls, Ella & Rose. They were born at 35 weeks of pregnancy, after I went into preterm labor while suffering from influenza. I was able to hold my girls for a couple of minutes, but they were quickly taken to the NICU. Both needed to be under observation and Rose was having trouble breathing. I was isolated for 48 hours and wasn’t allowed to see my babies once. Those were probably the hardest moments of my life. All I wanted to do was hold my babies close and look into there eyes. When I visited them for the first time in the NICU, I was overwhelmed with emotion. There are no words to adequately describe how I felt holding and cuddling each baby freely for the first time.
Premature babies are born weeks and even months early. I was fortunate enough to have premature babies with fully developed lungs, which meant they were mostly under observation while in the NICU. Unfortunately, each day comes with a new struggle for most premature babies fighting to survive. I witnessed this with my own eyes during our short stay in the NICU. The strength of these parents is indescribable. Just the simplest things for these parents seem like a dream – like the simple act of touching or holding your baby for the first time.
At six-months-old, I have been lucky enough to witness some key milestones of my babies – their first smile and calling me mama are my most treasured so far. Not all families are fortunate enough to celebrate these key “first” milestones with their babies. That’s why I support March of Dimes, an organization that aims to improve the health of babies by preventing premature birth, birth defects, and infant mortality. March of Dimes also carries out this mission through community services, advocacy, research, education and support.
Help give every premature baby a fighting chance, so they can have a tomorrow. You can do this by joining the March of Dimes Give Them Tomorrow campaign to amass 380,000 total actions, to represent the number of premature babies who may be born in America in 2016.
- Visit the March of Dimes website and create a digital card of hope that will be printed and sent to a family and their premature baby in the NICU.
- Share a social media post with the hashtags #babysfirst and #givethemtomorrow (must use both hashtags).
- Donate to March of Dimes to support research to find the causes and treatments for premature birth.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of March of Dimes. The opinions and text are all mine.