When we decided to start team Charlie, we thought it would be a nice way to thank March of Dimes for their graciousness during our NICU experience. It would also be a way to raise awareness. Ultimately, it is Charlie’s victory lap. While all of these are good reasons to March, admittedly they are kind of egocentric. On Wednesday evening, it became more. I had discovered new reasons.
We had a March for Babies team captain meeting last Wednesday. I was looking forward to it as a way to meet other moms. It did not disappoint. I met a mom (I can already tell that we are going to be friends) and we compared stories of moving from the DC suburbs to here. We both spent time in the same High Risk Perinatal unit. We had quite a bit in common. There was one big difference. Her micropreemies did not survive. When she told me, that old saying “there but for the grace of God goes I” went through my head. I never really fully understood that adage until that moment. March of Dimes is working to prevent more moms from understanding.
I know of a couple moms who are in the NICU now. I think of them regularly. I see their posts, answer their questions, and dote over their pictures. I cheer them on. People did and still do it for me. The NICU is a terribly frightening, horribly lonely, and painfully sad place. I do not think anybody should have to face it alone. March of Dimes makes sure people do not have to.
After that evening, I have thought of greater reasons for walking. It has nothing to do with me. It is for Charlie and to celebrate her struggle. It is for the moms who did not get to bring their babies home. It is for the moms who are currently in the NICU watching their babies fight for their lives. It is for babies who have yet to be born that they may be healthy. There are so very many reasons. All of them are excellent and much bigger than me.