Hello friends of preemies! Recently, I have been asking a lot out of you and I recognize that. There are two events coming up that are VERY important to our family and one that is a great cause. All of these events support preemies in one way or another, and that is why I am involved in them. Please take a moment to read about each of them and see if you can give up some time to walk with us, or just donate some money to one of these great causes. The future babies of the world can use your help!
1. Thursday March 6, 2014
An Evening of Reflections and Discussion on Premature Babies from 7 to 9 pm at the Westport Arts Center in Westport, CT. This event raises money for The Tiny Miracles Foundation, which helps CT NICU families.
2. Sunday April 27, 2014
March for Babies by the March of Dimes kicks off a 10:00 am. This event has activities for the whole family and will be a lot of fun. The March of Dimes funds research that helps prevent premature births and birth defects.
3. Sunday May 4, 2014
Go the Distance Walk for Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital kicks off at 9:30 am. This event is also very family oriented and has many organized activities for children. This event is very dear to our hearts because Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital saved our daughter’s life and Joy spent 121 days there.
Thank you for your continued support!
Join me and fellow preemie mother and author Kasey Mathews, for An Evening of Reflections and Discussion about Premature Babies!
Thursday, March 6, 2014
7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Westport Arts Center, 51 Riverside Avenue, Wesport, CT
The Tiny Miracles Foundation invites you to an Evening of Reflections & Discussion with special guest authors Kasey Mathews, author of Preemie: Lessons in Love, Life and Motherhood and Jennifer Degl, author of From Hope to Joy: A Memoir of a Mother’s Determination and her Micro-Preemie’s Struggle to Beat the Odds.
The Tiny Miracles Foundation, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping families with premature infants in and around Fairfield County, Connecticut. They know from personal experience that the premature birth of a child can be a shocking, isolating and frightening experience for many families. Although area hospitals are able to meet most premature infants’ medical needs, the emotional and other needs of the family during this fragile time often go largely unsupported. The Tiny Miracles Foundation seeks to fill this void by providing support, information, services and supplies to the families of premature infants regardless of race, religion or national origin, during and immediately following their hospital stay.
Here is a little bit about FROM HOPE TO JOY for those of you who have not read it yet:
Jennifer Degl started a journal the night her baby was born. Five months later, instead of writing in her journal, she read every page. That’s when she knew she had to tell this story.
In her memoir Jennifer recounts the struggles and triumphs of her journey: from the decision to have another child, to the birth of her micro preemie at twenty-three weeks, and this tiny girl’s fight to survive.
Here is a little bit about PREEMIE and Kasey Mathews:
In her early thirties, Kasey Mathews had it all: a loving husband, a beautiful two-year-old son, and a second baby on the way. But what seemed a perfect life was shattered when she went into labor four months early, delivering her one-pound, eleven-ounce daughter, Andie.
The first time Kasey was wheeled into the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), nothing prepared her for what she saw: a tiny, fragile baby in a tangle of tubes and wires. All at once, Kasey was confronted with a new and terrifying reality that would test the limits of love, family, and motherhood.
In this riveting, honest, and often humorous memoir, Preemie chronicles the journey of one tiny baby’s tenacious struggle to hold on to life and the mother who ultimately grew with her. From hospital waiting rooms to the offices of alternative practitioners, from ski slopes to Symphony Hall, Kasey tries to make meaning of her daughter’s birth and eventually comes to learn that gifts come in all sizes and all forms, and sometimes… right on time.
This should be a great evening of fundraising for a great cause. Please join us if you can make it!
Today is a day filled with mixed emotions. I am going back to work for the first time in almost two years.
I am a science teacher at my local high school and have been so since the fall of 1999. While I usually teach earth science, I have also taught biology, environmental science and astronomy. When I return to work this morning, I will be teaching anatomy and physiology to juniors and seniors. While I am excited to teach a new course, it is a bit overwhelming because I have not taught it before. But, I love challenges and this is just another chance to gain a new skill.
My last day of work in March of 2012 was not what I imagined. I planned to work until the end of June and have the summer to get ready for the birth of my fourth child. She (we did not know the sex at the time) was due on September 2, 2012 so I would complete the school year and then have the summer to play with my three young boys and prepare the house for a new baby.
In the early hours of March 15, 2012, while on a field trip with my freshman students, I hemorrhaged and rushed myself to the hospital. I was just 17 weeks pregnant. I was on bed rest for the remainder of my pregnancy (either at home or in the hospital due to three more life-threatening hemorrhages), which it turns out only lasted for 23 weeks anyway.
Most of you know Joy’s amazing success story, so I will not get into it. Although her recovery was amazing, she still spent 121 days in the NICU and then once she was released, required (and still does) many interventions and medical appointments. It was because of these appointments and the fact that I needed to recover both physically and mentally (mostly mentally) from our ordeal, I decided to take a rather long maternity leave from work.
I am very lucky to have such a supportive administration that allowed me to extend my leave on two different occasions, which brings my return date to work one and a half months shy of two years since my last day. I am excited to return to the job I love and the students and colleagues I miss. My job is very rewarding, as I get to see the light in a child’s eyes when they understand something new. I am also very lucky to have found such a wonderful woman to watch my daughter three days a week, so that Joy’s grandparents can have two days off. However, I am very sad to be spending less time with my Joy!
Joy and I have spent almost every waking hour together. I will miss our playtime, naptime, and every time together. When I think about someone else putting her in for a nap or playing peek-a-boo with her, I cry. I also get upset when I think about how I will return home at the same time as her brothers (who are in school) and will then have to divide our remaining daylight hours between all four of them and grading papers and lesson planning, and I will not have anymore alone time with her. She has no idea this is coming, and she is lucky to not have the chance to worry about it.
My last two week days of being work free were spent very well. We went skiing and sledding and had a great time. I could not have asked for a better last hurrah.
So, what does any self-respecting woman who is returning to the workforce after a two-year hiatus do? Go cloths shopping of course. Thank God for Ann Taylor Loft!
Wish me luck today (unless there is a snow day)!
I would love to hear how you made it through the first few weeks back to work after a long maternity leave.