Way back when I started to read blogs, I only consistently read a few. One of them was The Spohrs are Multiplying– a blog about a family in CA with an adorable sprite of a daughter, Maddie. Maddie was born at 28 weeks and had an extraordinarily hard first few months of life. Despite the odds, little Maddie survived her rough start and thrived. I loved reading about her adventures with her parents, Heather & Mike, and looking at the adorable pictures her mom posted of her. Maddie’s bright eyes and endless eyelashes grabbed you the minute you saw her- how could you not be captivated?
2 year ago today, Maddie died suddenly. She got sick- a severe respiratory infection that her lungs, scarred due to her permaturity, couldn’t handle. Maddie was just shy of 18 months old. I had never cried over the death of a stranger before, but I cried over this little girl and her parents.
But as touched as I was, I never really understood prematurity and all its causes and implications until my sweet niece, Lala, was born. Because prematurity was something that happened to other people. Not healthy 29 year olds who took great care of themselves while pregnant. It couldn’t happen to women with top-notch medical care. It couldn’t happen to my family. Right?
Wrong. It can and it did. My whole family was shocked by how quickly my sister’s healthy pregnancy took a turn for the worse. And then how quickly it turned from bad to an emergency where Lala had to come out now not only for her sake, but for my sister’s as well. I say a prayer of thanks to God every single day that Lala is with us and doing as amazingly well as she is.
While God gets all the credit, the March of Dimes get some too. The March of Dimes is an amazing organization that not only gives support to parents with premature babies, they also have pioneered medical advances that have helped kids like Lala (there are a half a million premature babies born a year) survive against amazing odds. This spring the March of Dimes is putting on March for Babies– walks all across the United States to raise money for their efforts. I urge you to walk this year- in Maddie’s memory and in celebration of our sweet Lala.