I had a great time with many great cyclists at the Bicycle Café last night and as I drove home, I started thinking about this years March for Babies (which is a major event for March of Dimes). I don’t know how many times I’ve mentioned that this year would mark Shiloh turning 5, but last night my thoughts centered on my very first March for Babies. It was a very exciting time. Shiloh was doing well…eating more and pooping more, so things were good. The staff at the hospital went out of their way to promote March for Babies, but they did it in a fun and inclusive type of way.
I can imagine that several of the nurses had gone through years of promoting and participating in the event. I always think about the parents and how tough it is on them as they spend day and night in the NICU. But the nurses who show up, day after day…they are special. I know they love babies or they wouldn’t be there, but I know the experiences weigh on them, but they keep coming back. I’ve come to the conclusion, right or wrong…that March of Babies is a time to celebrate the survivors. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s the central reason I don’t want to participate this year.
I don’t know why I’m fixated with Shiloh turning 5. Maybe it’s because it’s the age he’d be going off to school or it could be he’d be playing flag football. I’d undoubtedly be ruining his hairline because I’d be a horrible barber. Whatever “it” is…”it” is deeply embedded in my thinking. I was amped that first year walking around White Rock. I couldn’t wait to get back to the hospital to Shi, but I really couldn’t wait until the following year to push my baby boy as we celebrated life away from the NICU. Since then, I’ve participated in the walk, but try to stay as quiet and reflective as possible.
There’s a lot of joy, deservedly so, and I definitely don’t want to be a kill joy. I guess it’s been my way of making sure I confront the pain. I am truly happy for the families who were able to bring their babies home….I only wish they could understand that as they live with joy, some live with pain. I’m not complaining and I’ll be at March for Babies this year, it’s important to stand tall and move forward because your strength may be the example for someone who is on that edge.
I can relate to the NICU nurses from the standpoint you gotta keep showing up. You gotta believe it’s important, and strangely enough not doing it leaves a void that could never be replaced. If you’re not doing anything on April 21, 2012, think about the babies who didn’t make it out of the NICU!
Fort Worth Walk
31 miles away
April 21, 2012
Farrington Field: 1501 North University Dr. Ft. Worth, TX 76107
Walk Distance: 3.5miles
Registration Time: 8:30 AM
Start Time: 9:00 AM
Phone: (817) 451-9174