Meet Lydia and Lauren
Our story with March of Dimes began upon my untimely admittance to Methodist Hospital with preterm labor with our first child when I was only 25 weeks into my pregnancy. It was a scary time, wondering if she was to come soon, what kinds of issues we might face. Would she survive? What kinds of potential complications could there be for someone born so early? Shortly after admittance, I was administered the first of two shots of surfactant known to speed up lung development in utero. I later learned that these injections were utilized in large part to research developed by the March of Dimes. As stubborn as she was, Lydia arrived into the world three days later weighing in at 2 pounds and 1 ounce, or 950 grams and under 14” long. The staff warned us during labor that she might not cry after she was delivered due to her underdeveloped lungs for being so early, but the little “squeaks” that she let out upon her entrance into the world was a relief and sound that I’ll never forget.
Lydia stayed in the Methodist NICU for 93 days coming home one week before her due date. During those 13 weeks, it was a roller coaster of emotions watching her have good days filled with weight gains and new milestones and yet other days watching her have blood transfusions, brain bleeds, and requirements for greater levels of oxygen. She also had a trip to Riley during her stay for a hernia repair before coming home. Throughout the experience, we were able to participate in kangaroo care and become more involved in her day to day activities such as feedings, baths, and diaper changes…which at times were daunting given she was so little! When Lydia was able to be discharged, she came home with oxygen and an apnea monitor along with a host of follow up appointments with several specialists, but the good news was that she was healthy enough to finally come home. In her first year of life, she was able to discontinue both the monitor and oxygen, but picked up a host of therapies to help her to get caught up to others her age.
Three years later with my next pregnancy, I again went into preterm labor at 30 weeks. This time as well, I was able to be admitted to IU North hospital and was able to receive my two shots of surfactant therapy to boost lung development. I was able to stay on strict bedrest in the hospital for 5 more weeks before our daughter, Lauren, was born weighing in at 5 lbs, 4 oz. Thankfully she passed all of her newborn tests and was able to come home with me from the hospital with no complications.
Today, Lydia and Lauren are both active and intelligent girls at ages 13 and 10. They are straight A students in their respective schools and both are participating on teams at the Academy Volleyball Club in Indianapolis. We are very blessed and grateful to have two such incredible and healthy girls after their early beginnings.
Our family has been impacted by March of Dimes and every year, we work to give back to the organization that we have to thank for helping our daughters in their earliest of days. Just three months after Lydia came home from the NICU, we participated in our first March for Babies as the Lydi Bugs and we have not missed a year since. We continue to march in honor of our daughters and to raise funds to continue the efforts of such an amazing organization so that they can continue to reach and impact other families and expectant mothers. We enjoy the march and getting a chance to see other families and organizations participating. Occasionally we get to run into some of their former nurses and doctors too! We are very grateful to the March of Dimes organization and are so honored to be able to serve as this year’s Ambassador Family!