No baby's newborn pictures should look like the photo above. Each year, we walk in the March for Babies, supporting March of Dimes research so that no other babies’ pictures do. Please support us in that walk by joining our team as a walker or as a donor by clicking http://www.marchforbabies.org/kaltenbaumer
When we are asked to share our son Truman's story we could begin with the terror and horror of having a baby born so early that his eyes were still fused shut or who, at 20 ounces, was the size and weight of a water bottle. Or tell you about his brain hemorrhages, months spent on a ventilator, heart and bowel surgeries and the struggle for every gram of growth. Then, there was Truman's triumphant homecoming after 120 days in the neonatal intensive care unit. But, unfortunately that is not the end of Truman's story; prematurity affects his life each and every day. Simply put, life is hard each and every day for Truman due to a myriad of learning disabilities, cerebral palsy, a feeding disorder, and growth struggles -- all due to prematurity. A child simply cannot miss the last 4 months of gestation and escape unscathed.
The March of Dimes has become our family's mission and passion so that no other baby will go through what Truman did, nor will any other parents watch their baby struggle this way.
Although Truman was our family's introduction to this undesirable club called prematurity, we also walk this year in honor of our second son, Elliott who born at 28 weeks in 2012. Elliott weighed 3 pounds, 3 ounces and was 16.25 inches long at birth. Like Truman, he was immediately whisked away to the NICU, placed on a ventilator and given surfactant. Prematurity has marked Elliott as well, as he struggles with asthma.
We owe March of Dimes for our children's lives. Both of our sons needed special care in a local NICU which would not have been possible without March of Dimes helping with the regionalization of the NICU system. March of Dimes research led to the development of pulmonary surfactant therapy that Truman and Elliott received to treat respiratory distress syndrome. March of Dimes has helped babies and families like ours for more than 75 years through research, vaccines and breakthroughs.
In 2013, we had the honor of serving as the Dallas Ambassador Family. To watch our Ambassador Video and learn more about our family's study, watch http://youtu.be/Ce89rmtZmWo