As previously mentioned, this past weekend we celebrated Sutton's life by participating in the March of Dimes March for Babies! I am so proud to share that Team His Middle Name raised $1,375.00 - more than double what we raised last year and a record for our team! Not only that, but Team His Middle Name was among the TOP 10 teams recognized for funds raised. I am humbled by the many family and friends that donated to such an important cause - each and every one of you have made an impact. Thank you for allowing us to be successful in raising money that will support community programs and research, as well as raising awareness that advances the mission of the March for Dimes. Below are a few photos of our day honoring our son's life and all those born too soon.
There are so many simple ways to get involved and observe this special day! First (and probably most important) give yourself a "me party." What is a me party? It's taking time to indulge yourself. Whatever helps you relax and reflect - do it! Run a bath or marathon, it doesn't matter as long as you are treating yourself well. Secondly, you can spread the word about Parents of Preemies Day by simply posting pictures of you and your preemie on Facebook or twitter. This is a great way to reach others and possibly connect with someone in your inner circle who has also gone through a NICU journey of their own. You can also visit the Parents of Preemies Day Facebook page to share your pictures and story. You never know - your experience may resonate with another preemie parent and offer them just the hope they need to remain patient in their own journey.
Lastly, treat yourself to some swag! You can purchase t-shirts, buttons and magnets by visiting the Parents of Preemies online shop. I have a t-shirt (which is super soft and I absolutely love!) that I wear year round, and it serves as a little reminder of all we have been through as a family. It also is a great conversation starter! You wouldn't believe how many people stop me and ask me questions every time I wear my "Proud Parent of a Preemie" shirt. I'm literally wearing my experience on my sleeve, and it never fails to touch someone or spark a heart to heart. That's how healing begins; the more you share of yourself the more the wound begins to mend.
As a new month is among us, I want to offer you some words of renewal.
You are powerful, soulful, strong, rooted and divinely supported. You are loved, valuable and cherished. You are wise and generous. You are safe. Be gentle with yourself and mindful of others around you. This Sunday, when you are celebrating Parents of Preemies Day, it's okay if the laundry doesn't get done or the grocery shopping has to wait one more day. This is your day to treat yourself and satisfy that sweet tooth! I hope you all have a pampered and blessed day.