I am amazed by Callie every day. As I did a few years ago, I decided to post a picture of Callie's first Easter (above-at over two months old) and below (age 5). Even at two months old, she could still fit inside her Easter basket. Now, she races around the house searching for eggs. But we still see glimpses of prematurity. She is still very clumsy. We can attribute some of that to her eyesight and some to the brain damage she had at birth. But it doesn't phase her, she keeps playing and laughing and trying! Just this week at gymnastics, Callie was able to make it across the balance beam by herself for the first time-something her peers have been doing for years...but Callie wasn't stable and couldn't see well enough to do it without assistance. Her amazing teacher, Ms. Meghan, suggested we put back on her glasses for the beam work (we had stopped having her wear them because of her falling and breaking them). Ms. Meghan believed she was struggling with the depth perception and that is why she was struggling. Ms. Meghan was right! She put on her glasses and did it by herself. Callie gave her teacher a big hug and then ran out to share with us that she was "big" and did it! She went back in and kept practicing! This has been a common theme throughout Callie's life. Sometimes it takes her a little longer to reach a milestone or accomplishment...but she keeps fighting and when she gets it, you would never know that she struggled.
The March of Dimes has provided our family with so much support over the years. From the surfactant she received at birth that helped her lungs, to the connections we continue to make with other amazing families! I have had the gratifying opportunity to be a volunteer for the March of Dimes at Franklin Square Hospital right here in Baltimore. I get to see on a monthly basis all of the support the March of Dimes provides families going throught the trauma that comes with having a baby in the NICU. They provide classes, support groups, craft nights, and other resources so that Mommy's and Daddy's are more prepared to care for their preemies. I volunteer on craft night, helping parents create picture frames, name tags and onesies for their little ones. It is a nice opportunity for the parents to meet other parents and realize that they are not alone!
There are many reasons why we continue to March for Babies. We are so blessed that Callie beat the odds and is thriving today! One of my best friends is currently 23 weeks pregnant. She called and told me how she was reading about what would be happening to her little one growing inside of her over the next week. She couldn't believe that Callie survived. She said, there is just still so much that is supposed to happen to them safe inside of their Mommy. It is true-we are beyond lucky! More research needs to be done so that these babies stay safe inside their Mommy's until they are full term and ready to be born! So please consider supporting Team Callie May this year and help fight for all Babies!
Donate at: www.marchforbabies.org/calliemay