Who's that Girl?


Carnival of HR and Charitable Giving

Originally posted: November 19, 2009 on TrishMcFarlane.com

Want to be inspired?  Just read the blogs posted by people in the HR community.  Here’s an example:  I went to Mike VanDervort’s blog (the Human Race Horses) and see that he posted about the upcoming Carnival of HR he is hosting on November 25th.  I  was excited to see that not only is he collecting great posts for the carnival, he is asking each blogger to give the name of their favorite charity.  Mike will personally donate money to one charity, selected from all those submitted for the Carnival.

I encourage you to head over to Mike’s blog right now if you haven’t already been there today.  Then, start thinking of a post you can submit to the Carnival along with your favorite charity.

Here’s a little glimpse of my favorite charity, the March of Dimes, and why it is special to me.

As most of you who read my blog know, I am the mom of twins.  They are the loves of my life.  They are now happy, healthy six year olds.  But, we were not always this lucky.  My story is that by the time I was 25 weeks along in my pregnancy, I was measuring as big as an “average” woman at full-term with a single baby.  Hard to believe, I know.  I went into pre-term labor and didn’t even know it.  I thought I was just uncomfortable because I was already so big.

Luckily, when you’re having multiples, you have extra doctor appointments and I was actually at the hospital for an ultrasound when they told me I was 5 cm diallated.  The doctor told me it would not be easy to keep the babies inside for very long, even with heavy medication.  He told me that my time as a strong mother would be starting right then.  I was all alone at the time and I just broke down.  I have never had worse news in my life.  I thought my babies would die because when children are born at 25 weeks, the chances are not good for them.

The next 48 hours was a blur of doctors, nurses, family, and friends. I was so heavily drugged I really don’t remember much.  After two days, my doctor told me that they thought they had it under control and that I had to do my best to keep them inside, one day at a time.  They wheeled me to the NICU to see some of the babies born at 25- 26 weeks.  They were on average about a pound and a half.  Their skin was transparent, they could not breathe on their own.  They were covered in wires and tubes.  It was then that I learned that the March of Dimes provides the research that made the special beds, treatments, and medicines possible to keep these children alive.  I prayed to God to not let me have my babies too early.

The next nine weeks were a roller coaster of the the worst kind.  I stayed medicated most of the time and endured contractions every hour for the entire eight weeks.  By the time I reached 34 weeks in the pregnancy, I could no longer get out of bed on my own because I was so large and could barely walk because I had been on bed rest for so long.  I begged to go home, if only for a few days.  Since I was far enough along at that point, the doctors let me go home.  When I reached 35 weeks in the pregnancy, I knew it was time.  I headed to the hospital around noon, walked around the hospital for about an hour to start the labor back up, then walked directly to the labor and delivery floor that I lived on for so long and told the nurse, “today, I’m having BABIES!“.

Jack- 3 Days Old

Jack- 3 Days Old

Having them was the easy part.  After so many months of contractions, I deserved an easy labor.  Jack was born weighing in at 5 lbs. 4 oz.  Carleigh was born seven minutes later weighing in at 4 lbs. 4 oz.  There has never been a happier moment in my entire life, and I am certain that there will never be another that will match it.  They are my miracle babies.  They were born naturally and only needed a few weeks in the NICU so they could finish developing in their own time.

The first time I went to see them in the NICU, each baby had a stuffed animal next to them.  The little bears were lying on pillows that said “March of Dimes”.  I knew at that moment I had a mission.  To work to raise money to help other families never have to go through what I went through.  And, for families who do have babies too early, to have the research available to discover new treatments, therapies, and medications.

Carleigh- 3 Days Old

Carleigh- 3 Days Old (Notice how small she is compared to my hand)

Since then, I have served as the Chairperson of Family Teams for the MO chapter of the March of Dimes.  My family was also the Ambassador family in St. Louis for 2008.   My children, my family, and I have raised money to help ensure that every baby is born healthy.

So, that is my story.  I’ll be participating in the Carnival of HR on 11/25.  Won’t you?  What charity inspires you?

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