Hand to Hold's Official Blog: Written by Parents for Parents

We Marched!

The March for Babies was a lot of fun last week, and it was probably the most beautiful and pleasant day of the year so far!  We arrived just on time to turn in our sponsor sheets, get our wristbands, raffle tickets, some pom poms, and a couple of balloons to tie to our stroller.  We got two balloons, one for my 27-weeker who was with me, and one in memory of our 21-weeker.  Later, we found what I’m going to call the Preemie Walk – a section of walkway with family posters lining each side of the walk that were tributes to individual preemies.  Names, gestational age and weight at birth, pictures of then and now, and short stories of hope were displayed on every poster.  I was wishing that I had thought to do something special in honor of my two preemies.

There was a live band underneath the pavilion and another tent full of fresh fruit, delicious bread, bagels, and water that was free for everyone.  There was even a March for Babies store where you could purchase products with the March for Babies logo on it.  Too bad I didn’t bring any money for that :).

So, the walk began!  It was a beautiful, clear, fresh morning and we were up on a hill overlooking the valley.  We walked on a paved road in a large circle around the park.  It was easy to push the stroller and most people had one or two children with them.  There were a couple of stops along the way to use the restroom, get water, and at one point they handed out Creamies!  Yum.  My daughter loved that, but unfortunately her cute shirt is permanently stained by the chocolate drips.  If only I’d brought a bib!  I certainly didn’t want to deny her the delicious treat.

After the walk there was a drawing that included every participant’s single raffle ticket.  My sister won 2-hours of free face painting to celebrate a reunion, party, or whatever!  She was way excited.  They also gave away a bunch of shirts, baskets full of goodies, and even some bikes.

All in all, it was a great morning and it was fun to get out and get involved.  There are a few things I want to remember for next year’s walk and I’ll share them with you for your benefit as well!

1.  Bring your camera.  I did bring mine, but I don’t want to forget next year.

2.  Gather donations to your personal page, not the team page.  To register you’re supposed to print out your personal sponsor form to be handed in at registration.  Because I donated to the team page (I was the captain, after all), my personal sponsor page had no donations.  Another big problem with that was that every widget to be put on blogs, facebook pages, emails, etc., could only connect to your personal March for Babies page and only reflected your personal success.  I tried everything to get the team totals to reflect on the widgets and for the widgets to direct traffic to the team page but nothing worked.  They’re made to connect to your personal page, and therefore, every widget I placed said I had $0 collected!  I’m sure that wasn’t very inspiring to potential sponsors.  If you don’t plan on walking and you just want to donate randomly to a team then it won’t matter if you donate to a team or create a personal page.  Just realize, that you don’t actually have to register (create a personal profile) to donate to a team.

3.  Make something to wear that will unite and identify your team. People were so creative.  I saw simple signs and pictures pinned to shirts, halos in people’s hair (obviously for a preemie who passed away), family posters, and of course team t-shirts with preemie pictures on them with the gestational age and weight at birth.

4.  Bring strollers for all young children.  I brought a stroller for my 3-year old, but I actually thought she would want to walk, piggy-back, shoulder ride, and run the whole time.  I was wrong.  She spent most of the time in the stroller!

5.  Go to the raffle drawing.  You never know when you might win something!

6.  Bring sunscreen.  The walk was supposed to start at 10:00, but it actually didn’t start until almost 10:45.  The raffle drawing was at 11:30 and we were there until almost 12:30!  So, there’s plenty of sun exposure.

Hmmm… I can’t really think of anything else.  Have any of you been to a March for Babies?  What else do you suggest for those going for their first time?

Anyway, it was a good time.  Thank you everyone who supported the Preemie Babies 101 team!

Afton Mower About Afton Mower

After Mower (UT) lost her firstborn son at 21 weeks.  Her daughter was born a year and a half later at 27 weeks.  The NICU was overwhelming and isolating and it was through those two experiences she was led to found this social hub for parents to find the support they needed. Afton also gave birth to another daughter, born two days overdue after four months of strict bedrest. She believes it is a tender experience to hold a special baby in your arms when his spirit returns to his heavenly home, a miracle to watch tiny babies survive the risks of prematurity and a blessing to hold a healthy full-term baby after months of difficulty and sacrifices.

Comments

  1. Looks like it was a BEAUTIFUL day!! Awesome pictures too. I appreciate your tips on what to remember for next year’s March. I’ve been meaning to do one of those. Maybe next year will be it. Thanks for sharing your experience!

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