If you haven’t noticed, I’ve added a new widget to my sidebar over there.. see, over there.. look right.. yup, right there.

My family has been involved with the March of Dimes since 2004 after I lost a daughter due to premature birth. I was 20 weeks and 3 days pregnant when I lost her and it happened so fast that now I look back and wonder how there could have anyway been some way to prevent this. And as the doctors said, there wasn’t. I lost her due to a condition called Incompetent Cervix. Basically, my cervix was too weak to hold her weight as she grew.

I gave birth to her stillborn. Saying goodbye before I could ever say hello.

After her death I felt terribly alone and I was looking everywhere to find out what happened, what I could have done differently and how I could prevent it. I was looking for someone to talk to who knew what I was feeling. Luckily, I found www.shareyourstory.org which is a site ran by the March of Dimes. The next thing I knew I was reading stories of women who were going through losses like mine, some later in their pregnancy and some earlier. I was reading of survival stories and I knew there was hope. I wrote with hope and I wrote to heal. It was the first time I really shared publicly what had happened. I updated regularly then and each year around this time of year, the anniversary of her death, I wonder if I should continue to update that blog when my sadness hits.

That was the first year I walked in the March For Babies hosted by the March of Dimes (at that time known as WalkAmerica). It’s amazing what getting involved with the March of Dimes did for me. Not only did I raise over $1000 and win the Top Family awared, but it helped me to heal and it helped me to move forward from an experience I thought I would never move on from. It made me stronger as a person.

In 2005, I couldn’t walk in the March For Babies because I was pregnant again with my son, who now is almost 3 years old. But I still did fund raising and I still tried to get involved locally. And other than that year, I’ve walked every year since.

My son was born 7 weeks early and spent 14 days in the Greenville Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). I received so much support from the March of Dimes, books on prematurity, things to look for and just general support from the community through them. My son’s very first valentine card was from a local school that donated them to the NICU through the March of Dimes.

The support and research that the March of Dimes provides is invaluable to thousands of families like mine. I was honored for my family to be the Spartanburg County Local Ambassador Family (Nikkos is in red) for two years because I felt like it was in some small way, giving back to them for what they had given me.

If you are interested in helping the March of Dimes, please, join a walk in your area. If you live in the Upstate South Carolina area, please feel free to join my family team that will be walking in Spartanburg on April 25th or if you’d rather, just donate… even a dollar can make a difference.

This is my story and if by sharing it I can raise just $1 or help inform just 1 person about the March of Dimes, then I feel my job is done.