Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Help us Save Babies!

Hello to all of you Friends, Family, Mothers or Children of Mothers!

Kaitlyn was choosen to be the March of Dimes Ambassador Family for the San Francisco Bay Area!

Many of you know a bit about my story, but here is the way you can help support in the name of Prevention of and research into saving Premature Babies. I thought I'd tell you again briefly about my story and about what the March of Dimes does. Before I had preemies, I had heard of March of Dimes, but never gave much thought about the organization.

I have created a photo story to chronicle my story: you can watch it here:

March of Dimes San Francisco Ambassador Family 2009 from lizmccarthy on Vimeo.

My story:

I went through years of Infertility issues and finally became pregnant with triplets from IVF. I lost my triplet when I was 10 weeks pregnant. As I'm an "older" mom, I was told to get an amnio. Unfortunately, (due to the way the doctor did my twin amnio) my water broke on one of my girls from the amnio at almost 17 weeks from an amnio on my twin pregnancy. I was told to abort the pregnancy, as I would deliver in 24 hours and SHOULD I last longer, there was no way that I was going to have "healthy" babies. I defied all odds and lasted 10 weeks on bedrest. As the doctors predicated, I did get an infection (and almost died) and went into preterm labor at 23 weeks, my labor was delayed until I delivered very prematurely at a bit over 26 weeks. My first born daughter, Corinne, passed away in my arms a few hours after she was born due to her poor lung development from no amniotic fluid for 10 long weeks. My surviving twin daughter, Kaitlyn, spent 4 longs months in the NICU. Both my daughters weighed 1lb 10 ounces. My daughter Kaitlyn was very very ill during her 4 months in the Neonatal ICU. She had a heart surgery when she was 4 days old, which cased her vocal chord to become paralyzed, had eye laser surgery to stop the Prematurity related blindness disease (ROP) (it's why Stevie Wonder is blind), has a feeding tube, had countless infections, blood transfusions, and we almost lost her many times.

She is now almost 3.5 years old and is doing quite well for how sick she was. We took out her feeding tube just a few months ago. She wears glasses. She speaks very quietly. She is attending a Special Education Preschool 5 days a week. Her first year of life we had well over 280 doctor/therapy appointments. Can you imagine? But she is my joyous miracle and she has her special guardian angel twin-sister looking over her every day.

We've also added another preemie to our family: Quinn Edwdard McCarthy was born 6 weeks premature on July 21, 2008.

I've since started a lot of support groups: I run a Micro Preemie on-line support group (for babies born under 2 pounds) that has over 450 members globally. I run a local Preemie support group in the bay area. I help with a Feeding Tube support group. I've been told I've touched a lot of lives. I want to give back to this incredible community of children and parents whose lives have been changed forever by their early arrival into this world. And I really want to publish my story and get the word out! Preemie life doesn't end when you leave the NICU. It's a hard road to be on.

And we are excited to announce that Kaitlyn was choosen to the be the 2009 March Of Dimes Ambassador for the Bay Area!

I've chronicled my story since my water broke: here's a link to my story if you'd like to read more:

Why am I telling you all of this and about the March of Dimes?
Well, the March of Dimes does a lot of research into the causes and recovery of Premature babies. My daughters were both given Surfactant to help their lungs. (remember they were born each weighing 1.5 pounds) It's what saved Kaitlyn. Did you know the March of Dimes was responsible for this life-saving treatment of preemies? My daughter wouldn't be here today with us if it weren't for the March of Dimes. Maybe their research in the future will be able to help babies like Corinne. Did you know that the March of Dimes was also responsible for the life-saving research and funding to find the cure for Polio?

Every year the March of Dimes has a walk in honor of Premature Babies. It's called March for Babies.

People have been walking in support of The March of Dimes for a long time, (hence the name, March for Dimes.) Initially the walk was about raising dimes in support! Last year I was chosen to stand on stage at the San Francisco walk and speak about my story. I cried on stage. Kaitlyn joined me not long after she learned to walk. It was very emotional for me (and for the audience I was told). I feel very strongly about supporting the March of Dimes in their prevention and research in support of the March of Dimes.


If you click on the link below you can do a number of things:
1. Walk with us and help raise money on your own in support of the March of Dimes in names of my twin daughters. There is a "register to walk" button at the bottom of the page. I can get donation envelopes and posters for you to take to your offices/families/friends. Just let me know what you need! Please walk with us and help raise money!

2. Donate to the March of Dimes in the name of my daughters without walking. You can donate directly on-line (link below), or you can send a check to me, whichever is easier for you.

3. Just walk with our team without donating. (again, click on the register to walk button)

The details of the walk:

It's a 10K (that's about 6 miles, but there is a short version too if that's too far)
4/25/2009 9:00 AM - Fort Mason, San FranciscoBay & Laguna StreetsSan Francisco, CA
I know this current economic environment is very tough. On all of us. Even if you can just donate $5.00, it will help!

This year I've set a goal to raise $2,200! If you register to walk with us and help raise funds at your office, this will be an easy goal to make!!
Thank you in advance!!!!

Liz McCarthy
Mom to 26w micro-preemie twins: (Oct 05): Kaitlyn (1lb 10 oz) and Angel ^Corinne^ (1lb 11 oz)
and 34w (July 08): Quinn
Read their story:


Molly said...

Hi Liz, this is a very touching article. Do you mind if I put a link to this one onto my blog so more people can read and help?
Have a great day
Molly, BC

liz.mccarthy said...

Absolutely, feel free to share!

Anonymous said...

Very touching - the video brought tears to my eyes. I came across your blog a few months back and check in from time to time to see how your beautiful family is doing. Thanks for being so open and honest with all you have gone through and go through!

With Love from Minnesota :)

Shannon and Carey said...

Very nice Liz. Our kickoff luncheon was great and we are ready to walk (after I try and meet my goal!)
Talk to you soon.
-Shannon in Austin

Anonymous said...

Wow Liz, I've been reading for so long. This video is precious and must have been heartbreaking to compose. Your (Yours and Brian's) love shines throughout the entire thing.

Can you post a blog entry with the song titles/artists you used at some point? The songs are so well chosen and beautiful. I will always think of Corrine when I hear the first song.

HEather Mac, NICU RN (Canada)

liz.mccarthy said...

The 3 songs are:

1. Glory Baby by Watermark
2. Calling all Angels by Train
3. Wonder by Natalie Merchant

Courtney said...

very nice post. we are march of dimes supporters. what a wonderful and truly important organization.

Mike and Jill said...

Hi Liz
I'm a fellow SFPOM mom. We are getting ready to register for the March of Dimes walk and I was wondering if it's OK to link you from our blog? I was so excited to read that Kaitlyn is the local ambassador!
I hope to see you the day of the walk!