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Friday, April 23, 2010

My Speech for March of Dimes Walk tomorrow

Here is my speach to givec up on stage before the San Francisco March For Babies Walk starts, what do you think?

Our family has experienced prematurity first hand -

Here’s our story and how the march of dimes saved one of our daughter’s lives…
After years of infertility my husband Brian and I were so excited upon hearing we were finally pregnant with twins. I planned to do everything “right” for a healthy pregnancy, but sadly events out of our control changed the course of our lives forever. Due to my age, it was recommended that I have an Amniocenteses, which unfortunately caused my water to break on one of my twin girls when I was just 17 weeks pregnant.

I was told that I would likely go into labor in the next 48 hours and that it was very unlikely that I would carry my twins to term. I defied all-odds and after 10 weeks of strict-bed rest, incredible stress and worry and lots of doctor visits, delivered my twin daughters 4 months early - as I was only 26 weeks pregnant.


Most parents look to the birth of their children with joy and anticipation. I will forever remember the early hours of October 4 2005 as one of the most stressful and anxious days of my life. This was not a joyous event, I kept repeating over and over to my nurse that it was way too soon and I wasn’t ready, the girls weren’t ready. I couldn’t believe this was happening.

Corinne Margaret, named after our mothers, was born first. Corinne thrived and grew inside me for 10 weeks without any amniotic fluid. She weighed 1 pound 11 ounces. Her sister Kaitlyn Elizabeth was born a few minutes later weighing even less at 1 pound 10 ounces. There were no newborn cries, our daughters were whisked away by the team of doctors to try to save their lives.

They were both given surfactant to help their extremely premature lungs, (a life-saving treatment made possible by the March of Dimes,)

Sadly, our first born daughter’s lungs never developed enough without amniotic fluid and she passed away in my arms 3 hours after she was born. Our surviving twin daughter, spent 4 long months in the NeoNatal Intensive Care Unit NICU. She was one sick little girl. She needed heart surgery to close a hole in her heart (from being born so early), This surgery saved her life, but permanently paralyzed her left vocal chord, so to this day Kaitlyn talks with a whisper. Kaitlyn had countless blood transfusions, courses of steroids, antibiotics, eye surgery and many times we thought we’d lose her too.

She eventually came home to us 4 long months after she was born. She came home with a feeding tube, as she had never gotten the hang of feeding from a bottle. 100% of her nutrition was given to her through her feeding tube as her feeding and vomiting issues continued upon homecoming and we only just removed her feeding at the age 3. The first year of her life out side of the hospital included well over 260 doctor and therapy appointments. Can you imagine?

Kaitlyn is doing remarkably now at, but does still have issues related to her extreme prematurity.

Our family was blessed with another pregnancy and as luck would have it I again had pregnancy complications: (Placentia Previa, which means that my sons placenta was too low in my uterus and meant that I it was extremely likely that I would deliver early. Our son Quinn was born just 1/ ½ years ago; ONLY 6 weeks early, and he spent a SHORT 3 weeks in the NICU, but is basically a healthy little guy.
CLOSING

Our family is proud to serve as ambassadors for the March of Dimes March for Babies. Through their continued funding of research that finds new options and solutions for premature babies, the March of Dimes makes it possible for babies such as Kaitlyn and Quinn to not only survive but thrive. Our family looks forward to finding more opportunities to support the March of Dimes in the years ahead.
Thank you for supporting the March of Dimes. Brian and I realize it takes many volunteers raising much needed funds to make all this happen. That is why we participate in March for Babies.

I’d like you to meet my Miracle little girl, Kaitlyn.

Kaitlyn come on up here.


In closing, as my role as the Chair of the Family Teams, I’ve heard so many heart breaking stories of loss and prematurity and I just had to introduce yourself to one family. Molly Mallon was born full term, but sadly passed away in her sleep when she was only 5 months old from a rare infection just a few short months ago. Her parents Liz and James are here today and their team Molly bugs has raised over $15,000.

They have 45 team members participating in March For Babies walks all over the country and even have team members walking in other countries today in honor of Molly. I wanted to share their story, as they are one of the top fund Family Teams in the entire state of California.

Team Mollybugs, please wave and say hello!

Please know that by your walking and participating today, we can all help save families like my own and Mollys from knowing the terrible heart ache of loosing babies much too soon.

Thank you!


PS, if you haven't seen my MOD video I made last year, here it is:


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


If you would like to donate to our team, here is the link:

http://www.MarchForBabies.org/kcmccarthy

6 comments:

Flo said...

Great speech Liz, I hope everything went well.

Anonymous said...

Your story is amazing Liz and Kaitlyn came so far that nobody could tell that she was micro preemie once. Did Kaitlyn suck from the bottle ever in NICU or at home? Did she have feeding tube from the birth? I know she learned to eat at one feeding program but before this program did she ever suck, chew or swallow? How old she was when she started to suck and swallow? How did you motivate her to chew and eat like regular kid?My daughter had feeding tube from the birth so she never sucked or swallow. She is three and half years old and we have been taking her to the feeding therapist last two years but she still can't figure out how to chew. She takes only liquid and semi liquid food and she does not have feeding tube anymore. She had tube three years. She packs everything inside of her cheek and our therapist always says that she never learned to suck so that's why it's taking that much time but it's been two years so it is really long for anybody to learn and also she does not have any motivation so she doesn't care for chewing and never feels hungry. Feeding is a biggest trauma for her. Is it true that if they have tube that long that they will never learn to chew?

Thank you. Your blog helped me so much!

Kathy.

Anonymous said...

Hi Liz,

Kathy asked you some of the questions that some of the mothers of preemie chidren including me like to know. If you please give those answers it will be helpful to know that how Kaitlyn figured out chewing when she had tube from the birth? How hard it was for her to chew? I saw in her video that she vomited a lot during her eating but did she have any trouble to learn chewing?

Thank you for your time.

Maria.

ericwa said...

Hi there. I'm writing to anyone who is familar with a child with DS who has had a heart defect repair. Right now my wife and 4 month old are in All childrens in ST Petersburg, FL having a complete av canal repair. Anyone who can show support please visit her blog at http://waligorafam.blogspot.com

Carry said...

I know she learned to eat at one feeding program but before this program did she ever suck, chew or swallow? How old she was when she started to suck and swallow? How did you motivate her to chew and eat like regular kid?My daughter had feeding tube from the birth so she never sucked or swallow. She is three and half years old and we have been taking her to the feeding therapist last two years but she still can't figure out how to chew. She takes only liquid and semi liquid food and she does not have feeding tube anymore.

Candy said...

Hi Liz,
I enjoyed visiting your site, and learning about your amazing children! As a NICU nurse, and fellow March of Dimes advocate, we share a common vision.
I incite you and your readers to visit my website, which has other info, blog and podcasts which may interest you:
http://peripateticproductions.com
All best,
Candy the Nurse
PS
The kids might like the free stuff on my www.CandytheNurse.com website,too! :D