When I was 34 weeks pregnant with Ava I hit a point where I just wanted her out. I didn't even have a rough pregnancy and in fact, it was quite a breeze but knowing that I had just a couple of weeks left until I got to hold my baby girl in my arms was an anxiousness I had never felt before. Anxious, excited, slightly nervous and just...ready. I was ready for that little girl to be in my arms.
I was ready to rock her, to kiss her, to snuggle, to give her little nose sweet eskimo kisses and all I wanted every minute of every waking day was for her to come out.
And I'm sure many of you out there can totally relate.
Then I hit 37 weeks, that time when all of the baby books and apps tell you that your baby is "full term" and I was more ready than ever. Can't she just come out now? I just wanted to sleep through the last couple of weeks so that the time would pass quickly and my husband continued to remind me that "the longer she's in there, the healthier she will be."
I went into labor three days before our due date and just 7 hours later on March 14, 2016, I had the best day of my life. My precious little Ava Sue was here and she was perfect. She was healthy, she was beautiful and she was all mine.
I'm at that stage in my life where lots of my friends and Facebook acquaintances are pregnant, having babies, having second babies and man, if only I knew that the grass isn't always greener on the other side. I know it may sound silly, but those last couple of weeks of pregnancy were the worst and I was almost a bit jealous at the moms who got to deliver their babies a week or two weeks early. But then I started seeing mom after mom and story after story of moms with babies who were born in just their second trimester, moms who have had the gut-wrenching experience of sitting next to their preemie babies in the NICU for 82 days, hoping and praying for a healthy baby to bring home with them soon. Or the moms who are praying feverishly to keep their babies in as long as possible after weeks and weeks of pre-mature labor. I've seen those moms struggle and I wouldn't wish that on anyone.
And I now realize how lucky I am that I got to leave the hospital with my healthy, full-term baby girl in my arms. The grass sure was greener on my side and for the moms and dads who have to go through the pain and the struggle and the fear of watching their babies in the NICU, there's one word that comes to mind:
Give Them Tomorrow
March of Dimes with be launching the Give Them Tomorrow national pilot program this year and will be distributing 6,300 gift packages to new moms in hospitals across the country, including Providence St. Vincent in Oregon, UMass Memorial Medical Center in Massachusetts, Santa Clara Medical Center in California, Capital Health in New Jersey, Spectrum Health in Michigan and Charleston Area Medical Center in West Virginia. The gift packages will help celebrate new moms and babies as they begin their exciting journey together and will allow moms to fill their boxes with all of the treasures that come along with each of their babies' milestones.
Join the movement and help give hope to new moms who need it the most. We are such a strong community and together, we can make another mom's day a little brighter when she needs it the most.
All it takes it your email and 10 seconds of your time to show a new mom that you support them and to show them that they're not alone. Let's all be the light we'd like to feel if we were in her shoes.
The adorable book inside the box was kindly donated by Usborne Books & More