Saturday, April 25, 2009

March for Babies 2009

Good start. Rough finish.

March for Babies 2009 with friends

The March of Dimes - March for Babies starts at 9am at the lower Muny, St. Louis Forest Park, which is about a 40-minute drive from our house. Bill, Matthew and I meet up with our friends near the start of the walk. Their adorable twin boys, Ayden and Anthony, are ready to go. It is their first March of Dimes walk and their first official big debut into the world since being born three months prematurely last year. Despite having a bumpy start in life, they are doing great now and thriving.

March for Babies 2009

The walk is about 3 miles long. Matthew is content to be in his stroller and we have a balloon tied to the side, where he can reach it. It's about 83 degrees (Farenheit) and there's a gentle breeze. Perfect! An announcement is made over the loud speaker that the walk has officially started and thousands of people with their babies, toddlers, kids, dogs, iguanas (yes, I saw 2 iguanas) start walking. Like lemmings, we follow.

Mile 1 - Bill is pushing the stroller. Matthew is happily eating the cheerios in his stroller tray. He's looking around at all the people, looking at the dogs, smiles back when smiled at. Anthony has fallen asleep in his stroller. Next to him, Ayden is busy chewing on his hat. I almost fall on my face when Bill just about runs me over with the stroller. We all laugh. It's fine. We are happy to be participating in this walk and supporting our friends.

Mile 2 - Everything's hunky-dory as we walk and chat with our friends. Except Bill almost runs me over with the stroller again! I decide to walk behind him for my own safety. Matthew is now playing with the balloon on his stroller. I think we'd been walking for at least 30 minutes now and the heat is starting to affect Matthew. He looks flushed so we stop to offer water and juice. Our friends continue walking, Matthew refuses to drink. Then he refuses to get back into his stroller so I end up carrying him as we try to catch up with our friends. Where's the finish line? A few minutes later, we catch up with our friends. Anthony and Ayden are true troopers and seem to be doing fine. Matthew has just about had it. He's exhausted and hot and flushed. He doesn't cope well with the heat. When he was about 8 months old, I had taken him out with my family, visiting from overseas. It was a warmer day than today and the heat flushed his cheeks, arms, and legs. I worried that he had gotten sunburn despite the gobs of sunscreen I applied on him. But after returning home and cooling down, the redness went away. Today, his skin had that same red glow. We stop again for a drink and get left behind again. But the more we try to give him water or juice or milk, the more he cries. We worry about him overheating so Bill carried him and we walk as fast as we could. Where's the finish line???

Mile 3 - As we speed walk our way into the 3rd mile, Matthew is exhausted and looks lifeless in Bill's arms, head on Bill's shoulder. Our friends are nowhere in sight now. Our heads start to hurt from the heat and lack of sleep and we're worried about Matthew. I remind myself this is for a good cause. It's just unfortunate that 3 miles in this weather is too much for my baby right now. We notice a few kids around us are also starting to fall apart. Bill finds a way to cut through the park back to where we had parked our car. I get the car started and load everything into the car while Bill and Matthew wait under a tree. I call our friends from my cellphone to let them know we had to go and apologize that we couldn't finish the walk with them. Once the inside of the car was cool enough, Bill puts Matthew in his seat and I hand him his sippy cup full of water. At last, he drinks!! A few sips later in the cool car, Matthew is smiling again and his skin tone is back to normal. I feel extremely relieved.

It's 10:45am. We're on our way home with Matthew babbling "dadadada" in the back seat.


McTriplet Mommy said...

was "referred" to your blog from my uncle who is friends with your sister (in law?). I have enjoyed reading about your little miracle and look forward to reading more!

I actually work for the March of Dimes in Kansas City - our family was chosen as the "ambassador" family (spokes-family) two years ago. We have 3 little boys who were born incredibly healthy - just 4 months too soon. The boys are now 4 1/2 and while it has not been the road we expected when we had our first positive pregnancy test - I cannot imagine a blessing larger than the drive and inspiration my children provide.

My blog is if you are interested. Look forward to reading more about Matthew!

Take care,

Ria said...

Thank you, Kara. I will visit your blog soon!