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So many thoughts…..

When you hear the statistic that there are over 500,000 babies born prematurely every year, it sounds huge. But I don’t know that even we really get what that means…..don’t completely understand just how many people whose lives have been affected. When Ryley was born so early six years ago, we felt so alone. No one we knew….not friends, not family…..had been where we were. No one we knew had even come close to dealing with prematurity. Logically, I KNEW we were not the only ones….I mean, there were 70+ other babies in Ryley’s NICU……but we seemed to be in our own world. I hear the numbers, but it doesn’t hit home until we start sharing our story around our schools and sports teams, and all of the sudden, this person and that person were, or know someone who was, touched by prematurity. This happened yesterday. Ryley’s soccer coach asked how my time away from home was, and what was I doing. I told her about our volunteering for the March of Dimes because Ryley was premature. She said “Oh, Ryley was a preemie? Both my boys were premature.” I was momentarily stunned. BOTH of her boys arrived early….five weeks for one, and seven weeks for the other. With the 35 weeker, she spent 2 months in the hospital on bedrest, on magnesium sulfate. Here is yet another mother who suffered, another mother I can completely relate to on this level. We will be asking them to join our Walk team this year!!!!!! One in eight babies…..that means that someone you know has been touched by this epidemic. I will tell Coach about SHARE! Her boys are 7 and 4 now, beautiful, active boys.

And Houston, we have a……..LOOSE TOOTH!!!!!!!!! Yessiree, Ryley has his first loose tooth. He is so proud! He keeps asking if it’s fallen out yet. I remind him that he will definitely KNOW when it has come out. Too funny. So he and Grace are learning about the Tooth Fairy now. We haven’t had to address this particular gift giver before now. And it cracks me up. So now I’m trying to figure out what the current going rate is for baby teeth. Any suggestions?

Even bigger news on the Schweitzer homefront….Ethan peeped on the potty last night!!!!!!! We may be on our way. I have literally been TERRIFIED of attempting to potty train him after all we’ve been through with Ryley. E has been asking to sit on the potty here and there, and we let him, but nothing has ever happened before. I think he does it because he likes to flush the toilet more than anything else. But last night, after baths and before jammies, he said he wanted to sit on the potty. Michael put him on, and he went!!! We almost had a party! He was jumping up and down, so excited because we were so excited. He may have been more excited over the fact that he got 2 Skittles (we firmly believe in “positive reinforcement” aka bribery with candy) than the fact that Mommy and Daddy were acting like idiots, but hey……He went peeps on the potty!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Have I said that I love our preschool? They do so much for the kids. Almost once a week, they have SOMEONE coming in to present an assembly…..Water Wabby (water conservation), Looney Dooney (presents through puppets and stuff on self-esteem, manners, friendship, etc), the Police Dept, the Fire Dept, all kinds of animals, and such. They recently had our police dept in, complete with squad car and motorcycle. The kids really love it. I love that they take special care to teach them that police officers are “good people” and not to be feared by the children. Anyways, the motorcycle was a HUGE hit, so each child got a chance to sit on it, and have their picture taken with two officers. We got the picture this morning. It is just so cute! All of the kids were so proud to show their picture to Mommy and Daddy. I love it. This one will be framed. Just had to share!!!

Grace on police motorcycle

7 thoughts on “So many thoughts…..

  1. The number of premature births never ceases to amaze me, and I, like you, felt so alone at the time. Like I was the only one in the whole , wide world experiencing the wrath of prematurity…. A loose tooth and potty training… Wow. You guys have A LOT going on at your house!!! I think I will probably fall over when Maddox decides to pee pee in the potty! I can’t wait for everyone to be “trained” in our house!!! Best of luck finding the going rate for a tooth these days. I haven’t had to encounter that yet!!! Diane

  2. Donna,
    You are so right! Prematurity is everywhere, people just don’t seem to see it if they weren’t personally affected. That’s why all of us are so important in our Mission to bring awareness!!!! Way to Go!!!
    Loose teeth, potty training and motorcycles…so much going on at your house! Love the pic!!

  3. I love the picture. Wow!!! There is so much going on at your house. We have the tooth fairy and peeing on the potty. I bet you are so excited. The only thing that I know about gifts from the tooth fairy is what my sister’s give and that is anywhere from $2-5. It seems like all I have to do is mention prematurity and people come out of the woodwork to talk about it. Angi “Phoenix’s MoM”

  4. Congratulations on all the big things going on in your lives! Holy cow! Angi is right…The tooth fairy def. gives better than she used to! You’re a great volunteer and advocate for the MOD! Keep up the good work! Crystal

  5. The number of premature births does astound me. I still feel pretty alone in my everyday life. I still don’t encounter people affected by prematurity very often. Thank goodness for Share.
    As for the tooth fairy, we have loose teeth here too. First time for us too. My kids have watched a Franklin video in which the ttooth fairyleft presents. Now Kathryn is sure she will get a bracelet! I think the tooth fairy will really leave $2.

  6. It was so good to meet you last weekend! My husband wanted to know if we really watched the game Saturday night or if we just talked, I said both. Then I proceeded to tell him your story from spring training, he got a kick out of it. I too am surprised at how many people have preemies! Looks like you’ve recruited some more walkers! -Shonda

  7. So funny, when you typed Houston, I thought you were talking to me and Jaclyn… because we live in Houston… nevermind…
    What a cool picture!!! It’s crazy how common prematurity is, yet before Quinn was in the NICU, it never crossed my mind. Quinn was not premature, but after the NICU, I kept meeting other parents of premature babies… mainly because Quinn had the same health issues, but mostly because I started to be an advocate for the MoD. Just when we left the hotel this weekend, some man asked me what I was in KC for. I asked him if he had ever known anyone who had been born premature or with a birth defect… and those classes did good… I stated the MoD mission. He said that he had been born premature. 14 weeks premature 58 years ago. He was barely 2 lb. That is truly remarkable!!! It’s crazy to know that this is how very long the MoD has been around to fight against prematurity, birth defects, and infant mortality. Everytime someone asks me what is wrong with Quinn or something… I tell my story… of course the first thing they say is “was she premature” I say no, but then they talk about how someone else they know was born premature. It’s true… we’ve all been touched by it and know someone who has been affected, yet I knew nothing about it before Quinn was in the NICU. It’s so great that you got to connect with another mother who has gone through much of what you went through yourself. And it sounds like you have a great preschool. And congrats on the potty training! -Sarah

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