What Children’s Hospital Week Means To Me
This time last year, I was in the happiest place on earth, bawling my eyes out like a baby.
I had been invited to Walt Disney World in Florida for the annual Children’s Miracle Network conference, which coincides with Children’s Hospital Week every year. It was an amazing experience, and I definitely left changed after hearing the stories of struggle and courage, heartbreak and hope, from the parents and kids who have benefitted from CMN’s mission.
For Children’s Hospital Week this year, I’ve been thinking a lot about my own experience having Teddy.
I was a high risk pregnancy. I had gestational diabetes, I was overweight and over-age (by equally annoying standards, but in the world of obstetrics – being 30 years old by due date makes you ancient.)
By the last four months of pregnancy, I was pricking my finger 4 times a day to test my blood sugar, injecting insulin 3 times a day, and basically eating nothing but grilled chicken and vegetables and praying every day for my due date because I was so terrified I would eat something wrong and hurt my baby. (Oh, and crying regularly because I wanted nothing more than to eat an Oreo Sonic Blast and not count out 5 grapes at a time each time I wanted fruit/something sweet. There was that.)
Segway to the fact that my whole family is a bunch of busy-body medical professionals – my mom is a retired RN, my sister an OBGYN resident, and other sister a first-year med student at the time. We are from Houston, arguably one of the best medical centers in the world, and to be honest they had concerns about me delivering in Wichita Falls. There were even phone calls where they suggested I travel to Houston or Dallas for delivery. (Those were fun conversations.)
But I trusted my doctor, I felt confident in United Regional – I had taken the tour of the labor and delivery. I tried to assure them I was in extremely capable hands. But the one thing that really calmed them down and gave them peace of mind was when I told them I would be delivering in a Children’s Miracle Network hospital.
They knew what that meant. They knew that meant extra funding and all kinds of special equipment (and even additional, specialized staff) that could help as a result of CMN funding, should me and Teddy need it.
We didn’t know what to expect – they told me he would be large, they told me he might come out with blood sugar issues which could drop dangerously upon delivery or in his first several hours of life.
Our prayers were answered on November 9, 2015, we were given an extremely healthy, 7 pound, 0 ounce baby boy. (I still can’t believe he was that small! Not only because of what they had been telling me, but from the delivery itself, which was quite the all-day event…)
But if things had been different? We were in amazing hands. And I am so grateful for that, and for the work done by the amazing staff and physicians at United Regional, and the resources funded by our local Children’s Miracle Network.
So, this week, I encourage you learn more about CMN, to give a donation, large or small, and give our friends, family and neighbors in Wichita Falls the best chance. Technology is always changing, needs are always changing, and CMN will always need our support.
Helping CMN was my chance to pay it forward on a happy ending (or beginning, rather), so I just had to share how close they are to my heart, and how important this week is!