Sunshine On Our Shoulders (Walking for a Good Cause)

What a wonderful weekend! Saturday, we joined hundreds (thousands?) of people to support the neonatal programs at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota at the Baby Steps 3K Walk. Team Jaxson’s Journey was 20 members strong and raised over $1100! We were so honored to be able to give back! The money we raised is going to help other local families who have children in the hospital. And trust me, those families can use all the help they can get. Having a child in the hospital (for a day or for a month or for a year) sucks. It just really sucks.

There really isn’t much that can help make things better when you’re in that situation. But our efforts will help make a mama more comfortable as she holds her baby with a new Kangaroo Chair.  The money we raised will help a newborn get nutritious breast milk from the milk bank, which could potentially reduce the chance of that baby getting NEC. The money will help provide education to parents and staff. And more…

We did a really good thing.

Thank you, everyone, who donated and participated in the walk! We’re already planning for next year, so stay tuned!

The best part of the day was seeing two of Jaxson’s primary nurses.

Kate was one of our morning primary nurses. While she was taking care of Jax, she was pregnant. Turns out, she had the same due date as Jax, so she took a real interest in his well-being and progress. It was like I was watching my pregnancy progress as her belly bump got bigger and bigger and she was watching her baby grow in the incubator! She was also a lactation consultant, so she helped me though the hard times of trying to produce milk for Jax. I got to know her very well! She was the “realist” – so, as you can imagine, we did not get along very well at the beginning. (I didn’t want to hear the reality – I wanted to hear the positive side of things!) After a while, though, we became friends and she is the only one of Jax’s nurses that we keep in touch with on a regular basis.

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Angela was one of our afternoon / evening primary nurses, so Steve got to know her the best out of all our nurses, since that was when he was often at the hospital. She was another “mama bear” and always made us feel like we were being good parents by advocating for Jax. She always made sure Jax had the “cute” clothes and blankets; she worked hard to make his incubator a bright and cheerful place. She always had a smile on her face and always made us laugh! She helped brighten many dreary days with her sparkling eyes and quick laugh.

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It was fun being a part of such a special day! It was amazing seeing all the teams proudly wearing T-shirts to honor or remember their little fighters! It was a day filled with hope for all of the NICU graduates. And a day filled with respect for the kids that didn’t make it home.

I get teared up everytime I think about it…I’m humbled, and grateful, and thankful, and honored to be Jax’s mom and to be able to tell his story. He is beating the odds. He’s here today because of technology and doctors and nurses. But, more importantly, he’s here today because of love from Guardian Angels,  his nurses, and all of you. Thank you for supporting our family and for lifting us up when we needed help. Thank you for being a part of our journey!

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Our happy family
Our happy family
The NICU grads. CJ was born with a rare brain malformation called Vein of Galen. After a very scary and rough start, he is now a happy and healthy 6 year old!
Two NICU grads. CJ was born with a rare brain malformation called Vein of Galen. After a very scary and rough start, he is now a happy and healthy 6 year old!
Great Aunts Jean and Judy and Grandma Jan
Great Aunts Jean and Judy and Grandma Jan

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Author: Andrea M

Oh man, what an adventure! I went into labor unexpectedly when I was 23w3d pregnant. Jaxson was born weighing 1 lb 8 oz. A tiny little peanut, but boy was he feisty. He still is! We love it now, but we probably won't when he is a teenager. I write about our journey and all other things that come with it, including a brain tumor. We look forward to "meeting" you - come hang out with us...we're pretty cool.

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