I never really understood the phrase,”what a little miracle!” when a baby was born. When I was in my early 20’s, in my ignorance, having a child seemed so distant to me- and I didn’t seem to know or appreciate the series of little miracles that need to align to ensure a child is brought into the world.
As I’ve gotten older, and my friends and loved ones have had children of their own, I’ve started to see that healthy moms, healthy pregnancies and healthy babies are nothing short of miraculous- something to be celebrated when it happens, and something to work to ensure for other families. When you’re 18, you assume someday, being able to have a healthy child will come easily to you. As you get older, you see that truly, this isn’t the case, nothing in life is a “given,” and it can’t be taken for granted. When I meet someone’s baby for the first time, and they tell me they’re healthy, I send praise up to the heavens, it makes my heart so grateful- as now, I’ve learned from experience that pregnancy is a miraculous struggle, and it is not an occurrence to be taken for granted.
There is so much that can go wrong in pregnancy, and we’ve all known someone, or perhaps experienced it ourselves- the heart-wrenching roller coaster that some people face with issues of infertility or miscarriage, or for others, the bravery of new parents as they get through a high risk pregnancy, or give birth to a little one, unsure of what health problems they may face along the way. Truly, having a child, is something I’ve grown to appreciate- as I’ve seen the struggle, the triumph and the quiet bravery of parents who face sometimes difficult odds and face the unknown.
Truly, I have learned, being a mother is one of the bravest things you can do. To offer up your heart, and your body, to create a little life with an array of unknowns, surrendering yourself to the hope that things will go well, and the faith that someday, despite the obstacles, you’ll get to be a mother.
Over the years, I’ve comforted people I love when they’ve lost a child, and others when they struggled to get pregnant time after time, going through the ups and downs and the agonizing wait. I’ve had to wait anxiously for their Facebook updates and calls to let us know their little one was delivered healthy, or to wait it out to see what the doctors say when things didn’t go as planned. When my heart aches for the mother of a child who is facing a diagnosis, or the devastating loss of pregnancy, and the suspended feeling of a high-risk delivery, I can only imagine what she feels like- and I wonder, someday, will I know that fear as well? Truly, investing in healthy pregnancies and healthy babies is something that impacts us all.
This year, I’m happy to be partnering with Kmart as they support March of Dimes for the 32nd consecutive year. This is also their 23rd year as a national sponsor of the annual March for Babies® walks, which will take place this spring in 700 communities across the country.
The funds raised by Kmart will support scientific research to help discover the causes of premature birth, and work to develop innovative treatments to help families through five of the March of Dimes Prematurity Research Centers.
Kmart has raised more than $125 million over 31 years to help advance the critical work being done by March of Dimes on behalf of newborns.
If you’re not familiar with March of Dimes- these efforts have helped reduce the U.S. preterm birth rate in each of the last seven years, saving an estimated $12 billion in health care costs. Donations have helped moms and babies by advocating for better healthcare coverage for the most vulnerable and increasing access to prenatal care with mobile clinics and transportation to doctors. Additionally, March of Dimes works to educate parents on the value of vaccination and other health promoting programs for newborns and families.
Now through June 20, Shop Your Way members and Kmart customers can support March of Dimes by:
– Contributing in-store at any Kmart or by contributing online, with 100% of funds raised benefitting the March of Dimes.
– Purchasing Kmart’s collectible puppy figurine, available in-store or online for $5, with $1 from each sale being donated to the March of Dimes.
– As a special thank you to Shop Your Way members, Kmart is rewarding members who give back – through June 20, members will receive a coupon for five percent back in points on their next qualifying in-store or online merchandise purchase.
As part of her activewear collaboration line with Kmart, Jillian Michaels joined Team Kmart for the Los Angeles walk. Michaels, whose Impact by Jillian Michaels performance activewear line is carried exclusively at Kmart, designed a custom t-shirt for members of local March of Dimes chapters to wear at walks in other major cities.
She designed an exclusive Make An Impact shirt (which I’m wearing) to support March of Dimes, which is fabulous for any ardent supporter of March of Dimes, or would be perfect to wear to an upcoming walk in your city.
If you’d like to win a Make an Impact shirt for March of Dimes, follow @kmart on Twitter and leave a comment below with your Twitter handle (be sure to use your email address when you comment- I will need to reach out if you win!) and we’ll pick 5 winners!
Winners will be chosen on Wednesday, May 6th and contacted via email.
March of Dimes and Kmart are working to make an impact this Mother’s Day. For more information on this great cause, or to donate, visit https://bit.ly/1GL0dhP.