2013 was one of the hardest years of my life. That was the year we were delighted to know that we were expecting our second baby in November. Our pregnancy was carefully planned and a joy to achieve.
Our firstborn helped me share the good news with Daddy, wearing a new big brother shirt. Then we announced our good news on Facebook. There was so much happiness and support. My husband and I both come from families with 2 children, so we’d always planned to have 2 of our own.
In late June, my mother came in for a special ultrasound appointment. In the darkness of the exam room, we discovered that our baby was going to be a little brother. I had grown up with all girls in my household, but was quickly learning how to be a boy mom. We had big, silly grins on our faces as we looked at his toes, the shape of his head, the magic of being able to see our unborn baby.
Just a few days later, my mom would be traveling back to Texas, as well as my in-laws, as it all came apart for our family. My body had given out and my baby was born too soon to survive at just 21 weeks. We named him Brennan, which means “a man of sorrow.”
I have cried so many tears since then. We did go on to have a baby brother, but one baby never replaces another.
I march for babies because every year in the United States, more than half a million babies are born too soon, almost 54,000 of them right here in Texas. Too often in our society, we make family planning difficult and provide inadequate prenatal care for vulnerable mothers.
I march for babies to promote healthy pregnancies.
I march for babies to prevent premature births and birth defects.
I march for babies to educate moms and support families during difficult times.
I march for babies to remember my son and to declare that his life means something. Every step I take in this march, every dollar given to this cause, offers the hope that other families will not have to suffer this pain.
This year, I’ll be marching in Dallas on April 16. I invite you to join me – whether it’s with your feet, your prayers, or your dollars. Every bit of it helps.