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Friday, March 28, 2008

Blogging for Babies - An Invitation for Little Wonders

What some of you may not know about me is that I have been homebound since November 8, 2007. We have been in quarantine (and still are until at least May 1st).

Early last October I was 7 months pregnant with our second child. Another boy (heaven help me!). Roughly 8 weeks before my due date I started getting really sick. I was sick the entire pregnancy anyway, but this was different. This wasn’t normal, and it was intensely more painful. What I didn’t know at the time was that I had an uncommon form of pre-eclampsia in pregnancy - my body was giving up. Doctors don’t know what causes this or how it happens. I went for some tests to find out what was wrong and about two hours later Cole was here. All 3 lbs 6 oz of him. He was okay, but he was very small and underdeveloped for how far along I was.

Today is Cole's corrected four month birthday - but he is almost six months old. Happily, he is on track with his due date and doing well. After 28 days in the hospital's Newborn Intensive Care Unit, numerous hospital and doctor’s tests, a secluded winter and a very shaky start in life, he is happy and healthy. He probably won't catch up with his peers for a while, but we try not to worry too much about that. We are just grateful we have made it this far.

We are lucky. The reason we have been in such seclusion is because of RSV season which, while critical for all infants, is especially deadly to preemies who basically didn't have a chance to develop enough to have gained any kind of immunity to survive what for most would be a simple cold. We have had our share of trials, but we are so grateful they aren’t what they could have been.

There are so many babies that are born premature or with complications for one reason or another every year. There are aspects to the reality of having a child born under these circumstances that are far too painful to comprehend on so many levels.

That is why I am so grateful for the March of Dimes. Last year Aidan and I did the WalkAmerica event for March of Dimes with his preschool and raised about $200. I was just two months pregnant with Cole at the time. Little did we know that in five more months we would be one of the families that would desperately need the knowledge and research the March of Dimes helps to fund for our family.

Because of this, we are going to March for Babies (formerly WalkAmerica) this year as a family in Cole’s honor. So, here as “ambassador” for our fundraising efforts is Cole to introduce our little food blogging event to help find sponsors for the walk. (Cole’s Aunt Sorina gave him this cupcake hat and Cole felt it was appropriate to wear it here since this is, after all, a food blogging event.)

The Hanks Family LITTLE WONDERS TEAM for the MARCH FOR BABIES invites you to:

Blog for Babies by
Making Little Wonders

To help us get the word out about our March for Babies, even if you can’t enter the event below, please just post about the event on your blog so that we get the word out to as many people as possible. Please help us tell people how they can sponsor us in our March. If you are interested I can even send you the code for one of the link widgets you see at the top and side of this blog.


Since the March for Babies is all about the littlest among us, the event is for little creations.

That is the only requirement. Make something (or many somethings) in miniature or small sizes.

If you have a baby story to share, that would be great as well! Let your imagination go wild.

In your post, please include the paragraph and link below so that people know how to sponsor us if they can.

Please feel free to use the event badge on the left in your post. That is Cole with his regular sized pacifier. He was five days old, and it was the day I was discharged, and he was not. He was still on oxygen, but he was growing.

Since we are trying to direct everything to the fundraiser, I don’t really have any great gifts or prizes for you at this point, but there may be some surprises along the way. I am working on some prize ideas and I will keep you posted. If I can't come up with anything, then I hope you will still help and forgive me - either way, even just for reading this or mentioning it, you have our undying gratitude.

So that we can try to get as much sponsorship before the walk as possible and get the word out as much as possible, I'm asking that you post your entries by APRIL 21st (our March for Babies takes place on May 3rd). Any help you can give in sponsoring us or getting the word out to help us find sponsors would be amazing.

Thank you for helping us help more babies get their full nine months.

Please email your entry to me at: phemomenon AT gmail DOT com


Your Name
Your Location
Your Blog Name
Your Blog URL
Your Post URL (permalink)
A photo (250 x 250 pixels if possible)

Please make sure that your post links back to this post and if possible, include the paragraph below with the link to our team page. If you have any questions or problems with this, please let me know.

Here is a paragraph you could include in your blog to let others know how to find our
"Little Wonders Team" page to sponsor us.

Direct Link:


Want to know more about Little Wonders March for Babies Team? Fantastic!! Here is the Team Page. Any amount that you can sponsor is extremely appreciated. Please, please help spread the word and sponsor Little Wonders if you can! Thank you!

So, to all you amazing food bloggers out there, you will never know how much your friendship, comments, kind words and encouragement have saved my life (at the very least, my sanity) this winter. I am so blessed to be home with my sweet boys and I am so grateful to have them and I have been so amazed by this community and being able to be a small part of it.

If you want to see why I am passionate about this, here is a video of pieces of Cole’s first month of life. I will warn you that, though there isn’t anything gruesome in the video, it isn’t easy to watch. Again, compared to what happens to other families, I still feel so lucky. It is just a small clip - about three minutes, that covers our journey to where we are now. If you want to really see who we are you are welcome to look at our family blog here.

Thank you!


Helene said...

You are indeed phenomenal! Having experienced 2 miscarriages in the past year I admire your family's journey. I will try my best to participate!

Deborah said...

What a great event! And what a cute little boy!

Libby said...

I had to stop the video halfway through to go get kleenex. Cole is beautiful! My son was also a preemie due to my pre-eclampsia. I'll be putting up a post linking to you tomorrow.

Also, were you the one who put up a question on the DB blog looking for a cake recipe without eggs/milk appropriate for a preemie's first b-day? I'm working on a very "gentle" applesauce cake. Let me know if that was you, so I can give it to you when I'm done!


Rachel@fairycakeheaven said...

Cole is so beautiful and such a fighter!!! As is your other little boy, they are very cute together! This is a fantastic event, am hoping I get a chance to make something for it

Y said...

That little cupcake hat is so cute! I came to your blog via Aran's post about your event. Hope to write something up soon in support of the march.

Tiffany @ Lattes And Life said...

We did the walk last year...hopefully again this year! I'll try to get something in for the blog event!!

ChefSara said...

I've always admired the work done by the March of Dimes, but now that I'm pregnant with my first, it really hits home. The fact that a baby born at 24 weeks has a greater than 50% chance of survival would have been unheard of just a decade ago. The fact that it's already up to 80% chance by 28 weeks is tremendous! I have not doubt these numbers would not be possible without the work of the March of Dimes.

I have a mini recipe in mind, and I think I will be able to make it in conjunction with this month's Daring Bakers challenge. I'll post it as soon as I get around to it!

Thanks for your dedication to this cause!

Sunshinemom said...

Hi supermom, I saw your family blog, and left a comment there too - I think you have four fighters not one! So glad for you :). I came across your blog yest thro' DB. Here's my link in case the mail goes into spam or something! An Indian delicacy my kids loved when they were l'll!

Rachel said...

Phenomenal Mum..Have sent you a mail...

Gabi said...

Hi Holly- What beautiful babes you have! I will absolutely join in.
Take Care!

Leah said...

So sorry I missed the deadline for this event. I had a preemie too, 10 years ago now. My Olivia was born at 26 weeks when I had an abruption. She weighed 2 even, went down to 1lb 11 oz at her lowest, but came home after 77 days when she reached 4 pounds. It was a rough go; she didn't sleep through the night for about a year! With the exception of several different learning disabilities, she is a happy, healthy 10 year old with many friends and a bright future. She frequently says, "Mom, tell me about when I was as tall as a pencil!"

Good luck with your sweet little fella. You'll get through it too! Leah

Kelley said...

Hi Holly. Cole is beautiful, and that video is very touching. I especially liked the part where he is laughing. I'm so glad that he was able to get the care he needed because he seems to be thriving now. I hope he continues to do so.

If you're wondering, this is Kelley from Dugway High School. I found you from Mary Ann's blog. Hello again. :)

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