Monday, May 4, 2009

MyBrownBaby Cause: A Mother's Love Giveaway

To celebrate Mother’s Day and say “thank you” for being one of their mom ambassadors, The March of Dimes sent me a beautiful necklace from Red Envelope—one with a pendant rendered from a single, unending loop of sterling silver. The Red Envelope description says it’s meant to be a unique interpretation of mother and child caught in an eternal embrace.

I wanted to brag on the gift—show it off and wear it well and tell you that it reminded me of the “push gifts” my husband gave me when I birthed his two daughters almost 10 and 7 years ago respectively (I reminisced about my beautiful sterling silver necklaces last week when my blog friend Future Mama wrote a post on her terrific site, Baby Makin(g) Machine, about the push gift she’s angling for when she becomes a mom).

But when I clicked over to the Red Envelope page to see details about my gift, I saw a simple message telling me that 10% of the proceeds for every sale of the Mother’s Love Necklace will go to the March of Dimes, an incredible organization that has worked tirelessly to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature, birth, and infant mortality through research, education, advocacy, and community service. And suddenly, my keeping the gift for myself didn’t seem as important as letting my readers know about the importance of doing what we can to help The March of Dimes continue its important mission of helping mothers and babies in need.

Particularly moving was the symbolism of the pendant—“the mother and child caught in an eternal embrace.” It made me think of my fellow March of Dimes Mom Ambassador Heather Spohr of The Spohrs Are Multiplying, who recently lost her beautiful one-year-old daughter, Maddie. She’s been blogging about life without her child, and, true to what the words “eternal embrace” laid on my heart, I found a post Heather wrote last week about how much she misses hugging her child:

My arms tingle, and I remember that I’ve had this sensation before. When I was on bed rest, my legs would ache and tingle. I mentioned it to my Obstetrician, and she said, “those are your legs muscles atrophying. It is an unfortunate side-effect of bed rest.” My arm muscles are tingling because I am not picking up Maddie. I am not lifting her up, holding her weight, feeling her cheek against my chest.

I want my baby. Oh Maddie! I need you!

No mother should have to ponder life without the embrace of her child—to have to face Mother’s Day without her baby there to touch her cheek and climb into her arms and say, simply, “I love you, Mommy.”

But there are many more Heather Spohrs.

The March of Dimes is doing its best to help stem this tide. It is my sincere hope that MyBrownBaby’s readers will help, too, by supporting The March of Dimes. You can do this by donating directly to the organization, or by purchasing a Mother’s Love Necklace for yourself or for a Mother’s Day present for someone you love. ProFlowers, the corporate owner of Red Envelope, is also donating $10 of every order of Mother’s Day flowers to the March of Dimes, in support of programs in communities throughout the United States.

To inspire you to give, I’m giving away my Mother’s Love Necklace to one lucky reader. All you have to do is leave a comment telling me what you love most about your child’s embrace AND click over to the March of Dimes website and tell me something you learned about the organization. Your offering MUST include both comments to qualify.

Please leave your comments by 11:59 p.m., Tuesday, May 5th, 2009. I will choose a winner via and announce the winner Wednesday, May 6th, 2009.

Good luck.

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  1. Firstly, I would like to say "Thank YOU" for following me on twitter. If for not that one click I would not have found your blog and known the many gifts your voice through this blog is offering. I love to read educated, strong and inspiring sistas! And you are indeed that. So thank you.
    I have 4 year old twins now which I cannot breathe without and adore but prior to their birth I had (1) miscarriage & (1) still born at 5 months gestation. Those babies will be with me everyday as I spend my time here on this earth. Their touch is constantly in my arms, their faces engraved in my heart. Never a day passes & their little faces do not creep into my mind. It makes me smile. To know I was chosen for just a short while to mother them. I Love my babies.

    March of Dimes: I was made aware of this organization many years ago but didn't truly understand the magnitude of the organization until it affected me personally. Whit this awakening of the March of Dimes I grew to appreciate the smallest things they do. Research and Promoting awareness. I've learned through their website and am so supportive to know that they work with other countries to not just educate our health care providers but others in other countries so that they too can benefit from our findings. This makes me so proud to know.
    Now that I have written a book....I will go over to my blog and promote the heck out of this post because it not only has significant meaning to me but I'm sure to many other mothers.
    Thank you!

  2. There is nothing more heartbreaking than losing a child. Just from that brief excerpt from Heather, I could feel the pain through the screen. My heart aches now and I don't even know her, have no clue where she lives or what she looks like. Lord have mercy.

  3. nothing like the embrace of my child - reminds me of when he was a baby and the fine man he is becoming :)

    learned this on the site-
    The March of Dimes works with international partners to educate health care professionals about best practices in perinatal health and to raise public awareness about cost-effective interventions that can improve birth outcomes.

  4. I learned that the March of Dimes is working to improve the health of mothers and babies worldwide. The love you feel when a child embraces you is so strong, you want to protect them from the world

    tiramisu392 (at)

  5. Aww, so glad to hear you got great push presents! I have a witness, :) You are so nice to donate that beautiful necklace! I'm not entering just wanted to comment anyway :) I LOVE March of Dimes, they have such great advice for women looking to get pregnant, checklists and questions to ask yourself about prenatal health and such. I think I'll be using it a lot in the coming months/years.

    I can't wait to know the feeling of my own child's embrace!

  6. I love the march of dimes, My 1st son was born premmie, however healthy as a normal size baby. I donate to the cause more now because of what i'm going through with my 2nd pregnancy 2nd son. His condition is incompatible with life. The march of dimes helped me to carry him to term even after being given such bad news. I love both of my boys but feeling my baby boy inside of me, moving around when I sing "you are my sunshine". Carrying to term has been one of the hardest yet most rewarding things i've ever done.


  7. I just love that you posted on this. One of my nieces was a premie and also could not breath at birth due to having meconium in her airway. There had to be a catheter put in her little belly and a hole in her throat to facilitate her life before flying her off to Duke for specialized treatment. She would require both for months, and we couldn't hold her for what seemed like ages. We could only stroke her through the holes in her insulated crib. Another organization, the Ronald McDonald house, helped my family in our efforts to see her even though she was a two hours drive away, but I do definitely pray that organizations like this get more news time. Another sister birthed a child that she knew would soon become an angel, but carrying the baby as long as she could was important to her just like it ws to a previous poster. More research, through organizations like the March of Dimes, may one day save these precious babies. Thanks again.

  8. @Deal Fanatic, Stephanie, and MosleysWife: Thank you SO much for sharing your stories here on MyBrownBaby. I truly believe that we don't talk about these things enough, and that it's on all of us to share our stories--to help others and to heal ourselves.

    Stephanie: My heart, support and prayers go out to you for your courageous journey. We had a similar situation in our family; when our niece was born, the doctors told her parents she wouldn't live more than two weeks. Our beautiful Zenzele lived for 11 years. She was our miracle child, for sure, and she gave US life like we'd never known--changed our hearts and how we viewed the lives of the most vulnerable among us. Stay strong, my love.

  9. What a great cause. I cannot fathom the loss of a child.

    My daughter was born healthy - quite large, in fact, and overdue (I ended up having a c-section because she didn't want to come out!) - but she has developed numerous health issues since 16 months old. She is on several medications - many of which are known to cause childhood cancers and destroy internal organs (liver & kidney primarily). I worry daily about what might happen as a result of all these meds, but know that without her meds, her quality of life would be very low.

    So for me, my daughter's embrace is a daily reminder of how fortunate I am to have her in my life. Life is so fragile so cherish every day of it!

    I learned that in 1998, the MOD invested more than $5.7 million in a six-year Perinatal Epidemiology Research Initiative to study how factors such as stress, infection, genetics and environment could trigger preterm labor.

    Even though I donate a bunch of money to the organizations that are focused on my daughter's health issues, I also donated to the March of Dimes this year to support another mommy blogger whose daughter was born a premie.

  10. What I love most about my child's embrace is feeling her total trust in me as her mommy when she wraps her arms around my neck! She is so innocent and I will do anything to protect her!

  11. What I love most about my child's embrace is his wet kisses. He is missing a lot of teeth right now and his "suggas" are always moist and sweet. :)

    I love that the March of Dimes site includes information for Dads. It highlights on how Dads can help by supporting the Mother while she is breastfeeding. The suggestion for Dads to let there child feel their chest warmed my heart as well. :)


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