Family Team News

Register for March for Babies at

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Meet the Raak’s

When we found out we were pregnant with our second son, Henry, we assumed we would have the same experience we had with our oldest son, Oliver. Unfortunately at 24 weeks we went into pre-term labor. Thankfully, in a joint effort between Virginia Hospital Center and Georgetown University Hospital, the doctors and nurses were able to stop the contractions and we were able to hold off for two more weeks.

We did our best to prepare our family for the difficult time ahead. The information and support from the March of Dimes came as a welcome surprise to us. We knew we could rely on the March of Dimes website to read other parents’ postings and find comfort in knowing we were not alone and that there was such a great support system already in place for our family. In fact, the realization that pre- term labor is so common--more than half a million babies are born too soon each year--made us realize how lucky we were to have such an easy pregnancy with Oliver.

Henry was born at 26 weeks and was in the hospital for three months. Those months were a roller coaster: good news then bad news, progress then setbacks. But throughout the whole process we were able to take advantage of the support meetings and events the March of Dimes sponsored where we were free to open up and talk to medical staff and especially other NICU families about our experiences.

Henry just turned 1 and he is a healthy and happy baby boy with a bright future ahead of him. Our hope in sharing our story is to make others aware of all that March of Dimes has done and will do in the future for babies and their families and most importantly- the realization that babies born too soon is more common than we think. Spread the word! It’s so important to continue the funding of programs and research geared at giving each baby a healthy life.

No comments: