Family Team News

Register for March for Babies at

Friday, March 30, 2012

Family Team T-shirts

Get your customized March for Babies Family Team T-shirts at great prices. Create a simple March for Babies shirt with simply your team name or design a great team logo with your child’s picture. They take 2 to 4 weeks to be delivered, so order your team shirts soon. Go to e.a. graphics.

Looking for other options to show off your team on walk day and throughout the year. Below are some other options that are available for you to customize.
o March for Babies Family Team T-shirts can be customized with your team name on the back. They come in black, purple and blue.
o March for Babies Family Team embroidered hats can be customized with your team name.
o March for Babies Family Team purple Bandanas.
o March of Dimes Family Team Sweat shirts, polo’s, jackets.
o March of Dimes Family Team Diaper Bags, Totes and sakes and more.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

From Little Baby to Little Lady

At 33 weeks pregnant, my OB noticed that I wasn’t measuring any larger from my previous visit. An ultrasound confirmed that my baby had IUGR (Inter Uterine Growth Restriction). I was immediately admitted to the hospital for bed rest and a handful of daily tests. The doctors hoped Roudell would make it to 36 weeks gestational age, which she barely did. On that day’s Doppler test on the Umbilical cord they realized that Roudell was no longer going to be receiving enough of a blood flow to get enough nutrients from me to continue to survive in the womb. When they induced labor, my baby’s heart rate started to plummet every time I had a tiny little contraction, so they rushed me in for an emergency Cesarean Section. My little miracle was born, but it took a while before she whimpered a small little cry. Was I happy to hear it! It is sad for me to think that just 10 years prior the technology we had access to wasn’t available, and babies that suffered from IUGR typically were stillborn. My baby girl spent one week in the NICU as she needed some time to figure out how to eat. Leaving the hospital without her was the hardest thing I ever had to do. It took her a few months to grow into the 0-3 month-sized clothes, but she did grow and develop into the perfect, beautiful young lady she is today.

We have raised money for March for Babies from friends and family, contributed, and walked every year since the birth of our little miracle. Roudell’s birthday is in May, so usually pretty close to the walk dates, and we couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate her birthday than to make sure other families will have the chance to celebrate the birthdays of their little miracles as well.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Fundraising with Social Media

Using social media is a great way to spread the word about your Family Team. You can use Facebook and Twitter to recruit walkers, raise money and share status updates on your progress with friends and family. You can even send out animated emails starring you or your child. These tools are a fun and great way to get your team excited about March for Babies. Check out this great video on March for Babies fundraising tips.

Badges: Log in to your account and click the “Get Custom Fundraising Badges” button. Grab a dynamic fundraising badge for your blog, website or e-mail signature. Choose from three sizes, personalize with your picture, message and fundraising goal - It's easy!

Animated e-card: Add some fun to the messages you send asking your friends to donate. Log in and click the “Send Animated E-cards” button to create your own personalized, animated e-card. The card includes a link back to your March for Babies personal page.

Facebook application: Log in to and click the button on the left side of your dashboard to get the app. You can tie your March for Babies account to your Facebook account and use our app to access a variety of sharing tools: post to your wall, post to friends, invite friends to walk with you, tweet the link to your March for Babies personal page.

Facebook: Instead of, or in addition to the Facebook app, friend “March of Dimes” and share their posts on your wall. Always enter the link to your March for Babies personal page in your status or comments. This helps your friends understand why you’re asking for their support and easily link to your page to donate.

Twitter: follow “@marchforbabies” so their tweets will show on your timeline; tweet about your fundraising or your team and ask your followers to help, always include the link to your March for Babies personal page.

LinkedIn: Login and share your participation in the status box or post team updates. Be sure to include the link to your March for Babies page. You can post to Twitter from LinkedIn too, if you’d like.

Mobile Applications: Fundraise on the go! Click on the graphic on the left side of your dashboard or go to the App Store/Marketplace to download the March for Babies iPhone or Android app; you can update your page, send e-mails and record donations anytime, anywhere.

Mobile website: We’ve optimized for smartphones so it automatically detects when you’re visiting on your smartphone and makes it easy to see on a mobile device.

Friday, March 16, 2012

UnBaby Shower Fundraiser

I have been walking in the March for Babies for the past four years. I love this organization for many reasons and have always looked for fun ways to raise money for the event. I have a lot of friends who would donate, but I didn’t want to just ask for money. I wanted to have an event where they could have fun while donating, so I came up with the UnBaby Shower.
The first time I sent the invitation out, all of my friends called to see when I was due. I assured everyone that there was in fact no baby. Some people believed me and some just wanted to come to make sure. I was recently divorced, so they were extra curious.  Once they finally believed me, I could move on to the real reason I had the shower...the other babies that aren’t born as healthy as mine were.
The UnBaby Shower is a great party because you can piggy back on the baby shower theme with promoting the March of Dimes. As I see it, it’s a natural fit. Baby showers are always fun and this one just lacks the “oohs” and “awes” from attendees when presents are opened, but we still have a good time. I have a lot of friends who own their own home businesses, and I ask them to bring their items to the shower to sell. It’s not a home show, it’s just a table where my guests can buy something they like and a portion of the sales comes back to the team. This year, I have my friend Kristen bringing her Sentsey display.
A couple of months before the event I ask a few people I know if they would be willing to donate something for the raffle. I usually get gift cards, movie tickets and other items, and I put together a gift basket and my friend with the home show will donate as well. Everyone leaves with something. If it’s not a raffle ticket, it’s a bag of Hershey kisses with a rattle lollypop. I remember when I was younger and attended parties; I always thought the best part of the whole event was the goody bag. So that is why I make sure to have something for everyone take home.
Donations are easy to ask for at an event like this because the shower puts everyone in a fun and giving mood. On the invitation I send out, I also ask that everyone bring a $10 donation. They receive a raffle ticket for their donation and for just one dollar more, they can purchase another one. All of the money we receive goes straight to our team. I don’t believe in taking money out to cover expenses – it’s just my way of donating to my team.
What is an UnBaby Shower without all of the silly games? We play shower games like bingo, what’s in the bag, baby shower lotto and the baby word game. Most of the time all we do is laugh. I always add in a little speech about March for Babies and why I walk. I talk about my miscarriage, my nephew born at 4 lbs 11 oz and about my boys who were born healthy. I try to encourage others in the group to share stories if they want, and I make sure to thank everyone for their generosity.
The UnBaby Shower is (I think) one of my best ideas. It mixes the mission of March for Babies, lots of fun, and fundraising! You can’t beat that! This event has a big impact on my team’s fundraising goals every year. I have friends who ask, “When is that baby shower is going to be? You know the one without the baby?” I’ve even expanded my team this year to five members! We’ve come a long way, and we only have more room to grow! My family team, CaseyHale Boys, will continue to be a part of the March for Babies for many years to come.
Please feel free to take the UnBaby Shower idea and use it for your fundraising. You’ll see how fun it is and how it makes fundraising so easy!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Team Callie May

After 2 ½ years trying to get pregnant and suffering two miscarriages, we were elated to make it to 13 weeks and the “safe” part of our pregnancy. I felt great and loved every second of being pregnant. At 20 weeks, we found out we were having a healthy, little girl and began announcing to the world that we would be having a baby on May 31st, 2009. Three weeks later, I woke up for work and noticed that I was spotting. A few hours later at St. Joe’s, horror struck, when my doctor told me that I was already 2 ½ cm dilated and my amniotic sac was bulging. For the next 9 days, I stayed on complete bed rest, upside down, on a constant cycle of Magnesium Sulfate doing everything humanly possible to keep my baby put. The doctors and nurses were amazing and helped me get through those agonizing days…having completely lost control of my pregnancy and terrified of what would happen when she made her entrance.

On February 13, 2009, despite everyone’s best efforts, Callie entered the world. That afternoon, I started bleeding and they realized that preterm delivery was eminent. They rushed me into the operating room and my doctor broke my water and had me begin pushing. After two pushes, Callie’s heart rate dropped and they transitioned to an immediate cesarean section. Callie was born limp and didn’t cry. We found out later that she weighed only 1lb 5 ounces and was only 11 ¾ inches long. After putting a breathing tube, they held her up to us for an instant before rushing her to the NICU.

The nurse told us that they would work on her overnight and they would bring us to see her in the morning. An hour later, they came and got us, saying that they wanted to give us a chance to see her alive and didn’t think that she would make it until morning. We were devastated, but went to her side and told her how much we loved her and how proud of her we were and asked her to fight. Fight she did. Callie spent the next 3 months in 3 different NICU’s and had four surgeries before coming home. We were told her chances of ever walking or living a normal life was slim because of the severity of her brain bleed. Our little fighter showed the world statistics didn’t matter.

Callie is now a healthy 3 year old and is keeping up with the other kids her age, continuing to exceed everyone’s expectations.
After Callie came home from the
NICU, Lee and I decided we needed to find a way to give back and started actively supporting the March of Dimes. Callie received such amazing medical care during her time in the NICU, a lot of which was available through research supported by the March of Dimes. But a lot of research still needs to be done. I had great prenatal care and still had a premature baby. We want to do our part to make sure that this research continues so that all babies can be born healthy and not have to suffer and fight the way our Callie had to.
March of Dimes means hope. It means hope that one day all babies can be born healthy. Hope that these innocent babies will not have to struggle as hard to meet milestones. Hope that Mother’s won’t have to watch their babies struggle for life. It is hope for the future.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Join the Family Team Kickoff Conference Call

Join the Family Team Kickoff Conference call.

Thursday March 15th at 8pm
712-775-7100 and the access code: 470884.

The Family Team Kickoff is a great opportunity to hear what other Family Teams in the chapter are doing with March for Babies. Family Teams will have an opportunity to share there success stories on how they are building successful Family Teams.
Get information about the day of the walk. What to wear? Will there be food? What kid activities will be there? What will we need to bring?
There will be an opportunity to ask questions to other family teams and March of Dimes staff members. Please join us as we kick off the 2012 season!
Call in to 712-775-7100 and enter the access code 470884