Disclosure: I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Kmart. I received product samples and a travel stipend to attend an event, and I received a promotional item to thank me for participating and a donation was made on my behalf to March of Dimes.
Prematurity is a serious issue. Far too many babies are born far too early. Some have complications that carry on through out their lives, others are more fortunate. Every baby should have the chance to grow to full term on the inside. More research is needed to prevent premature births and one organization is doing something about it.
A week ago I attended and participated in the March for Babies event held at Tropical Park in Miami. I could not believe the amount of people in attendance. The parking lot was overflowing to the point that people were being directed to park on the grassy areas. I headed over to the Kmart tent to fuel up and get ready for the March. They had fresh fruit, water and juice available to take with you while you walked. I walked around and visited the many corporate sponsor tents. Everyone was giving out goodies like water, fans, and reusable totes.
Preemie came along with me for her first ever March for Babies 5K which I was doing in her honor. It was a beautiful day out and the sun was shining bright. I made sure to put some sunscreen on her really fair skin, put a hat on her head and kept her hydrated and covered. There are some perks to walking with a stroller like having a place to store water bottles and carry your belongings. But that’s about it when it comes to strollers and crowds.
When you are walking with a stroller everything moves just a bit slower. After bumping into each other a few times, I made a new friend who was walking with a stroller as well. Her team was just a few steps ahead of her but as I said, everything with a stroller is slower, so we strolled together.
Walking in the March for Babies is a personal mission for me. I participated in my first walk when I was just four months pregnant with J-bird, over 18 years ago. At that time I did it without any reason in particular and more so just to support babies being born prematurely. As you may have read before here or even here, prematurity is now a very REAL part of our lives.
Our youngest baby girl born last year was a 30 week preemie. After three weeks of hospitalized bed rest and trying to keep her growing on the inside, she insisted on meeting us. Weighing in at just 3lbs 13oz and only 16 1/2 inches long, she was far from coming home. Preemie spent eight very long weeks in the NICU. Thankfully each day she had the blessing of being taken care of by an outstanding nursing staff. Each day I spent countless hours sitting by her bed, holding her, feeding her and watching her grow.
I was honored to be a part of #TeamKmart and be sponsored by them for this very important walk. Kmart is the number one corporate supporter of the March of Dimes Foundation. Kmart has raised $114 million in just the last three decades to help advance the critical research to help end prematurity. Taking place in 900 communities across the country, Kmart is helping as it celebrates its 22nd year as a national sponsor for the annual March for Babies® walks.
Preemie is now seven months old, but still only five months corrected age. She is right on target with her milestones for her corrected age, which is how old she would have been if she had been born full term. She is expected to fully catch up on all milestones by the age of two!
Preemie is a healthy, happy and thriving baby. She has been medically cleared for some of the biggest concerns like eyesight development, hearing and lung function. We are still keeping a watchful eye on her ASD, which is an opening in the wall of her heart that did not fully close. We are still praying and hopeful it will, but she will likely need surgery to correct the issue by the age of three.
There was so much going on. Snacks, water, prizes, support and much more while we walked. Check out the video I took:
New this year, Kmart rewards its Shop Your Way members who donate in-store with a coupon for five percent back in points on their next qualifying in-store or online merchandise purchase. Also new this year, Kmart introduced a collectible puppy figurine, available in-store or online for just $5, with $1 from each sale benefitting the March of Dimes. Members are also encouraged to follow the Shop Your Way March of Dimes page.
Walking with someone made the time really fly by. Before we knew it, we were at the home stretch. As we crossed the finish line, we smiled, we cried and we took a selfie, because that’s what you do when you are a mom! I thanked my new friend and said goodbye, wishing her luck with her kiddos, with a promise to see each other at the next walk.
It was extremely touching to see all the people who were walking for babies. So many groups, so many families, and so many sponsors. I can’t thank #TeamKmart enough for allowing me to about apart of their support for the March of Dimes in the March for Babies walk. I feel truly blessed knowing that a store I shop at is trying to make head ways in the fight against prematurity.
I am so extremely thankful to those of my friends and family that contributed donations to support my walk in honor of my Preemie. Thank you! Again and again!
Have you ever participated in a March for Babies walk? Do you walk for a cause? Share your stories with us!
Disclosure: I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Kmart. I received product samples and a travel stipend to attend an event, and I received a promotional item to thank me for participating and a donation was made on my behalf to March of Dimes. Video editing credit: @RaymondPereira. The disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.