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November 17, 2009


Nov 17 - Bloggers Unite for Prematurity Awareness: The blog is normally devoted to the OccuPaws puppyraising escapades. However, when we found out about the March of Dimes Bloggers Unite event for premature babies, Lisa wanted to contribute a story on behalf of both of us:

We have been introduced to prematurity awareness by our beautiful, sweet and precious great-niece named Rylee, born 9 weeks and 1 day premature. I don’t know all the ins and outs about Rylee’s birth and all the trials and tribulations she has been through, but I know there were many. I cannot tell you all the medical terms for the equipment she has needed or the procedures she has had or the medicines she has been on, but again there were many. I do not even know the exact numbers of days she was in the NICU at Iowa City or the number of times she was back in the hospital in her very short life, or the number of nights her parents spent at the Ronald McDonald House to stay close to her, but there were many.

I may not have all the statistics, but what I can tell you is Rylee Marie is a beautiful and effervescent little angel who will melt your heart with her bright silver-blue eyes and tender smile and her big belly laughs as she watches the antics of her ever-doting big brother Troy. What I can tell you with absolute resolve is that Rylee is very loved. She has a robust, funny and inquisitive big brother Troy who watches over her and no doubt is just waiting for the opportunity to “show her the ropes” and teach her all he knows! She has the best mommy and daddy who seem to always remain calm and handle each new situation as it comes up, together, and with steely resolution. They are wise beyond their years, they have had to be, they are jugglers of time and schedules and responsibilities, and they are super heroes!

No, I may not be able to tell you everything, but what I can tell you is I have cheered on Rylee’s triumphs, my heart has leapt for joy whenever we hear good news, and I have more than once been down on my knees with my hands clasped fervently in prayer during those uncertain times of tribulation. No, I cannot tell you what Rylee’s current weight and length are or what lullaby soothes her tenderly off to sleep or how many ounces she consumes in a day. Our job is to be the great-aunt and great-uncle and believe those are not just titles, but truly character goals to live up to. We are 2 extra people now and forever planted firmly in Rylee’s corner. You see, a premature baby touches lives and sends ripples out across families in ways some of us never think about. I cannot tell you how many premature babies are born in the US every year, but I do know, thanks to the efforts of the March of Dimes, these babies have a much greater chance of living healthier lives than they may have a decade ago, and we support their efforts. Watch out world, Rylee is on her way and growing up and I can definitely tell you she will go on to do great things!

Read more about Rylee and her amzing family.

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