Today was a long and emotional day. Dan and I drove up to San Francisco last night after work (four hour drive from where we live) because we were invited to participate in the kick off event for the March for Babies in the bay area. The kick off event was a breakfast at the W Hotel in Union square and started at 7:30 am (hence part of my exhaustion). It was a lot of driving to do for two hours but I am so glad we did it. It was a great way to not only become more inspired about our fundraising efforts for this walk but was also a way for us to meet other families who have gone through similar experiences.
I don't know about other loss mommas out there but these days, I feel most comfortable interacting with other women who have lost a child. It's an immediate connection- we get each other on a level that most women are lucky enough to not ever have to understand. I don't have to put on a mask while talking to these women. I can be who I am now - I can laugh, cry and talk freely without worrying about their reaction because they get it. They aren't uncomfortable with my grief or scared to talk about the babies we have lost. They get it - we actually live in the same world instead of pretending to fit into the one that everyone else lives in.
But I digress. Back to the kick off event. It was mainly for the big wig sponsors/corporate teams (which I totally get - I work for a non-profit) but they did have a few family teams represented. It was great to hear about fundraising strategies (Dan and I are going to be getting to work on this) but it was also great to hear from some of the real people speak and tell their stories. Most families that end up walking for the March for Babied do so because of a loss. It was sad yet somehow inspiring to hear their stories, especially because they have turned the loss of their child into something positive.
And that leads me to my ultimate motivation in joining the March for Babies and even attending this event. I need to turn the tragedy that happened with Naya into something positive. I need to help change regulations and state standards to make sure that this doesn't happen to another baby. Naya shouldn't have died. I know that and I want to make sure that no others babies die in a similar fashion. I see the March of Dimes as the best place to have our story be heard and learned from. I see them as a tool to inspire change.