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Fiona is home + Donate to the March for Babies in her name

Fiona’s first walk!

Fiona came home a little more than a week ago after 85 days in the NICU.

She is doing great. She’s so brave and so strong. She’s already been through more intense medical care in her three months of life than I have in my 32 years. She’s powered us through all of it.

My family leave from this blog will continue for a bit longer. I’ll start adding more and more writing back into my day as I can. It’s amazing how time-consuming and exhausting it is to basically just stare at her all day. But I love it.

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Huge thanks to everyone for all your support. We are so lucky to have solid health insurance and such a strong network of friends and family to get us through all this. The medical team at the UW Med Center NICU is unbelievable. We are so lucky we had access to that place and that we live within biking distance so we could spend every day there.

But not everyone is so fortunate. There were families in the NICU with us from Eastern Washington and even Alaska who were either forced to uproot their lives or spend time away from their babies so they could continue working. And not everyone has access to quality prenatal care, which is so essential to giving babies the best head start they can get. Like so many injustices in our racist society, Native American, Black, Asian/Pacific Islander and Hispanic babies in Washington State are significantly more likely to be born early than white babies. Racial prejudice begins in the womb.

Preterm birth rates by race in Washington State, via March of Dimes.

You all have been so supportive of our family. This generosity inspired Kelli and I to start a fundraiser in Fiona’s name for the March of Dimes’ annual March for Babies. Join us in supporting the organization’s education and political advocacy work to improve health care for moms and babies.

You can donate via her online fundraiser page or via Facebook. This year’s Puget Sound region march is Saturday morning at Seattle Center.

The March of Dimes is just the start of our family’s dedication to this cause. Do you know of any other organizations doing good work locally to support moms and babies? Give them a shout out in the comments below.

In the meantime, we are gearing up for her first bike ride. Once we feel she can handle it, we are ready to join the biking Seattle families who have inspired me so much through my years covering local bike news. The blog is slow right now, but just wait. As soon as we’re back in the saddle, we’ll be stronger than ever.

Thanks for reading, everyone.

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9 responses to “Fiona is home + Donate to the March for Babies in her name”

  1. Andres Salomon

    Yay! Great job, and welcome home Fiona!

  2. Tonya

    So happy for you all!

  3. Damon

    Congratulations! Going home is an enormous step. I hope she’s continuing to do well!

    If you’re able to come out for the March on Saturday, Tom, I’ll see you in the Circle of Champions! Our family team is “Friday the 13th”. I look forward to friendly competition with “Ride the BICU” over the next several years!

  4. Liz

    Woo! Glad she is home :)

    These orgs aren’t local, but they do incredible work for women of color (and are led by Black women!) on issues of maternal health:
    Black Mamas Matter Alliance: https://blackmamasmatter.org/
    SisterSong: http://sistersong.net/team-sistersong/

  5. kk

    Great news! Check out Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic in Seattle’s Central District http://www.seattlechildrens.org/contact/odessa-brown/

  6. Jan Bird

    That is great news! Best wishes to the 3 of you!

  7. Fish

    Congrats! My wife and I are due with our first in less than a month. Looking forward to reading more of your blogs about biking with a baby. My wife and I are anxious to get a cargo bike and not try to become addicted to our car with a newborn. Glad to hear all is going well.

  8. Ha, what a great Bike! Congratulations, you must be very happy :)

  9. Drew

    What an inspiring story. Thank you for sharing.

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