While a screaming baby isn’t usually a pleasure to listen to, that first time a new mother hears her baby fill up his lungs and cry is a beautiful affirmation of life.
But when Jessica Bahena didn’t hear this confirmation cry in the delivery room after going into labor prematurely, fear completely took over.
“I thought right away he didn’t make it. They cleaned him out and gave him air and put the breathing tube in and he made it. But I couldn’t hold him for at least an hour and a half and even then, it was only for two minutes,” said Jessica.
While a large percentage of infants born prematurely suffer from an increased risk of lifelong disabilities such as cognitive issues, cerebral palsy, neurological problems, respiratory issues and sensory deficiencies or loss, those who come in contact with Jessica’s son today would never guess that he was born prematurely.
At the age of nine, he’s now a healthy, happy boy who drives his mother up the wall and back down again-but she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“He’s so active now, some days I just want to tell him to stop running. But, I’m just so happy he’s here,” she continues.
Years after her son was born, Jessica was preparing for her 2nd child when things took an unexpected turn after she went into labor at five months. Fortunately, doctors were able to stop the labor and she was placed on bedrest. Along with the bedrest sentence, she was also given weekly shots for the rest of her term, allowing her to make it to eight months before actual delivery. “I don’t want anyone to go thought this, not once, not twice- not ever,” she said while shaking her head.
Weighing a mere 3lbs 1oz, Jessica’s son was just one of 500,000 babies born prematurely that year and Jessica was just one of 500,000 mothers who had to go through the heart-wrenching pain of seeing her baby struggle for life. Today, as the rate of premature births slowly declines, Jessica wants to keep that downward trend going.
“I wanted to do this for her… and this is just one way out of many that I can give back, it’s obviously something I want to do, “ said Nikki Carrizalez, a long-time friend and a fellow Mid City Nissan coworker.
Ariana Rios, a sales associate at Mid City Nissan decided to join the cause after seeing so many people around her affected by premature births.
“When Jessica said she was doing it, she said we can do donations or join the walk. My brother was born premature, one of my customers, her son is still in the hospital and it’s been six months, my husband’s cousin had twins who were also born premature and they were in the hospital for 6 moths too,” said Ariana.
Soon after, the three women decided to join forces with The March of Dimes and are now working to spread awareness to raise money for the organization. Touched by their drive and passion, their Mid City Nissan coworkers have donated what they could to support their fundraising team, 4hearts. Mid City Nissan as a whole also plans on walking in this year’s March for Babies on April 20, 2013.
Hoping to raise awareness for the organization and raise some money in the process, team 4hearts agrees that if their donations and time can positively affect even just one family, they will consider their efforts a success.
“It’s not really about the money; if you want to help us you can either donate or walk with us, “said Nikki.
I’m asking for dollar donations, I don’t care what I get. Whatever you want to give, It’s just to help! If you want, just donate your time-it’s only three miles, and you get to hang out with us,” said Ariana.
A donation to The March of Dimes through 4hearts not only goes towards the research that helped produce the shots that kept Jessica from having her baby at five months, but it also goes towards at-home care for premature babies.
There are so many ways you can help team 4hearts at Mid City Nissan! Click on the link below to make your monetary contribution, or even stop into the dealership to donate! Help us give babies a fighting chance!
Social Media Director, Berman’s Auto Group
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