The Miller's Story
Sacramento, California, June 23, 2014 I'm Denise, wife and mother to 4.
My first pregnancy was incredibly easy, resulting in our healthy baby girl, Kaitlyn, born 3 days after her due date. Her labor was short and delivery was easy. The next day, we went home together and our life as a family began.
When Kaitlyn was 2, we were excited to find out we were expecting a baby boy. I was naive and expected another easy pregnancy with Matthew. Instead, at nearly 24 weeks pregnant, my water broke. I was scared, confused and didn't know what to expect. Matthew was too young, too small and too frail to survive being born so soon. In over 90% of similar situations at the time, babies are delivered within 10 days. Matthew stayed put for nearly 10 weeks under strict hospital bed rest. He was born 7 weeks premature, crying and gorgeous. After 26 days in the NICU, we were thrilled when Matthew came home.
Matthew was 10 weeks old when he passed away to SIDS.
The following spring, we started our first family team for March for Babies.
Just prior to our second year walking, I experienced a miscarriage at 8 weeks pregnant. I experienced two more miscarriages later that same year.
We walked our third year pregnant with our second daughter, Samantha. Despite our fears, with the advances in medical science and pregnancy health, she was born at 39 weeks and 3 days. Happy, healthy and continuing to grow like crazy, bringing joy and laughter each and every day.
Right after our 5th year of walking, we were surprised to find out we were expecting another little girl! That same year, the March of Dimes helped AB 1731 pass into law. AB 1731 requires that all newborns are screened for critical congenital heart disease using a very simple and inexpensive test prior to going home from the hospital.
Charlotte was our largest baby, and our first to be screened for heart disease before going home. Her test read abnormal and prior to discharge she underwent an EKG. We were and are incredibly fortunate that Charlotte did not have congenital heart disease, a follow-up EKG several months later showed she outgrew the heart murmur she was born with.
Each year, our team and our passion grows. The work the March of Dimes does not only allows us to honor Matthew’s memory, but in his name, we’ve helped raise funds that have benefited our family directly through the research supported by the March of Dimes and the legislation they champion.