I’m home! The Symposium was in one word, SPECTACULAR! Sunday, we got in at 12:30 to Baltimore and to the hotel by 2:00 in the afternoon. Then we were up all night going to the monuments and enjoying the sights. We got to bed about 1:00 in the morning. Monday, we didn’t have anything until 1:00pm and thought; we could make it to the Lincoln Memorial and somewhere else and still get back in time for our Peer Support training. WRONG! The closest metro stops to the Lincoln Memorial are about two and a half miles (the one we took to get there!) and one and a half miles (the one we took to get to the hotel!) To say the least it took us two hours round trip to get to and from the Lincoln Memorial! ARGH! Support training with Sherokee Isle was very informative and interesting, it reaffirmed my feelings on peer support! It’s needed and nothing compares to someone who’s been there, done that!
Tuesday was the Symposium, it started in the morning we had three speakers and a lot of information on Cord “accidents”, Cord placement, and testing that Mom’s should get. We also had a speaker from the pathology side of things and how we need to train more coroners on how to appropriately do an autopsy so that more things can be found instead of giving parents, unexplained diagnoses. Dr. Jason Collins, my new love shared with us all of his information on how so many of these Stillborn children could and should have been saved. He has a website and I can tell you, should I be blessed enough to get pregnant again, at 28 weeks, I’ll be going to Louisiana to become his patient. Where William was concerned he (Dr. Collins) could not have helped me but maybe in the future I will have the chance for him to help me! Possibly, Dr. Ruth Fretts can help me also! She was another OBGYN there that spoke very eloquently of other things that other physicians do not share with us…um, FOLIC ACID is a MUST and WATER, WATER, WATER…. drink it and pee clear would you, please!
The afternoon session started out with my new dear friend, Suzanne Pullen and her video on her son Avery, who was born still at 24 weeks. Her talk ended with her video of her son Quinn, her subsequent pregnancy, whom Dr. Collins ensured made it earth side. Quinn’s birthday…December 13, 2006…one year to the day prior toWilliam coming to earth still. To be honest I was crying so hard I blocked some of the other information coming in after Suzanne! There is so much information, I have the slides and will have everything tidied up in about a week. We had a Memorial Service for our babies, we held hands, and we cried, we giggled, we loved!
At dinner we had two incredible Moms’, one of which brought her child to the world a bit early do to using Kick Counts. Had it not been for counting kicks and recognizing her child’s movements her baby would not have made it earth side. However, she used a kick counter and got to the hospital, she was able to deliver earlier than planned and her baby made it earth side. Our other speaker, another bereaved mom who is incredibly courageous, got up and told us why co-sleeping is NOT good! Trust me, I wanted nothing more than to fall asleep with William in my arms, now I know, that will not happen…a crib next to the bed…that’s fine…someone else around when I am tired…that will happen. Lisa, fell asleep with her son on the couch and she rolled on top of him. She suffocated him. YES, it WAS an accident…now she goes around the country telling parents of safer sleeping habits with your child. So, now, here is my plea…PLEASE PUT THE CRIB NEXT TO YOUR BED, GET A HALO BLANKET AND USE NOTHING ELSE IN YOUR CRIB BUT A CRIB SHEET!! I WANT ALL OF YOUR BABIES TO LIVE LONG, HAPPY, HEALTHY LIVES! I don’t want anyone to feel the pain my new friend Lisa feels.
To say the least this was yet another late night and a very emotional day…which ended in going to sleep late and having to get up early again on Wednesday. Wednesday was our day on the hill. What a beautiful site! So, many people and we were there on the same day that our President was there doing Appropriations meetings! No, regretfully we didn’t see him but we did see the secret service agents, and all of the security (um, sub machine guns!) It’s kind of scary but fun too! We saw Senator Kerry and got a picture of him. We also saw the Kansas Legislator, Dennis Moore (we had a meeting with him); we have pictures of us with him. There’s a lot of walking involved when you lobby, it’s truly not for me. I enjoyed it all very much. I would do it all again but I’ve learned my lesson, I need sleep! I need to go to bed at a decent time and then catch up on all of the interesting stuff the next day! Wednesday night at dinner I learned that we got our Republican, lead sponsor for the bill we were pushing. To me that sounds like we won’t have a problem getting it passed this year! All of our hard work paid off! We all pushed our reps and we all put a lot of walking and work into getting this pushed through! WE all did it!
To my new friends, thank you! It is an honor and I am proud to have met you and call you my friend! You all here, my blog friends, my new friends from DC, all of my friends who have stuck by me, you are all my gifts that William has sent to me. So, Thank you all for allowing our children to connect us in a way that may not have happened without them. Much love to each and every one of you and your families!