Families, care teams and community members unite at the South Sound March for Babies
“My water broke and boom, I had a baby,” Brenda Caldwell jokes.
It’s the way many birth stories in the Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital begin. Babies arrive early, unexpected and in need of serious care.
Caldwell’s water ruptured on Jan. 11, 2017. She was 22 weeks pregnant and brought by ambulance to Tacoma General.
Four days later, doctors realized she had a prolapsed umbilical cord. Her baby was in danger.
“The doctors looked at me and said, ‘We’re doing surgery. Right away,’” Caldwells says.
Baby Nate was born on Jan. 15. He was 23 weeks, weighed 1 pound, 4.5 ounces, and was 11.5 inches long.
Nate spent 107 days in the NICU. While Brenda watched and nurtured Nate’s progress, she also thought about how she could give back to the team who saved her baby’s life and the mothers she met during her stay.
Nate graduated from the NICU and went home at 38 weeks and 2 days, weighing 6 pounds, 2.2 ounces and measuring 17 inches long.
“A bundle of chub,” Caldwell says. “I wish I could thank each and every person for their dedication.”
Caldwell is now dedicated to helping fragile babies and their families in any way she can. That dedication sparked immediate interest in participating in South Sound March for Babies the moment she learned about the walk.
This will be Caldwell’s first time walking and fundraising for the South Sound March for Babies. Caldwell says she’s walking for her son, but also because she knows firsthand how important community support can be for NICU families.
“These babies need all the help they can get,” she says. “There are other moms out there, and unless you’ve gone through this or know someone going through this, you don’t know how much support like this is needed.”
The South Sound March for Babies is on Saturday, May 13 at Cheney Stadium. Registration opens at 8am and the 3.5-mile walk begins at 9am.
Want to walk and fundraise with a team?
About The Author
Jen Rittenhouse is the social media manager for MultiCare and Mary Bridge Children's Hospital. She writes stories that connect people with hospitals, health care and each other. You can reach her at [email protected].
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