Yesterday, I published a post about the ins-and-outs of our past two weeks as a family and the stage that women enter after pregnancy. The ‘is that really me?’ stage. Today, I want to publish a post about a day I hope to always remember. Yesterday, I saw dreams come alive. Sure, writing about a dumpster, family memories, and the benefits of Cocoa Butter are all fine, well, and dandy to talk about… but this… this is the real deal.
A lot of people don’t know what I am about to say. Some do, and some don’t. Last summer, I was completing the final step to earning my degree when I found out I was expecting. I walked in May, and I was to graduate last August after completing a 12-week internship at the UNCG Alumni Association. Only five weeks completed, I had to leave on medical leave due to the pregnancy. So, I have yet to earn the title of a college graduate. This past year, I have had the burden of having to go back into the field and finish. There was a part of me that wanted to give up. I don’t need a college degree to change diapers, fix bottles, play peek-a-boo, and watch re-runs of Veggie Tales. Although, you probably do need a college degree to operate some of this baby equipment. I still don’t know how to put Amelia and Leah in the Moby Wrap. I quickly had to dismiss my attitude when I thought about our future. I am so close to earning my college degree. This has been a dream of mine since I was little and could understand the meaning of college. One day, I pray that I will watch my girls cross the stage in their cap and gown. There is so much pride in saying, I did it. There will come a day that Amelia and Leah ask me about my UNCG experience. I don’t want them to ever give up on themselves, and so I can’t give up on me. I don’t want them to ever think that I did not finish because of them, but I want them to know to never give up. So, I decided to finish for myself, for my parents who placed an investment into my education, for my husband’s encouragement, and for my girls. I want them to know I didn’t give up, I didn’t quit (I know that is a double negative… maybe I need to take another English class!), and that I am a college graduate.
So, on top of having to take care of the girls and keep up a house, I have been searching for an agency that is willing to work with the schedule I have with Amelia and Leah. When my internship starts, that does not mean that the doctor appointments will stop. We still have the cardiologist, ophthalmologist, PT, pediatrician, and the Special Infant Care Clinic in Chapel Hill. For the past couple of months, it has been a struggle to find someone who will say, “Come and work for us, we understand and will help you achieve your degree!” Until, yesterday.
Many of you know that our family is marching in March for Babies supporting March of Dimes this upcoming Saturday. The March of Dimes has touched our family since Day 1 in Chapel Hill. Literally. When I was admitted to Chapel Hill, my first night I received two rounds of steroids, 12-hours of magnesium, and 17-hours of constant monitoring. I realized after the fact, on October 28, 2013, when I was admitted the doctors were wary I would deliver on that day. At 27 weeks! Even though we didn’t bake till 32 weeks, I am so thankful the girls baked for another two to 29 weeks! Those two weeks made all the difference in the world. The steroid I received was in fact, surfactant therapy, which is a therapy used to help preemies with respiratory distress syndrome (under developed lungs). The research for this particular therapy, that helped save our girls, was funded by the March of Dimes. THIS is why Andrew and I formed a team. THIS is why our family and friends are marching alongside of us on Saturday in honor of the girls. THIS is why we are so incredibly appreciative to everyone who has donated to TEAM WHITE TWINS. The money that our team has raised [$1,715!!] will grant researchers more funds to continue to develop better treatments and bring healthier babies into this world.
Our family will forever be grateful for this organization. It helped save our girls, and it has now helped save me. My dream of being a college graduate will come true. I am so excited to say that I will be interning at the March of Dimes office in Raleigh this summer. When I decided to go back and finish, my only prayer was if I were to leave the girls, I wanted my time to be spent doing something I was passionate about. My friends, God NEVER fails. After two months of searching, I was ready to give up again and say forget it. Along with Andrew, the girls, and my parents there was another person that was a strong influence to me. My little brother, Matt.
During this past year, I have seen Matt work so hard to living out his dream to play college baseball. When he’s been kicked down, he always got back up without a fight. He has never given up. There have been many games this season he didn’t see the mound. Not once have I seen him hang his head. Every time he’s been called up, he does so with his head held high and ready to play ball. I will always admire his willingness to hold true to his dreams and to live out the talent that God gave him as an athlete.
When Matt called and said he made the team, I cried… of course. I was still pregnant at the time… the hormones were going absolutely haywire. I remember him saying, “Mary Kate, UNCW plays at NC State this spring. If I get to pitch at Doak Field… man, that would be a dream come true.” Last night, he did. On the same day that I received the news that my dream would come true, the very person who influenced me more than he knows… well, his dream came true too. There were tears in my eyes when I saw #25 running towards the mound from the bullpen. And, there were tears in my eyes when Matt was on the mound and out of no where a picture of my girls appeared on the scoreboard. Like his favorite movie growing up, they were his Angels in the Outfield.
Here is the picture. You can see the outline of their car seats! I get chills every time I look at it…
Yesterday. Yesterday was a great day. I will forever remember April 23, 2014. I got an internship. It was the first time taking the girls out in public, public. And, I saw my little brother pitch at Doak field against the Wolfpack.
The God we serve is limitless. How amazing is it to say that I have a limitless God living within me. The life God created for me to live is about pursuing life with passion and purpose and going with Him wherever He leads. It’s not about settling. It’s about tenaciously believing I’m made for more.
My friends, you’re made for more. Whether it is living out your dream playing your favorite sport, going back to school to finish a degree, or marching for a cause… this life is meant to be lived.
Ya know, what Jimmy V said… “Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.”