Why the Jones family marches for babies

On Saturday, April 22, Providence caregivers and the community united at the 2017 March for Babies Walk in support of moms having healthy pregnancies while giving hope to families of babies born prematurely. 

For the Jones family of Lake Goodwin, March for Babies is an event that is close to their hearts. Megan Jones is a former Providence volunteer who has participated in the March for Babies walk with her family every year since 2012.

Megan learned that she was pregnant with her first child in November of 2010, soon after she learned she was expecting twins. At 18 weeks, Megan was referred to Providence for further tests and services. During her first visit, Megan and her husband Jeremy found out that they were expecting identical twin girls. They were overjoyed by the news and began brainstorming names for the two girls. Megan’s doctor was concerned with the excess of amniotic fluid around both babies, and asked her to come for follow ups every two weeks.

A few weeks later during a routine visit, Megan learned that one of her daughters had passed away in utero. Her doctor explained that she would need to have surgery to drain the excess amniotic fluid around her surviving daughter Madison and would need to be on bed rest for the rest of her pregnancy.

Megan was advised that she would likely give birth between 33 – 34 weeks, so she switched all prenatal services to Providence knowing there was a NICU and visited her doctor weekly to monitor stress and amniotic fluid. “All the nurses and staff were amazing, they spoke to us with such compassion,” Megan said, “the nurses were very supportive and told me if I ever felt that things weren’t right, to listen to my intuition and come back.”

On June 24, 2011 at 34 weeks, Madison was born at the Pavilion for Women and Children. Madison was immediately brought to the NICU and Megan was able to hold her daughter Kennedy. “It was just like my doctor told me, even though she was so small – Kennedy was identical to Madison. Being able to hold her was such a gift, we were able to get closure.”

While recovering, the nurses, volunteers and staff working in the NICU presented Megan and Jeremy with a memory box for Kennedy. “The box included Kennedy’s hand and foot prints, beaded bracelets for both Madison and Kennedy, poems, keepsakes, and hospital bracelets,” Megan said, “I was blown away by how well I was cared for, it was like how you would care for a mother or a sister.”

Madison received treatment in the NICU for two weeks, where she gained weight and learned to eat. “I was so nervous, I had never seen or held a baby so small,” Megan said, “my nurse assured me - she is your baby, you are all she needs.” Megan and Jeremy were very involved in Madison’s plan of care during her time in the NICU, “we were involved in such a positive way,” Megan said, “we were able to track progress, and be in the loop – we didn’t feel out of control. The nurses in the NICU taught us how to care for a premature baby, they coached us through everything.” When Madison reached 5 lbs. Megan and her husband were able to take her home.

Madison is now 5 years old and participates in the March for Babies walk every year with her parents and her baby sister Indiana. “Around March for Babies we take out Kennedy’s memory box and talk to Madison about it, she knows she is a surviving twin and MOD has been a positive way for us to talk about it,” Megan said.

The Jones family continued their tradition by walking with friends and family at this year’s March for Babies on April 22 at Legion Park in Everett, “You need to face the tough things in life, by walking we are helping other families,” Megan said, “Madison is happy and healthy and we are proud to be a part of an organization that fights preterm birth.”

To learn more about March of Dimes and the annual March for Babies, click here.