This week, my family took advantage of the beautiful weather and completed a virtual 5K walk to raise awareness concerning Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR), a medical condition that affects the growth of babies in the womb. We proudly participated in the IUGR Awareness Day Virtual 5K in honor of my daughter, Emily, who was diagnosed with IUGR and born at 28 weeks gestation -- weighing one pound, eight ounces.
In order to garner attention, we proudly donned IUGR Awareness Day bibs. Bentley, our shih-tzu poodle, served as our 5K mascot.
Our suburban community isn't used to seeing a small family doing a coordinated walk on its own. It's used to big races with lots of fanfare -- so we stuck out like a one pound preemie baby in a room of a dozen ten-pound newborns. We garnered a lot of attention -- and received plenty of inquisitive looks from other walkers, bicyclists, and drivers as we made our trek to the grocery store. We hiked through a lot of mud, and mounds of snow that the plows left at the end of each sidewalk.
Once we made it to the grocery store, I popped in to buy a few purple and teal balloons, which are the official colors for IUGR Awareness Day. I decorated Emily's stroller with the balloons. Luckily, one of the balloons survived the hike home -- the other balloon got in a fight with a pine tree and didn't make it.
We were stopped a few people who wanted to know more about IUGR and virtual 5Ks. A few parents of a group of Girl Scouts who were selling cookies at the entryway of the grocery store wanted to know more about virtual 5Ks. A pregnant woman in the grocery store wanted to learn more about IUGR, and a man outside of the local Starbucks wanted to know what exactly we were doing. During the walk home, a neighbor happened to drive by and honked in support of our efforts. So, my family's virtual walk definitely helped raise awareness about IUGR. It also gave us the opportunity to venture out of the house together as a family and do something healthy.
IUGR Awareness Day is today, March 13. Are you doing anything to celebrate? In order to recognize this important day (and let me know that someone is actually reading my blog), please send me a shout-out with one word that you think best describes an IUGR baby (such as, hero, warrior, etc.)