Today’s blog is a special post from Pursuant Executive Vice President Rebecca Gregory Segovia about the power of community in the digital age.
Have you ever found yourself at the intersection of work and life? I did, quite unexpectedly, and because of it, I will never be the same.
For more than a decade I have invested my heart and soul in my career – a career focused on serving the non-profit sector. From my early days at Convio, to my more recent work at Pursuant, I am continuously inspired by the people, the missions, and the communities I get to impact through my work. Last year Pursuant began a partnership with March of Dimes, a great organization I have respected for years for their work to prevent birth defects and polio, and more recently, premature birth. It is an organization that sat firmly in my “work” category – that is until an unexpected day in February.
As a soon-to-be mother of mo-di twins, I had grown accustomed to the extra sensitivity that comes with carrying twins. Even a routine visit seemed to include a few extra tests and checks to make sure everyone was growing on pace. Having enjoyed thirty-one weeks of pregnancy that were often referred to as normal and healthy, February 8th was the day I will never forget. It was a day that went from routine prenatal visit to immediate hospital admittance. “Baby B” was in danger – her size discordance was growing and the cord flow was showing signs of deterioration. I didn’t fully appreciate it in the moment, but that was the day that March of Dimes and the extended community of NICU families, nurses, and doctors would become an indispensable part of my life.
As a mom, for 31 weeks I did all the right things, following each and every recommendation of my amazing doctors – steroid shots, fetal monitoring, the works – I wanted to try to keep the girls in and growing as long as possible. After being unexpectedly admitted to the hospital for bedrest, it was just eight days later when the doctor looked at my husband and me with resolve and said, “We need to take the babies today.” My heart sank. “Baby B” was not growing. She was fighting for her life in the womb and it was time for her to come out. I knew this was the right decision – but I was so scared of the unknown.
And just like that we had two tiny babies in neonatal intensive care.
As a first time mom, my time in the NICU was the only version of normal I knew… tubes, bilirubin lights, isolettes. Hours that felt like days and days that felt like months. I was overcome by the sense of unwavering hope, which was plagued by constant fear and uncertainty. Despite having known and respected March of Dimes for many years professionally, it was not until I was embraced and supported as a member of the NICU community that I truly understood and appreciated their work.
As a new NICU mom, I yearned to find people like me – people who could show me a version of life on the other side. It wasn’t until I became a mother of two precious prematurely born baby girls that I truly understood March of Dimes’ mission to eradicate premature birth. I was grateful for the work March of Dimes was doing to understand what causes premature birth, but most of all I was grateful for the community of NICU families I found through March of Dimes. It was their stories – of warriors and angels alike – that gave me strength and comfort in a way no friend or family could. How ironic that the very digital communities the team at Pursuant had helped to create, were now providing me with the network of support I needed to get through this complicated time.
After two months in the hospital, we finally took our girls home on March 31. As you can imagine, March of Dimes is now firmly planted at the crossroad where my work meets my life. I am proud to serve as part of the Pursuant team, developing digital tools to connect the NICU community, and I am proud to be the mom of two healthy, happy, thriving preemie girls!
I have loved two NICU babies and I’ll never be the same. If your life has been changed by premature birth share your story here.