Born @ 27 weeks
2lbs 7oz

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Bee Mighty Montage

Post Filming. Hospital Parking Lot Entry ...I have to type quickly, because I am back in 'that' moment. That world where everyone is speaking another language. Where the smiles are so warm, but the words hurt so much. Where nothing is in your control. Where your body tires but your mind races with worry, anxiety and sadness. Where you spend every moment in fear and if you smile or celebrate, you know that you can be back there in an instant. The time where you just scream, because there is no other release. The time you collapse because it is more than you can withstand. The time that you embrace those that love you because you don't know where you would be without them...

Today Sol Horner of Bunch Collective ( and Jeff Seegers met me at the  hospital to film footage of the NICU and the miracle workers who run it.

I met Sol through Liz, of The Art Room. Any friend of hers I know I will respect (and personally like). Sol is a videographer for NASCAR and graciously volunteered to make a film about Bee Mighty. He has been at every Bee Mighty event - be it the token male at our Ladies Luncheon, observing the energy and celebrations at the NICU picnic, at our home with his family to meet ours and then today, learning about the NICU and the journey. I am so grateful that a man with such talent would lend his time and energy to our passion.

Sol and Jeff took me by surprise when I met them in the lobby of the hospital. They were standing on a mountain of gear. Lights, backdrops, extension cords, mics, clamps, sandbags... you name it. This was serious. And then I got really excited!

The two men transformed the Chaplin's office to a mini studio and the interviews began.

Lissa, Carmen, Lynn, Trish - (and so many others we couldn't get to) - These women each told a story - their story. Why they chose to become a NICU nurse. Why they work in this critical and intense environment. Why they take care of babies, but also nurture families. I have said it 1000 times, but it just never seems enough... These women (and men) are really amazing. I cried at every single interview (except Carmen because her smile is so contagious).

Meg, from the Novant Healthcare Foundation, talked about working with Michael and I and how she has seen such a ground swell of support through NICU families. We are indebted to the Novant Healthcare Foundation, as they manage the Bee Mighty fund and absorb ALL COSTS so that 100% of funds raised go to the babies. Meg is intimately involved with Bee Mighty and is our touchstone for resources, guidance and support (not to mention and extremely eloquent speaker!)

I had notified the front desk that we were available to begin filming and to see if the Neonatologists were available. To my disappointment, we were told due to the high number of babies this day, the Doctor would be unavailable. I was crushed with all of our effort. .... (But seriously, how can you complain? It's not like they are sitting back there chasing emails. They are saving lives - and I'm not exaggerating. Bee Mighty filming just can't (and doesn't want to) compete with that). So, we brightly continued with our agenda of interviews.

Hours later, there was a knock on the door and Dr. Rama was waiting. Ready. Available. With minutes to spear. (My heart almost exploded). He said he didn't have time to prepare and was more than gracious with his time. So Sol begin asking questions and I became transfixed....

It was as if he was talking to me - just like he did ... this brilliant man 'dumbing' it down for me 2.5 years ago.

I listened to him explain brain bleeds and how they can affect an infant. I heard him say Cerebral Palsy and lung malfunction and intubation with extreme prematurity.

My tears flowed. I remember him telling me all of those words and more - just trying to talk slowly, knowing the mother/father is in shock, hoping something sticks. These critical moments translate into lifelong results to families that envisioned a different life. It is THE moment - our lives change. Not for the better or worse, but change. The dreams change. The plans change. It is this single delivery (and countless to follow) that changes your life forever.

I couldn't choke back the tears. Not sad tears, just monumental tears. The ones that make everything else seem so insignificant.

These people - they are beautiful. This hospital - it is a pillar in my life and I am so grateful. The team of support 2.5 years ago and the cheerleaders for Bee Mighty that showed up is a moment I won't quickly forget.

Thank you to Sol & Nicci, Jeff & Liz, Lissa, Carmen, Lynn, Trish, Meg and Dr. Rama for making this day so impactful to me personally and embracing the families that this film will  touch.

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