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Newborn Hope and Faded Beauty

Tiny handOn Thursday and Friday I, along with 1600 of my closest friends, dolled up and went to the Broadmoor International Center to attend the annual Newborn Hope luncheon and fashion show. This is a spectacular event, something that we look forward to all year. Filet mignon, chocolate mousse and champagne are culinary staples. Beautiful models from Denver, both male and female, entertain us. We have a silent auction (Botox, rounds of golf, ski jackets, jewelry), we sell table decorations and Christmas ornaments, we have a balloon raffle. We have fun. We raise money.

I have been involved with Newborn Hope for more than a decade. I have co-chaired the event, co-chaired the Advisory Council, been a member of the Corporate Board. Newborn Hope is about prematurity prevention and maternal/neonatal healthcare. I could go on and on about my passion for our mission and for the organization, but I think I’ll save that for another time.

What I want to talk about are the women who are Newborn Hope. Shortly after I became involved with the organization, I discovered that I was pregnant with twins. I had had 4 easy pregnancies in the past so this discovery did not deter me from my normal behavior in the slightest. At 26 weeks (normal gestation is 40 weeks) I went to my doctor for a routine check up. Ironically, she informed me that I was in pre-term labor and that I needed to walk across the parking lot and check myself into the hospital.

The long and short of it is that I ended up enduring 10 weeks of strict bedrest. I had 4 young children at home but was told that I was allowed to get up only once every 2 hours to go to the bathroom. Yeah, right. Puh-lease.

My Newborn Hope friends, none of whom I knew well at the time, heard of my plight and knew how important, and how impossible, compliance was. In order to help me and my little preborns, they arranged for a different committee member to deliver a meal to my home, enough to feed the 6 of us, every night for 10 weeks. A woman I hardly knew called me and said, politely but firmly, “I will be in your driveway every morning at 7:45 to take your kids to school. Please have them watch for me.” Another woman drove my little David to preschool three times per week, a thirty minute round trip.

Twice during my confinement, 20 women or so brought me a moveable feast. They showed up on my doorstep with egg dishes and waffles and bacon and sweet rolls, flowers even. They arranged chairs around me, hugged me, talked to me, made me laugh. Two hours later they gathered everything up, washed and put away every dish, left me with a few good books, and out they went. It was a bit surreal. Kind of like Cat in the Hat.

My new friends came and took my little ones to Happy Apple Farm to get Halloween pumpkins. They showed up every day at 3:30 to lift my little Lara out of her crib after her afternoon nap. They heard that I was having a hard time reading so they blazed in, taught me to cross stitch, brought me everything I needed to complete a project, and raced back out to their own lives.

A severely premature infant is the most expensive medical patient there is. Much more expensive than a cancer patient, a transplant patient, an accident victim. More importantly, premature babies can have developmental delays, vision problems, physical difficulties that last a lifetime. My twins, had they been born at 26 weeks, might be very different children today. I am grateful for their good health. I’ll be forever thankful for the women who helped me carry to term.

I took a friend of mine, a guy, to the luncheon this year. I wanted to share with him an important part of my life, to show him what I’ve done for 10 years, to introduce him to the people who’ve made a huge difference to me and to Devon and Ryan. He was one of only a few men among 800 women. I thought that it would be fun. Educational. Inspiring perhaps. Sadly, he saw a bunch of middle-aged women, shoved into leather pants and halter tops, flaunting back fat and delightful but embarrassing fake boobs, hoping to regain lost youth. How sad and how jaded. I’m really sorry that that is all he saw.

I saw my angels. I saw my friends. I saw love in action. I saw gorgeous women who’ve made a difference to me and to the community.

Relax, guy friend. You don’t need to tell us about our faded beauty. We already know. Many of us who are involved with Newborn Hope have had heartbreaking experience with prematurity. We’ve also dealt with breast cancer, aging parents, learning disabilities…you name it. As a result, we don’t worry too much about our saddlebags. Our chin hairs. Our wrinkled foreheads. Our sagging boobs. We’d rather revel in the potential and perfection of our children. And in the beauty and kindness of our aging friends.

So go screw yourself. You’ll never again be invited to hang out with the ladies who lunch.

3 thoughts on “Newborn Hope and Faded Beauty

  1. Bravo to you, Marie, and to all the other “aging beauties” who work so hard in this community to make a difference where it really counts…not in leading protest marches designed to give aid and comfort to our enemies (you know who they are, and if you don’t, watch Glenn Beck on CNN today at 5 and 7). Newborn Hope, and other groups like it, raise tremendous amounts to fund research that improves the lot of humankind in general; if they have some fun doing it, more power to them. Failing to recognize that, and instead staring at the magnificent breasts and youthful outfits of the participants indicates a lack of refinement and alarming level of gaucherie. A mature woman who has things going on, yet makes efforts to keep herself attractive for her man (and for her own sense of self-esteem), is so much more interesting than that barely legal stripper-type, who will most likely swell to 200 pounds as soon as she has her first child. Cudos to all the women who care, about the world and their own appearance.

  2. Michael, I love that thing that Glenn Beck did about ‘all the amazing progress we’re making in Iraq’. You conservative pod people are all as methed out as Ted and Rush are on killing foreigners, aren’t you?

    For those who don’t know him, Glenn Beck is a Neal Boortz-lite clone. Sez it all, Dude. That, and your bs about antiwar protesters supposedly ‘giving aid and comfort to our enemies’. You the enemy, Dude. You the enemy. We don’t want to become pod people like you.

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