march for babies blog

24 Feb
Linda

We’re Building Something Big!

Posted by Linda
Peter and Lane

Peter and Lane

With a 2-year-old who’s been staying up way too late, I don’t get to watch much TV. But here’s one show I always try to catch: Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. I love it and rarely keep it dry. And I don’t expect to do so this Sunday either.

 

The family that’s featured is one of our own: The Augustins from Keller, Texas. Their family team, Lane’s Light, is walking in March for Babies for the 5th time this year!

 

In 2004, Amber and Peter had two healthy children and a new baby on the way. Then, Lane arrived, too soon and too small. But he was a fighter, and after four weeks in the NICU, Lane came home.

 

Amber’s not just a mom, she’s also a talented photographer. During her time in the NICU, she noticed how few families were taking pictures. Yet, she also knew how important it is to have these lasting memories.

 

Amber started her own photo studio from her home: “Tiny Works of Heart.” In the NICU, she captures the first, and sometimes last moments of the tiniest babies. But a flood destroyed the family’s home and Amber’s studio, limiting her ability to help…

 

Move that bus!

Move that bus!

You guessed it, Ty and the crew go to Keller, just outside of Ft. Worth, to tear down Amber and Peter’s flood damaged house and build them a brand new dream home! Don’t miss it: ABC, March 1, 8-9 PM ET.

 

If you’re in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, come to the special March for Babies viewing party at The Met Church. They’re expecting more than 1,500 March for Babies fans!

COMMENTS

We’re Building Something Big!

Comment by Allie — February 24, 2009 @ 10:06 am

What an amazing story! I love this.

We’re Building Something Big!

Comment by avery — February 24, 2009 @ 9:58 pm

this is an amazing family!!!!

We’re Building Something Big!

Comment by Jodi — February 26, 2009 @ 2:26 am

That is so wonderful, you really can’t have too many photos of those early days! Our little tough guy’s due date was March 1st (he was born on Nov. 12th at 24 weeks and is doing amazing) so I will be excited to watch this special as we are celebrating our baby coming home!

We’re Building Something Big!

Comment by Antoinette — February 26, 2009 @ 6:11 pm

God bless everyone who continues to fight to the aid of premature babies. My 1st child was born 10 weeks prematurely – she’s 6 1/2 now and a constant reminder that if not for the research of what the March of Dimes has and continues to do – children like her couldn’t have the fighting chance. We are all very fortunate.

Congratulations to the Augustin family! More power to everyone and all! And to those who are currently tending to a new baby born prematurely – hang in there – it does get better. Miracles are around us every day. My daughter is one of them…

We’re Building Something Big!

Comment by Yvonne — February 26, 2009 @ 9:02 pm

I am most certainly going to watch this episode. My husband and I watch this as much as we possibly can or if we can remember. Although I can relate because I have a 2 1/2 yr old and a 14 mos old who were born premature and I know what it’s like to visit the NICU on everyday basis. This is an amazing story and I hope that whoever is watching the show will be a part to help March of Dimes March for Babies. We all should give every baby a healthy start!

We’re Building Something Big!

Comment by bonnie — February 27, 2009 @ 12:22 pm

Waht a wonderful family!!! We also have two NICU babies unfortunately Ronnie made it to 14 months before God called him home, but it was a wonderful 14 months and yes we were one of the families snapping every picture we could as we did not know how long he would make it. The drs told us he wasn’t going to make it three times in NICU, but he pulled through. Miracles do happen…Thanks to the March of Dimes and God…Won’t miss this episode for sure…..

We’re Building Something Big!

Comment by Heather — February 27, 2009 @ 12:48 pm

I have to say that I do not think that this family is all that deserving. None of thier kids are disabled. So many families are affected by premature births, some who truly have problems not just that they need new homes. Right now my family is completely broke. My son has mixed tone cp and is deaf he was born at 23 weeks and will struggle for the rest of his life. We have no help, no one is raising money for us to help pay for equipment or medical bills. We raise thousands of dollars for the march every year and this story just made me feel like no matter how hard my family tries we are alone. This will probably be are last year raising money for you guys after reading this story it made me want to stop. These people are not inspirational. They are a normal family that takes pics of people who are really suffering. It’s nice of them don’t get me wrong but they are no heros. I have met family’s in the Nicu where my son was for 4 months and some of the mothers that I met there are truly in need of help. I dissappointed in the March. They know how sick some kids are. These people have three healthy kids they are blessed isn’t that enough?

We’re Building Something Big!

Comment by Chrissa — February 27, 2009 @ 3:08 pm

Wow Heather. I am so sorry to hear about the rough times you have had. I pray for you and your family to get the help you need.

I will say, I don’t think being jealous of others every improved any situation. Some people, such as myself, feel that the type of work the Augustin’s did touched others. It was a completely selfless act to take photographs for parents who may or may not have other healthy kids at home. These parents may have thier babies make it home, some do not. My child did not survive b/c she was born too early and could not be saved. Pictures are all I have.

I can tell you are hurting. It sounds like some situations you are going through right now would cause high levels of stress and fatigue to even the strongest moms.

But instead of being home and blogging in a “whoa is me” fashion, why not start your own support group? Why not help others in the same boat as you? You are one person who CAN make a difference. You create your own happiness.

We’re Building Something Big!

Comment by Angela — February 27, 2009 @ 3:27 pm

Heather, I’m sorry this story upset you. You’re right, the Augustins are no more wonderful and deserving than our other volunteers – your family included. But this is the concept of the show – to do something major for one family. Families are nominated by people they know and selections are made by ABC. We were just really excited a March of Dimes family was chosen.

Look at it this way. The show brings the problem of premature birth under the attention of a huge audience. This is an issue you care about, deeply and personally. There will be people watching the show who haven’t had a preemie themselves, but will sign up to walk, or donate to help. That means it’s the babies who really win. Babies who deserve a chance, just like your son. Thank you for walking in March for Babies and I really hope this won’t be your last year.

We’re Building Something Big!

Comment by Heather — February 27, 2009 @ 3:46 pm

I guess I’m most upset because EMH only does one family per charity. This family pretty much took away any shot of other families who are truly in need of ever being helped by them. I just can’t help thinking that if they were super involved with this charity they would realize how selfish they are being. I personally never applied because I have met families who were even worse off then us and always felt that they deserved the help more. There were families in the nicu who had multiple births and all their babies were disabled, I became rather close with the mother of triplets whos daughters would all be severly disabled. She and her husband had to quit thier jobs and move to Albany they had no means to support them selves, I just look at families like this who are truly in need. I know you can’t help everyone…but out of all the families who’s lives have been effected by pre maturity I guess I just feel that they shouldn’t have helped the family of a healthy happy little boy. They should have helped The family who struggling to survive.

We’re Building Something Big!

Comment by Amber Augustin — February 28, 2009 @ 11:28 pm

Thank you for all of your kind words & support! I can not even begin to tell you how humbled & honored to have been chosen….our hope is to bring awareness about prematurity & infant mortality to everyone. We never knew about any of this until Lane was born 10 weeks early. We had 2 very healthy uneventful pregnancies before him. We did already feel very blessed & didn’t allow anyone to send in an application for us for a year & 1/2 after we lost our home in the flood. I know that there are always more “needy” families out there & I hope they apply….I have never heard anything about EMHE only ever choosing 1 family per charity…if that is true then I am sorry. Especially since my husband also volunteers for Habitat for Humanity & I also volunteer for an organization called Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep & Tiny Works of Heart. They also spoke about The Community Storehouse in our town – so, hopefully that isn’t true – because, there are many deserving families out there – and they need to apply – it is the ONLY way to ever be chosen.

We’re Building Something Big!

Comment by Deborah Allen — March 1, 2009 @ 4:34 pm

To Heather: I understand your frustration and anger, but I wouldn’t let that keep you from doing what is good and right for the MOD. I remember being that angry too –from the point that I heard healthy Moms and Dads being wheeled out of the hospital with their new baby and mine was in the NICU hooked up to machines to when he was two and I realized that phyical and speach theropy were going to be common place and even now, when he is behind the other kids in many ways. It takes a lot of energy to be angry and that is a lot of energy that could be turned for doing good. You are blessed. You have your children and others do not. That is what I have to remember when I am feeling “challenged”. I hope you reach out for the support you need.

To all MOD parents: My son – my miracle – was born 6 1/2 weeks early. He is now an active 13 year old. We still have our challenges and struggles, but I would like to tell you as a Mom that has been through it on her own for most of it, HANG IN THERE!! It does get better! It gets better each day. Keep the faith and keep supporting the MOD because one day we will beat this thing and all babies will be healthy and beautiful.

Congrats to the Augustin family! I lost all of my pictures of my son when he was in the NICU. What you are doing is a wonderful thing. I will be watching!!

We’re Building Something Big!

Comment by Hatalbany — March 1, 2009 @ 4:46 pm

just like the lottery you gotto be in it to win it!

We’re Building Something Big!

Comment by Ruthie — March 1, 2009 @ 11:23 pm

What an incredible story to show what March for Babies is all about. We lost a son 6/1/06 – he was 2lbs, 6 ozs and so beautiful. We only had him for 9 hours. The hospital took pictures and those are treasures for us for a lifetime. What Amber has done and will continue to do is priceless. They are a deserving family and I hope more talented photographers can do what she does – touch lives.

We’re Building Something Big!

Comment by Christy Jesse — March 2, 2009 @ 12:27 am

Hi Amber,

This one is for you. I saw your story and I am truly inspired! I would love to start doing what you do here in our town. I take photos as a hobby, but love doing it! I wanted to know if you could give me some guidance on how you got started, how you continue, etc. I would love to pick your brain. Please email me anytime snoopsterj@yahoo.com. Thank you for sharing your story. I hope to hear from you soon!

Christy Jesse

We’re Building Something Big!

Comment by Jordan Hoisington — March 2, 2009 @ 3:15 pm

well i watched your show yeataurday on extreme makeover and i cried because of all the poor babies and that you gave soo many peopl a memory that they cant get back.In one of my classes me and a friend are doing a project on prmature babbies or march of dimes and we were wondering if you could help send any info on premature babies we would realy appreciate it thanks alot.

We’re Building Something Big!

Comment by Renee — March 2, 2009 @ 3:40 pm

This is wonderful and brought tears to my eyes. One of my biggest regrets is not having more ‘professional’ pictures made of my boys when they were born at 27 weeks. I have a lot of snapshots but none that really show the impact of how small they were at birth. I think what you are doing is a wonderful thing. Thank you for all you do.

Renee

We’re Building Something Big!

Comment by Mary Anne — March 2, 2009 @ 4:43 pm

Amber,
I saw the episode last night and was truly touched. I delivered 3 small boys in mid-August, at 25 weeks. My littlest guy lived 38 short hours. The one thing I made sure we had were photos (and lost of them) because aside from what’s inside of me, that’s all I have of Jacob. I had a poor recovery from my c-section so I didn’t get to spend much time with him, so the photos I do have mean the world to me. And this way, I can show his two surviving brothers their angel of a brother. The other two boys are doing great. They spent 3 months in the NICU. Before seeing your story, I had thought of doing the same thing. You have given me the strength to get going and do it locally in my area. I would love to know how you started. You really are an inspiration. Thank you.
Mary Anne in Illinois

We’re Building Something Big!

Comment by Maria — March 2, 2009 @ 6:30 pm

This was a great story.
I’m sorry for the mothers here who feel the family is unworthy and that there are so many more deserving families. While there are many, many deserving families in this day and age, but how can you begrudge anyone, especially a family who is so generous and giving in their community. While they may not be the most needy of all MOD families, their generosity and spirit are a great example for all of us. This story will bring so much more attention to the MOD and will help all families. Its exposure that can only benefit the MOD.
I’m the mom of preemie twins, born 10 wks early. They had a very difficult first few months with many complications and set backs. I’m incredibly fortunate in that my boys are now 3 1/2 and seemingly healthy.
Thank you, Amber, for being the messenger for the MOD and for all the work you do.

We’re Building Something Big!

Comment by Ally — March 2, 2009 @ 8:15 pm

Amber, when I saw your story last night I was immediately inspired. I saw from other comments that the interest will be great in many communities and I would love to know how you got started and how you implemented yourself into the hospitals. I think that this is an amazing gift to give to parents and am so glad that you are sharing your talent. Any information that you could give me would be greatly appreciated. I look forward to talking to you. Thank you for what you do. Ally. allycat_44@yahoo.com

We’re Building Something Big!

Comment by Jess — March 3, 2009 @ 9:44 am

Amber,

This was a very touching episode, but very hard for my husband & I to watch. We lost our daughter at 20 weeks gestation & never got the opportunity to see her or hold her. What you do for these families, so they can cherish the time they do have with their child is absolutely wonderful! I only wish, we would have had that opportunity!

God bless you and your family!

We’re Building Something Big!

Comment by jennifer f — March 3, 2009 @ 4:15 pm

Amber,

I watched your story last night crying through most of it. Our twin girls were born 6 weeks prematurely but thanks to wonderful prenatal care and strides made by March of Dimes, we came home after only one week in the NICU. This year I am team captain of the Woodlands Mother’s of Multiples team also in Texas! I, like you, walk not only for my beautiful 2 yr old perfectly healthy toddlers; but for all those beautiful babies that never made it home as well as those still hanging on to life. Enjoy your new home, it is well deserved. We wish you the very best in your walk this year. Blessings,

We’re Building Something Big!

Comment by Jennie — March 4, 2009 @ 5:16 pm

Our precious son was born @ 22.5 weeks on May 27, 2006. He was 13.6 ounces and 11 1/2 inches long. He lived and died in my arms. Our hospital took pictures (against my wishes) and said they’d keep them on file until I was ready for them. Less than a month later, I called the hospital because I NEEDED those pictures. My heart ached and longed for my son so badly, I just had to see him again. This year my angel son Erik will be 4 years old, and still those few pictures mean the world to me -its all I have. It’s all a lot of mothers of premature babies have.

So from the bottom of my heart, Thank You for supporting March of Dimes & your community.

In loving Memory
Erik Michael

Jennie

We’re Building Something Big!

Comment by Linda Guess — March 5, 2009 @ 10:17 am

Amber,
I am so glad that those mom’s with there babies have you to take those pictures. I cried wnen i saw your story. My Son Cody Guess who is 14 years old raises money last year he raised 10,163.00 and the last couple of years he raised over 8,000 he works so hard, we need to get our youth involved he has got to name 3 diffrent state progrm grantshe always picks a child that touches him to name his grants after I wanted to shre this with you and maybe alot of our youth will get involved Thank You for suppoting the March Of Dimes So all Babies will be born healthy. Linda

We’re Building Something Big!

Comment by Stephanie — March 8, 2009 @ 12:37 am

Amber,
Our son Lane was 10wks early and we lost him at 31 days old due to NEC and there’s not a day that goes by that we are not thankful for all the pictures we have of him.So what you do for these families is Wonderful!

We’re Building Something Big!

Comment by Jamie — March 8, 2009 @ 5:29 pm

I watched the episode last week and was teary-eyed all the way through it. It brought back many memories for me. I have had two preemies who spend 6 weeks in NICU. My preemie boys are 12 months apart. NICU life felt common to us by the second time around. :) I made sure to video and photograph both of my sons every day that I visited them. I was by no way as good as Amber was, but thought to myself how much I would’ve appreciated her if she had done this for me. Both of my sons came home healthy and with no complications thankfully, but I did see a baby not make it. I can’t imagine how it would feel NOT to have any photographs of my boys had they not survived. Thank you Amber for doing such a selfless and thoughtful act for the families you’ve touched. You definately have a heart of compassion for others.

We’re Building Something Big!

Comment by claudia haage — March 9, 2009 @ 12:11 am

I watched your story on Sunday Night. Thirty-eight years agoI had a preemie that only lived for 24 hours. No one would photograph him they kept saying when he gets better. Needless to say he never did, the only thing I have is a little blue elephant that was given to him. Even today 38 years later i wish someone would have done for me what you do for other parents. I don’t care what anyone says in my eyes you are a Hero. On a better note I had two more preemies and am now a very proud GRANDMA something I never thought I would be 38 years ago.

GOD BLESS YOU FOR YOUR LOVE (work) Thank you so much Amber for your thoughtful acts and heart full of compassion.

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