Missions & Goals
The mission of Today Is a Good Day is to provide personal support to families of premature babies during their time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
On November 14, 2010, our lives changed forever. Our identical twin girls arrived 4 months early at just 23 weeks and 5 days. Claire Josephine was born at 1lb. 2oz. Mary Gladys was born at 1lb 4oz. Mary was with us only 2 weeks. Claire beat the odds and came home after 103 days in the Abington Memorial Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. During our time in the NICU, we experienced so many emotions. We met another family with a “23-weeker” and were inspired at his outcome. We went to dinner during nurse shift changes to experience some sort of normalcy. We started each morning with the motto “One Day at a Time” since we did not know what each day would bring. Some days were filled with bad moments and challenging prognoses. However, we rejoiced in the “Good Days.” As we kept family and friends apprised of Claire and Mary’s journey, we were always happy when we could write “Today Is a Good Day.”
Hospital events for current parents in the NICU • During our first week in the NICU, we met a family whose son was born at only 23 weeks. He was now 3 years old and doing great. This little boy gave us such inspiration for our girls who were born around the same gestational age. While Mary was only with us two weeks, we never forgot the little boy who inspired us each day for Claire. Since our time in the NICU, we have hosted 3 family events for current families traveling their journeys. For two of the events, we took Claire. She definitely inspired other families through her personality and growth over the past two years.
• One of our dearest friends gave Martha a bracelet in December 2010 stating “One Day at a Time.” It is a phrase that she had heard us say frequently as we traveled our NICU journey. Following the stay in the NICU, we worked with the local March of Dimes chapter to have approximately 5000 bracelets made and given out at three local hospitals. Through “Today is a Good Day,” we hope to continue the bracelet project.
• Writing down the information shared with you every day is an effective way to reference past conversations and to look ahead. We entered information in a journal each day for Mary and Claire. As we witness Claire achieving so many milestones, we think back to her third day of life. On this day, we learned Claire was born with Grade 3 and Grade 4 brain bleeds. The prognosis was very poor for her to be successful. The doctors were not sure if she would be able to walk, speak, or function normally. We look back now and are thankful for all of the information we recorded. It is important for parents to feel empowered in the NICU to ask questions and to speak freely with the neonatologists and nurses. We plan to have notebooks designed to hand out to new parents.
• The NICU journey does not allow for much “normalcy” in your life. Before work, we would wake up at 4:30 and be to the NICU by 5:30 or 6 a.m. in time for Claire’s morning care. After a long day at work, we would travel back to the NICU for more time with Claire. Many nights, we were too tired to cook, so we ate at local restaurants close to the hospital. This night out provided an opportunity for “normalcy” our lives. Many other NICU parents have similar experiences. Through “Today is a Good Day,” we will work with local restaurants to secure gift certificates for families in the NICU.
• As the organization grows, we hope to expand parental services to include cleaning services, transportation support, secondary insurance guidance, etc. which are difficult to complete during long term NICU journeys.
• To this day, we have friends who reach out to talk about RSV Season, the NICU, and other related preemie topics. By having an online community of support, we can provide support to families through the website.