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Walking the walk for babies
March of Dimes fundraiser
Jamie Osterman knows all too well the experience of a preterm birth.
An associate interior designer at Rice Fergus Miller Architecture & Planning and Bremerton resident, Osterman is hoping to rally support for the March of Dimes’ annual Kitsap County March for Babies fund-raising walk at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, May 2 at Ridgetop Junior High School.
She is planning to “walk the walk” this year as she has for the past three.
“About three years ago we were approached by the chair of the walk, Jim Page, about putting together a team,” Osterman said.
The March of Dimes, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the health of babies, raises money which goes toward helping expectant as well as new mothers get the information and support they need to have healthy babies, according to Alan Gulick, March of Dimes spokesman.
“In 2005, 1 in 10 babies was born preterm in Washington,” Gulick said via e-mail. “And between 1995 and 2005, the rate of infants born preterm in Washington increased nearly 25 percent.”
The decision to join the walk was an easy one for Osterman.
“In December of 2001, I gave birth to a preterm baby who was four months early and only lived about 16 hours,” Osterman said.
Osterman’s second pregnancy, while successful, was not perfect.
“In June of 2004, I gave birth to my second child,” Osterman said. “And he was born five weeks early.”
Due to the lack of knowledge for the failure of her first pregnancy, Osterman was confined to the hospital for 17 days and was put on bed rest for three months during the second.
Her sister experienced complications during her first pregnancy as well, according to Osterman.
“In November of 2006, my sister lost a baby the same way I did,” Osterman said. “She actually just had a successful pregnancy. He’s about 6 weeks now. She was on about a month of bed rest and two weeks in the hospital to get him here.”
The trauma of these events has made Osterman apprehensive about trying again.
“I just go into labor at 24 weeks,” she said. “It has happened two times and I am not doing it again. I haven’t done anything permanent, but we have no plans to try again.”
Osterman said they believe the problem might be hereditary, so their support of the March of Dimes is for the research they are doing in that capacity.
“Our mom had three miscarriages between my sister and I,” Osterman said. “Preterm labor is more common than I think people think.”
The event takes place in Silverdale each year and includes a 6- or 7-mile walk, info booths and guest speakers. The registration numbers are a bit down this year compared to years past, according to Osterman.
“Last year there were 15 walkers,” Osterman said. “This year we only have five signed up so far.”
Registration for the Kitsap County March for Babies will begin at 7:30 a.m. To sign up to participate in the walk, call March of Dimes at (800) 525-9255.