Bittner family named March for Babies ambassadors
The March for Babies will take place May 4 in Danbury.
Leading the festivities will be the event's 2014 ambassadors, Joseph and Jessica Bittner, of New Milford, along with their 2½ year-old twins, Haley and Briella.
They will share the twins' prematurity journey, and thank walkers for their commitment to the March of Dimes mission to give all babies a healthy start.
The event will be at a new location at Ives Concert Park at Western Connecticut State University.
Bittner was experiencing some health difficulties during her pregnancy, and eight weeks before her due date, the twins were born, weighing 3 pounds, and 3 pounds 12 ounces.
Both girls required feeding tubes and had bilirubin light therapy to help with jaundice.
Briella also had a hole in her lung and required CPAP breathing therapy. They ultimately spent six and six-and-a-half weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit at Danbury Hospital.
"At first the NICU was extremely scary for me, and we were not even able to hold Briella until she was a week old," Bittner said.
"The nurses became our friends, and people we could call at any hour of the day or night for help or questions. Leaving the hospital first with Haley was bittersweet because Briella had to stay for a few more days," she said.
Today, Haley and Briella are happy and healthy, and love baby dolls, music, dancing and gymnastics.
"Both girls are extremely social and happy children. They talk so well and have developed into the most amazing two little ladies," Bittner said.
They will celebrate their third birthday in June.
"We hope that more people get involved and realize the importance of helping these babies and families, and that more research can get funded so that more babies can have a healthy start," Bittner said.
Registration will begin at 9 a.m., followed by the walk at 10.