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Just before they started kindergarten, Isaac and Molly were asked to make a commercial for Evanston Hospital, where they had spent the first months of their lives. Making this 30-second video took all day (stage moms take note), but it was an honor to give back and a blast to do. We have literally hours of outtakes. (Note: Evanston Hospital is now part of Northshore University HealthSystem.)

This was Isaac and Molly’s mitzvah project, done as part of their preparation for their b’nai mitzvah in 2004. It chronicles their milestones, which were all significantly delayed due to their extremely premature birth. They wanted to show other parents of preemies that being delayed does not mean being lesser in any way. This video also includes the commercial they did for Evanston Hospital, shown as a stand alone in the video above.


21 Comments leave one →
  1. Lisa Padala DeWitt permalink
    November 13, 2010 8:34 pm

    Would love to watch the videos, but they are marked as private. Love this idea, Susan!

    • November 13, 2010 8:35 pm

      Thanks, Lisa. I’ll fix that right away.

  2. November 14, 2010 2:52 am

    Wonderfulness Susan! I will share your site w my twin mom friends near and far. Can’t wait to follow as the project grows. And so looking fwd to watching these vids. Here’s to a twin date for us all one day down the road. (thx for your comments on my recent posts bout writing bout our kids at She Writes! I’m so in it w you.)

    • November 14, 2010 3:00 am

      Thanks, Deborah. I hope you are coming back to Chicago soon. I owe you a glass of wine.

  3. November 14, 2010 3:41 am

    These are absolutely beautiful, Susan. Your children are amazing!
    All my love to you and to them,

    • November 14, 2010 4:45 am

      🙂 Yeah, they’re pretty cute. I even thought they were cute when the looked like plucked chickens (or Raisinettes, as my brother-in-law called them).

  4. November 14, 2010 6:52 am

    Your kids, this project and you are incredible. I cannot wait to follow this project. You are so brave Susan. I am so glad we have met (virtually) and I can’t wait to meet in person. By the way, no matter what your children looked like as babies, they are truly beautiful young adults.

    • November 14, 2010 5:58 pm

      Thanks, Julie. Happy to have found you, too. They do clean up pretty well, don’t they?

  5. November 17, 2010 10:35 pm

    Fantastic site, Susan! Congratulations! Looking forward to following your progress on your book.

    • November 17, 2010 10:40 pm

      Thanks for stopping by, Karen, and for all your support. And for keeping me walking!

  6. Sarah and John Kelty permalink
    November 18, 2010 7:56 pm

    Dear Susan, Dad, Isaac and Molly:
    My friend Jen Montoya in California shared this with us because our son Chase was born at 23 wks 4 days, 540 grams (1 lb, 4 oz.). Just three weeks ago, he turned 4 years old. He is happy, healthy, beautiful and spirited, but his beginning in life was just as auspicious as Isaac and Molly’s. He was in the NICU for five agonizing months and came home on oxygen for another 6 six months. I’ve read most of this site through tears, but am so glad that someone can somehow put into words what we’ve been through — the heartache, the joy and all the other moments in between. I do want to add that there’s a world of difference between 1991 and 2006 (when Chase was born) — neonatology has come so far because so many people and of course, the March of Dimes, care so much and believe these babies have a chance at life. So all I can say to you and everyone following you is THANK YOU. We are indebted to the preemie community that has given us our precious boy. Our very best to you, your family, Isaac and Molly on their birthdays and always. Love, Sarah and John (and Cameron and Chase) Kelty, from Chicago

    • November 18, 2010 8:20 pm

      Dear Sarah, John, Cameron and Chase,
      I’m so glad you found us. Parents of preemies share a special bond. Whether your baby spends 5 days or 5 weeks or 5 months on the NICU, there is such fear, sadness and helplessness in having a sick newborn. I hope these journal entries do have meaning for people who have been on or are in the middle of a NICU journey. I hope you’ll continue to follow us on ours.

      Your so right about the changes that have come to the practice of neonatology. I am fortunate to still be friends with some of the people who cared for Isaac and Molly, and am amazed at all the progress that has been made. They tell me what would have been done differently today for our babies and it gives me such hope for today’s preemies. On the other had, we were lucky our babies were born when they were. Just a few short years earlier and they probably would not have survived. Surfactant was the key. We all owe so much to the March of Dimes. By the way, we are in the Chicago area, too. Thanks again for your generous words.


  7. rainbowsoffaith permalink
    February 19, 2011 10:23 am

    I was a preemie born 2 months and approx 12 days early. I was in the ICU for a very long time. Seeing the pictures of the classic preemie eyes reminded me of my own eyes opened in wonder at the world around me. At birth I weighted 2 ibs 7 ounces. I only have a very tiny amount of cerebral palsy. I’m so thankful Molly and Ike made it and are doing beautifully. What a testimony.

    • February 19, 2011 5:41 pm

      I’m so glad you made it, too. Just wondering how old you are and what you are up to now. Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment.

  8. Rainbowsoffaith permalink
    February 19, 2011 5:44 pm

    You are welcome for the comment. I am now 32. I’m currently job hunting, married with no kids. I’m def on the short/petite side.

  9. February 19, 2011 10:25 pm

    Hi! My name is Ria and I’m a Respiratory Therapist in Maryland. I was just about to sign on to my blog page when I saw yours. How inspiring! We don’t see a lot of premies much in my hospital but when we do it’s a very tough spot. You hope and pray they make the journey through their first days, weeks, months and eventually their lives. Your story should be in every Neonatal/Pediatric book taught in Respiratory School around the world lol.. It goes to show that with proper care and definitely with a lot of prayer that your little ones are all big, healthy and ever so growing! God bless you all!

    • February 20, 2011 11:41 am

      Thank you for your kind comments and all the work you do. We have a very warm spot in our hearts for respiratory therapists. My mom almost died of ARDS at our wedding, so we got to learn all about ventilators and respiratory therapists even before our preemies were born. Thankfully, my mom survived and lived to see her grandchildren. And our experience with her illness proved to be good training for our long NICU stay. Thanks again for reading and commenting.

  10. Vicki K. permalink
    February 21, 2011 1:39 pm

    Hi Susan and family,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story. There have been times over the years when we have more questions than answers. I have cried too many times to count, watched families and their babies suffer, and shared some success stories along the way. Your story affirms why I continue to work as an ISCU nurse. I have spent countless hours and long days at the bedside, holding hands, answering what seems like thousands of questions, gently working with these fragile patients, and wondering about their futures. We pray that all of our tiny patients will one day be happy and healthy members of their families and society. Here’s to Isaac and Molly and all the others who have beat the odds, here’s to their families who stand by them every step of the way, and here’s to the doctors and nurses who believe and work each day taking care of these precious miracles!

    • February 21, 2011 4:08 pm

      Thank you so much for what you and all the other nurses, doctors, therapists, social workers, techies and support staff do for NICU patients and their families. So many preemie families end up spending weeks or months on the unit. We formed strong bonds with the staff and counted on them to care for our babies when we could not. I’ve said it before that the care and support the NICU staff gave us was every bit as healing as the care they gave our babies. Here’s to people like you who devote their lives to these most vulnerable patients. Thank you.

  11. Linda Fessel permalink
    November 6, 2011 5:51 pm

    Susan, I remember vividly the Evanston Hospital commercial that Ike & Molly starred in because one day during its run, as my husband walked through the front door he looked at me and said “you look like a bug”–to which I replied “you look like a butterfly”! The nicknames stuck and to this day, he is my “Butterfwy” and I am his “Lady Bug”. We even started calling our sons “Butterbugs” (drove them nuts when they were young, but we wore them down and they hardly ever roll their eyes anymore!) I’m not sure what made me search for the video today, but am so happy to have found your blog and see the original “bug and butterfly” healthy and beautiful!

    • November 6, 2011 9:32 pm

      Hi, Linda. I’m glad you found us. I’ve put this blog a bit on hold, but am working on my memoir still. That commercial still makes me smile, too. It seems like yesterday. When Ike and Molly hit their teen years, we thought it would be really funny to do a follow up commercial with them watching the old commercial on TV and being mortified by it. They’re going to be 20 years old on November 17! I love that you called your kids Butterbugs. Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. I’ll keep you posted on the memoir.

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