High Risk Pregnancy

Mamas on Bedrest: You to Join Me in Support of a “Former” Mama on Bedrest

October 21st, 2013

Mamas, Sometimes life is simply devastating!

I was going through messages in e-mail and on Facebook and I came across a post from “Former” Mama on Bedrest Lynsey. She posted that she had been on bed rest for 14 weeks with twins and delivered her boys via c-section in mid August. She thought she was done and all was well. When her baby boys were just a week old, they were both diagnosed with neuroblastomas, a malignant form of cancer that develops around the sympathetic nerves (nerves controlling things like breathing, heart rate, etc…) and primarily affects infants and young children under age 5. What a blow! Here this mama was thinking she was home free, all is well, ythe babies are here and bed rest is over! Then, WHAMO! A sucker punch to the heart from out of nowhere.

When I read this message, my heart just sank. Scenarios like this just seem too cruel to be real. I find myself often asking the Divine Powers That Be, “How can you be so cruel? Why must it be so devastating?” 

The Almighty most certainly doesn’t answer to me and doesn’t have to justify him or herself, but I still have to ask. And more pressing I wonder, “What can I possibly do or say to make this mama feeling even a teeny, tiny bit better?”

Life is sometimes completely unfair. You have young teenagers getting pregnant at the drop of a hat while loving, mature, couples who have the means and desire to raise a family are unable to conceive. You have women who struggle to maintain their pregnancies and carry a baby to term suffer repeated miscarriages. You have women who must endure weeks on bed rest to bring their children into this world.  Then you have mamas like Lynsey who have done everything they could possibly do, finally give birth only to learn that they may not have their babies for very long. Why???

Well, I’ve not received any sort of heavenly answer to these questions, no heavenly guidance as to what I should do.

So I’m winging it-again! Mamas on Bedrest & Beyond was “conceived” to be a support for mamas who have high risk pregnancies, who are prescribed bed rest during their pregnancies and for mamas who struggle in the immediate post partum. Initially conceived with the intention of being a local support organization, it has grown and has embraced mamas from all over the United States, Canada, the Carribean, the UK, Belgium, Germany, The Middle East, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand. Obviously, I cannot get to every mama in every country, but because of the wonders of the world wide web (the internet) we mamas can come together and share ideas, tips and information for navigating this thing call “child bearing”.

One of the things that we do best is support mamas in need. So mamas, please share your words of encouragement and comfort to Lynsey. She, her partner and her boys have a long way to go and a tough battle to wage. We may not be able to stop in and give her in person support, but we can post to her here and give her words of encouragement. Love on her, mamas! Let her know that she and her family are not waging this battle alone.

Indeed this life can be devastating. Indeed this life can be cruel. But it is my firm belief that no matter what happens, it is our human obligation to love and support one another. I think that we are all aware of the fact that this could have been any one of us. For those of us who have lost children-either during pregnancy, during delivery or in the immediate post partum and beyond-we know this difficulty all too intimately. I am asking you to join me in supporting Lynsey and her family as the boys continue chemotherapy. Mamas, Keep Lynsey in your thoughts and prayers and Let’s pray these boys well!

Mamas on Bedrest: Researchers need YOUR Help to Better Treat Post Partum Depression

November 7th, 2011

Nursing and Psychology researchers from Case Western Reserve University are conducting a study about postpartum depression and internet use in women who experienced a high risk pregnancy. If you are a mother who is at least 18 years old and have a baby between 2 weeks and 6 months of age, we invite you to take part in this study. For more information and to participate, clink on the link below.

Click to take the postpartum depression survey conducted

by Case Western Reserve University http://filer.case.edu/~axp335/postpartdep.htm

Thank you very much for your consideration.

Women who have experienced a difficult pregnancy or who were considered high risk (with or without prescribed bed rest) are at increased risk of developing post partum mood disorders. The purpose of this study is to determine whether or not post partum mood disorders (i.e post partum depression) can be effectively screened for and interventions provided for women over the internet. The full study will commence in the spring, but researchers at Case Western Reserve University, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing are now in the beginning phases of gathering study participants. If you fit the above criteria, please consider participating in this study. The information obtained will help the researchers better prepare the study and in the long run, obtain much needed information to help clinicians better screen for and treat post partum mood disorders.

Mamas on Bedrest: Precious Soul Gone But Not Forgotten

October 19th, 2011

Fall is my favorite time of year. But as the calendar approaches November 1st, I get a little wonky. On November 1, 2004, I learned that I had lost another precious soul, my second miscarriage, my third pregnancy.

Something about that miscarriage has stuck with me. For some reason or other that soul had, and still has, a hold on me. While I was sad when I had my first miscarriage (June 25, 2001), I was devastated with this one and I am not exactly sure of the reason for the depth of my feelings. Perhaps it was because I learned that I was pregnant on my daughter’s birthday, my 4th anniversary. Perhaps it occurred almost one year to the day that my father in law passed away. I have yet to make the connection, but November 1st is always a day upon which I stop and reflect on that little soul that I still miss and for whom I sometimes still shed a little tear.

I am a firm believer that things happen for a reason and I believe that to be the case for both of my miscarriages, my difficult pregnancy with my daughter, her traumatic birth and then the virtually complication free pregnancy and birth of my son. Even though I grieved deeply for this particular little soul that I lost, I have to say, had that soul survived, I would not have my son today. Had that soul survived, I very likely would have not started Mamas on Bedrest & Beyond. Had that soul survived, I would not be so determined to smooth the path for other high risk pregnant women.

They say that success comes out of struggle. I believe that there is an element of truth to that statement. When things go well, we seldom stop to reflect on the goodness of life. More importantly, we seldom push ourselves to present our gifts and talents to the world. But when there is a crisis, when the normal responses and actions just won’t do, that is when we dig deep and pull from a pool of strength seldom tapped yet rich with possibilities. It’s where we make the decision to push forward or give up in defeat. It’s a dark and difficult place, yet when we emerge, we are one step closer to “diamonds”.

My ruminations have come early this year. I suppose it’s due to the weather change here in Austin and the fact that it finally feels like fall-cool and breezy. And as I once again give pause for my precious little soul I say,

“You are gone yet not forgotten. Your tenure on this earth was mere weeks, yet the impact has continued for years. You’ve inspired me, caused me to move and to act. I love you!”

How has your high risk pregnancy experience changed you? If you have a soul (or souls) in heaven, how have they inspired you? Share your comments below.

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