I am at a conference in Maui as I write this. Yesterday I was invited in to see a new piece of equipment in action (an up and coming digital ultrasound). It was me, the OBGYN, an expectant Mom who I met 30 mins prior, her 2 year old son, and her Dad, who is an ER Doc on the Island. It was a very intimate and private moment as they looked at the baby on the screen and each of the delicate body parts, from the spine to the toes…. all looked good. This couple also found out that they were expecting a daughter and cried tears of joy. I had to step away at this point as I felt I was intruding on a very special family moment.
This took me back to my own ultrasounds for my 3 boys and the sheer gratitude I felt when I could see their hearts beating and had some reassurances that all was well. As mothers is there any more significant moment than when we deliver a healthy baby and the future seems bright with many memories to make?
Last week a Mom was nominated to Mother’s Grace, her name is Chrissy. Chrissy is a young mom of a 12 year old and is 4 months pregnant as well…! On the day her pregnancy was confirmed she also found out she has stage 4 breast cancer. She is now on treatment (chemo light) while pregnant and dealing with the side effects but also the emotional roller coaster of hormones and the knowledge that she most likely won’t live to see her baby grow up.
I thought of the dichotomy between these two moms..both pregnant, both young professionals with another child at home and loving families. One is getting ready to design a nursery and the other is making tapes of her voice reading books so her child will have her story telling on tape.
Most of us feel so awful when we hear this story ..what can we do?
I asked her what would help most and she said “ less stress”. Instead of planning her nursery she is worrying over her children’s future and the cost of raising them with one parent.
Mother’s Grace will focus on making Chrissy’s life less stressful while she go’s through this ordeal.
Help with unexpected bills so she can focus on health (most young parents have not saved a lot of extra money in their early 30’s in order to deal with a terminal illness that may go on for 2 years.
-Help make her time special with support in activities she wants to do with her children
-Work with partners to make sure the family has all tapped resources such as respite care, meals, housecleaning, etc
-Prayers for healing..
We all know that there is a lot of funding being driven towards research and thank goodness for that! But, lets remember to concentrate on those with the illness as well. (The real people in these scenarios)…Most all that are going through such devastating circumstance are hit very hard financially, if we can do anything to make end of life less stressful isn’t that what should be doing? Opening our arms to all suffering..and during a week where everyone is brought together by the events in France, I hope we will all reach out to our neighbor and do one thing that eases the burden and shares a little unconditional support! It could be anyone of us at anytime and our days are truly “full” when we help another!
Moms are the backbone of the family!