It has been a very long time since I’ve posted on here. I have been incredibly busy with a high risk pregnancy for several months and have, honestly, forgotten about this place. But, having been forgetful of this place has led me to experience how much supporting one another is truly needed.
I first learned that I am pregnant in July of this year and from the first moment of my pregnancy, I’ve been fighting a major battle. I nearly lost the baby a week after learning of my pregnancy due to having the misfortune of being born with a negative blood type and about two weeks after that, I learned I have gestational diabetes. Since then I have had one infection after another, high blood sugar one day, low blood sugar the next, excruciating hip pain making it difficult to walk or do much of anything and two different issues with my heart’s function have been discovered.
My husband and I announced our pregnancy publicly after the first prenatal visit and for about a week we were flooded with support and excitement and encouragement. And then the call came changing my status to “high risk.” How I wish those words didn’t exist. Suddenly, the support stopped. The calls were nonexistent, the texts and the emails and the Facebook messages were replaced with silence. The people who did continue to talk to me became quick to change the subject once I mentioned my pregnancy with the exception of one friend and I was left to fend for myself. My husband has been a rock through all of the bad news and struggles of this pregnancy, but there’s only so much he can say and do as he doesn’t know anything about being pregnant or having complications.
All of this has led me to understand how quickly we resolve to turn away from each other when things get difficult. I have been left feeling defeated and discouraged for fourteen weeks now and this all seems to be directly related to the fact that once the words “high risk” were put out there, I was abandoned. But it shouldn’t be that way. Women, your fellow women need you more when they are struggling than they do when things are going well. They need your words of encouragement. They need a simple “Let me tell you about this complication I experienced.” They need your stories of making it through difficult pregnancies and how you managed.
But mostly, they need the support of others. They need someone to listen to them cry when the news isn’t good and to celebrate the joys of having one doctor’s visit that didn’t produce news of a new issue. They need you to reach out to them, and, if you forget to do so, to respond to them when they reach out to you. High risk expectant mothers need someone to grab their hand when they’re reaching for help and let them know “it’s going to be okay. You’re going to survive this and that baby is going to be just fine.”
We need to know that we are not alone. Just as with any life situation. Got a friend that has lost a job and struggling? Reach out to them. Invite them over for dinner. Keep your eyes and ears open for them for possible jobs that meet their qualifications. Let them know that someone will hire them and they will get back on their feet. Maybe someone has lost a loved one. Bring them a meal one night. Reminisce with them the time that you met that loved one and how that experience helped guide you to a better place for yourself.
Or maybe a friend or family member is struggling as their health declines. Ask them to borrow their washing machine and talk with them while folding your clothes. You’ll make them feel needed as well as appreciated and unforgotten. Or maybe just go sit with them a while. Many people who are struggling today are not looking for a hand out. They aren’t looking for charity or someone to come wash their dishes for them. They aren’t looking for a ride anywhere… they are simply looking for the companionship and support from the people who claim to care. They are looking for a hug in a dark moment, and an ear to hear their struggles.
The problem today is that many people don’t know or understand the issues that their fellow life companions (whether they be friend, family or otherwise) face, so rather than address our lack of understanding or discomfort in not knowing how to handle the unknown, we turn away. We “like” a status occasionally to show that we’re looking, or we make mention of them in passing to a mutual friend that we know will repeat that we’ve asked about them, but we don’t put value in grabbing their outreached hand and simply saying, “Everything will be okay. I’m here for you.” How many struggles could be overcome successfully where failure is apparent if only those words were uttered?
How many people would see their own strength inside of themselves if only because someone who cares sees it for them first? How many tears would never be released if only we just answer a simple message? Maybe the person you know who is struggling and going through something doesn’t even want to talk about their struggles. Maybe they simply need a distraction from the trials they face. Let them guide the conversation.
Let’s not leave each other to fend for ourselves in our battles. It’s in the darkest moments of life when we need someone to show up with a flashlight and help lead the way to daylight. Be there for each other. Don’t