When I was on bed rest, my good friends tried everything they can to help me through that phase of my life. Some brought me food, others came to visit. Some took JR out, others watched her at their house. Some wrote to me, others called. But one of the most lasting assistances I received was a referral to an organization that provided support for women with high-risk pregnancies.
I was skeptical at first. I did not think I needed to be trading emails with a stranger who knew nothing about me. I did not see any benefit in sharing my story with someone else. "What would they know anyway?" I thought to myself. I thought my situation was unique. I did not think anyone else would understand. I was proven wrong.
One morning I decided to give it a try. "What did I have to lose?" I decided. I sent out an initial outreach. I heard back. Within 24 hours I was partnered with a friend, a woman in Minnesota who spent the next five months writing to me, empathizing with me and caring for me. I looked forward to her notes and enjoyed writing mine to her. She did understand what I was going through; for after all she had been through much of the same with her pregnancy.
When I finally delivered Yousef I was not sure where our relationship would go. We stayed in touch; not as regularly as before but in a fashion. Then we moved. But the effect of that relationship still touched me. I wondered what I could do to make it lasting. I have the time. And for better worse have had the experience. The question was what to do with it.
The answer: reach out a life-line for others to hang on to like I once hung on it. I became one of the newest volunteers at Sidelines, because no pregnant woman should feel left out.