Today we’re celebrating Zo’s half birthday and when I say “celebrating” I mean that right now she has gone back to sleep after waking up in Crank Master Maximus mode and once she wakes up again we will head to Dr. Cooper’s office for a check up (and to find out what’s going on with her poor little stomach!) Later we’ll enjoy a Z-inspired dinner of sweet potatoes, kale, and steak with southern banana pudding for dessert and a champagne toast to our sweet, sweet girl! Becoming “Momma” has been a life-changing and incredibly gracious experience so far and we have been undeservedly lucky to have had a healthy pregnancy and a very healthy first six months of Zo’s life. I’m pretty sure that every day, at one point or another, Marc and I look at each other and say “we are so, so lucky” and to acknowledge this we must celebrate and give thanks!
But recently, I was reading (and then sharing with M) an article I read about a mother who experienced a life-changing birth in a very different way. Her daughter was born with Down Syndrome that went undetected throughout her pregnancy and so the joyful celebration of her second child’s birth was also a very painful, heart breaking experience. Instead of reading this and feeling lucky to have somehow gotten off so easy in our own lives I was angry, shaken, and not OK. Like I’ve said over and over again there is so much out there right now about being “enough” of a mom and while I think it’s a very natural conversation to have it’s stories like this woman’s that remind me it’s also a very privileged conversation: Am I “enough” of a mom with my healthy child, supportive family, warm home, wonderful pediatrician, access to almost anything my child would want or need? Yeah.
So like I’ve said before, what good is gratitude if we’re just going to sit around and make lists about it? Let’s kick this into high gear! At the least (and it’s a BIG “least”) let’s read up and learn more about maternal and infant health. Then, if we feel so moved we’ll check out the links below and pass them on, because sharing is what?!? Life-saving! We’re going to post them on FaceBook, make a special “blog link” for them, e-mail our friends, tweet. You name it, we’re going to do it! If we read and share and still feel something in our collective gut, we’re going to give what we can to one or more of the organizations linked below. (Truth: I’m still trying to figure out where and how to give to MAMA so if you figure it out before me let me know and when I hear back from them I will pass this information along.)
And lastly, the best education is relationship so if you know of a place in your neighborhood that provides support to mothers, infants/children check them out! If you’re local (Baltimore) Sarah’s Hope is one of these places!
And seriously lastly, we can’t forget about fathers or father-figures. So we’re going to check out the following: The National Fatherhood Initiative, the Fathers Resource Center, & the Baltimore Responsible Fatherhood Project. (And this, just for fun!)
I’m throwing a lot of links at you quickly. So quickly I just typed “a lonk of lites at you…” and I hope it’s not overwhelming but rather, some places you can refer to when feeling grateful. Peace friends.
National Down Syndrome Society: Nella’s Triple Crown