Thursday, September 17, 2009

Don't STOP Be-LIEV-ing (like the Journey song)

When I was planning our wedding (Nov 17, 2007), I bumped into a high school friend at work who was also planning her wedding. She recommended an online forum for wedding planning, and I checked it out. It ended up being an extremely helpful way to gather ideas, get feedback on vendors from other brides and brides-to-be, post questions along the way, and get excited as the countdown got closer. It served its purpose, and since I'm not really an online forum type of girl, I left it there in cyberspace after our big day.
Then last year when we were trying to get pregnant, I returned to that online forum because there is a section for women planing families, going through pregnancy and experiencing life as new mothers. Since I was up north in relative isolation, it became a great place to again bounce around ideas, and gather support from other women in a similar place in their life journeys. I joined the February 2009 mommies group when we did get pregnant, and we all chatted away through morning sickness, cravings, aches and swelling. It ended up being a huge help as I prepared to set up a nursery with no idea what I'd need. It warned me in advance what to expect during and after labour...the dirty, nitty-gritty gory stuff no one tells you.
We became a little community of women with shared due dates, and we continue talking as we raise our little February babies in their first year. Many of them meet up at mommy playdates, but since there are none in the Yukon (shocker, I know), I take great pleasure in these online women. I did get to meet one in Vancouver this summer and it was wonderful to match a name to a face and to share stories.
That said, I don't invest too much more than a casual interest in the online forum anymore. Call me busy, and I am forging my own mama path. BUT yesterday something was announced on our online forum and I felt completely connected to a circle of women I'd never met.
Here's the story:

This girl named Chelsea last year went through a terrible ordeal we all fear. She gave birth extremely prematurely to a little girl. She lived in the NICU in Vancouver (a city she didn't even live in) by her premie baby's bassinette. The baby's health was fragile, and scary, and extremely poor. It didn't look good. Chelsea bravely wrote about her struggles on the forum, and I fess up to reading about her ordeal as it unfolded. It was difficult, to be pregnant and read about this hardship. But she wrote so honestly, I couldn't helo but empathize and be drawn in.
After four months of medical limbo and rollercoaster hope, Chelsea was told her daughter had a very rare genetic disorder and would not live. She and her husband took the baby home so she could see a bit of the world before she died. Her accounts were gut-wrenching, painful. I cried so hard for this stranger. No one should have to go through this. So many women rallied around her, offering prayer, support, kind words, anything they could. Chelsea was heart broken, and we felt it.
THEN just yesterday she announced to us all that she and her husband were due to have a baby in February 2010. She is five months pregnant, in the "safe zone" and has undergone testing to see if her baby has the same condition as her previous. All looks completely healthy and perfect, she told us. It's to be another little girl. The pregnancy was a surprise and occurred under miraculous circumstances. I read this and cried happy tears that this woman, who has undergone so much pain and agony, was to be given another chance at being a mommy.
I am not a particularly religious person in the doctrinal sense, but spiritually, this just fuels my fire. This story and that of the toddler lost in the woods remind me that some force is keeping an eye on things and every now and again makes the impossible happen. A miracle.

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