The one about one starfish and surprises …..

My mom called me last week and told me that the lady who works for her twice a week, found out she was 7 ½ months pregnant! My mom was astounded – less so than Alice no doubt. My mom had been amazed that Alice had not known.

Alice (a different Alice from my friend Alice referred to from time to time in these posts) said that she had been ill for some time. Had been battling with blood pressure issues, and a few other health issues. She spent three days in hospital about a month ago and had been going to doctors for a few months due to all the problems she was experiencing.

She is in her early thirties, has a three year old daughter and is in no way dim-witted. She said that her illness had masked the symptoms, and there really weren’t much in the way of symptoms even when she thought back and looked over the period. She has put on a bit of weight, but who hasn’t? She had been spotting each month, so there was no reason for her to think she was pregnant as she thought that it was her period.

My initial response was “How can you not know you are pregnant? I mean how mentally slow must you be?” I really kept running this through my mind, and everyone I spoke to had the same reaction.

Earlier this week I was on a blog site and stumbled across an article that was written about a woman in the States – Tina (can’t recall her surname and forgot to bookmark the site). She was regaling a story of a woman who was experiencing a particular heavy period and after extreme cramping, made her way to the nearby hospital – only to pop out a baby.

She was more surprised that the staff who were attending to her as she had no idea she was pregnant.

At the end of the blog, people had written their comments and many had either experienced something similar or knew someone who had been surprised by a baby. Tina herself has responded. She started her comment with “I’m not a stupid person ….” And explained that she had two children, was carrying a bit of weight, and also had experienced what she thought were periods, so there was no reason for her to think she might be pregnant.

To add to the story, she has some sort of ovarian issue where she could not have more children, so at no point had she realized she was pregnant. I wish I had bookmarked the page to refer back to it, but I tried to look for it this morning without any luck.

Anyway, back to Alice. My heart really goes out to her. Can you imagine having 4 weeks to prepare for a baby?

To add to Alice’s situation her husband had abandoned her a few months earlier, which adds to the financial strain of her coping with her daughter and making ends meet. It turns out he was of the abusive sort, so she was not exactly crying at his departure.

Her story really struck a chord (or is it cord?) with me – and I decided to assist her financially and materially as much as I could. I have bought her some baby things, and I had quite a lot of things that I could pass on to her. This week my mom and I are buying her a cot and some friends that have recently had boys are generously giving their baby boy things for me to pass on to Alice.

I get overwhelmed by the fact that there so many people in need. You really do not know where to start. It is like standing in a sea of despair, where the onslaught is so great. However by taking this one tiny step forward to help Alice and her son, it feels like I am doing something.

It’s not a lot in the bigger picture of all those who need something, but it will hopefully make a difference to this one mom and this one little boy. If Alice knows that someone cares and her situation is just a little less bleak, she will have more energy to care for her son, more reserves to face the challenges that await any new mother, and hopefully be able to feel less afraid.

It reminds me of that fable/tale where the little boy is walking along the shoreline and there are thousands of star fish that have been washed ashore. He is walking and throwing them back one at a time. A man walking by, comments on the fact that are so many and really what difference is this boy going to make by throwing one or two back. The boy picks up a starfish and throws it back and goes: “I made a difference to that one….”

It’s a good message – though I might have dubbed it up by my paraphrasing, but you might get the gist.

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  1. I have been blogging for over eleven years… and I love it.

    • reluctantmom

       /  February 12, 2010

      I linked through to your site, I enjoyed the read – very clever. I like my people to be a little dirty and a little damaged – too much sunshine is not good for you.

      So you look like my kinda people to me. Bookmarked it to go back, so thank you for making contact.

  2. Hi there

    Saw your comment on laura’s blog.. promise there is an entire community of SA moms.


    • reluctantmom

       /  February 12, 2010

      I’m still really new at this, so sort of stumbling through it – but I have found blogging very therapeutic – who knew!!?


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