Thursday 29 July 2010

The Art of Reaching Out

Today is our first local Bliss meeting. Bliss used to be called "The Premature Baby Charity", however is now more rightly known as "Bliss: for babies born too soon, too small, too sick" and encompasses any family who have had a baby who has needed special care after birth, for whatever reason.

When Joseph was born, I was desperate for support. I longed to meet other mothers who had walked this path, to know what I was thinking and feeling was normal, to have a cuppa with someone who could understand my anguish. So many other people "on the outside" couldn't understand why I was so upset, after all, my baby was alive, just small.

At the time, nothing was available locally, I used the Bliss phone line, and their Parents 4 Parents service, for which I am now a volunteer, and I used the message board, when I could bring myself to concentrate at a computer screen. I needed human contact, a voice, a touch.

During the time Joseph was in hospital my main support were the hospital chaplains, and I cannot visualise what my time in hospital would have been like without the chaplaincy service. A friendly cuppa, a prayer, a cuddle. The chaplains used to pop in and visit Joseph, sometimes when I wasn't there, and leave a little calling card to say they had been.

Sometimes, I find, that up here in the North West people don't reach out. I'm hoping to be pleasantly suprised today, however I am concerned that it might just be the "usual suspects". I sincerely hope I am wrong and people use today as an opportunity to reach out, and to ask for help, or have a friendly natter with somoen who understands.

And I am grateful now, that I can be that person, that I am no longer distressed and frightened, just a happy, if somewhat frazzled mother of a toddler!

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