Club Bedd- Acts of Grace


Acts of Grace Foundation

It’s hard to believe that I have been here five weeks. Baby Jacob is now 33 weeks cookin’. Only six more days until we reach the milestone I did not think possible. I can’t explain what has helped us get through this. It was such a hard journey. I believe that we are blessed with an amazing support system and a deep sense of faith. My husband has always been one to help me navigate even the darkest moments. Our exceptional nurses, medical team, family and friends have really offered tremendous support. I have also really enjoyed speaking to the lady Rabbi, who is part of the chaplaincy at the hospital, as well as the social workers trained in dealing with these issues.

And all your blog comments and replies that you have left on my posts have ben wonderful. Thank your for sharing your stories and pep talks!

When I first got here, I thought the best way to get through this was to make use of my time. I surrounded myself with DVD’s, colored pencils, scrapbook crafts and markers. I thought that perhaps I should try to “add on to myself” while incarcerated. Learn a new language, or explore books on tape. But, this is really not about my journey, but Jacob’s. My job at this moment is to be an outstanding incubator and advocate for someone who cannot speak for himself. My hope is that he is in his watery bliss, relaxing and kicking away, with no understanding of this risky outer world.

I have moved from a focus on the self, to the couple, and now to the family. 

The next few months will be all about him. Thereafter, he will remain a primary focus of our motivations and deeds . I think what I have learned from this journey, apart from the benefits of  a good night’s sleep, is that love offers great healing power. I have watched myself “grow up” in this bed.

I see the other women on this high-risk floor and try to do what I can to pass a little good energy around. We cannot leave our rooms, except to go downstairs for testing, so we rarely have a chance to meet. When our gurney’s pass each other on the way to the lab, we grab each other’s hands and say “Good luck!!!!” or “Hang in there!!!”. I think this does wonders for us.

And speaking of WONDER , I wanted to let you know about an organization that does wonders for women on bed rest. It is called Acts of Grace Foundation. I believe that the founder can express her heartfelt motivation better than I can, so with permission, I share her story here. Please feel free to reach out to them if they move you. It’s amazing how small things make such a huge difference….

ACTS OF GRACE

WHO WE ARE

Acts of Grace Foundation is here to serve moms on ante partum units in hospitals.  We serve moms through small, simple acts. These simple acts consist of a floral deliveries, crafts to create, providing toiletry items, goody bags, interaction with other high-risk moms through activity nights, gas cards and meal vouchers to families.  Our hope is to make these moms more comfortable and ease the confinement during their hospital stay by providing them with these simple acts of grace.

Pregnancy is known to be a miraculous journey in a woman’s life.  During this period, one will experience joy and hope when planning for a new life.  Not every woman experiences a “normal” pregnancy.  Some women and their families experience complications severe enough to place them on hospital bed rest.  In certain situations, hospital bedrest can be ordered for the duration of the pregnancy.  The journey now becomes one of disbelief as a mom deals with days, weeks, sometimes months of confinement in a hospital room.  In addition to common new-mom anticipation, a mom must also learn to deal with the fears associated with a complicated pregnancy.  These fears can possibly consist of transferring to a hospital away from her support network, assignment of a new doctor, a preterm infant, a very ill newborn and  the risk of the mom’s own health.  A mom and her family may also have to learn to cope with financial strain, the loss of employment, care for her other children, new medications along with side effects and various other stresses of daily living.

GRACE

Joseff and Marlena Diedrich founded Acts of Grace in November of 2007.  The foundation was inspired after the loss of their daughter, Grace.  The Diedrich Family experienced what many experience during pregnancy: hospital bedrest.  Marlena shares a few thoughts of their experience and inspiration below;

In March of 2007 we found out we were having twins.  We were extremely excited and proud, we told anyone we met and everyone we knew!  We spent the next months preparing for the arrival of our two girls.Our due date of October 17, 2007 could not come soon enough!  The pregnancy was going great and I was enjoying every moment of our journey. The girls were developing on target and I was honored to be able to carry our two baby girls.  The morning of August 13, 2007 (30 weeks gestation) I called my doctor due to some concerns of pre term labor.  We were told to meet our doctor on the labor and delivery floor of Sky Ridge Medical Center.  Shortly after our arrival, I was told I was in labor due to complications with our Baby Grace.  We were advised to spend the duration of the pregnancy in the hospital on bed rest to receive a number of IV/oral medications  and for monitoring of our girls.  August 17, I was transferred to Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center in anticipation of Grace’s delivery.  I cried all day on that Friday.  I did not want to leave my loving doctor’s care nor did I want to face the reality that I was having a high-risk pregnancy.  I was afraid of being under a different medical group’s care, was fearful of the unknown and was saddened that one of our girls was having life threatening complications.  I thought I was in a nightmare, I could not believe what was happening.  Our first days at P/SL we were visited by a number of specialists advising us of Grace’s poor prognosis and what we could expect at the delivery. The plan was to get me to 36 weeks gestation keeping me on the IV/oral medication to control my labor and continue to assess Grace’s unknown condition through further testing.  This news was overwhelming for us.  We had many fears of the unknown and felt completely isolated.  How could this be happening to us?  After a few days of attending the pool at P/SL, I realized there were other women in similar situations and realized how therapeutic it was to interact with them.   I also realized many of the women admitted to P/SL were completely alone.     

On September 27, 2007 (37 weeks gestation) our two beautiful daughters were delivered.  Grace arrived into this world with no signs of life, we were able to bring her sister home with us.  Weeks after being back home, I could not stop thinking about my time in the hospital.  I also could not stop thinking about the other high risk women with their various situations.  I felt that there was a strong need to reach out to pregnant women on hospital bedrest in the community.

We started providing services in April 2008 and look forward to expanding those services to other communities.

http://www.actsofgracefoundation.com/5.html

Watch our video

http://www.vimeo.com/6187727

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4 responses to this post.

  1. i went to high school with marlena but didnt know about her amazing organization until i was hospitalized this past summer….i got so much awesome stuff! they are amazing!!

    keep doing what your doing!

    Reply

  2. Posted by Betsy on July 3, 2010 at 11:28 pm

    You are such a great writer — you have such a way with words. So happy to read that things are going well.

    What a touching line ……. I have moved from a focus on the self, to the couple, and now to the family.

    And, loved your comment on how you have grown during this time.

    Again, all the best to you.

    Reply

  3. Thanks again for bringing light and attention to a great foundation like this. I would have loved to have something like this is place at the hospital when I was on bedrest with our daughter Brynn. I just shot marlena an email about volunteer opportunities in our area here in Michigan. I’m not sure what exists around us – but would love to spread a little bit of good vibes to women in similar situations at our hospitals. To be honest, that’s one of my biggest worries about getting pregnant again is the possibility of spending weeks away from my family again. It’s scary to think about. But I know we’d get through it. Hope you’re having a good week and that time is speeding right along!

    Reply

  4. We are looking for people with interesting IVF stories and would love for you to look at our website and see if you would like to submit your story.

    thenextfamily.com

    We are a unique site in that we have alternative families two moms, two dads, single parent, married couples (male and female) and tell stories of raising our families. Also, we cover adoption, surrogacy and IVF.

    You can email me if you have any questions madge@thenextfamily.com

    Reply

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