Saturday, September 3, 2011

eSpecially Parents August Edition: Natalie's Story

Natalie with her sister.
The moment Sophia came into my life, I completely changed as a person. Naturally my relationships with family and friends changed too. This is an area in my life that I am still trying to figure out. It can be hard to find your place with friends and and even some family after a life changing experience. They remain the same but I have forever been changed. At times, it can be an isolating experience. People you once felt you could relate to, you no longer do.

Natalie with her parents.

There were people that barely acknowledged or asked about Sophia. Others that offered no support and no compassion for what we were going through. Needless to say, I have limited to no relationship with those people. Then there were people I expected to be more supportive but, for some reason, were not. It can hurt but I try not to take it personally. I have had to let go of some relationships and expectations. I may be partly to blame for some of this. I am horrible at asking for help and support. A lot of people ask me how they can help during stressful times. My response is usually that I don't need any help, even if I do.

Sometimes I have so much going on that I can't even stop to think of what I need. The people that are are the most supportive and helpful generally don't ask, they just do. It's important to recognize the incredible doctors, nurses, therapists, aides and sometimes complete strangers that have touched our hearts because of sweet Sophia. Without Sophia, we probably would not have met them and their support continues to
amaze us each day.

I have gained new and very important friendships with other special-needs mothers like me. This is where I feel most at ease. They understand me on a level that most cannot. I can talk about my feelings and what I am going through on a much deeper level. I hope to develop more relationships like this in the future. I have had so many different reactions from friends and family but most have been very positive and supportive. They have been there for me regardless of the changes in my life.

During Sophia's surgeries and recoveries (our most stressful times) many friends and family send us uplifting and encouraging messages. I really love reading the messages, sometimes it is all I need to stay strong. We normally come home from the hospital to a clean house (thanks mom), flowers, get well cards and several days worth of homemade meals.

With the help of family and friends, I've learned what it takes to get through the hard times - strength, courage and a positive attitude. We are so lucky to have these people in our lives and we appreciate their support beyond words.

If you would like to read more from other parents, read here.


  1. Beautifully written Nat as always!!!

  2. You are so right. I wonder sometimes why our support always comes from people we don't expect to be there and usually not from the sources we would imagine. I think it is a way that God keeps us looking to Him. If we got the support we needed from our closest friends and family would we need to depend on Him as much?? So much of the good gifts can only be explained as the work of God. You are a real blessing to so many people. I have never met your family but have followed your story since the birth of sweet Sophie. God bless!


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