|Natalie with her sister.|
|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.