I was brainstorming and praying today while watching my two littlest boys napping on my lap right beside me and really felt the Lord laying this post on my heart. It's not so hard to believe that a year ago our pregnancy was about to go its normal high risk route-- and then some! Each time we were pregnant it was different degrees of high risk and each time, Praise the Lord, God bought us through and blessed us with a healthy little one. But before we had gone through our train wrecks, I really had no prior knowledge that things went wrong for people or had ever given it a second thought. We were also so blessed each and every time by wonderful friends and family who loved on us and met so many of our needs. So, I thought I'd compile a list of ways people blessed and us and then some so more high risk mommas out there can be blessed:
1. PRAY-- "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." James 5:16. We were so encouraged by praying friends and family and there were so many times each and every pregnancy where God moved mountains and carried us.
2. Bring them a meal or stock their freezer. Sometimes we were in and out of the hospital so much that people would just bring us things we could heat up whenever we were home and that was a HUGE blessing! When I was on bed rest and grocery shopping was hit or miss it was just so nice to have these meals made with love ready to serve. A lot of people focus on after baby meals, but if there is a high risk momma, she needs them just as much before hand-- especially if she has other kids and a husband to feed.
3. Clean or organize for the mom. A huge shout out goes to my own mom who would just come and fold laundry or clean bedrooms while I was sick at various times each pregnancy. One year, she even came and took down our Christmas tree and decorations while I watched from bed rest-- she is awesome at blessing people this way.
4. Bring them flowers. Or books. Or magazines-- bed rest and hospital visits are boring and often times filed with anxiety-- having something to aid as a distraction is a huge blessing.
5. Send them snail mail or email just to bless them. Maybe daily facebook messages. Bed rest or hospital stays can be very isolating. You just live in a strange reality and having people stay in touch this way is so helpful and gives the mommy something to look forward to.
6. Bless the family and clean up their yard or plant things for them if its that season. I know there were times my husband was overwhelmed working and being mr. mom and shuttling me around to appointments and it was nice when people remembered dad couldn't do it all either.
7. Watch their kids for them. This was always a hard area for me to accept help, but when I could break down and admit I did need help, this was always such a blessing. There was just a limit to how many times my kids could hang out in the hospital or would feel cooped up while I was on bed rest and this is a great way to help out high risk families.
8. Don't ask-- just do. This is something that I would get overwhelmed with at times-- I barely knew what was happening in the next day or sometimes hour and so I couldn't always think straight when people would ask how or when they could help. The best thing people could do for me was to just do it. Or say I can do ____ on this day. It just gave me one less thing to think about or coordinate.
9. Go with a mom to a doctor appointment or visit them in the hospital. I hate hospitals. The smell alone makes me sick to my stomach so whenever someone popped in to say hi, it was like a burst of light on a very dreary day. Even lab work days can be very long sometimes lasting for hours with nothing to do and mom could perhaps use some company.
10. Be compassionate and gracious. Every mom and every pregnancy are unique. Maybe you were she-woman when you delivered your kids and were out mowing the lawn while in labor. That's awesome and fantastic, but it just isn't a reality for every mom. Maybe you delivered all your kids at home-- fantastic! But trust me when I say a high risk mom wont always have the same options or opportunities because its just not safe-- show her love. You just can't know what another family is going through or what road they are walking to bring their little one home. So above all, show them the Love of Christ.