MMC: How did you find the Million Moms Challenge?
JL: I am big fan of Tip Junkie and she guest posted on the Million Moms Challenge and linked to the post on her blog. I had never heard of the Million Moms Challenge before and I was really excited to learn. I love the community because there is such sense of friendship and they pose questions that are so relevant to other mothers.
MMC: What question did you answer in the Community?
JL: It was “What was the best or worst part of your pregnancy?” I said that the best part of my most recent pregnancy was the sonogram at 20 weeks. Less than a year earlier I had a miscarriage at 18 weeks. To be able to get to the 20 week sonogram and to see my son on the screen and hear his heartbeat was such a joy and relief!
MMC: That must have been such a hard experience to lose your baby. How did you handle and eventually move forward from your 18 week loss?
JL: A lot of prayer and other women! I still don’t really understand why it happened and yet I feel a great sense of peace with it happening. I’ve been surrounded by a lot of women and friends who’ve gone through similar things. They brought me meals and flowers and shoulders. Knowing there were a lot of women who’d been through the same thing brought me a lot of comfort.
Miscarriage gives no justice because there is not the same sense of it being a legitimate loss. That’s why I really loved the Million Moms Challenge community. It has become a place to feel that sense of community and support and know that there are other women who’ve gone through the same thing, who gave me additional love and support to get through it.
MMC: You watched the ABC 20/20 special that Diane Sawyer did on maternal health—how did it impact you?
JL: Maternal health is something I am really interested in and I was just very humbled by the show. To watch these women who give birth on dirt floors and have to walk miles to get help was so moving. When Diane Sawyer highlighted the number of women dying from postpartum hemorrhage – that stuck with me. Just a couple of days after bringing my oldest home from the hospital I started bleeding very heavily, way more than should have been normal. It was 11:30 at night and my doctor called me back and then called in an emergency prescription. It was for the same medication Diane Sawyer spoke about on the 20/20 show. I realized that if I hadn’t had medication I could have been in danger. We are so incredibly blessed to live here where we have easy access. We can call a qualified doctor on the phone and someone can drive to CVS to pick up a prescription, all the while knowing that if it gets worse there is a hospital five minutes from my house.
I had a moment of powerful connection. No child deserves to grow up without a mother.
MMC: Part of your prize was to be at the Shot@Life Champions Summit. What have you learned from that experience?
JL: It has been amazing to be surrounded by so many different kinds of women, and to be connected by the desire to help others and to reach outside of our own world. It’s so easy to help. All you have to do get on the computer and fill in your credit card. Or join a mailing list of advocates for an issue. Sometimes the world’s problems seem so unsolvable, but there really is so much we can do!