In this weird-but-in-so-many-ways-wonderful age of the Internet, I find myself including in my circle of friends people that I’ve never actually met in real life. My first encounter with this was — yes, it’s true — the discussion boards for the baby name polls on BabyCenter (back when they were awesome, before their current format). Eleven years ago, pregnant with my first baby — my lifelong dream of being a mom an actual reality — I spent a lot of time on those name polls, eagerly reading the naming dilemma, casting my vote, and then reading the comments and perhaps leaving my own.
You know how it goes on any web site or discussion board you frequent — you quickly recognize the “regulars” and you have a sense of their personalities through their comments and you decide you like them (or not).
So there was this regular on those boards, also pregnant with her first baby, and I can’t remember exactly what she wrote in a comment one time that made me start to suspect she was like me — maybe an obviously pro life comment? or a Catholic reference? — but somehow we started emailing occasionally, and I found out that we were very alike, and then we became friends on Facebook, and we kept pace with each other baby-wise — she had her first four girls as I had my first four boys, and then when we were both pregnant with our fifth babies, she got the news at her 20-week ultrasound that her baby had severe congenital hydrocephalus.
I’ve never met this woman in real life, and yet I cried and cried and cried over this news. My own 20-week ultrasound was the following week, and my friend and her baby filled my mind and my heart as the ultrasound tech assured me our baby was developing normally. I wondered a lot why my friend would be asked to carry such a burden, while I hadn’t been.
I’ve subsequently found out: this woman is a pillar of strength. Strong in her faith, strong in her convictions. She started a blog and chronicled every bit of their journey, from finding out of the baby’s gender — another girl!! — to the choosing of her name (beautiful, and full of saintly significance), to the doctors repeatedly recommending she terminate her pregnancy, to the baby’s scheduled c-section, to making sure the baby was baptized and confirmed as soon as possible after birth, and all that has come afterward.
That baby — Meagan — is now three-and-a-half. Her mom, Molly, still keeps up with her blog, and sometimes writes for Catholic Sistas. How many times have I posted one of her blog posts to my FB wall, so inspired was I? Too many to count, really. I’ve been blown away by the strength and fortitude needed to take care of Meagan, and the strength and fortitude and love love love that Molly and her husband have channeled right toward taking care of that little girl. Meagan is one of the most very blessed children.
One of Molly’s friends recently set up a fundraiser for Meagan. Just a couple of days later, Meagan was hospitalized yet again (she’s still there as I write this), so the fundraiser certainly came at just the right time. I wanted to post about it here in case any of you might be able to help Meagan and her family out. Molly explains more about it here, and you’ll get a taste of the strength I’m so inspired by when you read that Molly only agreed to the fundraiser if “a good portion of the proceeds [could go] towards a charity of my choice … The charity I chose is CURE … The funds that will go to CURE Hydrocephalus offer children the life saving surgeries that we have been so lucky to have had for Meagan every time she has an emergency.” The link to the fundraiser is there as well. And if you aren’t able to contribute monetarily, please say some prayers for this special little girl and her special family. Thank you!!
UPDATED: The fundraiser will be open until February 15.