Mothers Count

A couple of weeks ago (November 4), a couple of things were supposed to happen and a couple of wonderful things did happen.

As most know, the NY Marathon was set to run, but because of Superstorm Sandy, it was called off. Nonetheless, a dedicated group of runners – many, moms – ran anyway in support of Every Mother Counts, an advocacy and mobilization campaign to increase education and support for maternal mortality reduction globally.

That was one of the great “did happen” moments, and I was proud to be one of the many around the country who both pledged funds to EMC, and who ran a 5K in solidarity of the mission of this group. It wasn’t so much an organized run as just a pre-church, beautiful Fall morning outing with a dear friend. It was special for two reasons – one, we both donned our hip oiselle RUN EMC shirts, I as a passionate runner and oiselle ambassador and she as a wiling newbie runner. She’d agreed to run with me, though she had not done a 5K before (and I was making her get up and out early on a Sunday morning). Her company, fun spirit and sweet mother’s heart made it that much more special to log these miles for EMC. Even more exciting was that my incredible cousin, also a mom, ran in solidarity from her post in Orlando. Small but powerful virtual 5K fun for us, and a reason to reflect –

A 5K is less than the average distance a pregnant woman in the developing world must travel to receive the basic health care she needs to deliver her baby. And often that is simply too far to walk for a woman who is 9 months pregnant, in labor, and has no access to transportation. 

Read that again. There are women who walk more than a day’s distance to reach maternal care. Ever wonder why infant mortality rates are so high in developing countries? As a mom, these statistics strike so deep.

And at the same time as we were running our little three miles, comfortable in our stylish running garb and not in the least pregnant…

…our family welcomed a new baby, Annie, and my dear friend welcomed her son Andrew. Two babies in a short span of time. Both born in lovely, safe, clean American hospitals, both born healthy to moms who rode comfortably to the hospital and then went home, well with no complications. As it should be. For all moms.

Last night, my daughter brought home a letter she’d written at school. It’s all about how much she loves her mom. Frankly, it’s taken me back a bit and I’m still reading it over and over, wondering how this little girl, who I love so dearly, can love so dearly in return – and express it with such depth at age seven – it simply stops me in my tracks.

I share it because it has touched me so deeply. When I think about how lucky I am to be a wife a mom, I rarely consider that it’s because I’m loved by these people, or that I’m really making a difference. It’s always the other way around – my appreciation for them.

When we think about the alternative, our reality is downright amazing. I have two healthy children who have never been at risk due to lack of resources (or anything, for that matter). And what’s more, because they are here, I am something more special than anything I could try to turn myself into – I am a mother. And many of you are too.

What a gift. It never really occurred to me that my environment could have prevented this identity. That I might not have had the kind of care needed to make sure my children were born healthy. Praises to Every Mother Counts and all who support their efforts to make pregnancy and childbirth safe for all moms all over the world.

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2 thoughts on “Mothers Count

  1. another nice post — i adore stella’s letter and am slightly obsessed with christy turlington’s mission. i have “no woman, no cry” on my dvr for that rare moment when i can sit and take it all in. we are truly blessed.

    xo.

    ________________________________

  2. Sweet note from your daughter–one to keep and treasure, for sure!

    EMC is a great organization. Glad you had a chance to run on their behalf.

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