Adverse Fetal Diagnosis: Peer Mentors Needed

When Heidi and Casey heard the news that their unborn child had a hole in his skull and a myriad of other possible medical complications, they immediately felt shocked and overwhelmed. The medical terms and treatment options were coming at them quickly.  “I was just sitting there trying to figure out what they even said,” Heidi remembers. “My husband and I were just dumbfounded…we left the office feeling like, ‘what just happened?’.”

As their journey continued, Heidi and Casey found that facing a difficult fetal diagnosis could be very isolating and scary. Among the challenges were things like finding the right doctors for Heidi and the baby, as well as researching what their options were for the future. While this young couple had support from their family and friends, they knew they needed to connect with others who had gone through similar circumstances.

Fortunately, Heidi was able to connect to two other women in her church whose children were given a similar diagnosis, and the support of these friends would prove invaluable to her. But the experience left Heidi wondering what happens for families who don’t have that support. What about people who don’t happen to know anyone who’s been through this? How could they navigate this alone?

And that’s why Heidi was elated when she connected with AbbaCare to become a Peer Mentor in the Ezrah program. As a Peer Mentor, Heidi has the opportunity to walk alongside other families facing a similar situation – to help them process the information being given, to provide support as they plan the steps ahead, and just to be a listening ear.

Regardless of the difficulties a family may be facing, or even whether the child is expected to survive past birth, Heidi welcomes the opportunity to be a support and an encouragement to other families. She notes that the Peer Mentoring component of Ezrah exists “to be there for you when the trials come…to help you process each new diagnosis or doctor’s appointment or new medical equipment you have to figure out. To have people alongside you, that network…I think it’s so important.” 

If you have faced an uncertain future with your unborn child and would like to come alongside families in a similar situation, click here to learn more about the Ezrah program and how you can become a Peer Mentor. We are located in the Winchester, VA and Martinsburg, WV area. 

As Heidi says, “We can empower families with hope that there is a clear road ahead.”

AbbaCare is a pregnancy resource center serving women and families facing pregnancies that are unexpected or unexpectedly difficult. To learn more about our free, confidential services, visit abbacare.org.

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