PEPS Created a Lifeline
Every parent in the room,including the facilitator,understood what I was talking about; it was part of their story too.
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Every parent in the room, including the facilitator, understood what I was talking about; it was part of their story too.
Carol A, a PEPS Participant
When I signed up for PEPS before my daughter, Beatrice, was born, I anticipated a forum to share the ups and downs of new motherhood and to make new friends. After a harrowing pregnancy and nearly loosing Beatrice, PEPS ended up being so much more.
At 11 weeks, I went in for a routine screen. It was the first and last time I went to an ultrasound alone. After the exam the radiologist said a pocket of fluid on the neck indicated an 80% chance something was wrong with our baby. Each ultrasound was terrifying; we’d hold our breath, hoping everything would be ok.
The 28 week ultrasound showed fetal hydrops, a rare condition in which the baby fills with fluid, putting immense pressure on their system. I was immediately admitted to the hospital and told that our daughter had a 5 to 10% chance of survival and no one knew what “survival” would look like.
With the baby in major distress, we opted for a c-section but the doctors were not optimistic and a day later we were told it was time to say goodbye. All we could do was wait and hope for a miracle. Yet somehow, Bea responded immediately and from there we never looked back. The NICU nurses called her “the comeback kid.”
Because of Bea’s prematurity and fragile lungs, we had to keep her out of public places.
My PEPS group started 7 weeks after Bea came home, and I was desperate to get out of the house and feel like a normal mom. The amazing moms and Group Leader Carol Heinz, were cheerleaders for Team Bea!
More so, the group helped me find myself as a mom. They helped me laugh and relax, talk about the big things and the very very little things. We still meet every week, do our high’s and low’s, walk together, babysit for each other, and celebrate together.
Last November, Bea and I went to the first meeting of the newly formed Preemie affinity group - the only support group I found for dealing with life outside of the hospital.
These parents proved to be just as important as my regular PEPS group, but for different reasons.
I got to talk about the hospital stay; about developmental delay concerns, and about the posttraumatic stress I’ve been dealing with since her birth. With this group, I have been able to begin to process our journey. Simply by being heard and affirmed, I’ve begun to heal.
9 months later, Bea is over eighteen pounds and as busy as can be.
I’m so thankful to have found PEPS and the wonderful families that will be part of our lives for years to come. And I am so thankful to everyone at PEPS for creating my lifeline.