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PEPS Gave Me the Support I Needed

Amy Moreno’s baby came early — at 30 weeks — with complications, including pulmonary edema, that endangered her life.

Greg with his parents

He weighed just 2 pounds 15 ounces.

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Gregory Bryant Moreno was born via C-section. He weighed just 2 pounds 15 ounces. He came out crying, and despite his tiny size, everyone was optimistic he would be OK.

“After the delivery, my blood pressure spiked, and I spent the entire night in a surgical recovery room as they gave me medication to prevent a stroke. I was scared that I would never see my son again.

I was discharged from the hospital four days later. I never imagined I would give birth and leave the hospital without my child. Greg spent 53 days in the NICU. It was the toughest 7 weeks of my life.

Nurses warned me that this experience left some families with a form of PTSD and many mothers with post-partum depression. We had to limit our son’s exposure to other people until cold and flu season passed. We were very worried he would get sick.

I had forgotten about PEPS until I got an email letting me know that a group was forming and there was a spot for us.

Everything had been such a struggle since my son was born, and I didn’t know whether I should go ahead and join the group. I was afraid people would think there was something wrong with my son or we wouldn’t have anything in common. I was emotional as I drove to the first PEPS meeting. At our leader's home, we shared our birth stories. I remember feeling very vulnerable and starting to cry as I shared my story. When I looked up, I saw the other moms in the room wiping away tears.

We were different ages and from different backgrounds, but I heard in their voices many of the same struggles. I began to look forward to our PEPS meetings and to that feeling that I was just like every other mom. We supported each other as we struggled with things like nursing, decisions about whether to return to work, child care concerns, etc. We all worked to try and help each other.

During our 12 weeks we cried, we laughed, and we changed lots of poopy diapers! I didn’t know it then, but PEPS became a crucial part of my healing. Two years later, we still try to get together on a regular basis. Not everyone can come every time; sometimes it’s a play date with the kids, sometimes it’s a mom’s night out.

My son is doing great today and I’m so grateful for the support PEPS gave me that I didn’t even realize I needed.”

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