Two hours is a short pilgrimage for something that a person really cares about.
This past weekend, my family drove two hours from home to participate in The Promise Walk for Preeclampsia in Culpeper, Virginia. As I have written in several posts, I had severe preeclampsia when I was pregnant with Carson, which meant I had to deliver five weeks early. Carson spent two weeks in the NICU because of this.
Only another woman who has experienced severe preeclampsia could truly understand how terrifying it is and how much added trauma it puts the body through. I wanted to walk beside other women who have experienced this.
I wanted to walk to celebrate the way God brought Carson and I through it.
Getting the message out about the signs of preeclampsia during pregnancy is something I care deeply about because this can save the lives of moms and babies. I normally have excellent blood pressure, but I had very high blood pressure, swelling, and a high level of protein showing up in my urine test when I was diagnosed (by the way, it’s so important to keep up with prenatal exams because your protein level is tested at those visits, and the nurse takes your blood pressure).
Though I walked to celebrate, the opening ceremony provided a sobering reminder that others have gone through something much worse than I did. A mother from North Carolina who lost her pregnant daughter spoke about the serious realities of what can happen, and the event organizer talked about losing her first baby because of preeclampsia. Fortunately, she was able to experience a healthy birth with her second child.
Several people at the walk mentioned their faith, even those who had lost loved ones, and I thought it was beautiful that they shared their testimony, even as they thought of terrible heartbreak. What amazing strength these women had!
As everyone walked, a great DJ played songs that kept everyone moving. Carson seemed to be walking to the beat of a Michael Jackson song, which made me laugh. My little guy actually walked a full lap on his little toddler toes, and he spent the rest riding along in the jogger stroller.
About 150 people attended, and over $5,000 was raised.
Our family left that day feeling humbled that we were so fortunate, optimistic that we helped contribute toward awareness and research, encouraged by others who walked beside us, and grateful for the opportunity. Looking back on this weekend, my heart is filled with thanks.
I hope you are having a great week! May you make a difference when you can. Focus on your blessings, and take comfort in Christ’s promises and love when the answers are unclear.
Your blogger friend,