Every woman matters

I’m a woman of action. Some people like to get outraged by everything, vowing to bring change. Or they claim to help and act like they’re caught up in a revolutionary wave that should engulf us all. They ask for money and make promises and pretend they care and speak to that deep, inner voice of humanity that we have. Until the next great cause catches their eye…or they get busy enjoying their own lives, which is all they really cared about anyway.

I acknowledge that I am just one person, with limited time and resources, and a baby that rightfully takes precedence. I do have my writing, though, and I can use this medium to let you all know about the things I care about and what can be done about it. And I know you people rock. So you’re not going to just sit there and read about a need and then just click on. You’re going to rally, like you always do, for what you believe in. My job is to give you the chance to believe in what matters to me.

This weekend I’m going to be walking 3.1 miles with Zahara along the Jones Beach boardwalk. Our morning at the beach is more than just a random inclination to exercise or a craving for some salty sea air. It’s a fundraising event for women, the Katz Women’s Hospitals and the Katz Institute for Women’s Health to be exact. Two Katz hospitals, a part of the North Shore-LIJ Health system in New York, are currently dedicated to women’s health, with a full range of obstetrical and gynecological services and top-notch technology and amenities. In plain English, they’re giving women the experience they deserve during hospital visits and stays, pregnancy, labor, and childbirth. And that’s a cause worth marching for.

If you haven’t been reading my blog until now you probably don’t know this, but I had a sudden miscarriage before having Zahara. We had decided to have a child and God blessed us immediately. The miscarriage was only eight weeks into the pregnancy, but since I had realized I was pregnant right away it was plenty of time to have imagined motherhood and to grieve for the loss. It was also hard because there was no indication that anything was wrong, and then no reason why the pregnancy had ended. I didn’t even find out until my first sonogram, a regularly scheduled appointment, which showed that there was no heartbeat.

It took me a year after that just to mentally and emotionally be ready to try to have a baby again, because it felt like that joy had been ripped away so needlessly and unexpectedly the first time. And then I was finally ready to try again and it was another year of hoping and getting only disappointment as the tear in my heart got deeper and longer. Then finally, two days before my 27th birthday I found out that my prayers had finally been answered and this amazing child was going to be joining me in my life, thank God! After my first experience, I was honestly terrified and ecstatic all at the same time. Every single symptom and pain had me rushing to Google and WebMD and trying not to hyperventilate or sob. Thankfully, I had a fantastic doctor in Puerto Rico for the first 5 months and another fantastic one in Boston for the rest of the pregnancy to deal with both my pregnancy and my panic.

First day as a mother

Zahara was born in Boston’s Tufts Hospital with a capable group of professionals surrounding her. And I had a whole life-saving team of doctors, nurses, and technicians myself to literally save my life when I had to go back to the hospital just days after the delivery in order to undergo emergency surgery.

My experiences are not rare, and women have been through much much worse. But what my journey into motherhood showed me is that it is a journey dependent on some strange mix of the abilities of the medical professionals, the spirit of the woman herself, and fate or God or circumstance, whatever you believe in. Some things are beyond our control, some things science has an answer for. If walking a little while and asking you all to join me (or donate) can possibly give women the slightest advantage in that awe-worthy and difficult time, then I’m going to slather on the sunscreen, pack up the baby outing survival kit, and walk until my legs give out.

So Zahara and I are registered to walk on Sunday, May 20th, to try and raise funds for every woman, because even if I am just one person, one busy mother, I can take my kid and join this event and make a small difference for other mothers and other children. Zahara and I are going to be there. Are you?

If you’d like to help but you can’t be at the event, click here and enter my name (Sheba Parveez) to search for my donation page and give what you can. Let’s show the world what real humanity looks like and tell ’em that every woman matters.

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