With the start of a New Year comes new beginnings and The Lighthouse offers a new beginning to many of our clients in need. For Linda, a mother who managed to escape domestic abuse and start a new life with her children (full story in Spring 2014 newsletter), this opportunity for a new beginning is the hope to which she has clung onto, as she remains resilient and positive in her ongoing journey. This is the continuation of Linda’s story as she remembered the birth of her new child in the spring of 2014.
Childbirth is one of the most stressful yet joyous moments in the journey of motherhood. It is a time of celebration with family and friends, and a time of sharing in the miracle of life. For Linda, this happy occasion was overshadowed by the feeling of overwhelming loneliness and worry. As the time of delivery approached, Linda was filled with dread, concerned with how she would cope and care for a newborn without the support of family and friends, and worried about the well-being of her elder daughter who was in foster care pending Linda’s discharge from Mount Sinai hospital. The following are extracts of Tiffany’s interview with Linda on her recent experience:
“Childbirth was so difficult. With all the stress in my life, I knew that my pregnancy was not stable, and the delivery would not be easy. I felt quite sad and alone during my time at the hospital. I was placed in a room with 4 other ladies surrounded by their happy families. It became all the more obvious that I have no one with whom to share this time.
“During the birth, I bled a lot, and I ended up staying at the hospital for 4 days and 3 nights afterwards. After the birth, I was constantly dizzy and tired, basically lived on milk and cereal and unable to provide care to my newborn. Thankfully, Rita and her church friends visited me. They brought food and spent time with me every week, they even brought me clothes and magazines to read. They cared for me like family.
“As I was discharged from the hospital, I thought to myself, “How am I going to care for a newborn all by myself?” I was also worried about my older child feeling left out and neglected, as she was still under foster care. I wondered, “How is she going to cope with a younger sibling when she returns to my care?” I was very weak after being discharged, and then my newborn became sick from dehydration and was admitted into Sick Kids Hospital for observation. I felt terrible as a mother, like I was constantly letting my children down; I didn’t know what to do or how to fix this. And once again, Rita and her friends came to my assistance. With their weekly visits, I felt encouraged, and that I was strong enough to get through this for my children. They kindly gave me pointers and assistance with caring for my newborn, and donated $130 to help me financially through this difficult time. I am just so thankful for their ongoing support and care of me and of my children.”
This past autumn, Linda and her children finally settled into a family-friendly subsidized housing apartment. It is an affordable place where they can truly settle down and call Toronto home.
“Despite our success of escaping from an abusive home, I still look back and regret that I didn’t pick a better father for my children. But now I know I have to focus on moving forward, so that I can grow and mature to be a stronger person and mother for the well-being of my children. In the future, I want to go to school and church, make new friends and create a safe, happy and healthy life for me and my children. I am more than ready for a new beginning.”
Please continue to pray and support Linda as she settles into her new home and prepares for another Canadian winter with her children. Contact Rita at 416-535-6262(ext.223) if you would like to know how you can be a blessing to Linda and her children.