When my wife and I were having our children, not much went as planned. Both of our boys came two months early. The first was a surprise, but the second we had a high-risk doctor, and he still arrived early. Our last, our daughter, required my wife be on bed rest for most of the pregnancy and it was still a fight to keep her cooking till she reached full term. All of these times were tough, with the first we didn't have anyone at home but the dog, but it still meant going back and forth from the hospital for the month he was in the ICU. After he came home, it continued with monitors and appointments. With the rest of our children, it meant needing help. I am incredibly grateful for our families especially both my wife's and my mother. Both of them took shifts taking care of my wife or our children while we watched and prayed in the hospital. There is also no way we could have made the six months of bed rest without them.
For those of you who have family or even friends which are that close and will be there for you, you know how important that support is. It is a big part of why we are where we are today.
I have heard stories of families whose parents live in the same city and yet they are unavailable. I interviewed a father and his parents separately for a book I was helping on. It was amazing to me to hear the parents say that they felt that they were not welcome in the home of there medically fragile grandchild. While at the same time the parents of this child felt the grandparents didn't want to be a part of their lives.
How sad, both sides miss the blessing they can be to each other. The parents miss out on the support and love they need to be a thriving family. The grandparents miss out on knowing their grandchild and miss out on the opportunity to show love and support to parents desperately in need of help. Both sides lose in this family, but the most significant loss goes to the child. I know for our family the successes our children have had, has as much to do with our supportive families as it does with us. We could not have done it alone, and I pray you don't have to. If you are a family with children who need extra care, it can be hard to let others in, but it is so worth it. If you are the family or friends of someone with a child with special needs, keep asking if they need help. Show up and offer support. Do it in a way that they know you will not go away until they let you help. In the end, everyone will be better because you did.