Sera  and Syrian newborn baby

Sera greets a new Syrian baby

Today’s guest post comes to us from Sera Bonds, the Founder of Circle of Health International (COHI).  Her post really needs no introduction, except to say you will appreciate your own relatively peaceful start as a mom even more after reading her story.

“Remember those first days as a new mom? You were most likely exhausted, overwhelmed with all kinds of new feelings and requirements (diaper changing in the dark and with one hand, a super sore cooch or perhaps a c-sec scar with crazy big stitches or staples, huge leaky boobs). Family and friends want to come by and see, help you, but mostly they want to hold this new baby. The focus went quickly from you, which was the way most of us experience pregnancy, to the baby. In fact, we will meet people in those first months and they won’t even look us in the face, just right to the baby. Our own needs are now secondary, and are likely to stay that way, either consciously or otherwise, for a few years – at least.

I wonder how many of you also had the experience of forgetting to eat. Remember that? Remember how folks said, “Sleep when that baby sleeps,” and you were like, right, because a magical fairy is going to arrive while I am sweetly slumbering and do laundry, walk the dog, wash the dishes, cook for me, feed me, shower for me, etc. We put our own needs after that of our baby, our household, and all the rest. It’s a hard, hard time even for those of us with resources.

Remember those days?

Most of us reading this piece were in a mostly calm situation, albeit it felt crazy at moments. I mean to say that you weren’t fleeing from a war zone, your hospital wasn’t attacked while you were laboring or recovering because clinics are now being targeted by the fighters, and you weren’t living in a refugee camp someplace. Today, and yes, I mean today, there are more moms living in these kinds of situations than ever before. The Syrian crisis has escalated to a terrifying place that none of us involved in the response realistically envisioned, planned for, or could imagine. Moms and babies are hungry, and they need our help.

Circle of Health International/COHI is engaging in a campaign to raise funds during the month of Ramadan, ending August 8th, to purchase flour, cooking oil, and milk for these moms and their kids.

We all, as mothers, deserve to have the food we need to be able to care for our family, and babies everywhere deserve to have full, sweet, happy bellies.

I was a new mother of a two-month-old boy when missiles began falling in the neighborhood where my baby and I were living. We were lucky; we left immediately, heading to a part of the country that wasn’t under attack, where our midwife and her family took us in. They had room, and we did our best not to be a burden. That war lasted two months, and it claimed the lives of many including the daughters of one of COHI’s colleagues.

It was a month full of anxiety, trauma, and anger. I was safe, loved, and well-fed, and so was my baby. I was nursing, sleeping, doing endless loads of laundry, and I cannot imagine having had to do that while I was in the middle of those missiles that were falling, or the tanks that were roaming the streets. The women of Syria are living this kind of very dangerous reality today as I write these words, as you read them. Please help us to help them.

Thank you,

Sera Bonds
Founder, and Mother
COHI 

COHI was formed in 2004 with the stated goal of “Working with women and their communities in times of crisis and disaster to ensure access to quality reproductive, maternal, and newborn care.” Since then, Sera and the rest of COHI have worked to provide food, medical care and other necessities to moms nd babies in high risk areas around the globe. Circle of Health International is currently trying to raise money for flour, oil and milk for moms and babies in Syria and Jordan. Learn how you can help — and remember, every dollar of donations helps someone eat. 

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