Spend a few minutes on the Mommy In Charge blog and it will become apparent that Anna Martin is a woman of faith and resilience. When faced with some of the most difficult challenges a new mom can encounter, she found joy in small victories and persevered.
During her first pregnancy, Anna and her husband, Dale, learned that their unborn son had enlarged ventricles to the brain. This condition is called “ventriculomegaly,” and it means that that ventricles in the brain have a higher than normal amount of cerebral spinal fluid. A young couple, enjoying the anticipation of becoming parents for the first time, suddenly found themselves in a “high risk” pregnancy with appointments to check for genetic disorders and other factors related to ventriculomegaly.
Rhett was born on Christmas Eve 2015 and came home after 6 weeks in the hospital on February 4, 2016. That was when Anna was called to journal her experience in the form of a blog. “At first it was a good way to let folks know how Rhett was doing and what to be praying for,” says Anna of her early days as a blogger. She found writing to be a cathartic outlet and she hoped she might be providing hope for other moms experiencing a similar situation.
As Rhett has grown and their small family has adapted and expanded to now include Brooks, who turns two this month, Anna began to feel a shift in the purpose of her writing. Instead of sharing updates and details of Rhett’s continued health concerns and accomplishments, she started to feel called to focus more on the needs of the Moms who are learning to parent special-needs children. Basically, she wanted to be the supportive and understanding friend that she was seeking in the earliest days of Rhett’s diagnosis.
Finding people going through the same kind of journey turned out to be rather easy. Anna says that although social media tends to get a bad rap, Facebook was truly a lifesaver! She found groups specific to the syndrome Rhett has, known as CHARGE Syndrome. Being a part of these unique Facebook groups allowed her and Dale occasionally to meet up with other CHARGE families during their stays at the Ronald McDonald House in Cincinnati. The Cincinnati Children’s Hospital has a team of doctors specializing in CHARGE Syndrome, and Rhett underwent three surgeries there before the age of one.
As Anna connected with other families, and especially Moms facing similar challenges, she became aware that, like herself, Moms were not good at giving themselves much grace. “I had this constant feeling that I was being called to do more than what I currently was doing. I felt this strong nudge to help women facing similar circumstances, although I was unsure of how. I knew I needed to take the leap to figure out my own ambitions, so that is what I did.”
Earlier this year, Anna started her own Mindset Coaching business. Her invitation on Mommy In Charge does a fabulous job of summarizing her coaching mission:
“I help these women find the freedom to live their life in [such] a way that their circumstances do not determine their happiness. The circumstances will still be there, and the obstacles will still come. I will challenge you to find systems that work for you, so that you can live your best life, which is a life full of joy. If you are a mom feeling the weight of this journey, book a call with me so we can chat further. I am so excited for you to uncover the life you truly want.”
It’s one thing to set your mind on a goal and work to achieve it. It’s another thing to listen so faithfully to your heart, and then set your intention to help others through it. Anna Martin is doing just that.
For more information about CHARGE Syndrome, visit chargesyndrome.org.
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