Sidelines National Support Network
/ Who are the Volunteers?
/ A Volunteer's Story
My name is Annie Douglas and I have been a Sidelines peer counselor since August 1995. I had a complicated twin pregnancy that included 5 1/2 months of bedrest for preterm labor and bleeding. I successfully delivered boy/girl twins at 35 weeks.
In November 1996 I received my first "online" Sidelines pairing. I was paired with Judy from Israel who was experiencing a complicated twin pregnancy and requested support through the Sidelines web page.
Supporting via the internet is a fun and exciting way to help Moms who are experiencing a difficult pregnancy. Email and internet chatting are the methods of communication that are virtually "cost-free" and provide the bedresting-Mom something to do with all of her time!
Being from Israel, Judy's Doctor had protocol that was slightly different from here in the United States. Cultural differences aside, Judy was having the same fears and anxieties that all Moms on bedrest experience.
Judy had a laptop computer in her bedroom and could type notes and send them without ever getting up out of bed! I would reply to her messages within minutes or hours. I was also able to direct Judy to other resources on the internet including twin pregnancy, infant care and my family web page where she saw pictures of me and my family which helped her get a mental picture the Mom behind the email!
One obstacle with internet pairing that some people may imagine is the lack of emotion in "typing a note" versus hearing the person's tone of voice. That's where acronyms ( LOL-laugh out loud) and "smileys" :-) come into the picture. Internet jargon uses these shorthands to help express emotion in the letter.
Judy successfully delivered her twins at 38 weeks and
her husband emailed me with the good news. He as well as
Judy expressed thanks for this unique support!