A mother’s love

Published 4:37 pm Saturday, May 11, 2013

Joyce Weber and her family have overcome tragedy and have a new perspective on what it means to be a mother.

Joyce Weber and her family have overcome tragedy and have a new perspective on what it means to be a mother.

On Sept. 9, 2010, Joyce Weber expected to give birth to a happy and healthy fourth child, but that wasn’t the case.

Baby Quinn’s lungs didn’t develop properly and she couldn’t breathe.

“She lived for six hours and we had to say goodbye to her,” Weber said.

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She said the loss made her think differently about motherhood.

“It gave me a broader perspective on motherhood in that our kids aren’t really ours,” she said. “They’re God’s and he’s loaning them to us.”

Weber received an outpouring of support from the local chapter of Mothers of Preschoolers, of which she was a member and in which she’d had a leadership role in the past. The group helped her through the difficult time. The group cleaned her house, got meals, sent flowers and cards and supported her through phone calls and visits.

“I got a lot of support from the group,” she said. “It was helpful, but the thoughts behind the help is what meant a lot. When you go through something like that and other people are touched by it, it means a lot.”

Through the loss, Weber found the strength to once again take on a bigger role with the organization and she’s currently in her first year as coordinator for MOPS of Atmore.

“Once you’ve been through something like that it gives you the confidence to tackle other things that you might find scary,” Weber said. “It gives you the confidence to handle other intimidating things.”

She said that after the ordeal she felt “God’s call to be coordinator of the group.

“Our experience with the loss gave me more empathy,” she said. “It made my heart bigger. Knowing that I made it through something so devastating gave me strength.”

Weber, a mother of four, said the group is geared for moms with newborn children to kindergarten age.

“It’s a way for moms in that state of life to meet each other and get support,” she said. “It’s a unique stage of mothering. It takes a lot out of you.”

Weber said meeting topics can include a wide variety of issues from health care, self care and nutrition to marriage and gardening.

“We talk about all kinds of stuff,” she said. “We do crafts and we eat. We have brunch together.”

The Christian group, which meets twice a month at Grace Fellowship Church, has childcare services called the moppet department where volunteer teachers can give Bible lessons.

“It’s a two-hour break from the kids,” Weber said.

An Indiana native, Weber met her husband, Jason, while attending what is now Cedarville University in Ohio. The couple’s kids are: Owen, 8; Helen, 6; Jack, 4; and Henry, 16 months.