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Comments Count! One Reader’s Has Already Saved Lives.

By Isabel Kallman

This post is my contribution to the UN Foundation’s Shot @ Life Blog Relay. Thirty bloggers are participating in this relay and I’m #6. The first 1,500 comments left on the previous five relay posts have already raised $30,000 for childhood vaccines ($20 per comment) in a matter of days! $20 is what it costs for one child to receive four life-saving vaccines: measles, pneumonia, diarrhea and polio; preventable diseases like these take the life of a child every 20 seconds. Even though the initial donation has already been reached, new fundraising efforts have been started (like by Anne Geddes) to continue to match each comment with $20. [Update: a new donor has stepped in and contributed $170,000 in extra funding to match comments left throughout the Shot @ Life Blog Relay. So the comments left already on this post did count. You raised $2,000+ already!!! Thank you. In addition to the original $30,000 funding, a total of 10,000 vaccines (worth $200k) will be provided if y’all keep commenting on THIS POST (that is new) and relay members’ posts through the end of the month. Each one of your comments means $20 in vaccines are donated. YAYAY!]

As part of the Shot @ Life Blog Relay, the 30 of us bloggers are writing about someone whose comments have lifted us and/or inspired us in our blogging journey. When I read our blog relay challenge, my mind immediately jumped to a post written several years ago by Amalah on her Pregnancy Calendar.

Amalah is the pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch, who has contributed to our site from day one. During her second pregnancy with her now preschooler son Ezra, I asked Amy to write about it in the form of a weekly pregnancy calendar. It was an instant hit and continues to be a source of great information and inspiration to expectant moms even years later.

During “Week 32” of Amalah’s Pregnancy Calendar, Amy focused on pre-term labor and emergency visits to the hospital. She tells the story of visiting Labor & Delivery during the evening and how she, too, grappled with the common should-I-shouldn’t-I-go to the emergency room that many expectant moms face. BUT! Amy’s common sense words and authoritative, yet friendly, tone said it all:

And then, came the most important reader comment that we have ever received at Alpha Mom:

That comment, combined with Amalah’s trusty advice, led to this:

AND this:

AND, we received an email from a mom sharing that she too went to the hospital based on remembering these words and it saved the lives of her and her newborn.

I can’t tell you how proud I am of Amy for her writing here on Alpha Mom. But that one Pregnancy Calendar entry, that one comment from Lauren, that has saved lives. Damn, that brings tears to my eyes.

You guys are essential to making this place helpful. You push us to make sure we’re thinking critically about things. You add perspective to what we share. Your words, your comments count.

Thank you.

But, I’m not done yet. Because of this Shot @ Life Blog Relay you can also help save lives with your comments. As I indicated above, $30,000 has already been raised for vaccines for 1,5000 children in developing countries (in just a few days!) and new funds are currently being raised (like through this effort by famous photographer Anne Geddes) to continue to match the comments you leave here on this post and on other blog relay posts through the month of August.

So please leave a comment and tell us about a blog or website you read where the comments teach and inspire you.

You can leave a comment on the other posts as well. Tomorrow, I’m passing the virtual donations baton to Tiany Davis of Social Savvy Mom. Visit her site and leave a comment there too, and fingers crossed, they will all be funded, giving more children a shot at life.

[Update: starting at 10am EST on Thurs, Aug 9, please continue to leave your comments on this blog as they will CONTINUE TO COUNT for vaccine grant money (there is now funding of and additional $170k for a total of $200k). EACH ONE OF YOUR COMMENTS IS WORTH $20 in children’s vaccines. Thank you for your support!]

Isabel Kallman
About the Author

Isabel Kallman

Isabel Kallman is the founding mom of Alphamom.com.

Feel free to send nice emails to isabel[at]alphamom[dot]com.

...

Isabel Kallman is the founding mom of Alphamom.com.

Feel free to send nice emails to isabel[at]alphamom[dot]com.

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[…] and Ana Roca Castro kicked things off during the first week. The relay continues every today with Isabel Kallman and runs until the 31st. You can follow along on twitter at […]

Elena
Guest

What a story. It is amazing how the interactions of comments can become a blog in and of themselves with the conversations that take place and inspiration that can be gleaned.

Natasha
Guest
Natasha

Great article!

Liz
Guest
Liz

I am inspired by the comments on Amalah’s Advice Smackdown and at Amalah.com. I appreciate the honesty and advice and humor of Amy and all her commenters.

Rachel
Guest

As a new mom with very few other mom friends, the comments in Amalah’s smack down posts on alphamom from everything from sleep to breast feeding and more have been such a lifesaver. Thank you Amy and Isabel for all you do!  

Jennifer
Guest
Jennifer

This is wonderful!

Emil
Guest

Wow. I never realized what a blog can contribute with doing. Thanx for sharing this, both story and the impact of a comment, so that I know in the future!

Didn’t know it was a UN-roof of $30.000, but incredible that this has been reached in the first 5 days. Let’s hope that more funds are found, and that all comments during blogust 🙂

Another Jennifer
Guest
Another Jennifer

I remember reading that calendar post and its comments a few months ago (my daughter is two months old) and tearing up reading it then…and again this morning with this post!

Although I don’t think I’ve come across any similarly life-saving comments there, I’m frequently helped and/or inspired by the comments at Corporette.com, a fashion and career advice site for women professionals. I have even bookmarked some posts specifically to refer back to the comments, such as one on pumping breastmilk at the office, which had dozens of comments from women on their experience and how they handled logistics.

adrienne
Guest

It’s funny how often I turn to the Internet to see if anyone else has had similar issues (and those issues’ outcomes).

Comments based on experience- like the ones in your story- help us all make more informed decisions.

Thanks for sponsoring Blogust! What a great way to build awareness of [email protected]

foxygram
Guest
foxygram

First time visiting Alphamom!. There’s a lot to learn here. Thanks for taking part in Blogust.

Melanie
Guest
Melanie

Wow–that was really intense! I praise God that He used your blog to save innocent young lives.

Kaitlyn
Guest
Kaitlyn

Too often women are chalked up to being paranoid and frantic – especially during pregnancy. I really appreciate this no nonsense, listen-to-your-body advice. What an astounding story.

mom101
Guest

I just got chills from this post. What a brilliant example of the importance of comments in the blogging community.

I’m always inspired by the conversation at parenthacks.com. If you want the no holds-barred, serious truth about any parenting topic or trick, with all kinds of perspective, that’s the place to go. I always feel like I leave there thinking, “Ooh – I have to remember that one.

/$20. Ching!

Chrysula
Guest

The unbelievable power of online community!!! Now we get to be that resource for mothers in sub-saharan Africa and other vulnerable communities, so that they too, don’t have to bury their children. Thank you Isabel, for a wonderful post reminding us of our humanity and our connectedness.

Patricia La Brie
Guest
Patricia La Brie

Wonderful advice to phone your doctor anytime you have a concern. Better safe than sorry!!! Plus how awesome is it that the goal was met so quickly! Keep commenting people!

jyl johnson pattee
Guest

Mom to mom sharing and learning is the best… and blogs are a powerful way of creating a safe place for moms to connect. Thanks for creating such an environment on Alpha Mom. You are an inspiration, Isabel!

xoxo

Karen from Chookooloonks
Guest

AMAZING stories. And they say blogging isn’t powerful. 🙂

K.

RY
Guest
RY

I’m a new mom to a beautiful two week old baby girl, and it’s been so much harder than I imagined!  I’ve found myself reading comment sections on a few of my favorite blogs, and it’s been really encouraging to hear from mom who are going through the same newborn phase (and made it!).  I have plenty of wonderful people around me who are supporting me at this time, but even so I’ve found that hearing about the experiences of total strangers so comforting. This post in particular encouraged me this week: http://simplemom.net/an-open-letter-to-first-time-mamas-of-newborns/. 

Emily McKhann
Guest

Isabel, what a beautiful post! I’ve loved Amy’s posts on Alphamom since the very beginning! Her pregnancy calendar is brilliant and such a gift to expecting moms. Reading her advice here reminds me how lucky I was to not wait too long before heading to the hospital or I would have had my daughter in a cab on the West Side Highway. As it was, I waited too long to call the doctor, who didn’t make it to the hospital in time to do the delivery. All went well with the resident on duty, but my OB’s first question after… Read more »

amanda
Guest
amanda

Great article

Dawn
Guest
Dawn

Jenny Lawson’s blog keeps me going on my darkest days. The way she portrays how awful depression is inspires me to always remember that depression lies and brighter days are coming

C
Guest
C

The Bloggess is my hero.

Jenny L
Guest
Jenny L

I have gone through PPD with both my children and as a result have not been able to nurse for as long as I hoped.  On one particularly dark day I came across a blog post on Postpartum Progress by Katherine Stone (link below). I wept as I read the words of both the post and the comments because it was exactly what I needed to hear.  That day was a low point and a starting point for me and I was able to let go of the guilt and self hate I felt, and start on the road to… Read more »

Boston Mamas
Guest

Reading this post, and the comment threads, gave me chills. Which is what this is all about. Thank you for doing what you do Isabel! xoxo Christine

sashalyn
Guest
sashalyn

When my daughter was born with extensive special needs, I was lost. Somehow I stumbled upon @redneckmommy ‘s blog & found a voice to guide me. Although our stories were only marginally similar, her funny, bare bones, often raw approach to sharing her reality really struck a chord with me. I needed that kinship during those very dark days. In addition, her special needs advocacy & her work with Violence Unsilenced continue to inspire me daily. Her blog rocks my world.

Lynn Urrutia
Guest
Lynn Urrutia

What a blessing to mothers and soon to be mothers everywhere that you were postin about your pregnancy. I, now almost 59, had two babies in Europe and had to rely on myself to make the right decisions with no bligs, few books, and no OB until I delivered far away from where we lived. Then i did 4 months of bedrest. How comforting your words must be to those confused, uncertain, trying to do the right thing Moms. I applaud you with a standing ovation, saving lives everywhere to give them a better shot!

Suebob
Guest

It’s funny, but the commenters at The Bloggess inspire me with their willingness to be silly, to play along with jokes, to make life funny and fun. And then when the rubber meets the road, they can also kick down money for great causes, too.

Kelly
Guest
Kelly

Thank you so much of an example where a comment online has saved lies.

I volunteer a lot of my time to counter vaccine misinformation on the internet. I hope my comments have saved lives too, even though I would never know. Blogust is great because by leaving a comment I know I’m saving a life.

Naomi
Guest

I love being a part of this.  Thanks for encouraging us!

Melanie @MelanieMedia
Guest

And this is what the blogging community is all about.

Myrdin Thompson
Guest

Thank you for this. Tomorrow we celebrate the birth of our first son, but not our first child. When I was in the start of my second trimester with my first pregnancy something was “off” I was physically exhausted, so tired I was sleeping 14 to 15 hours, I was spotting, and I just knew something wasn’t right. I called and the nurses said, that’s normal, don’t worry. I worried. So I called again. and again. and again. Perhaps to just apease me, they scheduled a sonogram. I went in and found that although I was 14 weeks pregnant the… Read more »

Amy Graff
Guest
Amy Graff

I’m always amazed and inspired by the power of the online community. Thank you for sharing your story and helping to raise money for [email protected]!

Janice
Guest
Janice

What a wonderful idea to raise money for these poor children. Saving lives and giving great advice to first time Mums. Being a first time Mum is nerve wrecking enough without the constant worry of appearing neurotic.

Fran Cherlow
Guest
Fran Cherlow

When I was a new Mom, we were sharing in Mommy and Me Groups.  Today we can learn so much on the internet and the community so much larger.  Blessings on all of you at Blogust ’12 and AlphaMom.  We can make a better world for ourselves and our children.  Sent with love.

Julie Marsh
Guest

When we’re pregnant, we’re the experts regarding how we feel. We may not know *why* we’re not feeling right – it could be nothing, it could be something wrong – and that’s when we call the doctor: to answer the “why.”

You do so much good, Isabel. This post is a major example of such.

Triplezmom
Guest

And this is why I love the mommy blogging community and am proud to call myself a “mommy blogger”. 

Katherine Stone
Guest

This is such a fantastic post. A testament to the power of blogging and sharing our lives in such a public way. I love the real stories from mothers who were so positively affected by what you do here at Alphamom. And now, you’ll be saving more lives through Blogust. Thank you.

P.S. I’m so glad I was able to spend a little bit of time with you, Isabel, and Amalah, in NYC. 

traceyclark
Guest

wow! this is a perfect example of how what we are all doing as bloggers and as mothers matters so so much. so honored to be a part of Blogust with you! xo

roadsy
Guest
roadsy

I read Amalah’s advice smackdown religiously. She is my favorite resource for everything Mom. Thank you for being a voice of reason and keepin’ it ‘real’. And what a great cause!

Michele
Guest

Wow, that’s truly an amazing story. I love people who use their influence as a way to lead in a positive way. Kudos to Amy, you changed lives with just a few keystrokes!!

Tiany
Guest

I can attest to the power of comments within a community, amazing, I have seen this type of scenario take place over and over again across the web. Love it!

Mara
Guest

Hooray for the message of calling the doctor if you’re worried! I almost lost my first child to preterm labor at 23 weeks because I didn’t want to be a bother. Thankfully, after I got to work that day, I had second thoughts and called my doctor, who told me to come in immediately. That child is sitting a few feet away from me, watching TV and eating pretzels and I couldn’t be happier that I trusted my instincts and made that phone call. And hooray for raising money for lifesaving vaccinations! Every child we can get vaccinate will protect… Read more »

Linnea
Guest
Linnea

Incredible stories! Thanks for sharing and for calling attention to this important cause.

Sue Leavitt
Guest
Sue Leavitt

I wish the internet had been available when I had my 3 kids 29, 26 and 23 years ago. Living in a city far from mom and family, it would have been wonderful to have a virtual community with whom to share experiences, fears, revelations, etc. The number of women I know who have kept pregnancy blogs, is remarkable. They, their friends and families all get something from them.

Serena
Guest

Thanks for sharing this story and participating in such a great campaign.

Jeannine
Guest

What an amazing post to read on this Monday morning. I am continued to be inspired by this entire community and all of it’s powerful voices. Thank you for this post!

Cari Thompson
Guest

Thank you so much for sharing! And thanks a lot for making me cry. 😉 I’m so glad there are blogs like yours saving lives and giving women confidence to make good choices.

Jarret Schlaff
Guest
Jarret Schlaff

So many powerful comments on here. So glad I can take part in such an amazing event. I will keep this in mind when I am ready to have kids of my own. It’s better to be safe and over cautious than concerned about being a pest.

Thank you for sharing.

Rachel Fox
Guest

For six years I was an after-hours telephone triage nurse for a busy group of pediatricians. I had many middle of the night calls with concerned parents. The commenter, Lauren, was absolutely right–never feel bad to call! The online community is a great place for that extra reassurance that you are not alone…..just as this Blogust relay is doing for moms all around the world!!

Sherri
Guest
Sherri

It is great that you are supporting pregnant mom’s intuition and concerns. Keep up the good work.

Marisa J.
Guest
Marisa J.

Such amazing comments in that post, truly touching to see how not only blog posts but the comments people leave behind can make such an impact.

Claire
Guest
Claire

I remember reading that 32-week post and Lauren’s comment, and it made me tear up again reading them today. I often read articles on breastfeeding and parenting and avoid the comment section because they can be filled with people looking to pick a fight. Alphamom is an exception to this rule – the comments are as good as the posts themselves.

Sarah
Guest
Sarah

I was inspired by amalah.com to use signing time to help communicate with my toddler.