Starting Over with a Premature Baby at 57 Years Old: The Life-Changing Support Rosemary Received
“We were so excited for her to be born” Rosemary says about her granddaughter. “Then she came early and tested positive for methamphetamine.”
Just days after her granddaughter was born, Rosemary became the legal guardian of an infant that was eight weeks premature. Her granddaughter spent six more weeks in the hospital.
As she waited for her new granddaughter to come home, Rosemary called friends and family to get everything she would need. At 57 years old, Rosemary did not expect to be taking care of a newborn at this point in her life.
She needed to get a crib, clothing and diapers. At the time, Rosemary’s income was from her SSI benefits.
Wondering what she had gotten herself into, Rosemary was nervous.
“I was scared and overwhelmed by the idea of starting over,” she says. “I was 57 years old and now I had a small baby to take care of.”
That’s when a caseworker with Child Protective Services connected her with United Way Safety Net Impact Partner, Texas Diaper Bank. After explaining her situation and applying, the Texas Diaper Bank immediately started helping Rosemary.
They provided her with vital items for her new granddaughter, like shampoo, clothing and shoes. Rosemary enrolled in their classes on critical baby-related subjects like child health wellness, parenting skills, baby-proofing and other topics.
The support that the Texas Diaper Bank gave Rosemary in her time of crisis is an example of the type of services United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County invests in.
At any given moment a person can experience a life-altering event like job loss, natural disasters, hunger or unforeseeable situations like what Rosemary was faced with. These events often have a ripple effect on an individual’s job, education, health and safety.
United Way’s Safety Net Impact Area give people like Rosemary the support they need to satisfy their most immediate needs and help them establish stability in their lives again.
Years later, Rosemary says the services she received were “life-saving.” Her granddaughter is now a few years older and her family is thriving after getting the support they needed at a difficult time in their lives.
“When I had my children 19 years ago, I wish there was something like this to help me,” Rosemary says. “I am so blessed that they were here to help me now.”