Sunday, January 29, 2012

Celebration of the Miracle of Life

Today is an anniversary. A very very special anniversary.

Today is my beautiful daughter's tenth birthday.
She has been in our life for more than a decade. I say more than a decade, because while it has been a decade since I laid eyes on her, I knew her for 9 months before that.

On this very special anniversary in which we celebrate the 10 years of joy this beautiful Daisy has brought to us, I thought it appropriate to share the story of my miracle child.

I feel very blessed to have been very aware of my children during each pregnancy. It  has been so fun to look back and recognize that these beautiful little people are the same little people I got to start getting to know before they were even born.  Each one still has the same personality that I felt growing inside of me.

With Daisy, this showed up in how she listened.

Example: The first time I went to the Dr, he had a very difficult time finding the baby's heartbeat. She kept moving all over while we were there. So the next time we headed in for a check-up, I talked to her (remember, this is in the 1st trimester of pregnancy. It is said that the baby is not a human at this point. I will never every believe that), I told her that there was nothing to be afraid of, we just wanted to make sure she was doing well.

She was still so we could listen to her heartbeat. Yes, it would be very easy to say that was a coincidence.  But it wasn't. That was not an isolated incident.

Daisy was very active before she was born. She liked to kick (I swear she bruised the inside of my ribs. She did pop them once.). She listened to us.  She recognized her father's voice, and his hands. If he would rub my belly, she would calm down. She would curl up into his hand to be rubbed. Occasionally, she would put her hand up against his. He could feel each finger pushing against him through my skin. She would listen to him sing.  It was amazing how aware of us she was.

Because Daisy was overdue, the Dr recommended an induction.  We went to the hospital and got ready. In the morning, the Dr told us she was up too high, and if she didn't come down in 6 hrs, we would have to cancel the induction and try again later.  So Joel and I walked the halls of the hospital and talked to our baby that we couldn't see. We told her it was time for us to meet her. We told her we were so excited to see her. We told her that she had to move down and come out to us now.

She did.

She came down so far so fast that I wanted to push for 8 hours before the rest of my body was ready for it.

Backing up just a little bit here- when we first came to the hospital, I talked to the nurses and the Dr. I know my body pretty well. I have some health issues, and always have.  I am the 1%. I told them this. I said "Be ready. I don't know what is going to happen, but I know this is not going to go as you expect it to."  They smiled gently at me and said, "You'll be fine, don't worry!"  I said, "I'm not worried, I just know this. Trust me. Please, be ready."  And received again the gentle smile and head shake and calming comment.

After the Dr broke my water and as we were waiting, Joel read to me. He read what we were currently reading in the Bible. This is a part of what he read in Joshua chapter 1:
As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. 6 Be strong and courageous,
 7 “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
"Only be strong and courageous!”

Then things got more intense, and I needed him to do more than read. ;)

Really, everything went quite well (except that the baby was so incredibly low....) until after Daisy was born.

Another example of how well Daisy listened to us: when they put her on my belly with the umbilical cord still attached (her dark brown eyes wide open) and she started crying I said (utterly unknowingly- remember, this was my first), "Oh, baby, it's ok, you don't have to cry!"

And she stopped. Just like that. 

And the nurse stared at us and said, "yes she does!!!!"  Oops. She didn't cry again. Until they suctioned her lungs. 

And that was the last I saw of her for over 2hrs. 

Because as the Dr was trying to get my placenta to come out (it was not cooperating), my uterus came out. 

Things moved very fast for me after that.  A human uterine inversion is a really big deal. It's not like when it happens to a cow (that's called a prolapsed uterus)- then it's not a big deal. The vet puts it back asap because otherwise it's very hard to get back and more likely to happen again- but there's not much blood, and it's not life-threatening. I grew up as a vet's daughter. I saw cows in that situation all the time. It took me a few minutes to realize that it was a much much bigger scarier deal when it happened to me. 

By the time I realized the gravity of the situation, the nurses were wheeling me into the OR, and I was so weak, I couldn't even tell Joel I loved him. He stood there, holding our daughter and looking at me as I was taken away from him- for all I knew, for the last time. And I could not even speak to say "I love you". It was one of the most heartbreaking moments of my life. 

While I was in the OR, Joel was with our parents and my sister, and our daughter. They prayed for me the whole time. Daisy was incredibly aware. She watched everybody.  My Dad says she always watched Joel. And she knew him. If someone else held her, she watched Joel. If he held her, she relaxed. She recognized him. She felt safe with him. They had an amazing bond from the first moment. 

I was fully aware of everything that happened to me until they fully knocked me out. I remember hearing the nurse saying my blood pressure and thinking "oh wow, that's not good". Then the warm blankets as they brought me out of it. 

I had 3 blood transfusions and 10 liters of fluid. I was in the hospital for a week, and on bed rest for 2 weeks after that.

 But I was there.

 I held my daughter.
 I nursed her. 
I have watched her grow from this amazing, aware little listener

Into this beautiful, intelligent, loving 10 year old. 

And I am thankful for every single minute of it.

God told me to be strong and courageous. And He took care of the rest.
And He always will.
Thank you, God.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

First Book Review of the New Year

It was so hard to get into this book!  The beginning was just so confusing to me.  There was so much jumping between characters and moving around the timeline. I was quite lost for the first 10 percent of the book, and I almost gave up.  But I was very glad that I kept reading. The characters got sorted, the timeline became more obvious, and then the story just soared.

By about halfway through the book, I think I had an idea of where the story was going; but that didn’t make it boring. It made me totally interested to see what was going to happen to the characters as the story went along.  The characters were very poignant.  You get to know them very very well, and begin to identify with them and feel for them- to the point that I was almost disappointed when the book ended.

This story is about freedom, I think.  Different forms of freedom, and how people seek for it.  I don’t want to give away too much of the story line, so I’m not really going to say a lot about it.  It is set in the South before, during, and after the civil rights movement of the 1960’s.  It is also set in Nepal- in the caste system and the practical slavery of the quarries.  The story brings the 2 very different settings together beautifully, challenging bias and prejudice in a very good way.

This is not the kind of story I usually get into- it’s really pretty intense; but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I will be looking for more from this author. Highly recommend it.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

A Belated Happy Birthday

Yesterday was the day- but we were so busy celebrating, I didn't get it posted....

Six years ago, my wonderful  Bear joined our family.
We have been utterly blessed by him every since. Happy Birthday, sweet Bear, We love you!!!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Goodbye 2011, Welcome 2012

Here we are at the beginning of a brand new year! Crazy how very very fast the time is going.
 What a wild year 2011 was.
It would take me such a long time to go through all that happened last year- if I could even remember it all, which I don't think I could. It was amazing, and  God saw us through it all; that's what I know.

This next year? I don't know. It's going to be a new journey, and I'm looking forward to it. Around this time, I hear and read a lot about New Years Resolutions, and goals for the year.  I confess I have spent less time thinking about things like that this time around then ever before. I really don't have any goals or resolutions. I'm already working on whatever I would have goaled or resolved.

Weight loss? Doing it- and so far successfully, thanks to a drastic diet change and help from my naturopath- as it turns out a lot of my weight problems were a result of health issues- not bad eating or lack of exercise.

Exercise? Doing it- it's part of the weight loss, and it feels great.

Make over? Sort of doing it, and it seems to be working nicely.
About 4 weeks ago I got The Curly Girl Handbook from my library. I read skimmed through it, and started trying it out. This is the before picture:
And this is 2 weeks into it:
I think it is going quite nicely. I would say my hair is a little curlier now than this last pic, but not by much. Joel likes how it's looking too. Although I think that may just be because I leave my hair down more often now and he likes that. I confess it's difficult for me. I'm pretty busy, and having hair in my face and on my neck is a frustration when I'm in the middle of a lot of stuff- but for the most part its really working out quite nicely and I'm pleased. I'm impressed with the difference in my hair- but mostly I'm stoked because I no longer have issues with itchy scalp or dandruff. Pretty great.

Knitting? Well, I'm already doing that too. I still have a book contract I am working to finish, and I expect that to take the whole year. I'm cooking right along on the current design, and have things mostly lined out for the rest. Yarn support is already dealt with except for maybe one or 2 things that I don't have to worry about until after June- so really the knitting thing is kinda taking care of itself this year. I'm also still teaching knitting classes at Andersen Fiber Works on Thursday evenings, so that aspect of the knitting thing is also already going.

Other goals? Well, I want to read more intelligent books this year and actually learn more rather than escaping into fiction consistently.  But that's another one I've already started on, and so far it's going great and I'm loving it. I just finished Forgotten God by Francis Chan- and I highly recommend it. Totally impressed. I got it from the library, but I think I'm gonna have to buy it and read it again with a highlighter and a pen for notes. My current intelligent read? A God-Entranced Vision of All Things. I'm starting it today and looking forward to it. I'm loving exercising my mind along with my body- and I'm learning so much! It's great.

So really, whatever goals I may have made or resolutions I may have wanted to follow- I feel like I'm already doing it. I'm really looking forward to seeing what this year brings us.

Roo is looking forward to the coming year too- in fact you might say he's jumping right into it: