Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Baby We Prayed For (d)

part a, part b, part c

With every visitor that came to the hospital, I had to suppress the urge, the desire to show off our new baby.  To let people ooh and aah over her.  Yet I knew that wasn't appropriate.  People from church, young and old, even single men came.  Each one came uncomfortably into our room. ( They had given me mine own room away from the maternity ward.)  Some stopped by with gifts of flowers cards, almond roca.  All stayed as long as they could and were as comforting as possible.  Some stayed and chatted, making us laugh, which was very needed.  One lady from our church had gone through the exact situation.  She called from our of state, to make sure we were alright.
     A particular group of young folks came in led by a single guy.  James was so uncomfortable.  James was our neighbor.  He was one of those guys you'd leave a plate for because you know he'd be stopping by.  I remember him standing against the wall with tears in his eyes at a lose for words.  I ended up saying something funny that broke the tension in the room.  He replied, "We came here to cheer you up and you're cheering us up."  Where did this funny side of me come from, especially at this moment?  Answer, the grace of God.
     The grace of God and the normal post-delivery hormone high I got was what carried me through those dark hours of lose, grief and confusion.
     My best friend Sophie and her husband spent the most time with us.  They were the ones who walked out of the hospital with us.  That day, those emotions are seared into my heart.  I remember leaving the nurses who started out as strangers became our friends, pushed my tummy, sat with us when they had a few spare minutes.  Being wheeled out with the candy and flowers and feeling like I was leaving something behind.  My baby.  Our baby.  There's nothing like carrying the baby you prayed for, for five months only to leave her.  I don't remember how much I cried those 24 hours, but I do know I cried getting into our blue Ranger looking up at the windows of the third floor.  I wanted to run back and grab our tiny baby and make everything all better, to go back to yesterday when I was still pregnant.  Go back to before it hurt so bad.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Baby We prayed For pt 1 (c)

part 1, part 2

At some point between our arrival at the hospital and the arrival of Paige that early August morning, I remember Robert quoting Romans 8:28 "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."  I held onto that scripture many times that night/morning and still do.
     After I was all cleaned up our pastor and his wife Doreen came in carrying a bunch of beautiful red roses, that at some other time I would've oohed and ahhed over.  Doreen was woman with a mother's heart.  Robert and I had watched there two children a number of times. Her daughter felt Paige's first few kicks in my tummy.  And here Doreen was looking at me with such compassionate, caring eyes.  Eyes that wanted to hold me and make it all go away.  She was at my side when our nurse came in and told us that Paige didn't make it.  She was there to comfort and to strengthen.  Paige lived for 7 minutes.  She never cried and never had to suffer.  For that we are forever grateful, grateful  beyond words.  We still hold to the fact that if she had to go, we are glad she passed the way she did.  I can't begin to imagine parents who have to say good-bye to older kids. 
     Even after the devastating news, especially after the news, I wanted more then ever to see our daughter, to hold her, to see what she looked like.  When our nurse brought her in to us she was swaddled in a soft, pastel yellow receiving blanket.  All 1 pound 1 ounce, 11 3/4 inches of her were in that blanket.  We were not prepared to see a baby so, so not yet fully developed, so small.  Yet, I felt the same pride most moms feel while hold their first born.  As they placed her in my arms I noticed how fragile she looked.  Her skin was so thin we were afraid to touch it, but we did.  She had Grandpa's crooked pinkies.  Something every baby in our family gets inspected for.  Her eyes were still sealed shut.  Little brown eyelashes were forming ever so sotfly.  Her fingers and toes were still partially webbed, yet we could tell they would have been long and graceful.  She even had a few wisps of brown hair starting to grow on her tiny head.  It was a special peek into God's handiwork, that even at that very development of a baby, just how everything was perfectly formed and protected.  We also did the normal new parent,  "She has your nose" and so on.
     Though we will never know what color her eyes were or what her voice and laughter sounded like.  Was she a happy child, outgoing or shy?  Did she like to play dress up or play in the mud?  We won't know the answers to these questions, yet I have the answers hidden in my heart.  One day we will get to know.  We will get to hold her talk to her.  And that day will be glorious!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Baby We Prayed For pt. 1 (b)

part 1 here

The next events were all a blur.  I got placed in a room.  A small birthing room with peach colored wallpapered walls.  Nurses, doctors, people seemed to keep coming and going, in and out.  Hooking me to this and to that.  So little was explained to us.  The nurses only told me to try to remain as still as possible.  All along Robert was by my side, my right side, almost in the recess of the room.
     After checking me and noting that I was dilated to a 2 and confirming that I was indeed in labor Doctor One came in.  With that we were finally acknowledged and things started getting explained.  "It could be this or that.  This could happen or that could happen." Dr. One went on.  "We are hoping the baby will be born in the sac so we can keep it alive as long as possible."
     "Keep it long as possible."  Thud.  Those words hit us hard.  I looked at Robert with panic in my eyes and pain in my heart.  I willed my body to keep the sac intact, to stop this from happening.  It didn't.  My water broke as I went into full labor a little after Doctor Two came on duty.
     Our midwife left after she had done all she could do.  Leaving us in this strange room with these strange people.  At one point a nurse rolled in a big machine I think it was an incubator.  Then it rolled back on out.  The scene was becoming all too real too fast.
     There was one nurse who stood out.  Kim was a tall, sturdy built woman with short dark brown hair.  I started to look to her as my anchor.  I needed something to hold onto.  She was our main nurse.  Though I don't remember her saying much I do know that when she did speak it was with words of solid, sturdy kindness.  Words that said, "This really sucks and it is hard.  You can do this.  You're going to make it."
     The labor was quick, not painless, but quick.  I only dilated to a 4, but that was all I needed.  I still had to push and to labor to get our baby out.  Once she popped out our nurse with the dark brown hair carried her away.  All we could see was a tiny, very tiny red baby in her sturdy arms.  The way she carried our baby is etched in my mind for all of time.  She didn't cradled our baby.  Her arms were bent, elbows together under her chest. Our baby lying where her arms met.
     Everything in that room the whole time was quiet, clinical, like no one wanted to be there doing this, living this.
     As I watched our baby being carried away to the nursery or wherever they took babies born too early, I remember asking whether we had a boy or a girl.  A girl. Our girl.  I am sure I prayed, we prayed throughout the whole ordeal.  I am sure we held each others hands, talked a bit, trying to make sense of it all.  I know I wanted to see her, to hold her, touch her.  While at the same time I wanted the doctors and nurses to do all they could to keep our baby alive.  To get her stabilized so she could make it.

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Baby We Prayed For pt 1

I got stirred again to write about our kid's birth stories and pour out my heart.  I started this morning and have 5 1/2 front and back handwritten pages done.  And I am not even close to being done!

Here's how is goes.  This is the rough draft that maybe you'll read in a published book one day!  heehee

"Just wait on God", "It's all in God's timing", a couple of ladies would tell me when I told them how bad I wanted to have our first baby.  I was ready.

     I will never forget that day, that night.  As I read and reread through the pages of What to Expect When You're Expecting over and over, looking for answers.  I knew something wasn't right.  I knew it in my heart.  I called our midwife and explained to her what  I was feeling,  I didn't really know what it was or quite how to explain it, other then the tightness in my belly and the urges I in my pregnant body weren't right.  She rushed over, praying as she came to the train tracks that she wouldn't be delayed.
     When she came I was both scared and relieved.  Scared because I knew in my heart what was happening and I didn't want to go there.  Relieved because here was someone who just had her 10th baby herself.  She knew about these things.  I was comforted by her presence, her experience and her being a woman.
     It was night time.  We all, hubby, midwife and I, filed into our bedroom.  The room where I was supposed to deliver out first born.  The baby we prayed for.
     Our rented house was a quaint older Victorian style house.  It had a big green porch and a wide entry way.  Rosettes were in the corners of the trim.  There were three bedroom, one of which we used as a living room.  Our kitchen was the biggest we ever had.  Funny thing was the top cabinets didn't have any doors.  We joke about it all of the time.  "A cabinet makers home has no cabinet doors."  The dining room was the center of the house.  Every room stemmed from it.  The one bathroom was even awkwardly located right off of the dining room.  No hiding there.  Also, off of the dining room was the baby's room.  I little, cozy room with a lot of character and a glass paned door.  Perfect for our coming baby.
     As our midwife got set to check me and to see what was going on I remember sitting on our bed, on the comforter my mother-in-law made for us as a wedding gift.  The colors vivid in my memory.  Peach a green shapes all lovingly stitched together.
     It didn't take our midwife long to determine I needed to go to the hospital.  I was in labor.  I was just 5 1/2 months pregnant, 20-22 weeks pregnant.  Too early to be in labor.
     I don't remember much of what I was thinking.  I don't know if Robert and I talked or prayed or just sat in numbed silence on the ride to the hospital.  I do know the my gut was right all along.  I was indeed in labor.
     Our midwife, who called ahead, met us at the hospital.  She told me to wait for a wheel chair.  Not knowing any better or wanting to stay in as much control of the situation as possible I declined.  There was an uncomfortable silence in the elevator ride up to the top, the third floor.  It all felt surreal.  So much like a bad dream and wanted desperately to wake up from.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Only to do it Again Tomorrow

3:45 started dessert and got ready for dinner.
5:15 dinner on the table and dessert was in it's second phase.

6:30 all was cleaned up and dessert was in it's second to last phase.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Around the House

Here's some photos from around our home.

A conjoined twin sunflower.

Roses drying out from Mother's Day.

Squishy watching me cook.

Leaking water heater in the garage, that got replaced.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Vegetarian Cooking

So, you all know that hubby and I are part-time vegetarians, right?
Well, I have been trying new recipes here and there.  We are getting some favorites too.
Here's one from Three Cooks Too Many.
Reuben Burgers

It was good at the first few bites.  Then you had to keep eating because, golly, it's good for you.
All-in-all it got one BIG thumbs down from son who hates anything bean and three this was okay but don't make it again.

So, I am sending the recipe off to my mom.  She is much more vegetarian than we are.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Still Here

I am still here. 
Between designing and babysitting, I don't have too much time for blogging. 
I have pre-written posts that have not posted.  Don't know why.

Anyway, this one's for Squishy.
Squishy is 5 1/2 months now.

He is teething.

LOVES to suck on everything, especially towels, blankets, the like.

He is generally a happy baby, unless he is tired or hungry or his teeth hurt.

He is doing good with baby food, just not fruit. 
His face lights up when he sees the kids and hubby.
 He is also fascinated with our dog Dolly.
We love Squishy!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Neighbors and Names

For years we have had funny names for our neighbors.

Behind the pink house was a small little house with a small man who looked just like Charles Manson.  NO joke.  He wouldn't even say hi to the kids.

While in the same pink house we had many church members as neighbors.  We didn't name them, honestly.

Here in our current house we had the Cereal Killer for years.  Everyday this elderly man would dump a bowl of cereal in the gutter.  Everyday!

A few house's down from us lived The Babysitter.  She was a very grouchy old lady who babysat our kids class mates.  The kids were sweet; she was not.

On the corner from us lives the Spider Gang guy.  I heavy set white man who wore this tight shirt with a big spider on it.  Hence forth hubby dubbed him the Spider Gang.

A couple of blocks from us lives the Garden Lady.  Yes, she has a garden and we always walk by to see the progress.  But golly you had better bring your ice tea if she's out there with her hubby, they are quit the talkers.

At one time we had a Shelly, Sherri and Cheryl...oh and Sandy, the very visually impaired older lady who only says hi to hubby.  She walks everywhere.

Last night hubby and I went for our nightly walk.  We finally got to meet another neighbor.  He is farther away, but we pass his house enough he feels like a neighbor.  I have long admired his garden and have wanted to ask him some tips.  Last night he was out fixing his truck.  We ended up talking for probably 20-30 minutes.  Meet his "cook" Katie.  He is 75, has hair like Frederick Douglass, just not as white.  Really nice man.  Gave us some gardening tips, learned he makes moonshine (right here!!), is from East Texas.  I really like these folks and plan on visiting again.  He welcomed us to take from his garden anytime.  As we left he had these parting words, "We are poor, but friendly." 

His words will ring in my heart for some time.  He knew what mattered/matters in life, having friends and being friendly.  Lesson learned and now to apply.