While chopping sweet potatoes for dinner, my (very expensive) Rachel Ray knife met its end. I am devastated. Mostly because it was a wedding gift and I can't replace it at the moment. What am I going to do? I use that knife at least once a day! Maybe I will write her a letter and tell her what happened. Do you think she will send me a replacement? Maybe I can be on her show!!!
It started out as a nice, calm, rainy day. I am working on a paper and drinking tea. Scott got home from work at noon and started on his usual puttering around the house fixing things.
My client showed up for his massage this afternoon. Scott was going wire some switches while I was working. He knows he is supposed to be very quite while I am in session. I got my client all squared away in the massage room and was getting ready to head in there when I hear......
the loudest crash I have ever heard...ever!
Next thing I see is....
Scott's legs dangling from the ceiling in the hall.
I ran upstairs and he was curled up in a ball on the floor. He had pulled himself back up and into the bedroom. I was afraid he had straddled a 2x4 when he fell. Thank goodness he didn't!! He just scraped his leg and chest, but thankfully wasn't too badly injured. As he lay there on the floor, I saw $ signs running through my head. (I am such a bad wife.) Luckily, it wasn't anything a little ice couldn't fix. No trip to the ER. I made sure I was okay and headed in for my massage. He is a client I have had for 3 years so he knows us pretty well. When I got in there, he was wanting to make sure everything was okay. I told him that everything was fine, Scott had fallen through the ceiling. He said it was such a loud crash, he was ready to come out and fight the person who was busting through the front door. He said "you don't want to mess with a cowboy in boxers and boots!" Haha, well luckily all is well. Scott says at least it isn't expensive to fix and that that is a little less popcorn we have to scrape off the ceiling. That is one way to look at it I guess.
As I write this, we are sitting here and laughing about it! :)
Scott has been rewiring the upstairs and down so he had to take up the flooring upstairs. I hope it gets all back in place soon. It seems like every time I turn around there is another hole in the wall. I am just trying not to freak out. So far it is iffy. This big room will double as a bedroom/entertainment room when it is all said and done. Hopefully that is sooner than later.
I have been making baby blankets and burp clothes for clients and friends for their babies. I have an actual sewing area now that we have more space. I had to dust off the sewing machine, I hadn't used it in a while. Monkies for one and duckies for another.
Chance appears physically 'normal' and is doing all that a newborn does. An MRI done last night shows that he doesn't have Holoprosencephaly after all. He had several major bilateral strokes early in gestation which caused acute constriction resulting in his brain not developing. There is basically just water in his head. He has a brain stem which functions only to the point of 'baby stuff.'
He could live years, functioning as a baby. He's not at high risk for seizures because he doesn't have enough brain cortex. He could potentially pass away from infections as a result of no mobility. His heart is not an issue as was previously thought. The pediatric cardiologist ruled out heart issues prior to delivery.
The events of last night have got me pondering about the purpose for coming to the earth. What are we here to teach others? What can we learn from others and their trials? What can we learn from the tiniest miracles...babies...who are so innocent and pure. They all come to this earth for a specific purpose. Even if for only just a short little while.
At 12:35am this morning, Chance was born. His mom came to Gladney a few months ago. She had a routine sonogram done in February to determine the babies gender. It was a boy, but it showed he had a brain defect. His brain was fluid filled. He was given a grim prognosis at the time. If the baby made it full term, it was presumed likely the baby would not survive outside the womb. I was with her at that appointment when she received the sad news about her baby. That was my hardest day at work yet. After that sonogram, she was referred to a specialist at that point. The high risk specialists ran several tests and did sonograms to determine the extent of the condition as best they could. They gave the condition some big fancy name that I can't pronounce. I had been attending several of her appointments with her since that diagnosis. She was due last Friday, the day my baby would have been due, so it was extra significant to me to be involved. When she passed her due date, the doctor scheduled an induction for this coming Friday.
Last night, I was called. She was having contractions and leaking. She and her mom headed to the hospital and I was shortly behind them. It was 8:30pm We had to go to a different hospital than the girls usually birth at because of the extenuating circumstances. Needless to say, they aren't familiar with Gladney procedures and I had to get the staff up to speed on our adoption processes. When it was determined she was in labor, she was taken to a room. When she was comfortably medicated, the neonatologist came into the room to explain the procedures that occur when a high risk baby is born. The condition the baby has is lethal. She explained all the risks involved and what to expect if he lived or died. In the event that he would be struggling right after birth, there would be no efforts to revive him, as that would have caused him too much trauma. Another scenario would be that they would take him away to the NICU immediately to do an assessment. Another would be that he would be alert enough for her to be able to hold him and feed him right away. It all depended on so many things.
Her labor progressed very quickly and shortly after midnight, she was pushing. I have to admit, I wasn't sure what to expect. None of us knew he would look like or if he would be born alive or cry or move. My heart was pounding with each push. When he was born, the doctor immediately clamped the cord and he was placed in the warmer with three nurses and the neonatologist at his side. I heard him crying as I stayed near the mom's side to comfort her. Her birth went so smoothly and she didn't require any suturing. The baby was still fusing and crying. This was a good sign. I listened as the neonatologist explained to the grandmother that the baby had none of the normal physical birth defects like cleft pallet, blindness, and unusual eyes, that babies usuallly have when diagnosed with his condition. He looked like a normal baby. His APGAR score was 9/9. And, that is the best score a newborn can have. That score rates a baby for heart rate, respiratory effort, muscle tone, reflexes, and color. So far, it appreared as though he was in perfect health. They swaddled him and gave him to his mother. She fed and he ate just fine. He cried. He did all the things a normal baby would do. He was even going to get to stay in the regurlar nursery and not in the NICU. It was hard to imagine that anything could have been wrong with him. I stayed with them until 2:15am. On the way home, I thanked God for the opportunity to be a part of and witness such a miracle.
This morning the baby was to have an MRI to determine the extent of the brain condition. I have not gotten any more information, but I am guessing that means that nothing dramatic has happened. Babies with the condition that Chance has are not expected to lead a long life. Most children die by age two. It is a very sad situation and I have kept him and everyone involved in my prayers continually. Only God knows the plans He has for that little one, but I surly did not take for granted the two hours of his life that he shared with me.
Henry went to Minnesota over the weekend to record some new songs. Go to www.myspace.com/johnhenryholthus and check him out. Thankfully, he now sings blue grass. He went through a period of playing alternative, you know, the kind that doesn't have words, just a lot of screaming. The song "In Memory of Gilbert" was written about our grandpa who died on 4/9/00. Henry was fifteen and took it pretty hard. The song brought me to tears.
While I rested today to try and kick this bug, Scott tore up the house...literally. He was working to get electricity to the middle of our home. When the previous owners built the upstairs they didn't think that the wiring had to be run from somewhere. Scott also took back the carpet in the hallway upstairs. They had rigged the joists and it isn't very stable to walk on. Can you just imagine a post on a big hole in the sealing that I fell though!? Luckily the spot he took up was also right above the pantry in the kitchen which just so happens to need light. So he is wiring in a pull switch in there. As you can see in the picture below, he cut a hole in the wall in the upstairs room in order to make another crawl space. Hopefully it will get a door soon. I had to quit looking at all the things he was doing. It seems like every time I turn around there is a hole in the wall somewhere else. He keeps saying "don't freak out babe." But holes that mean we will have to paint eventually. Although I really like the color on the walls, I don't know what it is to be able to match it. Last night I got light in the hall bathroom. Very nice indeed.
This is a fun Happy Birthday picture we took before out dinner outing on Monday. I finally broke down and bought us a coffee maker. He wanted one for his birthday. I got a French press so it won't take up counter space. It didn't take up long to get used to the morning coffee. Plus, we are saving $$$ by making it at home....who knew? And finally, my favorite new photo of Joely! Is she not the cutest??!!!
I wrote the following post for my Bellies In Bloom site so that people can get an idea of how I got to where I did. I thought I would post it here too.
Fields and flat plains you can see for miles. The smell of wheat harvest in early July and backyard barbecues. Just the sounds of the wind and small creatures at night. A place where the grocery store is just around the corner, you shop locally because their business is your business, and everyone knows you.
I am just a small town girl from Kansas and this is my story.
Being the first born of five children, I had a lot of responsibility growing up. My siblings are 2, 6,12, and 18 years younger than I am. Needless to say, I became a chauffeur, babysitter, cook, and seamstress, just to name a few. Don't get me wrong, I never really minded that much. I was kind of a homebody anyway. I was involved in 4-H for 11 years growing up. It taught me the domestic side of life. I stayed home baking, babysitting or sewing on the weekends and summers. I guess I kind of had a natural calling to help and nurture others.
As a junior in high school, the last thing you want to find out is that your mom is pregnant. I was horrified and upset when I first found out. I was just getting used to it being just the four of us kids. Plus, high school was a delicate time for me. I didn't have time for my parents to be consumed with yet another child. That sounds selfish, I know, but remember, I was a teenager. I sure was glad when my brother was born though. I can't imagine what our family would be like without him now.
In the fall 1999, I went off to college. I started an interior design major at a small private college in Oklahoma. With aspirations to do well in the business and move to Texas and start a career after graduating, I decided to transfer to the University of Arkansas my junior year to complete by degree. I chose the U of A to be close to my sister when she went off to college that year.
As my junior year in college wrapped up, I was looking forward to the summer break, working part-time, and taking some summer classes. My sister and I were living in an apartment with two other girls for the summer. One evening, about a week after classes got out, my sister and I decided to make a home cooked dinner. As I stood there in my summer attire of shorts and a t-shirt chopping vegetables to make egg rolls, the pan of hot olive oil caught fire. Not taking a second to think what to do, I picked up the fiery pot and took it to the sink where it flamed up and I spilled it on me. At this point, the kitchen had several small fires and all I could think was to run and get help. I ran out the door and knocked on every apartment door upstairs and down until someone answered. I screamed at our unsuspecting neighbor to call 911, that our apartment was on fire. He ran up to help my sister who was putting out the fires. As I stood in his apartment downstairs in shock, I can remember looking at my hands, arms, legs and feet thinking "I am burned". I stood at his kitchen sink sobbing and running cold water on my wounds. I didn't know what to think. My sister and neighbor, were able to put the fires out with no real damage. I needed an ambulance though. I sat on a bar stool shaking as my sister stayed with me and never left my side. In her calm, soothing voice, she kept saying everything will be okay. Was it really going to be okay? What had just happened to me? The next few hours are a blur as I was whisked away in the ambulance, sirens and all. My sister stayed with me all night, bless her heart. I was pumped full of Morphine and not feeling a whole lot of pain in what I had come to find out were 2nd and 3rd degree burns along the right side of my body, mostly hand and foot. The next day, my mom and four year old brother arrived. Recovering from burn wounds is long and painful. The doctor advised daily debriding which consisted of scrubbing the wounds to prevent infection. For about four days I suffered through this excruciating process. When we arrived back in Kansas, my mother researched holistic and alternative approaches to burn healing and we opted for that route. Still, seven years later, now and then I can feel the pain of the nerve damage. I have scars on my hands and feet that get many questions that I don't mind to answer. It is a reminder that from that day on, my life was about to take a drastic and wonderful change.
That fall I went back to school. I struggled in many of my classes. My interior design classes were especially difficult, as we were building scale models and constantly drawing and sketching. With my hand still wrapped in gauze, those small tasks became huge endeavours for me. That semester I failed psychology. The ride home to Kansas at Christmas was miserable. I played over and over in my head how I was going to explain to my parents that I needed a break from school. Surprisingly, they took it well and agreed I needed a break. That following March I landed a career at the Wal-Mart corporate headquarters in Bentonville, AR in the product development department. Handbangs, scarves and gloves became my life. After six months, I was promoted. The money was good, but I found myself sobbing at night on the phone with my mother. Nine months in, I wasn't happy in the corporate lifestyle. While I continued to work there, I decided to take classes to get my degree in holistic nutrition. While taking my first class, was reading a book called Healthy Healing. As I sat on the porch of my town home reading the chapter on "Your Health Care Choices" it hit me, I was not going to spend my life in a cubicle. Six months later, I quit my job at Wal-Mart and enrolled in massage school. Seven months after that, I began my career in massage, moved to Texas, and then got married in the summer of 2006. I continue to do massage in addition to my newest pursuit.
Over the years I have had a strong interest in becoming involved with childbirth. After getting information from several midwifery schools I put it on the back burner. I wasn't sure being a midwife was quite my "calling", so I waited. In the meantime, my sister had two amazing home births. One in 2005 and one in 2008. My brain continued to be interested and I waited and listened.
One hot, summer day last August, I wasn't feeling just right. I woke up that morning feeling off. I had one massage appointment that I prayed myself though. I called in sick to my job that afternoon. Throughout the day I felt worse. Scott was at work and I stayed on the couch most of the day. As the day progressed, I was drinking tea and resting. I knew something wasn't right because I was bleeding. But, I chalked it up to being a cyst or something minor. I decided that I should make an appointment with a gynecologist just in case. They said they could get me in in two weeks. I said okay and then called Mom for advise. She did a little research and called me back. From what I had been explaining my symptoms were, she thought it could be a tumor or an ectopic pregnancy. One month earlier we had tried for a baby, but it had never occurred to me that I could be pregnant. Two weeks earlier I had been bleeding as usual. This was more serious than I had originally thought, so I called the gynecologist back and asked for an earlier appointment. They could fit me in first thing in the morning but advised me to go to the ER if I felt worse. At 9:30 that night I texted Scott on his way home from work. I was in desperate need of some ice cream. When he arrived home, I told him I thought this may warrant a trip to the ER. We debated our options. I wasn't in a lot of pain, but enough to feel "off". At 11:00 we went to the hospital. Three hours later I was in a room. They took blood samples and let me rest for another couple of hours. I told Scott to go out and sleep in the car. I was sure it wasn't serious, and he had to be at work early the next day. At 5:00am the sonographer came in. I asked him what he needed to do. He said my pregnancy test had come back positive and he needed to take a look. An hour later and with many views of my insides, sure enough, I was six weeks pregnant in my fallopian tube. Not five minutes after he left, Scott and I were being told that emergency surgery was necessary to remove the baby. That is a lot of information to find out all at once, but babies don't survive growing in the fallopian tube and neither does the mother. Just before noon, my surgery was complete. In just one day I went from finding out I was pregnant to losing a baby all at once. Thankfully, I acted on my intuition that night. I could had lost my life in just a matter of a couple of hours if we had not gone when we did. Amazingly, that summer was the only time in our marriage that we have had health insurance. We were surely being watched over. Now, our prayer is that God will bless us with a baby when the time is right.
That experience led me to pursue my certification as a Doula. In the weeks and months leading up to this loss, I had been researching. I felt it was meant to happen in order for me to become the kind of Birth and Postpartum Doula I was called to be. I now work for a local adoption agency that houses young women who desire to place their baby for adoption. My loss, I believe, has helped a few of them cope with their own loss.
Since getting the training to become a Doula, I have attended 12 births in the last six months. I know that my background in Holistic Nutrition and Massage Therapy is great asset in my work in pregnancy and childbirth. Women have the power to do anything they desire. I am an advocate for her physical, mental, and emotional well-being. She can have a natural pregnancy and a natural birth and I am here to support her. I have compassion, not experience. I learn by watching, reading, talking, and doing for others. My birthing day will come soon, but until then I am living on my desire and passion for women and expectant mothers to have exactly what they are hoping for. My prayer is that I have the strength and ablily to be just what they long for in their child birthing journey.
Here I am today, in Texas. I see the Fort Worth city skyline, the hustle bustle of cars as they race to their destination, sirens blaring throughout the day, stores and supermarkets full of strangers, and shopping for the best deals with people you don't know. It isn't Kansas, but I think we'll call it home.
He took my car to work this morning and got it cleaned on the outside on the way home. He has been in the driveway for the last hour cleaning all the nooks and crannies on the inside!!! I am so thankful, but I kind of feel like I should be out there doing his car instead. I kind of live out of my car now and then so it gets a bit untidy on the inside. Needless to say, it is a big job.
His dad is taking us to dinner tonight. We are going to the Stockyards to eat at Joe T. Garcia's. We haven't been there, but it gets lots of rave reviews.
We got our taxes all done yesterday. We actually got a refund for the first time in four years. Thank goodness for the new housing credit. Because we bought our first house in 2009, we don't have to pay the credit back. This will be such a blessing to be able to pay some of our medical expenses and other moving costs. Not to mention the new roof we had put on last week. Which, by the way, looks fabulous.
In baby news, I am still watching baby Luke at nights Monday - Thursday. I think that he is finally getting onto some kind of schedule at nights. He only woke up once to feed my last day last week. We will see what this week brings. He is just so sweet and precious.
My massage client is on her way so I will sign off for now...
What is lost? My mind. I am not exactly sure what I was thinking what taking care of a three week old at night would be like. I guess I didn't think it was going to be like this though. He is very precious and sweet and likes to hang out with me at 2:30am instead of sleeping! On top of that, I have to work most days that I leave from their house. This is great practice though. I was rocking him back to sleep this morning and thinking that I am okay not having a little one just quite yet. God bless working women who have small children! That may just be me not too long from now.
When I got home at 7:45am, I went straight to bed. Problem was that the roofers came at about 8:30 this morning. I am not complaining though. We were very, very blessed yesterday. Scott has a client that he trains the gym that had 25 bags of shingles laying around that she wasn't going to be using. She and her brother brought them by the house last night. Thankfully the roofer is letting us use them and will match them to whatever we would still need. They are just what we needed and a perfect color for our house. The shingles are what costs the most so it is saving us hundreds of dollars!! An answer to prayer for sure.
Today I have off so I am getting ready for my friends JoAnne and Aaron to come stay the night tomorrow on their way to Louisiana. Must get house work and groceries done.
Love my husband. Love my baby boy. Love my job. Love my family. Love eating organic food. Love date night. Love snuggling. Love green. Love my friends. Love going on walks. Love baby wearing. Love holding hands. Love chick flicks. Love sunflowers. Love sushi. Love burning incense. Love cooking. Love the water. Love girl talk. Love sewing. Love coffee. Love the smell my baby. Love cloth diapering. Love a good book. Love snow. Love life.
I am a Certified Birth Doula and a Licensed Massage Therapist. Visit Bellies In Bloom, my blog dedicated to mothers and their families as they enter the journey of pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting.