Tag Archives: service soap box

Little Miracles

In conjunction with the baby shower, Service Soapbox is hosting a writing contest.  This post is my submission.

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My mother’s pregnancy was a surprise.  She was nearing 40 and was not anticipating any more children.  Besides that, we were planning on a move to Alaska.  Moving and familial responsibilities amounted to an enormous stress load placed on my mother’s shoulders.

My mother was a seasoned homebirther–having given birth to all of her previous (8) children in the comfort of her bedroom.   This pregnancy, though, concerned her from the beginning.  Her midwife, after evaluating my mother’s symptoms, suggested she start seeing a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) at our local hospital.

At my mothers 30 week mark, she started experiencing severe symptoms.  One night she began feeling a severe pain that started in her upper abdomen and spread throughout her whole body.  The pain was accompanied by severe nausea.  When the pool failed to alleviate the pain and the nausuea continued, she called her midwife who then directed her to call her CNM.  The CNM advised her to come in immediately. In a remarkable string of events, her home teacher unexpectedly came over and offered her a ride to the hospital and another lady from our congregation arrived to take care of the kids.

After arriving at the hospital, they took her vitals and had her take a urine test.  The L&D nurses (and her midwife) were beyond concerned when they found her urine to be saturated with protein and her systolic blood pressure over 200.  They admitted her immediately, began pumping drugs into her system in an effort to lower the blood pressure and to send steroids to strengthen the baby’s lungs in case of an emergency C-Section.

As I’m sure you have already guessed, my mother had a severe case of pre-eclampsia.  After a few ultrasounds to evaluate the health of the fetus, they discovered the presence of HELLP syndrome.  With this realization, they deemed it safer for the baby to be on the outside than inside the womb.

My brother, Kaden, was born at 31 weeks weighing 2 lbs. 10 oz.

As you can imagine, his low gestational birth meant a long fight for him.  He was in the hospital for 6 weeks and left weighing 5 lbs and with a bunch of equipment (heart monitors and respirator).  Still.   He was home.

Seeing how modern technology saved my brother,  I became quite active at my local branch of the March of Dimes.  While I only did menial tasks like helping send mailers and other paper things, I felt like I was helping an organization that saved my brother.  I felt like I was giving back.

My brother is now 7-years-old. He still bears certain marks of his premature arrival, but overall he is healthy, smart, and quite active.

I guess this is my way of publicly saying thank you.  Thank you people who took care of us while my mother was in the hospital and for the 6 weeks that my brother was in the NICU. Thank you doctors and nurses who saved my brother’s–and my mother’s–life.  Finally, thank you March of Dimes for funding research that made it possible for my brother to be here today.

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The Devil Made Me Do It

I’ve always considered myself extroverted.  In my growing up years, I enjoyed chatting with my classmates and friends.  I didn’t think anything of how I enjoyed reading a good book over hanging out with friends, I blamed my lack of time or lack of transportation.  Besides, my older sister constantly had friends in and out of the house.  I felt adequately socialized through my interactions with them.

The fear, though, the fear did confuse me.  The suffocating fear that I feel when I am going to an event all alone.  Without a friend or my husband.  That fear convinced me of my real tendency toward introversion.  But, as with all things, facing this fear helps me to grow.  At least I’d like to think so.

In February, I decided to attend Sue’s bloganthropy brunch.  I mean, it sounded fun.  I would get to meet fellow bloggers, dine, and have a great time!  Sure, I didn’t really know what “bloganthropy” meant, but I thought, what the heck?  Can’t go wrong with a good time, right?  I signed the McLinky assuring the hosts that I would be attending.

Well, if you remember, February turned out to be a blue month.  Blue meaning SICK month.   So, on the eve of the brunch, after I had bought a few pastry items to share, I realized I couldn’t go.  Ben wasn’t able to watch the kids and both of them were sick! Besides, other kids were going to be there.  The mothers would have been horrified if I brought sickness in! Yes, I did manage to ignore the real reason I couldn’t attend: my fear.

I shot of a quick e-mail to Sue explaining my situation and breathed in a sigh of relief.  There was always the next month.

March came rolling in much too fast.  Without warning, Kristina announced the next bloganthropy event: Snuggies for Seniors.  This fundraiser would also include a blog brunch.    Despite the fact it was being held at a buffet, I signed my name to the McLinky and immediately made plans to attend.

Two days before the event I realized what I had done.  I had agreed to attend a brunch, at a buffet, with my two kids, without knowing any person there previously.  I had basically signed a death warrant for myself.  Cause of death?  Heart attack.

I started thinking of millions of reasons why I couldn’t come.  It was a 45 minute drive.  It was during nap and lunchtime.  Andrew is kind of fussy.  After confessing all these reasons to my husband, he told me I needed to decide.  If I didn’t want to go, I really didn’t have to go.

Decision time.

At 2 am I finally convinced myself I was going.  Even if I died of a stress induced heart attack, I was going to attend.

Attend I did.

I left reasonably early.  I didn’t realize, though, that my directions were based on a route that would take me 20 minutes longer than I had calculated.  So, I was late.  Late!!  By the time I got there, I was sweating profusely and my heart was pounding.  I was on the verge of tears.  I sucked up the last of my courage, slung my humungous diaper bag and Emily on one arm, grabbed Andrews car seat with the other, and headed inside.  I am sure I was a sight to behold.

Inside I quickly (and luckily) located Kristina to ask her where everyone was congregated.  She pointed and I boldly marched into the room.

The rest of the memory is quite hazy.  I am sure I met a few people, said many embarrasing things, and managed to exude confidence.

After I left I promised myself to never do it again.

Except for one thing: I am now a member of the service soap box team.  Gulp.  This means I am going to do this whole meeting thing once a month.

This month’s service event is a baby shower.   Not any baby shower, but a baby shower to benefit the March of Dimes Teddy Bear Den Program.  While it does have a pretty cool event planned, it also includes a virtual shower component! That way, if you don’t live in Utah, or are absolutely terrified of other bloggers (like I am), you can donate this way!

What am I going to do? Well, I’m going to attend the shower of course.  Yes, I will be taking both kids, again, but at least I kind of know the other bloggers.  Kind of.  Well, I still have 16 days to prepare!

Anyone want to come with me?  I would really love the extra hands.

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