I'm not who I was.
This kid, ya’ll. J is my precious ray of exuberant sunshine & full of dramatic flair. She is wild & sensitive & a notorious movie crier. Her nose is constantly in a book. She loves Jesus, family & friends… & strangers too really. She just loves. I am amazed at the incredible big sister that she is. J makes our every-day life a musical full of appreciation, worship, and silliness. Today, this child is 8 years old and I am so blessed that God chose me to be her mother.
(As is tradition, I will repeat J’s birth story at the end).
We are every-other-year big party-ers. This year is an “on” year. J requested a cheetah/leopard cake… half a year ago. (Such is the benefit to having a child with a similar personality in regard to the planning-ahead department.) Back to the animals: there is a difference & she knows it. Cheetahs are the fastest land animals, which is probably why they are her favorite. But leopards have cooler spots). Thus became the leopard print cake with a cheetah on top.
Poor deprived child… living in a small city school system with no bussing she may never get to experience the benefit of being out of school due to a minuscule amount of ice or snow like the rest of the county with back roads is today. But the bright side is, she got to bring her cupcakes. 🙂
J enjoyed attending clay camp over the summer, so I booked the wonderful clay whisperer for J’s party. (No, that’s not her actual title. But who wouldn’t want to be called a clay-whisperer?) I have to say, it is tricky to whittle down a party list for someone who loves everyone when one is paying per-head. But having a max number did help in the quantity of food & supply planning quite a bit. So that was a plus.
The clay was lots of fun, & believe it or not, minimally messy. Here is a sampling of the snow-men (pre-noses being painted orange & pre-firing. ) I just love all of their personalities. The exceptionally long noses cracked me up… they remind me of Olaf in the movie Frozen when he declared “I like it even better now!” (Which by the way, you should definitely go see. It may possibly be may favorite animated movie ever.)
After clay & cake, it was pull-string pinata time.
If you were unsure of my seriousness regarding J’s new found love of The Sound of Music, the reaction she gave upon receiving the CD from a friend should clue you in:
This is an honorable mention gift. It is a place mat/doll blanket that, yes, an 8-year-old friend crocheted herself in the couple of weeks between invitation and party. That’s dedication, ya’ll. I’m impressed.
I’m not sure if the following pose was because she thought it was stylish, or because she was trying to show off her new running shoes that do not have holes in them (hooray!), or if the pink on them automatically exuded “flamingo” stance. That’s just how she rolls 😉
Happy official 8 years, my darling daughter. Be fearless. Be kind. Love much. Let your light shine. We delight in you!
Hello everyone! For those of you who have not heard, our incredible little miraclewas born Saturday morning, December10th, 2005 at 12:05am. She weighed 7lbs. 30z. and was 18 ¾” long. Believe it or not, she has quite a bit of black hair! She is beautiful. Though all babies’ births are miraculous, J’s birth is more wondrous to us than we can explain. Many of you have heard about the emergency that occurred. The fact that both J and I are alive and healthy is nothing short of God’s provision. Let me walk you through the story.
Friday night, the Rev and I went to watch the movie “The Chronicles of Narnia” with some youth from our church. I was feeling fine, but as a precautionary measure the Rev and I drove separately from the kids since the hospital where J was to be born is located about a 45 minute drive from where we live (and where we were watching the movie).When there was about an hour left to go in the movie, I started having contractions that were 5 minutes apart. They weren’t all that painful, but since they continued on for the remainder of the movie, I called the doctor on call to see what he thought I should do. He said that if I had lived in town he would have had me do whatever I was comfortable with, but since I lived a good distance away I should go ahead and come in. They would observe me for an hour, see what kind of progress I was making, and decide from there. At the hospital, my nurse was incredible. She monitored me for an hour… my contractions were getting closer together but they still weren’t all that painful and I hadn’t made much more progress. At any time, we were waiting on the doctor to come check on me and give his opinion if I should stay or go. Had he come down “on time”, it is very likely that I would have been sent home. However, because of a surgery he was performing, the doctor was delayed for several hours. By the time he made it to me, I had made enough progress where the decision was for me to stay. He didn’t expect my labor to last long at all.
Once we got the word that I was staying, the Rev went to the car to bring in our luggage and call our parents. During that time, the nurse was getting my IV ready, etc. and I was about to go get my epidural. So far everything about my pregnancy had been picture perfect. The nurse was even bragging on how beautiful J’s heart patterns were… it was about as close to a textbook perfect situation as you could get. My contractions still weren’t even causing me pain, only discomfort. Then, suddenly, I was like “This contraction is actually starting to feel painful.”Which didn’t catch me off guard too much… it had to happen at some point. But it didn’t stop. The pain just kept intensifying to the point where my body was shocked… I was shaking and turning gray. And the contraction never let up. When this happened, I had had a placental abruption. (The doctor said that nobody knows what causes it. Out of his approximately 4,000 deliveries, this had only happened about 15 times, and he refused to tell me how many of those situations ended positively). It wasn’t just a partial abruption, it was a complete detachment in one fell swoop. J’s heart rate immediately dropped to 55… she was no longer getting any oxygen. Thankfully, the nurse was sitting right at my bedside when it happened and responded immediately. They had to do an emergency C-section. I felt like I was in an episode from ER… even though I was writhing in pain I was still coherent enough to see people running around yelling a bunch of terms I didn’t know, followed by STAT! The Rev returned from the car to an empty room. He asked where his wife was, they threw scrubs on him and let him stand in the doorway of the operating room. They told him if he had to pass out to fall out of the way because they didn’t have time to deal with him. He got there in time to see J be born. I, of course was unconscious for that part, but I’m not complaining. From the time they wheeled me out of my room to the time J was delivered was 6 minutes. The doctor made the incision and pulled her out within 30 seconds. Everything had to be done so quickly that they had to do a vertical incision. They gave me 3 doses of antibiotic afterward rather than the usual 1 dose since they didn’t have time to prep me properly… they only had time to pour alcohol on my stomach and go. They even had to x-ray me afterward to make sure they didn’t leave any gauze or anything inside since they didn’t have time to do a tool count beforehand.Of course I was unaware of the enormity of the situation until several hours later when I woke up! (sort of).
It was even more amazing to see how God orchestrated everything perfectly… if one little detail had been out of place, the outcome would have been completely different. Dr. said that babies have a reserve of oxygen in their blood for about 10 minutes before brain damage will start to set in. Not only was the Dr. already at the hospital when the emergency occurred, but he was right outside my door. He told us that if he had been at home and had to drive just 5 minutes to the hospital, or even on the other side of the hospital, that by the time he got there J would have been brain damaged or dead. Another blessing is that the anesthesiologist on call was also actually AT THE HOSPITAL. He doesn’t usually stay there, but for some reason, he decided to stay overnight that night. One of the operating technicians was already IN the operating room in exactly the right place… all the nursing staff couldn’t get over how perfectly in place everything was. Had I been at home, there’s no way our little girl would have made it.It’s possible that if we acted quickly enough, I could have been saved at the local hospital. If we had been on the road, neither of us would have made it. I would have died from the internal bleeding.Praise Jesus, baby and I are both alive and healthy. I think it will take awhile to really sort through all of the emotions of the situation. There were no coincidences… everything was planned perfectly by God. There is no other way to explain it. We have been prayed for throughout this whole journey… those prayers proved to be more necessary than we could have begun to imagine and we thank you for it. Even the night nurses were praying for us… my friend A was even restless that night and knew she had to pray for us even though she was unaware of the situation at the time. The whole hospital staff present even said that if they didn’t believe in miracles before, there was no denying it now. God is so awesome and we just can’t show Him enough gratitude. Of course with our new baby, our lives are changed completely. Had one little detail been out of place, they could have been changed in a completely different way. We are so humbled and grateful. What a mighty and gracious God we serve!