Friday, November 27, 2009

Miracles, Large and Small

In the spirit of the season, I've been counting my blessings. Admittedly, I have special reason to be thankful this year since we have welcomed little Miscellany, a particularly delightful addition to our family. (A note to some of you out there: Miscellany is not her real name, in case you were wondering. We use aliases around here, remember?) We are blessed to have her at all, and that, my friends, is a story of miracles.

I'm grateful that I wasn't born 100 years ago. 100 years ago, I would have never had children at all because in vitro fertilization was not even a germ of an idea in the mind of the most brilliant scientist. I would have been childless and sad.

One hundred years ago, if, by some miracle, I had conceived, I would probably have miscarried. Have any of you had a Rhogam shot? If you have, you've been blessed by a modern medical miracle, too, as you were prevented from having an immunological rejection of your fetus.

One hundred years ago, little Miscellany would not have survived her delivery. When my water was broken, the amniotic fluid rushed out of the sac and suddenly we all heard the scary sounds of a fetal heart deceleration. As her heart rate plummeted to the 50s, suddenly my hospital room filled with nurses. They all knew their jobs, and did what had to be done as my doctor attached a monitor to the baby's head, reinfused amniotic fluid into my uterus and then manipulated my numb body into multiple positions in an attempt to find a place that didn't stress the little one any further. My mom and my sister stood in the corner and sent up prayers on our behalf, and watched my doctor do the same as she donned her surgical scrubs. My husband held my hands and my eyes as he helped me grasp the oxygen mask covering my face. The anesthesiologist stood behind me ready to dose my epidural as another nurse shaved my abdomen in preparation for an emergency caesarean section.

And then . . . and then, I experienced a tender mercy: an overwhelming sense of calm, and a certain knowledge that all would be well. I knew the baby would be fine, regardless of her doorway. I breathed deeply, and I felt the baby settle. And then the fetal heart tones began to regulate, and steadily increased to a normal level. It was the scariest 15 minutes of my life. We delivered her, with great joy, the old fashioned way, and without further complication even though the umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck.

I am grateful for the miracles discovered and applied and perfected in hospitals and laboratories all over the world every day. I am thankful to the practitioners, doctors and nurses alike, who know their stuff, and risk their lives, names and reputations every single time they engage in patient care.

I am grateful for the miracle of a kind, caring, and devoted husband. I'm not exactly sure where I'd be (probably institutionalized) if it weren't for the efforts of my dearest one. He is the greatest. What's that scripture? I cannot say the least part of what I feel. And I love him.

I am grateful for the miracle of the Magic Grandma. Every time my mom walks through my front door, she saves my life. Miscellany is three weeks old now, and for her first two weeks of life, my mom came over every day.. She walked into piles and piles of laundry, dishes gathered and untouched since she had last done them, an emotionally fragile and sleep-deprived mommy, and three very stir-crazy, energetic and rambunctious boys. She built forts, channeled energy, straightened messes, and soothed frayed nerves. And she did it with style, managing to juggle all of that plus running a business and a stake Relief Society program without missing a beat.

I am grateful for my dad. His quiet, selfless service and sensitivity to the Spirit are miracles unto themselves. Since the baby was born, he has several times just shown up to take my boys with him somewhere – anywhere. And the hour of quiet that entered the house as they left was golden and peaceful. He is also the one who, while my mom mitigates and tries to make my husband feel better by saying some little feature on Miscellany's face looks like Daddy, instead says, “Nah, this baby looks just like InkMom.” And I know he means it because when he looks at her, he looks like he is remembering.

I am grateful for the miracle of sisters who are best friends, and best friends who may as well be sisters. I have experienced an outpouring of love and support from friends whose lives are at least as busy as mine. They have cooked and cleaned for me. They have made me laugh. They have taken care of my children and increased their own burdens as they have lightened mine. One has taken beautiful pictures of my baby. (You must go see them. Here and here.) My dear Heather left her own five children with family and came to visit from Idaho with her husband. While he went to continuing education classes at a professional conference, she scrubbed my hardwood floor and played games with my crazy boys. She mopped pee off of the tile in the little boys' bathroom and changed poopy diapers. She sword-fought with them and let them creep down the stairs early in the morning to wake her up in the basement That is friendship!

I am grateful for the miracle of my three boys, who love their sister so much. I am surprised by this. MayDay has been the baby for three years, and I worried he would regard his sister with hostility. Instead, the first thing he did when we brought her home was get his beloved blanket and spread it lovingly over her little body. I expected G-Dog to maul her to death, but I did not expect him to say, every morning, “I think she's a little bit bigger today, Mommy.” He gives her so many hugs and kisses that I'm certain she'll grow tired of them before she's a few months old. When MayDay was born, ConMan just ignored him – as in, if I don't look at him, maybe he's not really here. He is not as effusive as his twin, but he is still enamored of his baby sister. He approaches shyly, and looks up at me with big blue eyes. “Mommy, she's so pretty!” And she is.

My life is blessed by miracles. Isn't yours?


  1. I had something very similar happen when I was in labor with my darling daughter -- broke my water, gush of fluid, fetal heart decels, pumping fluid back in ... It is truly scary. I'm glad you were able to have peace of mind during that time and that your precious little miracle is here safe and sound, and that your little boys adore her!

  2. Definitely. I hope you had an amazing Thanksgiving!

  3. Love those photos. So so cute.
    Wonderful post.
    I love your writing. You evoke such emotion. Thank you.

  4. I am in tears because my life's current miracles are so very, very similar. 100 years ago both Claira and I would have died during labour. Without warning or explanation. And yet that large miracle almost seems small in light of the love currently suffusing our home. Despite chaos and dirty dishes and lack of sleep we are so, so happy.

    I don't know that I'll ever be done feeling grateful. Thank you for hitting that home all the more soundly.

  5. Ahhhhhh. That was a sigh of contentment. In the middle of the craziness that is the day after Thanksgiving shopping, to read a post about what is really important in life is a breath of fresh air.

    Thanks for the delivery details. You had me on the edge of my seat and I'm sooo glad everything turned out well.

    I can't tell you how pleased I am when there's a new post from Inkmom! It makes me happy!

  6. Happy, happy blessings, those that are found in our homes.

  7. Oh my goodness! I've never heard of that happening, but it sounds really scary!

    I love your pictures--your mom sent me the link last week and I am green with envy. So precious!

    And your parents are really the best.

  8. A lovely post. And I'm truly happy for you-- for all of you.

  9. I love this. Hope to see you Sunday, but if not it's totally understandable.

  10. The first post of yours that I read was the result of the happy fortune of your stumbling across my blog and leaving a comment.

    I read the whole thing, however, because you talked about being a violist and how much you loved music, and I knew we had a lot in common.

    I kept coming back because your writing is sublime, pure and simple. And as the time has passed, I've recognized in you and your darling sister that serendipitous spark of kinship that I've experienced from time to time in this funky, virtual world.

    But this was the loveliest thing you have ever written. You should write under the influence of hormones and sleep deprivation more often!!

    You have much to be grateful for, and I am grateful that you found the time to share it with us.

    Much love,

  11. Oh yes. I am grateful because my life is blessed by miracles.

    The wonders of modern medicine never cease to amaze me.

  12. Yes, you are truly blessed and M is absolutely beautiful. Those shots are amazing of her! Don't you just love having both boys and a girl? I am grateful to experience both in this life also. Such a sweet post!

  13. I am blessed to know you! I know I need to drew closer to the Lord when I don't notice the little miracles in my life..They happen all the time and it is a wonderful thing.
    Your sweet little angel baby is beautiful. The photographs are wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

  14. I too am soooooo grateful I didn't live 100 yrs ago. I would not have made it thriugh Colemans birth. Love a good c-section!

    The pictures are BEAUTIFUL!!!

  15. I too have been blessed with many miracles. Since all of my children were in-vitro and emergency c-sections, without both of these there would be no children with us now and to think 50 years ago these did not exist to the level they do today.

    That was an amazing post..thank you and congrats on your new little girl!!

  16. Your life sounds like the smallest slice of Heaven right now. I think it's because you view everything with thankful eyes. That's a gift.

  17. Oh yes, my life is one big miracle!
    We have so so much to be thankful for...
    sooo glad you are safe and healthy and baby too.


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  19. I am so blessed too...and I loved your beautiful way of capturing so much you are thankful for as well.

    Great post!

  20. Oh, what tender mercies you have experienced. What a birth story! You are amazing, through and through. Congrats & enjoy this sweet baby bonding time.

    PS: Miscellany is not her real name...I was wondering!! ;)

  21. My pregnant self has teary eyes (shocker!!) after seeing those gorgeous pictures and reading what these three proud brothers have said of their sweet precious sister!!!

    Aaawwww ... the love!!!!

    What a special season to be thankful for so many reasons.

    Your dad is right!! She does look like you and I didn't even watched you grow up :0)

  22. Wonderful post. So many blessings. So much love.

    And as for miracles? Absolutely.
    But I seem to notice them most often during my darkest hours. Perhaps it's the contrast. Maybe that I'm looking harder for them. But they are definitely there.

  23. So many miracles! I love the way you have categorized them. And we do live in such an age of miracles, that perhaps it is the reason we don't recognize them as readily.

  24. What an amazing tribute...
    And the baby photos are darling!

  25. Oh wow! I love this post! And you are blessed to have so many wonderful miracles in your life right now!
    Congrats especially on the new little one.


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