I had fully intended to write about each of my 5 now adult children back in December but then the holiday’s came and I got side tracked. I’ve written about my eldest son here and my youngest son here. I’ve written about my eldest daughter here. Since some of you know my daughter, Brittany, through her blog, Unexpected Surprises or her guest posting here, I decided I will write about her last. This way she can anticipate for awhile longer, what I will write about her. After all, she is the one that broke into my blog and blabbed about it being my birthday.
While I consider all my children, little miracles, my middle daughter, whom is also my middle child, is in the true sense of the word, my miracle child. She is the one I never expected to hold in my arms. Ever. I was young and naïve when I went to visit my elderly country doctor about getting on birth control after giving birth to my eldest daughter. He told me that as long as I was completely breast feeding that I did NOT need birth control. He told me that once she started eating food and not nursing as much, to come back and visit him. Did I say I was young and naïve ?
It wasn’t long and I was feeling that deathly sick feeling that I only feel when I am with child. After experiencing this with my previous 2 pregnancy’s, I knew this feeling all too well. Still, I hoped I was wrong. Not that I didn’t want more children, but I was young and I still had a baby. I went to see that same country doctor and he said there was no way I was pregnant until he walked back in the room and had to tell me that I was in fact pregnant.
Trying to care for and nurse my baby daughter while throwing up all day and night was awful to say the least. Not keeping food or even water down meant my not producing enough milk for my daughter. When I got admitted to the hospital for my condition, I had to wean her once and for all. With every single one of my pregnancy’s I had to spend time in the hospital because of dehydration and was sick until I gave birth. I remember my grandma telling me that she got severely sick like this with all of her pregnancy's also and telling her, “Thanks a lot for passing this down to me Grandma.” I found out years later that there is actually a name for this condition.
It wasn’t long after I was released from the hospital, when I started having issues with my pregnancy. Immediately I was referred to seeing this wonderful Indian woman doctor. She put me on bed rest right away. I remember laying with my little girl next to me, reading books and talking to the baby in my belly. It is not easy being on bed rest with a little one but my eldest daughter actually had fun with me for the most part. We would sing songs to the baby in my belly and I would cry with hope that some day I would get to hold him.
Since my stomach couldn’t keep down the medication to keep from going into labor, I had to go for injections. Since I seen her so frequently, she would hook me up to Intravenous fluids to help keep me from getting dehydrated. She also gave me some special Indian tea to help with the nausea. Most of all I remember how wonderfully she treated me in spite of me being young, (my prior experience before this was not good)and her being very gentle, kind and nonjudgmental of me.
On my last visit to her office, I had a little over 8 weeks to go before giving birth. It was early May and unusually warm for Minnesota and I was miserable. As soon as she seen me, she anticipated that something was seriously wrong. It didn’t take her long to access the situation and she calmly said, “We must transport you to Minneapolis right away.”
I was taken to a hospital where I could be monitored better by her and the technology they had there was better than the small rural hospital that would have been the other alternative. (She traveled to my rural community 2 days a week.) They worked hard to keep me from giving birth but the contractions continued to come. After 2 days, they couldn’t delay it anymore so with quite an audience( my doctor and her nurses for the delivery, a team for the baby I was delivering, a team for me because I was showing signs of distress) I gave birth 8 weeks early to my middle daughter. What is ironic is through all the ultrasounds I had over my pregnancy, they had let it slip that I was carrying a boy. So, I was expecting a boy and so were they. To all of our surprise, I gave birth to a girl.
She was not breathing when she was born and a team of doctors whisked her away immediately to work on her. A short time later, a doctor came to tell me that they did not think she would make it. After days of all this, I was beyond exhausted but I kept saying “Please. Please let me see my baby girl.” An hour later, this same doctor returned to me and my heart stopped as he entered the room. I fully expected him to say that she had died. Instead he said she was still alive, that they didn’t know if she would make it but that every minute she stayed alive fighting was in her favor…he explained that she was on machines and that while I couldn’t hold her, I could go see her.
When the nurse wheeled me to this special room, and there lay my beautiful baby girl with all kinds of wires running to her I could not help but cry. I wanted to pick her up and hold her but I couldn’t. I could reach my hand through a hole and touch her though and for now that was enough. They wouldn’t let me stay very long because of my own health but they promised me to take good care of her and that as soon as my own health stabilized I could come back and sit with her. Miraculously, a day later, she was breathing on her own and I was stable, so I got to finally hold her. Every second of not getting to hold her or nurse her tore out my heart so what a joy to finally get to do this. The doctors told me that she was a little fighter and that they were amazed that she was still up for the fight. He encouraged me to breast feed her as this would help with her fight.
Little did we know, that this was only the beginning of fighting for her life.
She improved quickly so we were released to go back home to our local hospital. After spending a couple more weeks there, we were finally released to go home. Home felt so good. What a joy to be home with my 2 sweet girls.
That joy was short lived when I started to notice her turning blue all the time. I called my doctor and we had to go back in. This time we seen her coworker, a pediatrician, whom was also from India and he too was just as kind and nonjudgmental of my young age. The way in which they embraced me is why I continue to have a general fondness for people from India.
He ran tests and found that she was forgetting to breathe. He told me it was a miracle that I had even noticed her doing this and that she hadn’t died from SIDS.
She had to be hooked up to an Apnea monitor 24 hours a day and before we could take her back home, we had to take classes and be certified in CPR and the local ambulance crew came to see where we lived so that they would be able to make quick trips if she needed be to resuscitated. I was scared to death. The monitor alarm was a loud shrill sound that would tell her brain to breathe. If her heart was not doing what it should be doing it would give a different kind of alarm. The alarms were going off all of the time. I slept out of exhaustion and with the comfort that the alarms would wake me up. She had to be hooked up to this monitor for her first year of life.
The monitor was huge. It felt like I had twins except that it weighed more. Needless to say, we left the house very little and no one wanted to be left alone with her, so there were no breaks for me. Thankfully the only time she had to ever be resuscitated was when we were already at the hospital because my oldest daughter got this bad stomach flu in which she had to be admitted into the hospital. I had to have my mother in law and Mom come sit in the waiting room with her while I went and held my oldest daughter while they put an IV in her. Apparently the monitor went off and she didn’t start breathing and someone from the ER heard it and rushed her into the ER, where they resuscitated her.
Just after they got the IV in my screaming hysterical daughter, another nurse came to tell me what had happened and that they had to admit my baby to monitor her. My poor mother and mother in law were so traumatized that they said they would never ever watch her again.
As I write all of this, it dawned on me how much of this I went through all alone and at such a young age. You may be wondering where my husband, their father was through all of this that I needed our mothers to come. Let’s just say that he was out having fun and couldn’t deal with all of this. To his defense he was young and had his father not made him get married to me, he wouldn’t have been.
Shortly after she was put on this monitor, I noticed a rash in all the areas that the monitor was connected to her body and where all her metal snaps for her t-shirts and diaper pins were. The doctor sent us to a dermatologist and came to find out that she had a severe allergy to all metal. There was a name for this but for the life of me I cannot think of what it was. We had to have everything plastic or non metal for her and if any metal touched her body she would have a horrible rash that would bleed because she would scratch at it. I had to put little mittens on her hands to keep her from scratching herself. Even when she went off to school she could not sit at a metal desk and had to eat with special plastic eating utensils. We had to cover the snaps on her jeans or else it would leave a big raw area where that touched her stomach.
Through out all of this she rarely cried and was a content baby. She remained a quiet child and refused to talk. After her hearing was tested and they said it was normal…thank God…they checked for other things and found no reason for her not talking. She went to speech therapy for a period of time but still she remained quiet and didn’t talk much. At around 4 years of age, she started talking in full sentences and never stopped.
I regret that I am unable to share any pictures of her in her younger years as my scanner is broke and my old computer that holds a lot of these pictures is still getting fixed.
She was the sweetest little girl and had a smile that melted my heart. Her olive skin and dark hair were opposite of her big sister’s, blond hair and faired skinned sister. Her and her sister, who is 16 months older than her, were the best of friends when they were little(and they still are) even though they were so opposite of each other. While her sister was very neat, tidy, stayed clean and loved everything girl, she was messy, rarely stayed clean and acted like a tomboy. You should have seen the bedroom they shared.
When her school years started, she struggled with learning and that continued through out. She was a different learner and traditional public schools are not made for different learners. Things came hard to her and her being on the quieter side made it hard for the teachers to notice her and give her the attention she needed in a class of little hellions. Seriously, her class was known as the “class from hell” all the way through school because of the high number of trouble makers.
She wished herself to be a boy and played rough and tough with the best of the boys. Her competitive nature kept her active in sports all through her early years, junior high and high school. She was following behind a sister that was into those things most girls are into, like make up, doing their hair and clothes and she had minimal interest in those things. Instead it was more likely to see her throwing her long brown hair into a pony tail and playing tennis or shooting baskets in a pair of athletic shorts and t-shirt, sans make up.
I am sure it was difficult trying to follow behind a sister whom seemed as though things came easily to her. While her big sister did study hard, school came easier or natural for her big sister(which is why it makes perfect sense that she is now a teacher)while school was more of a challenge for her. Having a brother in the same grade, with whom school was easy and didn’t require much studying to get good grades was very frustrating for her. She persevered in spite of each challenge that came at her and learned that hard work didn’t always mean a good grade.
I am sure growing up in the middle of having an older sister & brother and a younger sister & brother came with it’s challenges for her. I am sure as she navigated through those years of adolescence she felt lost in the middle at times. Her competitive and determined nature kept her from going unnoticed. Throw in some mood swings each month and I guarantee she was noticed by every single one of us. Yet no one hated those mood swings more than she did, except for maybe her brothers. I would tell her brothers that this was good training for them on how to live with a woman some day. Of course they both said they were never going to be married some day.
Since her older brother was in the same grade as her, they had many of the same friends. Over the years as the guys came over to hang out with her brother, it was evident to the rest of us that they were not just coming over to see him but her as well. She really didn’t have a clue as to how beautiful she was but the boys sure did. She was oblivious of their attention and of them having more interest in her then just shooting baskets with her.
She put herself through college by working, grants and loans. I have met very few young people with the determination, hard work, and sensibility that she displayed. She had her eye’s set on the goal and she went after it. During this time, I really seen her blossom into herself as she became more confident and comfortable with herself. In a sense, she grew into herself and stopped trying to be like someone she is not. She created her own style and became comfortable in her shorts & t-shirts but dresses as well. She started doing her hair and wearing some make up but never a lot. All of these things made her beauty shine that much brighter and still she did not have a clue.
After graduating from college with a degree in psychology, it did not surprise me that it didn’t take long before her wings took her far from home. In the year after college she had met a wonderful young man that you cannot help but love.
I could not ask for a finer young man to be in her life. He has an adventuresome spirit also so it didn’t take long for the two of them to take flight from Minnesota to Idaho. It didn’t take long for them to live there before they adopted a dog and named her Ida. She is one of the sweetest and best behaved dogs I’ve ever seen.
Listening to her tales of hiking in the mountains, canoeing and camping in the mountains, snow boarding, or mountain biking, at times made me worry but most of the times made me so happy that she was out living her dreams.
While working with kids at a hospital, she continued to take classes at the college, as did her boyfriend. I am very blessed in that I got a chance to take two different trips to visit them. Once with a good friend and then two and a half years ago with my eldest daughter, granddaughter and youngest son, which is the last time I seen her or spent any significant time with her, other than a very quick visit home for my brothers wedding in October of 09. She sure lived in beautiful part of our country.
Just before Christmas of this year, she finished up her classes and her boyfriend graduated. Then the week after Christmas they put on their wings and took flight once more. They have landed in Oklahoma where she will be attending college for the next 16 months. Thankfully her boyfriend is up for this move and supports her ambitions. Who knows where they will fly to next.
She is a go getter and adventuresome like no one I’ve ever known. She has the heart of an angel and would give the shirt off of her back. She cares and feels deeply. She loves adventure and takes the risks that many of us don’t have the courage to take. She is far more beautiful then she realizes and her heart makes her even more so.
She has been through some tough things in her life and I know that those obstacles are likely some of the reasons she cares so deeply about others. As you all know, I wasn’t a perfect Mom and made my share of mistakes. She, like my other kids, has been more than forgiving and full of grace towards me. I am blessed beyond measure to have her as my daughter and now as my friend.
This is the last photo I have of her and my other 4 adult children, which was taken at my brothers wedding.
This is the story of my daughter. She is my miracle… a gift that keeps on giving to me. I was expecting a boy but received a most wonderful extraordinary girl. She is one of the most remarkable people I know and I am honored that she is mine. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t thank God for this daughter of mine…for every day that I’ve spent with her…for every day she calls me Mom…for every joy she has brought to my life…for every day she tosses and turns my heart with the love we share.
Until next time dear friends, love & hugs, Lori