And Ray said…I don’t want to get too attached and did not want to even look at her hand. Holding himself aloof, protecting his heart…when he bonds it is strong and forever…
Can’t blame him…the birth mother wanted to see only three profiles, since we were the fourth to get our information in, we were not chosen to be presented. Maybe I was looking for a coincidence, sometimes I do that, I know…but God said, “no, not this baby…” Pray right now for the birth mother would you? The baby is to be released today, and she needs to pick now for “HER” . Time is running out and there are families that will love her forever. This momma has been so brave so far, encourage her in your prayers.
And while I was waiting on word of the baby…three cows got out into the silage pit and I was in my pj’s at six am chasing cows away from the rabbit hutches. Levi and I got them back in…
Just as everyone left other than Benjamin and Eli and me…a horn honks: “there is a cow upside down on the hill struggling to get up.” Enough already, spring fever!! Spring heats bring crazy cow syndrome. The younger cows pushed this older cow upside down in the mud. Baby was in bed, Ben was OK so out I went, Shyloh’s boots, orange rain coat…and a phone. It doesn’t take long, their stomachs fill full of air and they suffocate. Calling Ray and I was running down the lane, the two guys who stopped in the water company truck watched me…almost knee deep in mud flipping a thousand pound cow using her body weight, making sure her head stayed up the hill hanging on to her collar for dear life…pinching her nose so she got her bearings. And YES…she LIVES… The guys stayed perched on three blades of grass on the small strip of solid ground asking me, “is there anything I can do?” in their white shirts and clean “barn boots” …
Then off to walmart for two Benjamin melt downs and yep, I am tired!!
Bit of advice to those of you who wait…do not stop your life, live it to the fullest AS you wait, life ticks on and on and on….never backwards…
Oh how we value LIFE!!
Ten years ago, tears streamed from my eyes as I watched the coverage of an attempted rescue. Ray had only been out of the mines for two short years, so I was imagining, as were all present and former mine families, such a dreaded phone call. TRAPPED.. FLOODING…
Those who are familiar with the local mines know. These mines are very low mines, rock falls are common, and the pumps ALWAYS run to keep the water out as the area the guys are working. When a mine is abandoned all the company does is shut off the pumps. The mine fills with water and it is all over.
A fear is electrical failure, generators back up the electricity, but it is a risk. Every day the men go into the mines knowing the risk and trading this risk for more pay to support their families. It makes the guys underground on the same shift more team players than most work places. If something goes wrong, and every miner who has been under for any length of time has seen at least one, if not multiple accidents, the guys get you out as one unit.
I remember one phone call. Ray called himself, so not to worry me, but could not mask the pain in his voice. I had Caleb and Baby Levi and was pregnant with Micah. I heard, “I smashed my hand, I’m OK, they are taking me to the hospital.”
It was not a time you call people, or ask many questions. As usual, I had few people to help on hand. I took the kiddos to the hospital with me. I don’t remember the drive other than the feeling of that knot, the drive to get there and the light headedness. And the praying…
I saw him on the gurney, he was as white as the sheet. There was a covering over his hand, the explanation began. He had been rock dusting. Ray was operating a shuttle car during this period of employment. Sometimes, they pull a duster behind them to keep the risk of explosion down. His trip rope was too short, he complained about it but was told to keep working. As a result, his hand had to be out of the protected part of the shuttle car. The shuttle car was made to articulate in the middle, his hand was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and he crushed off his pinky finger and half of his fourth and a portion of his third finger.
His face was dirty, they had cut his clothes off and they were under the gurney, caked in black and greasy. His eyes held PAIN in check so as not to scare the babies. I must admit, I almost passed out… ME.
So back to the miners… with bated breath we watched the operation. I could not turn it off. Since it was a local rescue they had 24 hour coverage, Que Creek being within the viewing area of our local news station. We all imagined it was our husband, son or father. That is how community works, isn’t it?
The families, the country did NOT say, “Oh well, they are buried. Nothing we can do.” And move on. Something inside our humanity compels us to seek to dig to claw with our hands if we have to…because there is LIFE below. Don’t you think God made us that way? Because we see it in EVERY culture, EVERY country; after each natural disaster, families, communities dig and search…COMMON we have this in COMMON.
Can’t we at least be consistent?
19 This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live. Deuteronomy 30:19.
Happy Tenth anniversary to the REBIRTH of the Que Creek Nine, You matter to God and you matter to all of US. NINE for NINE!!!
It is never a coincidence. Days have passed and zilch had gotten done regarding our adoption paperwork. But now, look at what is happening:
In the last few days:
1. Received all the state child abuse clearances, all 4 ( even Micah and Levi needed them since they were over 15 years old.
2. Ray was home for a day, today so we could get our FBI fingerprints done. Levi is going to MOMENTUM, a Christian retreat, at the same place we went to get our fingerprints today, so he can do that without me even moving the car 🙂 NOT a coincidence, don’t believe in them.
3. Received the Verification of Employment from Ray’s work.
4. And scheduled a physical for me for next Friday.
5. Found an old XP laptop on sale really cheap on eBay ® Remember I said our autobiographies were in Microsoft works, not word and the computer couldn’t read the files… also not a coincidence being the seller is only 15 miles from here and I can pick it up, no shipping charges either!
Still to do:
1. The Autobiography once I have the computer and the files converted.
2. My physical.
3. Few odd papers to fill out.
4. A copy of Ray’s divorce decree from the Prothonotary’s office.
5. And updating the guardianship in our will.
6. Find Ray’s diploma.
7. State Police Clearances, can be done online instantly.
Hopefully this will all be done soon and we can have our last meeting with the social worker and she can write it up!!
But even more telling, my heart is beginning to yearn for that child or children. It is a feeling like when you are pregnant and dreaming of the child you carry. You are sometimes unfocused concerning the present events, and praying/listening/preparing and waiting with all your heart.
and some children are being listed that are tugging at me
Ephraim, a very sweet newborn baby, is in need of a nurturing and loving family who can help him overcome whatever challenges may confront him. He is a baby who has a number of risk factors any of which could interfere with typical development.
Ephraim is an African American baby who was born on June 9, 2011. He weighed 7lbs 3 oz. and his length was 20 inches. His doctors are monitoring his head circumference which was measured at birth as 12 ¼ inches. His birth mother’s drug toxicology test, done at the time of his birth, was positive for cocaine and marijuana. His birth mother, in fact, acknowledges heavy drug use throughout the entire pregnancy. She reported extensive use of alcohol prior to the pregnancy and alcohol use during the pregnancy cannot be ruled out. Currently, Ephraim is undergoing drug withdrawal as manifested by tremors throughout his body. These will subside over time but the effects of prenatal exposure to drugs can be extremely damaging. In addition…
I was coming close to the end of my fourth pregnancy, Caleb and Levi were 3 and 2, I had a miscarriage six months prior to this pregnancy right at the 11, 12 week mark. So, when I fell pregnant with Micah, I had extra tests from the very beginning. My hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) levels were increasing, but not at the rate expected. So that made me nervous and gave me extra doctor’s visits.
I had decided to switch doctors after having Levi, since I wanted a VBac ( Vaginal delivery after a Caesarian Section) and the doctor for Levi, pressured me for the C-sect since he had a t-time (I found out later) I had been progressing with Levi, but not as quickly as he would have liked. All the other women on the floor had delivered…that’s for another day…
My pregnancy with Micah was rather uneventful, just anemic as usual. The plan was to not induce since it increases the chances of a problem for a Vbac. For them to agree to a trial of labor, everything had to be perfect. So I was about 10 days late and in the middle of the night, April 1st, I couldn’t sleep and I sneezed. My water broke. It was a dark green. Meconium. “Nuts, oh well I guess I am having another Caesarian.” I packed for the three days in the hospital and we went in to the maternity floor. I was expecting the doctor to say that she was calling the operating team. Instead she said, “OK let’s give it a try.” I was a little wigged out thinking that maybe it wasn’t Ok, but she was the doctor.
I progressed very slowly since I went in to the hospital quickly after the meconium. I was at a 5 for like I don’t know 8 hours or so. The doctor came in and said, maybe your water didn’t fully break. She felt a soft area that she thought was the amniotic sac and got the hook and snagged a few times with no change. She went away. Around this time, I got an epidural. Finally, around hour 24, I was fully dilated, fully effaced and ready to push. A nurse came in to do a last check, and she began to yell at me: “God, I feel an eye socket! And a nose. Don‘t push, you’ll break his neck. “ He was in a full face presentation. The next thing I knew, a team of X-Ray people were there with the big mobile X-Ray machine taking pictures. The anesthesiologist was there giving me a full spinal. The OB surgeon showed up. Meanwhile, my whole body was concentrating on fighting “Push”. With all my might, I was pushing against the push and praying for my baby.
Then…I couldn’t breathe. Not just a little, I was suffocating. I started to thrash my head from side to side, saying,” I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe.” The doctor asked me if I ever had a spinal before, I said “yes, two” (it gives you a heavy pressure feeling in your chest). I said this was way different , I could not expand my lungs at all. He said , “Ok.” And they double timed me into the OR. I was crying out to Jesus. All I could say in my mind was HIS NAME. I was not even transferred to the bed for more than a second when the Doctor saw what was wrong.
My uterus had ruptured. He quickly got Micah out, but the baby was limp. The whole anesthesia team worked on him…the time ticked on…seven minutes later he began to breathe. The OR was dead silent. No one spoke and tears were running out of the corners of my eyes as I lay there. The obstetrician asked me if I wanted a tubal, I told him no. He suctioned, and suctioned. Ray later told me they had to remove all of my intestines to clean out my cavity. After Micah gave a pitiful cry, they showed me his little face. It had a large gouge out of the forehead (later I found that this is where the first doctor tried to snag my already ruptured amniotic sac with the hook). I told Ray to go with the baby and he didn’t. He was white, he stayed with me. He was seeing all of the blood in the suction tube. The doctor was relieved that Micah was alive and told me I was very lucky he had not put anything through the hole in my uterus and started to thrash. Micah was his first live birth from a uterine rupture. My uterus had begun to separate along the scar line from my previous Caesarian but then shredded. That sweet older doctor spent two and a half hours sewing my beaten and battered uterus back together.
The next thing I remember is the next day, I woke up as the nurse took my blood pressure :80 over 40. They did not want to give me a transfusion if they could help it since screening measures for HIV were in their infancy. I did not have the strength to lift my head. The OB doctor told me it was a “wait and see” if I would hemorrhage and require a hysterectomy.
Micah could not come to me. The anesthesia team went into the nursery to see their miracle baby. The pediatricians came and told me ” there is a God in Heaven.” They were also astounded at his recovery, but with reservations. Micah was posturing and they were uncertain about brain damage. I heard everything, but had no energy to really comprehend it all.
Happy sweet sixteen My child of joy, Micah Neal.
“The Lord Gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord. “ Job 1: 21. And this time, He gave.
(my scanned images for some reason saved as pdf. you have to click on the links to see the pictures, sorry 😦 )