Monday, April 08, 2013

Josh Turns 26

My last post was about my eldest son's birth. Here are the few photos we took Saturday when he was over for one of his favorite home cooked meals: Honey Spiraled sliced ham, mashed potatoes, peas, and rolls. It was wonderful having him "home" even if only for a few hours!

I'm coming in for a kiss! He asked: "You're not going to do anything weird are you?"
He makes me laugh!

Then he whisked me up! What a surprise!
(click to enlarge! believe me it's worth it to see our faces!)

I love my boys!

Agustin was rushing off to work. This photo tickles me!
Doesn't he look like a little school boy trying hard to be good?  ;)

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Swept Off My Feet (again)

A very handsome man stopped by our house today
and “swept me off my feet” AGAIN!!!
Our first born, Josh, turned twenty six today. My mind cannot comprehend that! It seems like just yesterday, God sent us that tiny miracle at 2:22 a.m. April 6, 1987. I was “swept off my feet” the moment I laid eyes on his perfect, but tiny form. My dad often says that Josh reminded him of a little old man with sagging skin wrinkled up.
Below is the amazing story of how God performed a miracle on that April 6, 1987 morning. It’s a tad long, but if you feel so inclined, I’d love for you to read it.

Finally, packing up to go home!
Misc. Family 119
He came early, but ready to fight!!! I had flown in from Mexico the week before his birth, which may be what brought on the premature labor.(and the fact I was further along than believed)  It was the most painful moment of my life, waving goodbye to Agustin. He stood at the bottom of the escalator in Mexico City’s huge International airport. He had not be awarded his VISA yet, hence preventing him from being able to accompany me to the states. I looked back at him the entire ride up the tall escalator, never taking my eyes off of him. What if something happened and I never saw him again? My heart was in my throat!

I cried and sobbed quietly during the entire flight from Mexico City to Miami.  I caught looks of pity and concern from other passengers and the flight attendants. After a short layover in Miami, I was on a smaller plane headed to Tampa. I felt exhausted. I tried sipping a beverage during the 30 minute or so flight. I believe I ordered orange juice. I was so relieved and happy to walk off the airplane and see my friend Jan and my mom waiting for me in that concourse of Tampa International Airport. First came the smiles and hugs, then the expected “pregnant tummy inspection”. “Why are you even wearing a maternity dress? You have no belly. You don’t even look pregnant!”  I explained that Agustin had bought the dress for me a couple of weeks prior and I felt that since I didn’t appear pregnant,  the dress might garner me some help with the luggage, and it had! I didn’t have to carry my ginormous heavy bag off the luggage belt. A lady looked kindly at me and asked if I was pregnant. I said yes and she proceeded to find out which bag was mine, then lifted it off for me. Amazing isn’t it how one small moment of kindness lingers forever in our hearts and minds!  Well, Mom and Jan whisked me off to meet up with Mom’s friend Mona who was staying in her parents condo in Clearwater. Mom had flown down from West Virginia to help Mona pack up her parent’s things to move them to Missouri. We had several days together before I had to leave for West Virginia with my dad and brother in law, Clint. I remember eating at a Golden Corral and having to excuse myself to the restroom several times due to small amounts of leaking. Then the next night while out to eat at The Spaghetti Warehouse in Ybor City, I was so sick, I ordered only an ice water. I started having contractions while there but didn’t say a word to anyone as I just thought I wasn’t feeling well. I didn’t want to ruin their dinner.

That night I slept at Mona’s house. I lay there in her guest room wondering if this pain  would stop. I wondered if the slow leaking meant anything. Boy, was I dumb! My baby wasn’t due for several more weeks! I was scared! I cried! I prayed!

The next morning, we all went to Jan’s house for breakfast. Dad and Clint had made it into Tampa to make a delivery and were headed back up to W.V. right after we ate. The plan was that I’d ride back with them, get settled in my parent’s home in Logan, then find an OB/GYN to care for me and baby during my last weeks of the pregnancy. It did NOT happen that way!

Dad, Clint, and I loaded into that tiny Ford Ranger truck. We were all much smaller back then so it really wasn’t that crowded. About half way to W.V. I realized I needed help. Each time we would pass a H for Hospital sign on the interstate, I wondered if I should ask them to find that hospital. I held on for as long as I could. We finally arrived in Princeton, W.V. and dad wanted to stop at the Shoney’s to eat since it would be his last opportunity to do so for awhile since there wasn’t one near Logan. It was cold, snowy, and icy! I remember praying not to fall as I stepped out of the truck. Once again, I only ordered water. Dad and Clint were at the salad bar, happily piling their plates high. I went to the ladies room. I came out white as a ghost. I had started bleeding! I sat quietly in the booth, sipping on my water. Clint finally noticed that something was wrong with me. He asked if I was ok. I quietly told him about the back pain and the bleeding. He then, in only the way Clint can do, gently said that we could get a hotel for the night. I needed to put my feet up and rest. That is what the doctor had counseled Rita to do when she was spotting during her pregnancy. When I said no, I’d rather try to continue on the last couple of hours to get home. He then called the State Highway Patrol for weather conditions. This was in 1987, so no laptop, no smart phone, no internet! They said all roads were clear, it was safe to travel. After the men finished their meals, we set off again. An hour into the trip I was groaning. Dad then became very concerned. Clint told him what I had experienced back at Shoney’s. Dad then suggested we stop at my Aunt Catty’s house. She was a nurse and knew good doctors. She could get me in first thing in the morning with an OB/GYN. We showed up that night around 9:30, surprising her and Uncle Ted. She took me right in. I ate a bowl of corn flakes then took a warm bath. (All things I shouldn’t’ have done since I was in LABOR! – But I was too dumb to know it and it was way too early to even think that!)

Finally, we get to the hospital where my aunt worked. She was able to get me quick attention. It was so chaotic due to me having no doctor or connections at all there. They called in the OB/GYN, Dr. Sultan. They also called in the pediatrician, and the helicopter life flight from the larger hospital in Huntington. The consensus was that the night was not going to bring forth good news.  I was told to change. The technician then began an ultrasound on me. I was complaining of back pain. She could find no baby! She called in the obstetrician. After he and she spoke quietly, he had me rolled in to the delivery room. He explained that I would need to deliver naturally without drugs. He also explained to me that he wasn’t sure what he would be delivering, a live or dead baby and I should prepare myself. He then informed me that the helicopter was on standby in case the baby needed to be rushed to Huntington. I remember pushing and pushing and being put on oxygen at some point. I remember being told they had no heartbeat on the baby. I remember being so scared and feeling sad. My Aunt Catty was right there with me, holding my hand and feeding me ice chips. I did not know until years later that Dr. Sultan had told her out in the hall that he was afraid he would be delivering a blob. Another thing I wasn’t aware of at the time, my Aunt Virgie was out in the hallway calling her church prayer chain, asking prayer for me and the baby. She also called Clint and Dad who had driven on to Logan after leaving me in good hands earlier that evening. They were shocked when Aunt Virgie announced that she was at the hospital with me and we were about to have a baby but things looked grim. Poor Clint! He knew Agustin from our days together in Mexico. He said he paced the floor trying to form a speech to give Agustin on the phone once the baby was born. His Spanish wasn’t as proficient as it is today, so he wanted to have the right words if he were to tell Agustin we had lost the baby. We were all able to laugh later when he told us how he was dreading making that call to Agustin in Mexico when the phone rang again. It was Aunt Virgie again. She rejoiced: “We’ve got us a baby boy!” Clint said he was so relieved.  He then called my husband, and at first Agustin did not believe Clint. He thought it was just another prank from the master prankster! He was finally convinced that he had a son; a tiny son, but a living son! Then my mom was called in Florida. She and Mona too thought Clint was playing a mean joke, calling at 2:30 in the  morning! Finally, they were convinced I had given birth. Imagine, they had just seen me that morning in Tampa and they were still proclaiming that I didn’t even look pregnant!

There is so much more I could tell you. The prayers of concerned Christians who had never met me and the love of family was overwhelming.The main point is that God performed a miracle that night. He actually did have me in the right place at the right time, even though it didn't seem like it at first. The doctor who delivered Josh was wonderful. The pediatrician, Dr. Haas was amazing! I had no insurance or history with any of the doctors mentioned. The hospital had grants from the state and I never saw a bill. There were a few ups and downs during the next few weeks, but all in all, Joshua had very little difficulty compared to other babies born as early as he was.

He isn’t so tiny today! He is a miracle from God and so strong and strapping. He has a beautiful heart and is a loyal friend to others. He has an awesome work ethic and is amazingly blessed with athletic skills. He still has heart issues but hasn’t let that hold him back. If anything, it has caused him to work harder and try harder. It’s been a wonderful ride watching this miracle of ours grow and learn, try and fail, try and succeed, watching him become a man.