Tuesday, October 12, 2010

In Loving Memory of my Unborn Child

I lost my baby this week. I was 10 weeks pregnant. While I can't prove it for certain, I know in my heart of hearts that the child I carried was a girl. I named her Rachel Olivia. She was so very, desperately, wanted.

Yesterday I learned she had other plans. She preferred to skip over this life and go straight to the one where there are no tears nor sadness. I know Jesus is holding her in His arms, as I am unable to.

Last night, I told my husband I wanted to go to the beach and listen to the waves come up & down. We have very dear friends who live near the beach and we called them to let them know we were coming. Within 15 minutes of our arrival, a number of our other friends came as well, to join us in our time of suffering. We sat under the beach, and our pastor came too and brought his guitar. We were singing songs of praise to our God, who "works all things together for the good of those who love Him." We don't understand why this happened, but we also know that God doesn't waste a hurt.

While we were singing under the starlit sky, listening to the waves crash upon the shore, I glanced heavenward. I saw a shooting star at the same moment I felt a sharp pain in my womb. I believe it was my daughter, letting me know she had arrived in heaven and was there watching over us.

It to my daughter, Rachel Olivia Swanepoel, that I dedicate this poem.

I saw her in a shooting star
The night I learned she had gone from me
My unborn child, dearly loved,
Shooting across & above the moonlit sea
I saw her in a shooting star
As friends of my heart sang around me
The precious soul, carried inside me
For such a brief time, yet I know it was she, when
I saw her in a shooting star.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Theme & Variations on Alfredo Sauce

We had unexpected guests at our house this evening.

Well, I didn't expect them. My husband did. But not for an hour. One of them showed up while I was not, ahem, decent so I had to run out of sight quickly to fix the problem because this polite gentleman walked in without knocking. But I digress.

With unexpected guests coming at dinnertime, I felt obligated to prepare some food. Because I was raised in a southern family, and you just quite simply do not have people in your home at any time of day without offering some form of refreshment. Oftentimes a bag of chips will suffice, but they showed up at DINNERTIME! Being a resourceful sort of person, I surveyed the contents of my pantry. Not much. (I had been planning on doing grilled cheese sandwiches but there wasn't enough bread for everyone.) I found a small jar of Alfredo sauce and half a box of pasta. Looked good. Not quite enough sauce, though. It was a very small jar. Then I remembered that I had 3/4 of a jar in the fridge, as I had opened it the previous night to dip breadsticks in!

Now, not being as talented as my good friend Jessica, the Novice Chef (I quite happily admit that I am much novicer than she.) I needed to improvise a bit. My husband is the cook of the family and he is very particular about his sauces. Opening a jar and dumping it in the pot doesn't quite cut it around here.

SO-- I improvised. I combined the two small jars. One was "sundried tomato alfredo" and one was "romano and parmesan." I didn't stop there. I also added a splash of white wine. I didn't stop there, either. Also in my fridge, I found some already-cubed-up grilled chicken, so I tossed that in for good measure.

Anyone who didn't know that jarred sauce had been present wouldn't have figured it out. It tasted completely homemade and delicious. I was ecstatic, being that I am the novicest chef.

Then I announced that dinner was ready. And these gentleman, who showed up at my house unannounced and with poor timing, informed me that they had plans to have dinner with some other friends later, but they were thankful for my offer. Grmph.

I guess I'll just have to go for seconds!

Friday, August 01, 2008

I've Moved!

Hey everyone!

For those of you who haven't yet updated your blogrolls or readers, please take note of my new URL:


I will be blogging over there from now on. Thanks!


Saturday, July 26, 2008

To My Friendly Starbucks Barista

While I was in my hometown this week to be with my family while my mother was in the hospital, there was a bright spot. A bright, shiny spot which made each day of my visit a little more pleasant.

Starbucks. There is a relatively new Starbucks not far my parent's home, and I was a frequent visitor during the 3 days of my stay. On my way out to return home, I went through the drive-thru to get myself juiced up for the 4-hour drive. As I pulled up to order, a very friendly voice greeted me.

"Hi, and welcome to Starbucks on this beautiful evening! My name is Josh. How can I help you?"

Josh sounded like nothing would make him happier than to take my coffee order. I could tell by the sound of his voice that he was smiling.

"Hi Josh! I think I'll try one of those raspberry brownies that the lady ahead of me ordered, and I'll also have a Grande Raspberry Mocha Frappucino."

"That sounds DELICIOUS! A themed dinner?"

"That's right, Josh!"

"It'll be $6.23."


I pulled up to the window where I met Josh in person. He was delightful! I could really tell he was having a nice time at his job. Most drive-thru people barely look at me, they just want to grab my money, throw my food at me, and send me on my way. Not Josh! He took some time to make pleasant small-talk.

What Josh didn't know was that I really needed something like that. I was on my way to the hospital one last time to see Mom before I drove home. I was very worried about her, as I'm sure you remember from the updates I posted. I was afraid I was going to be too late and they wouldn't let me in, and I was afraid that if I didn't get my coffee, I would fall asleep on the drive with Lance since we only left at 9 pm, ensuring a peaceful, quiet drive.

But Josh's friendliness and his smile, his thoughtfulness, really helped to brighten that evening.

I told him that he was the friendliest drive-thru person I had ever met. He seemed surprised and pleased by this. Then I told him I would write about him on my blog. I told him the URL, and I hope he manages to look me up!

So if you're here Josh, please know that your kindness made a huge difference to this mommy during a difficult time in her life. You didn't just give me coffee and a brownie, you gave me a reason to smile when there was none.

Thank you.

Friday, July 25, 2008

I type this from a laptop while lounging in bed. My mouth is filled with gauze, I'm snuggled up to a bag of frozen peas, and the remains of a few jello cups are littering my bedside table.

I think I'm gonna enjoy a few days of being an invalid! My husband is taking such good care of me, too! He went out and bought yogurt, jello cups, and pudding to feed an army. He also bought me some Starbucks Frappucinos, since I'm not supposed to have anything hot for a few days.

He's taken Lance out for the evening, so I'm enjoying some nice quiet time. He won't be out for long, but it'll be good for Lance to run around and play at the park while Daddy has his softball game. (Our city has several softball 'leagues' of which our church members make up 3 of the 4 teams! lol! They play every Friday night.) Fortunately some of the other players on Hubby's team have teenage daughters who just adore Lance, so they're going to help out with him. The best part? I didn't even have to arrange it!! Hubby called the parents of the teenagers to ask if they would please bring them along tonight.

I was knocked out for the surgery. I remember a few times I would wake up a little bit and could hear what was going on, but not often enough to remember the details. Although at one point I heard the doctor say "oops." That wasn't good! I was under for an hour, but I only have a few minutes' worth of memories of the procedure! The IV stick was the worst part. I'm such a baby when it comes to needles!

Whoa...the phone just rang. Apparantly talking is something I'll have to refrain from as well! I seem to be fine when I keep my head as still as possible!

Cheers re-runs, here I come!

In Which I Say Goodbye to Wisdom

My wisdom teeth will be coming out in a little less than two hours.

Goodbye, Wisdom. How I shall miss you.

In the meantime, I'm finding it rather difficult to refrain from eating and drinking, especially when Lance doesn't finish his breakfast.

Plain toast never looked so good, until you're not allowed it.

I expect I'll be spending a lot of time this weekend on my computer! I'm gonna milk it, baby.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Today's Updates

Hello, Blogfriends.

Here are the updates on mom. I hope you don't mind that I just copied the e-mail I sent out to our friends and family.

Hi everyone.

I saw my mom yesterday evening. It was good to see her. They have figured out that her stomach is not emptying AT ALL-- it is full of fluid, although she hasn't eaten anything for several DAYS. I had previously misunderstood and thought they were witholding food from her, but the truth is she can't keep anything down. One of the days she *did* have to fast because of a procedure they needed to do. They had her on clear liquids the other night, and she only took a few sips of juice, and it made her throw up a lot.

They are going to do more tests today to figure out the cause of this. Something similar had happened before, and they discovered a bacterial overgrowth in her small intestine. Hopefully the tests today will reveal what it is THIS time. There is talk of transporting her up to Mayo clinic.

My dad will be going to the hospital this morning so he can talk with the doctors and find out more information. At this point, we're all wondering why they haven't given her any nutrition intravenously, since they know she hasn't eaten anything in the three days she's been there. They have her on a saline solution and electrolytes so she won't dehydrate, but she isn't getting anything else.

While I'm relieved that they have figured out SOMETHING, it's scary to think that my mom has not been getting any nutrition for several days and is basically slowly starving. I don't like that thought AT ALL. Hopefully Dad will be able to get them to give her something in the IV. They won't release her from the hospital if she can't eat. Mom would prefer to have Dad drive her up to Mayo rather than have the hospital transport her, because that would just be a ridiculously huge (and unncessary) expense.

Please continue praying- now, that the doctors will be able to fix the problem they have found, and that my mother will have some measure of comfort. I will be returning home to Coral Springs tonight. I wish I could stay longer, but I'm having my wisdom teeth removed Friday morning.

Thanks and God bless

Hi again,

Mom has now received an IV with nutrition. They are also draining the fluid from her stomach. Already she looks a little better- not so pale, and she looks like she got some rest. They have decided to transport her via ambulance to the Mayo clinic in Jacksonville, but we're not sure yet when they will do this.

Thank you all for your prayers- we are beginning to see them answered! In addition to praying for mom's healing and wisdom for the doctors, please pray also that this will not become a financial burden for my family. My parents have a fairly good insurance plan, but it doeesn't cover everything. An ambulance trip to Jacksonville is going to be a significant cost, as will several days of hospital stay.

I will be going to visit Mom once more, on my way home tonight. I hope to have more information then. I know the are going to do more x-rays later this afternoon to see if her small intestine is working properly.

I can't begin to tell you how much your support means. You are all family to us. Without your prayers and moral support, I'm sure things would be much different right now.

God bless

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

In Which I Depart From My Most Recent Subject

This post has nothing whatsoever to do with my mom in the hospital. It's time for something fun and lighthearted.

I give you...

Lance! In the kiddie pool! Completely dressed! With a popsicle stain on his face!

This afternoon I was filling the kiddie pool that my parents have at their house just for Lance's visit. He was standing there eating a popsicle while I filled it. My grand plan was to take him inside and change him into his swim trunks when he was done with the popsicle.

Toddlers don't worry too much about their parent's plans. He just clambered right over the side of the pool, went down on his hands and knees, dripping with popsicle juice.

And I stood there and laughed like I haven't laughed for several days.

It was good.


Hey everyone. I'm up in my hometown to be with my family. I packed up Lance and we left our house at 9 pm. He slept ALL THE WAY HERE, a 4-hour drive. When we arrived around 1 am, he of course woke up when he saw and heard his Aunt and Grampa, so I let him stay up and play for awhile. Hopefully he'll sleep a little longer in the morning for me!

The gastroenterologist came to see my mom this evening, but we don't have any answers yet. Tomorrow, Mom is having a stress test and a bunch of other tests including an endoscopy.

I'll be sticking around the house, holding the fort down here and taking care of some stuff that my parents haven't been able to take care of, like following up with the TV repairman, doing some housework, preparing meals, etc. I'll go to the hospital when I can, but that might be tough with Lance. Not even sure yet if he will be allowed in the cardiac unit; will check on that tomorrow.

And again, thank you for all your prayers. Keep 'em coming.