Thursday, April 18, 2013


I am not a religious person, yet I have an angel. When I was young and naive and very in love I became pregnant. This was very much an accident. At first I was distraught, frightened, and not at all pleased with what had occurred. With the love and support of my fiancée, we decided we could and would, have and raise this baby however untimely the child would come. I was 19, my fiancee was 21.
So there we were reluctant expectant parents, still not realizing the full scope of change this would mean to our lives and future. But we went about doing what we needed to do working our low paying menial jobs, scouring the second hand stores for baby things, and slowly falling in love with the idea we were to be a family.
I did all the right things, quit drinking, smoking, and even drinking coffee. I ate the right foods, took vitamins, and went to my midwife. I spent hours daydreaming about baby, and planning for the future as best I could. At about 5 months I began to feel the flutter of life in my womb, like little bubbles, anyone who has ever been pregnant knows what a special and amazing feeling this is. I believe this is when the love really begins between mother and child. It’s like a secret and silent communication. “I’m here mama, I’m real!”  We were ready now, to welcome our baby into our lives.
I arrived at a routine check up with my midwife blissfully happy ready to hear all the exciting growth that would be happening with my wee babe.  Listening to the swoosh swoosh of the heartbeat on the monitor made it that much more real. Eventually after some poking and prodding my midwife suggested the amniotic fluid was low, and perhaps I should run down the the hospital for an ultrasound  just to check it out. I still did not think anything could possibly be wrong.
At the hospital, I dutifully lay still while the ultrasound was performed. Click click click taking pictures of all my wee babes’ parts, measuring each, and checking growth.  The technician of course gave me no information other than I should go back to my midwife for the results.
Upon entering her office, she asked me to please sit down. She also asked if I had come alone, it was then that it began to dawn on me that something was not right. She began with statistics, unbelievable statistics, one in one million; extremely rare, etc…I was numb. She went on to make me appointments with specialists, for more ultrasounds  and testing, only to confirm one horrible truth. We would not be welcoming a healthy baby; we would not be welcoming a live baby.
Our baby had Potters Syndrome; in layman’s terms the baby had no kidneys and no chance of survival outside of my womb. I drove home numb. I called my mother because who do you need most when you're sick or heartbroken? I broke down on the phone, hardly able to get the words out, “come mama, just come be with me.”  My grief was utterly complete; I believe it was the worst most painful thing in my entire life, and I had not had an easy life.
My mother was my saving grace through the next leg of this experience. My fiancée, wether it was his youth or his inability to deal with his own grief, or to watch me go through mine, kept his nose to the grindstone, got up each day, went to work and did all the necessary practical things. I look back now and know he was coping the only way he knew how.
Meanwhile my mother walked with me hand in hand through every step I had to take. Made my appointments, sat with me, cried with me, and loved me.
It finally came time to say goodbye to baby, who by this time we now knew was a little boy. I would need to deliver him just as if he was going to be a live baby.  Thankfully, there was no physical pain; I took everything they could give me. It was only a matter of hours before Angel, (a name my fiancée and chose for our baby boy, because that is how we wanted to remember him) made his arrival. Not a single breath ever crossed his tiny lips. He was taken and washed and dressed and placed in my arms.
I lay with him for what seemed to be hours, feeling oddly at peace, I had come to terms with this reality. I unwrapped his blanket, counted every tiny toe and finger, caressed his tiny cheeks, and I loved him. He was perfectly formed and beautiful. He looked as if he was just peacefully sleeping.
I’m crying as I write this, 18 years later, it was a very poignant and painful experience, but it was also a gift. My fiancée and I walked away with a deeper love and commitment to each other, and with a message. “Please wait, build your lives together, make a good home” and that’s just what we did. It was 5 years later when we welcomed our oldest son to the world, one of the most wanted and awaited children on earth.
We will never forget Angel and his lessons, I am even more sure that with every sorrowful loss comes some gift, when you pick yourself up, move on, and find it. We are thankful for our children we have now, and the lives we have built.
I am not religious…But I do have an Angel.

Friday, April 5, 2013


My younges picking apples in our yard

I was completely stumped this week as to what I should write about. I just didn't get that little spark that lends itself to inspired thought.  I spent quite a bit of time looking at my old musings again to see if I couldn't polish up some old turd, but sadly…still no spark. I did however run across this little gem I had written in response to an interview question my friend had put to me for her college project.
Yes…again it has to do with food.  I think anyone who sticks around to read my ramblings will end up hearing quite a few of my rants about food. It’s a passion.  It does however lend itself a little to my hippy childhood and the influences and belief systems that were passed on to me.  Happy spring!

Q: In what ways if any have you been influenced from living on an agrarian (farming) community as a child towards decisions of sustainability as an adult?
A: Growing up in a community in which much of our food was farmed by us and little was acquired elsewhere I think has influenced me heavily as an adult. From a very young age an example was set on where food actually came from. I had very little exposure to a grocery store at all. Eggs came from chickens, beef from cows, fruits and veggies from the garden, bread from the oven etc…My mother and her peers worked hard during the growing season to put food up for winter. We only ate what we had available and in season, with the exception of bulk dry goods such as beans, rice, oats, and flour.
As an adult, and parent responsible for feeding my family I am always searching for the most “sustainable” way to stock my shelves. Not having the lifestyle I did when I was a child, or having a network of community all working together to grow food makes this more difficult. I am acutely aware of every sacrifice I make to my ideals when it comes to food. I am highly opposed to commercial farming tactics and use of pesticides and hormones in mass produced food. We shop for organic, locally grown, and bulk food s whenever possible. That being said, we are far from perfect and with the mass quantity of commercially farmed foods our home and dinner table is far from pure. But unlike many households today we at least have a consciousness as to where our food comes from and at what cost it comes to us. I get frequent eye rolling from my tween when I launch an attack on whatever treat we are about to consume.
Sustainability is also important to me when it comes to consuming other resources such as fuel and electricity. Growing up my family had no electricity much of the time and very few vehicles in my childhood household. I think this came much from lack of finance, but also setting sort of intentional example. While I know living without these conveniences is possible, it’s not something I choose as an adult. I do however conserve these resources wherever possible. Recycling, composting, and other such things are a daily habit for me and I consider it very important and teach my children the same.
In the end, I think growing up the way I did, influenced my thought processes as an adult on such things as sustainability pretty heavily. An awareness of nature, the circle of life, and other lessons, made it impossible not to consider these things into my adulthood. 
Harvest time from our small garden patch