Josh. Cali. McKallister. Oakland. Quincy. Camden. Murphy.

Amniotic Fluid Embolism Awareness Day

Friday, March 27, 2015

If you search “Amniotic Fluid Embolism” (AFE) on google, you will see this. “…the leading cause of death during labor or shortly after birth”.
Those are the first words Josh read when he wanted to know what an AFE was… as I was being life flighted away from him. He had never heard of it before, my family had not known of its existence. And yet some case studies will show a 90% mortality rate of anyone who suffers this. My discharge diagnosis in 2012 was as follows;

  Amniotic fluid embolism
  Cardiopulmonary failure
  Disseminated intravascular coagulation
  Intra-abdominal hemorrhage after uterine rupture
  D&E of 21 week old fetus
  Total abdominal hysterectomy
  Septic ovarian thrombophlebitis
  Factor V heterozygote
  IVC filter placement and removal

Most of these are only found on a death certificate. AFE is so rare but so hurtful to every single family that comes in contact with it. Families are left without a mother and/or baby, survivors are left in a persistent vegetative state or lifelong physical and emotional scars. Today my family and friends are wearing blue and pink- to raise awareness, to help the AFE foundation spur clinical research for this poorly understood complication.
If you wear one of these colors, tag me and #1in40000 #AFEAwareness and I will love you forever! And probably cry. XoXo…


My breakdown breakthrough

Friday, March 6, 2015

AH! I have missed blogging so much because… WE MOVED!

January and February were some of the busiest months I have ever known. I babysit some neighbor kids during the day so on an average day I have 6 kids roaming the house. It was insane trying to keep the house clean, leave at the drop of the hat for a walk through, and try to pack here and there. We had multiple situations like this one; I loaded up the 5 kids and we decided to sit in the McDonald’s parking lot with ice cream cones while someone was checking out our house. Without warning, one of the little girls I babysit threw up all. over. me. All over the car, car seat, diaper bags, herself. Everywhere. And I do NOT do puke. Not even my own. As I got out of the car, covered in this mess, a nice gentlemen stopped and offered me a roll of paper towels and the most sympathetic smile he could muster.
I also started helping a friend of mine that just had a baby with her Singers Company two days a week, I still watched my 6 kids a day, preschool, gymnastics, being a Mom and Wife, packing, inspections, final walk throughs, Dr. appointments to work out surgery dates for Camden (he had a hernia and some other male issues they needed to fix).
I was also feeling really lost at the thought of moving from the home where all my memories of Quincy resided. With Mac, my thoughts turn from the pregnancy to the hospital and the graveside. I have so many memories, as well as pictures and can visit those places as often as I need to. With Quincy, I just had the 21 pregnancy weeks in our house with him and that scared me. Would I be leaving those memories behind? Would I remember everything if I wasn’t surrounded by those scenes every day?
The smallest things would push the anxiety I thought I had under control over the edge. One night I had the most overwhelming breakdown. After sobbing in the car for hours that night…things started to get better.

I found my peace again and with the help of some very close friends and Josh, I was able to pull myself out of this awful funk I was in. And then I started to see the goodness in every single situation I had encountered.
I saw the nice man’s smile as I was covered in throw up, knowing he didn’t have to stop but in awe that he was kind enough to! I realized that if I showed up at any number of my friend’s houses crying, covered in throw up, they would have invited me in gladly and cleaned me up. We sold our house, so the last minute (dropping what we were doing, cleaning, getting 6 kids in the car) moments stopped. Friends would randomly show up to help me pack or invite us to get out of the house and help with the extra kids without complaint. Singers Company fell into place and went smoother than I thought it would. Josh’s friends came in the middle of the week to help us move, Young Men from our ward arrived later and carried things in our house. And I realized that my memories of Quincy would never be lost. Ultrasounds, movements, seeing Oakland’s excitement. Those were stored in my mind forever.
My breakdown breakthrough was this… Don’t withdraw from the very people who can help us. The smiling gentlemen, friends who don’t care if you are covered in puke, a husband who would drop anything to offer you a priesthood blessing, family who listens without judgment, a Heavenly Father who will help you gain spiritual perspective. And find the goodness in every stressfully foggy situation.  
 “God, who knows our capacity perfectly, placed us here to succeed…. When we have been weighed and found wanting, let us remember that we were measured before and we were found equal to our tasks; and, therefore, let us continue, but with a more determined discipleship. When we feel overwhelmed, let us recall the assurance that God will not overprogram us; he will not press upon us more than we can bear.” Elder Neal A. Maxwell.
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