Monday, June 6, 2011

Pain and the Atonement

"It will comfort us when we must wait in distress for the Savior's promised relief that He knows, from experience, how to heal and help us...And faith in that power will give us the patience as we pray and work and wait for help. He could have known how to succor us simply by revelation, but He chose to learn by His own personal experience."
-Henry B. Eyring, quoted by Kent F. Richards, Ensign, May 2011, 16
I did find this thought comforting today as I pondered upon the pain of waiting and not knowing. I do feel better that Christ understands the conflicting emotions I feel as I struggle with waiting for more children while my foster daughter joyfully becomes a mother. With my limited perspective, I feel that the lessons I learn as a foster parent will help me when and if Andrew and I are able to have more biological children. When people ask us why we made this choice, to parent other people's children, most of the time I want to say "I have no idea" because I truly do not, but the rightness of this choice is daily confirmed by the whisperings of the Spirit. I am so grateful for that and for the sweetness of new life.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Moments With A Foster Mom: Triage

I cannot describe how heart-wrenching this whole process is for so many reasons. Tonight I felt the need to share some of my experience in Labor and Delivery triage over the last few days.

My empty womb very tangibly ached as I sat waiting, hour after hour, in triage. Soon to be mom's paced the halls hoping that this endless walking would get them to the magical #4 that would allow them to be admitted. Excitement is everywhere but also some disappointment: Being sent home for false labor, an over-booked induction schedule, and then, towards the end, a young woman comes in weeping with a conspicuously flat belly and I instinctively understood. I overheard the nurses:

Nurse A: "What is wrong with her?" 
Nurse B: "She says she is having a miscarriage (shrugs)"
Nurse A: "Well, where should we put her?"
Nurse B: "I honestly don't care where you put her."

At that point the exchange ended and I went on my way. My charge was being admitted due to leaking amniotic fluid and I needed to get back to my family. As I walked away I felt like a coward; I wanted so much to embrace that poor woman because I knew what that look of total anguish was. I flashed back to my own experience and the strongest memory was the sensation of being very cold. I remember being both physically cold but I also feeling a sense of coldness from the medical support staff  (maybe because of the discomfort of death?) when all I really wanted was to be embraced. While the nurse's words were spoken out of this woman's hearing, nobody deserves to be treated like that especially at a time of such great loss. Miscarriage is still birth; even if it also means death.

It is hard to find my place in this confusing world of foster parenting. Who am I anyway? Just some infertile lady who decided to take charge of this pregnant teen two weeks before her due date. Why did God want me to be a part of this when it reminds me so much of the pain of my own loss and empty womb?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Farming in May

Hurray for Strawberries! The harvest this year has been wonderful! Here are out totals for May:

Meat: 0; we have two birds ready to go but we are waiting for our foster daughter to have her baby before we send them to "freezer camp." In other words, we don't want to traumatize the girl.

Our first two hatchlings

Eggs: 161 or the equivalent of 32 large chicken eggs.  I also sold two of my laying hens for $7.50 each.
Produce:  If you want to see the value of the organic produce you grow it is fun to check out Rodale's Organic Price Report which is updated often. I am using my current farmers market prices as well as the farmers markets in Philadelphia, all prices are for organic.
  • Stawberries: 4lbs. 5 oz. @$4.59/lb.=$19.79 (and this is all in 4 days from 18 everbearing plants not including the 14 that I just planted that won't fruit until July).
  • French Breakfast Radishes: 1 lb. 3 oz. @$3.76/lb.=$4.47
  • Baby Bok Choi: 2.2 oz. @$2.25/lb.= .31, paltry? yes but they bolted
  • Leaf lettuce and spinach: 1lb. 6oz. @Organic sells for $5/lb. at my local farmers market = $6.88
  • Green onion: 1 (didn't even bother pricing this)
  • Swiss Chard: 2.7 oz. @ $2.17/lb. = .37
Estimated value of harvest: $31.82

I was also able to harvest 5 gallons of worm castings. I am not sure the value on it but I traded a bag and two dozen hard boiled and peeled quail eggs to a friend for two gallons of raw milk. I love being able to trade things that I produce for things that I need. I really wish that I had more to trade!

A dozen chicks at a week and a half old, already feathering out.