"First things first...We are truly blessed to have the means to set a pretty table and invite our friends to join us for good food and fellowship. I am mindful that many are not so fortunate. My daughter has a passion for the work of the Food Bank. As a singer-songwriter, she has written and recorded a song that is the anthem for the world wide Crop Hunger Walk project. Her song, "Raise Your Voice" is featured in their video. I've included a link in the side margin of my blog. I hope that during this harvest season, it will encourage you to support projects in your community that contribute to the effort to overcome hunger.
Hello, my dear blogger friends! It's been such a long time. Since I last posted, I've had two knee replacements. I've spent most of the last six months in physical therapy, and I have at least a couple of more months of therapy to go. It's a long process after more than five decades of living with horrible knees. I need to relearn so many things, and I'm thrilled for the opportunity to learn to walk normally after so many years. I'm still working on my computer which has been rebelling when I try to load pictures for my blog. I'm happy right now that it's letting me post at all. But enough about my medical issues and computer woes...I have a huge request to ask of all of you.
My precious daughter KC (the lovely pic that lives in the upper right hand corner of my blog page) is expecting a baby boy, Hollis Harper. He was originally due on June 10, but the situation has changed drastically. I'm going to include a Facebook posting that KC published several days ago. It will explain the situation:
We are in desperate need of prayers for our son, Hollis Harper. They discovered a complication that is very, very, serious. It's called Vasa Previa. On Friday I will be admitted to the hospital.
The simple version of Vasa Previa is that fetal blood vessels are now embedded across my cervix. If my cervix were to dilate, those vessels would rupture and the baby would bleed out in minutes because he's so little and frankly, doesn't have much blood. What we now painfully, heartbreakingly understand is this: even when I'm in the hospital, if the vessels were to rupture, the doctors would likely not be able to save Hollis in time.
I'm 32 weeks along today. I asked yesterday why they aren't just taking him now? My doctor said that medicine is all about measuring risk/benefit. At this point, the risk to Hollis of brain bleed, severe GI and lung issues due to premature birth is apparently greater than my risk of dilating and imminent danger to Hollis. He benefits greatly from every day he stays in my belly. From Friday's ultrasound we know my cervix is long and closed. That's a good thing. We need everyone's prayers that it stays that way.
The hope is that we can make it safely to 35 weeks- Tuesday May 5th. Today I will have my first of 2 steroid shots to boost Hollis' lungs and help them grow faster. While in the hospital, the high risk team will monitor me for contractions or any signs of early labor. They will continue to weigh Hollis' risks and benefits and the plan will change accordingly.
Please join us in picturing our healthy, beautiful miracle son Hollis safely coming home with us. Please pray for peace, courage, and hope to surround us at every turn. I don't know how to not greet every waking moment with fear. Pray that the doctors would have wisdom and would act in time if the risk of bleeding increases. Pray that my cervix stays as securely closed up as Fort Knox. Pray for no dilation or labor whatsoever. Pray for these last couple days I have at home with sweet Bea before her Mama goes away for 3-4 weeks and then returns with a new baby.
We have no objections if you feel inclined to ask others to pray too. Light a candle. Put Hollis on your church's prayer list. Send an email to your praying friends. Please just pray, pray, pray.
I know some of you don't consider yourselves religious and prayer isn't your thing. That's okay with us, we love you and we need you too. We don't care what you call it, please send love, light, energy, mojo, juju or vibes. All the goodness you can muster.
The response to the prayer request has been overwhelming in its size and with the love that it has exhibited. There are precious people praying for KC and Hollis all across our nation and across the world. My request is that you would join us in lifting up KC and baby Hollis in your prayers. Feel free to share KC's story with others who would also be willing to pray. If you wish to search for her on Facebook, enter KC Clifford. Share on your own page, please, if that is appropriate for you.
The night that KC first posted her story, there were hundreds of responses and a large number also shared her story on their own Facebook pages. As of today she is admitted to the hospital and is being closely monitored by the high risk pregnancy experts. She had posted the following updates since her first post:
David and I don't have adequate words to explain the love you all poured out to us today. We are in awe of the response, and we can FEEL the love and prayers in tangible ways. Thank you for rallying around us, for carrying us when we aren't sure we can stand in the storm. Heaps of gratitude. For real. We've never experienced anything like this day, and so many of you, even strangers, are reaching out to us and sharing my post asking for prayer. Your kindness and generosity of spirit are humbling. It's everything you hope to receive from fellow humans when you're in your most vulnerable place. Thank you.
I want you all to know that we are choosing hope. I spent part of my day preparing Hollis's nursery, picturing the day I will bring him home to the sweet refuge of our family. I spent the other part savoring time with our precious daughter Beatrice, a miracle baby all her own.
I also want you to know that Hollis is a fighter and has long been fought-for. Conceiving children has not come easy for us. After four failed fertility treatments in the past year, God through the miracle of medicine and IVF, gifted us with a son. Hollis is the result of years spent hoping, praying, and believing our dream of a second child would come to pass. We are not giving up hope now. We are choosing to believe that we will see this through and bring our precious Hollis home to thrive and grow into the boy he is meant to be. Thank you for your prayers, and please keep them coming!
This morning's ultrasound confirmed the diagnosis of Vasa Previa, and I am settled in at the hospital. Hollis looks great! At one point, he had his little hands up by his face like he was ready for a fight, which I took as a fantastic sign wink emoticon My cervix remains long and closed, which is also good news! The high risk doctors came into the ultrasound to see everything for themselves and they were kind of geeking out over what they saw. Admittedly that part of my day was a bit surreal. My OBGYN joked that you never want to be "interesting" in the world of medicine. Evidently it's too late for that.
Many people locally (and from afar!) have offered to help us during this time. We are humbled by the response and kindness. Our generous friends are setting up a care calendar for meals and such. I should be able to share the link and login info for that by tomorrow.
In the meantime, David and I welcome your continued prayers and positive thoughts! You cannot begin to know how much the outpouring of support has held us up this week. Thank you all so much!
So now I hope that you have an adequate picture of why I covet your prayers. I know that I've been away so long that a number of blogger may have given up searching for me. If you can direct bloggers my direction, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks to the many of you who have stopped to make contact with me over the last number of months. I look forward to the day that I'll be posting again. With a humble heart, Cherry Kay