Our First Miracle Child – Daniel Jacob

I remember laying wide awake with dark circles under my eyes, in deep silence, listening to the thunder crashing in the distance.  I was extremely sleepy but I rolled out of bed anyway, feeling like a drunkard.  It had been weeks since I slept well.  It was the last week in a very hot July and I was 42 weeks pregnant with my first baby and my anxiety was through the roof.  I had tried everything from going off-roading, taking long walks, castor oil, and so many other old wives tails to try to start my labor.  Nothing worked.  The day had finally arrived when the doctor had agreed to induce the labor with medication.  I spent that next night in the hospital while the medication was trying to take effect.  Even though I was given oxytocin, I was still not progressing on my own.
I was scheduled for more labor-inducing drugs at 7:30am then admitted to a labor and delivery room and hooked up to fetal monitors that produced a reading of my contractions and the baby’s heart rate.
In between what were finally becoming more steady contractions, I let my mind wander and recalled a less stressful moment in time, just a few weeks prior, We still hadn’t settled on a name and he was due to be born within weeks.  I remember exactly where we were.   We were in the car and I was driving with my husband in the passenger’s seat.  We had a bible in the car with us.  We had originally chosen so many different names that we couldn’t decide on one that we liked the best.  I thought it would be fun to open the bible and point to a name and try it on for size.  Mike happened to open to the story of the Prophet, Daniel in the Lion’s Den.  Daniel was not a name we had considered in the past but I loved it. The next name he landed on was Jacob.  Daniel Jacob.  We immediately fell in love with how it sounded with our last name.  “This trumps all the other names we had come up with,” we thought.  It had such a nice ring to it.  We agreed that would be the name of our son.
Baby Daniel must have been comfortable where he was because he hung on, seeming to not want to brave the world just yet. We expected him to have been in our arms two weeks ago.  We were more than ready to welcome him into our home that was well prepared for him.
His birth was rough on the three of us.  It wasn’t just tough for his father and I, but for him as well.  My mother had lost a child moments after he was born two years before me so when we lost Daniel’s heartbeat during labor, I couldn’t keep calm, which is what he needed me to do.  He had gone into distress and I was right there with him.  As I was screaming and crying, not knowing a thing that was going on because no one was talking to me, I longed to see my mother’s face.  Unfortunately, she was 2,000 miles away sitting by the phone waiting to hear the news of his birth.  I pictured having to tell her this birth was a repeat of her own tragedy.  I couldn’t face losing him.
I remember that our friends had been there visiting when this happened and they never left the room.  I was so conscious of this fact and was very uncomfortable.  I felt like this was such a private moment and I just wanted it to be the three of us.  My husband was there as well but he was pushed to the side by the swarm of medical professionals that were working on both of us and trying to discern their next move.  He was too big to travel through the birth canal and became stuck.  Panic set in even further of course when I was quickly forced to the edge of the bed so they could break my water to evaluate him.  They took a sample of blood from his head and read the heart rate again.  HIs heart was beating again but it was very weak.  I remember that they rushed me over to surgery and everything was such a whirlwind.  I don’t remember much after that until I awoke in a panic and realized there was no baby crying next to me and I couldn’t remember having held him.
A nurse was right by my side, thankfully.  She eased my fears.  Daniel Jacob was fine.  He was just in the nursery being monitored and waiting for me to recover.  He had a few issues after the C-section.  Due to his length of stay at the Inn, he had matured too much and swallowed meconium, making it hard for him to catch his first breath. After 30 hours of labor and delivery, he was born at 10 pounds, 4 ounces and was 23 1/4 inches long.  He was the biggest baby in that New Mexico hospital, where the average birth weight was under 6 pounds.  They had to have someone go out and buy a larger size package of diapers just for him.  It is the truth when I say that he was holding his head up in the nursery before we left.  The nurses in the maternity ward had a running joke that, “This one is ready for college!”
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It seems like a lifetime has passed and that’s exactly where he is now, in college.  We are so very grateful for the nurses, midwives and surgical team that ensured his safe delivery.  Life would not be the same without him in it.  His love binds us all together and mends all things.  He believes he has found the love of his life and is studying to be a mechanic.
Thank you to the staff of the University of New Mexico Hospital Maternity Ward for bringing this man to us safely, so many years ago.
The Sunday Whirl is a Facebook site that inspires you to write something that includes 12 words that they assign for the given week. This week’s are edge, trumps, drunkard, world, mends, binds, prophet, born, expected, circles, sleepy and thunder.  I am pleased to not only bring you this story but to share it with Daniel himself as well as the hospital who made it possible to do so.
Thank you for reading this.  I hope you will check out more stories from The Peace And Happiness Project for inspirations. tips and tools to reduce your stress and ways to increase your peace and happiness.  (See the side bar to the right for more articles.)  Feel free to share anything on this site as well as my other blog, Where the Ghosts Live ~ Missy Bell.

A Vision of Peace and Wonder

As we were driving to our destination today I witnessed an unexpected flock of birds take flight.  As I anticipated their next move I was fascinated by the fluidity with which they moved together as a group, changing direction together, They seemed indecisive as to where their destination was and I was curious if they were deciding in mid flight or if they had somehow communicated this decision prior to take off and this was just an attempt to get everyone headed in the right direction.  Did only one of them know which direction they needed to fly to get where they were going?  Did they get started and one of them decided to be the leader, head to the front and command to be followed?  Perhaps they are exercising or just spreading their wings. Maybe this is how they play.

I could most likely find answers to their aviary patterns, and why they do what they do, but I don’t have the desire to know.  I would rather be in awe, let it remain a mystery to me so that when I see them again, I can be free to ask these questions in my head, create my own scenarios.  It makes it more of a wonder, a gift.  If I knew, it may take away it’s splendor, my amazement of it all, the glory, the beauty.

Watching birds in flight is one of the many things that brings me peace.  The view may not last long but it is simple, free and amazing.

What is something that you enjoy that would be better left unexplained in order for you to continue enjoying it?

Photos of the Fall Foliage in Vermont and the Killington Ski Resort

My family and I live in Massachusetts.  This weekend we got to travel and spend the weekend in Vermont.  Since many of my readers are from around the world, I wanted to share some photos with you of the beauty of New England in the fall.  This week is the perfect week for trees to be at the height of their beauty.

The reason the leaves change to such beautiful colors is sadly, because they are dying.  The cold nights mixed with the warmer days contributes to the acceleration of the process of the photosynthesis.  As the leaves start to fall, our back roads will be as slippery as they are with the winter snow if these leaves get wet.

Here’s some of the beauty we captured on the way to Vermont’s Killington Mountain Ski Resort from where we were staying in the town of Quechee.

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My absolute favorite picture is of a random driveway on the way.  I think I may have this one framed with one of my original quotes written below it.

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This next one is of a plant that decorated a street light on the main street in the cutest little town of Woodstock.  Every light post in the town had one just like it.  The streets were lined with unique shops and eateries and filled with tourists both times we passed through.

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Here are the shots we took when we arrived.  And to think, none of these compared to the black diamond we had to climb two weekends before.  These looked like bunny hills in comparison.   That trail was not visible from where we were is was to the left of these:

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I had sprained my knee a week before the trip so, we went with the intention of riding the gondola round trip to the top of the mountain and back.  As we ascended the mountain, high above the ground, we could see the gravel trail in the distance that we originally intended to take.  We had been to Killington Mountain two weeks prior and participated in the Spartan Race.

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Since we were unable to take our phones with us (there are obstacles where you are submerged in mud,) we were unable to get pictures of the incredible view the mountain supplied so we vowed to come back and take pictures.  The crest was foggy and misty as you will see and it was difficult to get pictures so I decided I would brave the climb down, injury and all.

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I was so grateful I made that decision (as well as my husband’s assistance in areas where I really needed to watch my footing.)  Are you ready to see why? Look at the beauty we got to witness on our hike back down the mountain:

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As we returned after the long day, my husband pointed out a hot air balloon in the distance.  I have had a special place in my heart for them since we lived in Albuquerque, NM, home of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.  I worked the event when we were first married and fell in love with their beauty and unique designs.  As we drove toward the one he could see in the distance, he spotted this one hanging not far above us.  We turned around and found a few perfect spots to take some really great pictures.  It was a perfect way to end a perfect day.  We never were able to catch a shot of the other one but we believe it passed right over the house we were staying in.

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I hope you have enjoyed the beauty and the pictures brought you a bit of peace to your day.  The view and hike certainly did for me.

I hope you will visit other posts on this site.  I focus on tips, motivations, and inspirations that will decrease your stress and increase your peace and happiness.  I hope you will stay a while.  I also have another site.  If you are interested in the paranormal, you should really check it out.  You can find it at Where The Ghosts Live ~ The Haunted United States by Missy Bell.

Thank you for stopping by today!

Missy Bell

How Well Do You Know Yourself

Have you ever caught yourself labeling yourself in a negative way?  I did that this weekend.  It has been a struggle for me, even after all these years.  I had gastric bypass almost 6 years ago.  It seems like yesterday and yet, other times it feels like it’s been a lifetime.

I used to be about 160 pounds heavier than I am now and very inactive.  I was one who would drive around the parking lot and wait for someone to leave so I could park closer.  It was more than that though.  I would actually think about every step I had to take.  It consumed me.  I remember Christmas shopping being a nightmare.  I could never find a spot close enough and then, I knew if there was more than one store I had to go to, I would have to walk too far.  I hated walking, let alone exercising.  That was completely out of the question.

Even after the bypass I wasn’t very good with activity.  It became a lot easier and I did it but I didn’t like it.  I used to roller skate when I was young, EVERY DAY, sometimes for 8 hours total.  It wasn’t as if I always hated exercise.

I seem to fall back into the same patterns as before the bypass at times.  Don’t get me wrong, I can’t eat like I used to, but I find myself eating too much for my body to handle at times.  I know better.  I also find myself getting complacent, lazy.  This is where it gets bad.  I am very big into teaching others the benefit of watching their self-talk and staying positive and being good to themselves but I seem to forget to take my own advice sometimes.

This weekend my husband and I went to Killington Mountain.  I’ve been upset all week about it.  Allow me to explain; two weeks ago, he and I participated in the Spartan Sprint at the mountain.  This was our second Spartan this year, having finished the one in Amesbury just a month prior.  The Killington one took us twice as long, as we climbed the black diamond to the crest and watched every step back down.  Somewhere just after the 3 mile mark, in the woods, my left foot slid in deep mud and I landed on my left knee and it bent the wrong way.  I made it out of the woods and through another section, determined to finish.  We got as far the last water station before I was transported back to the medical tent.  So close.  “NEVER AGAIN,” I said, “NEVER!” (I said this about the previous Spartan Sprint 6 weeks prior but, there I was.)

Diagnosis: sprained knee.  But what did I want to do for my birthday?  Go back and hike an easier trail at Killington.  For my birthday!!  Who am I?  I had to laugh.  I am the one who calls myself lazy, still, out of habit, after all these years.  I am the purple belt kick boxer who has been having withdrawls from not being able to go because of my sprained knee.  I am the one who went to the gym Friday to use the elliptical to try to loosen up my knee to see if there was any way I could still hike on Saturday.

We arrived at the base of the mountain on Saturday and I limped up to the counter and, being mad at myself, ordered 2 round trip tickets for the gondola ride so we could at least enjoy the colors of the leaves and the scenery from the crest that we saw during the race that we were unable to take pictures of.  I could see the trail to the right of us that we had planned to take as we took the 10 minute ride to the top.  The view was breathtaking.  As we neared the top, the mist settled over the mountain and the view was no longer clear.  By the time we got off the gondola my stubbornness had kicked in and that was it.  We were hiking back down the mountain.

It wasn’t as easy as I envisioned in my head and I was grateful for that.  There were a great number of times I looked at the steps I needed to take in front of me and wondered how I would get to where I needed to be without falling or slipping again.  My fear of falling was intense at times, as was the pain in my knee in the beginning.  But I took baby steps where I need to and we made it to the bottom.  My knee popped several times and I’m not sure why but by the end, it no longer hurt.

My calves and thighs were stiff this morning but I don’t have any regrets.  I’m glad I did it.  It was my birthday present to myself.  So, what is my point with this story?  Why did I just bare my soul for all to read? Because I came to the realization that we tell ourselves things all the time that are not true about ourselves.  I’m not a lazy person anymore.  Sure, I have my moments and I make excuses at times when I shouldn’t; that doesn’t make me lazy, especially on the scale of where I used to be.  So why am I so hard on myself?  Why do I choose to see myself that way?  Perhaps it’s habitual.  I told myself that for so many years that it just carried over.  So, now that I’ve realized that I do it, imagine what I could do now that I no longer believe it?  If I have come this far, I could definitely go further, and I intend to.

How well do you know yourself?  What things are you telling yourself that need to be reevaluated?  What do you believe about yourself that could use a mental makeover?  Consider what you say to yourself.  Listen.  You could be completely wrong.  What you believe about yourself is up to you.  The choice is yours.  Stay the same or change it?  It’s up to you.  Be kind.

You can check out other inspiring posts here that will cause you to think, decrease your stress and increase happiness.  You can also check out my other blog site, Where The Ghosts Live – by Missy Bell.

Thank you for stopping by!!

Missy Bell

God Winked

As I was entering the highway after a brief stop at a rest area, I began to pick up speed so I would be able to keep the pace as I entered traffic.
I was going about 40 when I had to abruptly hit my breaks. I realized there was something blocking the end of the on ramp and if I didn’t slow down quickly I wouldn’t be able to merge properly.
I quickly realized it was a house!  There were 2 trucks parked on the side of the road each hauling half of a house.
I thought for a brief moment how funny this sounds; I almost hit a house on the highway.
I then became extremely grateful to have been paying attention.
No sooner did I feel the gratitude, a car with New Hampshire plates passed me in the middle lane. His license plate read, “GODWINK.”