24 years ago today

24 years ago today my angel Natalia made her appearance in this world…

Natalia heart

she only lived here for 29 days but what I would give to just have one of those days back…like when Tabitha her big sister all of 18 months old held her for the longest time on the ratty red velvet chair and they both smiled…sigh…Happy birthday Natalia Tatianna…you are dearly missed!

natalia-n-tabitha

Hands to Work

up to 32 week sized diaper sets, half will go to God’s Tiny Angels and the others will wait till I find a hospital to send them to. February 2nd 2013

Home is Where the Heart is Quilt all washed and ready for shipment to the Children’s Heart Clinic in Minneapolis MN February 2nd 2013

the next quilt getting ready to be shipped to Rose of Sharon for quilting in Onyx CA February 2nd 2013

one of 5 wee burial bonnets finished this weekend haven’t decided where these will be going yet February 3rd 2013

waiting room bonnets

Waiting room bonnets…manages to complete 5 wee burial bonnets while sitting in assorted waiting rooms…all by hand of course…they offer wi-fi but no place for me to set up my machine…lol…wasn’t till I got home and ironed them that I noticed on has the ribbons in the wrong orientation…how ever I think it’s still a usable bonnet…pattern can be located for free at: http://www.sewingforbabies.com/Patterns/Angel%20Wing%20Burial%20Bon…

No idea where these will be going but I’m sure they will be put to good use. January 10th 2013

Ask My Mom How She Is

mom and turtle early 70s

My Mom, she tells a lot of lies,
She never did before.
But from now until she dies,
She’ll tell a whole lot more.

Ask my Mom how she is
And because she can’t explain,
She will tell a little lie
Because she can’t describe the pain.

Ask my Mom how she is,
She’ll say “I’m alright.”
If that’s the truth, then tell me,
why does she cry each night?

Ask my Mom how she is,
She seems to cope so well.
She didn’t have a choice you see,
Nor the strength to yell.

Ask my Mom how she is,
“I’m fine, I’m well, I’m coping.”
For God’s sake Mom, just tell the truth,
Just say your heart is broken.

She’ll love me all her life,
I loved her all of mine.
But if you ask her how she is,
She’ll lie and say she’s fine.

I am Here in Heaven.
I cannot hug from here.
If she lies to you don’t listen,
Hug her and hold her near.

On the day we meet again,
We’ll smile and I’ll be bold.
I’ll say, “You’re lucky to get in here, Mom,
With all the lies you told!”

-Unknown

between the vent and the movie case

Between the vent and the movie case as adverse to the rock and a hard place…this is where Shamus catches his Z’s when not chasing Pumpkin and prancing about in the snow December 9th 2012

Massive stack of large teeny diapers (28-32 week gestation sized) http://teenytears.blogspot.com/ …I cut until I think I grew and extra knuckle on my scissor holding hand…plenty of sewing for me to do in the upcoming longish weekends! Most of these once completed will go to God’s Tiny Angles http://www.godstinyangels.com/ , the rest…well I hope to hear from a few hospitals here in the snowy north! December 9th 2012

A very special teeny diaper made for a grieving mommy in Australia.  Her angel was born sleeping in March…His name is Loken…I hope this diaper will get to her quick!  Embroidered on the machine which I really need to get serviced…thankfully it got through the entire name without eating the fabric. December 9th 2012

Uh oh…I stopped at the quilt shop after groceries…well I did need another full yard of pink flannel and these other fat quarters…well they leapt into my arms…who am I to say not to a fat quarter?!? They’re all chopped into diapers with the little left over saved for that flannel quilt I just know I’ll make one day December 9th 2012

Oliver and Olivia with Santa…December 2012!

Pretty large stacks of small teeny (18-26 wee gestation sized) diapers http://teenytears.blogspot.com/ …I really need to stop cutting and start sewing! Most of these once completed will go to God’s Tiny Angles http://www.godstinyangels.com/ , the rest…well I hope to hear from a few hospitals here in the snowy north! December 9th 2012

The snow Caterpillar on the deck…amazing…the 2-4 inches of snow forecasted kinda grew to 10-14 inches of snow…hence the bubbly beast balancing precariously on the deck…can’t wait to see the butterfly that will be a popping out of this! December 9th 2012

in memory of Natalia

In memory of Natalia Tatianna Grace Edna (those were all her names) we just call her Natalia or Nat

Natalia N Tabitha

I sew these wee teeny diapers thinking of my 2nd beautiful daughter.

In 1988 (had her in 1989) the pregnancy was a surprise which all of my babies were but this one…wow…my 1st daughter Tabitha was all of 9 months old of course in diapers, with bottle in hand not walking yet and wham the stick turned blue…but…hey I had one baby how difficult can another be?

 

Having no medical insurance at the time I went to one prenatal appointment where I was told well you had one healthy baby, this one should be just fine as well, no need for an ultrasound, just take your vitamins yadda yadda yadda…((sigh))

 

Almost right on time perhaps a week early I went into labor. My first baby was about 3 ½ days worth so I really wasn’t looking too forward to this aspect of the adventure; my labor didn’t progress so I was given pitocin to get the show on the road, no one bothered to tell me this might hurt a bit.  Finally the moment came after 11 hours of back labor another sweet baby girl was in the world, but she was purple and had a very quiet breathy cry. To make matters worse I was bleeding quite a bit so was left on the pitocin for another 11 hours. Needlessly to say the breast feeding didn’t happen since I couldn’t sit up for the pain. When I finally held my tiny daughter she was less purple but not by much, we were told she had a heart murmur and a little jaundice and we were sent home. Still without insurance and concerns I had about my baby’s weak cry, not wanting to eat, and not sleeping well was just put to me being an over anxious mommy…

 

After 28 days of seeing my baby loose weight, and basically being told to calm down and change formulas I brought my baby to the ER, mind you still no insurance, we were left in the waiting room for almost an hour until a man with a huge cut to his hand was called and he told the nurse my baby could take his turn. Natalia was turning blue, the jaundice wore off and my baby was blue. While we sat and waited for the doctor to see her she finally drank a full 4 ounces of formula…I was elated…little did I know…

 

They did a chest X-ray thinking perhaps my asthma was passed on to Nat, it wasn’t. My tiny daughter who lived this long had only half of a heart, half of her heart never developed. This deadly defect sounds like a slight murmur looks much worse; Natalia had Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome.  As we live in a farming community with just a regulation hospital at the time, my baby was bundled up and sent to Children’s Hospital & Clinics in Minneapolis where we learned even more devastating news.  Her defect was fatal if left untreated and we were actually told we could just let our baby die if we wanted to…um…let that sink in…let my baby die?!? Is that really an option?!?  Then we were told had we insurance Natalia could be put on a waiting list for a new heart but since she was so small and had struggled for 28 days out of the womb there was no real hope a heart would arrive in time.  Then onto option # 3: surgery with a 30% chance of survival. Well we chose door # 3. After a very long but basically successful surgery we got to see our super tiny baby again. She was no longer blue, in fact she had pink little cheeks, and she was beautiful. Even with the machines, tubes, and the owie running down her chest, she was perfect in my eyes.  We were pulled to one side and told they couldn’t stabilize her after the surgery, she had tried to survive untreated too long. After 2 hours of them all trying to stabilize Natalia, she slipped away on her 29th day of life having never opened her eyes again.

 

We waited patiently in a little room to say good bye to Natalia, so tiny, she finally arrived, no more tubes no screaming machines, just her with her Kewpie doll curl of black hair, her tiny nose, perfect chin, rose bud lips in a massive t-shirt, probably newborn but by now she had shrunk to less than 4 pounds, almost swallowed up in a big warm blanket. It was hard to find her tiny hands and feet so I could count her tiny perfect fingers and toes one last time.

 

She was quite teeny, thankfully my older daughter had a baby doll almost the same size as Natalia, so I took off the tiny flannel nightgown and sent it to the funeral home with a diaper for her to wear for the viewing.  The diaper was massive even being a newborn size, had I thought of it I would have sewn up a tiny diaper, I had all the ingredients but go figure I didn’t think of it till much later.

 

Now so many years later, I’m a mom to 2 beautiful adult daughters and 2 gorgeous grandchildren.  All healthy! I witnessed my grandbabies born, pudgy pink and screaming…such a sound of rejoice! With every new pregnancy I have the same worries about their hearts, thankfully with my youngest daughter I got an ultrasound to look right at her heart so I knew it was all there and in working order.  We did the same with the grand kids…better safe than sorry!

 

I’ve been sewing for a group called God’s Tiny Angels http://godstinyangels.com based in West Virginia for oh 3 or so now.  We sew for at risk preemies and newborns across the country, also making burial outfits and blankets for the teeny babies that don’t survive.  I’ve also made Angel Pockets, a tiny square blanket of flannel with a built in pocket to hold tiny stillborns that I send to HCMC here in Minnesota as well as God’s Tiny Angels.  I found Teeny Tears almost by accident when I say it noted on a friends blog.  All I can say is THANK YOU too all the angel families who make these teeny diapers for all of the teeny and micro teeny babies to wear so their mommies can count those perfect fingers and toes before saying good bye.

 

~Elaine, Mommy of an Angel

ready to package teeny diapers

Received my cards via email for the wee diapers today http://teenytears.blogspot.com/

…they are lovely…already printed a few of each on card stock so I can start assembling sets over the long weekend.

So neat that each set of diapers will be in memory of Natalia…I think of all the wonderful ladies in my life that have miscarried, had stillborns or wee infants that have passed away soon after being born…all of those babies live on in their mom’s hearts forever…Oh if I could give each one a tiny diaper to remember their sweet angels…well actually I have noticed that in my cutting and sewing I will have a tiny pile of singles…perhaps I’ll start handing them out to mommies I know! I’ve already adopted a hospital, Banner Churchill Community Hospital in Fallon Nevada. I’ll be sending out 10 sets (20 diapers) five 28 week gestation and five 18 week gestation sizes…think I’ll aim for 6 of each so there are even numbers of girlie ones and boy ones.  Hoping to get in contact with the hospital I had my babies at to see if I can adopt it to bring teeny diapers to.  Can you believe there are no hospitals in Minnesota that receive these wonderful donations? Color me shocked…no idea what shade that is…I want to donate to my home state as well as any other I possibly can J Welcome to Thanksgiving eve…will be sewing on Black Friday…HA!

Tattoos I’m contemplating

in memory of my dear ol’ Dad…back of one of my calves…they’re both quite beefy do I think this would fit nicely…I’m sure he would TOTALLY disapprove but then again I’ve been a bit of a wild child forever…I can’t remember what dad’s test set looked like, I’ve a feeling it was blue…I found this cool orange one and since I oh so love orange…well there ya go! wicked! Haven’t gotten it priced or anything so I don’t know when exactly I can save up to get it… July 27th 2012

 

Natalia’s heart tattoo…aiming for left forearm as that’s where all the babies have rested their wee heads…note: band aid on left (broken) side of the heart. HLHS… miss her horrible to this very day…Haven’t gotten it priced or anything so I don’t know when exactly I can save up to get it… July 27th 2012

just a whiny rant

Look close…what do you see…I see blue grey eyes looking back at me…(ugh I rhymed…so didn’t want that) I try not to take in the entire picture so I don’t feel too bad…yup one of those broads who doesn’t like her looks to the point of not looking in the mirror…except to part my hair…sigh…

 

And what to others see? No idea…afraid to know if ya want the truth…I try hard to see the best in people, trying not to take the book for the cover…but I don’t think others look at me like that…I get the sneaking suspicion they can see straight into my soul and see everything that’s there…the good, the horrid and the oh so ugly…

 

When I was really little I didn’t see much in the mirror or in others eyes…just me…toe headed…didn’t look like my mom really…didn’t know what my dad looked like so I figured I was the spittin’ image of him…the older I got the more blanks were filled in…dad was a thief…dad was a felon…dad was a cheater…dad was a wife beater…dad was a drug addict…this was my biological dad mind you…the one that donated ½ my genes…and then left me because I had the wrong plumbing…my little juvenile brain tells me this because everyone at least knows what their dad looks like and maybe even sees him occasionally…I’ve never met my dad…he died before I could at least see his face in person…I’ve figured out just about everything now that I’ve grown so I get it…I do look like my dad, a chick version of my dad…I am not my dad…I am not my mom for that matter…I am me…the child of a few divorces, no siblings that are really mine, all halves and steps…too many schools…too many pie in the sky hopes and dreams…really should have been put in my place growing up so I’d have an inkling as to life was really going to turn out to be…

 

I grew up middle class even before mom met dear old dad…I don’t remember going to garage sales or thrift stores for my clothing…never went to food shelves or subsisted on food stamps…I didn’t know what it was to go to bed hungry or cold…we never had the utilities shut off for non payment…never went without medical care, medications, personal hygiene stuff…perhaps if I had I would be better prepared for adult life…I grew up in an adequately happy family…alright maybe not even adequately…but we put on a good show…Mom was always depressed although she’ll never admit it…dad (now this is step-dad, keep up) liked to drink and get mad…me…I tried my damnedest to just be unnoticed…I wouldn’t tell them if I was sick, injured or anything till it was so bad it couldn’t be ignored…I faked my way through school not knowing half of what was being taught but passing with a fabulous C average…as long as I stayed in school I could continue to live at home…I didn’t want to live on the street not that I had any idea what that would be like…so I just plugged along…wanting to be an artist and get as far away from Minnesota as I could…I couldn’t type very well so I couldn’t grow up to be mom…I was dumber than a box of rocks when it came to math so I couldn’t grow up to be step-dad…so I had no goal…there was no light at the end of the tunnel…my tunnel was bricked over and forgotten…

 

I married the 1st unsavory character who asked just to get out of the house…major mistake number…oh Maude I’ve lost count…stayed married to him trapped financially for 16 years of extreme hatred…pretty sure I loved him for the 1st year…after that…seething hatred…anger at his cheating…anger at his unfeeling piggishness when death visited us…hatred when I or my children would go without a doctor visit or a needed medication because he was busy supporting a few other families…vehement hatred every time I would have saved up enough money in secret so my girls and I could escape him and he would let the utilities get shut off…let us almost get evicted…get caught driving without insurance…MAUDE how I hated that man even before I knew how he was damaging my daughters who I love more that the world…and surely more than I ever loved him!

 

What do I see…never ending failure…I believe in Karma…think I did before I knew what it was…I try so hard to be a useful human being…perhaps not putting a MASSIVE mark on society…but I behave…follow the rules…keep most angry thoughts to myself…try not to hurt anyone’s feelings even when mine are usually being dragged behind a car over jagged glass…(imagery…) say thank you no matter what…thanks for giving me more work…thanks for not giving me a chance to succeed…thanks for telling me I do a bang up job at my job BUT…no really thanks…I love thinking for an entire second that I’ll finally get that recognition that everyone craves only to have it yanked, paper cuts and all away like a cruel game of keep away…

 

Perhaps this is it…my never-ending hatred for that man has put me here…(but I’ve always been in this dark place…even before him) how do I forgive the unforgivable even if it would make my life miraculously better? Guess my black little angry heart is what I see in the mirror…think I’ll quit parting my hair then I can never look in the mirror again…momentary slip in my façade complete…I’ll return you all to your regularly scheduled jovial me in 3….2….1….