Showing posts from July, 2019

Patchwork Pregnancy: A True Story of Miscarriage

By Kara Ranck When I found out I was pregnant, dreams began to form in my head while new life was forming in my womb. I dreamed about our child. Who would our baby be? What was their personality? Who would they grow up to become? My whole perspective changed. I began to plan our nursery and prepare our home for this new life. My heart was set on having a quilt for the baby. The old time vintage look but with modern colors. I started shopping, but soon realized that baby quilts were a bit pricey so I put this dream on hold. I thought about making my own, but felt too overcome by nausea and fatigue to tackle a new project. At 10 weeks, we went to our first OB appointment. This is the period of time a baby’s heartbeat can first be heard using a Doppler machine. While my nurse midwife moved the wand around, we listened expectantly for the sound of life. But we heard nothing but the hum of the machine. These are the kinds of moments when you become apprehensive—fearing thin

How Cancer Gave Me Life

By Stacy Duffy PC: Unsplash April 3, 2015. This was the day I heard the words, “Unfortunately, your biopsy results indicate you have papillary thyroid carcinoma.” It was Good Friday. I got the call while I was at work, and as I slid my cell phone back into my scrub pocket, I remember thinking “well this changes everything.” The life I had known was suddenly rocked and instead of feeling lots of feelings, the only thing I felt was numb. There I was, 28 years old, living independently and working full time at one of the best hospitals in New York City and part time at one of the best hospitals across the river in NJ. I had more income than ever, and I was proud and thriving in my career as a critical care nurse. The challenges of my job fueled me, defined me, but were also all consuming. Working 70+ hours a week between the two different hospitals left me with little time for anything including friendships, spiritual growth, time with my family, and self care. However, that

Two Minutes of Silence

By Stu Metzler Two minutes of silence. As parents, we may often relish two minutes of quiet. However, on Sunday, April 14, we experienced two minutes of uncertainty in the life of our youngest child. My wife Laura and I were awaiting the birth of our little boy along with the nurse and midwife. When his head appeared, it seemed the midwife was noticing something around his neck that I couldn't quite see. I had heard before of umbilical cords being wrapped and knew that we were all anxious for this baby to fully appear. Our last two children's labor had progressed more rapidly than this little boy, and as Laura started pushing, I noticed some subtle movements by our experienced health care professionals. They said nothing to make us fear, but they too wanted to get our baby out quickly. The rolling of the oxygen tank to a closer position. These actions did not worry us. As Laura pushed him completely out, we noticed his umbilical cord was around his nec

Grieving with Hope

By Lauren Sweigart There are a handful of moments in life that will be forever imprinted in your memory. They are life altering moments—whether the occasion is a time of celebration or tragedy. These moments are so vivid that in an instant you are back in time feeling the exact emotions, seeing every detail in the foreground, and reliving every second as if for the first time. It could be just a few seconds or a long season in life, but one thing is for sure, those moments define you. How you accept or react to these joyous or sad occasions mold you into the person you are today. They are the character that is etched into your personality, the wisdom behind your kind eyes, and the true soul within your heart. I was 25 years old and married to my high-school sweetheart for two years. We were pregnant with our first child, a boy. I was ironically (which now I believe nothing is ironic but all are in the hands and timing of God) pregnant along with my sister/best friend having

His Mercies are New Every Morning

By Amanda Ranck “Just try to get some sleep,” the nurse told me, as she turned down the lights and left the hospital room, leaving me looking down at my brand new baby girl sleeping sweetly on my chest. My husband was already asleep on the cot beside me. Sleep was the furthest thing from my mind at 3 in the morning, after just giving birth. I was finally able to take a deep breath and start to wrap my mind around what had just happened in the past twenty-four hours.  Twenty-four hours earlier, at the crack of dawn and at 39 and 3 days pregnant, I got the call that I was dreading, yet knew was coming. It was a call from my dad, saying we had to leave right away and get to the hospital as fast as possible—my mom was taking her last breaths, and we had to go say goodbye. Five days earlier, I had given her one last hug and kiss as I watched her being wheeled away for open heart surgery to fix her mitral valve. It was a risky surgery for her as she had a lot of health complicatio