I mentioned that I’ve had a few close encounters to death in a previous post. I’m going to share the first one today. It is the story of my birth and it has had a profound impact on my appreciation for life. This story has been told to me many times. Life is a precious gift. Corny, but true. I believe that life is often taken for granted because it is easy to do. Every time you get into a car you are putting your life at risk. I’m not telling you to give up driving but it shows that we can often forget and overlook the decisions we make on a daily basis that affect our lives.
Now that I am married my perspective on life has changed again. I have so much more to lose if I become careless or reckless, especially when you’re out in the wilderness exploring. I also look at my husband and can’t imagine a life without him. None of our accomplishments matter to me if he’s not here to share them with me. I try to make sure that I appreciate each day as it comes. Even if we are sitting at home doing nothing it’s still a cherish-able moment. So here is my story.
I was 3lbs when I was born in 1992. I was a premature baby born by c-section. I believe that my mother’s healthy lifestyle is the reason I had a fighting chance. She’s always emphasized how investing in your health is vital. She also says the best health care plan is a good nutrition plan. I was two months early and my parents would jokingly tell me I was born early and that I have been in a hurry ever since. There must have been something to that because I was a proud high school track and field state champion in multiple relay races.
When I entered this world I had a pretty rough start. I had one collapsed lung and the other one wasn’t working properly. As the doctors did their best to figure out what was wrong with me, my heartbeat on the monitor was declining at a steady pace. I was told the doctors were moments away from pronouncing me dead had there been no solution to my situation. My dad being a very seasoned diver recognized my symptoms immediately. He spoke up and said I had a tension pneumothorax. I was acting like a diver who had blown out a lung. I was born slightly blue which is evidence of a lack of oxygen and I was favoring one side as I would breath. He immediately instructed the doctors to use a needle and dart my lung cavity to release the pressure that was suffocating me with each breath. When the doctors followed my fathers instructions my lung inflated and my vitals began to stabilize. Although, I wasn’t completely out of the woods and spent the next few weeks in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). I still have a that scar to this day. It looks like a little skin has been carved out of my side. But that little indentation in my side is my badge of honor. I wouldn’t be here without it and my fathers quick thinking.
(Here is a link to a tension pneumothorax here. This video is an incredible scientific demonstration!!)
I would love to save up money to return the hospital in Hawaii where I was born and visit the NICU. I want to show my husband where my story began. In the NICU there is a bulletin board. It is a place where people can return and post a “brag” sheet. It provides the mothers with hope. They are able to see all the babies that grew up to lead wonderful lives. My mother told me the doctors warned her that I would never play sports, have a normal life and that I would always be mentally slow. Well, I sure showed them! I want to post my own “brag” sheet. I have graduated from a four year university with my bachelors of science in biology. I walked down the aisle with my father, my hero as he gave me away in our wedding. I have an adventurous spirit and love to explore and travel. I want to provide hope to those mothers because that board provided hope for my mother. I want to pay it forward.
“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” —Maya Angelou
I think what happened was definitely not ideal. However, the result was another person grateful for her life and family. Hygge is a way I can express those feelings behind the choices I make in my life today. I choose happiness, comfort, joy and life each day to the best of my ability. Hygge is much more to me than a word it’s a lifestyle rooted in gratitude towards the gift of living.