My Appreciation for Life – Near Death at Birth

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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. 

19 thoughts on “My Appreciation for Life – Near Death at Birth

  1. What a great story. Events like that shape who we are and who we become, even if we do not recall it at the time. Our brains have a way of adapting to environment and surroundings which help us later in life. Good for you that you can appreciate it and it appears that it motivates you. I bet your parents are very proud.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I really appreciate what you said! You’re exactly right and it definitely motivates me. I have moments where I realize I might not have been apart of this world and it makes me very grateful to be here! Thank you!! ☀️

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I resonated deeply when you spoke about your husband. I feel the same when I look at mine, whenever he has to do a long drive to or from work (or after a night shift), I worry that he’ll get into a crash and just be gone. It’s a massive fear of mine. I do not fear dying, but I fear what it will do those close to me.

    This is excellent writing! You were one strong baby! The brag board sounds like a great idea, I’ve never heard of it before. Have you seen or heard of it since at other hospitals???

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I have those same worries and fears! I went back with my parents at a young age to post a sheet that my parents made. I feel strongly about traveling and posting a page on my own! I’ve only heard about it at my hospital… I would hope that other hospitals do that because it is so encouraging! Maybe this post can inspire some of that somehow! And thank you for your sweet and kind words! ☀️

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I was immediately drawn into your story. My son when he was born had pyloric stenosis which required surgery. He was less than a month old when he had surgery and to this day he has a small scar where he was cut open. As a new mother I was so nervous and worried. I can only imagine how your parents felt. I hope you can make it to Hawaii and post on the “brag” board one day!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That is also an incredible story! That would definitely be scary as a new mother! Surgery is always stressful and I can imagine on a newborn baby it’s even more stressful. I’m not a mother yet but I can only imagine what that must have been like. Thank you for sharing! 🙂 I hope I get to post my sheet soon too! ☀️

      Liked by 1 person

  4. How amazing your story is! I am so grateful for your life here on the earth. You were born for a reason and you are helping others now with your writing. God had a plan. Here is a fitting quote from the Bible, “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are your works; and that my soul knows right well. My substance was not hid from you, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes did see my substance, yet being imperfect; and in your book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. How precious also are your thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with You. Psalm 139:14-18

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! Also thank you for sharing that bible verse. It is a very fitting and beautiful quote! It was an excellent reminder of God and His plan. We are all here for unique and special reasons. I really hope to continue helping and inspiring people through my writing! I have been told I’m a good writer. That complement was very humbling for me and I’m enjoying sharing my thoughts in this community!! Everyone is so supportive and kind!! ☀️

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hope bestowed on someone can change their destiny.
    Do share your experience on the board.
    I m glad that you are the warrior and are living good life.
    For sure, your husband will be proud and happy to have you.
    And I m glad that you share your story and inspired me.
    We shall not keep ourself mediocre or feel inferior when we came across such challenges but we shall be courageous.
    Thanks for sharing!!
    Sending positive vibes 💫

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very very well said! Which board are you referring to? I’m lucky to have a husband who makes me feel special each day. He respects my story and how it has impacted my outlook on life. The world is full of people who don’t appreciate those things but that is certainly not my experience here in the blogging world. I’m proud to share my story with wonderful people like you! This community is amazing. Thank you!!! ☀️

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      1. Hmm.. I was referring to the brag sheet board you said its in hospital…
        To give courage to the person in hospital on whom fear must be ruling…
        Do it!! Share!! It’s make girls like me feel inspired.
        Thanks!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I see! For some reason I thought you were referring to the community pool board! I hope to share this post on that next Monday. Yes! The brag board is something I can’t wait to post to. Premature babies have a rough start and that board is a small way to bring hope to those mothers!! I believe that is so important!!

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  6. I have no clue why but somehow this makes me feel proud for you, even though I have no right to feel the same for you I know. It was your struggle, your fight and you won. You deserve to be the proud one.

    This story of yours is inspiring and calming all the same on so many levels, I’m really glad you shared it with us. Your writing, your choice of words and everything about your blog is very powerful and motivational.
    – Megha 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really appreciate this! Thank you for taking the time to read and comment! I think it’s very encouraging to hear that you feel that way! It was my hope to inspire others and to share that story. It’s amazing how it happened so long ago but it still resonates within me and I can share that with others! Thank you!! ☀️

      Liked by 1 person

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