Sunday, November 13, 2011

Miracle Babies

I was so ready to write this blog. I even had a title picked out..."Beware: Venting in Process."
But, I can't anymore.
I'm sure that a lot of you are familiar with the show Grey's Anatomy. Well, I am by no means an avid watcher, but tonight I am so glad that I took a nap and now I can't sleep. I was flipping through the channels when I came across Grey's Anatomy and I intended to use it as background noise while checking my blog and facebook.
But it became so much more than that.

I haven't seen much of this episode because I turned it on late, but I do know the jist of one of the stories...
There is a baby girl who was born pre-mature. Something is wrong with her Mom and they had to move her into surgery so she never got a chance to see her little girl. For a while it seemed like the little girl was not going to make it and her Mom's only concern was that her baby was going to die without being held. Well, she was right. Her baby was going to die without ever being held because this little girl was in such critical condition that it wasn't wise to pick her up. Now, I don't know what any of the numbers mean on the little monitors that they always give us a view of in those shows, but I do know you start to see the numbers drop, it's not a good sign. A male doctor, Dr. Karev, decided that this little girl was going to die either way, so he honored this little girl's mom by holding her while she quickly declined. However, rather than dieing in this in the arms of Dr. Karev, her heart rate started to pick up and she was surviving. I guess it was because of this thing they call, The Kangaroo Hold.
I looked this up on the internet and found another interesting case that was shown on the TODAY show.
Mom's Hug Revives Baby That Was Pronounced Dead
Kangaroo care’ David and Kate were practicing what Australians call “kangaroo care.” Actually, it is widely practiced throughout the world, especially in poorer countries where incubators may not be available for premature babies. An infant is held skin-to-skin to their mother or father, generating heat for the newborn much like a baby kangaroo receives in its mother’s pouch.
Kate had heard of kangaroo care before. “[The baby] comes out of you, and all of a sudden there isn’t the warmth or smell of the mother or the sound of their heartbeat. And so putting him back on my chest was as close to him being inside me where he was safe.”
TODAY Moms: The power of ‘kangaroo care’
Jamie continued to come around as he lay across Kate’s chest. He began grabbing at his mother’s finger, as well as his father’s. And when Kate put a dab of breast milk on her finger, Jamie eagerly accepted it.
Kate finally began to believe her baby was actually alive. “We thought, ‘He’s getting stronger — he’s not dead,’ ” she said. But the family wasn’t getting any encouragement from their doctor. While the Oggs urged hospital personnel to summon him, they were repeatedly told what they were seeing was still just reflex from a baby already declared dead.
Kate Ogg told Curry they had to “fib” to get the doctor to return to her bedside. “We kept saying, ‘He’s doing things dead babies don’t do, you might want to come and see this,’ ” she told Curry.
But the skeptical doctor still didn't return. “So David said, ‘Go and tell him we’ve come to terms with the baby’s death, can he just come and explain it.’ That made him come back.”
Kate Ogg told the London Daily Mail the doctor was in disbelief when he arrived back at the bedside. “He got a stethoscope, listened to Jamie’s chest and just kept shaking his head. He said, ‘I don’t believe it, I don’t believe it.’
Dr. Lisa Eiland of the Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City told NBC News there may actually be a good grounding in science for what seemed like a miracle. “What’s important is the warmth that the mother provides and the stimulation that the baby may have received from hearing the mother’s heartbeat,” Eiland said. “So those are all things that may have helped the baby in terms of going down the path to living as opposed to the path of death.”
For his part, David Ogg gives all the credit to his “very strong, very smart wife” for the family’s now being able to enjoy raising Jamie right along with his sister Emily.
“She instinctively did what she did,” Ogg told The Daily Mail. “If she hadn’t have done that, then Jamie probably wouldn’t be here.”

I have never been so grateful that I haven't been able to sleep. These two stories just spoke to my heart, in a big way! I think that even though Kangaroo Care is used on babies, it is still so relevant as we grow older. It is so true that sometimes all we need to revive ourselves is to know that somebody is there and somebody loves us. After hitting rock bottom and dying a little inside, once we know that someone is there for us and that unconditional love is present in our lives, we can be brought back to life. I am so thankful for the people that have shown me the love I need to survive, to thrive, to live.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A Little About Prayer (Well, ok...A Lot)

In my (almost) twenty years of life I feel that I've met quite a few people who struggle with their faith. The people I have encountered didn't have all the benefits I have had in my life. I was raised very traditionally.
1. My family went to Church every Sunday.
2. My brother and I have both attended Catholic schools our entire lives.
3. As a result of our Catholic schooling, we learned how to pray and lead the Rosary.
4. We celebrated the sacrament of Reconciliation atleast twice every quarter of the school year.
5. We prayed at the start of the school day, before lunch, after lunch, before going home, before dinner, and before we went to bed.

I consider myself very fortunate, especially for number 5. Many of my friends have asked me for help because they want a deeper relationship with God, but they don't know where to start. It seems that no matter what their unique situation is, I always seem to answer the same way. "Why don't you start by taking some time out of your day for prayer." And then they get that confused, frustrated, look on their face. I can almost see the wheels turning in their brain.

What is prayer?
How do I start?
What do I say?
What if I don't have anything to ask for?
How long do I pray?
How do I know He can hear me?
Ok, take a deep breath! I understand, to someone who hasn't been raised on prayer and has never had a personal relationship with God, it can be overwhelming. But just relax. God is in your life whether you like it or not. He's in everyone's life, but He's not pushy about it. If you give Him an open invitation to live in your heart and you include Him in your life, He will reward you. You will feel the peace of His presence.

Before I started this blog, I decided to Google search, "What is Prayer." I came across this site.
I found it interesting because it says that the word pray is derived from the latin word precari which means "to ask." However, to fully understand the word pray we need to recognize that prayer is a conversation and a conversation cannot be held unless the other party is participating. Therefore, when you pray, God hears and answers. God is all loving, He is not rude. When you pray to Him, he doesn't ignore you. He responds and he answers EVERY time.

A good friend posted a quote to my facebook page today that inspired me to blog about prayer. Her quote was this:
God grants our prayers in 3 answers:
1. YES, you deserve it.
2. NO, it's not yet the right time.
3. NEVER, it's not good for you.

I think this is very true. God always gives the answer that is best for us. It is difficult when we pray for something we think we truly need and we don't get it. Often times we assume that our prayer went unanswered, but it didn't. When God doesn't give us what we want, it's because of two reasons.
1. What we're asking for will not benefit us in life, therefore it is not good for us.
2. We will get what we are praying for, but not yet.
Number two is my favorite one to explain to people who are having the break-up crisis. I've had a lot of people come to me and say, "I've been praying that my boyfriend/girlfriend and I would stay together and get married someday because they're the only one I can ever picture myself living the rest of my life with, but they broke up with me! Why did this happen if I prayed so much?"
It's hard when something like that happens. Someone so in love has their heart broken by someone they once trusted so deeply. But, I always try to lead them to the realization that "If this boyfriend/girlfriend was so wonderful and you thought that no one else in the world could ever compare to them, just imagine how perfect the person God intended you to be with will be! God created someone who knows how to meet your every need, someone who understands you completely and loves you unconditionally! Would you really want to miss out on that? And maybe you're right. Maybe that person is the person God created for you. If that's the case, give them time and they'll come back. God has no flaws in our life-plan. Everything that happens is significant and necessary in our lives."

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Lessons From A Tiger

Today someone posted this awesome picture on facebook and it just blew me away. I don't know why, but I feel this strange urgency to share this picture with everyone I know. It's one of those pictures that shows the awesome and complex creations of our Lord.

The Story Behind the Photo
Photographer Dyrk Daniels noticed the 370lb Golden Bengal Tiger had taken an interest in the child, who was leaning against his glass enclosure.
As the tiger, called Taj, headed over to her, Mr Daniels got his camera ready, expecting him to snarl and bang against the glass.
‘I noticed that Taj had taken an interest in the girl and was heading towards her.
‘I thought for certain that the little girl would need therapy after the encounter and fear cats for the rest of her life.
‘I could not believe my eyes when Taj approached the girl, bowed his head and then placed his huge right paw exactly in front of where the little girl’s left hand was.‘It was incredible to watch. Taj let down his right paw, rubbed his cheek against the glass where the little girl’s face was and moved off.Far from being scared, the little girl was so excited that she started clapping as she walked back afterwards towards her mother.
‘I have never seen such tenderness from such a large predator,’ Mr Daniels said.

My Own Reflection
As I shared on my facebook page earlier...
This powerful tiger could have easily crushed the body of this tiny girl in a second if the glass weren't between the two. He also could have scarred her for life, like Mr. Daniels said, but, after taking an interest in this little girl this powerful creature's reaction was entirely unexpected. He bowed to her! Not only that, but he tried to reach out to this small and innocent baby.
Two things were brought to my attention as I was reading this article.
1. We can all take a lesson from Mr. Tiger. He was obviously the more dominant species of the two, but he did not use his power to intimidate. Instead he showed respect for that little girl and reacted as if she were his own baby. (And he'd never been exposed to her before.)
How much of a wake up call is that? If this powerful creature can treat a stranger, who is clearly inferior, with love and respect, why can't we?
 In Matthew 6:26 Jesus says...
If we are more valuable than the birds of the air and the tigers of the land, why is it that they are more civil? Why is it that this tiger showed more respect to a baby than a boss does to their employees or a child to their mother? Why is it that this creature can bow it's head to a baby, yet we (including myself) find it hard to make time to bow our heads and thank the Lord for all He has so freely given?
2. As we all know, the Tiger is often referred to King of the Jungle.
Hmmm.... a King bows to a baby... why does that sound so familiar?
Ooooh! The story of Jesus' Birth!
This "Tiger King" has got it right. He is honoring this tiny child who will hopefully one day become a great warrior of God. This tiny baby will grow up and become a savior. Not the Savior of the World, we've already got that. But, somebody's support, somebody's shoulder to cry on, somebody's protector, somebody's healer. She will be somebody's savior.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

An Unpleasant Experience

Something new happened to me today. I was having a meeting with one of my professors beacuse I'm not doing so well in her class (I'm not doing so well in any of my classes right now) but anyway, I got into my car after the meeting and had a full blown PANIC ATTACK.
I ended up having to go home after I was stable enough to drive. It was far from the proudest moment of my life.

Something about this whole anxiety and depression thing that really drives me crazy is ...
So often I can think to myself, "Just calm the heck down!"
But my mind (always blowing things out of proportion) says, "Excuse Me! Have you seen what we're dealing with here?!"
Ugh. What an exhausting, endless battle. It's like I'm two completely different people. One half of me knows how to handle stressful situations in a calm and effective manner, but the CrAzY in me completely overpowers that half and freaks it out! So, the crazy wins...again. I get so upset because I feel like I'm on all these pills but I'm not getting any better. Yes, they help sometimes, but trying to figure out the correct dosage is really a pain in the rear, if you ask me. I've been switched and switched back and had additional medication to go along with what I was already taking, then switched the dosage on that and now I'm not really sure what's going on here.

All I know is that I just want to get all this figured out so that I can like school again like I always used to. Right now, I hate it because I can't focus long enough to do any of my homework so now my grades are slipping and I feel like a failure because last year 1st semester I got all As and second semester I got all As and one B and this semester... I've got a C+ in atleast one of my classes. Who knows how many others. Help me get through this semester, God. I really need You.