​IMPORTANT: DR. BOOTSTAYLOR IN NEED OF OUR SUPPORT

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As many of you know, I hold Dr. Bootstaylor and DeKalb Medical Center in the highest regard. Dr. Bootstaylor always gave Brielle and I the best treatment, attention, and certainly more of his time than anyone could have possibly expected. He treated Brielle with kindness and respect.

The same can be said of the nurses, NICU staff, and Jamie at DeKalb Medical Center. They all went above and beyond. Showering Brielle in compassion and love. They showed kindness and empathy towards me, and Jamie even stepped in as a surrogate mother for me while I was hospitalized.

DeKalb Medical’s Staff and the SeeBaby staff all worked beautifully together. They had respect for each other. They were humble. And they operated as a cohesive unit.

This is why I am so disturbed by a decision “at the top” to no longer support what Dr. Bootstaylor stands for. DMC will no longer be supporting vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) or vaginal breech deliveries. Dr. Bootstaylor centers his work around providing the care the mother wants, not what is easiest for him. He gives of himself selflessly and he can no longer use DeKalb Medical Center under these new terms.

Both the staff at DeKalb and SeeBaby are devastated by this and this is not something that anyone seems to support. To disband such a beautiful group of people, honestly trying to do what is right, cannot be permitted.

I, as well as many others, will be contacting DeKalb Medical Center in opposition to this. We hope that enough outrage will be heard that the decision will be overturned and SeeBaby can continue the work they’ve been doing.

If you have the time and desire to support Dr. Bootstaylor and his practice, I’d ask that you please contact DeKalb Medical Center leadership:

John Shelton, CEO DeKalb Medical:
john.shelton@dekalbmedical.org

Dane Henry, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer: dane.henry@dekalbmedical.org

Joel Schuessler, VP Legal Services and Chief Compliance Officer:joel.schuessler@dekalbmedical.org

Rose McKelvie Director Women & Infant Services:
rose.mckelvie@dekalbmedical.org

Cheryl Iverson, VP Marketing:cheryl.iverson@dekalbmedical.org

Sharon Mawby, VP Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer:sharon.mawby@dekalbmedical.org

Jim Forstner, Senior VP and Chief Strategy Officer: jim.forstner@dekalbmedical.org

I’d ask that you also keep this situation and the mothers who are currently due in your prayers, this decision, I’m sure, is causing undue stress during such a fragile time in their pregnancies.

For those of you that live in the Atlanta area and would like to protest this gross violation of human rights, there will be a protest this Friday. Information here.

My Motivations For Transparency and Why I Need Openness In My Life

For those who don’t know me personally, you wouldn’t know that I am as just open here as I am in person. And sometimes I wonder if I’m too open. I wonder if I’m making a mistake. Should I be embarrassed?

I wrestle with this. And maybe I am too open, but is that really a bad thing? I really couldn’t say. All I do know is my own experience and my own reasoning. Isn’t that true for all of us?

I suppose one of my motivations for transparency lies in my faith. Christians are called to speak out about their struggles so that fellow believers can help build one another up. To keep each other accountable. Because let’s face it, following any religion is hard and it’s unreasonable to do it alone.

And that’s a big motivator for me. Do I make mistakes? Do I sin? Do I represent Christ poorly? Yup, all the time. And I want to be held accountable for that. I want to know when I’ve messed up, so that I can fix it. So that I can apologize and clean up my mess, because I will make a mess of things. I’m human. That’s the grace of God, the confidence that I can screw up, apologize, and it’s forgiven, it’s forgotten. No matter how big or small, my mistakes are always redeemable. God’s offering, I might as well take it.


But outside of my faith, I have other reasons. Memories in my past of cruelty, prejudice, sexism, and hate. I have memories of good people, respectable people, turning on me in private. Tearing into me and spreading lies about me.

When your nightmares become a reality and hell becomes a place you frequent, it becomes hard to trust. Hard to believe. Hard to hope. And living in hell taught me that I wanted to be free. That I wanted to be more than my past. My past taught me that some of the kindest people we know are often the cruelest. My past taught me to look for lies. To look for deceit.

And so I live a transparent life. I speak candidly. I want you to call me out on my mistakes. Because I know monsters and I don’t want to become one. Living in secrecy, hiding who we truly are, breeds evil, and I desperately want to be good. To distance myself from my nightmares, look in the mirror, and see a whole, loving and kind woman. I am and will be more than my past.

The Pinterest Trap

I’m easily dissatisfied with my things. I look at my Ikea office chairs and only see what’s wrong with them and what I’d rather have. The gash in my breakfast table annoying me, a gash I could fix, but I don’t. Instead of enjoying my living room arm chairs, I’m frustrated with it’s square arms, because I’d rather have a balloon chair.

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*sigh* a dreamy balloon chair…

I scroll through Pinterest and Instagram bombarded with perfect pictures. The lighting is just right, the artwork is impeccable, houses polished and designed to perfection. And I feel sub par, shamed by my hand me down white nightstands covered in black dog hair. Frustrated with my flickering Good Will lamp.

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I am in love with Studio McGee’s design style.

SMH. If only I had an unlimited budget or a large chunk of cash. That would make me happy, right? If only I could design to my heart’s content. If only I could have everything I ever wanted, that would be enough, right?

I know better. Time and time again I’ve given myself exactly what I want, and yes, it makes me happy. I’m pleased with my purchase. Pleased with my shiny new item. But it’s newness fades. And there is always something better around the corner.
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At the end of the day, I realize, I’ve yet to master gratitude. I’m displeased with my things, because I don’t appreciate what I have. I don’t see their value anymore. And I am keenly aware of how this behavior evolves. So I check myself. I wrestle with myself.

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Blurry, but it’s our silly little Rose!

Because what happens when the newness wears off of things that matter? What happens when I view others as items and objectify them? When I get frustrated and shamed by my lack luster things, I lose focus on the things that really matter. I spend more time focused on beautiful things, shiny, new things, rather than my family.

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Emmy Lou sitting like a big girl and getting snuggles.

And when I step back and watch my dog babies smile for hours because I took them on a walk, I find joy. When I listen to David’s day and find joy in his joy, I find contentment. When I observe the raw beauty of my surroundings, the changing seasons, the mountainous terrain to the north, and the vibrant city to the south, I find peace. My heart is full. My heart is at peace.

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Emmy and Rosie’s new neighborhood friend, Rocko.

I come home and my square arm chairs don’t bother me as much. I look at my things and I’m reminded how blessed I really am. I watch my family interact with each other. Rosie giving Emmy sweet kisses, David lighting up with happiness and laughter, while he snuggles all three of our girls (Emmy, Rosie, and Brielle Bear) and I step back and look at how rich in love I am, and I think to myself, “This is enough. This is joy. This is what matters.”

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Rosie helping us catch Pokemon. 

 

What We’ve Been Up To

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Normal life is starting to come around for David and I again. This past year has been…crazy. But this past month we’ve had our first sense of normalcy in a very long time. David and I have been sleeping in, binge watching Deep Space Nine, and playing video games together, because that’s just the kind of nerdy couple David and I are. We’re still working on getting David’s mom settled and the house is still a wreck…from last Christmas, but we’re making progress, and I’m finally getting to rest and begin the grieving process.

My garden, that I began work on this past winter, is doing well. I’ve not been caring for it like I should, but it is still producing well. Giant zucchini, heirloom tomatoes, and herbs coming out the wazoo; our summer meals have been fantastic. It’s amazing how different home grown food tastes. Overall, it’s been an enjoyable evening chore for David and I (and the doggies). We talk about our day, prune and water the plants, and then play a “water game” with Rosie and Emmy, they have the greatest time getting sprayed in the face and attacking the water. Funny thing? They hate water, unless it’s a game.

I’m behind on blogging and keeping up with real life. I needed/need some me time and some down time. But we did have a great time on the Disney Cruise and I’ll be posting about that (we’ve already booked another!). We had a six month celebration for Brielle on the cruise and I’ll post about that later.

I also still need to post about Brielle’s funeral (that’s just been a hard post to get to). As well as my medical update and just everyday stuff. I’ve been a little MIA.

I am struggling with some new stuff and I feel like it is something I will talk about in the future, but I’m not ready to yet. David and his mom always say to me, “You’ve had a hard life.” And I guess I’ve been trying to survive for so long that I didn’t realize how much I’ve been suffering.

One of the reasons I think it’s important to talk about our hard times and our good times is because we all suffer, we all hurt, and we all go through highs and lows in our lives. And I have to wonder if God could turn my suffering into something better for others. When I was alone, when I didn’t know how to go on, I needed help, I needed hope, but no one ever saw me. I may not be able to see you or others, but maybe I can give you hope. Maybe my life, my heartache, and my suffering can show you that you can survive and you can go on.

I guess, that’s all that I really have left. My heart and my home is with Brielle and the spark that I once felt for life just isn’t here anymore. I think your focus shifts after you lose a child, and mine certainly has. So what is left? I guess I’m still figuring that one out, but all I’ve ever wanted was to love and be loved. And maybe that’s enough. Maybe it’s enough to just be kind to others and move forward one day at a time.

I’m Tired Of Complacency: Black Lives DO Matter

I’m scrolling through instagram, trying to put off the getting ready for bed ritual, and after every black lives matter post, I’m seeing perfect hair, perfect Bibles, perfect homes, perfect smiles, perfect times with friends. 

This sick, materialistic, fake, world we all live in is screaming in my face. And I’m ashamed of myself, because my first thought was, “Just stay out of it. Don’t draw attention to yourself. Don’t pick a fight. Let it go. Let it be someone else’s problem. Just enjoy pretty peonies and forget about it.” 

I make myself sick

What kind of world have we created? And let’s not fool ourselves, we are all responsible for this mess we’re in. How can we stand by and let entire groups of people suffer because of the color of their skin? More importantly, why is this even an issue anymore?? 

And when did it become okay to let those in power target innocent people and gun them down? 

We like our stuff. We like to keep up with the Joneses. We hate confrontation. Better to be politically correct than disagree. 

We can’t bury our heads in the sand anymore. Our country, our world is tearing itself apart, and we are all responsible for this. 

We need to put on our big girl panties, toughen up our skin, and stand against injustice. Stand against prejudice. Stand against hate speech. Stand against political polarization. 

And we need to start standing for love. For unity. For justice. Compassion for our neighbors and ourselves. For selflessness and taking responsibility for our actions. We need to stand for freedom. 

At the very least, stand up for something. I’m tired of living in a world full of people so absorbed with themselves and their phones that they can’t acknowledge the horror happening right in front of them. We’re all guilty of this, including me. And it’s time we got over ourselves. 

We’ve let evil thrive. We’ve become complacent. And we need to clean up our mess. Let’s remember not all blacks are thugs, not all whites are good, and not all cops are racist. But we do live in a racist country. And law enforcement does have a problem. It’s time to take responsibility.

You better believe black lives matter, now what can we do to make a change?