The Natural Bud

Blossoming into a Healthier Lifestyle


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A Time to Celebrate

Day Before Discharge

Day Before Discharge

It’s late Tuesday morning when I make my daily phone call to the NICU. I’m always nervous to call; I want to know how he is doing, but I don’t want to hear bad news over the phone either.

“NICU Seventh Tower,” the nurse answers, “This is Michelle.”  I haven’t met Michelle yet.
“Hello, this is Laurelyn Rosenberger, Benjamin’s mom.”
“Hi!  He’s doing very well […] The surgeons just did their rounds and […] he can come home this afternoon…”

Whoa.  What?  We weren’t prepared for that news.  I feel more panic than excitement at first. Michelle gives us a list of things to do before he can be discharged so that we’ll be prepared when we arrive at the hospital.

At the hospital, there is more prep to do for his homecoming.  A member of the surgical team shows us how to change the dressing on Benjamin’s chest wound*.  The nurses review a few other things and give us the list of follow-up appointments they’ve made so far….

That was 3 1/2 weeks ago.  Benjamin is home and doing well overall.  Jonathan loves being a big brother too!

Benjamin's Homecoming  Tuesday August 26

Benjamin’s Homecoming
Tuesday August 26

I wouldn’t quite say we are back to normal yet – a “new normal,” perhaps.  The first week in the NICU, when we were concerned about the initial fluctuations in Benjamin’s heart rate, Clarence (the nurse) said, “It’s normal.”  Then she corrected herself – “It’s not normal, but it’s expected after the surgery.”  That expresses our life pretty well – not normal, but expected.

Some of the best advice I received throughout this pregnancy was to focus on the positive.  As Jason and I were driving home from one of our many appointments – so far we have eight specialists to see over the next three months** – we were discussing the then-overwhelming road ahead. Jason commented, “I will say this.  I am in no way feeling ‘woe is me.’  There are people who have gone through so much [harder …] We have a lot to be thankful for.”

We certainly do.  The grace of God is written all over Benjamin’s face.  We are enjoying having him home and watching new developments each week. 🙂

I’ll share some specific blessings later, but we are overwhelmed by God’s mercy, and grateful for the help and encouragement from so many of you.

Benjamin 4 1/2 weeks old Over 9 lbs.

Benjamin 4 1/2 weeks old
Over 9 lbs. (born 6 lb 12 oz)

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*Clarification: his “chest wound” is a scar from his right side close to the middle of his back.  They did not go through his chest for surgery.
**Since writing this, we’ve seen three of the eight specialists (actually, four, counting the weekly casting appointments for his clubbed feet).  We are thankful and feeling slightly less overwhelmed now.  


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“Peace I Leave with You”

Benjamin after Surgery

Benjamin after Surgery

Benjamin was still under anesthesia, meaning he couldn’t breathe on his own, so he was on a breathing tube all that night.  While we were with him that evening, he started to sputter and turn red.  The monitor alarm went off.  The nurse put a tiny tube down his nostril to suction junk out of his throat but he was still red.  Within about two minutes a respiratory doctor was there.  The doctor acted calmly but moved quickly, and showed the nurse to suction further down.  (She had been hesitant to get close to the surgical site in his throat.)  After that he started ‘breathing’ again.

Jason looked at me and said quietly with a bit of a laugh, “I guess I’ll have to stay here all night.”

Jason holding Benjamin

Jason holding Benjamin

The doctor explained the problem to us before leaving Benjamin’s pod, then said, “You need to get some rest. I’ll be here all night,” he reassured us,  “So you don’t have to be.”

My dad put it well in a group text later that evening:

 

Text from my dad

 

As I went to sleep alone in the hospital room (a blessing in itself as we had not paid for a private room), I wanted to cry all night.  I knew I had to sleep and couldn’t lose hope.

In times when I’ve felt completely alone, the only true, complete peace has come through Scripture.

I got out my phone and read through almost the entire book of 1 John until I came across 1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear; because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.”  Ironic.  The last time that verse stood out to me was when I first considered dating Jason.  From all I could see God was pointing us in that direction but I was afraid of getting hurt.  And now God brought it to my attention with our son.  Another verse came to mind:

Psalm 4:8 photocredit: pinterest.com

Psalm 4:8 photocredit: pinterest.com

More recently I read Psalm 121:3-4 and it struck me – the God of the Universe is “up all night,” so I don’t have to be.

photocredit: biblepic.com

photocredit: biblepic.com

I went to sleep in peace, not knowing how Benjamin would do… but knowing our loving, trustworthy heavenly Father would guide us through it.


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From Home Birth to High Risk

After much research, prayer, and discussion with our medical caregivers, we decided to deliver our first baby at home.  God provided for my aunt (an experienced midwife) to catch the baby and on April 16, 2010, our son was born surrounded by a few close family members.

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Someone asked me later if I planned to deliver all of our babies at home. After thinking about it, I had to say no.  Jonathan’s birth was the best I could have imagined and giving birth at home would be ideal, but I don’t know how every pregnancy will go.

When I answered the question, it was only hypothetical.

Now I’m 36 weeks pregnant with our second baby boy.  On our first sonogram, a couple of concerns appeared but the doctor didn’t seem alarmed. They could easily be mistaken and they wanted to do another sonogram.

It wasn’t long before we determined that we should deliver at the hospital. Our midwife would still be there – the same midwife who did all our prenatal /postpartum care with Jonathan.

God is good and gracious in everything He does. Sometimes He allows trials to happen suddenly, and He provides grace and comfort through it. I’m glad He allowed us to learn a little bit at a time.

After the many tests and changes (including a 3D sonogram and a fetal MRI), here is some of what we know… Our baby will need immediate medical attention to save his life.

Last month we were transferred to a high risk hospital in Manhattan.

3D Sonogram

Our second son has an esophageal atrasia and a fistula.  Basically, he will need surgery soon after birth, both to prevent him from choking and to enable him to swallow.  He will be in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at least a few weeks, possibly 2-3 months depending on the severity of the blockage.

We appreciate prayers as we continue to prepare mentally, spiritually and logistically.

Many of our ideals for birth will be impossible this time, but God is still good.  He continues to remind us how truly blessed we are here.  We’re in a place with some of the best medical care possible for a situation like this.  God has provided so much support through friends, family and medical caregivers.  .. And we still have a living, active baby inside my womb.

Psalm 139:14 "I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are your works, and that my soul knows very well."  photocredit: iamannekehn.blogspot.com

photocredit: iamannekehn.blogspot.com

“I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.” Psalm 139:14

*I had considered starting an entirely new blog for this journey, but it seemed appropriate to share here… showing the partnership between natural alternatives/nutritional support and necessary medical intervention.*


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DIY Air Fresheners

This was my fun project for the week!  It doesn’t take long, except that you leave it out to dry for a few days.  I had never used silicon molds before, so I was nervous about how they would turn out… but I’m so excited about the results!!

The recipe is for Refrigerator Refreshers, but you can use them as air fresheners in many different locations.  Click here for the recipe I used:http://doterrablog.com/diy-fridge-refreshers/  The only modification I did was to add about 10-15 drops of doTERRA lemon oil along with the purify.

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(Had to include a picture of my husband’s special Star Flex (sp?) also. It’s a retired part of one of the helicopters he worked on.)

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Great addition to a gift basket for your crafty or natural-minded friends.

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A Special Easter Gift

As both a Christian and a wellness advocate, it’s important to me that people feel our genuine concern for their needs.  While sharing essential oils is a source of income for us, we should always focus on others’ needs, not what we can “get” from them.  One thing I love about this business is the new opportunities it has given us to show kindness- God has provided more income to reach out to others, the ability to meet many physical and emotional needs, and creative new ways to give gifts.

photo credit: doterrablog.com

photo credit: doterrablog.com

Last year, my mom developed a beautiful new gift to share, relating the essential oils of the Bible to the account of Easter week.  It is the Easter Roll-on, a blend of essential oils that produce a grounding, calming effect.

Here are the specific oils, with their correlation to Easter Week and a few of their benefits.  (See the source link for more benefits of each.)

Myrrh & Frankincense
Correlation: Given to Jesus as gifts at His birth.
Benefits: Immune Strengthener, Skin Care, Go-To Salve

Gifts for Jesus' Birth  photo credit: atouchofhealth.biz

Gifts for Jesus’ Birth
photo credit: atouchofhealth.biz

Vetiver
Correlation:
Aroma smells like the ground. Reminds us of the burial of Jesus Christ.
Benefits: Calms Anxious Feelings, Enhances Circulation
Also used as a base for many colognes/perfumes.

Sandalwood (“Aloes”)
Correlation: Used along with frankincense and myrrh to anoint Jesus at His burial.
Benefits: Immune Strengthener, Skin Care

Orange & Lime photo credit: eofamily.com

Orange & Lime
photo credit: eofamily.com

Wild Orange & Lime
Correlation: Reminds us of new life & Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.
Benefits of Lime: Calming, Respiratory Support.
Often used to help those who are grieving.

Benefits of Wild Orange: Invigorating, Uplifting.

“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in Me, even if he dies, will live [again in Heaven].'”
photocredit: createdforamission.com

“[….]that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,” 1 Corinthians 15:3-4

“’O Death, where is your sting? O [Grave], where is your victory?’ The sting of death is sin […] But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved […], be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:55-58

photocredit: pastorbrianchilton.wordpress.com

photocredit: pastorbrianchilton.wordpress.com