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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Why I little tangent...

So, today I want to share a little about the trauma of the last few years of my life, and why knitting has become my stress relief.  Here goes...

I'm gonna start with November of 2007...

My husband and I were a young couple with a very energetic almost 2 year old boy, and I was 8 months pregnant with our second.  We asked my Dad (an elementary school principle) to watch our son one night so that we could have ourselves a little date night.  We received a call later that evening from my sister in law saying that my Dad was in Emergency, and was being admitted to the I.C.U.  He quite randomly had started shaking uncontrollably and had passed out.  They explained that he must have caught a bug at school, and because my Dad had lost his spleen in a car accident 7 years earlier, his body hadn't detected it.  Turns out he was in septic shock, all his organs were shutting down, and none of the medical staff had anything optimistic to tell us.  He wasn't going to make it...this is all we really heard...

He remained in the I.C.U. for the next 17 days in an induced coma.  He gained 35 pounds as they pumped fluid into him, and he looked like if you poked him, his skin would pop like a water balloon.  This was a very painful, emotional and trying time in my life.  We took shifts sitting by his bedside, and I would have one-sided conversations about all the things I'd wanted to tell him and hadn't.  I was a mess.  My doctor, being a family friend, became quite concerned that I was a likely candidate for post partum depression once the baby was born, but I just couldn't control the sadness that was filling me up.

There was a miracle in this all, and that is that through the faith and prayers of all those who rallied around our family at this time, against all odds, my Dad woke up and recovered.  The doctors were amazed!  I was amazed!  My siblings and our spouses couldn't believe it either.  The only person who really wasn't even surprised by it was my wonderful mother.  She seemed so sure and at peace with herself throughout the whole process, although it had been painful.  She had prayed and felt very sure that he would recover just fine.  She said that her prayers and the spirit she felt had assured her that he would be okay.

Just a little background quickly on my family...we are all very active Christians and members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  Before this incident, my Dad had been the only member of our family that was agnostic.  When he woke up from his coma, he gathered us around and let us know that he could no longer deny that there was a God.  He told us that he had many dreams and felt the love of Christ all around him.  He also told us he was going to be baptized.  It was a wonderful blessing for our family.

My wonderful family one year after the fact (me beside my Dad)

One year later - Happy 30th Mom & Dad

Over the course of the next month, my Dad had to re-learn to walk, and write.  He was extremely weak, had many sores that were healing, and looked like a skeleton of the man he'd been before.  His hair had also turned grey in less than one month, from all the stress his body had been through.

My husband and I bought an acreage and moved in on December 1st 2007, then my Dad was baptized on December 15th, when I was 2 days overdue with our baby.  I had our second little boy 8 days after, and him and I had a quiet little Christmas in the hospital, and I couldn't even begin to count the blessings in my life.

Over the next several months as I tried to recover from childbirth and struggled to cope with two children, things were just starting to feel back to normal again...but (isn't there always a but)...then our little 10 month old began to be very sick.  He was incredibly lethargic, and after multiple trips to the doctor, with them telling me he was just dehydrated, and my motherly instincts screaming in my ears, I took him into Emergency.  He was in complete kidney failure, due to five massive kidney stones blocking his ureters.  He was rushed up to the nearest children's hospital 2 and a half hours away, and by the time we got there he was slipping away.  His heart was stopping, he wasn't stable enough to do any tests on, and the nightmare I'd experienced with my Dad just months before began all over again.

Over the next three months our little man underwent 4 surgeries, and he came home for a while with tubes and bags out of his back acting as kidneys, that I had to change multiple times per day.  I was a regular little home-care nurse.  At this was stressful.  I hardly even saw our other son or my husband, as me and the little guy were living at the hospital.  My back ached from sleeping on a hard bench by the windowsill in his hospital room every night (me being the overprotective mother that I am never left him there one night by himself).  Sometime during all of this...I'm still not sure how...I found out I was pregnant again...

Isn't my life so fun and dramatic!  I was so stressed.  We wanted more children for sure, but I felt like screaming "NOW IS NOT THE TIME!!!"  Apparently is was the time though...and I wouldn't trade the beautiful little girl we got out of it for the whole world.  The most ironic thing for me was that she was due in December, which to me was just somebody's way of being humorous I guess.  My husband and all three of our children have December birthdays, as well as our anniversary, Christmas and New Years Eve.  Fun times (for everyone but me)!

So, here's what followed.  A few months into my pregnancy, our little sicko was in the clear, except for regular routine ultrasounds he'd have to have quarterly and indefinitely.  Here comes another doctor wanted me to come in to have a "talk" with me.  When I did so, he told me that there were two things irregular about this pregnancy that I would have to be aware of...

1.  I had placenta privea (where the placenta blocks the opening of the cervix).  It is quite dangerous and basically I couldn't do anything (like pick up my children, run, bike, exercise at all).  In some cases you're on complete bed rest, which I wasn't, but it was very restrictive nonetheless. 

2.  My PAP test came back with quite concerning results and they needed to do a biopsy on my cervix...YAY!

Here were the results:  "You have high grade abnormal cells on your cervix, but we can't tell you for sure whether or not they are cancerous until after you deliver and we can do more tests (too dangerous to do much up there with the placenta privea I'm told)".

Ah, well that should make for a wonderful and relaxing pregnancy, right???  Not so much.  I know you can feel the sarcasm right now, but I was having a very difficult time.  I was depressed, I was getting more and more out of shape and tired...I couldn't do anything physical, and by the time I went into labour I felt like there was no physical way that I could do it.  

Turned out I was nearly right.  Very bad labor experience...lots of hemorrhaging...I don't want to elaborate and give too many details, but I barely made it.  My husband was terrified, the doctor was yelling, and I just knew as my eyes kept rolling back, that if I closed them it would be the end for me.  Very scary feeling...

They were able to give me laser treatment on my cervix, and although I still have follow-ups to come, I was able to avoid any more serious treatments.  It had been 5 years since I had had a PAP test, so ladies, get it done!  So important!

So, to make a very, very, very, long story short.  My daughter is now 18 months old, my husband just decided to go back to school.  We are renting out our acreage, we've relocated to the big city, and are renting a house ourselves, we're back to the poor student stage of our lives, with three children, and guess what?  I've never been happier.  I am in a good place.  I have grown so much and feel so blessed to have a healthy, happy marriage, and 3 beautiful and pretty healthy kids.  I'm grateful for so much and have no complaints.  

This is why I knit.  It keeps me happy, it keeps me smiling.  The stress of life oozes out of me as I create.  I love it so much, and it's another thing that I feel so happy for.  I'm so grateful for my talent and so grateful for all of you for taking the time to read this incredibly long post...when I go on a tangent, I really go on a tangent ;)


  1. This is really touching and uplifting.

  2. Dearest Lise-Anne..... It is Saturday evening and I am taking a little 'vegetable' time on the couch before heading to bed. It has been a busy missionary day.... my reason for vege'ing time before the pillow. So... I checked on your blog and read your tangent. Uncle Neil and I love you... we think you are beautiful and talented and smart and kind and... and... I love your new patterns! Love Auntie Cheryl

  3. Oh I love you guys both so much too! Thank you for the beautiful compliment! Hope you both are doing so well :)

  4. Greetings Lise-Anne,
    Thank you for sharing your story, as I read your tangent my heart is beating fast, my throat tightening up and eyes watering. Your post is a blessing to me, as I try to understand and fight the feelings of drowning and despair in an otherwise "perfect life." So those looking from the outside will often tell me. I taught myself to knit last winter and found such joy in the creative process even though I have only made scarfs. I stumbled upon your patterns via Pintrest and will order the felted ruffled pattern when able. I look forward to creating one of you pieces. I only hope that mine will come out a nice as your images. My the Lord continue to bless you and your family.
    Karrie Elizabeth

    1. Thank you Karrie Elizabeth for your kind words! I hope tomorrow brings wonderful things for you! Keep up the knitting, it is such a wonderful talent to have, and has been such a blessing to me. ~Lise-Anne~

  5. Wow. What an experience. So glad you relief has settled in and all are well! Blessed you are. Here I am with my blessings.

  6. Just found you and all of this because I needed a child's pair of gloves so one of my five year old grandsons could have white gloves for the " good white ninja". Thank you for your inspirational story.

  7. Hi Lisa-Anne
    after looking at the headband pattern I read your blog, God bless you and your beautiful family, I am reminded of Gods word through faith I am healed
    Bless you