This summer has been hectic. For those of you who don’t follow my Facebook, Instagram or Twitter feeds, you may have missed some big news that I shared this last winter.
That’s right, despite swearing for years and years that we weren’t going to have kids, Hubs and I pulled the ultimate switcheroo, changed our minds and I got pregnant.
Early on in the pregnancy I ended up in the emergency room with an IV. I was able to leave the ER in time to run home, change and get in the car to go speak at an event. I’d like to say that I was one of those women who handled pregnancy like a champ. Instead I will fully admit that pregnancy kicked my ass! I continued traveling and speaking to groups. I only once had to excuse myself during the middle of a presentation to go and throw up and having to pull over many times to get sick only made me late to one event. From the morning sickness to the bloating the never-ending exhaustion, I struggled for my entire pregnancy.
When my doctor told me my due date, September 10th, I figured that my biggest concern of the summer would be staying cool during the three different fairs that FFA kids show our heifers at.
It turns out the summer temps weren’t going to be my biggest worry. On July 6th, our world was rocked. That morning I was getting ready to go to my doctor’s appointment to have a 3 hour glucose test done after failing my 1 hour test for gestational diabetes. As I pulled out of our driveway a police car went flying past with lights and sirens. When sirens go down our chunk of highway, they usually end up somewhere in our neighborhood. So I called Hubs who was at the farm milking to see if he saw where the officer went. He didn’t answer, so I continued on my way. Then an ambulance went by and something set the hair on the back of my neck on end. I called Cathy, my mother-in-law’s cell. Instead of her answering, my father-in-law did. I will never forget his voice as he told me that the sirens were headed to our farm and that Cathy was hurt.
Cathy had been mixing feed that morning, a job she has done almost every day for the last forever. She got out of the mixer truck to get into her skid loader and the truck started to roll. She tried to stop it, she slipped and fell and the truck rolled over her. The truck crushed her left leg. She tried to yell for help but Hubs was in the parlor milking and Clem was on the other side of the farm cleaning the building, no one could hear her. So she did what saved her own life, she crawled to the cell phone that had been flung from her pocket in the accident and called 911 herself. Thankfully the first responders and UW MedFlight were able to stabilize her and get her to University Hospital in Madison.
Cathy lost her leg just above the knee. The accident also caused her to lose most of the skin on her thigh. She spent a week in ICU, she’s had 10 surgeries to date and has been in the hospital since that day. Tomorrow she will be able to have skin graft surgery to cover her leg again and then she will have more time in a rehab hospital. We are blessed that she is still with us and we are hoping to have her home by Christmas.
While I was spending the long days with Cathy at the hospital, I got the news that I did in fact have gestational diabetes, considering ice cream was my biggest pregnancy craving and I needed to be able to eat my feelings, this was bad. A few days before that diagnosis I had started feeling itchy. Being itchy is a normal pregnancy symptom, but this wasn’t normal itchy. This was itching that mostly happened at night and was so bad that I was scratching to the point of bleeding. The kind of itching that nothing helps. Since my sister had also experienced this kind of itching, I knew to call my doctor right away.
After a blood draw, the diagnosis I expected was made. Just like my sister, I had developed Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy (ICP), a condition where your liver malfunctions and bile acids build up in your bloodstream, causing the extremely intense itching. The good news is ICP is easily resolved…by giving birth. The bad news is that the longer you carry your baby past 37 weeks, the higher the chances for a stillbirth. That means I had to be induced at exactly 37 weeks and I had to deal with the insane itching until that point.
The thing about induction is that it doesn’t always work the way it’s supposed to. Going in I was prepared for a long birth. But I didn’t really expect after 46 hours of labor to be told that I still wasn’t past a 5.
Silas Alan was born on August 21st at 7:55pm via c-section. He weighed 7lbs and 14oz and was 20″ long at birth.
Since the accident and the little man’s early arrival, Hubs and I have been trying to figure out the new normal around home and the farm. Without the family, friends and neighbors who have stepped up to help us in the last few months, we would be completely lost.
This summer has been life changing in so many ways. We have huge adjustments to make in our plans, but we’re getting there. This winter I will still be speaking, although I am limiting the amount of travel I do. We’ll be figuring out how to farm with a baby and how to remodel a house built in 1890 for wheelchair access. When the last of our corn is harvested, our family will be different than it was when the corn was planted. Different but Ok.
My friend Wendy Scott snapped some photos of Silas that I thought I would share with you all. (If you’re in Southern Wisconsin or Northern Illinois area and want photos done, I suggest you check out her page!)
Congrats and hang in there!
Hang in there! I know exactly how you feel. Hubby was in a motorcycle accident a year ago and me and the 8 month old lived with him in the hospital. Then he had a huge surgery in June for bladder cancer. Years like that give us a lot of unwanted wisdom, don’t they!? I hope things calm down for you and life goes more smoothly 🙂
Thanks for sharing your journey. Since you know the highlights of mine I’ll share one of my favorite verses that I’ve held close to my heart. Romans 8:28 In all things God works for the good of those who love Him and have been called according to His purpose.
Sharlene Bakula Gomes
I think you are a warrior of the first degree and married into a family of warriors. Can you imagine how Silas will turn out? He will rule the world!! Prayers and hugs for all of you for carrying (Carrie..ing) on.
Kelly M. Rivard (@KMRivard)
You and your family are the embodiment of resilience. I am so honored to call you a friend and proud of everything you’ve conquered. This story is nothing short of inspirational, and while I know you have a long way to go, I have no doubts that everything will work out. Hang in there!
Great job putting your thoughts into words for us Carrie.
Y’all are so blessed!! Thank you for sharing your summer of 2015!
I’ve been wondering what happened to you. Glad you are back. Yep, things can change. But God never does. He loves us no matter what. Bless you and your family.
Thanks for sharing! Wishing everyone the best!
I am glad I was able to hear you speak in Indiana in 2015. You were very inspiring.Thank you for always sharing your story with us, even the hard ones! Prayers to you and your family!
All those complications and so much stress and you still managed to speak, etc… I would say you did handle pregnancy like a champ! Your newborn photos are adorable. Congratulations and good luck in adjusting to your new normal!
Mess family, you’ve survived a storm, probably still feeling like you’re in it but I am thankful for the grit you each have to get through these trying times and enjoy the blessing of Cathy’s life being saved and the gift of Silas! Beautiful family. Congrats and will continue to pray.
God has blessed you big this year! Your son is beautiful. Good luck. Prayers for your mother in law
Oh my – what a summer. First – big kudos to everyone for pulling through! And your new son is beautiful – he definitely was born into a strong family. Hope everything from here on out is on the up and up!
Wow! You are incredibly strong. May God bless your family and keep you strong in your family struggles. May you continue to farm and do what you love for ages to come.
Reading this made me cry! You are such a strong family.. praying that God will help you all find your new “normals.” No one knows the path he will lead you on.. just know he is there watching out for you all!
Sadie | Dairy Good Life
“Different but OK.” Great line, Carrie. Great post. The pictures of Silas are adorable. Fingers crossed for Cathy’s surgery and all of you going forward.
Welcome to the world Silas- Congratulations on making it through all the trials of this past summer- and best thoughts and wishes for Cathy’s surgery and recovery. I look forward to following your future farmer!
Thank you for the history /story! You are such an awesome woman and a blessing for our family, Carrie. Wish I could be out there but Phil gets to share it all directly! Continue to take good care of each other! Love ou!