Tuesday, November 01, 2016



The wait is over. Granddaughter number two arrived on her due date. Her entry into the world was an awesome experience, as in the presence of two experienced midwives, a midwife in training, a doula and her big sister, I saw her little face as her head emerged from the body of her mother, while her father continued to lovingly coach his wife through the strenuous labour. We sat in the silence of the holy hush that occurs when the veil is thin between the world of the living and the other world. Then I left the room to text my husband, Glen who was out of town. I wanted to share the news with him. A few minutes later he called me and overwhelmed with the emotion of the experience I was unable to speak, but simply sobbed how beautiful it all was. He knew it was joy that was bursting out of me. 

            That was the beginning of a month that has taught us the value of the wonderful health care system that we have in this country. After the delivery, my daughter, Elizabeth could not seem to get her strength back. She knew this was not the way it had been with her first daughter, and felt something was not right. When she delivered, the placenta was unusual and the midwife was concerned that it did not all come out following the birth. This had to be monitored during the days after the delivery.  Baby was born early Monday morning and early Saturday morning Elizabeth was rushed to the hospital by ambulance for surgery.
           Elizabeth makes her living as a professional singer and knew that the intubation that accompanies a surgery could cause damage to her vocal cords. For that reason, she requested local aesthetic and remained awake for the surgery. She was then given heavy doses of antibiotics to fight the infection. Meanwhile, I sat in the reclining chair by her bed cradling my new grandbaby, and giving her to her mother for nursing before and after the surgery.

           With this problem resolved things seemed to be turning around, when both little girls came down with sniffles. Likely big sister, Sanna brought the germs home from school and shared them with the rest of the family. If it had remained a common cold perhaps it would have been nothing more than a few days of discomfort and all would be well again.

            However, on Sunday evening we received a text from Elizabeth informing us that she had called TeleHealth and they had advised her to take Sanna to the Children’s Hospital. Her lymph glands were badly swollen and were causing pain in her neck. She had to be put on strong antibiotics that were administered intravenously. Every day she had to return to the Children’s Hospital for her infusion of medicine. The family became quite familiar with the hospital as they made their daily trips, until the swelling was sufficiently reduced that the doctor could put Sanna on oral antibiotics.
            Meantime, the kidney problem that had shown up in the ultrasound of Baby Alma, before she was born, had to be checked out. Another medical visit for the ultrasound of her kidneys, showed that the problem had self-corrected. Elizabeth’s comment:  “I thought we must be due for some good news.”

          For baby Alma, visits to the lactation clinic had revealed the need for repair to her mouth, as she was tongue-tied and this was interfering with nursing efficiently. Finally after four weeks, we are able to begin to relax and enjoy the new little girl that has become a part of our family.

          Many people have made it possible for Alma, Sanna and Elizabeth to enjoy the gift of the health. Canadian Thanksgiving has passed and American Thanksgiving will be celebrated later this month, but in the meantime my heart is filled with thanksgiving for all who serve others through providing health care. We are blessed.
Word Guild Award
Word Guild Award

Eleanor Shepherd, a Salvation Army officer has a repertoire of over 90 articles published in several countries. A speaker at conferences, in Canada, the USA, France, Belgium, Switzerland, South Africa, Australia, Haiti and Jamaica, her story appeared in Hot Apple Cider. Her book More Questions than Answers, explains her style of evangelism by listening.  


Peter Black said...

Congratulations Grandma Eleanor! And what a succession of health concerns you have all faced; but you faced them together. May our Heavenly Father's blessing and benediction of grace be on those little ones' lives -- and on you all. (She's a beautiful baby. Lovely pics.) ~~+~~

Unknown said...

Welcome in the world to princess Alma🎉. Congrats all the family!

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