Writing Prompt I

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We never saw it coming. We were so unprepared. Turns out, while we were focused on enemies foreign they were really right here with us the entire time. See, they had been slipping across both borders for decades without really doing anything, just living their lives, getting used to our culture and our ways, convincing us there was nothing to worry about, they were just looking for freedom.

Freedom. It almost feels like a dream to even type that word now.

The first attack came slowly, I don’t even think we would have known we were under attack if not for what came after. It all began with yet another report of a “salmonella outbreak” in one of the largest beef ranches. Ground beef was being recalled left and right, prices were going up, but we’d all seen it before. “Nothing to worry about” our leaders told us “we have it all under control”. But the people who got sick didn’t get better. There was talk of a new “more virulent strain” of salmonella. There were investigations into the companies that provided the tainted meat. There were even arrests made; the accused paraded in front of the television cameras to reassure us that it was being taken care of, that there was no need for panic or alarm. Turns out it was all just a test, a dry run to see how quickly we would respond, a way of crying wolf that led us to not believe we were truly in danger until it was too late.

Next came reports of outbreaks and quarantines in some of the military camps. There weren’t a lot of details, something about “national security”. Same old song and dance. “It’s under control, nothing to worry about, go about your business as usual”. This time though…this time it wasn’t under control and “business as usual” had changed forever. See, our invaders had integrated themselves into every industry doing the jobs that “Americans wouldn’t do”. They worked in our food services, in our hotels, in our resorts, in our water treatment plants. In our janitorial services. We were so blind, so complacent. If only we had seen.

But we didn’t see.

Gunshots in Washington DC. Panic. A crazy person with a gun threatening to shoot themselves, to shoot the president. Lockdown. The man was shot, a martyr for  the cause. A distraction.

By the time we realized it was all a distraction they were all dead. The Senate, the Congress, everyone in the White House. The national command structure wasn’t just broken it was gone. The riots started immediately. Looting and burning, bands of looters roaming the streets of almost every city. We waited for the army to swoop in, the military would stop the riots and keep the peace long enough for us to hold elections and start over right? Long enough for us to rebuild and get revenge. Wrong. The sickness in the military camps was worse than originally reported.

There weren’t enough healthy, active duty officers to direct the cleanup efforts. So the Canadians offered to help. They were our friends to the north, and we gladly accepted. As the platoons rolled across the borders some people watching on television, or online, cheered. Finally, we would pick ourselves up and slowly start rebuilding our nation. That’s what we do after all, we rebuild. The Canadian army started setting up command posts in all the major cities and arresting looters. The cavalry had finally arrived. To allow for our own military forces to take a greater role in the riot control they offered to help patrol the southern border as well. We didn’t know how much of a mistake we had made, until the Mexican army surrounded Dallas.

People tried to fight back. They broke curfew, met in the dead of the night, relied on their stockpiles of weapons and food to fight the two forces that were now seen as invaders rather than rescuers. It wasn’t enough. When the public executions of conspirators started being broadcast a few of us were sure our other allies would intervene but they did nothing. Those who were able to get messages to the UK and the EU were told that this was an “internal struggle” that they couldn’t “commit resources to”. We found out later that Israel had attempted to send in aid, but their planes had been blown out of the sky somewhere over Europe.

It didn’t take long before those who lived outside of the large cities were either arrested or cut off from civilization. They call us The United Americas now. Talk about the virtues of living in a world without borders. The UN praised the efforts of Canada and Mexico to quell a potentially explosive situation; praised the forward thinking nature of the usurpers.

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Original Prompt: The Canadian and Mexican militaries initiate a combined invasion of the US with non-intervention pacts from the UK and EU.

Natalie’s Arrival

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This post is my labor and delivery story,  I promise to keep all the gory details out for those of you who have a light stomach.  For the rest of you here goes:

No one told me what contractions felt like.  I know, not the usual beginning, but you have to understand that I asked everyone and pretty much all I got was “Oh, you’ll know when it happens”.  Later, I found out that it is different for everyone. After all, how do you describe the feelings of your body getting ready to perform miracles?

And so, with me not knowing what contractions would feel like, I paid attention to anything that felt different, which brings us to the morning of our week 38 appointment.  On that morning, Justin would stay home from work to make sure that I was okay and we went to the appointment. Our doctor said that everything was okay and we went about the rest of our day. The morning of my week 39 appointment, we packed our bags, just in case, because I was feeling some cramps in my legs and a few in my stomach.  We went to the appointment and were told that I was only 1 1/2 centimeters dilated. I went home, took a nap, didn’t think about contractions and had a fantastic dinner.

The next morning, at about 1:30, I woke up feeling wet and hoped that my water hadn’t broken.  I changed my clothes, went back to bed for about a half an hour and woke up again with contractions.  I know that it must be contractions because it is like nothing that I have ever felt before.  The only thing that is going through my mind is that it can’t be happening today because Justin has a work conference that he needs to go to.

I get up again, at 2:30, and this time I turn on the light. It’s easy to see now that the wetness I was feeling was blood.  I go into the bedroom and say “Justin, I’m bleeding”.  Justin was up in a heartbeat, (good thing that we had packed our bags the day before),  and we head straight for the hospital calling our parents and our Doula on the way.

We finally get checked in at 3:30 and they check me.  I am 3 centimeters dilated and 100% effaced, the nurse doesn’t seem concerned about the bleeding, saying that it looks like “old blood”.  I walk around a little bit surviving my contractions by hanging onto Justin.  About two hours later, I tell Justin that I can’t do this.  I ask the nurse to check me again and I am already at a 7.  At this point I feel like it has been forever and the contractions are getting more and more painful. The nurses tell me that they have called my doctor and she wants them to call her back when I hit 9 cm.

Less then an hour later I  insist the nurses to check me again. They do and I am at a 9.  I start feeling the urge to push and they tell me I need to wait until the doctor gets here and get me positioned up on my knees.  I get on my knees, and start swaying while moaning to get through the contractions.  Finally, I tell everyone in general that I want my doctor because I need to push. Right at that moment, our doctor walks in hair still wet from the shower she thought she had time for.

As soon as she gets here I start to push.  They keep telling me how to do it and that I shouldn’t hold my breath, I just focus on pushing with the pain.  At one point, they give me oxygen because our little one’s heartbeat keeps lowering and then our doctor tells me that they may need to cut an episiotomy, because she seems to be stuck in the birth canal. About five minutes, and two pushes, later, I know that she is out. They quickly cut the cord and whisk her to the other side of the room.
(From JustinIt turns out there had been a placental abruption, which is where the bleeding had come from. Because there was blood in the sac she had it in her stomach and lungs, so they had a specialist waiting to suction out the blood and make sure she was breathing well.

Natalie Dawn Ferrell arrived at 6:55 in the morning weighing 6 pounds and measuring out at 18 inches.  Labor was only five hours.

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Well, we were supposed to post our Christmas letter that I so dillengtly wrote, but something wasn’t working right and we both got frustrated.

Then right after Christmas, Justin got the flu and I got a head cold that never went away.  It has been two weeks and I may actually be getting over this one, however now I cannot talk because I have a bad sore throat.

In other news, I hit 38 weeks on Wednesday which means that our little one will soon make her debut in this world.  I have no idea what labor will be like, all I know is that I do have a strong support system.

Justin found an amazing video on youtube that speaks out to all those who have struggled with infertility and miscarriages.  It is so nice to know that music really does heal.  Here is the link:

Next time we write, hopefully we will have pictures of our new addition to the family.

The rest of the story

I feel compelled to write this while listening to Christmas music and realizing that I am now 33 weeks along in my pregnancy.

Our fertility journey continues on with me finding a job at a residential treatment center and getting some good health coverage.  We found a doctor that was willing to help us a little bit.  She prescribed progesterone.  I would take it for ten days and then have my period.  After my period had started, I would go in for some blood work, (they were checking my progesterone level).  After three tries and no success, our doctor told us that she could not do anything more for us and then referred us to a fertility doctor.   One thing that must be understood is that Justin and I have never intended to do IVF.  We just don’t feel comfortable with it and we felt that the fertility doctor was going to suggest that right away so we did not go. Another big factor going against us was that apparently your progesterone level is supposed to above 10 for anything to happen and on my last blood test, my progesterone level was below 1.  I was doomed at least in my mind.

We found out about a natural healer/bio-something that my sister-in-law was going to and we decided to try that side of things.  She would ask questions and then test my muscle reactions to the questions.   She put me on a lot of medicine and I felt like we were going somewhere and then Justin got the job in Atlanta.   I asked her if we could check my hormones before I left and we did.  I found out exactly what I thought: low estrogen and low progesterone.   I felt like I was right back where we started.

In Atlanta, I finally was able to meet with a LDS social worker to talk about adoption.  The social worker that we got was exactly what we needed.  She told me that I needed to grieve over my infertility and come to terms with it.  I accepted the fact that I would probably never have children and we started working on our adoption papers.   Now that was quite the experience.  There is nothing in the world like writing a letter to the birthmother or decided what kind of child you would be okay with getting.  When we meet with our doctor to get our paper filled out for our adoption file, I was diagnosed with “premature ovarian failure” and they didn’t even do any tests.  Needless to say, I was not very happy with the doctor we had picked.

We got approved for adoption on February 14, 2011.  In May of that year, we knew that we were moving back to Utah for Justin’s new job.  With LDS Adoption files, if you move to another state, you have to pay 500 dollars just to transfer you file and that doesn’t include all the fees that you have to keep up every year.  Justin and I decided to take that 500 dollars and see if we could figure things out.

We had been in Utah for two months and I was reading a blog of someone that was struggling with infertility and she mentioned a fertility doctor.  I looked him up and realized that our insurance covered him (Blessing number 1), and that he was in Pleasant Grove, Utah only about ten minutes away from where we lived. ( Blessing number 2).  I called and made an appointment.

At our first appointment, he explained PCOS in the most easiest way possible and we told him everything that we have tried. He suggested to do a bloodtest and then go from there.  I was called a few weeks later and told to go get an MRI. I went to the American Fork Hospital and got an MRI.  Later, they would tell me that I had a small tumor near my pitutary gland that was secreting prolactin.  Interesting what some blood work and the right doctor will do. (Blessing number 3)  I was put on a medicine called Bromocriptine to shrink  the tumor.  I went in every month for four months before I was at the right level for us to start the fertility treatments.  I started at above 400, and finished at about 30.

Finally we were able to start the treatments which consisted of shots of FSH into my stomach about every week.  Then we would go in and make sure that my follicles were growing.  If they were then we would do the trigger shot, if not I took more FSH shots.  After a certain amount of days, I would go in for a blood test to see if I was pregnant or not.  Twice, the call was to tell me that the results were negative.  On the third month, the call came telling us that the result was positive, we were going to have a baby. (Blessing number 4)

I still don’t know why it happened now and not earlier.  I am not ready to be a mother even though this is what I have always wanted.  Our little miracle is kicking and moving every day and I am in so much awe that our prayers have been answered.  Now will this birth help everything get back to normal. I have no idea, we may adopt in the future.  Right now I look forward to holding my own little daughter in my arms and calling her mine.

 

Election 2012 – The Aftermath

Four years, millions of dollars, and endless array of political ads, promises and rallies have changed nothing. The House and Senate are arranged in basically the same as they were before and the same man is in the White House.

I won’t tell you to buck up, I won’t tell you that it’s “going to be okay” or “it’ll all work out in the end” because honestly I don’t know that it will be okay, I don’t know that what many of us see as our great nation will survive in a recognizable form in four years.

I want to be clear that I do not personally belief that Barack Obama is an evil man; on the contrary, from what I have seen, I believe that he is a good father and husband. However, I believe that he is an incompetent politician who sees the history and the future of this county in a dramatically different way than I do myself. I also see him as someone who, through either incompetence or complicency, allows and enables wickedness to flourish, and evil people to gain and maintain power. There are some who will debate if he is the puppet or the puppeteer, I don’t care, the result is the same.

But it is not the reelection of a man such as Barack Obama that leads me to my opening statement. It is instead what his reelection represents in the attitude of the people of this once great nation. We have a majority who no longer see the value in hard work and being productive; we no longer have a majority populace who puts love of God and fellow-man above love of self and love of stuff; we have a people who have turned their backs on the values that built this country and made it great.

So mourn. Mourn for the wickedness and slothfulness of our nation. Mourn the fact that a majority of the people blessed to live in this Promised Land choose to follow their basest desires. Mourn for the future of freedom, not only in the United States but in the world. Mourn the loss of peace as those who love war take advantage of a militarily and morally weak United States.

I am not ashamed to admit that I have shed more than one tear for the death of freedom. So cry, weep for the advancement of wickedness in the world. Weep that the destroyer has a greater power over the hearts of man now then he once did, and weep for the souls he leads gleefully down to hell through promises of ease, pleasure and whisperings that there is no God or eternal consequences.

Mourn and weep as long as you need, but then later today, tomorrow, next week or next month when you have finished mourning for the wickedness of man, gird up your loins and fight. The battle may be lost but the war is far from over.

It is time for those of us who love liberty and justice, and want the best for our fellow-man to stop sitting on the sidelines cheering for who we think has the best chance of winning and enter the fight. If you have ever had an inkling that you would like to run for public office to fight the abuse of power you see there, stop thinking about it and look up how to do it. If you have ever wondered what you can do to help those in need, stop wondering and start doing. Go to your local food bank, shelter, charity of choice. If you have talents in creating blankets, cooking food, or painting donate your skills and talents to helping those who stand in need. Stop standing idly by, complaining that the world is going to hell and start doing your part to change it.

I have already taken my own words to heart and begun looking into the timing and qualifications needed to run for local public office. Watch for any official announcements in the future, they are coming. I want to hear from you, my readers, what you will commit to doing in the next four years to insure that our next major election is a victory and not another defeat.

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