Saturday, December 4, 2010


On December 11 1997 one of my hearts desires became reality. I have always wanted to be a mom. I remember as a little girl wish with all my heart that I could hurry and grow up so I could be a mom. I played with dolls far longer then most of my friends simply because I loved babies so much. I loved going babysitting, loved (most of the time) helping with my mom's daycare in high school. I even took babysitting kids on dates with me more then once - I have just always wanted to be a mother. And finally with the birth of my sweet daughter I was a mom. As any who have given birth can attest it is not an easy feat and my labor with Cass was long and silly me I was too afraid of a needle in my back to get a epidural so she was basically natural - yeah silly me. I remember in the delivery room being so tired that I didn't think I could even lift my arm. I actually remember looking at my own arm and thinking that it was too heavy too lift and thinking I won't be able to hold my own child if she ever arrived. When she finally got there after almost 2 long hours of pushing however it was as if all that went out the door. I have a picture of before her cord has even been cut and my arms are already reaching for her - I wanted that baby! That is a picture by the way that most will never see do to the graphic details shown! I was so happy to see her. She was tiny and so perfect with long fingers and toes and little itty bitty finger nails and absoultely no hair at all. No eyelashes or eyebrows even. She was due on the 21st and born on the 11th but they decided after that her due date must have been wrong because she had other signs of being a little more early then that. She got to stay with me in the room though and I just wanted to look at her all the time. She was such a good baby. Hardly ever fussy and just a sweet almost sober little child. She was named Cassidy Lucille Rice. Lucille is also my middle name and we are both named after my Grandma Brown. Cassidy was my dream come true and she still is. While she is indeed a teenage girl (well almost) with all the emotional attachments that come with growing up she is indeed a very good girl. I love her so much. I like to think that we are pretty good friends and I hope that continues as she grows up. I can't even begin to explain how difficult this has been as her mom. I have for the most part been able to control my emotions but have had moments when I break into tears. The first time was in recovery when they were having such a hard time with her pain. She wasn't angry or irritable at all just hurting so much and you could see it in her eyes, facial expression, and body language. I honestly can't imagine a more painful surgery. If you break your leg, arm, hip, head even they immobilize it and you don't get to use it. She had no choice. Her sternum has literally been cut and broken and she has to use it with each and every breath she takes. Her nurse tonight said that of all the surgery patients she has cared for that this is the one surgery that she would never ever want to have. - not that she would want any I'm sure. And yet Cassidy has been so great. Another breaking moment for me was telling Cass that her cousin Jeff fasted for her on Thursday. Jeffery is the same age as Cass and they are in the same grade at school. They are pretty good pals and apparently without telling anyone Jeff opted to fast for his friend and cousin. Like most kids his age Jeffery does not enjoy fasting and yet he made this sacrifice for her - thank you Jeffery - I'm not sure you will ever know how much that meant to her mom. As I was reading the email his mom, my sister, Bonnie sent me to tell me about it I felt hot tears of emotion well up in my eyes but the next morning as I told Cass about it they just ran down my cheeks - they are welling up again just writing about it. What an amazing act of faith and I as her mother am very very grateful - thank you Jeffery.
It is amazing how well she is doing. Yesterday less then 24 hours after surgery she got out of bed and walked down the hall - it takes quite a group to carry all her drains and drag the oxygen tank and IV pole but she was so great and walked 4 times yesterday - meeting the goal set by her amazing nurse Sarah. She was our nurse again tonight and I won't tell Cass that although she set a goal of 4 times she didn't expect her to do it more then 2 - even once would have been great. The last 2 times were even initiated by Cass so she could mark her boxes off the chart in her room. It really wore her out though - but it is so so good for her recovery. As you can imagine coughing and such are really painful right now and without walking and use of her incentive spirometor pneumonia can easily set it - not a good idea! I am so grateful to my Father in Heaven for His help in this. I am grateful for Cassidy's faith in the power of the Priesthood. She has asked for a blessing each night and both times as been able to sleep for quite a while after. I love the power, blessing, and strength of the Priesthood and I am so deep down grateful that it has been restored to the earth. How blessed I am to live in a time where the true gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored to the earth. How blessed to be born into a family where I was taught the gospel and blessed with the a father who was always lived worthy to give me a blessing. I have always had faith in this power - whether it be for illness, or emotional pain and I am grateful that my daughter seems to have this same faith. Oh how I've prayed for her and know that many others are doing the same - what a blessing. I have been so grateful to see Barry's hands laid on her head - I am so blessed to have him for my husband. He is so good to me and my children. I pray that I am as good a mother to the children he has brought to our marriage as he is a father to mine. I truly love Barry's children but don't always know how to let them know that I do. It seems so easy for him to show love to mine. He and Cass have such a good relationship. He teases her mercilessly and she gives it right back. He told her to hurry and get well so he could pick on her again - he says its no fun to tease when she doesn't even respond. I have no idea what I did to deserve the man that he is. He is so good to me and I feel blessed everyday to be his wife. I am so proud to be the woman that he has chosen to spend eternity with - and hope that when eternity comes that he still wants me. He has been my rock through so many things since we began and this has been no exception. He has stayed late, gotten here early, helped Cass walk, fed her, helped adjust her, teased her into eating, encouraged her to breathe, given her multiple priesthood blessings, and simply shown both of us his love. Thanks Barry - I love you too.
Cassidy has been indeed blessed with lots of love. Her dad and his wife flew in from Texas and she said in her prayer the night before surgery how glad she was that they came. Her Grandparents from Canada have driven all this way to love and support her. Her Holman Grandparents are gone to Tennessee but Grandpa helped with a blessing before we came and loaned us this laptop to help with stress and boredom - truly a blessing. They have also called and prayed for her. My parents have been watching Rachel and Kerri - no small sacrifice - so that I could be here with her. I have the most amazing parents in the world and I hope I can always be as close with my children as I am with my own mother. She is truly a great lady and such a great example. Thank you thank you mom for all your love prayers and support. There have been many times in my life that I would have been so lost without you. Cass has had visitors from Idaho and here in Utah. Even Dr. Hopkin is coming to see her today. Seriously my amazing Dr. is coming here to see her. I honestly have such a great job and it really is more like a family then a job. I am so blessed to have been hired to work there. I feel so loved by my Heavenly Father for the many many blessings I am blessed with. Life is certainly not without challenge and there are days when I wonder who in the world my Father in Heaven thinks I am to be able to deal with certain challenges but I have learned that the Atonement is for every single day of my life and I know that even this pain that my Cassidy is suffering has been suffered by her Savior and so He truly understands how she feels. What a blessing to have someone who actually knows how you feel. There have been so many times in my life where I have simple been grateful to be able to talk to and poor out my heart to someone who honestly and truly understands my heart. I have learned the last few years to truly rely on my Savior and it seems that I often have to relearn it but it is getting easier to accept His plan for me and my life even when it doesn't go exactly like I think it should. I am so grateful to be here with Cassidy and be a part of her team. This has been hard but I think good for us I think we will be even closer because of it. I love it when she asks me for help - even when it is to scratch her toe, armpit, or even her bum!
This has become a long sort of rambling post - simply my thoughts as I type as I sit here at her bedside and listen to her breath. She is still my baby girl.


Mister Fweem said...

The faith your family is showing during this time is inspiring -- and I mean that truthfully, and not in that funny Mormon sense in which we say that about everything. We've been praying for Cass and for the rest of you. I wish we were closer to PCMC than we are so we could stop by for a visit. My brother Jeff works there as a nurse, though, keep an eye out for him.

Please know we love you, even though as a lousy home teacher, I have difficulty expressing it.

Lori Harris said...

What an amazing post... glad that you shared it!!

Brandi said...

Karin THANKS for your post. That was incredibly amazing. Your faith is inspiring to me. Selfishly I needed to read your post today, so thanks for your example.
I am so glad that Cassidy is recovering so well. I have never even met her, and she seems like such an amazing girl.
Good luck with everything you are asked to face right now. I think you are doing amazing. Your incredible and I really know very little about you. I just have to add that I think it is amazing that Dr. Hopkin is coming down-I just love that man.
I will be thinking about you. Thanks again for the heartfelt post.

Jessica said...

Oh Karen, I bet you are exhausted. Being a mother and seeing your child hurt is extrmely exhausting.
I am so glad that Cassidy is doing so great. She is meeting goals on her own, and that is so awesome! I think that was so wonderful about her cousin that fasted and prayed for her.
I am NOT surprised that Dr. Hopkin is coming down. HE IS WONDERFUL! Such a great great guy.
I am so glad you have such a wonderful support system. Hang in there and loves to you and Cassidy.