Category Archives: New Term Tuesday

Voice Of Hope…


It was 20 years ago that I nearly lost my unborn son.

It was in the middle of the night.  Four and a half months into my second pregnancy, I woke up in a pool of blood.  And it became quickly obvious that I was miscarrying.  A call to my doctor confirmed my fears.  It was about 3am, so I was told I might as well rest a couple hours before coming in, and that I had a long day ahead of me.

Amidst the various bits of information over the phone, my husband and I were made aware that at this stage of pregnancy, there’s not much that can be done to save an unborn child.  That the main concern at this point was my own life and the rate of my bleeding.  I was told that I needed to go to the emergency room if my bleeding increased to filling a menstrual pad every two hours.  There was blood all over my bed, and I had no idea exactly how much I’d lost.  But an hour and a half later, my fresh pad was full.  I had no fear for my own life.  I didn’t feel weakened by the blood loss yet, but I knew I was going to lose my baby.  That I would experience what my own mother and grandmother had gone through before me.

I’m no stranger to trauma, so I did what came naturally to me.  I braced for the blow that I knew would come.  No fear about it really, just systematically getting ready to get through one more traumatic event that would shape my life as I knew it.

There was no doubt what was happening and there was no reason in my mind to see things any differently.  I was going to lose a baby.  Women have born this pain for ages.  I was not unique in this and there was no reason or time to whine.  It was just time to face it and get through.  I could fall apart later.

I had accepted that I was indeed losing a child.  And for many really good reasons.  My mother and grandmother and sister all had before me.  And I was readying myself for it.  But I had much more reason than most to so simply accept this fate.

Once upon a time, I couldn’t have children.  It was absolutely impossible.  I was baren. Until I had a full open surgery for endometriosis.  In fact, it wasn’t until after the surgery that I even found out.  Up until that point, I’d already had to embrace the understanding that women with endometriosis as bad as mine simply have a lot of trouble bringing pregnancies to term.  But I was only 23, with the scar tissue damage of someone more than twice my age.  It had begun to affect my other organs.  I was getting sicker and sicker and something had to be done.  Surgery was part of the answer.

However, it wasn’t until they went in that my surgeon discovered that my tubes were completely closed.  That meant something quite profound: it was impossible at that point for me to ever conceive.

And so he fixed me.

After the surgery, my surgeon told me that without having me open on the table, there was no way with just a scope they could have seen that my tubes were closed.

I would have tried my entire life to have kids, never knowing why I couldn’t.

That said, the surgery wasn’t 100% successful.  I still had problems with endometriosis.  But, I lived a much more normal life than before.

So as you can see, I wasn’t surprised to be losing a child.

And as I felt life flow from me, I lay there in the dark preparing myself for the emotional pain ahead, getting my head and heart ready – knowing that after so much already, I was strong enough to endure even this.

And then one of the most powerful things happened and broke me down. 

It still makes me bawl to remember it to this day.  In fact, my face is a soaking wet mess now as I type.

The experience was that powerful. 

Nothing fancy. It was simply this…
I heard a voice.  Clear as day.
And it said,
“Mommy, don’t give up on me.”

That’s all the voice said.

And it was then that I knew that my son was alive.

I don’t care what you think.  I really don’t.  Whether you believe my story, or think I’m lying or you think my mind created the experience because I couldn’t accept my reality or whatever.

Because I know better.  I know exactly where my head was.  And I didn’t even try to hope.

I spent that first day going through all the things they do in a situation like mine.  Doctors everywhere consoling me about what I was about to go through.

My bleeding slowed and days would pass.  My doctors would continue to check the heartbeat and have me come in to see them every day.  They would send me for ultrasounds to evaluate the new hole in my uterus that caused the whole situation.  Doctors continued to tell me that I needed to face the reality that I would lose my child.  That I was too calm and not processing the situation as I should.  This child was not destined to live. That I needed to get a grip and prepare myself for this impending loss.

But I wasn’t phased.  I knew.

It would be 9 weeks before we knew for certain that our son was going to make it. Nine weeks of doctors telling us that we should not hope too much because the odds were so far against us.  Until finally, they said one day, well… maybe he’ll be OK after all.

I continued to bleed throughout the rest of my pregnancy, though just a trickle.  And a month early gave birth to a healthy baby boy.

So there you are, little one.  Thank you for making mommy believe in you. 

For years it seemed we had an unexplainable connection.  Every time I woke up, he was soon awake.  Not crying, not upset or fussy, just awake and ready to be with mommy.  It was so prevalent that sometimes I’d wake up and lie there quietly and think to him, no-no-no honey please do not wake up.  Stay asleep.  But he usually woke up anyway.  Other times I’d wake up, and sneak a peek at him while he slept, only to find him awake and looking at me.  And I’d think to myself, You little stinker! Are you deliberately waking me up?  Or are you just being there for mommy?  It wasn’t every night, but this unexplainable connection continued well into his school years.

He is 20 now. And 19 months ago we found out he had a very rare form of kidney cancer unheard of in anyone under the age of 20, just 5 months after the death of his father.

I faced the mortality of losing my baby that night, more than 20 years ago. And an unexplainable voice gave me hope. Gave me faith.

I think about that miraculous experience from so long ago and wonder if I might hear it again.

Will a voice in the dark give me hope? Comfort my soul?

And then, my son comes home from his late-night college class.

And while I am working away on yet another project,

he hugs me and whispers,

“I love you, Mom.”


11-5-2019
Copyright © 2019 by Julia Meek Chambers, all rights reserved.

Motherhood

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Filed under Friends and Family, Grief, Inspiration, New Term Tuesday, Writing

New Term Tuesday: The Difference Between UFO’s and WIP’s (And All Manner In Between)


For today’s post, I thought I’d explain some abbreviations that you will find used in crochet and knitting circles.

The first is what is termed as a “UFO.” 

I have this theory that yarn and Sci Fi are magnetic to each other for some reason.  Perhaps it’s the popcorn. 

However, though many of us yarnies (see below) are Sci Fi geeks too, a UFO is, in yarn geek terms, an “Un-Finished Object.”

Usually this term is applied to a project that has been started, but has been set aside.  It lends to the “unknown” feeling induced by it’s Sci Fi counterpart, since a yarn related UFO has not been witnessed in its final or complete state yet.  As such, it could be “unrecognizable” to others.  It might even get lost in a closet or drawer and never become an FO (a finished object).

One of my UFO's. I doubt you'll have any idea what this really is until I finally write about it in an advanced technique article. It's stuffed in a bag somewhere, maybe already packed for the move.

However a yarn related UFO still has some sort of connection to the knowable world in that at least it’s creator knows what it is supposed to be.  If said UFO does get lost in the closet (or under the bed or a variety of other places crochet can migrate to in its maker’s home) and is later discovered, but the knowledge of what that item is supposed to be(come) has since been lost or forgotten, it’s label is now demoted to the realm of UO or URO: an Un-Recognizable (or Un-Recognized) Object.  “I started this at some point, but now I don’t know what the heck it was supposed to be.”  It happens to the best of us.  If recognition does indeed sink in, it can then go back to its UFO status.

This 5 foot tapestry project for my mother-in-law took me about 10 years to complete. The amount of times its status alternated between "UFO" and "WIP" might have actually endangered the space-time continuum.

In contrast to UFO is the term “WIP.”  A WIP is a piece that is a “work in progress.”  This means it is actively being worked on.  Or at least thought about in the forefront of the mind, such as in the case of “I’m stuck, I haven’t figured it out, but I haven’t put it aside just yet.”  The term also lends to the air of “whipping” something together, but mainly denotes progression of the creation process (as opposed to stagnation in the corner of a closet).

The amount of times a single project can go back and forth between being a UFO or a  WIP is indeed infinite. 

“Yarnies” (a term I used above) should be mostly self-explanatory.  A yarnie is someone who works with yarn.  The term usually refers to the crochet or knit modalities, and generally with a little obsession tossed in.  In other words a yarnie is a yarn geek – the person you see at the store petting all the Tribbles, what my husband calls my yarn stash. Much like the Klingons, you would think my stash was his mortal enemy.

Ahhh, and now I think we have found insight into the Sci Fi – Yarn connection! 

Another “yarnie” interpretation might borrow from the circus term “carnie” to indicate someone who knows and loves yarn so well, that they can coax it into amazing feats of entertainment.

So there you have it – new jargon for your crochet reference!

Go ahead and click a link below to “share this.”  You know you want to!  : )

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Filed under crochet, New Term Tuesday

New Term Tuesday – What Does “Frogging” Mean?


This cute "Frog King" crochet frog is designed by Barbara S. of Amigurumi Paradise. Click the photo above to download this free pattern from Barbara's website and check out her other awesome critters!

In crochet as well as in knitting, the term “frogging” refers to pulling your yarn stitches out.  Confused as to what frogs have to do with that?  It’s because when we frog something made of yarn or thread, we “rip-it, rip-it” apart! (Get it? Rhymes with “ribbit?”)

Hence you’ll hear phrases about how many times someone had to “frog” a project to get it right, or how far someone got before they had to “frog it all.”

“Frogging” can also be used as a handy yarn world curse word of sorts too.  As in the case of, “Well, ain’t that just froggin’ great…!”  We could also carry that on to the variant “so sorry to hear that – how froggy that must be.”

Why yes, we are yarn geeks after all and we do experience frustrations from time to time in our work.  Perhaps yarn art vernacular will evolve further someday and instead of something being totally “wicked” or “bitchin’,” maybe we’ll say it’s “totally froggin’!”

Errrrrr…  Well… maybe not.

And so now you know what the term frogging means!  😀

That’s it for this day’s post for New Term Tuesday!

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Filed under crochet, Crochet Community, Crochet Education, New Term Tuesday