Carrie was probably my most difficult baby! I can say that now, after having had 11! She would NOT sleep and she would NOT nurse well at all. It was Carrie that introduced me to wonderful world of mastitis! I was so very miserable. I think back and I marvel that I was able to endure the well over 6 months of no sleep! I had 4 little children to watch in addition to trying everything I could think of---day and night---to quiet Carrie and encourage her to eat and sleep. NOTHING worked! I remember being so very weary and pleading with my husband if he would just take one night feeding for me, so I could try and sleep for longer than 45 minutes at a time. He was appalled that I would even ask....he later told me that he had talked to those at the Dental School, where he was attending to get his masters, and he also spoke with those he worked with at the Mall Dental Practice in Detroit. He told me that everyone he spoke with shared his disbelief that I would even ask him to sacrifice HIS sleep when he was working and going to school... after all, I WAS JUST a stay at home mom, so what else was I required to do but take care of the children!!! I felt betrayed and alone and hurt beyond belief!
It was during this same time period that a dear friend came over to see what she could do to help me as I was struggling with the mastitis and sleep deprivation. I shared with her my fears that I had made a horrible mistake. She thought I was referring to having so many babies so close together. I assured her that was NOT my mistake, I loved my children and had always wanted a dozen. I had wanted my children close together so that they would have a strong bond with each other! NO, the mistake I felt sure I had made was in my choice of a companion. It was increasingly clear that he was not interested in being a true companion to me. It was a bitter revelation. But, one that I did nothing about until my hand was forced 11 long and bitter years later!
Anyway, back to Carrie! She did finally settle down. It is so ironic to me that at this moment in time, Carrie is in Minnesota assisting her oldest sister with her firstborn son----Trevor. And, as it so happens, Trevor is so very similar to Carrie! HE too has NOT been able to sleep for any length of time---just short cat-naps! And, he too, has had difficulty in nursing. He, too, introduced Bonnie to the world of mastitis! And, it has been vital for Carrie to be there so that she can watch the baby while Bonnie and Scott are able to get some rest! I am so very proud of the fact that Carrie has been willing to sacrifice her time and dreams for this moment to help her sister make the transition to motherhood! I wish I could be the one to be there, caring for both my daughter and my new grandson! What a blessing to be able to send Carrie to take my place, since I still have 6 children at home who need me and depend upon me. I also can not take that kind of time off work either. Being a single mom does have its many limitations!!! But, with the wonderful, awesome, amazing children I have been so blessed to bear---they are for each other exactly what I hoped and prayed that they would be! THEY do have a strong bond of love and concern for each other that is beautiful to behold!
There just is nothing else on this earth as precious to me as my children. It is the greatest joy to see them grow, mature and serve not only each other, but all those around them. Having a son and a daughter serve missions for our church also has been a rich reward.
Carrie was asked to participate in the Miss Bear River Valley pageant this past summer. Again, I was in awe at her poise, her beauty both inward and outward! Her talent posed a huge dilemma. She is an artist, and she wanted to draw a portrait of the Savior to reverent music. The problem, they would ONLY allow her two minutes to complete the portrait. She could NOT begin it early, she could NOT complete it on stage, it ALL had to be done before the audience within the two minute time frame. I was in awe as I watched Carrie practice and practice to get her drawing done within the 2 minute time frame. She went from completing the portrait in 10 minutes to finally mastering it within the 2 minutes! IT was NOT the quality that she had hoped, but, I was amazed at how well she did and what a great portrait she was able to produce. I have witnessed her indomitable spirit all throughout her life. She is constantly beset with setbacks, and yet, I watch her square her shoulders and begin again, as often as she must to finally succeed! She is a marvelous daughter and I cherish our relationship!