I say "virtual" because I've never met her. Thank you, Facebook and the great, wide world of blogging.
Heather is married to Brent, whom I do know. From a long, long time ago. During the two years we lived in Metarie, just outside New Orleans, my mom was friends with Brent's mom. So by default, Brent had play dates with my younger brother of the same age, Andy, and I
Brent and I reconnected a few years back via the salvation for lost souls, Facebook.
But all that's neither here nor there.
This is mostly about Heather, with huge props to Brent.
I've been following Heather's blog for a few years now. Again, not sure how I came upon it, likely from Brent's Facebook page. But it's one of the most compelling pieces I read on a regular basis. Heather and Brent gave birth to triplets almost three years ago to the day, on April 19, 2009, at just 24 weeks and 5 days gestation. Mary Louise and David are now walking, talking bundles of three year old excitement, and Heather and Brent were able to spend five precious days with Kuylen Stafford, who went to be with the Lord when he was five days old.
Just last week, Heather gave birth to baby Everett, at 35 weeks, 2 days gestation at a healthy weight over just over 6 pounds.
But the birth, like the birth of the triplets, was not as Heather and Brent imagined it would be. Attune to her body and equipped with a mother's instincts, Heather knew there was something very wrong on the morning of April 10. She and Brent rushed to the hospital and Everett was delivered via mega-emergency c-section when medical personnel guessed, correctly, that Heather's uterus had ruptured along the scar from her original c-section incision.
A uterine rupture happens in 1 percent of cases.
Heather wrote in her blog:
"BUT (there's always a but), I can't help but want to cry out filth and foul at falling into this ridiculously minute category once more. I can't help but stomp my feet in the most spoiled brat fashion and yell, "but I don't WANT to be the face everyone thinks of as they consider pioneering toward a VBAC! I don't want to be the screaming voice in the head of the personnel who were in on my delivery...everyone begging Everett and I to just. be. ok."
"I don't want to be the face of the 1%...but I am. That's just how it worked out. I'm still here though, and so is my darling Suga...and Mary Louise and David just walked in...my day just got infinitely better..."
And it's that spirit, in the last line of the above excerpt, that makes Heather the 1 percent.
NOT THE 1 PERCENT OF PREGNANCIES THAT EXPERIENCE UTERINE RUPTURE.
Not at all.
Heather should count herself among the top 1 percent of moms.
Nothing that woman does is done without thinking about her babies first and foremost. I don't think she's slept for three years, pumping crucial breastmilk, administering breathing treatments, comforting and caring for her children. She bakes her own bread. Didn't go out of the house during peak germ seasons to help keep the immunosuppressed triplets healthy. Logs countless hours fighting for health and medical benefits. Studies the best choices for her family. Exercises to maintain her own health, so she can better take care of her kiddos and husband. Attends hours of therapy sessions with the triplets and reinforces what they learn at home.
Heather is vigilant. Not 1 percent of the time, but 100 percent of the time.
Heather is selfless. Not 1 percent of the time, but 100 percent of the time.
Heather is brave. Not 1 percent of the time, but 100 percent of the time.
Heather puts Mama Bears/Tigers/Lions/You Name It, to shame. Not 1 percent of the time, but 100 percent of the time.
So yes, Heather is the face of the 1 percent. Of AMAZING mothers. We could all strive to be in Heather's 1 percent.