Sunday, April 22, 2012

Amethyst's day

I imagine most people who find this blog arrive in search of information about how to (or how not to) grow certain plants, especially in an urban setting in San Diego. Today's post probably isn't going help you with that but please browse other pages, I usually do write about growing edible plants on this blog. 

Today's post has lots of pictures of plants but it's more about the human experience rather than flora. 

Some of the people that read this blog are our customers at the golden hill farmers market and some are friends who just like to check out what's growing on in our garden. You may be aware that Farmer D and I were expecting a baby. We received this news as an early Christmas present and were overjoyed by it. 

We had no reason to believe that anything was wrong with our pregnancy until a few weeks ago when we went in to have the ultrasound to determine the gender of the baby at 18 weeks. Along with the Godmother of our baby, Farmer D and I went to share in this exciting day. Family and friends were waiting at home to receive the phone call or the news online if it was a boy or a girl. We couldn't wait to start planning for the baby's room and clothes and all of the things that come with baby. Would it be race cars or would it be garden fairies? Did I want to have a large baby shower? Should we have it in the garden?

The technician pulled up the incredible high definition images of our baby on the screen while Farmer D illegally video taped them and after telling us lots of details about nearly every inch of our baby's precious upper body, the technician had to address the heart. The whole time we were looking at our sweet baby on that amazingly clear ultrasound screen and the technician was reading off measurements, I was asking, "Is that normal?" and she would say, "Yes it's normal." When she got to the heart, she told me the heart rate was 152. I said, "That's normal. Right." She said, "Yes but I do have some concerns about the heart."

She pointed out several things that did not look normal and excused herself to go and get the perinatal specialist. During this time while Kim, Farmer D and I were all in the room waiting for the specialist, I was as calm as lavender. I had a confidence about this little baby that was clearly crossing the line into arrogance. I did not believe there was anything significantly wrong with our baby from the moment I learned I was pregnant and still didn't, even after the technician seemed clearly alarmed. 

Well, that may not be entirely true, I did consider there may be a chance of something like down syndrome or another non lethal genetic problem and we were completely prepared for that. I never thought that there would be multiple problems that the baby would not have a chance of surviving. 

The baby did have multiple and severe problems. There was no chance of surviving. She had numerous birth defects and each more daunting than the last. We went to more of the best specialists and they could not offer any hope, only more dismal news. We went through weeks of hell trying to cope with the horrible reality that our precious baby was dying before she would have the chance to live.

I should have frozen my eggs before going through chemotherapy those years ago, it was available to us but a cancer diagnoses and treatment plan is difficult to manage. Going to get my eggs frozen was the least of our thought process at the time. 

We thought I was healthy enough after 7 years since massive surgery and chemotherapy for an ovarian tumor, and 6 years since healing myself with alternative medicine of bone marrow cancer. I didn't really think I would get pregnant after all that and we were not trying to. Farmer D and I were using the pull and pray method all of these years, (if ya know what I mean). I have some residual health concerns after all of my medical history but we thought since I became pregnant, I must be healthy enough.We did not plan this baby but when we learned of it, we thought it was meant to be.

While it is difficult for me to understand in this moment, our pregnancy was meant to be, but our baby was not meant to live on earth. I loved being a mommy even though it was only for a blip of time. Farmer D is undoubtedly the best daddy on the planet. Our stunning baby Amethyst arrived in the beginning of my 5th month at 4:04am on April 21st and she did not survive. 

We named her Amethyst after the Archeia (the female Archangel), Holy Amethyst who represents forgiveness, freedom, alchemy and change. We believe God needed a tiny angel to assist him with all of these strengths and all of the others that the Archangel Zadkeil and Amethyst posses but this is a heart breaking time for us.

We have missed you at the market and I have missed writing about how Gidget's Garden is growing. This post is my first in a long while but I feel the healing coming, so that means I will return my attention to the blessed, sweet, rhythmic and spiritual work of the garden and I won't be able to help but write about it. I don't know when we will be back at the market but we will be as soon as we are ready.

For today, I want to preserve the memory of what's growing on out there in our little urban postage stamp. The day after Amethyst's birthday. I want to remember the most beautiful things so that I can make sure we have them always around this time of year. The garden has been neglected in my grief but there is still incredible beauty out there and life goes on. Amethyst is watching. It's time to return to my good work, the things I know how to do to try and make the world a better place. I feel so honored to have such a beautiful angel on my shoulder while I carry on carrying on. Thank you for sharing in our love for Amethyst and our grief in this time.

Here's a look at the garden on Amethyst's day.    

Passion flowers with the first of the fruit

Potted tomatoes under the avocado tree, just starting their bloom

Gidget rests under a rose bush

The nasturtiums are ever so vibrant

This African Blue Basil sings to Amethyst and I tried to start some cuttings of it today. Hopefully they will be successful and we will have some plants at the market soon.

Calendula is such a wonderful, healing and happy plant. 

A purple potato vine that is not a potato at all. It's an ornamental that ended up in this place by accident but doesn't seem to mind..

A tomato that volunteered in October, it's starting to get some fruit but I still don't know what kind. 

There are pink lemonade lemons, cucumbers, tomatoes and lemon rose geranium flowers pictured here.

This is a raised bed that a garden fairy put next to the sidewalk a year ago. The succulents and snapdragons look happy.

Overall our front garden is suffering from neglect but we'll have that fixed up in no time. 

Passion flowers, a wonderful Celtic cross from very dear friends, strawberries and the dwarf lime tree

Johnny Jump Ups 

We have cauliflower going crazy right now. Yummy.

I think we're going to have plenty of passion fruit for the market this year. It's looking really good.

The overgrown lemon rose geranium in bloom. It's overflowing out of the fence and will get a major hair cut very soon. The smell from this plant is like heaven. 

This is a sweet pea that just popped up from a seed that was left over from last year. They smell so delicious.

Lime blossoms

"Christmas Lights" fucshia

The last of the star jasmine blooms

Amethyst's avocado tree in full bloom with a last mature avocado at the very top.

We are honored to be our angel Amethyst's mommy and daddy.
We'll keep growing on the best we can and we'll be back at the market soon.