Saturday, September 20, 2008

Life after Hurricane Ike

I decided last year that I was too busy to keep up with a blog. Now I decided I'm not. Writing is therapeutic. It's worth the time. Everything is a big mess since the hurricane, but it hasn't been all bad. We've spent a lot of time at home picking up branches and sticks and leaves. I finished my Texas jigsaw puzzle. I got all my CD's and videos organized. We've been listening to a lot of radio. It's been good to have the kids out of school again for a little while. We still don't have any power at home, but we do at the Birth Center. My husband and I and our two boys are staying at my birth center for now. There was an electric truck working on our street today. We were hopeful. We have a water well at our house, so when we don't have electricity, we don't have water. We have a small generator, but it's not big enough to run the well or the a/c. We kept the refrigerator going long enough to use up most of our food. It's good to cook and eat at home. We do have a gas stove, so we've still been able to cook things.
We had about 12 big trees down on our property (none on the house). That's been the biggest mess. We've got about 4 more to get cut up and hauled out to the street. Bonham got into some poison ivy while we were cleaning brush. He got it on one hand and arm and then on his face. One of his eyes was swollen shut yesterday. Got him some steroids and it's a lot better today. We also had two bad leaks in the roof from the driving rain. It was a good thing we were there to out a bucket under it. Collected two buckets full of water.
I helped with two babies the day before the Hurricane (Sept 11th). We were all relieved that those babies were born before the storm moved in. More info about their births is at my other blog ( My husband stayed home that day and washed clothes and got the house ready for the storm.
I way underestimated how strong the hurricane would be. I thought I could still travel to someone in labor if I absolutely had to. There was no way I could have. It would not have mattered if they had been two doors down, I could not have gotten there. That 110 mph wind was super strong!!! From now on, if we ever have another hurricane, I will tell any client who is close to being due to come stay with me, or go far, far away.
We delivered another baby since the hurricane on the 18th. She started out at home, but ended up transferring to the birth center and we were thinking about going to the hospital, but the baby finally came out. We were so happy!
My boys and I drove down to LaPorte today. It looked terrible. I feel so sorry for the people there and further south. They got wind damage and flooding. I went down there to see one of my clients/friends. She wasn't there. All my clients are all scattered out. Some are still far away waiting for power to be restored.
Every night when it gets completely dark, we all get sleepy immediately. I kind of like life w/o electricity in many ways, but not being able to flush the toilets is a pain.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Review of 2007

Happy New Year ! January, 2008

I’ve loved getting Christmas cards and especially pictures and now I’m writing back. When I sat down to write this, I started to make a list of all the good things and all the bad things that happened this year. After thinking about it, I realized that is not really a good idea because some of the things that seem good at first turn out bad later and vice versa. So I will give a little history of what happened this year. I'll tell you one thing about 2007- I didn't sit around much- it was a busy year for me and my family and I am very thankful to have the health and energy to stay busy.

My time is divided between working at home as a wife and mother and working at my birth center as a midwife. I go to my office at the birth center almost every day of the week and sometimes also on weekends. Sunday has always been the most popular day for my clients to have their babies. In 2007, I delivered 79 babies- 43 boys and 36 girls. I have been busier in other years, but this was plenty busy enough for me. About half of those were born at the birth center and about half were homebirths. 2007 went out with a bang with 3 baby boys born on New Years Eve! The biggest baby of the year was 10 lbs., 5 oz- a boy- 4th baby, born at home in Cypress. The smallest baby was 5 lbs., 3 oz- a boy, 2nd baby, born at home in Katy. Had a couple smaller than that had to go to the hospital while the mom was still in labor because they were premature. Nine women had to go to the hospital for various reasons. Seven of those needed c-sections. One baby had to go to the hospital immediately after the birth. I'm sorry to say four babies I helped with have been born this year with major birth defects- two with heart problems, one with intestinal problems, and one with a cleft palate. This concerns me because I have never had any of these kind of problems before. For the most part, all of the moms and babies are doing ok now as far as I know. Although I don't think everyone should start out there, sometimes I am very thankful for hospitals.

I spent a lot of time at my birth center this year and still love being a midwife. It's a really big part of my life. I've had some legal problems with my birth center and that has weighed heavily on me, but I think it is all almost worked out. I know worrying about it won’t help, so I just put my trust in the Lord that I am doing what I am supposed to be doing and he will help me to keep going. I want to thank all of you who helped me with letters on my behalf, and support in many ways. I want to thank my employees, Camellia May, Debbie Perry, Dena Rogge, and Carmen Aguilar for all their help this year. They help me in many ways- especially Camellia takes care of the clients and me. She is a gem.

I had a big party at my home on Dec. 8th for my clients. About 40 families came and it was wonderful to see all the babies and kids. We had a pretty baby contest and if had been up to me, they would have all won. Someday I’m going to make a trip all the way around the country and see some of my clients who have moved away. I know I’m going to Florida, Tennessee, Colorado, and California.

The other half of my life is my family. We have five boys, but just two left at home. We miss the other ones a lot. Luke and Travis live in Eugene, Oregon, and my oldest son, Shay, lives just north of Denver. It's been hard to get used to having just 2 boys at home. Travis married Brenda Gonzales on April 20th. She is from Pasadena and we like her a lot. They are both 20, so they were older than we were when we got married. We hope they will have a long, happy life together.

Anson is growing up fast and is in 9th grade. He's a great kid and we love having him around. He's the only one around most of the time because Bonham is always gone somewhere. Anson spends a lot of time playing his guitar. He's an excellent player. His current plan is to be a chemical engineer when he goes to college. One day last summer he went to work with my husband for a few hours. The next day, George found some of his business cards where Anson had crossed out George's name and written his in. Anson makes good grades and seems to have quite a few friends.

Bonham turned 17 this year and we know our time with him is growing short. He got his drivers license this year in February, and he has a silver 1986 El Camino that he drives (Luke's old car). Unfortunately, he had a minor wreck in October and hasn't been able to drive it since then. It's in the shop now. Bonham is planning to go on a mission for our church after he graduates. He is planning to get a job next summer to save money for that. He hopes to finish his Eagle Scout project in January. He is collecting medical supplies for an organization called Mothers Without Borders for a hospital in Zambia and has found someone who is going there to take them in person.

My husband, George, had a usual year of traveling and working as an instrument engineer all over the world. He went to mainly Trinidad and the Philippines this year. He still works for VenTech Engineering in Pasadena. We miss him when he's gone but he spends a lot of time at home, too. George started wearing glasses this year. It's hard to believe we are both getting so old. We celebrated our 33rd anniversary this year and his 50th birthday recently.

My mom is 80 and getting very frail. She is living in a good nursing home in Canyon, Texas. I feel sad that I can't go see her more often. She has a sister and two brothers who live nearby and see her often, but I still worry about her. Her husband, Charlie died this year and she has been sad about that. I am sad that she is no longer in her house and we don't have her home to go to on holidays.

Other important events of 2007:

· Great vacation to Anchorage, Alaska (October)

· Trips to Amarillo several times, Kansas City to see our old friends (May)

· Our little ferret, Brownie died- we all miss her (February)

· Painted our porch white- looks a lot better (April)

· Continued as Sunday school teacher for the 9 yr old class at church – 8 kids that give me a run for my money

· Received the Woman of Excellence Award from Mayor Bill White and the Federation Houston Professional Women (September)

· Continued as President of Assoc. of Texas Midwives, an association dedicated to moving midwifery forward in Texas and the US

Best Books I read in 2007

· The Wit and Wisdom of Ben Franklin

· The Tao of Willie by Willie Nelson

· Farewell to Jackie (About last years of Jackie Kennedy’s life)

· Without A Map (Memoir of a woman who gave her baby up for adoption)

· In the Ruins of the 3rd Reich (About life in Germany following WWII)

· Baby Catcher by Peggy Vincent (About a midwife in California)

· I Walked the Line (Book by Johnny Cash’s first wife, Vivian)

Best movie I saw in 2007: Sicko

I started a blog this year-my goal is to write on it and eventually use my notes from that to write a book about my experiences as a midwife. You can read it at if you are interested.

The best times we had in 2007 were when we were with friends and family. We can never get enough of that. Hope to see all of you that this goes out to many times in 2008.

With love,

Jackie Griggs