Thursday, July 30, 2009
Birthday Cake for Breakfast
We celebrated Jack's 8th birthday on Monday (July 27th) with a yummy cake made to his specifications along with taking his food allergies into consideration. Jack is allergic to dairy, soy, tree nuts and egg yolks which as you all can imagine makes birthday cake a challenge. When he was little I found a recipe for "Grandma's Terrific Vegan Chocolate Cake" which we have used for many years with great success. He can also have angel food cake but let's face it that just isn't as much fun as the cakes he sees his siblings have each year. This year his request was simple he wanted yellow cake and he wanted blue icing. Simple request really if you aren't challenged by avoiding all the things that can stop him from being able to breath! I searched around and found a serviceable recipe and altered it to fit our needs hoping that it would turn out and not flop or be a brick (a real possibility for a dairy free, soy free, egg free cake!) I was even able to alter a butter cream icing recipe to a safe replica and tinted it blue! All in all the cake looked just like the cakes that everyone else has and tasted really good too!
Yesterday Jack came into my room while I was on the computer and asked if he could have cake for breakfast... I said yes before I fully processed what he asked and then thought well really why not? I mean honestly? We eat doughnuts, poptarts etc for breakfast (well some people do it's not our norm here because typically my crowd doesn't like really sweet stuff) Today once again he asked for birthday cake for breakfast and I said yes.
I did a little fretting yesterday about whether I should have been okay with birthday cake for breakfast and had lots of friends say they thought it was cool. One friend said "no one ever regrets being nice to their children" this particular sentiment was very meaningful coming from this friend because you see her daughter Hannah died when she was 9. I can't imagine loosing a child and how that changes the very essence of a person. Not only did my friend lose her child but a few years before her daughter passed her husband died. She's said many times how glad she was that they had not spent their time together as a family sweating the small stuff... they enjoyed each other, they danced in the rain, they ate cake for breakfast!
This is my aspiration... if God forbid anything happens to anyone in my family I do NOT want to be sorry that I missed seizing the joy of every day life. I do not want to only remember times I said no, I want there to be so many yeses that I can scarcely remember the nos! I want to remember laughing together, hugging, kissing, and yes eating birthday cake for breakfast!
My Jack began his life as a miracle and continues to be a miracle to me every day. It took alot of years to conceive this very wanted child. We did everything to assure his health and well being, we had an amniocentesis , ultrasounds and every test to assure his health. When I began to have complications at 32 weeks we were panicked that we would lose him. After a week in the hospital it was determined that he could not stay inside any longer that the chance that we would both die was high. I developed a complication called HELLP syndrome which is very dangerous to both mother and child. Fortunately the best cure is to deliver the baby.
Jack's birth story was as different from his birth plan as night and day! We had planned a quiet birth in a birthing room with our midwife. We got an induction with all parties fearing for my survival. My midwife was wonderful though and took charge and advocated for me with the fetal maternal medicine specialist who allowed the induction rather than the c section he preferred. I have fast labors so that was our argument to save me the recovery time since Jack would surely spend a lengthy period of time in the NICU at 7 weeks premature.
At 4:20am he arrived.... crying (a good sign meaning his lungs were pretty good!) weighing 4 lbs 8 ounces... big for a 33 weeker! Actually HUGE for a 33 weeker! He managed to breath on his own and had no big issues. He spent 7 days in the NICU (I was only released one day before him since I was still very ill!) which is phenomenal for a baby who is 7 weeks early! He grew quickly and well and despite a few developmental hiccups has done very well!
When I look at him and think about what could have happened... how he could have never grown into this big 8 yr old boy (about the same age as Hannah at her passing) how he could have had a whole host of issues that plague premature babies.. cerebral palsy, lung issues, brain bleeds and all those things that we avoided by the grace of God I am so thankful. So thankful to be his mother and to have him here in the mornings to ask "Hey mom can I have birthday cake for breakfast?"