Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Help Finn Swim with the Dolphins and Whales in Spain!!

We are half way there! We just have plane tickets, taxi's, food and 2 hotel nights in Madrid and then we are set! We have raised the research fee! You can donate by clicking the Chip In link above or if you prefer to send a check -
Make it out to Universal Alliance for Family Health and mail it to:
2210 Encinitas Blvd. Suite T Encinitas, CA 92024


Dolphins? Sea World Dolphins? Dolphins off the coast of Mexico or in Hawaii perhaps? No - come on folks! That would be WAY to easy for me. You know I never go the simplest route. The dolphins we need can't be humanized or tame. The wild dolphins are off the coast of Spain - the Canary Islands - Tenerife to be exact. I just couldn't find them further away from San Diego could I???

My friend Anna Verwaal met these researchers at a Birth Round Table in April of this year and they thought Finn may be a good candidate for the healing brought about by these amazing creatures. Thank you Anna! We applied for the study and just found out this week that we qualified and need to raise some funds ASAP to get there by December. Luckily, we have a non-profit we can use this time so that sponsors can get a tax write off if they need one.

The researchers are a husband and wife team from Germany who go to the Canary Islands every winter during the birthing migration of the whales and dolphins. Roma Spring is a pediatric nurse, a midwife with 15 years professional experience - specializing in water birth, pre-peri and post-natal psychology, therapeutic supplementary training and homeopathy. Volker Todt is an Educational Psychology Professor who also specialized in children and adolescents. Roma is very open to speaking with sponsors for Finnley directly about the study and what they do. Here is the site in German - if you have Google Chrome downloaded, it will translate each page for you :) Human Dolphin Research Study

Finnley is the first American to get into this 10 year old world study being done off the coast of the Canary Islands. The Human-Dolphin Research Eco-psychological field study is the only one of it's kind and the only place where you can legally swim with wild dolphins and pilot whales. It's purpose: is about one of the most extraordinary and possibly most powerful peak experiences with nature and probably a therapeutic potential for recovering from physical and emotional trauma(including birth trauma) - the encounter with dolphins and whales in freedom.

Dolphins have a long history throughout the ages of being connected to man. They have saved sailors from being lost at sea, children from drowning and surfers and fishermen from being swept out with the tide. They are very intuitive and have been known to bring about healing with their sonar and clicking that they use on human beings. The study is being used to show how remarkable these creatures are in healing us and how they do it. The researchers hope is that this study and its findings will then help bring an end to the senseless killing of dolphins and whales and bring about more protection once we know how they heal the human race.

For those of you who don't know much about Finnley - she has very limited eye sight (due to cortical visionary impairment), cerebral palsy and epilepsy. These things are all connected to the central nervous system. The doctors never came to a decision on when and what happened to Finnley during birth. Results should have shown a cord problem but it was perfect. Her heart rate was steady and within normal ranges during the entire labor. The trauma suffered during birth is just unexplained.

Why we looked into this study:
Dolphins and Whales have been shown to reconnect and form new synapses in the brain improving all of Finn's diagnoses. Of course the results are different with each child but Finnley has miracles that happen around her - the fact that she is alive is a testament of that. We were led to this study for a reason and it has clicked into place to easily for it not to be the right place for her. This study tracks the children for several years - gathering information from teachers, doctors and other medical specialists that work with the child post dolphin/whale encounter. The healing takes place over time as the childs body clears out the trauma and forms new pathways for development. What a blessing to be included.

Here is a bit about the study for the scientific minded...
Aims of Research
1. Description and analysis of social human-dolphin interaction during encounters on the open sea.
2. Development and evaluation of an integrative concept of Dolphin Family Therapy for children and juveniles with developmental disorders involving human-dolphin interaction as initiation and catalyst in psychotherapeutic processes.
3. Investigation of the natural therapeutic power of encounters with dolphins and whales. Description and analysis of general and different variables of therapeutic effectiveness in human-dolphin encounters on the open sea.
4. Description and analysis of natural therapeutic process variables, especially related to the interaction with dolphins or whales, independent from other variables in the field, which also might influence the therapeutic process.

Why dolphins ?

Dolphins have a lot of similarity to humans. Though they are living in the water, they have lungs and for breathing they have to come up to the surface. According to J. Lilly, the brain of a bottle nose dolphin is as large as the brain of man. They have a neo-cortex like humans and the structure of the brain is similar, even a little bit more complex. They are giving birth like humans. They breastfeed their babies. They most likely have a kind of humour, also emotions and empathy. They have social structures, especially the pilot whales are living in families and communities. They have a communication system. Their morphic field is probably similar to the human field, this is possibly the reason for the great interest of humans in dolphins and also the great interest of dolphins in humans. If there is an interspecies interest, there is a natural base for interaction.

Why dolphins (or whales) in freedom?
According to Rick O’Berry dolphins are suffering in captivity. Their life expectancy of 40 years is reduced to 5,3 years. They are conditioned and loose their natural habits. If they really have a healing potential for humans, they should be honoured and respected. We should not dominate and exploit them. To discover their natural healing potential it is absolutely necessary to investigate this respectfully in their natural habitat.

We(meaning myself, both my daughters and another adult therapist brought along to help with the kids) will be in Tenerife for two full weeks. We will go out on the boat and meet up with the pods. The average of meeting up with them is 96% and we will do seven trips out on days with good sailing conditions. Individual and family psychotherapy is done in the off times, helping all of us to heal and better deal with the special needs brought about by birth trauma.

Interactions with dolphins and whales(cetaceans)have been shown to help with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida, seizure disorders and many other issues. While a lot of this study is recorded in German, the parts we have been able to translate are pretty incredible. All of us will have the opportunity to interact and swim with the cetaceans. They sonar and click and interact with the people they need to heal. Sometimes it is just one dolphin that attaches itself around the human -and other times it is the entire pod.

Finnley will be in the water experiencing the clicks, sonar by way of dolphin touch and movement through the water. Sometimes the dolphins nudge certain parts of the body while making noise. Sometimes they swim in different patterns around the child and sometimes its a group that surrounds and sonars patterns at the same time. The cetaceans seem to know what the individual needs and in their natural environment - they do their thing.
About 3-4 times each season(study is conducted November through May each year) a 24 meter Pilot whale may migrate through, escorted by spotted dolphins. In our U.S. measurements - that whale is almost 79 feet long. Now imagine the size of that whales brain and the ultrasound and energy coming from it towards Finnley. Not that we'll be fortunate enough to see one of the big ones - but if Finnley needs him - he will come. I am so excited for my daughters to have this opportunity. Some children have even gotten off all of their seizures meds. after these dolphin encounters. This is truly a once in a lifetime chance for some healing that Finn's brain and eyes may not be able to get anywhere else.
We need to raise the deposit of 800 euros($1100.00) within the next 3 weeks and then the remainder by mid November. The flights we are hoping to get is the direct one from LAX to Madrid and then the 2 hr to Tenerife South airport. That way we won't have a lot of layovers and extra hours with Finnley in the air. It's going to be a grueling trip for her but well worth it!

If you would like to help Finn get to Spain, your contribution would be most helpful and appreciated. If you need a tax write off then a check to the non-profit(Universal Alliance for Family Health) is the way to go and you can send me an email directly to care@SanDiegoHypnoBirth.com to get the address for mailing.

If a tax write off is not worth the effort, then you can hit the button and donate here. Thank you in advance for your generous spirit. Wouldn't we travel to the ends of the earth for our babies? Of course we would... Hugs to all of you and thank you...!

It's Been a Long , Hot Summer...

That title is actually one of my favorite Keith Urban songs but my summer was not long and hot because anything fun and sexy was going on over here - bummer egh? As the heat of summer set in with no air conditioning in my house - Finnie went in for her double hip surgery and body cast at Children's Hospital. I really have nothing to complain about because we were in the hospital for two weeks and they had air-conditioning during the first heat wave. The dogs were not happy but only Angie and her cousin Shirley dealt with that mess so I am counting my blessings!

The surgery was a success. New hip sockets, legs in place and no blood transfusion which is rare for this type of surgery. It took several days for the doctors to get Finn's pain meds right and all she could do was cry. It was horrible to feel so helpless in making things better for her.

For the record - body casts are not fun in anyway shape or form. Changing diapers consists of tucking open diapers around the pee pee/poo poo places and hoping you catch it all before in runs down her legs into the cast or goes up the back and out the top - soaking the sheets yet again... At any rate - it all soaks into the cotton that lines the inside of the cast and smells just heavenly! There are not words graphic enough to describe it and I have new respect for the nurses that work that surgical unit and parents that take children home with a body cast.

The body cast was white. White? Really? Do you know how many colors they can make a cast into? My friend Kim had brought some hot pink duct tape to line the poopy part of the cast(so we could wipe it better when it got messed on)and Angie and I went to town. We ripped off strips of duct tape, covering Finn like a pinata! By the time we were done - she was almost two bright to look at. When the nurses came in and saw what we had done - their mouths dropped to the floor. I guess it was a first for them. Too bad no one said that the cast was breathable and we had just sealed in her skins ability to get rid of excess water. (The doctors promptly cut the tape off at our 2nd week appointment and the cast was soaked - oops!)

Once home, we had a few challenges moving her about, finding comfortable spots for her to lay(when she HATES laying) and coming up with ways to entertain her. Finnie always danced her legs to the music to pass the time and now they were stiff and immoveable. Cruel and unusual punishment is what it was. We all found ourselves singing and tapping and waving the pom poms in her face for countless hours to keep her from noticing the situation. I am impressed with the fact that we were very good about not complaining about the heat - since we knew that Finnley was probably 10 times hotter in that body cast and couldn't do one thing about it. It was a long, hot summer...

One Saturday in between classes, I received several calls from the same number. It seemed urgent since they called back to back so I took 5 minutes to see if it was a laboring mom. It was not. Instead it was a delivery man for B & M Distributing and they had a swing to deliver. These are the mack daddy of all swings! They are outdoor swings for adults but the only swing big enough to lay Finn on her back and keep her moving. It was a gift from Mary, the owner and one that I cannot repay anytime soon. IT SAVED US! Finn LOVES it and spends hours in it. We have now tied a clothes line on it so we get a little sit down time too!
After a month, we got the cast cut off and she went into her body brace. She will wear this 24/7 until mid October and then we can just go to the night time only. We were able to pick a funky design so it's not plain white - guess they were scared of what I might try next! So we went with a zebra print. Came out brown instead of black but we are going with it! At least the velcro is hot pink.

The goal is to now have functioning hip sockets so Finnie can learn to bear weight and walk in a walker etc. This is a long process but we have nothing but time to spend :) Our next adventure is to visit the dolphins in Spain...

About Me

I am a mom of two beautiful girls. Our family has been greatly blessed by the Lord. His message of love and hope needs to be shared and my girls are a testimony of His plan for all of us.