TwispBy Sally Gracie

Nurse-midwife Blue Bradley assisted Leah Kominak at the birth of her healthy baby girl, Natalia Elise Marie Kominak, at 1 a.m. on Sunday (Aug. 25). Natalia’s father, Gary, and her brothers and sisters, Andrew, Nina, Peter, and Maria, were there to welcome her. Seven-year-old Peter assisted by cutting the umbilical cord! Natalia’s grandparents are Melissa Larson and Terry Larson, and Al and Dorothy Kominak. All the grandparents live close by and will certainly enjoy their new grandbaby.

I was happy to find Alyssa Jumars and her Plow Horse Produce stall had returned to the Farmers Market last weekend. A hailstorm at her Carlton farm had destroyed an entire crop, but Alyssa did what all farmers do: She planted a new one. On Saturday she was back at the market with spinach, arugula and mixed greens – in my opinion, the best available anywhere.

For five weeks Natalie Thornton has been hospitalized at the Women’s Center of Sacred Heart Hospital in Spokane because of difficulties with her pregnancy. Because Natalie’s condition has prevented the baby girl from growing, doctors will deliver her six weeks early by Caesarean section on Saturday (Aug. 31).

Natalie has become a friend to my dog Beebe and me and to many pet owners because of her grooming business. According to her mother, Hannah Kinzle, though Natalie has been confined to bed rest, she continues to make friends with staff and patients at the Spokane hospital.

If everything goes well on Saturday, Natalie will be kept in the hospital for four days, then stay close by. Doctors say the baby weighs a little over 3 pounds, so she will stay in the premie unit for several weeks before coming home to the valley.

Aaron Dyke, Natalie’s partner, has been trying to keep the grooming business going while Natalie is hospitalized, but he will be in Spokane with Natalie this weekend. Genny Holbrook, Aaron’s mother (and the other grandma), will spell Hannah in Spokane in the weeks after the birth.

Hannah has opened an account in Natalie’s name at North Cascades National Bank, and the family intends to hold a benefit dinner, possibly at the Eagles. I’ve come to understand that – in these cases when there is a serious illness – insurance doesn’t begin to cover the expenses involved such as travel, temporary housing and so forth. Cards may be addressed to Natalie Thornton, c/o Sacred Heart Hospital Women’s Center, Room 2031, 101 W. Eighth St., Spokane, WA 99204.