Keep up-to-date on current Complex Rehab Technology topics through our DIRECTIONS magazine. In October 1957, Grunenthal, a German pharmaceutical company, introduced thalidomide to the world.
Even though her new American home provided young Calvo with opportunities far beyond those available in Central America, her life would still remain difficult and challenging.
Early in her pregnancy, Calvo’s young mother was prescribed thalidomide and by all accounts she only used it once.
As each day passed, Calvo’s little body grew stronger and stronger in spite of the lack of limbs.
Calvo’s mother knew her baby would be a curiosity and knew it would be virtually impossible to shield her from staring eyes and unintended cruelty. Soon, it was obvious to her parents that the kind of assistance Calvo  would need to succeed in life was not available in El Salvador. Even though the hospital in Houston did a masterful job of instilling infinite confidence and unique physical skills in the little girl from El Salvador. What would happen if every parent taught their children the simple lessons Calvo was taught as a child?
Claire was terrified when she went into premature labour and delivered her daughter, Emily, at 24 weeks, weighing just 1lb 3oz. My partner Alan, 47, and I were thrilled when we discovered I was expecting our fourth child in September 2013. We already had three beautiful daughters – Caitlyn, now nine, Millie, five, and Brooke, one, and we couldn’t wait to add another girl to our brood in June 2014. After an agonizing four day wait, I went into labour at home and Emily was born just 30 seconds after I arrived at the hospital. Weighing just 1lb 3oz, doctors placed her tiny body in a sandwich bag to help maintain her body heat and whisked her away. Emily didn’t look like a baby – her eyes were fused shut and her fingers and toes were partly webbed. Emily had to undergo four blood transfusions and we had to rely on a breast milk bank when I stopped producing enough to help her survive. Determined to celebrate, Alan and I bought a birthday cake for every week Emily survived and shared a slice at home with the girls for the whole three months she was in hospital. It was our way of marking Emily’s mammoth achievement and it showed the girls how lucky they were to have a little sister. We shared 14 cakes and with every candle we blew out, it helped us believe that our tiny girl would make it. And what makes this family bond extra special, is Georgia was their final hope, they managed to defy all biological odds. Share Comments for Miracle Baby updateLog in with Facebook Copyright © 2016 Seven Network Pty Ltd. Pie Town created the Emmy award winning documentary series that celebrates the miracle of birth and explores the hopes, dreams and fears of impending parenthood. A Cake Wreck is any cake that is unintentionally sad, silly, creepy, inappropriate - you name it. Unfortunately, wreckerators thought edible birth scenes were a BRILLIANT idea, and suddenly there were fondant babies popping out of raspberry jam-smeared vajay jays everywhere.


You might think the more cartoonish versions would be less traumatizing, but only if you've never seen the amount of pubic hair sprinkles that I have. I'm not sure what's coming out of that woman, but it looks like the volleyball head from Castaway floating in intestines. And speaking of censor bars, this final cake was so explicit that it was actually impossible to make a censor bar large enough, so we've done the reverse: covered everything except a small circle.
Laura actually sent me the cake herself, explaining that even though she managed to gross herself out with it, she's still especially proud of the "skin tone and blemishes." If your morbid curiosity is compelling you to see the full, uncensored version - and I know it is - then you can see it HERE.
I have had the joyful experience of giving birth 3 times to 3 wonderful, amazing, brilliant kids. Cheesecake baby could be in reference to a baby born while the mother has a yeast infection. On the bright side, if funding cutbacks ever reach sex ed classes, this post can be the lesson on birth control. When I told my mom about the first birthing wreck, she said she'd like that as a subversion of the usual sicky-sweet shower themes. Thankfully, her indefatigable spirit and unshakeable optimism would lift her up and move her forward to places she could only imagine. She was granted the privilege to attend a magnet high school where exceptional achievers were the bulk of the student population. She received a bachelor’s in social science from the University of Houston-Downtown with a concentration in psychology and sociology, and a minor in political science in 2002. Her pregnancy was picture-perfect: strong heart-beat, textbook weight gain and nothing that would cause alarm. All signs kept pointing to the fact that the Calvos had a very physically and mentally healthy baby.
Fortunately, for the most part, when they did venture out to  neighborhood parks or public places with Calvo, people were curious, but respectful. Her grandfather, who was a member of the Freemasonry in El Salvador, was aware of the incredible rehabilitative services for kids like Calvo that were available at the Texas Shriners Hospital for Children in Houston.
They could not protect her from others who seemed determined to inflict cruelty on those who are different and vulnerable. For those of us born with strong arms and legs there are a myriad of lessons to be learned from Calvo and her extraordinary life.
Each half-hour episode follows one expectant couple through the highs, lows, and comic moments of pregnancy, labor and bringing home the baby.
A Wreck is not necessarily a poorly-made cake; it's simply one I find funny, for any of a number of reasons. Even that is pretty graphic, though, so scroll with caution - and don't say I didn't warn you. Doctors don't shave moms anymore, or give enemas, or many other things that cause more harm than good. I just came home after helping my sister go 30 hours through unmedicated labor and watched the baby pop out and an episiotomy occur and a placenta show up and stuff. Widukins Lenz, a German pediatrician, were among the first physicians to suspect a link between a growing number of birth defects and thalidomide. There Calvo began to consider attending Law School and becoming a lawyer, but her plans changed as her passion to help others like herself began to deepen.


She then went on to earn a master’s degree in social work in 2007 from the University of Houston Graduate School of Social Work.
Everyone was afraid how my mother would react so they did not let her see me until three days after I was born. It was not long after initial contact was made with the hospital that Calvo and her parents were on their way to Houston.
They instilled self-confidence and taught me to believe in myself and that I could do anything I set my mind to do. Sometimes the hurt was intentional, but often, especially in Calvo’s teen years, it came in the form of high school cliques and raging hormones that plague many young adults.
Anyone who has ever smeared frosting on a baked good has made a Wreck at one time or another, so I'm not here to vilify decorators: Cake Wrecks is just about finding the funny in unexpected, sugar-filled places.
In 1961, Lenz proved his suspicions were validated and the drug that had earlier reveled in a barrage of positive press was quickly removed from the market place.
She received the Dorothy Caram Commitment to Leadership Award from the United Way Foundation. As fate would have it, when Calvo’s mother arrived for the electronic look at her baby, the machine was broken. They knew immediately this was one place that could teach Calvo how to live an independent and productive life. The most important thing I learned was to not think any less of myself because I had a disability,” Calvo said. It is an emotional experience that educates and enlightens its viewers about the miracle of childbirth on a personal level.
She has been recognized as one of the 100 Houston Latinas Women in Leadership and has served on Houston civic and community boards. Ironically, at the core of Calvo’s boundless, determined power came from her first grade teacher.
A Baby Story was the #1 rated cable television program for women aged 18-35 in its first season on TLC, and it is still running! Today, Calvo is the director of transition services at Houston Community College VAST Academy. So with that in mind, the Calvos sold their business, home and many of their personal possessions and moved the family to Houston where Calvo would spend countless hours of physical and occupational therapy for many years. Pie Town has since passed the torch, after delivering over 200 babies and episodes, the show is now produced elsewhere. The awards and recognitions this young woman has received during her 34 short years of life are incredibly impressive. Fortunately for Calvo, when the slings and arrows of adolescence pierced her heart, a wonderful group of friends were ever-ready to tend to her wounded spirit. But, what makes her achievements even more impressive is that she was born with no arms or legs.



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