Saturday, December 5, 2009

One of Trav's favorite quotes...

"A good wife is heaven's last best gift to man; his angel and minister of graces innumerable; his gem of many virtues; his casket of jewels; her voice his sweet music; her smiles his brightest day; her kiss the guardian of his innocence; her arms the pale of his safety, the balm of his health, the balsam of his life; her industry, his surest wealth; her economy, his safest steward; her lips, his faithful counselors; her bosom, the softest pillow of his cares; and her prayers, the ablest advocates of heaven's blessings on his head." ~ Jeremy Tayor, 1613-1667

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I tie-dyed my sheets...

...and they're AWESOME! Forgive the less-than-stellar quality of a couple of the pics...they were taken on my phone at night!

~ Pillowcases
~ Fitted sheet...and Jasmine getting flashbanged...

~ Flat sheet

~ Everything put together!

I was going for a moderate shade of purple...darker than lavender but not too dark. I committed a cardinal sin in the dyeing world and didn't test the color before I took the plunge. But hey, I'm not too picky and this set didn't have to match anything, so I didn't really care. I just did random circles in random sizes and used Rit dye in the washing machine. Minimal effort, great results! Oh, and the sheets were on clearance from Wal-Mart for $15, 100% cotton flannel, perfect for the cool weather we're having!

Monday, November 9, 2009

The seasons change...

...with or without us! Do you ever look back at time...the last few weeks, months, years? Where did they go? What did you do in that time? Somehow I find myself toward the end of 2009. Next month we will have been in Fresno for a year, in Cali for almost a year and a half. I think about these things as family members who haven't seen my kids for the last year or so comment on how grown up they look in pictures and how they sound on the phone, and as people that I know continue to grown, age, and go thru life. I look at people around me, my peers, and can't believe that we're almost 30 (not that that's a bad thing!). My brother will be 30 in a few weeks. My sis is serious about her guy and we're hoping for a summer wedding (*wink, wink, nudge, nudge Janna!!*). My little sister who was two years old when she was a flower girl in my wedding is now ten years old!

Another thing that made me think of the passage of time, the waxing and waning of the seasons, was a friend's loss of her 2 1/2 year old son. Silas fought a hard battle with cancer, and left this world November 1st. His mom's blog chronicles his life, illness, and death. Our lives are so short, likened to a vapor in the Bible. We're here one moment and gone the next. Our lives are simply a drop in the bucket of time. Some lives are much shorter than others, like our little one and Silas, who were here for such a short time. But no matter how long we're here, each one of us is here long enough to fulfill our purpose. That's something that I am constantly purpose. Oh, I know what I'm here for, as far as the broad spectrum of things. But my day to day life, every thing that I do in every moment...does it have purpose? The time that I spend every day, with my family or with my coworkers and it spent purposefully? Am I spending my time wisely? Do I make each moment count? I see areas that could use improvement, areas that could benefit from improved focus on purpose. I work with a girl who just came back from maternity leave following the birth of their second child. She apparently read some of my blog, pulled me aside one day recently, and asked me why I'm working on the Neuro floor. At first I had no idea why she was asking this...did I seem unhappy? Then she said that she read my blog and was wondering why I wasn't in L&D! Turns out that she wants to be an L&D nurse as well. I explained my rationale for not requesting a transfer yet, but her question left me asking myself questions. One thing is for sure, I need to get my application in for school. I wasn't able to start the winter term because the trip to Kentucky for the start of school would have fallen during a family reunion. But spring...ah, spring has such potential! And I can't wait to start school again, to have drive behind research. I've been wanting to start doing more research-type posts...I'm a statistic/fact and figure fiend...but I find myself being in the mood more to contemplate than to study.

So, I found a CSA that suits our needs quite well! For those not familiar, "CSA" stands for "Community Supported Agriculture". It's a great way to support your local farmers, know where your food came from, and buy locally and in season. Some CSA's require that the members spend x-amount of time working on the farm (not much, but enough to acquire an appreciation of your food and where it came from), others don't. Some deliver, others require pick-up. The one that we chose is called "The Farmer and the Dale" (the farmer's name is Dale). I find myself unable to make it to the farmer's market very often, as I work every Saturday and most Wednesdays, the days on which the market is open. So, with this CSA, it's like the farmer's market coming to your door! I also found a source of fresh chicken and duck eggs. I was hoping for true free-range, but the coyotes here are so bad that it's virtually impossible...they snatch chickens in broad daylight!! The family who raises the chickens, though, keep them as pets. They live in huge pens where they can roam safely, eat off of the farm and orchard that the family also keeps, and are not forced to lay year-round. Thus, we have to wait till spring is closer until we can get some eggs as they only produce a few eggs during the winter. But they've invited us over to have a look at the farm and the other animals, and allow the boys to collect a few eggs so they can really appreciate where the eggs are coming from. Now, to find a good local source of dairy! I'm pretty sure that there's a farm near here, I just have to research it out a little bit. I want to know if I can get it straight from the farm instead of from Whole Foods, where's it's twice as expensive. One thing that I have gotten hooked on since moving out here is St. Benoit Yogurt. It is SO GOOD. Our local Whole Foods just stopped carrying it, now I have to find a way to get it. Maybe I can bring a cooler every time we go to San Francisco and do a pick-up!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Has it been that long?'s been a while since I've been on here! I've been at work more than usual, for one. Myself and three other nurses from my floor were asked to attend the Central California Critical Care Consortium two days per week for five weeks. This is the last week and tomorrow is the last day of the consortium. I learned a lot, but I have to admit that I'll be happy when it's back to life as usual. Besides that, though, it's really just been life keeping me busy. It seems like there are never enough hours in the day to get the things done that I'd like to accomplish. I have my regular ol' housework (like the three baskets of laundry on the dining room table that are staring at me as I type), plus my ever-growing list of projects that need either starting or finishing. I have a couple of crochet projects to finish, pillows to sew for the sofa (out of a fabulous piece of material that I got on sale at Joann), an ottoman to recover, and end table to sand and paint, and a skirt to sew. The end table was a curbside trash find. Twice yearly in Fresno, each block has a time when they can put almost anything at the curb to get trashed. Most of it is really garbage, but some things are nice and useable, things that you look at and think "Now what is THAT doing on the curb?" Anyway, this little piece is EXACTLY what I've been looking for to use for our bedroom. With some sanding and paint, it should be beautiful! Also scored at the curbside was a recliner and reclining loveseat set. We had been scavenging craigslist for the last couple of months trying to find a loveseat or futon for the TV room. Well, here was one free on the curb! They're khaki microfiber, and were disgustingly filthy but functional and in otherwise good shape. So we threw one in the van and went back for the other and brought them home. Three bottles of alcohol (good for cleaning microfiber in case you didn't doesn't leave those unsightly water rings), a half-bottle of Febreeze (it smelled a bit like chicken grease), and a LOT of elbow grease plus a neck cramp later, we have two very nice, clean, functional, good-smelling pieces of furniture! The loveseat is in the TV room and the recliner is in the living room. It is almost exactly the same as our set, so it blends in nicely. And you can't beat free!

I have to say, one great thing about living in California is the variety of produce that is grown locally. People bring everything from plums to persimmons to pomegranates to work off of their trees because they have more than their family can use. I love pomegranates! Even Trav likes them, which is amazing because he rarely tries anything new. So yummy, sweet with just the right amount of tart, and loaded with healthy benefits!

We added to our family this month! We adopted Delilah, a little Australian Shepherd/Queensland mix puppy! We were going to name her "Roxy", but when we met her she didn't look like a "Roxy", so she went nameless for a time. Then Trav pipes up and says jokingly "We should name her 'Delilah', since you pressed me daily to get her...hahaha." I looked at her and said "That's perfect!" He thought I was kidding, but it really suits her. So, Delilah it is, Lilah for short. She is super mellow and gets along great with the kids and Ziggy. Ziggy is so everlastingly patient with her. I looked out the window to the back yard a couple of days ago to see Lilah hanging from Zig's upper lip by her puppy teeth, and he just had this patient look on his face as if he was thinking "Surely she can't hold on forever..." She housebroke fairly quickly as soon as she got the hang of the doggy door. She's already obeying basic commands and is a sharp little critter. We're so glad to have her!

I'm pouting today. Wanna know why?? Because Ina May Gaskin is going to be in Sarasota, that's why. Ina May Gaskin is a midwife, authoress, and all-around amazing lady. Born in Sarasota's Laura Gilkey outlines her schedule while she's in town, in case anyone out there reading is in the area and doesn't already know about her visit. What I wouldn't give to be there...

Nighty night time.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

My buddy is on Etsy!

Attention, oh mothers who are looking to natural fibers and away from synthetics!! My friend, Danielle (you can call her Dee), is a WAHM in Louisiana. She tells her story in her fledgling blog of how she got started on Etsy. Her inventory is small as she begins this journey, but she is taking custom orders as well, so it's taking a little longer to build an inventory. Everything that she makes is 100% cotton. She knits, she crochets, and she sews...she's supermom! If you have a minute, please take the time to visit her Etsy store. If you're in need of some of her wares, I'm sure she would appreciate the business. Introducing, for the very first time...::drumroll::...Stitches in Cotton!!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

My September...

This is going to be a good month. I just have a feeling about it. It's starting off well, and, well...I guess I just have high hopes. This month brings my 28th birthday, as well as my husband's 33rd and my Dad and Mom's ::not telling:: birthdays. I'm terrible at remembering birthdays, so if I forget, I'm sorry! I love you and I'm thinking about you and I remember NOW...does that count? My first boyfriend had his birthday in September (the 29th...our parents used to celebrate our birthdays together, as mine is the 26th). My late grandmother's birthday is also in September. I never got to meet her. September brings the change in seasons, the cooling of fall, and for us in California, the hope of rain soon, as water supplies are dwindling and forest fires are raging. The days are getting shorter, and soon the time will be changing. I like September.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Pics from Jason & Amber's wedding, August 2009

So, here are some pics from the was truly beautiful! Here is the original Dempsey clan, Scott, Travis, Jason, Janet, and Jay Dempsey.

Trying to keep the kiddos occupied before the ceremony...two of my favorite guys on earth!

Deklan was ring-bearer. Here he is with the flower-girl, Bryce. They have a crush on each other. Deklan came to me the other day and said "Mommy, do you remember Bryce?" I said "Yes, honey...she was the flower-girl in J-bo's wedding." He said "Yeah...I love Bryce." Awww!

First kiss as husband and go J-bo and Ambo!

Linked for life, and they've got the rings to prove it!

The new and improved Dempsey clan! Congrats, you guys...may you stay lovebirds your whole lives...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

My peaches! Someone stole my peaches!

Not really. While we were gone, the squirrels lit into my peaches on the tree and almost all of them are destroyed or stolen! There are peach pits lining my fence. That wouldn't have happened with Ziggy patrolling the yard, for sure! The weather is starting to feel a little more fall-ish here, with overcast skies today. I have to spend a day in the yard sometime next week to do some weeding. Trav and the boys are going to help with some of the garden preparations, and this fall he is going to build me my compost bin. Yay! I'm already planning what's going to go into the garden for the spring.

Ziggy is on a chewing spree, the little beast. He is now eating clothes! I don't know what to do...we're going to have to keep him put up at night and completely supervised during the day. Right now he's chewing contentedly on a Kong filled with peanut butter...we give him good things to chew, so why does he still eat our stuff?

While roaming Nana's gardens, I had a great idea. She has her gardens separated off with bricks. She also has stepping stones made of cement with each of the family's names drawn into the cement while it was still wet, decorative stones and pieces of glass pressed into the cement, etc. Now, to combine the two ideas. When I have my birthing home/home birth practice, I want to have each family decorate a brick however they like...with the baby's date of birth, family members names, painting, etc., to border my garden/the garden at the birthing home. It would be a really cool memory, I think. Thoughts? Ideas?

You know, when I was on my trip, I got some disapproving looks and comments when some of my family members found out that I'm still breastfeeding Gavin. I'm actually getting ready to wean him, I think, but that's beside the point. I just don't know why people get so uptight about nursing a toddler. I don't know why they think it is excessive or unnatural or obscene. And I don't know why they think it's their business to disapprove in the first place! Why don't people research things out a little bit when they have a problem with something? Taken directly from the World Health Organization's website, this the summary of their stance on length of time to breastfeed: "exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life is the recommended way of feeding infants, followed by continued breastfeeding with appropriate complementary foods for up to two years or beyond." So then why do people have such a problem? For starters, it is recommended that an infant be EXCLUSIVELY breastfed for the first six months. No water, no juice, no watered-down cereal, no baby food, no Cheerios, JUST BREASTMILK. Most mothers are told (by their OB, pediatrician, mother, sister, who knows?) that they should try to nurse for six months, a year at most, then wean. Pediatricians sometimes recommend supplementation with sugar water, etc. Why? And then, the mother who nurses her toddler gets looks and words of disapproval for trying to give their child the best start, the start that has benefits that have been shown to be evident even through adulthood! And why do women not get told about the WHO recommendation to nurse for up to two years or beyond? Because the pediatricians get visitors from formula vendors? Because they get all kinds of benefits and goodies if they recommend them to their patients? In a healthcare provider's vow to "do no harm", I, as a nurse, take that a step strive to not only do no harm, but to also try to achieve the best possible result for my patient. I won't go so far as to say that formula harms...after all, it is the only choice for some! But if a doc were trying to achieve the best possible result for their patient, why would they advise a new mother to only nurse for six months or a year, then abruptly wean? Support that nursing momma! Cheer her on! Tell her to nurse for as long as she's able! Try to give that baby the best possible start in life in order to see the best possible result in adulthood! Now, all of this being said, I know that some mothers cannot nurse, cannot exclusively nurse, or cannot nurse for that long. Sometimes their milk dries up in spite of every effort to keep their supply. Sometimes their baby just isn't gaining weight properly and they have to supplement. Sometimes they just make a choice not to...and that's their business and not mine. My biggest issue is being an informed consumer. I have mentioned before how I encourage this to my patients and to family members who ask me medical questions. Their job is to learn and know, and make educated decisions. If they are educated and still make a different decision than I would, so be it. But to be misinformed and make a decision based on misinformation, or to just "go with" something because that's what other people around them have done, well, I feel that's just not right. It's not right in the hospital setting, in the physician-patient relationship, or in a mother's choice of what to put into their child. In Christian circles, we talk about how, yes, it's great to have a pastor to listen to and to hear preach, but you simply can't take his word for everything! You need to read, to study, to search "to see whether these things were so", right? So why should it be any different in life? Even people with the best intentions can be wrong. We're all human. We make mistakes. We misconstrue things. So when it comes to important decisions, be it nursing or surgery or what kind of food you put on your plate, be an educated consumer.

Well, I was going to do some heavy-duty cleaning around here today, but the kids are napping and a blog-vent spontaneously popped up, so I guess a basic clean and a few loads of laundry will have to do!

Weddings, tornadoes and jet lag, oh my!

Wow! Talk about an exhausting last month or so! We've done so many things and been so many places that I haven't had time to sit and write out the stories of my life! I'll try to pick up where I left off.

So, around the middle of July, officially moved into the house! I am totally stoked, and so is the rest of our family. We have plenty of room and a big backyard. Before we moved in, we cleaned and got things prepared. Then, before we started moving stuff in, we went from room to room throughout the entire house and asked for cleansing and blessing in that room. You never know what's gone on in a place, you know! Then we burned three sticks of incense symbolizing peace, safety, and growth in our home. We figure that we'll be here for a while, so we wanted a good start! We now have all of our "Cali stuff" here, but we have yet to make the trip back to Florida to retrieve the rest of our stuff. Most things still need to be unpacked and organized, which I'm getting to little by little as I have the time.

At work, I still have my orientee working with me, and was recently told by my boss that they're giving him a 6-month probationary period. He was 6 weeks with another preceptor, and has been about 2 months with me, so his time is drawing near. Then I'm going to have to make the assessment as to whether or not he is safe to practice on the floor. *sigh* Me no likey. I did, however, have the opportunity to have a few minutes of fame at work...I was approached by a person who does video clips for the hospital website asking if I'd do a little blurb. With everything edited, it'll be about 2 minutes long. Anyhoo, they're starting a "Green Living" section, and she wanted me to do a tutorial of my t-shirt yarn. So, I brought my scissors and a tie-dyed shirt that I picked up on sale at a local thrift store to work and did my tutorial. I can't wait to see how it turns out!

I've been off of work for two weeks now, as we had a trip to Michigan and Ohio. Trav's brother was getting married, and I took that as an opportunity to spend some time with my mom, who was just 6 hours from where they were getting married. So we flew into Grand Rapids, spent a day with my Mom, drove to Ohio where Trav was the best man and Deklan was the ring bearer in the wedding, then back to Michigan for a little less than a week to visit my family a little bit more. So, we drove to Las Vegas (a 6 hour trip from here) because we got super-cheap tickets from there. I suppose that was offset, though, by the last-minute discovery of a hole in one of the tires on the van...since the tread was worn on all of them, we just decided to get new tires since they were needed anyway. The flight was horrific, the boys misbehaved the entire time, but thankfully there was a very understanding family sitting behind us with kids about our kids' ages. We got to Michigan and Mom and Kyleah picked us up. They had made a really nice "spare room" in the basement for us with a bed, a toddler bed, and a port-a-crib. Plus it was the coolest room in the house! I have to say that the humidity hit me like a ton of bricks...its been over a year now since I've had to deal with humidity. But everything was GREEN!! It's so brown and dead here in the summer in Fresno. Everything is dead and dry unless you water the bejeebers out of it, and even then there are city ordinances that tell you when you can and can't water due to drought. Anyway, the day after we arrived there, we rented a car and drove another 6 hours to Lebanon, OH for Jason and Amber's wedding. We stayed at Amber's grandparents house again (we stayed there for J-bo's graduation), which was awesome. The McKeehan's are some of the most hospitable people that I've ever met. First night there was the bachelorette party, which was fun! We went to The Claddagh, an Irish pub and grill first for dinner. We were going to go catch a movie, but we had such fun talking over dinner that we missed it. So then we went to have a Rockband tournament at J-bo and Amber's house, but my in-laws were still there (Janet is painting and decorating the house). So then we went to Wal-Mart and had a scavenger hunt, which was actually pretty hilarious. Then we were all tired so we decided to disband and go home. I got into the house and went upstairs...and couldn't open the door! I thought that Trav had locked the door, forgetting that I was out. So I sat in front of the door for a long time, waiting for Gavin to start crying for his nightly nursing. Finally, I was leaning against the door and jiggled the handle and the door popped open! It wasn't locked, it was swollen shut from the humidity! The next day was a whirlwind of preparation, getting programs ready, etc. Then we had the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner. We sat at a table at the dinner with Scott and Janet's brother Larry, and had a really good time. Then came the day of the wedding! Tuxes were rented and people were frantic. I got myself ready, then went to J-bo's house with the boys to help them get ready. Then off to the wedding site for pictures. This was an outdoor wedding beside a pond with a toddler and a kindergartener in a rented tux, mind you. Stressful is not even the right word! Add that to the fact that Gavin is cutting 3 teeth all at once and is extremely fussy. The wedding was beautiful! The site for the wedding was behind Amber's cousin's house which had a big red barn, a silo, the pond, and a cornfield behind it. There was a big tent beside the ceremony area for the reception. The food was excellent, and the atmosphere was beautiful! I, unfortunately, did not get to enjoy it as much as I would have liked due to the child situation. There were tablecloths to be yanked and candles to be tipped over, children running toward the pond in the dark, etc. A little girl caught the bouquet and a teenager on crutches caught the garter. I've never seen a guy hop on one leg so quickly before!! Then we sent the happy couple off through an aisle of sparklers (it was dark when they drove off), who found it difficult to drive away with the front end of the car up on a jack! After the jack was removed, they drove off to Jason's house, then a hotel for the night, then off to their honeymoon in Hawaii in the morning. We had breakfast with the family in the morning, then took back off for Michigan. We arrived after dinner that night, then settled in for our visit. On Sunday we went to church with the family and my brother's family, then to Nana's house for a group birthday celebration. Nana is my step-dad's mother, and Grampy (Grandpa Gary to us older kids) is her husband. Nana and Grandpa Gary have the most beautiful gardens! We celebrated a great-aunt, uncle, cousin, cousin-in-law, and Deklan's birthdays. We had a great pot-luck lunch out in the backyard overlooking the gardens. After lunch and cake and a few games of rummy, it started sprinkling and we headed home. By the time we got home, the weather had cleared up. The kids and guys went outside for a game of basketball while Mom and I chatted and started cleaning up the aftermath of the preparation for the potluck. It started getting a little bit overcast, and I commented that I hadn't seen rain for so long that it would be nice to see some. Then suddenly it got very dark. The kids and guys came in from outside and we turned on the TV to see if there were any weather advisories. We saw a warning for severe thunderstorms and that the atmosphere had become unstable (that's never good), then the power went out. A few seconds later, there were torrents of rain and extreme downdrafts that felled a tree in the front yard. The thud and the shaking of the house sent us running for the basement. As we grabbed children and ran, the shaking and thuds of trees hitting the ground and the house intensified. As soon as it started, it was over. All in all, they lost a dozen trees and multiple large branches with minimal damage to the house. Ben's rear window of his car was broken by a tree branch. All of the trees seemed to fall around the house. The township of Fruitport was devastated. The were houses and cars that were crushed and destroyed all over the place. Four trees had fallen across the road and blocked us in. All around us trees had been blown over roots and all, snapped at the trunk, or twisted right in half. It turns out that the thunderstorm brought severe straight-line winds and a tornado or two. We had a tornado path that blazed a trail from the lake behind Mom's right through the yard and past the house and into the neighborhood. You could actually stand beside the house and see a clear path. Scary. Neighbors came out of their houses to survey the damage and check on each other. Then everyone broke out the generators and chainsaws and got to work. It was actually nice to see a neighborhood come together. No one complained, they were just thankful everyone was unharmed. There was only one death reported to my knowledge. Immediately after, they just all did the only thing they could do, start cleaning and chainsawing the road clear so we could all get out. A nice neighbor allowed us to tap their generator for an extension cord to the fridge and a hose to the house so we had minimal running (cold) water and enough power to charge cell phones and use one appliance at a time. The next day, Grandpa Gary came with another chainsaw and we all pitched in and cleaned up, with the guys chainsawing and all of us piling up logs and branches. We did this for two days. Midday on Wednesday brought the return of power! We also went to Grand Haven to see the Stanley Cup. The coach of the winning team is from Grand Haven, so he did a public viewing before a private party that evening. We got several pics of the Cup and us with it, the kids touching it, etc., which I'll post later. It was pretty cool, I must say, to see the oldest ongoing trophy in sports history! We then went to a park with the kiddos and let them play out some pent-up energy. Thursday was a "fun day" after all of the work we had done. We went to the beach on Lake Michigan with Mom and the kids and my brother Jeremy and his family. There is a really cool area, a merge point between Duck Lake and Lake Michigan where there is an extended area of shallow water, ranging from ankle-deep to above the knee, perfect for the kids. We adults ate watermelon and chips and got sunburnt to a crisp as the kids played. Friday we went thrifting and then flew out of Grand Rapids at night. We got to Vegas at around 10:30 pm Pacific time then drove home, arriving in Fresno shortly after 4 am on Saturday. That same family with the kids our kids' ages sat behind us again on the return trip. They were sunburnt like us and felt the effects of the storm like was funny that we were together again! All in all, it was a really nice trip, with a few unexpected twists, of course. We seem to attract the unexpected.

Rewind about 2 weeks. The day before we left for our trip, one of our cats, Emma, had gone missing. After extensive searching for her, we found her hanging upside down from our neighbor's fence by a hind leg that had gotten wedged between two boards in the privacy fence. It was Sunday and she appeared outwardly fine, besides favoring that leg. A friend of mine from work was feeding the cats while we were gone, and said that she'd keep an eye on it. When we came home, her leg was cold and stiff. Circulation had been cut off too long while she was on the fence, and her leg was dead. We called the vet and got a squeeze-in appointment. The vet said that they could amputate, but that it would cost about $1,000. As it was, she had an area of infection and she might have had complications from that after the surgery. The only other option was to put her to sleep. After tearful and prayerful consideration, we decided that it wasn't fair to Emma to make her go thru life with a rambunctious dog and two children with only three legs. So we said our goodbyes and gave her lots of love...Trav was with her when they put her to sleep. Rest in peace, Emma will be missed.

So now, here I am with a couple of days off before returning to work and Deklan's first day of school, which will be on Tuesday. My baby is starting kindergarten! The boys are both sick with a cold, so we stayed home from church today to allow them to recover a bit and get some rest...they're taking a long nap together right now. And I guess that's the long and short of it. I'll post pics as soon as I get them...Trav left the camera on in the bag and forgot to bring the battery charger, so we're depending on other people to send us pictures.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Some well-deserved days off...

I'm really appreciating being off today.  Yesterday morning I woke up in absolute agony with my shoulder.  I must have slept badly on it, because it felt like all of the muscles were tearing away from the bones.  ALL DAY it continued, as I put hot packs on it and tried to stretch the pain away at work.  My orientee took my whole group of patients and I just tagged along behind him and made sure that he was doing O.K.  This made my life a LOT easier, as I didn't have to do as much work.  That sounds terrible, but it was really helpful.  I have a high pain threshold...I birthed a ten-pound child naturally for goodness sake!  But this was just a total bummer.  Anyway, I feel better this morning, about 50% less pain, and I'm trying to get in with a Chiropractor today or tomorrow and I have an appointment for Acupuncture on Monday.  So I'm expecting to be 100% soon.

So, people, I'm on Facebook!  I put a link on the left side of my blog so you can find me, if you're interested.  It's brand new so there's not a whole lot of stuff on there yet, but I'll work on it.  

We decided to wait on painting the house until a little later.  We have minimal stuff here, and we've just decided that we're going to just paint sometime before we go get all of our stuff from Florida.  The fact that we haven't painted yet has been preventing us from moving (haven't painted due to time/date/money constraints), and we're all REALLY ready to get into the house.  We celebrated our July 4th over there, had fireworks in the backyard, some grilled chicken and corn-on-the-cob, and hung our American flag.  It was really fun!

I'm giving some thought to starting a new email account.  I've had my old one since the beginning of high school.  I would keep my old one, of course, but my new one would be used predominantly.  I will be starting school soon, and I'd like to have a more professional-sounding email address.  Something birth-related.

Well, I went to Starbucks the other day and didn't feel like getting coffee...not even iced coffee, since it was so blazing hot.  So I went to the counter and said "I normally get coffee, but I don't feel like it today...I'm thinking something with tea would be good.  What do you recommend with tea  that's cold and refreshing?  The guy behind the counter said "Well, have you tried our Green Tea Lemonade?"  "No", says I, "but it sounds good!"  So I got an unsweetened Green Tea Lemonade and fell in love!  Only problem is that, like everything at Starbucks, it's really pricey.  So, I went home and made a strong cup of Green Tea, added a spoon of honey, and poured in some Simply Lemonade, stirred, and sipped.  It was even better than Starbucks!  So it's been my daily treat, very light and refreshing, good for you as compared to other non-water drinks out there, and much less expensive than Starbucks.  It would be even more cheap if I made my own lemonade.  Well, the other day I ran out of lemonade, but I had some Pomegranate Lemonade in the fridge that I had gotten on sale.  I mixed that in instead.  It's even better than the regular kind!  I'm really enjoying my variations of tea and lemonade mixed.  

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Some pics from the past...

I have several sewing projects to be done.  But one of the ones that I really WANTED to do was sew some Thai fisherman pants for lounging around the house.  So, I found this fabulous linen fabric at Joann, and not only was it 40% off, but I got the end of the bolt, so the second yard was an additional 50% off!  They turned out to cost about $8.  Not too shabby!  I'm also going to be using very similar material for pillows for the sofa, since our new furniture didn't come with any pillows.

I'm also throwing in a couple of other pictures that I've been meaning to post.  The first is Ziggy the Magnificent as a pup, although his is much bigger now.  And he looks kinda' weird in the pic, with his eyes all funky...  
The second is poor ol' Maximus, the Boston that we had for all-too-short of a time, who was stolen from us.
The third and fourth are of LoLo's baby blanket.  I took pics a long time ago, I just forgot to post them.  It was done using the Tiramisu Baby Blanket pattern off of Ravelry.

I am very proud of this blanket.  It really is quite pretty, very simple, albeit time consuming.  I have more pics to come...I've been a bit of a flunky in the photo department these days.  Oh, and I'm in the process of adding some pics to my older Gavin's birth story.  Check it out!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Thoughts and ideas, ideas and thoughts!

I have so many of them!  I recently had some mandatory education classes to do for work, one of which was regarding consents.  I'm going to have to get the paperwork out of the car in the morning for the class, because as soon as I read the first couple of Power Point sections, I started getting riled up thinking about the status of OB care in hospitals.  I suppose I'll get to that another day.

I have to say that I got a bit offended at work today.  I had a patient with a new (very bad) diagnosis, a grim prognosis, and the news of it deeply effected both himself and his family more so than it ordinarily might have, due to the circumstances surrounding his getting the illness in the first place.  I've had this patient for several days, and very often he's tearful, withdrawn, and clearly depressed.  I'm not a huge fan of pharmaceuticals, but I suggested to the intern that she might consider a psych consult, a spiritual referral, and/or an antidepressant/anti-anxiety type of medication.  She then said "Medications aren't the answer to everything.  He's just getting used to his diagnosis.  And besides, I need to treat the whole person, not just give meds."  Now, part of me wants to shout "Hallelujah!" from the rooftops that there's actually a new Doc out there who isn't ready to pop a million pills into their patients.  However, I resented the insinuation that I think that meds are the answer to everything.  That is the farthest thing from the truth!!  Even on our crazy floor, I'll be the first nurse to not push Ativan/Valium/Haldol on a patient, unrestrain them, and take them out to the nurse's station for some interaction to help calm them down.  I hate giving meds unnecessarily.  But I really felt that this man needed some help.  It was within my scope of practice to order a spiritual referral without a Doc's order, but I couldn't do anything besides that, and trying to support him and his family the best that I could.  That had me bent out of shape for a good part of the day.

Now, for what made my day!  I seldom take the boys to Toys 'R Us because they turn into rabid little toymongers.  But Trav was buying some fireworks from a stand in the Toys 'R Us parking lot, so I took the boys in.  Trav wanted me to get a puzzle of the U.S.A., since he's trying to teach Deklan a little bit of elementary geography (where we live, where Popi and Noni live, where Mum-Mum lives, where Grammy and Pappy live, where PaPa and MaMa live, etc.) so I picked one up.  Then I wandered over to the Melissa & Doug section to lust after some cool (expensive) wooden toys.  As I perused the aisle, a set of emergency vehicles caught Deklan's eye...he wanted it!  I took a look at the price, then did a double-take.  It was marked down from $19.99 to $2.00!!!  Surely that can't be right, I thought.  So I let Deklan get it, and headed to the register.  Sure enough, less than $7 for my entire purchase!  So, I ran back to the van, told Trav that I had to run back in, grabbed up the remaining 4 sets, and hauled them to the register.  It was there that I realized that, not only were they $2, but they were also an additional 20% off!  Four sets of Melissa & Doug rescue vehicles for less than $7!!!!  I couldn't believe my eyes!  So I got a total of 5 sets, and I'll be going to the other Toys 'R Us in town tomorrow (if they're open) or Sunday to see if they're on sale at the other one as well.  I saved almost $100 on those toys!  I'm still in disbelief.

I'm so fried.  I just finished my fifth consecutive day at work, and I'm just so incredibly done with this week.  I'm so glad that I have the holiday weekend off.  I get to recuperate a little bit.  I have an orientee who is a new grad, and is very, VERY labor intensive.  This person doesn't pick things up very quickly, and has been on orientation for 6 weeks with another nurse, who finally threw her hands up and refused to orient him anymore.  My boss said that she's putting him with me for 2-3 weeks, then she's going to review his progress.  If he's not progressing satisfactorily, she may fire him.  I sincerely hope that it doesn't come to that, and I have every confidence that he can grow to be a good, competent nurse.  But 2-3 weeks isn't long.  So I've been trying SO HARD this week to teach him, to be patient, to explain things, and yet to give him enough independence so that he can learn what's best for him and develop his skills.  It's exhausting.  It's flattering that my boss thinks that he has a fighting chance in my hands for a while, but it's still exhausting.  And if he fails, then I'm going to feel like a failure for failing him.  I hope this all goes well.

I'm still telling people that I miscarried.  The news is taking longer than I thought to get around.  It still hurts every time that I have to explain that I'm no longer pregnant.  I hope it doesn't take long for us to conceive once we decide that it's time to officially drop our guard.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Busy day!

I had the day off and had the opportunity to do a few things.  I spent the morning chillin' with my boys (all three of them!), then around lunch time took off with the boys and left Trav at home for some quiet time.  We went to Goodwill to get some "new" shorts and t-shirts for Deklan, as he seems to be having a growth spurt and is outgrowing his clothes incredibly fast.  After that, we went to Trader Joe's, where we picked up some awesome blueberries at a great price, and super-cheap basil plant, and typical grocery odds and ends.  Then we went to Joann's, to get a new clasp for my favorite necklace.
 I also got some really awesome beads that I want to make into either a necklace or bracelet.  Then we went to Wal-Mart to get more odds and ends.  And then finally to SaveMart to wrap up the grocery shopping.  When I got home I cleaned out the fridge, then prepped some fruit.  I washed and picked the blueberries and laid them on wax paper on a cookie sheet.  On top of that I put another sheet of wax paper and topped it with washed and sliced strawberries.  Then I added a layer of over-ripe bananas, then a layer of washed, halved, and pitted cherries.  All of those went into the freezer and then into freezer bags for smoothies later.  I used a handful of blueberries, a handful of cherries, and a couple of apples to make a crisp, which turned out absolutely delicious.  I cooked and boned some chicken, which will turn into chicken salad tomorrow or the next day.  Then I prepped and cooked some shrimp (which was supposed to become a shrimp salad, but it didn't make it.  We ate it for dinner.) and started a garbanzo bean salad.  That will have to wait as well, since the day is done and I am tired.  Between all of this activity I called my old school and requested transcripts for Frontier (since I'm no longer pregnant, I'm going ahead with my plan to start school in December), washed, dried, folded, and hung four loads of laundry, put the kids down for naps and then bed, and cleaned the kitchen (with the exception of loading the dishwasher...Trav pitched in).  It's been a busy day off!  Now I get to sit with a cup of tea and work on a baby blanket that I'm crocheting as a gift for a baby due in a couple of weeks.

I'm doing well.  I'm totally done with everything miscarriage-related, and I would say that I'm back to normal as far as all of that goes.  Trav and I are back to our old shenanigans, which is nice!  We're still planning on waiting until at least one cycle passes us by, but we're being a lot more lax than we normally would be in the avoidance department.  Maybe I should start back on my prenatals, just in case.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The time will come...

I have to say that I have baby fever again, pretty bad at that.  And so does Travis.  Having little Tadpole with us for just a few short weeks reminded us both how awesome the miracle of conception and the development of a little person is.  And now we miss it.  We miss the baby, the anticipation, the feelings of being pregnant.  So we're looking to the time when we will try again to conceive.  Except we're not going to try.  We decided on the "baby roulette" approach.  We're not going to try during certain time frames or doing things a certain way to try to get a girl.  We're just going to pray for a healthy baby (a healthy baby GIRL if God wills it!) and follow our hearts and let the chips fall where they may.  I'm glad that we agreed on this.  Before Tadpole, we were going to try to do some things to tip our odds of getting a girl, and try at a certain time to have the baby in a certain time frame, etc.  But now we have been taken back to square one, of just wanting a healthy, living baby, no matter what the gender or when it is born.  Oh, I'll be keeping track of my cycles and all, as I do anyway.  I like to know what my body is doing and what's normal for me.  But that's it.  So I guess we'll be "trying" more than we ever have in the past, since all three of my pregnancies have been "oops" pregnancies.  But taking a passive approach just feels right now.  So, we're going to wait a little while for my body to normalize, then just put it in God's hands and enjoy our relationship, without worrying about timing.  Hurray for that.

It has been good to be back to work.  I went back on Monday, and worked three days straight.  On Monday I was still having lots of bleeding and lots of clots, then (thanks in part to Gavin still nursing and me drinking lots of toning herbal teas) Monday afternoon I had a bunch of cramping and passed the final piece of Tadpole's short-lived home...the bleeding almost stopped altogether after that.  I felt much relieved, as I was starting to get concerned about potentially having to go back to the ER, this time for a D&C.  I'm thankful that it didn't come to that.  I've had to tell several people that I miscarried, and everyone has been really supportive.  Almost every single woman that I've told has given me a hug and said "Oh, honey, I'm so sorry...I know how you feel!  I had a miscarriage at about the same time..."  It's so common.  I don't think I understood exactly HOW common it was until I went through it myself.  I have to say that it makes it a lot easier to have supportive women around me who have been through it themselves.  It makes me feel better to hear their stories and know that I'm not alone.

Trav moved the first boxes over to the new house today!  It will be a slow process of moving in, but I can't wait until we're officially IN!  We have been going over there and cleaning and preparing for the move.  We bring Ziggy and the boys over with us and let them run around in the yard and play in the sprinklers...all three of them LOVE it!  They also love running around the house like a bunch of hooligans, bouncing on their bouncy balls and shrieking as they chase each other...and they don't have to worry about the noise disturbing the downstairs neighbor!  Deklan asks every day if we are going to go to the new house.  I found some free plans for a compost bin that Trav is going to build for me, so I don't have to buy more compost than the amount that I'll have to buy to start my garden.  The soil we have is pretty crappy, so I know I'm going to have to buy some to prep the soil.  We have a really good organic compost/seed place here in Fresno that I already have my eye on.  I think it will be good for my soul to get my hands back into the I have missed gardening!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Life experience and ministering...

There are so many things that have happened to me in my life that could be considered "traumatizing".  Yet after they happen, I just think to myself  "Well, that's another thing that I'll be able to help someone else through someday!"  Seriously.  I hope and pray that we never have to deal with a major tragedy, and one of my most frequent prayers is that our whole family will get to go up in the Rapture together, that I will never lose anyone close to me.  But all of these other things, including my most recent loss, I consider to be preparation for the life of service in the ministry that I hope we have one day.  Today I joined the ranks of the women who have experienced the physical, emotional, and mental pain of losing an unborn child.  That's not a good thing, or a fun thing, but I feel different after this.  I feel older.  I feel...well, not necessarily wiser, but more capable of understanding.  I'm understanding the twinges of sadness that you feel when you see a pregnant woman at the market, or drive past a maternity store, or even things as small as putting away my Pregnancy Tea and exchanging it for my Female Toner Tea for my nightly cup, trying to help my uterus and hormones get back to normal.  I understand the wondering why it happened, why God saw fit to allow this loss.  I also understand (thanks Mom) resting in Him and knowing that, no matter if we understand it or not, He is in control and loves us more than anything.

Miscarrying sucks.

Well, the afore-mentioned spotting finally turned to bleeding, then to horrendous cramping.  Like menstrual cramping times ten.  Like early labor, except without a break between contractions.  I took a hot shower which helped for a while, and now I'm sitting up on the computer in the wee hours of the morning, as I can't sleep due to the pain.  I still have a little while to go, too, as best as I can figure.  Well, this is how I look at it.  I'm truly amazed that we were created in such a way that our bodies can see what technology can't and know that there's a problem bad enough that the baby wouldn't survive anyway.  I'm thankful that my body is doing this on its own and without the "help" of a D&C (at least it is as of now).  I'm relieved that the wondering is over, that now I can grieve and move on instead of wondering from hour to hour if the baby is still with us.  I had a weird vibe about this pregnancy from the beginning...I didn't want to tell anyone, and there are still several people (as in close who don't know about this pregnancy.  I had bad cramping and spotting in the beginning.  I just always felt a feeling of doom, and kept wondering if that was a sign that I would miscarry.  I had a few dreams that I miscarried.  I guess my heart knew before I did.  Trav and I are unsure as to where this leaves us.  We're thinking that we might actually try (on purpose!) after I'm healed and start cycling again, but then at the same time I wonder if we shouldn't wait a little while.  I don't know.  I guess we'll figure that one out later.  In the meantime, I am finding comfort in my two beautiful, healthy boys and my sweet husband, who has been so good throughout this whole ordeal.  And I wonder if the timing of this has anything to do with my moon cycle, as the phase is currently the waning crescent?


Update:  I stopped cramping at about 7:30 this morning.  When I got up at 8 am and used the bathroom, I actually felt a little urge to push.  I did, and with that, little Tadpole was born.  It was an intact piece of tissue about half the size of a large banana.  I could see a protrusion on it the size of a large marble.  Being the weirdo that I am, I ruptured the sac to see the baby.  When I ruptured it, blood rushed out, so I guess that might have been part of the problem.  The little critter looked just like they do in those pregnancy development books!  It is white and clear, kinda looks like a tadpole just shy of an inch long.  I could see little eyes and a little cord.  It's amazing that something that small and undeveloped actually had a heartbeat a couple of days ago!  All in all, I feel pretty good.  I had a little cry earlier on, and I'm sure I'll have a few more, but I feel...peaceful.  I'm not looking forward to telling people at work, because I'm sure it'll take at least a week for it to get around the grapevine, an inevitably someone will approach me and call me preggo and I'll have to tell them that I miscarried.  I'm to the stage now that I'm wondering why it happened.  I know there doesn't have to necessarily be a "reason" this early on, but I'm just hoping that it doesn't happen again next time.  Well, we shall see.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Oh, the joys of the ER...

Yep, I had to take a trip to the ER last night.  *sigh*  Even as an employee with "priority" status, it took 6 hours from in to out.  And that was after a long day at work!  Here is my story:

In both of my previous pregnancies, I've had spotting.  Nothing major, and generally only lasting a few days at the most, but spotting nonetheless.  I also have an incredibly sensitive cervix, and actually had cervical erosion with and after Gavin's pregnancy.  It's harmless and painless, but scary as heck to have the bright red bleeding that can come with cervical erosion!  So I had been spotting for a total of five days as of yesterday, and it had been increasing.  I set an appointment with an OB (gulp...quite the step for this midwife-lover!), but couldn't get in any sooner than June 30th.  My boss is a FNP, and she called some OB friends of hers to see if they could squeeze me in before then, but I didn't hear from them.  So, after an increase in bright red spotting, I decided to go to the ER.  The nurse in me was saying that it's probably O.K., that it's probably just my cervix acting up again, and I was just spotting (not officially bleeding) and not cramping, so I was most likely not miscarrying.  But the mom in me was just screaming out for help, knowing bright red blood is never normal, and was scared for the life of my baby.  I had blood drawn and waited an eternity for an ultrasound.  Everyone was very nice and sympathetic.  After a time of quiet prayer, and a short nap, I finally got to go for my ultrasound.  The tech asked if I was sure of my dates.  Well, I'm sure of the date of my LMP, but my cycles were so whacky that any due date is possible, I suppose.  He said that my HCG beta was a bit low for my LMP-based date (well, that scared me, but I figured it would be lower than their calculated 8 weeks due to my whacky cycles...), but we'd go ahead and have a look.  I was seriously expecting to see a sac with no baby, or no heartbeat.  But would you believe one of the first things I saw when he put the probe to my belly was that beautiful, fluttering heartbeat?!  He announced "Well, you're definitely pregnant, and we have fetal heart tones!"  I could have sat up and hugged him right there.  He found that, by measurements, I'm only 6w3d.  That would explain the low beta.  Everything looked really good, and he pronounced my pregnancy "viable".  That sounds so...medical...especially when you're talking about the miracle of life, about a new little person inside a mother's womb.  But I've never heard a more beautiful word in all of my life!  I got back to the ER and met the doc who was to be doing my exam.  He checked me out and found that my cervix was tightly closed, but extremely irritated and bleeding.  He said that, of course, any bleeding is not considered "normal", and that it's considered a "threatened" miscarriage, but the bleeding is definitely coming from my cervix.  I could breathe a little.  So, although we're not considered out-of-the-woods just yet (not till 20 weeks, technically), I have a little peace of mind, for now.  It's still unnerving to see blood, but I can at least rest a little.  So, little Dempsey is still with us, and I hope s/he says with us for another full 34 weeks!  At that point in the ER, I had been there for 4 hours and was told that I'd be discharged in a few minutes.  Two hours later, the nurse finally hunted down the doc, who had really procrastinated on getting my paperwork through.  At 0245 this morning, I finally walked out of the hospital.  But I couldn't be mad...I am just happy that I'm still pregnant!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Deklan's Birth Story

I was just reading some birth stories on various blogs and it got me to thinking...I have never written down Deklan's birth story! Maybe because it was not the birth that I had wanted for him or me, or maybe because I wasn't so much "into" birth back then as I am now. But in any event, he is my firstborn, my son, and he deserves to have his story told. So, as well as I can remember, here it is:

First, a little background. I was being seen in an OB/GYN office by the midwives who practiced there. The plan was to transfer care to a midwife about 1.5 hours away further along in my pregnancy, and to ultimately give birth at the freestanding birthing home there. Well, this was not to be. We had a routine ultrasound at around 30 weeks. During the ultrasound, the tech was having a very difficult time measuring something about his heart. When she got up to get the doctor, whom we had never met, we were worried. The doctor came and explained that the tech had been unable to find the 4th chamber of his heart. After some searching, she was able to find it, but it was so thick and so small that it was hard to see. We had to set up an appointment with a specialist at a hospital 3.5 hours away. Two weeks later we had our appointment. Four hours later, the specialist announced that it seemed that our son had a trisomy-type defect, and that he was calling in the genetic counselor. We were devastated. We prayed and waited, and while we waited we decided that we would not have an amnio (which they wanted to do that day), and that we would have the baby and love him as long as he lived. After talking with the counselor, the doctor came to meet us again, and discussed the problem. As he was talking, I noticed that he referenced a date, saying that it was his due date, but it was not. I told him that the due date he was using was wrong. He looked really happy, and said "Well, in that case...hold on..." After re-calculating measurements, he announced that our son did NOT have a trisomy defect after all, but simply a loose tricuspid valve that was causing one of his ventricles to be very thick and muscular, as it was trying to compensate for the valve. We were elated and infuriated at the same time. How could a specialist make such a horrible mistake??? We ended up being seen by the specialist for the remainder of my pregnancy, every two weeks. They also found that his pulmonary valve was too tight, in addition to the loose tricuspid valve. They took a wait-and-see approach, waiting to see how his little body would compensate after his birth. I was told that I had to deliver at the hospital 3.5 hours away from us, and that I would have the Dr. on call deliver my son. We were just scared and wanted his birth to be as safe and him to be as healthy as possible. Now, on to the story.

At my 40-week appointment, I was told that I would be induced if I hadn't gone into labor in the next two days. I didn't want to be induced, I had heard horror stories of Pitocin contractions. So, I went home and chugged castor oil...two 4-oz. bottles of it. Well, the aftermath was terrible and I got a foretaste of the "ring of fire", to put it nicely. However, I started in a contraction pattern that felt so different from the Braxton-Hicks that I had been having for days and days. My mom and family had driven down from Michigan to be with me, and they were nearing the end of their visit. I was so hoping that he'd be born while they were here with me! At about midnight, I decided that I was in labor, and that we'd better start the 3.5 hour drive to the hospital. We got there and I went to triage and was hooked up and examined. I was at 4 cm, and had bloody show! So, they kept me. I went to my room and went to sleep, as it was about 7 am by then and I hadn't slept a wink all night.
When I woke up at 9:30am, my contractions had all but gone. My nurse came in and said that they were going to start Pitocin to get my contractions started back up again. I wasn't happy about this, but I agreed and let her start and IV and get the Pitocin running. My contractions gradually started coming back as they increased the Pitocin, although they were comfortable enough to talk through. At around one o'clock in the afternoon, they broke my water. It was a river of clear fluid. It soaked the chux, and I could hear it dripping onto the floor. I asked if someone could please change the pads under me, and my nurse said "No, because they'll just get soaked again." The nurse in me wanted to just scream at her. So I sat in a puddle for the rest of my labor. Shortly after my water was broken, the people I'd invited to my birth (my mom, my friend Melanie, and my friend Miss Chris) returned from lunch. They were so good, trying to help me relax and breathe through my contractions, but all I could smell was the lunch on their breath. I remember yelling at them and telling them to get out of my face or brush their teeth or something!! I apologized after that contraction was over for yelling at them, and they all laughed. From that point till they told me to push was just a blur of pain. Contractions came on so suddenly and painfully that I began to dry-heave. They gave me something for nausea. I contracted and writhed in pain, fighting the pain by tensing up my body and moaning, and putting some claw-marks in my husbands hand. About 3 hours of hard labor later, I was pronounced complete and told to push. We did the classic guided pushing, of curling up with my chin to my chest and pushing for the count of ten, quick breath, then repeat for a total of three per contraction. At first I was motivated...I finally got to push!! And pushing, to me, helped relieve the pain. But then exhaustion began to set in, and only my first of three sets of pushes was even doing anything. The doctor (I later found out that he was an intern, and was asking the nurses what to do next!) told me that I had to have an episiotomy, because I wasn't going to be able to push this baby out. I tried a few more pushes, then in my weariness agreed to the cut. I didn't feel him cut me. A few more pushes later, and I could feel that his head was out! Then, one mighty roar and hard push later, at 4:55 pm on July 27th, 2004, Deklan was born into this world!

He was taken quickly, his cord cut, and moved to the bassinet where the NICU team was waiting for him. My husband asked if he could leave me to go see him, and I said yes. I could hear his strong cries from across the room, which was music to my ears. Again, we weren't sure if he would need heart surgery shortly after being born, or if he would compensate for his defects. He sure sounded good to me! We found that he was a whopping 8 lbs, 6.6 oz! A far cry from the 6.5 lbs they had guestimated only a few days earlier!

Apparently I was bleeding quite a bit, so my nurse started massaging my uterus (which hurt like heck!), and the intern started pulling on the cord to "help" the placenta out. He tore it out in shreds, and my husband and friends said that he just looked at it, then at the nurses with a deer-in-the-headlights look. Little did I know, I had retained fragments of the placenta, which ended up inhibiting my milk from coming in, then 9 days postpartum landed me back in the hospital on IV antibiotics. They pumped me full of more Pitocin to help stop the bleeding. Then I was told that I had torn past the episiotomy to a 3rd degree tear, which went into but not through my anal sphincter. The intern set to stitching me up, without even a local anesthetic. When I placed an ill-aimed kick to his shoulder (I wish I had gotten his head) he asked what was wrong. I asked him why he was sticking a needle into my hoo-ha without even having pain medication! He said "Oh, I thought you had an epidural!" *sigh* Even on my son's records that he brought to his pediatrician, it says that he was born vaginally with epidural pain relief. I purposefully didn't have pain meds because I didn't want to compromise his already compromised heart. Anyway, after some local and IV pain relief, he set to stitching me up. While he was doing that, I heard the NICU team leaving with my son. I yelled to anyone who would listen to please stop them, I hadn't seen my son yet! My nurse ran over, grabbed Deklan, brought him over to me for about two minutes so I could see him and we could take a couple of pictures, then they whisked him away to the NICU for testing.

My heart was aching, but I knew it was necessary. So I just dozed off as the pain medication kicked in, until they moved me to another room. I got up and peed, which burned like nothing I'd ever felt. Then I got into bed and slept for a while. My mom and family had to leave that afternoon, so they came to say their goodbyes. After I woke up, it was NICU visiting hours, so I got to go see Deklan. He was so big compared to all of the other babies in the Level 3 NICU!! They actually nicknamed him "The Moose"! The NICU nurse was great, and got a privacy screen and a Boppy so I could nurse him for the first time. They had already given him bottles of formula, against my direct instructions. He was a hungry little guy though, and latched on pretty well. My visits with Deklan were sporadic for the next day and a half, as the NICU closed down a few times for emergency surgeries on the babies in there. Finally, we were told that we'd get to bring him home with us! Our little guy was being released! We got him dressed and ready to go, and the NICU nurses sent us home with a blanket, a hat, a diaper bag, and formula. After a 3.5 hour drive home on a 3rd degree torn bottom, we got home and were met by a group of family. After pictures and shooing them away, we finally got to relax and settle in. I had a difficult time with breastfeeding, as he preferred the bottle. But I was determined. It turned out that he was also getting frustrated because my milk wasn't coming in because of the retained fragment of placenta. I was exhausted, wasn't eating much or drinking much because I felt terrible. After a couple of days in the hospital on antibiotics, I passed the fragments and felt much better. They didn't have to do a D&C, for which I was grateful. I went home and my milk came in. We settled into a routine, and lived happily ever after!

As you can probably imagine, I learned a lot from Deklan's birth. It's what started me on the path that I'm on now. It wasn't the gentle birth that I had wanted for him, but he's here, he's ours, and he's healthy. And now I know better.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Gracious, it's too early for this!

I already look 4 months pregnant!  I know it's just a (not-so-lovely) combination of my belly fat, stretched belly-skin, and bloating, but jeepers...really?  All of my maternity clothes are still in Florida.  It looks like Trav and his buddy Paul are going to road-trip it and go get our stuff in a couple of months, and by then I'll really be needing them.  For now, I can get by with wearing my scrubs tied a little looser, and wearing stretchy-waisted capris and skirts...I have several that are jersey knit, like t-shirts, so they're stretchy and airy and comfy.  I can't even suck in my tummy!  I think the uterus typically rises above the level of the pubic bone around 12 weeks, although I seem to remember Harmony being able to feel it already at my first appointment at 8 weeks.  She mentioned it and asked was I sure of my due date because my uterus felt more 12-week-ish.  Yes, I was sure of my dates, I guess my uterus was just expanding a little sooner due to that pregnancy being my second.  My fundal height measured ahead by at least 2 weeks the entire pregnancy, and at the end it was 48 cm!  My uterus just seems to know what to do and does it very well!  So, I figure I'll be legitimately "showing" in just a few short weeks!  I'm going to have to pick up a few maternity things, I'm sure, before we get our stuff from FL.  As of yet, I'm feeling pretty good.  I have "super nose" pretty bad, and every smell bothers me.  But thankfully what little nausea I've had is coming and going, so no true-blue morning sickness yet, just hormonal ick.  I'm hoping that, by staying well-nourished this pregnancy, I will stave off morning sickness altogether.  I've been taking my vitamins every day, and went ahead and got some Floradix with Herbs for later on in the game...I've gotten to be significantly anemic with both of my pregnancies.  I'm drinking my Pregnancy Tea by Traditional Medicinals, and trying to eat a very balanced and healthy diet.  Gavin is still nursing like a fiend, but I think that my hormones are changing my milk a bit.  When he nurses, he unlatches, looks at my breast, then looks at me with this quizzical look on his face and exclaims "Ehh?!?" like there's a problem or something.  Haha!  I'm hoping that he'll self-wean as my belly begins to get in the way, as I'm not sure how tandem-nursing will mesh with nursing a new baby on demand and then pumping at work when I return.  That just seems like a lot of boob action to me!

Well, we've been (barely) surviving while Trav has been gone.  I miss him so much!  I've been doing all of the work that we normally share, and I have to say that I have an even higher respect for him and what he does at home while I'm gone now that I've had a taste of it again!  In any event, I can't wait to go driving off tomorrow at midnight to go pick him up!!

So, I'm liking my new Blackberry Storm.  Verizon is having a 2-for-1 sale and we were due for our "new every 2" phones (where you get $100 toward an upgraded phone every two years), so we got an AWESOME deal on a pair of them.  It's pretty bizarre to be able to freely surf the web from your phone!  I can listen to my favorite "channel" on Pandora (online radio) from my phone, and even have an awesome (free!) app called "Epocrates" that's basically a drug book in my phone.  Referencing has never been so easy!  I have a bluetooth for it, but I haven't gotten it set up yet...Trav can do it for me when he gets home.  Hands-free is the only legal way to talk while you drive in California, not to mention that it'll be much easier while cleaning or nursing...and with another baby on the way!!

I've gotten active on MDC (the forums for Mothering Magazine, also known as Mothering Dot Community) again.  I took a bit of a hiatus after I returned to work full-time.  I had to find a balance in my life...being a wife, mommy, and sole provider is a tough juggling act!  So, I just couldn't justify spending so much time on the internet anymore, and basically cut it completely off.  Now I'm in a pretty good groove, have my priorities in order, and so I've allowed myself to get back on.  I'm really enjoying being a member of a DDC (Due Date Club)!  I'm also active again on my page at  So strange to be back...Deklan and Gavin were spaced apart so far that, now that I'm pregnant again, it seems like I was just pregnant a little while ago!  I really am thrilled now about being pregnant.  I'm settled in to the idea, and it's kind of cool to see again that God's plan ultimately rules!  Now, I wonder if God's plan includes a little girl in our lives?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

I'm lonely... wonderful husband is out of town for a few days.  He flew out today to Pennsylvania to a friends wedding.  We couldn't go because we have a family wedding in August, and we couldn't afford two whole-family airfares.  So, the chillens and myself are on our own until about midnight on Sunday, when I go to pick him up.  Then I'm right back to work on Monday!  I'm going to miss that guy.  I do already!  I don't have a fear of flying, but I hate it when we're separated, and even more so when there's an aircraft involved.  In a car, you have some control over the situation.  In a plane, though, you just have to trust the crew.  I don't consider myself a controlling person by any means, but that lack of control thing bothers me.

As a result of Trav being gone, I have lots of time to watch whatever I want and spend lots of time on the computer!!  The boys are bathed and sleeping like little cutie pies, the dog has been walked and fed, and the house is calm.  I've been "shopping" for a midwife.  I have read good reviews about a few midwives in the area, and I've emailed a couple of them.  One of them stands out to me, and I don't know quite why...her name is Detrah Hele.  She's a CPM/LM in the area who does homebirths.  I can't wait to have a talk with her!  The thing is, I think I'm going to have a hard time finding someone who measures up to Harmony in my mind.  Harmony Miller is the world's most awesome midwife in Trav's and my opinions.  We loved her manner and trusted her completely.  I wonder if I'll be able to find someone that I feel THAT comfortable with.  I liked having a young midwife...seems like most of the midwives in this area are older.  According to their short bios, they've started practicing from the 1970's to 1990's, so they've got to be a bit older than me.  Well, we'll see.  It's still several weeks before I even need a preliminary visit.  I think I first saw Harmony around 8 weeks.  

*sigh*  The house is a disaster.  I guess I should go clean it up now.  

Friday, May 29, 2009


That negative pregnancy test that I posted about last...yeah, well, it was positive.  I just didn't wait long enough for it to develop.  I learned this the night after I took it and was still concerned about what was going on with me.  After much hemming and hawing, I decided to pick up my last, expensive test (the ClearBlue one that displays the words and not just lines) and test again.  This was really difficult for me, as I was saving that test for when we were trying to conceive, for when I thought that we had succeeded in conceiving.  Well, as I was sitting there waiting for the results, I kept thinking to myself "This is so stupid!  I just wasted a $6 test on a negative!  I KNOW I'm not pregnant...I took a test last night!"  Then I looked down and, lo and behold, "Pregnant", as clear as day.  I just stared at it.  I tucked it in my pocket, wondering if I should tell Travis now or not.  We were, after all, trying NOT to get pregnant, and I didn't think he'd be very happy.  I did a little trash-digging and found the test from the previous had turned positive!  I had an appointment with my personal trainer today, so I knew that I wanted to tell Travis before the appointment.  I just wasn't O.K. with my trainer being the first person to know.  So, I ended up just putting the test with the words on the end table beside the remote control.  He hadn't seen it after a half an hour, so I took it back and tried to think of a way to throw it in the conversation.  He was talking about his brother and how he wanted to call him and see how he and his expecting-very-soon wife were doing, but wanted another reason to call.  He said was saying that he'd already texted him about the Lakers game, and that he wished he had something else to talk about.  I handed him the test and said "Why don't you talk to him about that?"  He just stared at it, then stared into his coffee cup for a really long time.  After a while, he got a hint of a smile on his face.  "Are you serious?"  "Do I look like I'm kidding?!"  So, we've gotten used to the idea now.  It's been several days since I found out, and I don't imagine we'll be telling a lot of people right off the bat.  Trav's best friend knows, my best friend knows, my mom and step-mom and sister know, and my trainer knows.  That's all right now, though.  I suppose we'll just wait till August to tell Trav's side of the family, as I'm pretty sure I'll be showing by then.  I was noticeably showing by 10 weeks with Gavin, and I'll be a bit over 13 weeks by the time the wedding rolls around.  That'll be a surprise, for sure!  I'm not sure how all of this is going to effect me starting school in December.  I'm thinking that I'm going to have to wait, as my due date around Feb. 1st.  We'll see.  So, I guess my icky feelings and obsession with having another baby was happening for a reason...I was pregnant!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


I feel icky tonight.  I had a rough day at work, and now I'm home and just BLAH.  I'm flushed, slightly nauseated, feel hot all over (but no fever), and I'm exhausted.  I'm also on day 36 of my cycle with no end in sight, which I guess is O.K., considering that my cycles have been getting longer...34-35 days average.  What the heck is up with THAT?!  It kinda has me worried, that there's some weird hormonal thing going on with me that might be bad...or it could just be that Gavin's nursing a bit more than usual because he's teething again...or it could be stress-related...who knows?  I hope I'm not broken!!  I know not too many people read my blog, but for any other chicas out there...have you ever been through this?  Oh, and I took a pregnancy test yesterday just for kicks and it was a big negatory.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

I'm procrastinating...

Yeah...I have a lot to do today, but I just don't feel inspired yet.  I've had a productive day, but I still have a long list.  It looks like the house rental should come through fine.  We're turning in all of the paperwork and submitting our deposit on Tuesday, then we'll move in June 15th.  Well, we won't move in, really, but we'll take the keys.  Our lease here is up at the end of June, and we want to have a little overlap time to be able to clean the new house, move in, then clean the apartment.  I want to paint a couple of rooms, and it's been O.K.'d by the owners...I don't want to paint the whole thing, especially since I'll be doing it all on my own.  Probably just the living/dining room and bedrooms.  Everything is white right now, and with the lovely brick fireplace in the living room, it feels a shame to leave it all stark white.  I'm thinking that a green of some sort would be nice, and compliment the red brick nicely.  Anyhoo, I plan on painting for a couple of days, then scouring the place from top to bottom before we move in.  It'll be so much easier with no stuff in it yet.  Travis already has plans to build my 4x4 square-foot gardening boxes, and a sandbox for the boys.  The garage has a huge workbench/tool area that he's just dying to take advantage of.  These pics don't really do the place justice, but they are the only shots that I have...the realtor sent them to me.

I really have to finish crocheting the baby blanket for Leslie.  I'm also going to make a few monogrammed burp cloths for her, using thismamamakesstuff's guidelines.  If you haven't checked out her blog in my sidebar, you should.  She's one crafty mama!  Leslie's main color is purple, so I'm dyeing them lavender/purple and have a really cute fat quarter in mind for the monogrammed "N" for her daughters name "Nicki" (I think that's how she's going to spell's a good thing it's just the first letter on the burp cloths!!!  :D).  The blanket is almost done, I only have about 6 inches left on it, then the border.  I'm just doing a single-crochet pattern, since the yarn is a boucle, then I'm going to borrow the border of the "Tiramisu Baby Blanket" pattern that I've used a few times, thank you Ravelry!

This morning I made the boys pancakes and a smoothie and turkey sausage, and Travis and I had eggs and turkey sausage, along with our coffee and a smoothie for me.  Trav doesn't like smoothies...weirdo.  I can't imagine why!  I've got the sheets in the dryer and a dark load in the washer, then I've got to wash the burp cloths a few times so they pick up the dye well.  I'd like to knock those out today, if at all possible.  I cleaned the kitchen and living room and our room, vacuumed, and spot-cleaned the bathrooms.  I still need to grocery shop and maybe pick up some paint chips from the store to get an idea of what I want in the house.  Trav has gotten hooked on my caesar salads, which have a custom-made dressing heavy in garlic and anchovies.  I didn't think he'd like the punch of the garlic and anchovy, but he really surprised me.  I like to chop up some boiled chicken and throw it in for a little protein, or shrimp if we have it.  

I haven't talked about birth much these last few posts.  I have to admit that I'm a bit preoccupied with the possibility of getting pregnant again soon.  Yes, baby fever.  I know I have weight to lose before we try again, but it won't be too long before fall arrives and we start thinking about trying again.  I think about it a lot.  In the meantime, I've enjoyed some of the blogs that I follow, reading birth stories and articles.  

Game 4 of the Red Wings vs. Blackhawks is going on right now.  I swear, one of the refs is getting paid to make calls in favor of the Blackhawks.  There have been some really bogus calls, especially in the last couple of games.  Well, go Wings...I know you can do it in spite of unfair referees!

I'm hoping that Trav will upload some pics onto the Mac for me, so I can add some pics that I've been wanting to add for quite some time.