Monday, December 15, 2014

Somewhere between 6 and 7 weeks

I am a little sad. I have finally come to the conclusion that I may have to bite the bullet and let my sweet girl have a pacifier. This was something I never did with Leif, and I had hours of comfort nursing with him every day, something I still miss. So when tiny Maggie came along, I assumed we would also have that. Little did I know nature decided against that altogether, for the time being.

I have overactive letdown. I make lots and lots of milk, in layman's terms. When Maggie goes to nurse, it comes crashing down, flooding out with force. While everyone tells me that its better than the alternative, I can't say I agree. I have to feed my baby in spurts. I can't relax. I have to watch her struggle to gulp down the milk, a panicked look on her face. I have to pull her off and let her catch her breath. I have to pinch off the flow, try nursing lying down, hold her upright so the milk goes down better. And no matter what I do, its always just too much. I have taken to block nursing, only using the left side during the day, and the right at night. It seems to be helpful, but it still doesn't make it comfortable for either of us. She gets hungry, and we buckle down for the flood.

To be fair, its not always terrible. If I get in a good reclining position, and its late in the afternoon, meaning the milk production is slower, then sometimes she will get comfortable and actually fall asleep a little. But usually she pops off wailing or gasping, and we snuggle while I work the air bubbles out of her tummy, and she sucks away at her favorite pacifier. It's the same one we got at the hospital, the green one they give all the babies. I got it when she went for her hearing test, and she was sobbing. It killed me to have to watch her like that, so I asked for one, and she latched right on.

I am sad because I miss the cuddle nursing I had with my son. I miss the time we had together where I was all he needed. It makes me feel lost to not be all she needs. She needs that pacifier. She needs to comfort suck, and I am unable to give the comfort. So I hold her and smell her sweet hair, and she soothes herself with her pacifier. I help her get through the overwhelming feeding sessions, and help her calm back down. She sleeps amazingly well, and she is a good baby. I adore every moment of her.

And I will learn to accept what I cannot change. My body wants to make lots of milk all at once. Great for dairy cows, not so great for me! So I'll hope for it to slow down soon. Maybe the block feeding will help. Maybe my body will get a clue that we only have one baby, not three, and it will slow production. Maybe, maybe, maybe. Maybe I'll learn to love the pacifier. We'll see. For now, I am in love with my baby. She is so beautiful.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

One Month, and 5 weeks, wrapped up together.

I have a daughter. GOD, she is cute. She smiles at me, and my mind freezes in pure bliss. I adore her. I have a slew of ridiculous nicknames for her. Today, its Fuzzy Pickle. She threw up last night, and aspirated a bit of milk, and I swear, my heart stopped for a while. I didn't breathe, I just did every single thing my brain knew how to do, and then I just stopped thinking. I stopped time. I just held her. Time goes no where when I feel her hurting. Time tortures me and saves me, all at the same time. I am able to watch every tear slide down her cheeks, see every dark hair on her soft head. I am able to count the thumps on her back and feel her cough to get the milk out of her lungs. Nothing moves. Listen for rattling in her lungs. Clear her airways. Roll her on her side and pat her back, using an upward motion. Get her skin to skin to help calm her. Keep wiping away the milk she coughs up. Keep her elevated. 

I get her to cough out the milk, and I hold her. I tuck her in next to me, and I lie awake, staring at her sweet face for hours, listening to her breathe. I don't move, I don't blink. I just watch and protect. My body goes cold and stiff on the outside, but I push all of my warmth to her side. We sleep, my arms circled around her tiny body. She calms, she finds rest. We dream together.

We wake this morning and stare at each other in the early morning light. Her eyes find mine, and we are quiet. I never want to leave these moments.

----------------------

Week 5 is here and gone, in a flash. I'm not sure what to do with myself, because time is getting speedier, and I feel like I am never on top of my list of things to do. Maggie is....herself. She has been sleeping amazingly well. Some nights I wake her up to eat, instead of her waking me up. She doesn't cry at night at all. She gets a little moody at night before bed, but we have found with a little baby massage and some TLC, she will go to sleep for us. She sleeps snuggled right between us on the bed, so we pass her back and forth on the nights when she struggles a little. We have found that broccoli doesn't work for her. Gas bubbles make her angry. Otherwise, she is one happy little girl.

I would write about Thanksgiving, but that would take forever. Highlights are: we butchered a duck, goose and a turkey. Adam killed the turkey, and then promptly stabbed himself in the finger. Ouch. We had 20+ people at our dinner, the food was amazing, the party was great, and nobody had any issues. So yeah! Woohoo! We are thankful.

Anyways, I have to run, my list spilleth over.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Week Three

Is it Week Three? What day is it? Friday? Wow. I had no idea.

I have puke in my hair. My teeth are insanely sensitive, a strange post-pregnancy side effect that I hate. I am very, very tired. Sleep is just not happening, even when I have time for sleep. Baby is growing amazingly well, milk production is leveling out, Leif and I are figuring out how to like each other again...but I am still catching up. The house is pretty clean, and I haven't had to rely on others for basic needs, but Adam has been picking up some of the slack, like dinner dishes. The laundry is sometimes sitting in a basket for a day or two, although it is getting folded immediately.

Some things need to be mentioned as enormous blessings: Leif chose to potty train, just because. We have had some accidents, but for the most part, cloth diapering got SO much easier! WOOHOO!

Baby is a great sleeper, and so far, she sleeps for hours, and eats a lot when she is awake. I adore her, she is such a little jewel.

Adam has been hugely supportive. I can tell he is watching me closely, looking for the baby blues. It's nice to know he is looking out for me. I feel guarded. I know I have had some days when I am super hormonal, but he can tell it's not more than that. But it's still nice to feel observed, especially when you need someone looking out for you.

While the weather has been super chilly, I haven't felt cabin fever yet. I have gotten out for little walks, but I have been focusing on being inside for now. I know that outside adventures will happen more closer to spring, so I'm content to be inside with tiny baby girly.

Anyways, this week is a harder one. It has it's ups and downs. But I am doing well, and I'm counting my blessings.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Week Two

Yesterday was my two week midwife checkup, as well as Maggie's two week pediatric visit. I had a 10:40 am appt for baby, and a 1:00 pm appt for myself. With a newborn. And a in-transition potty training three yr old. Which meant no naptime. By myself. With a total of 2 1/2 hrs of driving. So, yeah.... this happened:

-Left early so I would make it on time. SCORE.
-Made it on time, realized my car didn't like the teeny tiny parking lot, so I had a rough time getting kids out of the car because we were sandwiched.
-Got checked in at the pediatric office, asked Leif if he needed to go to the potty. He said no.
-Three minutes later, he poops and pees his pants, informing me right as they call us back for our appointment.
-I make him stand there while I get baby stripped down, weighed and measured. Then I wrap her in a blanket, herd him into the bathroom and silently curse the heavens.
-There is NO changing table. In a pediatric office. WHAT??
-Baby starts screaming. I'm crouched down with her on my lap, one-handedly changing an overall-wearing, angry crying boy. I just pitch his underwear, there is no saving them. I (thank GOD) remembered to put a rubber diaper cover over his underwear, so I saved the pants, socks and shoes from pure hell. I packed an extra pair of underwear, so I get that on him. I march him back to the check up room, get him dressed, and soothe baby. Realize I'm sweating bullets. Why is it 120 degrees in here??
-Doctor come in to tell me that baby needs another blood test, they tested her too early after birth, and the results came back weird. So she needs another heel prick. Ugh, my poor girl. We do that, and I resist the urge to punch the nurse who hurt my girl. She leaves, Doc tells me baby is wonderful and perfect, and is gaining weight perfectly. Her tongue tie has stretched naturally, and doesn't need to be messed with. Yay, I couldn't handle that anyways.
-We finally wrap up after nursing, burping, dressing, and assembling baby. This is such a workout.

Now I have to figure out what to do for an hour before my appointment. ???

-I end up going to a grocery store that has a Starbucks, and get Leif a teeny tiny hot chocolate and myself a tiny coffee. We both swig them, and now I'm 150 degrees. What's wrong with me??
-We get back in the car, because I realized just getting in and out of the car to get coffee takes 30 minutes. Jesus. Time suck.
-Head to my appointment on the other side of town. Curse traffic, realize that I live in a very tiny town with no traffic at all.
-Get to appointment early. Realize the office is closed because they are out to lunch. Ugh.
-Sit in the hallway outside, realizing Leif if now on a hot chocolate hyper rage. He morphs into a rabid hissing version of Spiderman, menacing every nurse and doctor that walks by...so like 30 people. He starts to attract a crowd, nurses calling to each other down the hall: "Hey, have you see the 3 yr old out there!? He's hilarious!" *face palm* That's my kid. The crazy one.
-They finally open the office, we duck in just in time, before people start throwing money at him for his insane act.
-Leif decides he needs to pee in every toilet in the building.
-We argue. I lose.
-He goes pee.
-We finally make it into the appointment. I have to leave midway to let him pee, again.
-I get told I look great, everything seems good, and I should probably take it easy, because working too hard can make recovery harder. NO KIDDING.
-I make it to my car, only to have the gas light come on. REALLY??
-Get gas.
-Make it within 10 minutes of home, baby loses her mind and needs food NOW.
-Pull over, feed baby, burp baby, get baby back in seat. Burned 40 minutes on the side of the road.
-Finally get home. Decide that today was enough, turn on a movie. Give up on anything else happening for the day.
-Put in some laundry, because I just can't forget that.
-Veg out.

Sheesh. What a day! Telling you all that it's getting easier is futile. It is, but it doesn't feel like it on days like today. Determined to stay home for the next week. Get kiddo properly potty trained. Feed baby. Rest. Normal things normal people do only two weeks after having a baby.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Week One

I made it through Week One. It was hard. It was perfect. It had lots of laundry in it. All in all, I think I did pretty good.

Maggie is 8 days old today, and I am still just as much in love with her as the moment I saw her. Leif is making me question my every parenting choice, but such is the nature of a 3 yr old. I love him tremendously, and can't get enough of his heavy, smelly little boy self. My two children are so different, and I love that. They make me love them like day and night. Both wonderful, both with their challenges.

There are a few things that make me smile today, because being a mother is this: changing clothes 3 times in one day because of poop, puke, and various food stuffs being smeared on you. Having to wash everything you own because while your children have clothes, you haven't bought yourself anything new in years, and are down to one pair of functional jeans and a bunch of skirts. (The not so functional jeans are only for chores, thank you very much. Chickens are dirty birds.) It's wearing a pj shirt and a weird pair of leggings from the back of your closet and some funky patterned skirt during dinner, making your husband wonder about your fashion choices, simply because you have nothing else to wear, as it's all in the dryer.

Being a mother is also this: link.

And this:

[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]
e.e. cummings
i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                      i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

And this:
Being a mama is wonderful. 
xoxo

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Welcome to the world, Maggie Wren

I had a baby! Well, we had a baby! And she is the tiniest most perfect little girl we have ever seen!


Pre-labor:

I had 3 nights of intermittent labor, with erratic contractions keeping me awake for hours on end. I was exhausted and irritated and desperately wanted to start the process, simply to get things past early labor. But every morning would roll around, and things would disappear. I was really frustrated.

Tuesday morning:

I had a midwife appointment, and asked to be checked. I was dilated to 3 cm, so I asked to have my membranes stripped so I could encourage labor. (I was SUPER hesitant to do this, since I don't like induction methods, but I got really desperate.) This happened at 10:30 am. I was already dealing with bloody show, and chose to stay close to the hospital in case anything happened. Hubby came and had lunch with me, and we went for a walk. Unfortunately, nothing happened! So I went home, and Adam went back to work. That night I had irregular contractions, but nothing was even or solid.

Tuesday night:

By Leif's bedtime, I was anxious. I still hadn't had very regular contractions, although they were getting stronger and more intense. We put Leif to bed, and I decided to try nipple stimulation to boost things. Well, that did it, for sure. I went from having intermittent ones to having them 4 min....3 min....2 1/2 min apart. Then then were coming at 2 min, 15 sec apart, consistently. By then, it was 9-ish. I got Adam roused, put the last few things in a bag, and let my sister (who was over to watch Leif) know we were leaving. We jumped in the car and took off.

The drive to the hospital takes about 55 minutes through very dark roads through the mountains. I think the cold and the nervousness made my contractions slow for about 15 minutes, but then they were back with the same 2 1/2 min consistency. We both were lighthearted during the drive, though, laughing and joking around, which was nice. I wanted to get to the hospital before they got too difficult to manage. I was still doing nipple stimulation to keep things going, which really seemed to be working well.

We got to the hospital, and got a nice nurse to install us in a room. I was checked and was still at 3 cm. I agreed to intermittent monitoring, so I got a gown on and wore the band with the monitors for 20 min. Everything looked great, including my contractions, which were still at 2 min. The nurse went to call the midwife to tell her, and came back to say that she would come recheck in an hour and a half to see how I was progressing. That next hour went slowly, but steadily. When I was rechecked, my contractions had almost doubled in strength, and I was dilated to 5 cm. The nurse went to call the midwife, and we were told that she was on her way in. At this point, I was really starting to hurt. Since sitting down did nothing good for me, I was standing the whole time. I was holding onto Adam for dear life, rocking back and forth. I was really cold, so I was wrapped in a blanket, pacing back and forth. I tried being on all fours on the bed for a while, when sciatic pain got the best of me. (This was a reoccurring theme in this labor, sciatica that radiated down to my ankles in both legs.) The nurse asked me if I wanted to get in the tub to relieve some pain, and I jumped on that idea immediately. I was getting worn out standing. When my legs hit that hot water, it was instant relief. I still had powerful contractions, still coming every 2-5 min, but they were easier to manage.

Wednesday Morning:

The midwife arrived, and I got out of the tub to have her check my progress. By then, we were at 7 cm. I went through a period after being checked that I was sobbing. Part of my hated that I was crying so hard, another part of me knew I needed to let it out. I was still standing a lot, but using the bed for support during a contraction. I finally decided after an hour or so that I needed relief again, and asked for the tub to be refilled. I stripped down and got in and realized that I had come to the point where there was no real relief anymore, that I was in transition. My poor husband was hitting his exhaustion wall, too, and just collapsed in a chair next to the tub. He has an ear drum that rings from elevation damage, and the noise I was generating (screaming and hollering, as I am NOT a quiet person in labor) was really hurting his ear, so he was plugging one ear for every contraction.

The midwife kept peeking in on us every once in a while. I was semi-reclined in the tub, and I came to the realization that I was stalling my progress, trying to find comfort. I knew in my heart that if I ever wanted this to end, I had to change positions, and let gravity do its job. I will admit to being in a world of pain, and I was screaming that my body was tearing in half, due to the rapidly increasing pressure I was feeling in each pelvic joint. I knew baby was moving down and pushing my pelvis apart. I knew it wasn't going to get EASIER: it was going to get worse, but maybe I could get it over FASTER. So I got on my knees and propped myself up on the tub edge with my hands. Within two contractions, I felt a mild urge to push. Within two more, I suddenly really, really wanted to push. All of a sudden, the nurses descended on me, telling me that I couldn't labor in the tub it was too small, that I had to get up. I WAS PISSED. Are you kidding me?? So I was dragged up by my arms by two nurses and my husband, protesting loudly. I was wrapped in a huge warmed blanket, and moved to the bed, which had been altered into a throne-like chair. I felt a little awkward sitting there, and was using my arms to hold myself up, while sitting on the edge. I got through several contractions like this when suddenly, my arms were jello. I fell backwards, and latched onto the bed arms above my head.

At this point, I was actively pushing. According to Adam, it was about 20-25 minutes, start to finish. It felt like hours. I am very, very loud. I'm sure the whole hospital heard me. (I really don't care, though.) Adam and my midwife really helped me find that push point. Its not when the contraction starts. That was the painful part. Then there is the beginning part of the push, the ineffective part, when they tell you to put your scream into the push. That's when I go silence, turn purple, and find a place deep within me that contains an insanely deep push, as well as a deep, guttural roar. I remember thinking about how I was pouring sweat. I could feel rivers running down my back, my neck, my arms, my face. I had pushed off the blanket, so I was naked as a jaybird, with two nurses, a midwife and a nursery nurse in the room with me, as well as my husband. Meh.

Adam kept getting me eye to eye, and telling me to dig deep, find that push. His eyes were so intense. I was beyond the ability to speak now, so I just nodded. (Although, at some point, I did scream, "Get this baby out of me!" according to my sisters outside in the hallway.) All of a sudden, baby was crowning and through. God, the burn!! And then her one shoulder was out, and I felt my pelvis crackle and stretch, and then with one mighty push, she was here.

Margaret "Maggie" Wren Rowan, born at 5:05 am on Oct 29 (also her great-great grandmother's birthday) weighing 6lb, 13 oz and 18 1/4'' long, with dark brown hair and deep blue eyes. She was immediately placed on my chest, and when the cord stopped pulsing, her very excited and weeping dada cut her cord. She was briefly weighed, and then came right back to my chest, and latched on to nurse within 10 min of being born. She stayed with me, never leaving. I pushed again to have out the placenta, which was a huge relief. I did have 3 stitches to help a 1st degree tear, but it was very easy to mend. Adam held her while they patched me up, sobbing the entire time. He kept saying, "Hello, Maggie! I get to be your dad! You're my girl! I love you!" all the while looking down at me, telling me what a great job I did, how beautiful she is, how happy he was...he's very emotional at the birth of his babies. I love that.

I was cleaned up a bit, and reclined in the bed. I was suddenly myself again. I went from being mute to being completely aware of everything, talking and alert and excited. It felt so good! I was on a mama high. Maggie was in my arms, nursing, and my husband was glowing and in love with everything next to me. I desperately wanted to shower, so within an hour, I was up. I didn't realize I had been soaking a pad underneath me, so it was a little shocking to see all the blood when I stood up. I went to the bathroom and immediately jumped in the hot water, which felt so incredible! The nurse came in while I was showering, exclaiming that she couldn't believe I was up, worried that I was going to pass out with all the blood everywhere. It didn't phase me at all. Yes, I was a little shaky. But I needed to be clean. I asked them to get the bed remade with clean pads, and then went back to scrubbing. I was glowing when I hopped back into a clean bed, with lots of pads under me. Baby back in my arms, I went right back to nursing.

My two sisters and brother in law came to visit, and they held the baby while I drank my body weight in water. I did take some Tylenol for the stitch pain. I talked to the midwife about going home as soon as possible, and she said that she had no problem with it, but that I had to have the pediatrician sign off before I could be discharged. I opted to walk my tiny peanut to the nursery myself, and watch as they did her PKU testing and her hearing evaluation. The pediatrician was there, and did her evaluation, and agreed that since she was a very healthy baby, and I was happy, healthy and raring to go, that he was fine with it. Maggie had her testing done, and then we filled out her birth certificate. The we headed back to our room, where a sleeping dada was catching up on his beauty sleep. I wolfed down a bit of breakfast, and then nursed baby for a while. Then I checked with the nurses. They said that since my midwife had forgotten to sign the discharge paperwork, I would have to wait for the next midwife to come up to be discharged. AHHH! So it was another hour wait. Hubby woke up, and we packed up all of our stuff, got the car seat ready, and waited. We were so tired. We just wanted to go home and climb into bed.

Going Home:

By 10:30, we were finally discharged. We climbed into our car, and headed home. It was an hour drive, so we chatted about our whole experience on the way. It was good for us to hash out the details, and it was kinda fun to hear about my husband's perspective. He got to see the little details that I didn't, so it was nice to hear about how Maggie's tiny shoulder came out with her head, and then with a huge gush, the rest of her came out. I think we both needed the time to talk together on the way home. I will admit I felt every single bump in the road through my sore bits, but we made it without any issue.

At home, my entire family was waiting in the yard, including my aunt, who was visiting from Florida, and was due to leave for her flight within an hour of us getting home. My dad was also only an hour from leaving for work (he works 8 day shifts away from home). Talk about timing! My 4 siblings were there, as well as our sweet boy. Leif was so excited to see us! We all went inside and everyone loved on the baby for a while, then left so we could get some rest.

My thoughts on the birth of my daughter:

I spent my entire pregnancy in fear. I will admit to crippling myself in a way that caused my mind and heart to hurt, as well as make my body feel more pain than it should have. Yes, I had lots of pelvic pain. Yes, I was very tired from a lack of sleep. But I didn't do myself any favors by letting my fears reign. I do know that in that last week, I suddenly lost that fear. I cant explain what did it, but I knew that my time had come, and I was going to experience birth, no matter what. I put aside the horrifying fear of losing my baby. I let go of the fear of not being able to perform well, without drugs. I just did it. When it came down to the minutes before deciding to go to the hospital, I realized that it was time, and I chose to do it. I probably could have postponed and waited, but I chose to have my baby. Sure, everyone tells you that babies choose when to come into the world. Well, in this case, I chose when to bring my baby into this world: exactly when my heart was ready.

I don't regret a single thing about this birth. I could compare both of my children's births, and say how one was better than the other, but they were unique. My son tore into the world with his unique features, and my daughter quietly slid into the world with hers. They both bring such beauty and wonder to my life that despite challenges and changes that come with their arrival, they make the world glow for me. That is so very, very wonderful.

My beautiful daughter is perfect in my eyes. She has super fine dark brown hair. Her eyes are a cloudy grey-blue. She has the tiniest, most sculpted and flattest little ears I have ever seen. They hug her skull, and have soft little down on them. She has dainty fluff on her shoulders. She has minuscule eyelashes, carrying promises to get full and lush. She is a small, wonderful universe, all in the body of a baby. I am the one lucky enough to be given the job to watch that universe grow. I get to see the stars dance in her eyes. I am blessed beyond my wildest dreams.

One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star.”  -Nietzsche

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

She believed she could, so she did.

Tomorrow will be 39 weeks of being pregnant. I have been dealing with a roller coaster of emotions in the past few months, ranging from crazy extreme to "seriously, calm your tits, this is ridiculous", which in my book is a weird and broad range.

And then last week, they just stopped. Which should have caused a whole new kind of anxiety, but didn't. So here we are. Zen Kate is doing just fine, and has been pretty mellow. Sure, I still have the basic stresses that come with life, but I feel cradled in some kind of peace that I didn't have before. Who knew?

So now we wait. Leif came just a few days before his due date, and so I sorta expect that I will be having beginning labor pains any minute. I blew off my midwife appointment today because I just simply didn't feel like going. Who wants to drive 2 hrs for 15 minutes of blood pressure readings and peeing in a cup?? Not this mama. Meh. Not too worried. The midwife was trying to warn me about possible blood pressure spikes, and I told her that I simply don't get high blood pressure, that I might be the opposite altogether and have low blood pressure. I could hear her look through my chart for a second, and then agree with me. We mutually agreed that at the first sign of anything, I would call.

So today, during Leif's nap time, I will be decorating my room. I am making myself birth affirmations, which is fun. I'm also relaxing. I can feel some things building up in me, and I know that pushing them, right now, would probably get me further along, but would wear me out, so I'm using this time to rest. I can feel some flu-like symptoms in the background. I have been feeling period cramps a bit. I have a low grade headache, and a mild back ache. I am starting to leak a bit of colostrum, and my boobs hurt. Luckily, I seem to be skipping the swollen hands and feet, and I don't have raging diarrhea like some people, yay! Birth is so weird.

I DO have the urge to lean into the pain, which is new. Last time, I tried my best to avoid it, but not this time. There is something satisfying to bear down on the cramping, letting it flow over me. I sorta love it. I cant say I have had any really strong pains, but the cramps and intermittent contractions I have had have left me feeling good, which has me feeling very optimistic. A little bit of my body/mind saying, "Bring it on. I embrace it!!!"

I believed I could, so I did.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Saying Goodbye to Scarlett

Today my husband and I did something together that taught us a lot about being a couple and standing together. We had to put down one of our flock, a sweet chicken named Scarlett. She had developed a condition that put her in lots of pain, and there was no remedy for her. She was unable to eat properly, and was lethargic. We decided that for her own peace, that it was best to end her suffering. It would have been a long, painful death of starvation to let her die without assistance. We did all we could for her medically, but had run out of care options. We chose today, a sunny fall day, because it was peaceful and quiet and without fear for her.

We chose to separate her vertebrae, which was recommended to us as the most pain-free and rapid way to humanely kill a chicken. We both held her gently, and talked to her and thanked her for her kindness. She never panicked or was scared. We very quickly performed the kill, and held her while she twitched for a few moments, and then was still. Adam did the actual neck breaking, being strong and swift, making it an instantaneous death. You could see the life there before, and then it was gone.

We both felt deep sadness, but also enormous relief. Our poor girl had suffered enough, and it was peaceful to see her leave that body that held her tied to this world. She was a very kind chicken, and we loved her. We had spent much time making sure we chose the best method to help her out of this body. We both discussed the different methods, made sure we were together on all steps, and prepared well. We made sure we were in complete agreement on all parts, and that we understood each other perfectly. We wanted to avoid botching anything, we wanted seamless and perfect harmony. We created it, and we felt that our decision was right on all sides.

We both sat together afterwards, and watched the leaves drifting off our cottonwood trees in the front yard. We talked about the fragility of life, and the finality of death. We talked about that life essence that is there, and then it's not. How you feel the tear between the body and the soul for such a brief moment, and the universe fills it in, abhorring a vacuum. The body remains, and will become other things, but the soul...who knows? Scarlett had a life essence. She had a personality. She had funny moments, and hard moments, and they made up who she was. That something is no longer here, but I, for one, cannot believe it was for nothing. I will never be able to say where it goes, but for me, I know that no matter how brief, each essence means something. I have a feeling I won't know where it goes till I go there myself, but I am content in the feeling that my essence is not nothing. We are all something.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Today was an asshole.

Today has been rough. Wait, hang on, today isn't even over yet! FUCK. Well, tough patooties. I'm writing about it now, because I highly doubt that I will be capable of compiling my thoughts later.

Leif is dealing with something. And by something, I mean he's not really sick, but he's not 100% either. He has always been a really healthy kid, so when he gets a curve ball, like diarrhea, he gets more emotional than anything. He becomes a little bit of a hypochondriac, and loves remedies. But he also stalls out on EVERYTHING. He puts the kibosh on naps, refuses normal food, whines constantly and basically makes my life a living hell from the moment he wakes up.

Today is one of those days. He threw a breakfast fit. He threw a potty fit. He hated the clothes I picked out. He didn't like that I wanted a shower. He tormented me with 2,347 "why?" all while I tried to clean the house. He stuck to me like a tick. He cried. I cried. We couldn't find his Oatmeal Bear, and I actually got so worked up that I hugged that damn bear half to death when he was finally located.

He has been trying to be a "big boy" and poop on the potty, which has turned into a blessing and a curse. It's awesome that he is telling me he feels poop and wants to sit on the potty....the problem is when you have the runs, you feel like that every 3 1/2 minutes all damn day. And he refuses to poop alone, because he needs someone to talk to, so I spent all morning racing up the stairs (making my pelvic condition scream for mercy) to get a boy to the potty in time...and make sure he was updated on current events. Because he asks me, "What's in the news, mama?" Somebody needs to record these moments. Today I blathered on Ebola, 4 yr olds bringing drugs to school, gay marriage bans, holiday economic forecasts, basketball drafts, the blood moon and the Nobel Prize. It was an odd mix, I can tell ya.

When nap time came, I thought, "Thank Zeus, I will finally be able to eat lunch, take a break, maybe get some painkillers in my gullet, etc." I was so wrong. Apparently, you cannot go to bed when you are sick(ish) because you will need to poop 5 times, complain about the wind, complain about your clothes, complain about the ceiling fan, dispute mama's claims that you must have lost your mind, tell mama that sleep is impossible, need water, a snack, different socks.....the list goes on. This charade went on for an hour and a half, until my (wonderful/amazing/incredible) husband came home on his lunch break to snuggle, read a book to and rock insane sickypoo to sleep while mama sobbed in a corner.

It's good that I have a very loving and intuitive husband. He knew exactly what needed to happen, which included him doing a bit of laundry, giving me a great big hug, telling me to go watch a movie, and bringing home dinner. Leif had a little nap, but it was enough to revive me, kinda. He did try to claw me to death when he woke up because he wanted cereal and I refused, (BRAT diet only for crazy poopers, in my opinion!) so I spoon fed him applesauce while I distracted him with Wild Kratts. Thank God for somewhat informative nature shows for kids. I almost never let him watch TV, but when I pull it out, you know I'm desperate.

So, here we are. Leif's had some toast and has been happily watching things about wild turkeys and spiders while I type this, I've drank copious amounts of chamomile tea, and my husband is coming home with dinner. Has today been truly awful? Yes. Have I survived? Absolutely. Should my kiddo beware pushing my buttons tomorrow? OH GOD YES. But in the end, I feel better. I know that I can make it through a day where I think I accomplished less than nothing, but still have silver linings. Hubby loves me half to death. Leif is trying to potty train on his own terms. I can let some stuff go, and do nothing but watch The Borgias on Netflix. The world will keep turning. Whew.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Things and whatnot

Things I'm thinking about to distract myself from the grinding pain currently throbbing in my lady parts:



  • Insanely weird highback chairs. I mean, the kind of chair that only slightly off-their-rockers kind of people sit and read Poe in, the kind of chair you take very seriously because it's not meant for comfort...it's meant for pondering things. Deep things. I need that kind of chair. Preferably in a deep purple velvet, almost black. Well, actually, Hubby and I need a cool pair of them, so we can sit and ponder things together. Couches just don't have the same effect, ya know?


  • Fabric for my the comforter cover for baby's tiny comforter. I am trying so hard to come up with a selection before she actually arrives, and I seem to be stalling because I simply can't make up my mind. I want something soft, but not too hot. Something timeless, since I hate patterns that age out quickly. I want to choose a soft linen, since I love the way linen feels, but I can't make up my mind about where to get it, so I'm stalling. Ugh. I'm the worst. 

  • Disney is ridiculous. Seriously, people? Really? Also, more funny things here.

OK, that's all, people. The crotch pain is taking over. Time for some husband massage, painkillers, and sleep.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Still Explosion

Today is one of those days where I throw up my hands and surrender to the fact that things are just not going to be comfortable. Pelvic "instability", my ass. (My physical therapist is an idiot.) I'm calling this, "My bones are floating apart in a strained and crunching fashion." Oh, and I love people telling me that I'm just being a wussy, that pregnancy isn't always comfortable, but that I could totally have more kids without any issues. Well, sure, if I can be suspended in warm water for 9 months, in a coma, fed through a tube. That sounds nice. I can do that. Anything else....NO. I'm done. I hurt. There is NO SOLUTION for my pain. I'm gonna pass on doing this again. I like walking, thank you very much.

I did too much this weekend. (Seems to be the story lately.) And doing too much means by normal standards, I did less than nothing. Really. So, not only am I stir-crazy, bored and in pain, but I also did nothing all weekend, and still get to pay the price for it.

I used to care for a horse that some rich girl left behind when she went to college. He was a big, beautiful and passionate animal, and was confined to a 10x10 stall all day, every day, because he was too aggressive to be turned out with other horses. So I took to exercising him before work every day, turning him loose in a huge arena to scream and run and kick and smash whatever he wanted. It was magical to see his energy explode every day. I feel like that horse, only I have no way of exploding, except through writing. I have found that talking about it is just too "aggressive" for others right now. Talking about it feels worse. So I don't. I wait.

I think that my pelvic problems are based on a lot of things, but one thing stands out the most. A horse fell on me when I was 14. I was dragged, kicked and smashed by a 1000 lb animal, and I never went to the hospital. I never used ice on my bruises. I never made a peep. I was scared my parents would sell my horse, my most precious acquisition, and so I never told anyone about it until years later, well after any damage that I had endured could be healed properly. I can still remember lying in the rain, feeling the raindrops hit my eyes as I stared up, wondering when I would start breathing again. I know that I have a fracture in my leg. I know that I twisted my right hip badly. But what happened to my pelvis? What happened to the connective tissue that hold what should be the strongest connections in your entire body together? Who knows? I suppose I could eventually get my pelvis bolted together someday. Why does that sound worse than letting it be?

I'm feeling sorry for myself. Gonna let it go for now. It's a moment in a series of moments that make up my lifeline. Move forward. I am as strong as I choose to be.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Getting ready for birth and stuff.

I have been feeling the urge to get ready for birth lately. Not the average stuff, like buying baby clothes or cleaning the house, but more the weird stuff that only I need accomplished. Like having my husband build me a new fence for my chickens. Like trimming all of the trees before winter. Like staining the gate. Stuff only I think about because I know that doing these things when baby is a newborn gets exponentially more difficult, and I would just like them done. NOW.

So the house is being overhauled. I'm *supposed* to be taking it easy, as I have developed a minor hernia from being a supermom and doing "too much" and I'm supposed to sit down and crochet something, but that's too boring. So I've been out with Hubby, chopping down trees that got overgrown and digging fence post holes. I'm insane, I know.

I have been doing other thing as well, in my defense. I have a rough draft of my birth plan drawn up, but not yet typed. I have been scouring the area for cloth diapers, and scored 40 free diapers the other day, out of the blue. WOOT. I have been making blankets, wipes, a cars eat cover, and more with my nifty sewing machine and serger. I have been cleaning out old and broken toys from Leif's room so it wont be so cluttered. I have been organizing things, getting rid of junk and generally streamlining my house.

I've also been looking at postpartum health supplements, and stocking up on things I needed last time. Like pads. The kind that aren't all junky with chemicals and whatnot. Extra towels, because I swear, co-sleeper babies love to pee the bed at 2 am. Red raspberry leaf tea. Primrose and hemp oil. Arnica for pain relief. Witch hazel for the lady parts. And so on and so forth. The list is weird. It's my list, not anyone elses, because it works for my needs. I'm not ever going to spell it all out, because too many people have told me that I needed so many other things that I simply don't need or want in my life. (And some people have really shit ideas floating around their heads that they really feel the urge to talk about. NO, you should NOT use tampons after pushing out a baby. WTF, crazy person??) So I stick to what works for me.

I am feeling the urge to be highly private here soon, though. I admit that I want to birth this baby alone in the privacy of my closet, to be perfectly honest. (And this is NOT a roomy closet, people!) I don't know why, but I want to be left alone with my thoughts for this one. I want people to fuck off. I don't want hands, eyes, people. We'll see. I might change my mind, but for now, that's where I am.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

I am le tired.

I am so tired. My sleep is punctuated with a constant need to pee, thanks to my night drinking problem, my tiny bladder, my wee daughter thumping around all night, pelvic pain, muscle cramps, pregnancy dreams, etc.

Last night was especially difficult though, because of:
-a full moon
-a torrential rainstorm
-a puking 3 yr old
-a hubby who has taken up recreational sleep tossing.

I will admit to hating full moon nights. Beautiful, sure. For about 15 minutes. And then its like, "Turn off the big fucking light in the sky! I want to sleep!". I also hate rainstorms. I always spend all night wondering who is drowning outside, the rabbits, or the cats, or a hobo, maybe? Somebody is going to succumb to the water falling from the sky, and that bothers me. Then you add a kiddo who doesn't have a fever, doesn't have any other symptoms besides being a butt head, and then give him a puking problem. Ugh. At least he has the decency to warn me right before he hurls. So we spent all night cleaning up spatter, which gave us both a sleeping problem. When morning rolled around, we both just groaned at each other, drank strong coffee and smooshed our faces together before saying goodbye.

Today has been about laying low. I have no energy. I'm actually looking forward to nursing a baby all night, because that sounds easier than last night. Blurgh.

Also, I feel like this:
Too bad my kiddo doesn't have adorable rolls like this, though. He's just covered in bony elbows and knees.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Gearing up for mass murder

I don't like unannounced visitors. I always loved the Victorian-era habit of sending calling cards ahead of visiting someone. That way they knew when and why and who was coming, and could send back a lovely little card that said, "Sorry, I'll be away that day, call again another day!" while really just staying home eating bon-bons and playing with their pugs. (I have a vivid imagination, on top of being anti-social.)

So when random people come onto my porch and ring my doorbell, creating a cascading chaos effect due to protective dogs, I get a little pissed off. OK, more than pissed off. I get enraged. BUT only because assholes always choose nap time to come over. Every single damn time.

I live next door to my brother, and we share a large driveway. He owns a construction business, and has a tiny home parked in said driveway, which is currently under construction. It's hard to miss this thing, and it's very cute, and people love it, and people wanna know more. So they come to my house. And they knock/ring the doorbell, and then I get super grumpy..... But seriously, I'm not trying to be a pain. It's not my tiny home. It's not my company. I have no idea what the plans are like, what it costs, why he chose that paint color, who is buying it, etc. THIS IS A PRIVATE RESIDENCE! Please take his number and go away! But no. People don't like that. They want immediate results. And so I am going to have to resort to murdering people when I have this baby, because I will be sleepless, leaking, grumpy, un-showered and so hangry. I just know it.

My solution is to post a sign on my walkway that says, "Unannounced visitors who touch my porch, wake my babies/dogs/me and make me come to the door have very slim chances for survival." (Well, actually, it originally was going to say, "Come near my house and I CUT YOU." but Hubby said that sounded really bad, and then we would never have anyone over anymore, and that wasn't nice.) So now I need to make that sign, because I really can't keep trying to smile at people who aren't catching on to the steam pouring from my nostrils. Someone's gonna get killed, and I just don't have time to deal with a body.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

6 Ways to Prevent Preterm Labor (By someone who is failing at all of these, badly.)

1. Don't have sex.

Well, shit. I'm doing badly already. Apparently, sex isn't good for people trying to keep baby inside because semen has all sorts of glowy chemical properties that "ripen" your cervix, which is great for those 41w+3d people, but for us 32w+4d people, not so good. So I need to stop being a preggo hottie and go all nunnish on my poor Hubby. Ugh.

2. Stop lifting things.

Crapola. I have a 3 yr old. A dog that wont jump in the back of the XTerra. Feed bags that aren't going to pour themselves in the bins. Water buckets that need hauling. I am alive, so yes, I am going to lift things. I love it when doctors/midwives are like, "Don't lift anything over 25 lbs!" I can't think of anything under 25 lbs around here. Maybe a burrito? One chicken? A pillow?

3. Rest 30 minutes between activities. 

Do you know how long of a day I'm gonna need if I follow this rule?? I'm gonna need a 72 hr day. Seriously! That's impossible. I'm not even going to bother with this one. Sheesh.

4. Empty your bladder often.

Well, I get contractions from going upstairs to go to the bathroom, so by that last rule, I would have to ooze upstairs, pee, lie down on the bathroom floor for 30 minutes to recuperate, ooze back downstairs, and resume whatever I was doing......well, crap, now I have to pee again. Great. Start all over.

5. Drink LOTS of water. 

WHAT??? OK, FINE. I'LL JUST SPEND THE NEXT 8 WEEKS STUCK ON THE TOILET.

6. Others- Dont: smoke, eat too much, eat too little, gain too much weight, gain too little weight, do drugs (especially cocaine??), get infections, have too many babies in your oven, have a crooked vagina, have a short cervix, have surgery, ride horses/4 wheelers/roller coasters, have placenta previa, be younger than 17 or older than 35, be unaware of being pregnant at all, be of a low socioeconomic status, develop anemia, laugh too hard, be constipated or have stress, among others.

Right. I'll get right on ALL that. Thanks for nothin, interwebz.

So, to sum all this weirdness up: I am going to sit here, laugh at suggestions given to me by both the medical professional and non-medical professional worlds, and try my darndest to keep baby growing where she is. Some days I might be winning. Some days, not so much. Like yesterday: had too much fun, paid the price with 4 hrs of erratic contractions. Required several hours of 30 Rock and SO MUCH water to calm me back down. But today, I plan on doing noting but eating peanut butter and blogging. So I'm winning today, people. I'm winning today.