Lincoln’s Birth Story

The birth of my fifth baby is quite different from any of the rest.

When I am pregnant, I go over what the possibilities are for this birth. I had Pitocin-induced, epidural births and totally natural water births. I had every intention of another beautiful water birth with L.

It was a Saturday (Jan. 28). A family member asked for my 3 boys to stay the night. That never happens. They did. My daughter was at a friends. There were some issues so I made her come home. She was so very mad at me. I felt horrible, but it had to happen.

It was just the three of us that night – Me, B and my husband, N. That is a once-in-a-lifetime thing!

I fell asleep in the living room with B. I couldn’t get comfortable so I went to the back room to sleep.

The night I went into labor with M, one of our dogs followed me back and fourth (outside the house) barking. It was so weird.

On this night, our dog, Rocky, barked so loud. Usually, he stays on the porch barking or runs into the woods chasing something. This night, he stood outside the window of the room I was in barking.

I remember thinking “Ok, you did this shit with Maddan. It’s no where near time to have a baby so go to sleep, stupid dog!”

Little did I know, it was time.

At 3:15 a.m., I woke up to a puddle in the bed. Shit, I pissed myself again.

I get up and go to the bathroom. It doesn’t stop.

No way is this happening. Not now. It’s too early. I am 33 weeks.

I put on clean undies and pjs and go to bed. I guess in my messed up head, I was just going to ignore it and pretend it didn’t happen, in hopes that it would be a dream.

As I sat in the bed to lay down, a gush came out of me and I realized we needed to go to hospital asap.

I go into wake up N. He half-awake walks to the bathroom. I’m getting dressed.

“Go back to bed. You just pissed yourself. It’s too early for a baby.”

He looks at me. I am in tears and in panic.  “Shit.”

I wake up B and she gets a bag together and we head to Ste. Gen.

My husband is filled with questions of ‘what-if’s’. I don’t know what if. I know that it is too early for a baby to be born. I know that there is a short time frame from time my water breaks to when baby has to be born. I know that I am not in labor.

The ride to Ste. Gen is the longest one I have ever been  on. The not knowing what was going to happen was killing me. N was still in denial. B was excited and scared. I tried to explain to her that she couldn’t be in the room like we had planned. She didn’t understand.

Once at the hospital, they hook me up to monitors and I hear L’s heart beat. It was the first time I took a breath. They verify that my water had, indeed broke. N walks out of the room in tears. Hello, dumbass. It’s not my first rodeo. I told you. B runs out after him.

My doctor is called in. He calls to a hospital in STL to find a room. I will be transferred by ambulance immediately.

I texted my two best friends to tell them. I tell no one to come to the hospital because I am clueless what is going to happen.

I had never rode in an ambulance before. It took way less time than I think it did. I was in a fog. I kept watching out the back window.

When I am being taken, by stretcher, off of the ambulance, there are lockers. One of them says the word “Lincoln”. I smile.

I am admitted to St. John’s at 10 a.m. A doctor comes to tell me their plan.

I am 2 days from being 34 weeks. They want to keep baby in at all costs until that point. They want to give me 2 steroid shots (24 hours apart) to develop his lungs. Then 24 hours after that, they will induce labor. In 72 hours I will have a baby. How is this ok? How is this going to happen?

In meantime, they’ll give me fluids and antibiotics every 6 hours to keep infection away from water being broke. Ok, let’s do this.

Looking back, I didn’t realize how serious having a 34 week baby was. My kids are 8-10 pounds. They come home from hospital 24 hours after delivery and are healthy.

I expected L to be the same. I expected him to defy the odds and be born and come home within a week at the latest. I guess that’s why I didn’t stress about it during labor. It was my mind’s way of getting through. Lying to myself to get what I needed to get through.

N wasn’t able to stay with me during this time. He had 4 other children to take care of. He went home that night and came back Tuesday evening. My bff, J came Tuesday night and stayed too. Another friend, S, came early Wednesday morning – and so did my in-laws and my daughter, B!

The Iv was horrible. I’m a sissy. I cried. They did it at Ste. Gen, then again at St. Johns. They couldn’t get it so it took quite a few times. I cried. They gave me a stronger antibiotic every 24 hours, in addition to the regular one every 6 hours. I had some sort of reaction to the 24 hour one that caused my hand to feel like it had actual fire running through it. I cried and bitched the entire hour it was in both times. I’m sure the nurses were terrified of me giving birth if I am crying about an IV. Sorry – not sorry.

I was only dilated 1 at this point. (It’s my fifth kid, 1 would have been normal anyway) There were no signs of labor besides water breaking. I knew he wasn’t ready.

I knew from my 2 past Pitocin births, my body does not respond well to it. I voiced my concerns. They let me know they’d let me be on Pitocin for a full 48 hours before they considered alternatives. I wanted to die. I’d been up 72 hours straight at that point.

They started it at 6 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 31. I began to feel contractions at 3 p.m. Tuesday. Like the pain of these were as intense as they were when I was in natural labor an hour before birth. I knew that there was ZERO progress going on elsewhere, and the contractions were 100% fake, due to the Pitocin. At this point, I prepare N, J and S that an epidural is probably in my future.

Now, if you know me, you know I hate these things. I believe they can be used for good, but can be horrible. I’ve had them with 2 past births with bad experiences. My husband says no. J says no. S says she’ll fight for whatever I want her to do. I tell her to prepare to go to war!

At 5 p.m. that evening, they came and checked me with no progress after almost 12 hours of Pitocin. They wanted to insert a foley ball? inside me. I’d never heard of it. It is literally a balloon that is tied to a little rope that is inserted into your cervix. They pull the rope every once in awhile and it airs up balloon to dilate your cervix. MIND BLOWN.

It didn’t hurt near as bad as I was preparing myself for. It dilated me to a 3 cm by about 8 p.m. and came out on it’s own. There was a lot of blood associated with this.

At 4 a.m., I was only a 4, but his head had dropped. I realized this was progress so I wanted to get out of the bed. Until this point, I knew that after 72 hours of not sleeping, I didn’t need to get out of bed until progress started. I got on the birthing ball for a few hours and talked to my bff, while my husband snored. Lazy ass.

It wasn’t until 6 a.m. that I began to feel a little bit of pressure.

The next part is TMI. But let’s face it, I am me. There is no such thing as TMI. I hadn’t had a bowel movement for a few days. While, I’m not embarrassed to poop in labor (MOST women do), I knew it was going to be bad. I kept feeling like I had to go to the bathroom. In my head, I kept thinking, do I need to go or is that the feeling of the baby coming? I was scared to sit on toilet. However, a huge position to get labor going is literally sitting on the toilet. I went poop like 5-6 times from 6 a.m. to 12 p.m. Whatever, I have no doubt that is what got my labor going.

At 8 a.m., I was checked and was a 4.5 cm. The hospital was simply amazing. I was so nervous because I planned everything around a water birth at Ste. Gen. I knew thie policies. I knew their nurses and their doctors. The nurses let me do whatever I needed and wanted to do. They only checked me when I asked. And at one point said they wouldn’t check me again until I felt pressure because they didn’t want to risk infection. Fine by me!

At this point, I knew I’d have him within a few hours so I got in the bed and tried to rest. My contractions were in-fucking-sane at this point. The Pitocin was upped and my body was being forced to have them every 2-3 minutes for hours at this point.

At 10 a.m., I was 6 cm and 90% effaced. I realized that 90% was big for me. I needed to get labor going. I couldn’t wait for it to go on it’s own any more.

I got in the shower. Gravity rules. It was amazing. But since we had issues picking up heartbeat on monitor from shower, I had to get out.

I stood by bed with N and swayed back and forth. I think he was scared I was going to fall asleep on him and told me to get in bed. This was about 10:45 a.m. The doctor came in and checked me. I was 6.5 cm. I wanted an epidural. Then. Now. My husband kept talking me out of it. He went outside and everything in me wanted to tell the nurse to give me one asap. I remember looking at the call light and wanting to press it. I’m not strong enough to do this shit. I’ve been up for 3 days and having contractions from Pitocin for 24 hours. Enough is enough. In my head, I was scared that the medicine from it would affect L.

I’ve delivered 8-10 pounds with zero medication. Why was I being a sissy? Pitocin is Satan’s piss, as a friend quoted me. It was horrid.

For about the next hour, I sat on the edge of the bed. I wanted to stand, but was too weak. I knew that laying would slow process. This is where I went through transition. S put on my music playlist and I zoned out. No words, no moans, just me.

At 11:40 a.m. the nurse checked me and asked me to do a “practice push”. What the hell is that? Either I push or I don’t. I was confused. But I did it. I was 9cm but only 90%. She said that I still had some thinning of the cervix and to rest while they got everything ready.

Um, no. It’s time.

I told her that he was coming. She says she will get the doctor after she gets heart beat back on the monitor. It was taking awhile. I remember looking up at her with my hand on her hand on the monitor and saying “you need to get the doctor. I’ll do this.”

(The labor and delivery nurse (at any hospital) is responsible for how your birth goes. It’s sad, but it’s true. If they are horrible, your birth is horrible. If they are awesome, your birth is awesome. End of story. At start of this nurse’s shift, I asked her how long she had been doing this. She was 22 years old. “About 5 months”. I was a little scared. This nurse went above and beyond what she was supposed to do. She allowed me to do anything I asked to do. She was super nice and caring and helped lighten the mood when I got mean. I could not have asked for a better nurse)

She looked up at me and realized I was serious. About 2 minutes later, the doctor came in. As she put on her gloves, etc., I let her know the baby was coming, as I scooted down on the bed to begin to push. I didn’t really give her a choice.

She had me push. I hated to push. I remember labor with K and M and how easy it was. No one told me to push. I did what my body told me to. With T and B, when a doctor told me to “push”, it was an hour ordeal.

I had nothing in me. Like I had been up literally 3 days. I pushed. Again she said. Cont to 10. I pushed. “You’re doing good. One more time.”

Bullshit. I didn’t feel him coming out. I didn’t feel the “ring of fire” like I had before. I pushed anyway. L was born in 3 total pushes. They did let N cut the cord, which we weren’t expecting. We thought he would have to be worked on right away.

The cord was massive. Bigger than any of my other kids. Not sure why.

There was a team of doctors waiting for him to be born to start working on him. I watched as everyone took photos of him. I saw him open his eyes and I heard him cry. I knew he was going to be just fine!

He was born at exactly 12:00 p.m., Wednesday, February 1, 2017. He weighed 5 pounds, 14 ounces and was 18 inches long. He was 34 weeks, 1 day gestation and he was perfect in every way.

My daughter came in within seconds of him being born. .. Right to the sight of me in the bed in stirrups. Oops. She did great. She got to see the baby for a few minutes and sat while they cleaned me up. Once they were ready to move him to NICU, they put him on my chest for a brief second. I sang “Happy Birthday” and kissed his sweet head.

I needed one more dose of Pitocin after placenta was delivered to get the uterus to continue to contract. My fucking IV blew while I was pushing. I straight told the nurse she was not re-doing it for one dose. Figure something else out. I just gave birth. I wasn’t getting another IV! lol Luckily, her being as awesome as she is, she said she would give it to me in a shot in my butt. Bring that shit on!

I wanted to pump immediately. It seemed like forever. They couldn’t get me a pump in that room. I had to wait til they got me to the floor L was on in recovery. It was about an hour.

I moved downstairs and pumped immediately. I wanted to see him so bad.

L is 13 days old as I type this. He sits in front of me in his car seat doing one of the last tests he needs to do before he comes home. It was been 16 days of pure hell. . . that’s a blog for another time!

Welcome Baby L to our family!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dear Future Grandchildren,

I am your Grandma, Nanna, Memaw, Nanny, Mama, MawMaw, or whatever adorable name you’ve decided to call me.

My oldest child just celebrated his 10th birthday. But I want to write to you to promise you things I will always remember.

I promise that we will always have a place for you.

I promise you never need to ask to stay the night with us. If we are home, you’re welcome.

I promise to pick you up for no reason and take you for ice cream.

I promise no matter how old you are, I will always help raise you.

I promise to take long hikes with you.

I promise to always hold your hand.

I promise to support your parents’ decisions in raising you, but always be here to listen to your side.

I promise to sneak you chocolate ice cream when they’re not looking.

I promise I am older than the internet – mind blown, huh?

I promise that I’ll never be too old to sit by a bonfire with you.

I promise to tell you stories about how to make it work with what you have.

I promise I’ll love you, no matter what path you choose in life.

I promise to throw awesome sleepovers with all your cousins – complete with blanket forts and popcorn.

I promise to take you on vacation and camping often.

I promise to dance in the rain with you.

I promise to make you watch Gone With The Wind, Wizard of Oz and Fried Green Tomatoes with me against your will.

I promise that true love is all you need. Your grandpa and I love each other and it got us through everything.

I promise you that you can do anything you put your mind to.

I promise you that your parents are awesome.

I promise you I don’t care if you’re purple and want to be pink; girl and want to be a boy; boy and want to be a lion – I’ll love you forever.

I promise you can bring anyone you love into my home. If they have your love, I’ll love them too.

I promise to make you love Janis Joplin.

I promise to treasure everything you ever make me.

I promise you to always encourage you to be yourself.

I promise to never tell you not to wear something.

I promise the world is a better place with you in it.

I promise I did everything I could to raise your mom or dad the best I could.

I promise, no matter how far away life takes you, I’ll be in your heart the entire journey.

I promise that regardless of how old we are, you’re always welcome to climb in bed with me and your Grandpa.

I promise I’ll spend the rest of my life loving you.

I promise you’ll always be enough for me.

I promise I’ll always love you more than the moon, stars and all the candy bars.

Love, Your Very Badass Grandma

Started from the bottom, now we here!

(yes, I totally just rapped that title as I typed it. You should to0)

For so long, all I could do was look straight. I couldn’t look up. I couldn’t look to the sides.There was no part of me that was able to look anywhere but what was right in front of me that very second. There was no way to look down, because I was at rock bottom. There were times I wasn’t sure if I would be able to make it through the day. There were times when I didn’t think my life was worth living. There were times when all I wanted to do was sleep forever. Now, I can not only look up, but I can look down. I can look down to a place that I KNOW cannot ever get worse. Nothing that happens in my life can be any worse than the rock bottom that I was at. Nothing. No matter what happens in my life from here on out, I can handle because going as low as a life can possibly get, allows you to be a person you could have never imagined becoming. Being worthless, being a horrible mother, being a bad human, all of those things allowed me to be one bad ass bitch who can do and accomplish anything. The last 3 years of my life have been insane. I’ve realized who my real friends are and even  more so, who my real family is. I’ve accepted that Nathan is and will forever be the rock that keeps me who I want to be. I’ve accepted that I can’t make people like me. I’ve accepted that I can’t make people want to be a part of my kids’ lives. I’ve accepted that my friends are probably the best bitches on the planet Earth. I’ve accepted that excuses get you no where and the only way for me is up.

 

Podee Hands Free Bottle

This video popped up on my newsfeed a few times. In my head, I thought there is no rational reason this is ok.

Though I knew there are people out there who would love it, I couldn’t wrap my head around why on earth this would be ok.

Then it happened. I’m part of a Mommy group on FB. This video was shared. The opinions started.

I was told that I should put my well-educated opinion to use and write a blog about why it is horrible.

Um, yes, please.

Where do I start?

First of all, breast milk is the best option for a baby. If you cannot physically put your baby to the breast and latch, your pumped milk in a bottle is second best. Third best would be another human’s milk in a bottle. Fourth is formula in a bottle. That is it. There are all the options I have. This device isn’t an option. It’s a joke.

I’ve debated what all I should say about it. Let’s start with a list:

– Your baby needs human interaction.

– The benefits of skin-to-skin are endless. Even if it is you keeping your hand to the baby’s cheek as you feed them.

– Our world is obese. Morbidly.  We are making it to where we are teaching them this young that to eat they don’t even need to raise their hands up to hold the bottle? No way.

– One of the main things this is supposed to be good for is the car. What the actual fuck? Really?  I realize there are times when a car ride is way too long and pulling over is a burden. Do you want to invent something that changes your baby too? Or do road trips where this is used, just not involve pulling over to deal with the baby at all?

– If you don’t have time to spend meal time with your children, don’t have them.

– Holding a baby while they eat also allows you to take the bottle from them when they are done. This helps the liquid not stay in their mouth and drain to ear canal – greatly reducing ear infections.

– How do you burb the baby?

– It’s a huge cord. If you’re driving and the baby is rear-facing (Because they are supposed to be for 2 years), how do you know the baby isn’t wrapping that tube around their neck?

– As a mom who has NEVER used ANY formula with any of my four children, I have had to pump a lot. Have you ever got milk in a pumping tube. Holy hell, it’s a bitch to clean. Keeping this clean has to be hard as well.

– I’ve heard it’s great for multiples. You know what else is great for multiples? Boobs. You have two of them. Use them.

Alright, there’s two of my million cents.

Peace, Love and Baby Dust Bitches.

I am not who you think.

Writing this is going to be something very hard for me to do. It’s something I wasn’t sure I’d ever want to do. I am in a place where I feel comfortable enough to write it so I am doing it and not looking back.

I cut.

It started in second grade. I was 8 years old. I have a 7 year old and a 9 year old and I can’t help but keep going back to this place. My daughter is going into second grade and has the same teacher I did in that grade. I guess that is making me revisit this time in my life more than ever.

I can remember the first time like it was yesterday. There were two boys in my class who liked me. Yeah me, right? No. I was incredibly shy and hated the attention. They wrote me love letters and tried to sit by me. I hated it. The stress was too much. I would go home crying because I didn’t want anyone to talk to me, let alone boys. I didn’t have any friends in my class.

It was really hot outside that day. I remember at recess these boys chased me. I wasn’t running because it was fun. I was running because I was terrified. I wanted to tell a teacher but was afraid to talk. I ran. I ran fast and hard. When we came back in from recess, we had a test of some kind. I couldn’t concentrate. For the first time in my life, I guessed the answers to get done and asked to go to the restroom. This was a big deal for me. It was the first time I gained the courage to ask to use the restroom.

I opened my desk, pulled out a pink pair of safety scissors and put them in my pocket.

I walked into the bathroom stall, sat down on the toilet, with my pants up. I pulled my shorts up to my upper thigh. I slid the scissors across my leg. I felt pain. I slid them again, harder this time. I saw blood. I continued to do this. The release I felt at that point was something I became addicted to that very moment. I held a piece of toilet paper on it as I pulled my shorts back down. I went back to class and smiled for the first time all year.

From that point on, I was ok in my skin. I began to cut when I made a bad grade or when things at home were complicated. At first it only happened at school with the scissors. Over time, I did it at home with scissors or a pencil. How the hell I didn’t get lead poisoning is beyond me.

As I got older, and started shaving, the razor became my new best friend. I would never use the same razor I used to shave. I’d always hide one in my room. I’d sometimes carry it backpack I used to go stay at friends’ houses. I didn’t always use it. But it was my security. I needed it.

There were nights at sleepovers, I’d be laying there and get in my bag and go to the bathroom to cut. The anxiety from not being able to sleep became too much.

When I was 13, my grandpa and my best friend died within 8 days of each other. This was my breaking point. Until then, nothing major had happened in my life.

Eric had moved about an hour or so away 2 months prior. I had been sneaking long-distant phone calls to him and knew the phone bill was coming. I had begged my dad and mom to take me to see him. He was my soul-mate. Not in a ‘lover’ way. We were just connected on a level that I can’t explain to anyone else. He got me. I understood him.

On October 18, 1997, I was at a friend’s house when my mom called me to come home. I just knew that the phone bill had came and I was in deep shit. I’d soon wish that it was that simple. Eric had died.

He had a brain tumor with a stint that had to be drained often. He got into an altercation and it was hit.

I hated my mom for lying. This wasn’t true. It couldn’t be true. I went into my room. I grabbed my razor and I ran. I ran fast. I ran hard. There were no cell phones then. I went to the ball field and called a friend. He said he’d be right there. In my head, I knew that I needed to be around someone. But I couldn’t. I ran more. I hid in the train on the tracks by the ball field. I got my razor.

Looking back, my release became an addiction I’d fight the rest of my life.

That was a very dark time in my life. It changed everything I was. Through my teen years, cutting became a way of my everyday life. I kept a razor in my purse. I kept one in my car. I kept one in my backpack at school. There was always a way to release.

There wasn’t social media. There wasn’t shows with people who cut. At that time, there were the “goth” kids who would wear black and have cuts on their wrists. Everyone would talk about them. I wasn’t one of them. No where close. They wanted the attention. They wanted people to see their cuts and ask them about them. That was how they dealt with their pain.

I never cut anywhere other than my upper thighs and stomach. I never wanted to die. The thought of suicide never crossed my mind. No one saw the cuts. I’d never tell anyone.

For years, that is how I dealt with my life. Whether it was a friendship ending, a relationship fight, argument with my parents, stress from school, whatever, that is how I made it better.

After awhile, I got comfortable being naked with my boyfriend (now husband). Without even thinking, I didn’t hide one of the recent cuts. He asked. I’d managed to keep it a secret for 8 years at that point.

I just told him. He rolled his eyes. I remember thinking “shit, it was that easy.”

He thought I was doing it for attention. Eventually he realized that wasn’t the case. He’d see a cut and ask what happened to make me do it. He never tried to get me to stop. He didn’t encourage it and would say he wished I didn’t, but he also understood it was me.

The older I got, the more into drinking and drugs I got. The cutting got worse with this.

At college, it was probably at it’s worse. I was alone and terrified of the unknown.

After graduation, I couldn’t find a job in my field. I moved back home and got my own place. As much fun as those times were, I was going no where fast. I was involved in a lot of stupid things with a lot of stupid people.

I joined the Air Force one day. Just like that. No real thought behind it. I knew I had to get away and never look back.

So here I was in Texas, alone again. The basic training was 6 weeks? I made it to week 6. The last week was warrior week where we were in the field training. Throughout the basic, I slept with a razor. Every night, I released.

I was doing well. Of course I missed my family, but for the first time in a long time, I was proud of myself. I had made it to the end. One night, as I lay bleeding, sighing relief as the end of my basic journey was within reach, there was a fire drill. There was no time to do anything but get out of bed and get outside.

The razor was found. I was found with blood. The rest is a mess. I had to see their shrink, who determined I had a bunch of long words and wasn’t fit to be a member of their Air Force. I was sent to a holding camp where I waited for release papers for 4.5 weeks.

I can remember that call so well. I had 2 minutes to explain to my mother, who had heard from me 1-2 times in several weeks that I was being discharged because I was cutting. At that time, the movie ‘Thirteen’ was out. Though it was far from my reality, it was the only thing I could tell her to watch.

My secret was out. In a way, it felt good.

So I came home, I slipped back into the drug and stupidity scene. At one time, I was really messed up and I went into this guys’ bathroom I was dating. He found me with hundreds of cuts all over my stomach. Because I wasn’t in my right mind, I guess I couldn’t stop or didn’t realize how deep I was going. The scars from that night are still here today. He called a friend, who called my mom. That was my turning point. I realized I needed that razor more than I needed anything else at that time.

I did a lot of stupid things with a lot of stupid people. Then I got pregnant. My life changed forever.

Time to grow up! There was a tiny human growing inside my belly. How could I ever want to cut again?

I did. Problems with baby daddy. (Yes, there was a time when N was just my baby daddy – before we realized we were meant to be)

I cut my entire pregnancy. I can remember being TERRIFIED toward the end that I’d go into labor and they’d see the fresh cuts or scars and take my baby from me for being unstable. There were a lot of sleepless nights with those thoughts inside my head.

Then I had B. Same thing. My husband knew it. He hated it and was sure to tell me every time he happened to see it. I hid it best I could. But let’s face it, when you are breastfeeding and you cut your belly, there is no covering that up.

Fast forward to the birth of K. Through his pregnancy, I cut. As a mom, it slowed down A LOT from my teen years, but during those times in my life when I couldn’t cope, I couldn’t help but find relief in the only thing I knew worked.

After the birth of K, (see previous blogs), I had PTSD and severe PPD. I was in such a fog. One night, N was gone out of town working. T and B were asleep in another room. I had K in a bouncer beside the bathtub so I could have a bubble bath. I was crying. I was a mess. I took the razor and put it to my wrist.

It was the first time in my life a razor had touched my wrist. I don’t remember thinking I wanted to die, but looking back, I think I did.

Whatever powers that be, worked their magic. I snapped out of it and saw K laying there. What the fuck is wrong with me? I am done cutting. Done.

I didn’t touch a razor for a long time after that. I didn’t shave anything. I was afraid that I would be tempted. I was still very depressed during this time and I didn’t want the temptation there.

That was 2011. Here it is 3 years later. I’ve cut twice since that night. For me, that is HUGE.

I made it through another entire pregnancy with M without even thinking about cutting.

And trust me, that was a rough time in my life. We lived in a basement room with 3 kids for over a year.

Anyway, as I write this tonite, I’m going through a rough place and thoughts of razors are entering my brain again for the first time in many years. Those two times since that night with K, were severe tragic events. Not that that makes it ok, but they were.

I’ve managed to learn to handle my aggression in other ways for the most part.

I am not sure why I felt the need to write this. I will probably never publish it. Writing helps me more than anyone will ever realize. Cutting is a huge part of who I am and why I am who I am.

I know I’m not alone, which makes my heart break that much more.

Tonight, as I watch my four babies sleep on all sides of me as I write this, I never want my children to feel that is an outlet. But I don’t want anyone to think it’s a bad thing either. It’s just a thing. Nothing more, nothing less.

I hope I am able to put this behind me for good one day.

I’ve spent 23 years cutting. And I can probably never say “I’ll never do it again.” But for now, I can say I am doing all I can to be a better person and handle my pain in other ways. Some days I fail miserably at that. Tonite, I won. The razor lost. One battle at a time.

Dear Crying Mom on First Day of School. . .

It doesn’t get any better.

I realize that isn’t what you are wanting  to hear as you sit behind your computer screen counting the hours until you get to pick your baby up from their first day and hear all about it.

But it’s true.

Today, I have a second and fourth grader.

When I dropped B off for her first day of Pre-K, there were no tears, she was ready to take on the world. Kindergarten, same thing. First grade, yep. Bring it. Second grade today – no worries!

When I left T for Pre-K, tons of tears. K – yes sir. First grade, of course. Second grade- yep. Third grade  -lots. So I am not sure why I didn’t prepare myself for the tears on the first day of fourth grade.

I am sure he will probably kill me if he knows I am putting this on the internet – oh well.

He doesn’t like school. He never will. He goes to school for recess and PE. He always has.

This morning was bad. It’s been a few hours and I am still upset. It breaks my heart to know that he is having a bad day.

N took the morning off work to take them to school with me. We went to take T first, he was crying as he got out of the car.  He realized he forgot his backpack at home. N said to go in anyway. I know my son. If there is something that is different about him from the other kids in the class, anything that draws attention to him – he will freak.

No, get in the car, I said. Of course it caused drama with N, because I try to be a single mom, he says. Maybe.

We take B first. She does great.

We go back to the house, where N leaves for work. I go get the backpack and we’re off. I tell him I think that I can get him there before school starts, but we may have to sign him in at the office.

He is crying. Hard.

Why? He’s not sure. First he tells me he doesn’t like his hair cut. Then he tells me that he is scared people will make fun of him for his eyes being red.

In reality? He’s nervous of the unknown. He always has been and always will be.

He begs me to miss. I tell him it can’t happen and I am sorry.

We pull up at the school. I pull around to where I can walk him in. I’m not sure he’s late or not. Mr. G (principal) is still at door, but it’s right at 8 a.m.

He cries and begs me to not make him go.

I’m not crying. I hold it together. He won’t get out of the car.

What do I do? What can I do?

I am so scared for him. I don’t want him to have to signi n at the office and be the kid who comes in after everyone is in their seats.

I don’t want him to go into the school with tears running down his face. He’s 9 now. He’s not a baby any more. Kids are assholes.

Please go. Finally I put his backpack on my shoulder and start to physically pull him out of the car. “Mom, please, no.”

Everything in me wants to put him back in that car and go home. Tomorrow we will try again.

I don’t. I can’t. If I let him know that I am weak, it’ll be worse.

I  tell him that I am going to carry him into the school or go get Mr. G to get him.

I hug him and tell him I love him.

Next, I physically pick him up- which btw – I fucking rock for. Didn’t realize I was that strong.

At that point, he realized I was serious. He gave me a hug and took my hand.

I told him to breathe with me and that he was ok. I told him if anyone asked, it looked like his eyes were itchy from allergies.

We make it to the door. Mr. G is there.

I ask if he needs to sign in or go to his class.

“Who is your teacher,” he asks.

T cries. He tells him.

Mr. G starts to explain where to go.

T stops crying. Mr. G says “You know what, buddy. I am going that way so if you want to tell your mom bye, I’ll walk you there myself.”

He looks at me and there are no more tears streaming down his face. I hug him and tell him I love him and I”ll see him in a few hours.

I thank Mr. G and then the water works start. Hey! I waited til he was gone, that’s the important part.

A friend sees me at the door and waits for me by the car. “It never gets easier,” I tell her.

So here I am, 6 years into the school experience and still feeling like I left my baby on his first day of school ever.

I can’t handle it.  Writing helps me cope.

He’s fine. I get that. His best friend is in his class. He knows several boys and a few girls. He will be ok.

I will be ok.

I will be ok.

I will be ok.

I hope he lets me walk him in to his first day at college. 🙂

 

 

 

 

Good mom?

I get called a lot of names. I think everyone does. Some good, some bad and some I don’t even know how to take.

It’s not a bad thing to me. When you take the time to come up with a name to call me about one of my choices, it means you took the time to think about what I am doing. To me, that means I win.

The one thing I get called most that stops me in my tracks is a good mom.

I don’t get it.  I am honored that someone thinks I am a good mom, don’t get me wrong! But I just don’t see it most of the time.

How do I parent? Honestly, I just do my best not to fuck up my kids’ lives any worse than they already are.

I realize some of my parenting decisions are different for most people. But I don’t make them because no one else makes them. I make them because it’s right for me and my kids.

Several years ago, I realized my entire life was a lie. Everything I thought I was growing up was not what it seemed. I had so much anger and hurt. It took me awhile to come to terms with it. But I have. I can’t let that define who I am.

With that, I realized I never wanted my children to go through that. I won’t lie. I don’t sugar coat things with friends, why would I with them?

Sometimes I feel that I am too honest and as they get older, the tougher questions come. I’ll take it one step at a time.

My kids believe in Santa. Most do, right? I have a lot of quilt for being dishonest about that. I wasn’t raised to believe in him so it was something I wanted to do different for mine. I just hope they don’t hate me for lying when they realize the truth! 🙂

Ok, the good mom thing. . . . I loose my shit with my kids way more than I should.

I hate myself for it every.single.day.

I yell at them when I shouldn’t.

But don’t think they don’t give me a dose of reality when I need it.

When I scream “Stop screaming” at the top of my lungs, I get “You’re screaming” right back at me.

When I am overwhelmed and cry, I vent to my kids. My husband hates me for it. He says I need to keep it to myself.

I can’t. I feel like my babies are who I am. If I can’t be honest with them, who can I be honest with?

So I cry. I tell them I feel overwhelmed. I tell them I wish I had more help. I tell them I am sorry I am not ok. I tell them I am sorry for yelling at them. I tell them I wish their dad helped with stuff more. I tell them I wish we had a better house. I tell them what I feel. I am real with them.

I feel like the worst mom in the world some days.

But in the end, I realize I am doing the best I can with what I have.

We do not have a lot of money. We don’t need it.

Some outsiders look in and think it’s impossible to do what we do. I can promise you, it’s not.

We live in a very small trailer. Could other families of 6 live here? Probably not. But can our family? Absolutely.

We sleep together. We eat together. We play together. We don’t usually go off to ourselves for long periods of time. We don’t need our own space. Even if we lived in a HUGE house, it’d be the same way. We’d all be in one room, sleeping, playing, etc. P.S. One day, we will live in a huge house.

My kids don’t need a lot. They make due with what they have.

We put our trailer in  the middle of a huge field. We are slowly getting it to look like a yard, but it still has while to go.

This summer, the kids were bored. They got totes and the water hose and went to work. They played in the mud and in those totes for hours.

We had a pop-up canopy that got damaged in the storm. It was in the trash pile. The kids drug it out and made a tent.

Little things like this make me happy! The thing I probably say most often is “make it work.”

I’ve learned to make it work with little to nothing. I want to teach my kids to do the same. I want to teach them that money doesn’t make the world go round, they do.

No Makeup Monday

No Makeup Monday

Yes, the photo is sideways. I honestly don’t care to figure out how to turn it.
I was inspired by some FB posts encouraging women to post their no make up pics! I don’t wear makeup – but here I am anyway! Post yours! Let that natural beauty shine!

M’s Birth Story

All of my pregnancies were 40+ weeks, why would this one be any different?

On Wednesday, November 25, 2013 my 2-year-old, K, was not wanting to sleep. I was up with him all night. I tried to wake N up several times. I just wanted a few minutes rest before I had to get the kids up for school. He wouldn’t wake up. The thought crossed my mind to tell him I was in labor in hopes that would wake him up and he wouldn’t be able to go back to sleep. Decided that was mean.

Around 4 a.m. K went to sleep and I laid down in the back bedroom. At this point I am huge and it was hard to sleep with everyone (we cosleep). The damn dog was barking at the window. This dog, Harley, was a rescue puppy when he was a few weeks old in 2007. We lived in town and he kept getting out of our fence so he came to live with our in-laws, where we live now. He’s always been a part of our family.
Anyway, I get my fatass up to see what he is barking at. Usually a deer in the woods or something.

He was looking straight up at the window at me. Totally creeped me out. Since he wouldn’t shut up, I went in the living room. It wasn’t two minutes later and he was barking again. Look outside and again, he is looking right up at the living room window. WTF dog!

Looking back, I really think he knew I was in labor. I am FAR from an animal person but dog has been a part of our family for years and has a piece of my heart.

So it is about 5 a.m. and I am going to sleep! Yeah! At 5:15 I wake up and I am a little wet. Nothing major. Considering I am 38 weeks pregnant, pee leaking out of me isn’t uncommon! Lol

I go to the bathroom and when I stand up and wipe, water pours out of me. Did my water just break? No way, I thought. This has never happened!

As I walk back to the room to change, more water. I wake Nathan up. He gets right up – why he couldn’t do that earlier when I wanted him to, I don’t know!

He’s convinced I peed my pants and we don’t need to go to the hospital.

No pain at all. IT is the last day of school before Thanksgiving Break.

I decided that since I hadn’t shaved my legs in a few months I better get to it.

So I take a bath (fyi- that was a no-no and I knew it but did it anyway ) Once your water breaks, get to the hospital to avoid infection.

I had a birth team in place and my bestie Tricia was going to write down times, etc  for me –  (I’m typing exactly like she wrote)

5:48 a.m. – FB message that water broke

I messaged my girls who planned to come to the birth and friends and family via text. Told them we would have a baby within 24 hours because my water broke!

I woke the kiddos up and got them ready for school. We went back and forth with sending them. We wanted them there when M was born and wondered if my sister would have time to get them both from two different schools. We decided to let them stay home from school and go to my sisters.

Water is everywhere. I use cloth diapers on my toddler. They are all pre-stuffed with inserts. I begin to pull them out of the diapers and put in my bag. I stuff 3 in my underwear to stop the leaking.

Of course we pose for a last minute photo as a family of 5 before heading out the door!

7:35 a.m . – Text on way to hospital w heavy contractions and pain. Kids are at sister

On the way to the hospital, I’m thinking ‘is this really happening?”

I didn’t want to make ‘FB official’ until I delivered. Just close friends and family. I start getting texts wishing me luck. WTF? Apparently not everyone got that memo. I was pissed. So I posted on my FB before everyone heard from everyone else.

When my water broke w K,  labor kicked in fast. I was a little worried. I was having some contractions but nothing major.

7:37 a.m. – Text : Thought they  were getting pulled over on 32 on way to hospital, didn’t thankfully.

This cop literally slammed on breaks and turned around. N and I were totally excited to use the “my wife is in labor officer” card!

8:10 a.m. – Text: dialated to a 4

4? I wasn’t too thrilled. I had been dilated to a 3 for a few weeks now. 4 wasn’t crap! I was hoping to be a 6-7 and get this party started!

They hooked me up to the monitor for a bit. I had got into the birthing pool when I was a 4 last time! I wasn’t in pain. Maybe this was a good thing.

Everyone was wanting to know when to come to the hospital. I didn’t want to have to make them come and wait so told them to wait til I heard more.

10:52 a.m.  – FB message from Melissa: Maddan’s heartbeat is good. Still at a 4 – 60% EFFACED.

Melissa was there. My mom was there and of course Nathan.  We walked the halls and stairs trying to get things going. I used the birthing ball as well. 

12:10 p.m.   – ¼ of a pill of Cytotec being inserted to help thin cervix.

Damn cervix. 4 kids – you’d think it’s know what to do but I always have issues with it thinning like it’s supposed to!

I had done this with K to get things going as well. You have to lay down for 30 minutes after insertion.

12:51 p.m. – Contractions starting to pick up – still irregular 2-3 minutes apart.

This is when it got a little scary. I could tell contractions were getting close and painful. The nurses said that his heartbeat was becoming irregular and they started to move me around a little. I asked when I could get into the water. “Not until he can keep a regular heartbeat through a contraction.”

1:10 p.m.  – Started IV fluids bc Maddan’s heartbeat dropped with contractions. They checked her again. She is dilated a 6 and 70% effaced.

At this point I start to freak out. IV fluids aren’t necessary unless there is a problem. I was excited not to have an iv at all this time around. I knew I was getting pretty close to delivering and they still wouldn’t let me get into the tub. I was mentally preparing for a baby born in this bed or a c-section.

1:22 p.m. – They are giving Jess oxygen.

I started to have major anxiety attacks over all of this. I was grabbing handrails to breathe through contractions. This wasn’t in my birth plan. This stupid bed wasn’t part of it.

The oxygen mask was on my face and I held onto it with my eyes closed. If I opened my eyes, I saw a room full of people I loved and the worry on their faces. They all knew I was in freak-out mode and no one said a word.

1:33 – she got up to go to the bathroom. Nurse said Maddan is looking better.

It felt like I had to poop. Common sign of time for baby. My doula said that she went from like a 4 to a 6 by sitting on the toilet from the positioning. Why not? It didn’t work. Lol

1:37 p.m. – nurse said Dr. lam said it was ok if she got into the tub a long as she keeps the monitor on. She feels like she has to poop but can’t. She asked what the nurse thought. Nurse said if she can tolerate it out of the water to stay out for now. She is going to give it another 15-20 minutes with the oxygen and fluids and see what happens.

I trust my doctor and I was so lucky that the two nurses there that day I knew beforehand and trusted them as well. When they said that they thought I should wait, I knew in my head I was going to have the baby there. I accused them of lying to me and telling me what I wanted to hear. They assured me they weren’t. I apologized later! J

1:58 p.m. – Nurses say Maddan is doing a lot better and the tub is full. They are going to find the cord for the monitor and check again. She will be in tub son. Dilated to a 7. And a lot thinner 85-90%

I was so happy. I didn’t even know they were filling tub up! This was huge. I have no doubt that the Cytotec was the reason his heartbeat dropped. Just a reaction – no biggie! K had no reaction to it – in fact I had 3x the dose with him!

So I got dressed into my birthing stuff! WOOT! Here we go!

2:03 p.m. – Walked down to the pool room. Stopped fluids and oxygen

The person I had asked to take photos couldn’t at the last minute. I had a back up but she was on her way and it was time! So my poor sister was sitting by the door when I walked to the pool room and I threw a camera at her and said “hey – you’ve been promoted to photographer. Don’t mess up.!” lol

I had my mixed cd start playing. Now, for those of you who don’t follow me, the hospital I delivered my other water baby at, had switched tubs. They had a big blue blowup one last time that I loved. Since that delivery, they had a new one – just like a hot tub.

My entire pregnancy I was nervous. I was afraid it wouldn’t be comfortable at all. After the birth of K, I didn’t want any negative thoughts coming back and wanted M’s birth story to be his own. So even though the amazing hospital said they’d blow up the blue tub for me if I wanted, I decided to go with the new tub.

2:08 p.m. – Just got in the tub. She doesn’t like the new tub.

It was just uncomfortable to me. I don’t know how much of it was that it was just that way or that I had to keep monitors on (usually don’t have to do that with a water birth but since his heartbeat wasn’t steady we did) and when I moved, they lost his heartbeat so I stayed as still as I possibly could.

Nathan was on the right side and nurses on the left of me. Everyone else was in front of me.

2:13  p.m. – Maddan likes the tub much better. Doing great! Music started.

I tend to space out during labor. Sometimes I tell people around me to shut the fuck up. This time wasn’t bad. I think it’s because I had threatened all of them before – just kidding. They rock.

At this point there is a lot of pain during contrations, but I’m good. The nurse kept asking if I felt pressure yet. No. No pressure.

Kinda getting aggravated because there is no pressure. When there is a sign of pressure, she goes and gets the doctor., but I feel nothing. So in my head, nothing means I still have quite awhile to go before baby comes. I’m in pain so that isn’t a good thing for me!

2:22 p.m. – Nurse put fan on for Jessica

I told her I felt like I was going to pass out from the heat.

Fan was much better. During this point, I was in transition. It hurt like hell. The music was great but didn’t do the trick like it had with K’s birth. What could I do to help get my mind off the pain? I thought to myself “my kids.” So every single contraction, I whispered to myself “Trenton, braylyn, Kellen” over and over again. Breathe in and out was their names. It kept me sane!

2:28 pm. – complained of pressure w contraction. Maybe transition? . . . Heartbeat 120 contractions really picking up now (2:31)

I told the nurse “pressure – get doctor” with one breath. With the second one, I told N, “he’s coming. Get here now.” (He was holding my hand from the other side of the tub.)

2:33 p.m. – he’s coming. Head is out.

I yelled that he is coming. I told Jenika to take pictures! Who does that when the baby is literally coming out? ME! That’s who!

The nurse told me to push on my next contraction. I somehow ended up almost killing N. He had a button up shirt on. I grabbed one collar and pulled to the right and the other to the left as I pushed. Later he tells me that he wasn’t sure if he would pass out before the baby came but he wasn’t telling me no! Poor guy!

My butt came out of the water and the nurse told me to put it back down. Apparently I didn’t do it quick enough and she pushes it down. Everyone later laughed because she slapped it hard.

M had shoulder dysplasia and was born “sunny side up”. The nurse tells me to turn around (I had been pushing on all fours). She was able to get her hands in there and help his shoulders come through. She said that any later, we would have had troubles. So thankful it worked out.

Maddan Dean was born at 2:33 p.m. on Tuesday, November 26, 2013.

I reached down and picked him up.’Happy Birthday baby boy,” I said. He was beyond covered in white. More than any of us there had ever seen. He was looking at me but not moving or crying. I had a flashback to K’s birth. I started to have an anxiety attack. One of the nurses was sucking the stuff out of his mouth and he kept gagging. I asked why he wasn’t breathing. “He is,” she said. “He just has a lot of junk in there.” She kept suctioning and she was right. Within a few minutes he was fine.

I had made it to Song 6 on my cd.. . which just so happened to be “roar” by Katy Perry. So ironic because that was my mother truckin’ theme song my entire pregnancy!

2:36 p.m. – Eyes open

2:37 p.m. – Oh my God so fucking easy – Nathan:  We ain’t doing it again.

Hahahaha – this is when I looked up at the room full of friends and family for the first time. I told them that it was so fn easy (Really was compared to all the other births I had). Nathan’s reaction was priceless.

Also, part of my plan was to MAKE sure my dr was there. He had given me his cell and told me to call on my way to the hospital. I had seen him in the hall and he let me know he was here and ready when I needed him.

Right after I delivered and looked up – he was standing there in front of me. I said “were you here?”

He smiled his awesome Dr. Lam smile and shook his head yes.

He wasn’t there when M was born but seconds later. Smart man to lie! J

When I was on the oxygen/fluids, I wasn’t sure that everything was going to be ok, so I switched a few steps in my birth plan and had my sister not bring my kids as originally planned. I had wanted them there for delivery, but decided against after not knowing.

I was totally bummed they weren’t there. I wanted them to be the first to hold him. Oh well! J

2:52 p.m. – cutting the cord

We allowed the cord to FULLY stop pulsating before cutting. It was neat. Just me and M bonding. I tried to get him to nurse but he didn’t want any part of it.

Completely random – but I asked the nurse if she could bring the machine in the room to weigh him. Usually they will take him across the hall to weigh, clean up, etc. But I wanted to be the first to know! Hadn’t thought of that before, but they rocked and brought it in.

M weighed 8 lbs. 4 ounces and was 20 inches long (and 2 weeks early) holy cow!

Everyone posed for a few pics before I kicked them all out. My friend, Jessica had arrived . I handed baby to N to carry across the hall and it was just me and her and Dr. to deliver my placenta. (Jessica was taking my placenta to take and encapsulate for me)

I got out of the tub and went to the room and took a shower. Jessica helped me. Then N brought me baby and we nursed and did some more skin to skin. My kids came and met him.

He was the most adorable baby ever! He had a full head of hair. I was in love.

I had my perfect water birth. I had the perfect birth. Nothing could have been better! We are a complete family of 6 now! 

My day with my princess

Yesterday, my 6-year-old daughter had a dentist appointment. She ended up having a tooth pulled. She had never lost one before and has written death threats to the tooth fairy when her older brother is visited. So needless to say, she was stoked to come home with a tooth under her pillow!

While in the chair, she was a little loopy with the meds. She asked me “Are aliens real?”

Uh-oh. This is in the same category as religion for me.

I say “Well, some people believe they are and some do not. It’s up to you to figure out what you believe.”

B: “What do you think?”

Me: “I think it’s very possible there are aliens out there. Maybe I can be friends with one someday.”

B: “Well, Mrs. Swift (her first grade teacher) is an alien, so I believe.”

Next, she gets to work drawing aliens in her journal!

Our dentist and my OB are in a town about 45 minutes away. So I attempt to make all our appts on same day.

I have my 36-week checkup after. My doctor doesn’t believe in checking for dilation unless there are other reasons to. He thinks that checking will actually make you dilate (makes sense)

Anyway, I had no reason to think there would be an exam so didn’t think twice about bringing her.

Well, 36 weeks is the strep b test. Crap.

So as the nurse asks me to undress and he’d be right in. I have no choice but to explain what is going on.

“B, the doctor has to come in and check my hoo-ha to make sure baby is ok. Do you want to stay in here or you can go sit with Amelia and color. She’s very nice.”

The look on that kid’s face was priceless.

“There,” she says as she books for the door.

I set her up with her journal and colored pencils with the nurses.

(Exam goes ok)

Well, later that night, we are at home in bed. We all sleep in same bed and most of our family conversations take place before bedtime.

She turns and whispers to me “Mom, does Dad know?”

Me: “Know what? Probably. “

B: “About the doctor seeing your hoo-ha?’

Me: “Yes, would you like me to tell him to make sure?”

B: “Yes.”

Me: “Babe, B wants me to let you know that Dr. Lam say my private parts to make sure M is ok.”

N: in complete laughter “It’s ok, B. He is a nice man and that’s his job to make sure baby is ok. That’s the only time it’s ok though.”

B: “He’s funny  looking.”

N: “The faces he makes are funny but he’s a really good doctor. Right, Mom?”

Me: “Yes. I love him.”

B: “I thought you loved Daddy.”

Me: “Shit.”

N: “She loves me as a boyfriend and she loves him as a friend.”

Can’t help but laugh as we try to talk ourselves out of this one!

That girl continues to amaze me!