Thursday, February 28, 2008

My firsts...

Found this on someone's blog but they didn't tag anyone so I took it...thought it would be fun. I didn't read all of the things that are supposed to be firsts so this could be interesting. We'll see if I hit "Publish" at the end...haha 1. Who was your FIRST prom date? Scott Risbon, my best friend's brother - I know, I know, that crosses the line in that "don't date the brother" rule but we weren't dating, just good friends without dates to our Junior Prom. 2. Do you still talk to your FIRST love? Um, no. That's a weird thought. 3. What was your FIRST alcoholic drink? Some kind of whiskey, I think. I was pretty naive and went to an upperclassman's party. When I walked in, one of his friends handed me a cup. I was 16 and still thinking they served punch at parties so I said, "thanks" and took a huge gulp. Never had punch light my lungs on fire! I played it cool and handed the cup back. Blech. 4. What was your FIRST job? Technically, babysitting. First job I had outside of other people's homes was at our local mall in the food court. The place was called Coney Island - we served hot dogs and cheeseburgers. I even had to scrub the green slime off of the hot dogs before putting them on the grill. NO LIE! Maybe that's why I refuse to feed my kids the foul tubular meat. Double Blech! 5. What was your FIRST car? Sniffle, sniffle. Her name was "Betty" (as in Boop)...she was a beauty. My beloved Rangoon Red '65 Mustang. My sweet daddy pimped my ride and turned a banged up white 'stang into a very sweet ride! Happy 16th to me!! But, sadly, she got old and unreliable so for safety's sake we sold her down the river. So sad. It was kind of funny though, at one point there was a crossed wire or something and when I made left hand turns the headlights turned off. So, for months, I drove way out of my way to get to my destinations by only turning right. I tried to deal with it as long as I could before telling my dad. But after almost getting T-boned a couple times, I had to give in and tell him...I still have pictures of her. I think I loved her more than my first boyfriend! 6. Who was the FIRST person to text you today? Don't text a whole lot. That would mean that I would have two hands free at any given time during the day. Hello? I have a 2 year old. 7. Who is the FIRST person you thought of this morning? The baby. He woke me up VERY early. 4-ish. ugh! 8. Who was your FIRST grade teacher? Mrs. Komez...she was very pregnant and she felt it necessary to discuss her discomforts with the class, usually at story time. The last thing a 6 year old wants to think about is that her fat teacher has tremendous gas due to her innards being shoved up to her neck. She would actually tell us things like this...ewwww. 9. Where did you go on your FIRST ride on an airplane? I was 3 months old and I flew from PA to LA where I lived for the next 2 years. My first words were said sweetly with a lo-o-o-ong southern drawl. To this day, if I meet a southerner, I have a hard time staving off the twang. 10. Who was your FIRST best friend and are you still friends with them? Melissa, Melissa, Melissa. We met when we were four, went K-12 together, different universities, lived in different states and now live a mile from one another. We talk sometimes daily and see each other a couple times a month. To this day (33 years later) she is one of my dearest friends. She even held an intervention for me once. Drove 3 hours to Penn State to discuss my choice of boyfriend. (Not my hubby. His roommate) 11. What was your FIRST sport played? Does kickball count? At recess? Not much of an athlete. Really don't enjoy dodging, chasing, kicking, hitting or tackling things. Would much rather sit on the sidelines and watch. Cheerleading was my gig in high school. 12. Where was your FIRST sleep over? Probably the Drumeler's house. At about 3am I got up to secretly call my mom to come get me. But I didn't tell Mrs. Drumeler, or my friend for that matter, so they were all a little freaked out when someone was ringing the doorbell in the wee hours of the morning. I did this a couple more times before we took a sleep-over hiatus. 13. Who was the FIRST person you talked to today? One of the kids, I am sure. But I opened my lips before having coffee so whoever it was was not in focus so I really am not sure. 14. Whose wedding were you in the FIRST time? My Aunt Cathy's in 1973. I was 3. I wore a long gauzy baby blue dress with a very floppy, wide brim hat...with flowers of course. Very 70's. 15. What was the FIRST thing you did this morning? Kissed the baby (well, maybe I didn't - I was a bit grumpy that he woke me so early). Made him some warm milk. Made coffee. Kissed the other two when they came downstairs. 16. What was the FIRST concert you ever went to? Oh dear, I went to see The Jackson 5 with my dad. He rocks. He pretended to be security and snuck us down from the nosebleed seats to the floor - close to the front. No. I am not spoiled (chuckle - see #5) 17. FIRST tattoo or piercing? Ears when I was 5. If I could make up my mind, I would have a tattoo. I will only get ONE and for years I have had numerous ideas that I totally love...until I see something else I like better. I may never get one. I have even designed a few. 18. FIRST foreign country you went to? England, then France, Germany, Switzerland and Austria - all in the same trip. I was 14. 19. What was your FIRST run in with the law? Following my boyfriend home from the SATs, he went a different way that I didn't know and "Betty" T-boned a BMW! My FORD lost an "R" and become a FOD. Sheesh. It was the first time I had to actually talk to a cop. He had no sympathy for me - he was more interested in the fact that I lived in the town where the woman shot the monkey. (long story - has nothing to do with the accident) 20. When was your FIRST detention? I only had one - for being late to school more than the acceptable 3x. I only lived 7 minutes from school but "Betty" wasn't always cooperative, nor was my snooze button. 21. What was the FIRST state you lived in? Pennsylvania. Just a small town girl from Pennsyl-tucky. 22. Who was the FIRST person to break your heart? Greg Cooper. I got my first "Dear John" letter soon after he left for college. 23. Who was your FIRST roommate? Jen Chiari. She was a nursing student at Hahnemann University. We lived in Center City Philadelphia (my first time away from home and I didn't know her from Adam). She was very nice. She had a very memorable, snorty laugh. 24. Where did you go on your FIRST limo ride? To my Nanny's funeral. It was white. I felt very important. I was 11. Wanna play? Tag yourself, link to me and get your groove on! :) *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* OK, so this was fun. Nothing like walking down memory lane. Of course, now I am thinking about ex-boyfriends. Isn't that a strange thing when you are married? Bizarre, if you ask me! Alright, well those 5 articles I needed to write - I am down to 3. Karla asked if there were other places you can read my work. Well, yes there are. I write for regional parenting magazines across the country and for some websites, too. I just applied today for a new parenting website - they wanted a funny writer who would be REAL for their readers. Eh hem. Sounds like someone you know, right? Just for fun, here are a few links to some of my other work: Baltimore's Child ParentGuide Charlotte Parent Indy's Child New Jersey Family My column: The Gift of Gab Family Traditions The Glory Days Taking Care of You

And the winner is...

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Alright...what a week! How much fun to gab with each other about our birth stories. Evoking chuckles as well as streaming tears. Our God is so good and His gift of motherhood is such a miracle. It was beautiful to share it with all of you! Now, a bracelet hangs in the balance! A beautiful bangle in the winner's choice of color from Shiny Adornments! The following are the stories in the running. Please vote in the comments of THIS POST using the blogger's name to cast your vote. Friday Multiple Mom T was our winner Saturday Destini was SHOWCASED Sunday was a tie between MaBunny and Kalynne Monday Julie's husband won (haha) Tuesday AlaneM won our showcase Wednesday was another tie between Beth and Karla Scroll down to read my last and final baby story and Beth and Karla's showcase. NOW, go VOTE! Post the VOTE NOTICE on your blog and have YOUR readers come vote for you on My Semblance of Sanity! Tomorrow's Gabbin'Mama VIDEO Blog will reveal our winner!


July 26, 2005 my sweet baby boy entered the world at a mere 4 pounds 11 ounces. He spent 9 days in the NICU. I wish I could have been there to touch his tiny body. I wish I could have heard his first cry. I wish I could have fed him his first taste of milk. I never saw him but my heart knew him.
April 25, 2006, almost 9 months later to the day, I got the call, "Michelle, my paper work says you will take babies. Is that right?"
Gasp! "Yes. Yes, I will!"
"Well, we have a 9 month old who needs you. He should be here any minute. Can you get here before the office closes at 5?"
The next 2 years are confidential as our baby "I" who we were told from the beginning would be a short-term foster placement remains technically our foster son. As much as I want to share our roller coaster ride of ups and downs, happiness and tears, heartache and indifference, I can't until his adoption is final. Within a matter of weeks he will have our last name, we will be put on the birth certificate, we will have a party and we could not be happier.
God had decided to complete our family with Baby "I" way back when I was clinging to life on the delivery table birthing "E" and my uterus. My God knew we couldn't risk delivering another baby and He put it on my heart that our family was not complete - VERY HAPPY, but not complete. I couldn't explain that ache to my husband. I could only describe a future family photo in my head...there were 5 people on our couch posing for a picture but one's face was a blur. I had to fill that face. We did.
Back when we were thinking about getting into foster care I had a very vivid dream about a baby boy. He was a strawberry blond with blue eyes and I couldn't shake the image of his little face for days. It was one of those dreams that just hangs in your head like a memory. For days I kept feeling like I was forgetting something when I would leave the house - the baby....ugh it was just a dream!
A couple weeks ago I was re-reading an old journal, I found the entry about that dream...I looked at the date and did the math. My dream was within weeks of when my blond/blue-eyed baby boy would have been conceived.
God is good.
Our family is complete.
"Born not under my heart, but in it."


Another tie...just too good to choose! Giving birth on your bedroom floor certainly wins you a SHOWCASE! Good Lord!
Beth is my hero!
My 1st daughter was around 6 months old when a friend of mine called to tell me she was pregnant (our first are 2 weeks apart). I was breastfeeding 100% of the time (pumping while at work), but knew that you could get pregnant while nursing – I also had already gotten my cycle back – but we were being careful. There was no way we were pregnant again! Well, I wasn’t sure when I should start but had a feeling – so we were in Target and I picked up a pregnancy test just to alleviate any worries.
My husband was taking a shower, so I “took” the test. We were not pregnant – no way!! HAHA – joke’s on us! It was positive, as were the following two tests that I took. I called my friend, 2 weeks to the day from when she called me, and told her I was pregnant!
Being 6 months pregnant at my 1st child's 1st birthday was just BIZARRE but it was what it was and there was nothing I could do about it. I bucked up and tried to be at peace with this thing I SO did NOT plan. (Ok, I stole this paragraph from Michelle – but it is so nicely worded and so APPROPRIATE and how I was feeling).
We choose not to find out if we are having a boy or girl – didn’t’ know with the first and didn’t with this one either! My husband, however, predicted that this would be a girl, I would go past my due date, and “she” would be born in the middle of the night! WHOA!!!A girl I worked with and I were due the same day. I was so hoping this baby would arrive early and mostly expected this – as our first one was 4 days early! Hey – 4 days is 4 days!
My co-worker had her baby 2 weeks before our due date – precious little girl – boy was I jealous she was already off work on maternity leave, but more so that she wasn’t pregnant anymore!!I had my regular OB appointment on a Monday and all was fine. They said they could strip my membranes to speed things along – HMM..NO THANK YOU! Baby will come when ready. The Big DayI had been having contractions on and off that day – a bit more than usual – even so much that I was charting them at my desk (yes I was still working). This I think freaked out my boss and co-workers a bit (they were all male)…Made them nervous I think (they knew of the quick labor and delivery of our first daughter). Kind of funny for me!
My due date came and went! I worked a full day until around 5 pm. We went to grab some dinner and then went to Home Depot as our bassinet needed to be repaired (nothing like waiting until 2 days after your due date to fix the baby’s bed)! We were in Home Depot and husband was trying to make a decision of what materials he would need to fix the bassinet and was taking his sweet time. All of sudden, I looked at him and said “we have to go NOW”! He said why? I said “NOW”!! I thought I had peed on myself – I wasn’t having contractions at this point and felt fine. He proceeded to make his decision and head to the checkout, while I headed to the truck!We went home, put Bella to bed, and carried on as normal. There were no signs that it was my water that had broken and again I felt fine and besides the little “surge” I had in Home Depot – nothing else.
I was sleeping on the couch by this point for comfort reasons and husband was in our bed. At least one of us should get some sleep, right? So we all went to sleep. Around 12:47, I woke up with contractions and I’m not talking mild contractions!!! I proceeded to get my book and try to take a bath (I have natural, unmedicated childbirths)! That didn’t work and I was more uncomfortable in our bathtub. So I got out – still didn’t want to wake up husband – again someone should get some sleep! But it just kept going and they seemed to be getting closer together and more frequent. I finally woke him up and told him to rub my back – I have back labor. He did as told but it wasn’t helping and I had the urge to pee every time I had a contraction. I actually ended up hugging the porcelain God – sitting backwards and hunching over – wow – what relief!
We decided that we should probably start heading to the hospital. We had two friends on call – one lived about 5 minutes away and the other, maybe 10 minutes. Husband called friend #1, no answer, voicemail. Husband called friend #2, no answer, voicemail. He is in the process of leaving friend #2 a message when I say “hang up the phone, my water broke, this baby is coming”! WE ARE STILL AT HOME!! So, he hangs up the phone with friend #2’s voicemail, calls 911, gets a towel (wouldn’t want to stain the carpet!), lays it in front of our bed and helps me to the floor. I push maybe 2 or 3 times and SHE arrives AT HOME at 3:57 AM!! WHOA – Husband was right – past due date, girl, and middle of the night! Maybe I should start listening to him….
He is talking to the 911 operator and Bella (1st daughter) starts crying and that bothers me – I tell him to give me the phone and go get Bella!!! I talk to the 911 operator and tell him we are fine, baby is breathing and nursing, we had wiped her down a bit and she was wrapped in a blanket on Mommy! Finally about 10 minutes after her birth, the fire department/rescue squad arrive – sirens and all!!! How exciting!
We finally get off the phone with 911 and the firefighters proceed to our bedroom where they cut the cord (haha – they ask Daddy is he wants to and he declines – all they had was a straight edge to cut it with – like Daddy hasn’t been involved enough?). They check out the baby and all is fine – they load us up on a stretcher and we proceed to the hospital. Brannon starts called family (all our family was out of town) and when he says “It’s a girl” and they respond with “you were supposed to call us when you left for the hospital” he replies “ok, well I’ll call you when we leave”!!!
On the way to the hospital – Brooklyn Elizabeth turns a bit blue and they have to put the oxygen mask around her (not on her completely) and they turn the sirens on and speed up the pace – this was a little scary but the EMTs assured me she was fine – and she was. We get to the hospital and it is quite crazy – EMT is trying to get all my insurance information; hospital is insisting I get registered; they’ve taken my baby to check her over and I want her back! My husband stayed behind with Bella to get her to a friend’s house to watch her.
After a brief one night stay in the hospital – we were released and she is now 16 months old!
That’s our story of Brooklyn’s birth!!!
And Karla had a Baby New Year...definitely SHOWCASE-worthy, don't ya think?
We THOUGHT we had fertility issues. We both saw our doctors. Maybe we didn't know what we were doing? But 5 pregnancies and 4 kids are proof that neither of us needed any surgery, my husband had enough sperm (it only takes one, right?), and though perhaps not 400m gold medalist swimmers, his sperm had what it takes.
During my first pregnancy, I experienced every discomfort discussed in the prenatal class. And being that this was our first, of course 'we' were going to do everything naturally. No drugs. No inducing. Whatever it took. The due date was January 2, 1997.
At 11:30 pm on December 30 as I rolled off the bed to go to the bathroom, my water broke. And being that this was our first, our bags were packed and we were ready to go. We called the OB/GYN who inquired about contractions. As my husband put it, I was having small ones, but we didn't know any better. So we told the Dr. that yes, the contractions were indeed 5 minutes apart. We headed for the hospital as instructed.
All through the night we walked the halls of the hospital. That's all you can do. No one knew yet of the condition that would haunt me through 3 out of 4 of my deliveries: I am cervically challenged. You can pump an ocean of Pitocin into my veins only to hear the refrain - nah, just a fingertip... one centimeter. Oops, I got ahead of myself.
We were walking the halls. And praying. By dinner time I still was not in labor. This is when Dr. Hand, who also forgot to bring his bedside manner with him, examined me. You know his name really isn't Dr. Hand, and you know why I named him that - BECAUSE IT FREAKING HURTS TO BE EXAMINED WHEN YOU ARE IN LABOR (well, or almost in labor!) He also informed me that my 'bowel was full' and that if I didn't do something about it he would have the nurse give me an enema in the morning. And then he left.
I had to poop? How the heck are you supposed to know the difference when it's your first time? Well, luckily, I was able to take care of that little situation. They also let me have dinner, and my husband went home to our dog. When he left, I cried.
He came back though. I had been given Cervidil to 'soften the cervix' overnight. (I think my cervix laughed at it.) Anyway, the Cervidil was the first strike in the 'all natural, no drug' plan. The second came first thing in the morning when they started the Pitocin drip. Dr. Hand was back to finish up his shift. He proudly commented that he had scared the $hit out of me. I didn't think he was so funny. Luckily Dr. Biceps (he lifts weights, you can tell) took over for Dr. Hand.
Anyway, we still had not produced the first baby of the new year. Yes, now it was New Year's Day. My in-laws were all at my BIL's house for the annual party. And now was when I learned what a contraction was.
My husband dutifully watched the monitor for every contraction and told me if it looked like it would be 'a bad one.' I still had had no drugs, and I was exhausted. I was using the crucifix in the room as my focal point during the contractions. Before the delivery I had talked to God and told Him that I would offer up to Him whatever came with the delivery. And it was during this time that Jesus made it known to me that He was carrying me. Twice during labor, my husband was watching the monitor and warning me about what he saw on the screen. And during these two particular times, with my eyes squeezed shut, I felt... numb I guess. I 'saw' white. I felt peace. HE gave me a gift.
Well after six hours of Pitocin and the 'one centimeter' broken record refrain, Dr. Biceps informed us that we had tried everything and that he now had to do a c-section. Strike three. Now that the contractions had stopped, I got the stinkin' epidural for the surgery. So at about 10 minutes to 3:00 on New Year's Day, Dr. Biceps delivered Rocky with the comment, "That head never would have fit!" He was 7# 14oz and had a big head. As it turns out, 3 out of 4 of my children were born between 2:30 and 3:00 in the afternoon. The time right before Jesus died.
I know that every birth is a miracle, a gift from God. And for us now, the New Year's party is at our house, so we can celebrate the miracle of Rocky's birth.


Tomorrow you will all have the chance to vote for the WINNER of this beautiful bauble. I will have one more SHOWCASE from those I recieve get them in today!
Tomorrow you can scroll down through and re-read the showcased baby stories and VOTE on your favorite. (MINE CANNOT BE VOTED FOR - those were just so I could play along and share)
Scroll down to see today's showcase and my baby #2 story.
Wanna play? Click to read the rules.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Tuesday's BABY SHOWCASE...

AlaneM is today's SHOWCASED BABY STORY! Little Samuel John was not born to his Mama's plan but God's and because of that he is a healthy, happy little boy! Read her story below. It was the morning of June 7th & I was going in for my weekly OB visit. I was 38 weeks & getting pretty uncomfortable, ready for baby to show up a.n.y.t.i.m.e!! The visit was the same old same old. Heartbeat, exam, you know the drill. But then my kooky doc decides to get clever and show baby the exit. Pokes her finger up there & says "baby, here's the exit. Come on baby, be nice to your mom." OUCH!!! Ummm, baby be nice? Hellooo, how about the dang doctor!! I loved that doc but I was a leeetle annoyed with her clever procedure. Fast forward several hours. We were having a family dinner that night with both my sisters & their families. Margaret was going to cut my hair before dinner. Mom was making one of my favorite dishes, spinach & cheese manacotti, & I could just start to smell it. I get up to go get something out of my room & while walking down the hall I suddenly feel...well, kinda wet. And with each step I feel more of it. Hmmm, could it be? No, it couldn't, prolly just a squished bladder thing. There it is again - OH MY GOSH I THINK MY WATER BROKE! Ewwwww, that's kinda gross, now I hafta tell somebody. I call my doc's nurse & she tells me to meet them at the hospital. I tell my parents. Mom's excited, Dad's a bit grossed out, no surprise there. I head for the hospital & call Chris to tell him to meet me there but can't get him on the phone. I call, and call, and call, and call. What the heck is he doing, doesn't he know I need him? Finally I call the office to see if they can find him. He was working on something loud & could not hear the phone. They go get him & tell him to get his butt to the hospital cos, "your wife is in labor!" Meanwhile I get my room & they give me the latest in hospital fashion to wear. I start to settle in & here comes Chris, practically skidding into the room, convinced I'm going to have the kid before he gets there . "You're in labor? Why didn't you call me sooner?" "No I'm not in labor, my water broke you dope!" I'm reeeeally hungry at this point. I'd been thinking about that manacotti they were eating in my honor back at the house. So the next time a nurse breezed by I grabbed her, explained about the dinner & asked if I could eat something. I mean, my water broke but I'm not in labor or anything, pleeeease? The nurse has to have like, a conference with 900 other people about it and with only a half hour more of thinking about the food, they tell me I can eat a little bit. Hooray! Get my mom on the phone PRONTO, I'm gonna have me some manacotti! A nurse checks me & takes a sample to the hour goes by, waiting for results & eating my yummy dinner (thanks mom!)...yup, amniotic fluid, my water did indeed break. Yearshours later the doc gets there & starts ordering stuff for me. She informs me I'm going to be induced since my water broke. Now, hindsight is 20/20 & I wish that I would have told her I wanted to think about it. But I tend to be intimidated by authority figures like docs etc so I just went with it. They get me hooked up to all the stuff & give me pitocin. I reacted right away to it and discovered that, YOWZA, I don't like contractions one bit! I think it was about 7-ish when my contractions started, & they went on in the usual way for a few hours. I take some kind of narcotic to take the edge off the pain but it really doesn't help much, just makes me feel kinda fuzzy. So at about 11 I asked for my epidural, none of that natural stuff for me, thank you very much, I'm a huge wimp & breathing was NOT working anymore. They finally got it in place around midnight & ahhh, sweet relief! I loved my epidural, life was good, I could rest & let my body do it's thing. Except that my body started doing strange things. Once the epidural was in place my contractions pretty much stopped. They had to give me more & more pitocin to get things going again & I ended up on the highest dose. My contractions came back but were very long & weak, which was the case for the rest of my labor. Suddenly in the middle of a contraction the nurse slaps an oxygen mask on my face & urgently makes me turn on my left side. She told us that baby's heart rate dropped & I had to to that to give baby the most oxygen possible. This became a frequent occurrence - my family looked pretty worried & got no sleep at all that night. The nurse was reassuring but looked pretty intense every time did it. I was not worried at all which is strange for me. Usually I would completely stress myself out over something like that but I just went with the flow. God knew I needed to be calm & rest as much as possible. I really wanted to have a vaginal birth but when morning came I started to worry it wouldn't happen. I began to pray during each contraction. God please make something happen. I don't want to deal with a surgery right now, please, please let this baby come the normal way. Please God? But God had other concerns in mind. In the morning the nurse paged the doctor to find out what she wanted to do. She took f.o.r.e.v.e.r to call back, (I think they paged her multiple times) and finally came in around 9. The nurse was very assuring during the night & nobody ever said c-section to us. But I think she knew that's how it would end up. When my Doc got there she gently told me that it looked like a section was what we would have to do. I cried just a little & asked her if she was sure. She said they would give me a little more time but she didn't think it would help. I silently talked a bit more with God & told him that I very much did not want to do this. But if a c-section is what's necessary it would be ok. I then told my doc to go ahead with whatever was needed. They renewed my epidural & got me prepped to go to the OR. When they were wheeling me over, I felt like I was in an episode of the show ER. Get her to the OR - stat!! Laying there with the lights passing by overhead was a very surreal feeling! In the OR, the doc who really runs the show is the Anesthesiologist. Chris asked the nurse if my family could be with us. She told us he'd have to ask the anesthesiologist & it just depended on his/her preference. I think we were blessed with the coolest one in the hospital cos when we asked him he said it was fine & not only that, but they could video as well. That was way beyond our expectations, we were just hoping they could get in the room! So they suited up in the hallway to wait until the OR folks had me all ready to go. Once they were in the room things happened rather quickly. I couldn't feel a thing & it was just like they told us in pre-natal classes, lots of tugging and pulling. (My dad said later that he couldn't believe how hard they pull on the baby to get it out.) The anesthesiologist gave me a running commentary of what they were doing & told me everything looked great etc. I asked to have oxygen, my epidural was too good & I couldn't feel my chest. I felt like I had an elephant sitting on me! He told me I didn't need it but since it made me feel better he gave it to me. He was such a good doc! More tugging & pulling - my anesthesiologist told me they were almost through my uterus. Then came the big moment, baby was out and Chris announced...Samuel John is here! We found out that God was watching over this little guy big time. His placenta was only working at 25%. That's why his heart rate dropped during those contractions - they were cutting off his oxygen to some degree. Had he been born vaginally, he very likely could have had brain damage or died. God knew the perfect way for this guy to arrive, even if it was not what I wanted. Oh, He is such a good God isn't he?

MY baby #2 story...

This is MINE...all MINE...and it is not for the contest. It is also not for the weak at heart. This one has pained me just thinking about writing it...UGH! Get ready, friends 'cuz here it comes. MY BABY GIRL! My 1st was 4 1/2 months old when my husband asked, "If you don't get a period while you are nursing, how do people know that they are pregnant?" In my head I heard, "What if we are pregnant and don't know." Poor guy. He worries about everything. So, the next day I picked up a pregnancy test so that I could alleviate his stress and at dinner that night I would show him we were SO NOT pregnant. I got home from the store - put the baby down for a nap and peed on the stick. BIG FRIPPIN' PLUS SIGN!! WE WERE PREGNANT!!! Being 6 months pregnant at my 1st child's 1st birthday was just BIZARRE but it was what it was and there was nothing I could do about it. I bucked up and tried to be at peace with this thing I SO did NOT plan. My OB told me that if this baby reached the same weight as #1 before my due date, she would take it early. I needed to know the sex so I could plan the artsy thing. "It" was a SHE! I told everyone that she would not wear PINK, or lacy socks or black patton leather shoes...I bought her first pink outfit with lacy socks and the black patton leather shoes. She was destined to be a girly-girl. This pregnancy flew by. Chasing a very busy one year old sure takes your mind off being pregnant. Even though my belly had a whopping 52" circumference and I couldn't see anything within 3 feet in front of me, it flew by. We had an ultrasound 2 weeks before my due date and it was the one where they take all the measurements - the screen kept blinking with the words...SYSTEM ERROR. My husband was a little concerned and questioned the technician who was quick to respond, "Oh, don't worry. It simply means the baby is beyond 40 weeks gestation in size. The system can't calculate anything over 9 lbs." Ummm......excuse me? Would you repeat that? So, what you are saying is I have 2 weeks to go and she is NINE POUNDS already?? D-DAY! My doctor changed her mind about taking the baby early and decided to even let me pass my due date. I think I cried every day thinking about delivering her. Youchee. I was changing my mind about the hippy-feel-and-experience-everything kind of birth that I wanted with my 1st. I wanted the epidural and I wanted it when the pitocin drip started! Well, we checked in for induction. My parents were at my house with baby #1 while I prepped to birth baby #2. Within 48 hours I would be a stay-at-home mom of 2 babies under 16 months. WTFreak? Labor started about 7-ish with the little pill that they put on my cervix before the pitocin. I never needed the pitocin. Labor was my back! Did I say, IN MY BACK?! I told the nurse who took all my info when they hooked me up to the monitors that she needed to cross out the no-epidural from the first birth plan and make it very clear to everyone that when I WANT it I shall GET it! She did. Then there was a shift change. I BEGGED for those little anesthesia-wielding men to come hook me up with the goods and my new nurse kept saying...things like, "but you did it naturally with the first one." and "honey, if you want the epidural, I would have to wake up the anesthesiologist - it is 3:45 am. Just go take a shower." Ummm. Excuse me. If they make six figures sticking needles in people's backs, I think I can call them whenever the heck I need them, right? Nope. Not according to Nurse Wratchet. So, off to the shower I would go. How warm water was going to alleviate the pain that had WELL surpassed the pain from a year ago, I will never understand. Why she would deny me some well-deserved comfort, I will never know. But she did. So, I labored as my uterus stretched and wretched a small toddler closer to the outside of my body. I never got ANY drugs to help me. Time to push. I remembered quite well that pushing was the best part...the pain went away when I pushed. Not this time. There was a horrible sensation with each push this time. I actually yelled a little and squealed with each push. I grabbed my nurse's hand and said, "This feels different. Something is wrong." "Oh, honey. You just forget. Everything will be fine." I forget? I was just here a year ago. I promise you. I didn't forget. Something was wrong. At 5:15am and after 10 minutes of pushing, I was the mommy to a pink, lacy, patton leather little princess. I could only have been happier if she had been breathing when they plopped her up on my belly. She was blue. She was still. We were not prepared for that. Within seconds and lots of rough rubbing by the staff, she was screaming with a big set of lungs. My baby girl! My ELEVEN POUND BABY GIRL! I just happened to glance down toward my feet and my OB was talking to the resident. I heard her say, "Do you know what that is?" as she pointed between my legs (sorry for the visual). He didn't respond. She answered her own question with, "That is her cervix." My cervix? It was 5:15 am, I had been through 10 grueling hours of hard back labor but I was quite certain that they should not be able to see my cervix from the outside of my body let alone by pointing at the end of my table. I started to get light-headed and the doctor told Ken to take the baby so I could expel the rest with my next couple contractions. I forgot about the cervix-thing when I pushed and everything went black. "I can't see!" I yelled. Little by little I could see again. Next push. Black. Everything slowly came back. She pulled, she tugged but my placenta was holding on for dear life. Not coming out. They tried for 30 minutes - the max time before you are at risk for bleeding out. There was a lot of rushing around. They tipped my bed so that my feet were well above my head and they turned off the faucet that was running. I found out later it was not a faucet but my blood leaving my body and they tipped the table to keep it in! Alarms went off. The OR was called. They kept smacking my cheeks and telling me to stay awake. More alarms. A very worried husband stood and watched as he held my baby girl. He will tell you, he feared leaving the hospital without me. He felt he was watching what could quite honestly be my last minutes on this earth. It took 30 minutes for the OP to be prepped for me and I was rushed in for an emergency D&C. Apparently I have a uterine disorder that my OB suspected when I delivered #1 but never mentioned it to me. (BTW, there is a lot of trauma I am leaving out - this is very cathartic for me - but there is no reason to include all the things that could have been part of a serious law suit) My doctor's first words to me the next day were, "God saved your life last night." And I spent the few days before Christmas with tubes in my arms for antibiotics and blood transfusions but I had the best Christmas present baby girl...all 11 lbs of her! I hate that what should have been one of the most amazing moments of my life is over-shadowed by the fact that I almost died in front of 2/3 of my family. Horrible. But, my baby girl is 9 now and absolutely the light of my life. I look at our #3 and think, "God knew what He was doing Dec 21st, 1998." TO BE CONTINUED...check back for my baby #3 story!


*check back later today for MY #2 story* Julie's husband got locked out of the hospital just as she needed to push, she only pushed three times and little Puckey was born AND she didn't leave any "extras" on the table....THAT won her today's showcase!! This is the story of Puckey. Well, first a little back story. After I had Bug, (#2), my doctors told me it would probably be best to NOT have anymore babies. "Okay," I thought, "I can handle that - healthy boy, healthy girl. Good enough."Well, after a couple of incredibly unhappily married years to my (now ex) husband, we got divorced. Not a pretty thing to deal with, and certainly with it's own consequences. I often tell my kids now that I NOW know, and I want them to understand, why God hates divorce and that's why they need to make smart choices in the future. (But that's a WHOLE other topic) I met Ande one night at a birthday party for a co-worker of ours. We had actually worked for the same company for over a year and didn't know each other. We got to talking, and found out that we were in very similar stages in our lives - both going through divorces, I had 2 kids, he had 1, we were both done having children...blah blah blah. Ande was cute and funny, and we became fast friends. I quickly realized we'd be married someday. Fast forward 2 years, to 2002. Ande had given his life back to the Lord, and I had gotten saved around the same time. We were allowing God to be a part of our relationship, and wanted more than anything to honor Him. We got married on March 14, 2003 in a beautiful wedding at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas. Just the two of us, and his cousin & his wife as witnesses. Very cool. Before the wedding, I got the Depo-provera shot, so I wouldn't have to worry about taking the Pill.The shot made me SUPER cranky. I talked to Ande about stopping the shots, and we talked about the "what-ifs" if I got pregnant. I talked to my doctors, and they said it would be okay for me to have another child, as long as the delivering doctor knew my history of retained placenta and all that. So we decided to let God do His will in our lives, and just take things as they came. We didn't tell any of our friends or family members, so as to not get the pressure of "so, are you pregnant yet?" kind of questions. In December 2004, I started feeling pretty crummy. My cycle was never really regular, so I didn't really know if I was "late" or not. I decided to get a test, and sure enough, it was positive pretty much immediately. Being the pessimist that I am, I did another one to be sure. Yep, STILL positive. I was scared and excited all at once. I wanted a creative way to tell Ande without just blurting it out. Since it was December (and almost Christmas) I decided to wrap up one of the tests and give it to Ande as a "gift". Of course, I couldn't stand to wait until Christmas itself, so he got the "gift" that very night. He was a little stunned at first, but then was really excited about the baby.We didn't tell anyone our big news until February. I will never forget the look on my mother in law's face when we told her. We almost always went to lunch together as a family after church on Sundays. So this particular Sunday, I handed her a card that was addressed to her and my father in law. The card said, "Congratulations!" on the front. She looked at it, a little puzzled, and then opened it. I can't remember exactly what I wrote, but it was something to the effect of "Congratulations on becoming Grandparents again!" I think I might have had my first ultrasound pictures in it, too. She immediately burst into tears of joy, although I think she could have killed Ande and me for keeping it a secret for so long! Ande was very excited all through the pregnancy, and was really happy when we found out Puckey was a girl, although he thought for sure she would be a boy. (We've since discovered that Ande and his brother can apparently only make girls, which has been a big joke in the family) Ande picked her real name (which I won't reveal here, for privacy reasons), and even made baby purchases occasionally.Finally, my due date in August came, and went. I ended up being induced a week later. We got to the hospital at something like 6:00am, only to sit in a labor room for HOURS before they actually got to me to start the pitocin. I have no idea what the nurse was thinking, but she set the drip on the bag so that it emptied in MINUTES. Needless to say, I started having some pretty bad contractions REALLY quickly. We were watching weird old black and white movies in my room as we were waiting for things to progress, and Ande kept dozing off. I was starting to really struggle with the pain, so we called for the nurse. I don't know what in the world she gave me, but I started to feel really weird. I would fall asleep between contractions (which meant I would sleep for about 3 minutes, have a contraction, then go back to sleep for 3 minutes....) The few times I managed to stay awake, I would say really odd things to Ande, then I would ask him if I really said it out loud. I didn't like how I felt at all!! After a while of waiting, I was taken to the delivery room to be given the epidural. That went fine, and I felt comfortable again. It was getting to be late, and Ande was hungry. He called his dad and asked him to bring some food. Ande went down to the parking lot to meet his dad and didn't come back. I thought maybe he was just eating in the cafeteria or something so I wouldn't have to smell his dinner (since I was hungry too, but they wouldn't let me eat). The nurse came in to check me, and she said I was ready to push. Ande still wasn't back. I tried calling his cell phone, he didn't answer. I was starting to panic, thinking he was going to miss our baby being born! I finally got him to answer the phone after several tries, and much to my dismay he told me he was locked out of the hospital and couldn't find a way in. NICE. My nurse called security and they let him in. I could hear him talking as he came down the hallway, and I heard my mom's voice, too. So they both come into the delivery room and my doctor comes in and tells me to push. I push twice, and then he tells me to stop, because he didn't even have his gown on yet, and Puckey is on her way out. One more push and she was born (piece of cake!!). My husband later joked that the doctor nearly needed a catcher's glove because Puckey came "flying" out. Puckey was 7lbs, 6oz, and about 20" long. She was the most beautiful baby I've ever seen. Seriously. Her head was perfectly shaped, her skin was pink, she wasn't all wrinkly...she was perfect. I also remember thinking, "YEAH!! I didn't poop on the table!!" (That makes more sense if you've read my other 2 stories here, and here.) Then probably the WEIRDEST thing I have EVER had happen to me in my life happened. (It's sorta gross, so if you get queasy easily, you might want to skip this part) My placenta wouldn't deliver (again), so my doctor reached in and "swept" my uterus with his hand. He got the placenta out, with minimal bleeding, and ordered an IV antibiotic to prevent infection. The image of my doctor with his arm (which seemed to be up to the shoulder) inside me is permanently seared in my brain. CREEPY. But it worked, so I'm okay with it. The pediatric doctors wanted to take Puckey to the nursery to do the necessary newborn stuff, so Ande went with them (I think he was terrified that something would happen to her). My mom must have gone with him, because I don't remember her being in the room at that point. As I was lying there, I started to feel nauseated. I asked the nurse if I could get up and go to the bathroom, but since I had an epidural she wouldn't let me. She offered me a shot of something to help me feel better. I said that would be fine, so she gave me the shot. Almost instantly I felt better. For about 3 minutes. (Okay, more TMI coming've been warned) All of the sudden, I felt something happening "down under". Yeah, apparently one of the side effects of this particular anti-nausea drug is uncontrollable bowel movements. Again, I was horrified. My nurse was nice though, and she just cleaned me off as best she could until I could get up on my own. I don't think I had to "go" again for a week! You'd think after all that, I might be done, but there's one more story coming....

Saturday, February 23, 2008


Alright ladies...this was a tough one so I am calling a tie...and with good reason! So, BOTH nominations are here...these are amazing stories!!
MaBunny had a rough time of it and took the advice of her doctor who told her never to have another child...that in itself deserves a nomination.
This happened 9 years ago in Arlington, TX. I had always wanted a baby. I thought being pregnant would be a joyous miracle and fun. I wanted to go shopping for cutsie baby clothes, strollers, all the little gadgets you need. What I experienced was indeed a joyous miracle, however that its the only thing said above that turned out true.When Chris and I found out I was pregnant, we had only been trying for two months, so it happened pretty quick. I found out relatively early because at the time I worked at an OB/GYN office so I had access to pregnancy tests out the wazoo.
When I took the pee-stick test it showed a light positive, so I had a friend draw my blood and sent it off for an HCG level. It came back that I was about 3 weeks or so. Very early pregnant. The doctor I worked for at the time took a look at the results and said it was probably a blighted ovum. I didn't think so. The nurse I worked with said she would do a quick vaginal ultrasound to see if there was actually anything there. There was. I was ecstatic. It looked like a little peanut. So there started her nickname - the Precious Peanut.
Well around 6 weeks or so, I started spotting. Doctor said if I was going to miscarry there was no way to stop it but ordered me to bed for 3-4 days. I didn't miscarry. Everything was going fine. No morning sickness, just a touch of the queasies. I was working at the local hospital from 5am - 130 pm. At 17 weeks the spotting came back. I was ordered on bedrest for the next week or so. Now all of you who know me know that I love to read. At this exciting time in my life was no different. I read everything I could get my hands on. Therefore I had read that late term miscarriages start with spotting of pinkish red/brown dishcharge. I was spotting brown. I was scared. The week was over, no miscarriage. I went back to work, everything was ok again.
Then about 20 weeks it happened again. This time I was ordered to bed for 2 weeks. By this time we had found out it was a girl. We had picked out her name and everything. Her nickname had grown to The Precious Princess Peanut.Her due date was November 18th, which was my Grandmother Lela's birthday. ( She had passed away in May of 1988)I thought Grandma had chosen her especially for me and had scheduled her to arrive on her birthday. I missed my Grandmother terribly at that time. I also must mention that at the time of my pregnancy my Uncle David was very sick with Cancer. He was always the jokester of the family and he told me he was going to live long enough to see his newest great niece. I talked to my uncle more in those 7 mos than I ever had before.
Anyway, everything went back to normal. They had taken me off my normal job in the lab at the hospital and plopped me in Medical Records so I wouldn't be on my feet so much. Fine with me.I developed Toxemia around 28-30 weeks. They monitored me closely and I was told to cut job to half days. Then around 32 weeks or so they told me to go on bedrest till I delivered. Chris was working nights , but we only lived 5 houses down from my parents at the time, so I had plenty of people to watch over me. We also had a friend that played drums in a band and would come visit me when she got off work. Sadly enough, my Uncle David passed away on October 19. I didn't get to say goodbye. I wasn't allowed to go to his funeral because the doctor said it would put too much stress on me and the baby. I was devastated, but took some comfort that he would meet her in Heaven before she was delivered to us.
I got through the rest of the weeks in a blur. They finally told me I was going to be induced. I was scheduled to go the night before and they would give me some stuff to try to jumpstart labor. They gave me a cervidil suppository which is supposed to soften the Cervix and sometimes it brings on labor. I had a reaction to it. Before I knew it I had the head nurse in there and they were bringing in the sonogram machine and putting me on my hands and knees with my butt in the air, which is the emergency position if the baby is in distress. I was scared.
Turns out that my Uterus began to fibrillate, and it did it all night long. They gave me Breathine to try to calm it down but to no avail. This lasted all night. Chris , my mom and MIL were there in the room with me, all helping me ,and praying and I don't know what else. My water broker the next morning around 715 am or so. They started me on the Pitocin and said to get comfy, it would be awhile. My cousin Julie ( who had 2 kids of her own by then) told me to sit straight up and let gravity help me along. I did and boy did it ever. The nurse came to check me , said I was dilated about 3 1/2-4, so she would go notify the epidural dude. While she was gone, I started complaining of really bad, strong contractions. My mom and MIL were looking at the monitor and telling me to toughen up, my contractions were not registering all that hard, so why was I being so wimpy??!!!
Well 25 minutes later the nurse came back in to check me and I was dilated to a 7-8. I was in transition. No drugs for me. ( What? this wasn't the plan... I wanted DRUGS!!!) . The nurse said they could shoot some stuff into my IV but it probably wouldn't help much at this point. She did and it didn't. I felt it all.
I started pushing at 10:02, and she popped out at 10:14am on Thursday November 5, 1998. She weighed in at 7lbs, 9 1/2 oz and was 19 3/4 in. long. She had a head of brown hair and my MIL yelled when she saw her " She's got my nose!!" Her name was Honor Lela Nicole. So to this day her full nickname has emerged into ( and she will get mad at me for telling ya'll this since it embarrasses her but ) The Precious Princess Peanut Honor Lela Nicole Boo Boo Bear :)))
The doctor told me that I should never do that again. I haven't. She is the only baby I will have and I thank God for her every day.
(Thats the end, sorry if I was a bit long winded. I've never written that down before, and doing so brought back a swirl of emotion)Thanks for allowing me to share it.
Kalynne Pudner, our PhD and mom of 9 gets the other nomination! Need I say more?!
(grab a cup of coffee - we are talking NINE BIRTH STORIES!!)
My favorite birth story is the Number Seven and Eight combo. (But Michelle has to read them all, because the birth story contest was her idea.)
Number One (1989): It was my first year of grad school, and instead of reading my assignments, I read WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU'RE EXPECTING, over and over and over again. It's a miracle they didn't kick me out of the program. I took spring semester as maternity leave: I read, I napped, I took a prenatal exercise class. The Engineer was due February 25. My husband was a legislative aide for the Virginia General Assembly, which was in session from the second week of January until the end of February. On the 24th, my friend Susan (who might have been the next First Lady of the United States, if only her husband George wasn't quite so quick to attempt one-liners -- but I digress) called to see what I was doing: I was dusting light fixtures. "Call John and tell him to come home NOW," she said. "Dusting light fixtures means you're going into labor." Susan was right, but being a first labor, it wasn't until late on the 26th that I went to the hospital, convinced I was going to be sent back home to wait it out. The hospital was so crowded that women were laboring in the hallway. Lucky for me, I was already at 5 cm, so I got a double room -- that had been makeshifted from the fathers' lounge. Transition lasted for 3 hours, pushing for another 2. My mom was there (she and my dad lived in Saudi Arabia at the time, so it was rather a big deal). I remember throwing up in transition and wishing someone would just shoot me. The doctor was so busy that he didn't get to me in time for an episiotomy, so I escaped that part of it; the next day, I was up and walking around pretty normally, while all the other new moms looked like they'd been on a horse for a week.
Number Two (1990). Mom was sure this one was going to be early, so she arrived August 14 (my due date was the 28th). Starting around the 20th, she'd ask me every time she saw me -- which was pretty darned frequently, since we lived in a two-bedroom duplex -- "Anything going on yet? Having contractions?" By the 31st, this interrogation had gotten very old indeed. On the 1st, I went with my husband to cover an NCAA track meet (he moonlighted as sports editor for a local weekly), mostly to get away from the questions. Sitting on the bleachers watching pole vaulters, I had The Moment of Recognition. Any mom of more than one knows exactly what I'm talking about: that unforgettable instant during that one unforgettable contraction when you say, possibly very loudly, "OH, S**T -- NOW I remember why I swore I'd never do this again." We had to wait until the event was over, but then we went straight to the other hospital in town (the 16-year old unmarried roommate with half of Greene County as her extended and constantly visiting family in the lounge-turned-double room had scared me away from UVA hospital forever). This was my first birth with the Most Fabulous Doctor on the Planet. It was magnificent: three hours exactly, one hour transition, twenty minutes pushing. A 9-pounder to show for it.
Number Three (1991): We had moved 80 miles from Charlottesville to Fredericksburg, which worried me, given that my last labor had been three hours from start to finish, and everyone said they got quicker as you went on. I mentioned this worry to some nice ladies at a retreat up in Northern Virginia; just so happened one of them had a condo in Ch'ville that they used only occasionally. She invited my family to come stay there around the time the baby would be born. So we did, and during the Kevin Costner version of "Robin Hood," I went into labor with Beastie. Again, three hours to the minute. (Later, I would be deeply struck by the correspondence to Jesus' time on the cross.) The Brogans, who owned the condo, are her honorary grandparents.
Number Four (1993): We refused to relinquish the Most Fabulous Doctor on the Planet, although we never lived in Ch'ville again, so all the rest of the births were calculated long-distance risks. Again, we mooched off the Brogans, but this time there were six of us: we five plus my brother-in-law, who was finishing college and living with us as a kind of uncle-figure au pair (he was really an uncle, kind of an au pair). After a full week, I felt we'd overstayed our welcome, so we went to Bruce's office (that's the doctor, in case you didn't follow the Most Fabulous Doctor link up there) and he broke my water. Another three hours, another baby. I was getting good at this.
Number Five (1994): A dear friend with whom I've lost contact, a Marine wife whose husband was deployed somewhere, brought her young daughter to stay at my house with the other four while we drove our 80 miles in early labor with Anime-Girl. Of course, we didn't call her that then, but we did know she was a girl -- the only one of our babies whose gender we knew ahead of time. That's because Bruce thought at 20 weeks that she might be twins. Which is quite remarkable, because at 10 weeks, he couldn't register her heartbeat, so he'd thought she might be dead. It was my first sonogram. Very interesting, very uncomfortable for those of us with nerve endings in our bladders. Because we'd started early, this one went longer than three hours, but otherwise the pattern was the same. Walk around the hospital, hike some stairs. Lie around in bed a bit. Get into the jacuzzi (laboring in a jacuzzi was one of the things I'd appreciated most about Martha Jefferson Hospital -- the first two times. After that, and to this day, the sight of one turns my blood to Kool-Aid.) Yell for an epidural. Have Bruce come in, whistling and grinning, to say, "Oh, did I hear the 'E' word? Someone must be in transition! Too late now!" But this time, it wasn't too late, because I yelled for the epidural earlier in the process. (It takes me a few tries at doing something to get smart about it.) The epidural almost killed me. My blood pressure dropped like an anvil from a cliff; my conscious self-awareness went into some kind of nirvana-like state of calm and detachment; I was being flipped upside down, given oxygen, John was crying, I didn't care. (I mean, I cared that he was crying, but I knew it was all good.) Obviously, I did recover, Anime-Girl was born; but the epidural had the last word as I developed phlebitis and couldn't walk for three weeks. Then I broke my toe and couldn't walk for another two. Five kids under six, five weeks immobilized, traveling husband. Yeah, the near-death experience in the hospital was looking like a teaser.
Number Six (1997): Two miscarriages later, I didn't want to risk anything happening to me or Pseudo-Tomboy by messing around with needles in the spinal corridor. Nor did I want to risk getting stranded in F'burg. So with snow in the forecast the first week of January, we headed to the hospital BEFORE The Moment of Recognition. We were there for 30-some hours: stripped membranes, broken water, castor oil and orange juice cocktail (you have to drink it through a straw, and it's still liquid evil), even special permission to -- er, well, you can figure it out (though I strongly believe this "labor-starting trick" is a ruse made up by desperately deprived husbands) -- in the hospital. Nada. Pitocin. More pitocin. OH, S**T! The first thing Pseudo-Tomboy did upon finally entering this world was to pee on Bruce's shoes. I could hardly reneg on naming her for him after that. (Oh, wait...I haven't told that story here; it was in the comment section of someone else's blog, and I don't remember whose...)
Numbers Seven and Eight (1998): The "no, I'm sure there's only one" birth. Sure till 36 weeks, that is. (See that part of the story here, if you haven't already.) Bruce told me ahead of time that I'd have to have an epidural ("Awwwww, no. Really?" I wasn't scared of death anymore), in case they had to do an emergency C-section. And I had to be in the actual delivery room, which I'd never seen before, always having been in birthing rooms -- or daddy's lounges with a portable screen stuck in the middle. It was very bright. No jacuzzi ("Awwww, no. Really?") And it was very crowded: me (well, duh), my husband, Bruce, the labor nurse, the high risk OB who would do the C-section if needed since Bruce was barred by the Medical Board from performing surgery since he was missing some fingers (go follow that link!); two perinatalogists, two nursery nurses, and a couple of interns because I was a gravissima mega-multipara (something like that, meaning I was over 35 and already had a boatload of deliveries). And it was a freakin' blast. I'd never imagined I could have so much fun birthing a couple of babies! I was cracking jokes, and singing, and laughing, practically dancing on my delivery table. Bruce said years afterwards that I was STILL famous at Martha Jeff for that delivery; no one could believe how well I did.Well, no kidding, says I. IT DIDN'T HURT! SOMEONE GAVE ME THE DAMN EPIDURAL AND DID IT RIGHT! Besides, I was in awesome physical condition, having spent over an hour on the treadmill and another on the weight machines three times a week my entire "singleton" pregnancy.That was the last delivery I had with Bruce. Way to go out with a bang.
Number Nine (2002): Most muscles in the human body get more efficient with use; that's what strength training and aerobic exercise are all about. Not so the uterus. It can take only so much stretching before it loses its spring. Add to this sad biological fact the logistical one that I was in Atlanta, with a huge group of rotating OBs who didn't know me from Aunt Pittypat; who didn't know that my water NEVER broke until I got to transition, or that asking me if I want my tubes tied "as long as we're here" is a flashing neon gauntlet. Finally, add the financial one that we didn't have friends like the ones we'd left in Virginia, and were therefore paying a babysitter $10 an hour while I was at the hospital. OF COURSE, I was going to be there for more than a full day. I got the epidural before even asking. That stopped my labor cold. Then I got Pitocin, but in order to keep me comfortable, another dose of epidural stuff, too. Twelve hours, I'd dilated from 3 to 4. And I'd been at 3 for a whole month already. I kept hearing the "ch-ching" of an old fashioned cash register in my mind. Finally, I remembered what my very good friend Colleen, mother of 12, told me about birthing her Number Nine: "The doctor said, 'You're only at 6, but you've had a whole lot of kids; your cervix must be pretty stretchy. Why don't you just push 'im out." And she did. So, I tried it, too. It didn't work...until I got to 8. Then I did it, and Cuteness arrived without my having to experience The Recognition Moment.
And I'll never experience it again; the production facility is, shall we say, obsolete. Am I wistful? Has reliving all these miraculous events made me wish for one more encore? Oh, S**T, no.
Click to read the rules and hop on the BABY BUS!
Click to see the prize up for grabs!
Keep your eye out for some unique creations from ME! COMING SOON!


You waited so patiently, you trusted that I would come through for you... For our BABY STORY WINNER, Kristy from has offered to make one of her gorgeous bangle bracelets in your choice of color! Too cool! For those of you who do not receive this bauble as a prize, her ad is now running in my sidebar. She's got GREAT prices!! Take a peek below at Saturday's winner...keep sending your stories!! Invite others! This is so fun!

Friday, February 22, 2008


Head on over to A Glimpse of Destini to read her other birth story. It was her #3 that took today's prize. I will sum up Saturday's winner by quoting the very last sentence of her post.
"Moral of the story: Never dismiss the prayers of small children."
Flash forward a few years...I found myself pregnant again with number 3. It was one of those kind of surprises. Something planned, but not planned. My husband and I were content with the 2 that we had. To show God that I was serious about being content, I sold all of my baby stuff thinking that He would understand that we were okay with a family of 4. The funny part of this story involved the my 2 older children. I was driving up I-75. I was dropping them off at a friend's house. I was getting ready to attend a funeral. The kids were talking in the back asking questions about the funeral, the deceased, God, the know, typical kid stuff. All of a sudden they hit me with the "We want a brother or a sister." I politely told them that babies are a special gift from God and that if they want a baby, they would have to pray for one, thinking that they would just drop it and move on.
Right then and there, both children offered up a special prayer right in the back seat of my truck. Big brother prayed for a little brother and sissy prayed for twin girls to help her clean her room.Up until this point I had no real reason to suspect that I was pregnant. I was a little bit late, but with me, that was not uncommon. I never really worked like clockwork. The day after this little prayer from my children, I woke up feeling very sick to my stomach and "the girls" were very sensitive. I kept thinking to myself, "Nah, I can't be..."On a whim, I bought a pregnancy test and sure enough, I was pregnant!
We decided early on to not find out what we were having. After all, I was going to have another c-section. If I knew what I was having I could have the birth announcements pretty much made a month ahead of time! We figured we would just be surprised.Sissy and Big Brother argued for most of the 9 months about the baby. Sissy was very adamant that the baby was going to be a girl, because that is what she prayed for. She would not entertain for a second the thought that it could be a boy. Around my 8th month in a moment of weakness, I asked my OB nurse if we were having a girl or a boy because regardless of whether I find out or not, it is in my chart. My husband and I decided that we would find out so that if Sissy was wrong, we could gently prepare her for a boy in the few weeks remaining. The nurse mouthed the word boy to me from the door. I only shared that knowledge with my husband.
We didn't do any special preparations, like buying boy clothes or putting out boy clothes in the dresser. We did talk to Sissy and tell her that although she prayed for a girl that it was always a possibility that this could be a brother, after all, Big Brother prayed too. The time finally came for the c-section. I ended up in a different hospital this time. No crazy anesthesiologist named Bob to give me my spinal. No bra hysteria. I ended up having a team of 2 (one was completing her schooling) anesthesiologists that came for a consult before the operation. I expressed my concerns over how sick I get during my surgeries. I also expressed concern for my husband, who up until this point had never gone in on a c-section. My mom had always gone. He is one of those people who faints at the sight of a needle and the smell of a hospital.
With a plan in hand for all my concerns we prepped for surgery...My 2 anesthesiologists were awesome. They installed an air curtain that blew either warm or cold air on me. They both stood at my head and talked to both my husband and me. At the very second I started to feel nauseous they administered medicine. We laughed and joked for a while. My husband was doing great! At some point we asked when they were going to start. Little did we know that the surgery was almost over!
Finally the baby was born. The nurse gently placed the baby over the curtain, then took her to the nursery without really saying whether it was a boy or a girl. She must have thought that we already knew. Steve and I looked at each other and asked the anesthesiologists what we had. They replied that they saw girl parts. We were stunned. "Really? Are you sure? Girl parts?" We were prepared for a boy, settled on our boy name. The one drug doctor went and found out and returned...Yep, it's a girl. At this time, I am still on the table getting stitched up.
Steve suddenly began to not feel so well. I told him it was okay to go and see the baby. When he stood up from his stool he began to feel queasy. The 2 drug administering doctors told him to sit back down and that they would wheel him out on his stool. They did not want to chance him passing out and hurting himself. He sat back down, a little embarrassed and went to meet his new daughter. She ended up being the smallest of the three weighing a 7 lbs and 1/2 oz...
Moral of the story: Never dismiss the prayers of small children.
Join in on the fun! See rules here.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Friday's BABY STORY Showcase...

Today's SHOWCASED Baby Story is from Multiple Mom T:
I think you will all agree that although everyone had a great story, Tina deserves this SHOWCASE! God bless her!
Her story:
(This is a copy of the email update she sent out on 8/28/2001 to friends and family)
Hello dear friends. Some of you will know the following, but many of you don't, so I'm sending to all. I haven't emailed an update in a long time because I went into the hospital on August 14th with a ruptured sac. Baby A, Connor John, had broken thru. Our local hospital didn't have the nursing staff for 24 week old quads, so I was sent to Christiana hospital in Delaware (not even in my state). It was touch and go for a few days--I was on Magnesium Sulfate (very nasty), but came through ok. I settled in for the long haul of bedrest. Saturday the 25th started like any other day. We monitored the babies around 10-10:30. Then I started having contractions. Before I knew it, they were 2 1/2 minutes apart and I was 4 cm dilated. They took me in for a c-section 2:00 ish. Connor John came at 2:08 pm weighing 1 lb, 9 oz.Bennett Quinn arrived at 2:09 pm weighing 1 lb, 11 oz.Ethan James came at 2:10 pm weighing 1 lb, 11 oz, andLaura Grace finally got pulled out at 2:13 pm weighing 1 lb, 10 oz. They were immediately whisked away to the NICU admittance and I went to recovery. 5 hours later I was finally able to see them. Bennett, Ethan and Laura were ok, but Connor from the very beginning was having more problems. To shorten the next part of the story, fast forward 3 more hours to 10:30 pm, when the Neonatologist comes up and tells Jim and me that Connor will not make it through the night. Jim went down to spend some time with him (I was still very drugged and was in and out of consciousness). He came back upstairs a little after midnight to see if I wanted to come downstairs. The NICU called and said that he needed to come downstairs NOW. So I gathered myself and moved onto a gurney and went to the NICU to hold my firstborn son and cry. He was SO tiny!! So fragile!! We cried so much! While Jim held him, he quietly left us to be in the loving arms of Jesus. Saying goodbye was the hardest and most emotional thing I have ever done. Coming home today, Tuesday, to our playroom full of baby things, many in fours, was extremely difficult. It will take some time before I can face going in there without crying. Our other three, like typical preemies, change from day to day. The two boys have heart murmurs, but are responding to meds. Laura was doing the best, but is now on a special ventilator called an oscillator. It pumps 300 breaths per minute into her tiny lungs. But all are holding their own. I have three journals to track their day to day improvements, which will be encouraging along the way. The joy and hope of my three living children tempered with the sadness and grief of losing our son is a very difficult place to be. We are in the process of trying to decide whether to have a funeral and burial or cremate. I never thought to be in this position. Only God is sustaining me now, I can assure you. Jim is crying and grieving as much if not more than I am. We can only cling to each other and be there for each other as we work our way through this difficult time. We still appreciate your prayers for both Mommy and Daddy and our three precious children. They will be in the NICU for at least 10 weeks, and we will be traveling 45-50 minutes each way to get to them. I will also be pumping to provide breast milk for the babies, so life is already revolving around them. As I'm sure you can tell from the whole tone of this email, this is a very difficult time for both of us. Thank you all for your support, prayers and understanding. I will not be on email that often, and the phone will be answered as possible. Visitors are welcome, but we ask that you call first. Much love, Tina
(I'd like to add that 6 1/2 years later Bennett, Ethan and Laura are healthy, happy and wonderful children and have an almost-5 yr old sister).
Want to join in the fun? See contest rules here.
Want to read MY (first) baby story? See it here.

Gabbin' Mama Video Blog & a CONTEST...


In 1996 my best friend, Michelle Lynn Eck, died in a horrible car accident. Until this happened my husband of three years and I had decided we would start trying to have a family after we had more principle paid on our mortgage, after my Master's Degree was completed, etc. etc. etc. You know the list - you probably had one, too! The night of our dear friend's funeral I threw my birth control pills away. Ken and I decided that our days on this earth are numbered and we never know what tomorrow will bring. We were sure that Michelle wasn't expecting to breathe her final breath on November 9, 1996. We "tried" TWO TIMES and we were PREGNANT! I bought little "I LOVE DADDY" booties and told Ken - he almost passed out. He knew he was a stud but WOW - 2 TIMES?! I made the announcement that we mailed to our friends... it had the Nittany Lion on the front with the words...WE ARE... on the inside I drew Ken with his hands on his head and me with a big belly and the words "PREGNANT!" I was teaching high school at the time so breaking the news to kids who would know HOW I GOT pregnant was...let's say... interesting. There were a couple days of whispering and then the excitement subsided. I had a pretty uneventful pregnancy. My due date was in September so I had the whole summer to grow a baby and relax if I needed to. It was a perfect situation although being home all day lent itself to some BIG numbers on the scale. On September 13, my grandfather's birthday and 2 days passed my due date, I went into labor. Ken and I were watching a movie with his parents and at about 9 o'clock I thought, "Ok....that hurt..." at about 9:10, "Ooo, there it is again." The movie was over at about 10:00 and I asked what everyone was doing the next day. They looked at me funny and I said, "Because I have been having contractions for over an hour, now." They squealed and giggled. My labor lasted well into the night and was a bit erratic. We called the doctor a couple times and she said to wait until the contractions were definitely 2 minutes apart and were coming consistently. My parents and my sister were coming that day anyway because I was scheduled to be induced the next day (we were living in upstate NY at the time so they had a 3+ hour drive). We finally went to the hospital, I walked into the ER and saw one of my students - just what I wanted at that moment. I calmly said "hi" and went to check in. (Later I heard from my other students that he shared our "run in" with everyone and aparently I was screaming and cursing and on a gurney with my legs in the air! Nice, Colin!) Upon checking me for the first time, my nurse told me that I was a whole 1 1/2 cm dialated. My head spun around and green phlegm shot out and I blurted, "I HAVE BEEN DOING THIS FOR 15 HOURS NOW...IT HAS TO BE MORE THAN THAT!! CHECK AGAIN!" She did. 1 1/2. Crap! I was positive that I wanted NO DRUGS. I drilled it into my Dr's head. NONE NONE NONE! I am an artist remember, kind of a hippy, too, so I truly wanted to EXPERIENCE IT ALL. I wanted to feel every bit. When I thought my spine was going to break from my lovely BACK LABOR, I asked for something...just to take the edge off. They gave me a shot of It-just-pretends-to-work-medicine and all it did was make me dizzy! For hours I laid there hooked up to monitors without the freedom to walk around. I am not sure I would have walked as I was naturally in more pain than I had ever felt in my life. I was so dizzy, just kept my eyes closed. Ken would say, "Shel, they are here to check you." I would assume the position just hoping someone would tell me it was time to push! It could have been the mailman for all I cared - if he said "PUSH" he would have been my hero!

Finally, I thought it was time to push - you know that feeling. You can't control it. BUT, my sadistic doctor thought I needed to wait. WHAT?! So, I hyperventilated doing the Lamaze breathing to keep from pushing. By the time it was REALLY time to push, I had decided this baby was coming out NOW! NOW! NOW! (I am typing so fast right now - it's really funny!)

After a couple pushes a nurse asked me if I had done this before. "Umm, a little busy here - NO FRIPPIN' TIME FOR CHIT CHAT!" I saw my doctor with scissors in her hand...what are those f...YOUCH!

10 minutes of pushing (23 hours of labor) and he was out! My gorgeous 8 lbs. 10 1/2 oz, slimy little boy was laying on my belly. I reached for him and touched his wee little hiney. (I tell him that now and as a 10 year old that is not so cool!) He was beautiful! (I am crying, typing this for you) Absolutely beautiful! He was born on Sunday, September 14th (8 years to the day of the day Ken and I met for the first time!) It was Grandparents' Day and he was the first grandbaby on both sides of our family.

There is something to be said about the love between a Mother and Son! He is as perfect today as he was the day I held him on the outside of my body for the first time.

check back tomorrow for baby story #2)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Well, enough of you have commented that you would be into a BABY STORY GIG! I thought it would be fun b/c we ALL end up talking about birthing our children at some point when a bunch of women get together. You may have known the woman across the table from you for 42 seconds but she mentions her OB/GYN and you jump right into your rant on epesiotomies!
So, here is what we are going to do!
1. This week, I will post MY baby stories here for you to enjoy.
2. Post your birth/adoption stories on YOUR blog (with a link to our contest) and leave your link in the comments section of this post so we can all visit your blog and enjoy your story.
3. If you don't have a blog, feel free to leave your birth/adoption story in the comments section here.
4. Each night I will choose one of your stories to "showcase" for the next day. Check back to see if you have been "showcased".
5. Invite your blog readers to join us, too. Make sure they leave links to their stories HERE so we can have a HUGE GIGANTIC AMAZINGLY COOL contest!
6. I am close to nailing down to prize and will notify you when I am SURE it is a DONE DEAL!
OK ladies (and gentlemen if you want to participate...) let's hear about your babies!!!
Contest will run from Wednesday 2/20 - Tuesday 2/26.
We will vote on the "SHOWCASED MOMS" on Wednesday 2/27.
I will announce the WINNER on my Thursday (2/28) "Gabbin' Mama" Video Blog!

Monday, February 18, 2008

So, here it weekend in a nutshell...

So, as I sit here gnoshing on Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies that I can't even taste because I have a truckload of snot in my head, I contemplate how to make this post bear with me, blogfriends...this weekend was a doozie. I think the easiest way to recall the chaos-ities (that's a new word) is to count 'em up, so here goes: 1. Expecting a check in Friday's mail, I ran to the box. No check. But the recent issue of the paper I write for was there. I turn to page 4 - my page - NADA! The editor neglected to print my column. Now, this may not sound like a big deal, but I regularly get comments from readers who say nice things about enjoying Friday's Page 4. I hate to appear inconsistent. It just bothers me. 2. As I frantically paged through the paper to see if I was on a different page, I caught a glimpse of a familiar face. What took my breath away was that as I flipped past the face I realized the word OBITUARY was above it. Someone I went to school with, someone I just saw two weeks ago at the grocery store was dead. WHAT?! I skimmed through the obit as I was too sad to actually read everyword...I caught the phrase, "after a courageous battle with cancer." I had no idea. I had only seen him twice in about 6 years but we chatted and caught up on "stuff." I didn't know. I really didn't know. 3. DATENIGHT! My love and I went out to the Country Club for our Valentine's dinner. No, we are not members, although it was fun to pretend while I typed was a church organized function. It was fun. There was acoustic music, great food, friends and a funny skit where a married couple traded places for a few minutes. The husband uttered things like, "Can you just turn off the TV and listen to me?" "I just want to be held." "I can't just turn it on and off." The wife responded with comments like, "There's an off switch?!" Funny!!! 4. Saturday brought me ALONE TIME. Even though my husband woke up sick (and wives, you know what that means...groaning, moping and sighs. WTFreak?!) I left him with the kids. How is it that we can push a baby out of ...well, insert your own word here...and in two days we are loading the dishwasher, folding laundry, making dinner all while breastfeeding our twins and changing their diapers in a blink? But, a man gets a cold and the whole world comes crumbling down! Actually, my husband is not bad when he is sick - but I know a lot of men are - or so I hear. Back to my ALONE time. I felt bad leaving him with all three kids but I had to go to the fabric store as I had 8 little girls who were meeting me at the church later to make blankets for a local children's home as their ACT OF KINDNESS. I was ALONE in the car, listening to non-Hannah Montana/Jonas Brothers music. Singing loudly with no one complaining that someone can't hear their iPods. Ahhhh HEAVEN. 5. WHAM! I am rearended! In my husband's car. Small sadan (me) vs. Large Suburban. By the grace of God (I MEAN THAT SERIOUSLY) there was not even a mark on his bumper. I was hit hard enough to look like a bobblehead being shook and had I had my lipstick applicator out of the tube I would have impaled my brain with Mocha Madness lip gloss. I was fine, although quite shaky. The driver of the big-fat-not-looking-where-you-are-going car was fine, too. So, I continued on my way to the fabric store. 6. After settling my nerves with the NEWSBOYS on MAX volume, I pulled into the parking lot of where I would clear the shelves of fuzzy fleece. I found my fleece, had it cut (LOTS OF IT) and headed for the register. There is something relaxing about standing in line at a register with NO children trying to stand up in the seat, pulling so hard on your shirt while they try to stand that the man in front of you hands you Mardi Gras beads. My cashier was moving a little slowly and fanning herself with her hand but I didn't mind, I was relaxing. My woman-parts were not flahed and were neatly tucked inside my shirt and I was peeking through a gossip magazine. When it was my turn, her phone rang and the only part of her conversation I heard was, "they will never let me go home." She scanned my fleece and random snacks I got for my girlies who would be turning them into snuggly blankets. Every now and then she grabbed the counter as though she were floating away. She sighed a few times and finally she said, "I am so light headed, I am sorry." After a couple times of her teetering behind the register, I asked her if she wanted me to get someone. She said yes. I asked who. She said, "Anyone" and she flipped her light on for a manager. I saw a manager coming and she said, "Register 15, I am on my way." I turned back to my teen clerk and said, "Someone is..." and with that her eyes rolled back in her head and she went down like a ton of bricks. I think I screamed because I wa s so afraid her head was going to hit the cement. I don't think it did. Then, she started seizing. SEIZING! There was a paramedic in my line and he ran to help, people called 9-1-1, someone called her mom, someone took off his coat to put under her head as she squealed and cried and continued to seize. Someone got my register receipt for me so I could sign it and I left praying for Arianna, my cashier. 7. I took an unexpected rest at Barnes & Noble cafe to sip a hot Macchiato and relax. Bad things happen in three's, you know! I was a ball of nerves. 8. I cut and tied fleece blankets from 5 - 11 pm with my girls from church and had my friend's kids overnight. All-in-all a VERY fun evening! 9. Today I took my 7 fleece-tying troopers to The Children's Home of Reading to deliver their wares. What an amazing experience. It is confidential who is a resident there so we were only allowed to drop them off with the directors but we ended up staying there for almost 2 hours. The girls had so many questions, "Do the kids get to see their moms?" "How do you know it is safe for them to go back home?" "Do they get to play with their friends?" "Do they have a church to go to?" "Are they sad?" I was so touched by the love these women share for the children they have there. They house 72 boys in their treatment facility. While answering the girls' questions Janene and Debbie teared up numerous times, wearing their hearts on their sleeves. Beautiful. French fries, milkshakes and a Hannah Montana DVD for the ride home and I am sure they would agree it was well worth the trip in the rain to Reading. 10. My daughter is now feverish and sick. No school for her tomorrow. Cancelling all my appts and meetings and very well MAY declare Tuesday JAMMIE DAY!!! Thinking about doing a BIRTH STORY contest/post/original MEME. Interest? Go to BECAUSE I SAID SO and win Tupperware if you guess what the globulous food Dawn's hubby found in their son's bed. His bed! Nighty night.