Monthly Archives: November 2010

The BEST Black Friday activity —

The best way to spend BLACK FRIDAY – CLEANING and conquering the chaos monster. 

De-cluttering.  Cleaning.  Establish harmony where there was chaos.  It was a wonderful day. 

I worked from 6 am to 8 pm.  My mom and dad helped, and the boys helped too.  Mom and I cleaned, Hubby cleaned some, my father supervised and advised.  Big Brother made a real effort to clean, and Little Brother helped pull toys back out of tubs after then had been sorted, and tested (played with) every toy encountered.  Big Brother swept and took a wet rag and cleaned spots on the floor and the toy table; and generally fetched and carried for everyone.  Big Brother is a hard worker that genuinely wants to help and participate and do a good job. 

I went though all the toy tubbies.  I pulled out about 4 or 5 tubbies worth of toys to get rid of (re-home, goodwill, recycle, trash).  I sorted all the toys back into the correct tubbies, and several tubbies got new labels.  Dress up for example became 2 tubs, one dress up clothing (clothing only) and the other Dramatic Play (the doctor kit parts, accessories and so on.  The batman toys got their own tub (shoe box sized) and the unplayed with ‘build a train’ and others lost their spot.  Such a great feeling.  I love order. 

I gutted the living room also.   The sofa, both chairs and the table got moved, and cleaned out and under.  A new arrangement was required to fit in the tree, and so everything got moved, all the toys, all the toy tubbies, all the elements of the living room.  Windows and sills and walls and baseboards all got a good scrub too.   

While mom was here to occupy the boys, I took the opportunity to tackle the laundry room.  The laundry room is my catch-all, being the only room on the main floor with a door, a lot gets tossed in there and the door shut.  So there is generally a good amount of stuff in there that needs sorts, putting away and so on.  Arts and crafts live there, as does all out school stuff and a good selection of “adult interaction” toys (puzzles, actual games like CandyLand, the wooden tile matching game and so on) as well as “limited use toys” (like the unit blocks) that I rotate out for a few days, then put back based on how I feel and how mature the boys are acting.  Other “controlled” substances are also in the laundry room; the play dough tubbie and the extra crayons for example.  All the art and crafts supplies cleaned out; the tubbies sorted, the random things put back into the correct tubbies.  Old, dried out, leaking, or used up supplied got trashed.  The stack of cardboard and paper and recycled options (cardboard tubes, small boxes and so on) got a harsh “going thought” and a lot got thrown out.  All the tubs got cleaned out, and resorted and many relabeled or labeled for the first time.  All the toys in there sorted and cleaned out and organized so I can rote them though more often and so they are just plain neater to look at.  The laundry all caught up and the room mopped.  Nice to get that room in shape; it is truly the hardest room to keep under control.

All the Christmas gifts that have been stashed all over the house, especially, the laundry room and the back of kitchen cabinets, were gathers and snuck up to my closet and hidden in the Christmas gift tubbie.

An even bigger task then sorting, cleaning up and out, re-tubbieing and relabeled toys AND arts and crafts I tackled the growing collection of home schooling materials.  I took my one big “stash all” tub and sorted it into several smaller, more functional, tubs.  Putting workbooks and idea books that are too old in their own tubbie out of the way; making one tub for the books we use now, and another tub for references for me, catalogs and so on and yet another for supplies and manipulative and tools that are non-books. 

Ahhhh order.  Such a fantastic day.  By the end of the day every tubbie in the house (toys, art, school) had been got though, cleaned up and out, and put to the best possible use.  By the end of the day 5 tubs were “removed”; 16 other tubs were labeled or relabeled to note their new use; and at least 7 tubs were newly created.  The house fairly sparkled.

The Christmas decorations are slowly going up and I feel like the house is in a good place, not only for them, but for a busy season and a time of hosting.

From now on, I think, this is going to be a family tradition.  Feast on food and family on Thanksgiving, feast on cleaning and order on Black Friday to start Advent off the right foot; emotionally and physically (clean house, not behind).






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Advent starts tomorrow

Advent starts tomorrow.  Sunday Nov 28, 2010.  Advent serves as a reminder both of the original waiting that was done by the Hebrews for the birth of their Messiah as well as the waiting of Christians for Christ’s return.   

Today the boys and I started our Advent Tree.  It is just another example of momma winging it. 

I desire to do a Jesse Tree with the boys; but I am not going to frustrate all 3 of us.  A Jesse Tree is based on Isaiah, 11:1. A pictorial representations, the Jesse Tree show a symbolic tree or vine with spreading branches to represent the genealogy of the Christ child in accordance with Isaiah‘s prophecy.  Starting on December 1st with an empty banner or tree, a reminder ornament is hung each day until Christmas Day when the Christ child in the manger and star are placed at the top. A Bible verse is read, and the story reviewed daily. These devotions allow time every day for sharing and meditating with God’s Word.  I have momma friends who’d kids have been able to follow the Jesse Tree at ages younger than mine, but I just do not see the boys being mature enough or having the attention to follow the process and make all the connections necessary.  Maybe next year. 

So this year we will stick with our “play with” nativity and our ‘momma Created Advent Tree’.  Practicing the story of the Birth of Christ and counting the days down at the same time.  I am really hoping to engage the boys in more service activities this year, and we may “post them” to our tree. 

So to start the boys finger painted big pieces of paper green to make the “tree”.  I just had them cover big pieces of paper in paint, and then Momma cut out a very basic triangle evergreen.  Earlier today I took down the handprint leaves off our fall tree, and the pumpkins and apples from the base of it.  That same trunk then became out Advent Tree.  I thought finger painting the green of the tree would let the boys take a more active role in it, not just something Momma put up on the wall.  I like them to have some ownership, a vested interest, in the things we make and use, if at all possible (though I admit to enjoying my post-bedtime “completion of task” time too)

I  am thinking; after Advent making some kind of winter tree, then  next spring a spring tree, and so on to allow the boys to have a full year of seasons – then we can put all the pictures together and see not only how the tree and seasons changed over the year, but also how they have grown.

Finger painting is such a great sensory activity, for both boys but especially for Big Brother and sensory awareness.  Little Brother was not too interested, and only painted for a few minutes.  Once Big Brother got ‘in to the activity’ and was “slapping” the paper Little got interested and joined in for a bit, but never really put much time in.

I asked Big Brother was the paint felt like and he told me “cold, wet-ish” he told me it was “really tickle-y” and “the globs mix”.  As he got into he seemed to be noting it on his hands as he scooped it out of the tray.   He loves to mix paint, loves the colors changing.  He swirls the paint and watches it so closely.  He begs to mix colors every time w paint.  I tried to point out to him that the paint got tacky as it started to dry and he said “it gets sticky” so I was glad to see he did notice the change in consistency. 

I cut circles (basically) out of scrap paper and numbered them 1 to 27.  The idea is to count down the number of sleeps until Christmas / Jesus Birthday.  After we know the to the father. Who denyed anything wrong was happening to Lily in his home. Lily was murdered a week ago today, after being repetedly raped. In her father’s home. By his wife. The wife is in jail, but the father and the judge are not. They were the ones ultimately responsible to keep her safe, and they chose to do otherwise. date of other things, like Grand pat and Pa Pa’s arrival, Aunt Candy’s arrive, and so on, I’to the father. Who denyed anything wrong was happening to Lily in his home. Lily was murdered a week ago today, after being repetedly raped. In her father’s home. By his wife. The wife is in jail, but the father and the judge are not. They were the ones ultimately responsible to keep her safe, and they chose to do otherwise.ll note them on the correct circle .  That will also allow for some sneaky math practice.  If there are 15 sleeps till Christmas, and Pa Pa arrives 2 sleeps before Christmas there must be 13 sleeps till Pa Pa and Grand Pat arrive. 

The idea, again, momma winging it, is to take down the number each morning after we have “slept that sleep”.  We have our box of Advent books out, and we’ll be reading them.  We have our action figure Naivety set out and have already acted out the Christmas Story a few times and Big Brother hid the baby Jesus un the Virgin Mary figure “he is not born-ed [sic] yet.  His momma still has him in her” and then tried to balance her on the donkey.  🙂 That he remembers from last year / knows all on his own.  When we got the set out of storage Grand Pat sat down with the boys, they both dove into it and story right away.  Little had the angles flying around, but Big did the whole process of having The Virgin Mary and Joseph arrive and then the animals gather then the baby go into the manager; and he remembered everyone name and brought in the shepherds last.  The tree I hope will keep us on track of “time”.

Next we have to start our Christmas decorations for gifts; gonna be a lot of them to make this year with the boys in church activities and in classroom and more services at school.   

 To read more about Advent:

 To read more about the Jesse Tree (including directions and history):



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Grandma P arrived today to spend 14 days with us.  Grant Pat and Pa Pa arrive late tomorrow night, but the boys think they arrive Thursday morning.

We have a new tubbie time game.  Little Brother is finally ‘tuning in’ to interactive games, he is 3 now and playing games with me Big Brother engaged in at 18 months.  Different kids.  We now, nightly, play “Show Me…”. Version one:  I hold 2 different toys (like a blue cup and a red triangle stacking cup) and ask “Show me the RED” or “Show me the CIRCLE”.  We do colors, shapes and sizes.  Big Brother races to grab the right answer, and I try to explain to him to let Little have a chance.  Big insists “I am helping him, you help me” and I have yet to get him to see the difference in DOING and HELPING.  Nevertheless Little gets caught up in it and tries to race Big Brother and they both have fun.  To be honest Little doesn’t get many of them correct, even given the opportunity, but his score is improving and now that he is interested in engaging with us in such a way he’ll get there.  The other version of the game is for me to put out my hands and say “give me BLUE” or “give me BIG” and if I get the wrong thing, and Big Brother delights in intentionally giving the wrong object, I drop it and say “noooo that is ____ SILLY” and both giggle about that.  In that version of the game, since Big is so intent on getting the ‘wrong’ reaction Little does get a chance to get the right object more often.  It is just a new thing, and quite a wonderful thing, to have Little so engaged, watching me, getting excited about a “GOOD JOB, that is RIGHT” and giggling about a “nooooo” .

Little Brother is working on mastering his phonic sounds and has recently tuned in to letter in his world.  He turned 3 only a month ago; Big didn’t really start to demonstrate a connection between specific letters and their sound till 4.5 or later.  Again, different kids.  The Boys watch Letter factory (by Leap Frog) and word Factory in the van a good amount.  Recently he has started bring me letter magnets off the gun safe and making the correct sound.  The boy has about 3 words and communicates mostly in screech but he can correctly produce a K, R, S, T, C, Z and H sound (heard them all today); and maybe others.  The letters he can’t make the sound for he still brings to me, to have named, then giggles and run back for another.  Also, we have a set of phonics flash cars, we’ve had for a long time, and Little Brother loves them.  He flips though them, he leaves them all over the house for Momma to pick up, he carries them to me and once in a while if I ask for a specific letter he can go find it (and he usually enjoys trying even if he is not correct).  He is constantly pointing out letters (in books, and on my sweatshirts) and demanding they be named, over and over and over again.  I am really interested to see what his skills look like when he master speech better, that is going to be really exciting.

Daddy and Big Brother did a science “lab” and lesson on electricity today.  They discussed amps vs ohms.  They discussed that electricity will be conducted by metal but not wood or plastic.  Then they got to use Daddy’s amp / ohm meter.  Daddy used a small stretch of copper wire to show how wire works; then they made predictions about things (the table, the tool bag, the screwdriver, etc) and then tested them.  By the second or third “trial” Big Brother was nailing each prediction on the head.  Afterwards, Big Brother was frustrated not to be allowed to romp the house “testing” things with the house.  Daddy covered safety, and how much stronger house hold current is that the 9 volt battery they were learning with, and afterwards Big Brother was able to tell me that electricity is dangerous and can make you have to go to the hospital and stay there.  He was also able to tell me it does not go though plastic or wood only metal and even showed me the difference in the rubber/ plastic handle of the screwdriver and the metal end of it.

Big Brother has been trying to sound out words a lot.  He has the concept – sounding out each letter – but not the “end” of the sounds becoming a word.  He so wants to read, he will “sound out” BATMAN on his coloring book and read it to me.  So today I pulled out HOP ON POP to give him some easy practice.  He sounded out the first 6 pages; and pointed out all the rhymes to me and told me “they rhyme because they end the same”.  We stopped as soon as he asked to, and I read to him for a while.  This is certainly his thing, all I am here for is to facilitate and try to offer things to allow him to be success (like Hop on Pop and very basic and easy book).  I do not think the switch has flipped for him yet, but he so wants it to, and he tries.  Soon, very soon, I am going to have a reader.


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A door gently closing

I hear a door swinging shut; I am watching it.  It has not closed yet, and it is not slamming, more of a lazy screen door drifting shut on a summer night.  Nonetheless it is closing, and while if you rush you could, maybe, slip your fingers in and grab it as it hangs there, before it latches, it is closing.

Seasons of my life are changing; the baby stage is over.  My youngest is THREE and my older FIVE.  In 2005 when I first held that tiny almost blue 5 pound baby that struggled to latch and nurse there was no thought of a big five year old in my head.  I am now lost among superheroes and action games, gone are the days gazing and coo-ing. 

Today my three year old is certainly not a baby.  I am blessed that he is still nursing strong; several times during the day and most of the night.  He is still in diapers and only exploring the potty and demeaning to flush for everyone in the family (I don’t mind this, his brother did not potty train till after 4, but I am not going to call it a blessing in our lives).  He is starting to talk; he is stripping and putting his dirty laundry in the basket.  He can take things to the room requested and climb into his own car seat.  Answering questions and making choices, he is no baby.

Last night we took down the crib, and stored it in the basement.  Neither boy actually ever slept in the crib, but it still a definite milestone.  The crib was our awesome changing table, and both boys hung out there for safety when small.  Big Brother first thing in the day when I got dressed (he loved his mobile) and Little Brother when I needed a safe zone for him where Big could not grab him if I needed my hands free for a few minutes (usually to carry stuff up or down the stairs).  Slept in or not, taking it down after 5.5 years is unquestionably a hard transition, a startling one.  I w as actually surprised how big a transition it was for me, given neither boys used it, I as unprepared for my reaction.  Big Brother got up this morning and demanded “what happened, where the crib, why is it gone”.

I was thinking, last night, after dismantling the crib (safely stored in the basement).  The only baby clothing left in the house can be found in Memory Boxes.  The coming home outfits, the first Christmas outfits, the first hats, all packed up, labeled and in the appropriate boy’s box.  The only baby toys are likewise labeled and packed up for the boys when they get older (or more accurately their wives); the special ones the rest moved on to a family with twin boys 2 years younger than Little Brother.  All the baby clothing (24 months and smaller) have been passed along to the twins so they can be of use to a family and not just sit in tubs in my basement.  The highchair that Big Brother hated and Little Brother loved was sent to Goodwill this summer; same with the big play mat that used to go on the living room floor.  Swing, infant car seat, and bouncy seats also moved on to the twins and are now gone. 

My maternity clothing is all moved on to other moms that could use it.  All the small and medium cloth diapers have like wise been passed along to another mom (a great young mom that has a girl under one and is already expecting her next blessing) that can use them rather than being left unused in a drawer.  The large diapers will go to her too.  I still have all my carriers and I still use the MT constantly.  The sling I do not use, unless we baby-sit, but that I am keeping. 

I am glad that all of the baby items (toys, clothing, diapers) have maintained their usefulness in another home.  Nevertheless that means there is no baby stuff here; the crib was a dinosaur.  Now that is taken down too.  The door is almost shut.


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a cool homeschooling give away (not mine)

Around here we love the workbookds from The Critical Thinking Co.   I just noticed their are running a SALE so I need to go look at that and drool some more; excited since some of the proudcts are ones I like.  🙂

If you’d like to read some more reviews check these out:

anyhow — The Old School House (a homeschooling mag) is running a give away you might like to look at:

🙂  🙂  🙂  🙂

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2010 — looking back : The birth of Big Brother Nov 13 2005

 Let’s start out with me admitting I made several mistakes.  I had in my head a grand ideal of the perfect natural, 100% non-medical, birth.  Our bodes were created by God to grow babies and to give birth; pregnancy and birth are not, in typical form, a medical event.  I must have said this a million times.  I still believe it.  God made me to carry babies, to birth them and to feed them.  However my pregnancy in 2005 gave enough indication that things were not typical and thus the birth might not be.  I turned a blind eye to them holding hard to that fact “birth is natural and normal and God ordained; it will be ok” after all Mary did this, Elizabeth did this; women have done this for millions of years.

I started out at a CNM (certified nurse mid-wife) office that was in conjunction with a doctor’s office.  I had a couple of bad encounters with one of the CNM’s (who dressed like a 20 year old out clubbing and talked like a cheerleader and had NO maternal / birthing feelings to her at all).  Also by week 15 I got the feeling things were non-typical with my pregnancy but that no one was really putting forth any effort to talk to me about it; just sign off on the appointments and move things along. 

At week 19 to 20 I made the switch from the CNM office to an independent CNM; in practice by herself as opposed to connection to an OB’s office.  She had back up OBs, or course (one of them was the great doctor that I birthed with for my 2007 birth), but she did not have partners.  The birth was still planned to be at the hospital; though I think this CNM does do home births that was not anything we were interested in, nor do I think the pregnancy would have qualified.  Making this switch was a mistake; and I am sure it had detrimental effects of the birth in Nov 2005.  I spent the rest of the pregnancy with the growing feeling the CNM did not like me, we never bonded.  I had, and have since, talked to many moms that birthed with her and the stories are amazing, even with troubled pregnancies and difficult and emergency births.  With them, she was engaged, emotionally here, part of the process; they have great memories, even a mom that ended up with an emergency birth and a baby in NICU.  I will not go on, but I always felt I was a disappointment to her or an inconvenience. 

From the start of the pregnancy I was small, the baby was small.  I measured “behind” the entire pregnancy and actually had our first US at week 15 not 20 because of it (this is even at the CNM practice we started with).  I am tall, and have a long torso, like my mom, who never looked that big pregnant either, so for a long time this “not looking very big” did not bother me.  I have a lot of room to hide a baby.  By the end of my pregnancy I was measuring 4 to 6 weeks behind and everyone but me was concerned.  Maybe I should have been more worried, I wasn’t.  Not till the final few weeks.  I also did not gain as much weight as typical; again I did not worry while everyone else did, and again maybe I should have.  We had a number of ultrasounds due to the slow growth and weight gain.  I was very very sick for most of the pregnancy and that DID bother me, but no one professional seemed to think it out of the ordinary.  As they say “if I knew then what I know now…”

On a Thursday in week 38, we had an US that showed the baby had not grown significantly since week 34 (and at the end of a pregnancy the baby should basically just be gaining weight and plumping up; up to .5 pound a week even).  The US that week also showed the baby was becoming asymmetrical (the head was growing and the body was not).  By this point we had consulted with a high risk pregnancy specialist (to review the US) and the decision was made to have a final US on Monday and if the baby still did not show significant grown to schedule an induction for Monday over night.  We realized that this was a formality and that there would be an induction Monday night; there was simply no way the baby was going to suddenly grow significantly in a few days.  Induction had been discussed several times in the last couple of months of the pregnancy. We were not really happy about it, but I think we were expecting it.  I was really anxious and already feeling like a failure for all the pregnancy issues and I saw my natural birth slipping away. 

I also already felt at odds with the CNM and felt like she disliked me.  A couple of times during the pregnancy she accused me of lying to her (and Hubby) about what I was eating, and about being sick.  She accused me of intentionally making myself sick (throwing up); to “stay thin” she accused me of intentionally harming / risking my unborn child.  She accused me of lying to her and hubby about it.  I had a really bad feeling about her the end of the pregnancy, but I was stuck.  This upset me at the time, purely as a venerable emotional pregnant momma-to-be.  Now looking back, it really ignites a righteous rage.  I was very very sick that entire pregnancy.  I had “morning sickness” 24/7 for over 5 months, I was physically sick for months; I spent many a day lying on the bathroom floor.  I lost weight, I failed to gain weight.  Any food made me feel like I had food poisoning; the entire 8.5 months.  There was something wrong.  The baby was not growing, I was sick – but rather than look for a real medical reason, the CNM just wrote it off as me and accused me of trying to harm my child.  With the “20/20 sight” of 5 years, and all the issues Big Brother has I have to wonder how much of Big Brother TODAY is the result of that pregnancy (he was in distress on some lever at the end, he stopped growing and was asymmetrical, even if he was just a small baby neither of those two “facts” is healthy and both indicate a heath concern).  I really feel the CNM failed us; not just by be being unpleasant and setting me up for a ruined birth experience and physical scars from that (in addition to the emotional scars) but I feel she failed us with regard to the health of our child; not just in the womb but to this day and realistically for the rest of his life.  Maybe there was nothing that could have been done differently, I accept that, but had she addressed the issues as MEDICAL and not just “in my head” or “intentional” on my part we’d have the reassurance that at least we did all we could.  The fact that she should have taken these issues as a possible health concern becomes more obvious after the birth given the condition of the unhealthy placenta. 

Thursday night after the Ultrasound I had an acupuncture appt, I had another one of Friday.   Thursday I had – looking back – the start of labor.  At the time I thought is was just more and more BH contractions.  They were getting stronger, yes, but I though “that must be more practice”.  Ah the first time mom; so sweet and naive.  I was so anxious for labor to start; but at the same time I kept telling myself “this can’t be it”.  Friday morning I had a number of contractions, looking back they were more than BH, at the time I thought they were BH.

Friday night after work Hubby and a couple of his buddies brought a load of stuff from the storage unit.  Friday night my water broke at 8:40 pm.  I had been – since 4 pm – having a lot of BH with a lot of kicks from that baby (duh labor was starting); once the water broke they got faster and harder.  Really fast and really hard.  The “first contractions” did not at all match all my reading nor our birth class.  Now, I have to admit I was scared.  I had not been afraid of labor before this.  I had bee nervous, and excited but never really scared of labor.  Now I was scared, this hurt a lot more than I had expected, and nothing I had read about, learned about, put my faith of a natural birth in, seemed to help at all. 

We made all the necessary calls (midwife, doula, and family).  My dearest hubby went to cut the protective plastic off the sofa and chair that we had just gotten out of storage that day and to set up a living room; the assumption was my dad was going to want to be able to sit on a sofa and watch TV.  Since we built our house, and got pregnant on sub-floor and with no kitchen; at the time of birth we still had very little out of storage and even less unpacked. 

Contractions were never more than 7 minutes apart, and often 3 or 4 minutes apart for like 45 or more minutes at a time.  From the very start of labor (I recorded it at 8:40 pm when my water broke, really it started before that but I did not recognize it) straight though the night.  I kept hubby up, though he kept trying to sleep. I kept thinking “hey what about the starting easy and getting harder, starting slow and getting faster thing?”  I went back to my notes and my many many books and labor charts and so on and felt so lost.  I felt like I was in transition (hard, fast labor, sick to my stomach, shaking etc) but labor has “just started”.  Nothing was going like I had read about (and read about it a lot I had) or like I expected.  I was really scared from the very start; I felt very out of control, a feeling I did not expect.  Hubby tired to sleep; I kept returning to my notes and my books; my bookmarks and highlighting.  I showered, I sat in the tub, I walked.  Nothing helped. 

Then, Saturday morning everything stopped.  8 am, contractions just stopped.  Our Doula, Angi came out to the house – and she and I walked a lot, I showered and put my hair in a braid and ate.  A bad sign, in general, is that I did not want to talk to our CNM on the phone at any point in the labor and made Hubby do it.

We were with a CNM so there was less of a time table about the water being broken, but it was still an issue.  24 hours is the magic number, and while I did not anticipate being pushed to a C-section at the 24 hour mark, there was still a ticking clock to think about.  Our CNM wanted us at the hospital at noon when there had been no contractions for 4 hours, and we were past 16 hours of the water being broken.  We got there, got checked in and still no labor.

They immediately start Pit (one of the mistakes I made was allowing this, I should have asked for an hour or even 2 to adjust to the hospital setting and “get my feet under me”).  The nurse that was TRYING to start the IV was worthless, and I felt like a pincushion.  My mom had called and was in the parking lot, I almost told the nurse to leave me along and wait for mom to do it.  Since I was immediately on an IV of Pit I was attached to a BP monitor, a contraction monitor and a heart monitor for the baby; in addition to the IV.  I stated out with an external “belt style” monitor for contractions, but it was not working and it HURT – so at some point relatively early on (I can’t really remember when) I was talked into a internal contraction monitor.  The sensor was placed between the baby’s head and the cervix.  I also had an IV of anti-botics.  I should have refused that, but I honestly felt almost like everything was going to fast and I couldn’t really think fast enough to keep up.  I had trusted that having a CNM I would be saved from the need to be on guard against my own HCP; after all that is why I chose to go with a CNM and not an OB; I was wrong.  I should not have assumed she was on my side as much as I did – even at the birth I still trusted that while I knew she did not like me I did not distrust her like a routine OB.  I should have. 

The most disturbing fact, after laboring all night, hard labor, when we arrived at the hospital at noon, 16 hours after my water broke, I was only dilated to a 2.  I can not express how defeated I felt, and I think Hubby felt. 

So we labored.  The CNM did her best to stay out of the room and make it very clear she was phoning this one in, just trying to get done.  Angi tired to find ways to make me comfortable, to keep me moving, but it was practically impossible.   I was in more pain, looking back, in early labor in 2005 and for the duration of labor in 2005 than I ever was in 2007 (even transition and even pushing).   I could not get on top of the pain, none of my techniques helped at all.  Not only did I feel like a failure but I was sure everyone in the room thought I was one too.  The room had so much stuff and generally a couple of nurses.  I had so many leads and wires on me too, it was a massive mess.  Labor hurt a lot; the Pit made it hurt even more than it had all night.  Again, in retrospect, something was not right.  I labored in 2007 with Pit again and never had nearly the pain that I had 2005.  I have to think something was just wrong in 2005, with the pregnancy, with the birth. 

I was scared, I was confused, and I was tired and worn out.  I attempted to address that with our CNM, but she basically blew me off with “yep labor is hard, can’t stop now”.  Looking back I really do not understand why she did not suggest or offer a one-time-shot on fentanyl (sublimaze) like I ended up using in 2007.  Why didn’t she suggest or offer a one-dose of any valium type medication so I could relax, or get my feet under me, or “get a grip”.  I felt she allowed the birth to spiral out of control, knowingly and did not make any real effort to counter it. 

Around 4 pm or so – not sure of the time, without glasses I could not see the clock – we had a tornado warning.  One had touched down a number of miles north.  Yes, the 2nd week in November.  So we had to labor in the hall.  Me, the bed, the big machine I was attached to and my IV and everyone in the hallway.  I was the only mom in active labor (everyone had to go into the halls) so they took me to the enclosed hall outside the C-section sugary area – down the hall from my room.  We got to labor in the hall for 45 minutes.  People, other nurses, kept walking by.  I remember 2 nurses actually asking if I was full term or not?  Uh why else on I am Pit and stuck here in labor?   I was confined to bed, unable to move around at all, and lots of people kept walking by.  The funny part of that, my father was out in the parking lot, walking the lot and the hospital grounds.  He doesn’t like hospitals at all and birth less.  The security guard made him come in; so he ended up standing behind the head of my bed, staring at the wall; checking his watch and asking my mom when this baby was going to arrive.  Believe it or not that is one of my best memories of labor.    

I labored like that till 6 pm; at 6 pm I was only dilated to a 3.  Remember at this point my water had been broken for 22 hours; and I had been in active labor all but 4 hours of it.  Fast, hard labor with contractions never more than 5 to 7 minutes apart.  The CNM strongly suggested an Epidural.  I was defeated.  I had failed.  I learned later she had approached Hubby about it an hour earlier and he had, true to our birth plan and birth class, asked for another hour. 

I got the Epidural at about 6 pm.  There is one nurse in that hospital, which is very lucky I do not and did not know her name and that is a good good thing, I would have been writing a letter of complaint not only to the head nurse but to the hospital administration.   She is also luck I was physical tied down with all the monitors and IVs and so on.  When it came time to sign the consent for the Epidural she asked Hubby to do is and ACTAULLY SAID “I don’t feel she is in her right mind or able to understand this [consent]”.  She actually said that, I was so mad.  I did not want the Epidural, it was the 2nd to the last defeat (a C-section would have been the final defeat possible) possible in the lost natural birth I had spend years expecting. 

The lights were turned off, I was told to sleep.  Hubby went to eat.  I laid there and worried and stressed.  I might have dozed – by 7 pm I had been up 38 hours in a row and in labor for 23 of them – I do not remember.  I had my hand on my tummy, tears in my eyes.  I just wanted my baby.  I just wanted to hold my little one.  I was so sacred something was wrong.  By this point I was overwhelmed with fear my baby would be taken to NICU; either because of a real need or due to some thing happening in the birth to harm the child.  I just wanted my baby.  I felt totally defeated.  Looking back I am still so disappointed.  I know many moms that birthed with the CNM and they have such glowing stories.  Even one that had an early emergency birth and her baby was in NICU for a long time, had a supportive and caring birth.

At 11 pm I was finally dilated to a 10 and the epidural was turned off so I could push.  I asked about ‘rebound pain’ and was told, literally “it is gonna hurt worse, yes, but there is not another options”.  I pushed and pushed and pushed.  I was unable to move the baby; all my pushing was ineffective.  Now having birthed in 2007 and knowing what effective pushing is, knowing what birth is supposed to be, the experience in 2005 is even more glaringly wrong.

I pushed in several positions; to no avail.  I did not have the upper arm / body strength for some, and I felt off balance and silly on the birth stool (though that could be because it was on the bed, not the floor; the CNM pushed us to take the Bradley Birth class but then certainly wanted everything for her comfort in the actual birth, counter to that class).  At one point I over heard the CNM say to someone “this just is not gonna work, she can’t do it”.  I am not sure who she was talking to, not hubby.  I was pushing you’d think she have been with me; not talking about me.  Also if she had a concern, don’t you think she should have addressed it to me or my husband?

I no longer remember all the details, but she brought in her back up OBGYN, one of them anyway.  Dr Newland.  She made the suggestion of the vacuum; he said he’d rather try the forceps.  He sat with while I pushed 3 or 4 rounds, then told us the baby was not moving at all and it really didn’t matter if I pushed all night nothing was going to change.  I am admit total and complete exhaustion at this point (Midnight maybe 28 hours after my water broke? 12+ hours on Pit?).  So Dr Newland explained to hubby that he was going to try a forceps delivery if that failed we’d have to have a c-section.  The Epidural was turned back on and way up.  I could not feel any of my body below my breast. 

A screen was up so I was unable to see the birth.  I ended up with a 4th dress tear and too many stitches to count.  Nevertheless I FINALLY had my baby boy.  The OB asked Hubby if he wanted to cut the cord, Hubby agreed as started around the bed, the doctor then cut the cord himself filling me with panic that there was an emergency and that I was about to see my baby rushed out of the room.  Finally, though, I got to hold my baby.  Tiny little thing that he was.  I was holding him and our doula announced his gender.  He was laying on my breasts, and I let him slip back towards my feet and I thought I dropped him as I had no sensation below my chest.  When the placenta was delivered; it was less than ½ the size it should have been and was also mid-shaped and “old” (that is it appeared older than it should have if I was well past my EDD). 

A little over 5 pounds, he went home at 5 pounds.  He was so so tired; it was so hard to wake him to nurse.  Poor little guy, I felt bad for him at the time, I feel bad for him even more so looking back in my memory.  I had been up 44 hours and was so tired; I just wanted to be left to hold my baby.  Hospital staff, at the mid point is there shift, did not seem to understand this at all.  They wanted to bathe the baby and do this and that, we pushed off everything but the immediate care of me till ‘tomorrow’ after we got some rest. 

We had our first boy; and a long road ahead of us to get nursing down, but we had a healthy happy tiny little boy. 


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Boys had a great day.  Lots of appointments, lots of waiting and still had a great day. 

Found this really cool home school related site recently and had to share:  “A source of free online vintage homeschool books and curricula.”  I have only started looking around it, but I am liking it.  Also, along the same vein —  “Ignite the FIRE is a ministry born out of my life. I am a homeschooling mother with 8 children and we have been homeschooling since 1992……This page will provide you with free links to antique readers and spellers, and other children’s books online.” (look at the firewood link).  Very soon look for an update of my “favorite Home Schooling website” page.  🙂

I used the new handwriting worksheet generator to make some sheets for Big Brother today – just his name.  I wanted to see them actually printed off, and that is the real reason I did them today and not next week.  Big Bother seemed really excited to see them, he pointed out the arrows that direct the lines even.  I did the biggest size possible and I think it is still going to be a struggle for him, but there is no rush and no pressure.  Handwriting is something he is asking for, he wants to write messages and send letters and make lists, so he is anxious to be able to write.

We are working more and more on fine motor control and endurance.  One skill / area we are struggling with is hand strength and the ability to manipulate items in his hands.  Think having a penny in your palm (flat in the middle) and rolling it up ti a pincher grip to put in a coin slot.  He can kinda do it, if he turns his hand and uses gravity too, but he can’t really do it well.  To help with that, at the suggestion of the school OT therapist I just ordered these flip crayons.   Yes, I realize the are made to go with handwriting without tears that I don’t like.  LOL But they are a tool, I am good with a variety of tools, just not over the top programs (and I still do not like the ball and stick font).  The goal is for him to switch colors, manipulating the crayon in one hand.  I have some other games for us too, keep watching. 

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