Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Day Ansel was born and why I don't remember most of it.

Contractions actually started on the 8th of December but  nothing of report happened until the 11th. I have a history of contracting and effacing but not dilating. I figured either they would stop or not. The went on as normal, kids went to school, Brian got the house cleaned and so on. We finally decided to just go when a knock came at the door unexpectedly. James had told his friend and his friends Mom that I needed to go to the hospital but we didn't have anyone to watch him. She came over right after school and offered take James and Madilyne so Brian could take me. Reluctantly I agreed to go to the hospital. We let James go with his friend and called The Carter family to take Madilyne so she would have Emma to play with.

We got to Labor and Delivery, they checked me and strapped me to the monitors. I was 90% effaced 1cm dilated. The nurses were not hopeful for me getting to stay and having a baby, but they said if the contractions looked good I just might get lucky. So Brian updated the little board that they putin the room with nurses info etc since the nurses hadn't done it yet.
It amused me..the nurses also found it amusing so it got to stay that way.

I feel contractions more up high then down lower, I told them so yet they still insist on putting the monitor down low. For the first hour they only picked up 2 or 3 contractions. The nurses came in and asked if I was still feeling them because it looked like they had stopped. I told them yes and to move the monitor and they'd pick em up. I was given 20 more minutes and then I would be sent home.

I started to cry, not because I wanted to have him right then per sey, but I was so gosh danged darn tired. They called the midwife and told her I was hysterical, which so was not true, but she came right away t "talk me down". The nurses hadn't reported to her that I had been contracting for three days already, that I couldn't sleep, couldn't get comfortable and was just tired. To top it all off I had the tail end of a cough/cold lingering.  After talking to her things seemed to jump into place.

The midwife asked me to go the 20 min on the monitor and let her talk to the on call OB to see what they would do. I tried to relax and meditate just to try not to freak out when they told me that I was going to go home.

Either I was super at my meditation or that was a really quick 20 min =o) . When the midwife came back in, she said " We worry about an overly tired mom, and after contracting for three days you have to be more then uncomfortable. You are contracting right now every 5 min. But still only 1cm dilated -4 maybe -3 station so we have to ask ourselves is this active labor or not?  Given your history of not dilating past 2cm and no baby progression past -3 station even after 30 hrs of labor and broken water etc we think you might be there. BUT then we look at how far along you are, at only 38wks 2 days, if we jump to doing the c-section and his lungs aren't ready."

So during all  this talking I am thinking ok well so we go home but I am so not taking breathene or anything but phenergren because that breathene sucks. The midwifes next words almost knocked me over...

She said "So you are going to have a baby tonight, in about an hour."

I was so flippin excited! it went so fast from that point. Brian got changed, I drank the nasty acid reducer stuff, prepped my belly and off to the OR we went. Then we realized we were so doubtful we'd be having a baby we didn't have our camera, video camera, bag NOTHING. Oh well it's probly good that we didn't because we were never prepared for what happened next.

I went into the OR without Brian so they could do my spinal block. It's usually just a matter of minutes from that point to hearing  the sweetest cry a Mom will ever hear. Spinal done, husband at my head, the last thing before the first cut is the time out. They ask me my name, what surgery I am having, and then they check that I am good and numb before cutting. The other two times they used the clamping pincher thingys to check they pinch the crap out of you, if you don't feel it it's a go. If you do it's a no go. This time they used some cold foam stuff? I thought I could feel it on the left side.

I told the anesthesiologist and he shrugged it off. Convinced I just needed another minute, he told the doctor to go ahead and start. She began her cut right to left. I felt the normal tugging pulling all normal feelings. The dr crossed mid line to the left side and immediately I felt a little zing. I said, "hey i can feel that I think" . The anesthesiologist ignored it. As the dr cut deeper I felt more and more. The anesthesiologist told me I wasn't feeling pain, it was just normal pressure and tugging. Spinal blocks " DO NOT FAIL" but every time the Dr cut I cried out in pain. Brian was worried, I just cried and screamed. The anesthesiologist kept telling me it's all normal. I know he had to be having an oh crap moment... the dr said it was just another min and she kept saying sorry. I hear them say "ok dad come with us", an arm reaching across me to my IV  and that's all I remember.

I don't know how long it was from first cut to Ansel being born, it seemed like forever, and the worst part...I don't remember hearing his cry. I don't remember them showing him to me, though Brian said it did happen. The moment I was so excited about and it was gone. Just. Like. that.

The next thing I remember is the sweet midwife telling me that we were all done and they'd take me to the recovery room where Brian and Ansel were. Brian thankfully had taken some pictures for me while they were cleaning him up etc.

When I got to the room I was groggy but I saw Brian and he was holding my sweet baby boy and relief washed over me. Then I saw our dear friend Miss Donna and I got a little confused. To my knowledge we hadn't even called Mom to let her know yet. Brian brought Ansel over for me to see him, he took off his hat and a nurse flipped out on him. I was all , um this is my kid and we'll do what we want, in my head. The other nurse told Brian it was fine just keep him away from the vent. So we now have Nurse Nice and Nurse Weener. Nurse nice checked Ansel out while Brian was holding him for me, I was still too scared to hold him because I was so groggy. Nurse Nice calmly told me that Ansel really needed to nurse and any time I was ready he was. Nurse Weener then hits me with a 10 ton blow. She said "it's been over 3 hours since he was born, I don't care when you are ready. He needs to nurse in the next 5 minutes or I am giving him a bottle." 

I was made to feel like I was being selfish and uncaring. I couldn't even sit up but here I was being told it didn't matter what I needed he needed to nurse NOW or she was going to feed him for me. But wait?!?! 3 hrs? What? Where the heck did all the time go?  My other two weren't even done getting checked out before the Dr's had me all closed up. We were talking like 30ish min or so before I got to recovery and got to nurse. I don't know what happen, I don't know why it took so long after he was born. What I do know is my husband was so scared he called someone to come and be with him and Ansel just in case. He knew I was VERY clear..Ansel was NEVER to be out of his sight. That has always been our deal. No matter what he stayed with the baby. I have read, heard, or watched tv movies about babies being stolen from the hospital and it wasn't going to happen to us.

 I wanted so badly for us to be able to have that bond of nursing. My picture of that first special moment did NOT include other people facilitating that moment for me. Someone else held him, he nursed, they moved us and the rest of that night is hazy.  In and out of a fog is what I did all that first night.

I wished I remembered more, I don't know what exactly happen, why the spinal block was insufficient, and I guess I need to go get the surgical records to find out. I do wonder how often it happens and what can be done to avoid it ever happening again should I have another baby. I really am sad that I don't have this great story for the first night of his life, but these past 3 years have been amazing raising him. It's definitely worth every bit of trial I went through to bring my sweet boy into this world.

Monday, December 10, 2012

reflections of Ansel

Today my baby turns 3. Happy birthday handsome. I cant believe how fast that went.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

I woke up and I could feel my hands.....

 I rolled over in bed to find my sweet little Ansel had sneaked into my bed in the night. I reached up to stroke his angelic sleeping face, suddenly I realized I could feel it! I squealed with joy, ran to my other two kids and just stroked their hair, their faces. I couldn't get enough.  It was the single most happy day since may...

Then I woke up.

When I became a mom, I learned to cherish those sweet stolen moments of caressing my kids face, stroking their hair, holding their hands all those moments that give you that feeling of awe. That feeling of extreme gratitude and wonder at how you made this little person and there they were in all their glory.

You never realize what little things you cherish until they are gone. The ability to do these simple things I took for granted.

There are the normal everyday things you get frustrated over, personal hygene, getting dressed, opening bottles, getting some tylenol for a headache. You suddenly realize you need someone there to help. Brushing the hair of your wife can quickly be put on the back burner when there is laundry, dishes, vacuuming  and little potty training bottoms to wipe. You adjust, learn to manage. Cut your hair, avoid buttons and zippers even if it means wearing PJ's a lot, use your teeth, get your kids to help etc. You aren't prepared to have to adjust but you do. But what happens when you loose something that you can't find a substitute for?

No warning came, no rule book or manual. Emotions go crazy, everything you knew suddenly isn't any more. Parts of your life are gone and the rest completely different. You get twisted and turned around and inside out. On top of everything else my heart has been ripped out. Those special moments were ripped from me.

I don't know how to find a substitute for the loss of that feeling. The connection that I felt when I got to steal those little moments with my children. We still snuggle, giggle, and play. There is just something about those moments I would eat up and I am starving for them.

Cherish all the little things in life, savor them knowing that each time could be your last. You never know when those things will get ripped from you. I may get those  moments back...but then again I may not. I know I can always dream about them, but no matter how vivid that dream is, it's just not the same.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Bringing it all into focus.

Sometimes in tragedy we find our life's purpose - the eye sheds a tear to find its focus.  ~Robert Brault

Sometimes when things go crazy in life, it's to help us find the focus. The REAL focus. It's all to easy to forget where we should focus our time, efforts, energy, and emotions.  Now, I am not saying that every tragedy in life is to prove some point or to give someone this huge epiphany or something. Sometimes though, I think that is exactly what these blips of craziness are supposed to do. When we get down on the kind of parent we are, down on what kind of spouse we are, down on what kind of friend, sibling, child we are; these blips sort of help us find the focus and bring us back from our pits of despair and focus our energies on the things that truly matter.

I had an opportunity to take some time with dear friends and get a bit of a recharge.  I have been on the verge of quitting recently, more then once.  Now when I say quitting, I'm not even sure exactly what that means. I can't say I've had any sort of suicidal thoughts because that just isn't who I am. I really though, beyond that, don't know how far quitting meant. I just know I was so tired of not being able to do, feel, or know. Frankly I stopped doing that which my Heavenly Father would have me do, I stopped seeking the good. Not really intentionally just my focus was gone. My focus was blown way out and I needed last weekend to help me realign it.  The theme of the conference was fittingly, "Seek the good". Inspirational speakers, soul lifting music, and even tearful realizations were on the agenda Friday and Saturday.  

Messages about how you may not choose how things happen, you do get to choose how you handle them. Messages about how all of us are in a sinking boat, some of us might have bigger holes in our boats then others, but we are all sinking. Our stories may not turn out exactly as we would have written them, lets face it no one would intentionally write in tragedy to their own story, but without it how would we really know when the really great things are happening? How we handle the rewrites is what makes us who we are. Just like the refiners fire, the tempering is what makes us stronger.

I would never have written in the loss of my Dad at 16, or that car accident that changed my direction the month later. I would never have written in the job losses. I would never have written in 12 miscarriages, pregnancies riddled with pre-term contractions, and hyperemesis. I certainly would NEVER have written in MS into the story. Those things would never have made the final draft because I would have written in all the daisies, dandelions, and yellow balloons of life. I think if given the chance we'd all pick yellow balloons over rotten apples, even if those rotten apples eventually turn into a beautiful tree later. In the now, all we see are the stinky rotting apples.

 A few of my rotting apple situations turned into three of the most beautiful, trying, amazingly brilliant kids. My pregnancies weren't easy, but boy do my kids make up for that icky bag of goo while waiting for them. I am not sure exactly why my Dad had to leave this earth when he was so young, but I think more that wasn't about me. It was about this amazing man being done here on earth with what his Heavenly Father had for him to do. It was a release for him, my sorrow just happen to be a by product of the necessity for him to go on. I miss him like crazy but i know he is doing his part on the other side. This HUGE rotting sack of apples the Dr's call MS, who knows what it's going to bring in my life. What I see it teaching me right now is how to learn to ask for help. I still fight asking for help to the point of extreme frustration. I didn't ask to not be able to feel my kids face when I stroke it, I didn't ask to get tired just walking through the grocery store, to the point of near fainting. I didn't ask for an overworked husband. I din't ask for the extra stress of medical bills and no insurance. I also didn't ask to have an amazing husband, kids, caring friends, and for a disease that isn't terminal. I do however, appreciate these things. I appreciate them more now then ever before.

So what do I do with this new found focus? I learned not to compare my boat and the holes in it to anyone else.  I know for sure that while I think my holes are huge, they are nothing compared to some. I learned that even if I think that I could have written my story a little better, my Heavenly Father is the best author. Only He knows where these twists, turns, and diversions are going to lead me. It's up to me to make my story something I am proud of, to handle the adversity with focus and seeking the good.  

I am sure I'll stumble more then I'll walk strong. Music can drive a message deeper then even words can sometimes, be sure to stop and truly listen. The only thing that matters is that you keep hearing the music, keep finding a beating drum to march to, even if it's completely different then the one you started out marching to.

I am still refining and honing my focus. As I face new challenges every day, new frustrations every day, I will try to keep the focus from at least getting blown way out again. I really don't want to quit. I really want to get past the depression of loosing who I thought I was. I would love to move on to finding out who I will be. I want to be an amazing mom, wife, sister, daughter, friend. Until I can get there, until I can let go who I thought I was going to be and work on who I am meant to be...

I will seek the good, and try to bring it all into focus.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Friends...they help pass the time

I used to be extremely extroverted. I never had trouble making friends growing up. I had to,we moved so much that making friends quickly was a survival thing. Then I married one of my best friends and had kids. Now I feel like I don't make friends so well. I have lived in this area going on 3 years. I go to church, am active with the kids school, but just do not feel like I have friends to hang with, be a get away or anything.

I have dear friends, don't get me wrong...just none of them are in Athens. My bestest of friends are at least an hour away. I also have friends I have never met in person, great friends who I've spoken to on a near daily basis and care about me and mine. Even if they aren't people I've met in person they are genuine and caring.

In the mail today was an envelope. In the envelope was a card. In the card was a very kind, thoughtful, loving gift.The gift was a key chain that said "just keep swimming" on it. The gifters? A group of women I met   on a message board three years ago. To this day haven't met a one in person. They are a sounding board, they listen to my hopes, fears, trials, and triumphs. Today they made me feel loved, like I have a team cheering for me. Today my downs aren't quite as down.

I cherish my fiends from afar..I hope that soon I can have some to cherish who are near.

Monday, October 15, 2012


There are days and days in one persons life. Some are good, some bad, some great, and some you wish never happened.  There are days I wish I could do over, rewind and have end differently, some I'd like to skip all together. There are a few days I'll never forget and do not mind keeping.

Keep List

  • Meeting my very best friend in 7th grade. Christa and I were like two peas in a pod. She and I shared nearly all of our biggest teen life moments together. 
  • Marrying the man of my dreams. I would change how we did it,but the actual act...never ever. (FYI never elope if you are the baby of the family and the last girl...it's bad mojo from your mom for the rest of your life.)
  • The day that I got to look into the eyes of each of my amazing kids. I live and breathe for them.

Give Away List

  • The day I found out my dad died. I was 16 at a church youth conference and everyone just stared as I broke down.
  • The day I let someone make me feel like a failure for not being able to nurse James or deliver him vaginally. I battle that feeling of inadequacy often because of that one day I let it creep in.
  • The day we decided to move to CO. That lead to much heart ache for my family.
  • The day my life changed and MS became a factor in my life.

There are more I'm sure but these days stick out in my mind. I know that these events shape us into who we are. I know that those days will have a forever profound mark in my life but I really do wish some could be taken away. 

Monday, October 08, 2012

I have MS, even if you don't think I look sick

If you don't know me or don't see me on a daily basis you might never know. I don't have a rash, lost limb, or really any outer display to tell you I am sick . I don't use a wheel chair, walker, or cane...yet. I may look completely "normal" if you see me in the am, and a hot mess by afternoon. That's just the nature of MS.

I have nerve damage, you can't see it, only I can feel it. I am not stuck up or trying to be offensive by not shaking your hand,hugging you, or accepting the warm friendly rub on my arm. It hurts, like a lot. Imagine having a wire brush ran up and down your arm, or pressed into our hand...that is what I feel with every friendly arm rub, hand shake,or hug.

Every day normal activities that I used to be able to do I can't or am in the process of trying to figure out. When you think I've worn the same pants three days in a row, don't whisper, I probly did. I can't button buttons or zip zippers so I am limited on what clothes I can wear. And yes I did just wear that shirt, it's one of the few that don't make me go crazy after 5 min of wearing it. 

I would rather have an elaborate cooked meal, in fact I LOVE to cook; however I love my fingers too. I am still figuring out how to get back to doing something I love safely. I can and almost have easily cut a finger off and not felt it until it's too late, burn my hands because that pot or cookie sheet didn't feel that hot. So don't judge me when my kids say we had spaghetti or fish sticks six times this month. Orturn up our nose because my 11 and 8 year olds have to help with dinner.

Typing,oh how I love to type! I communicate on facebook, socialize, and network my business. I don't type as fast as I used to, in fact I am down from 100+ wpm with perfect accuracy to 18 wpm with still many mistakes. I still do it because it's an outlet for me.  It may take me longer and I may not always fix my typos but I am ok with that no need to point them out. My handwriting is pretty much illegible so when i say i can't write,I mean it takes me forever and a lot of focus and energy to make it illegible. My husband usually fills out the paper work for me, but clearly he's not sewn to my side. don't take it personally if i ask you to jot something down for me.

MS is an autoimmune disease I was born with it, I didn't do anything to cause it. Nothing really brought it on and nothing will make it go away. I may get better as the myelin  heals, but I might not. i may end up in a wheel chair, with a walker, or a cane..might not. Being fat did not bring this on, and being thinner won't make it go away. I have goals to loose weight, but they are my goals not yours...I don't have to tell you if I don't want to.

if I am any better or my hands go back to normal I will shout it from the roof tops. If you don't want a real answer don't ask me how I am doing. Most days i am ok, not dead is a good thing. There are also days I am extremely depressed and feel like I can't do this. It's normal,  if I ever can't shake the funk I have an amazing Dr who will help me and I won't hesitate to call him.

Things that you can do? I surely do not expect anything from anyone...
  • Any time a meal is brought it takes that much stress out of my day.
  • Cards make me smile.
  • Just being thought of and little random acts of kindness are great.
  • Just be a genuine friend.
  • Sometimes i just need a shoulder to cry on or an ear to vent to.

I try to keep things light and in the end, I guess really just be kind to people because you never know what battles they are facing and could really use an ally.