Friday, September 23, 2011

Nursing School With a Baby

I googled "nursing school with baby" for some reason and got a bunch of threads with people weighing in on the feasibility of going through nursing school with a young child or infant. There were a lot of naysayers, but also people who said they had one or MORE children while in nursing school and although hard, they did it.

I have to remind myself that my schooling experience has not been what I assume is typical. My freshman year, doing Anatomy and Physiology I+II, GOB Chemistry I+II as well as other classes, 17 credits total each semester, being pregnant for the last 8 months of school including 6+ weeks of throwing up, was not all that bad. I mean, it was hard, but it wasn't BAD. I got good grades (not a single B or A-!). There was never any need to pull all-nighters, and I almost always got 8-10 hours of sleep, and worked about 12 hours a week.

So yes, I know nursing school will get a LOT harder, and as my daughter gets older, she'll probably need a babysitter a few hours a week. But it's not going to be that bad. I have a husband who is supporting me in this whole thing. He wants to make it work with me.

I keep getting a little nervous about what I envision from people's comments. But then when I focus on the here and now, how it REALLY is, and what's already passed so smoothly considering the circumstances, I don't feel worried at all :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Odd Thoughts

Sometimes I wish I was beautiful. I sure do feel ugly tonight.

Once or twice in the recent past, I've caught a glance of myself unexpectedly in the mirror, or on video, and been pretty horrified. I don't even know who I am. Being 30 pounds fatter than I have ever been in my entire life, and having seemingly permanent adult acne contributes to this nowadays, but I have felt this way most of my adult life.

Sometimes I remind myself of all the good things I have going for accomplishments. But you know, there are some things you just can't change, and sometimes they become very important for no reason at all.

Sometimes I feel pretty, but other times I see pictures or catch glances that dashes that thought to pieces.

Thankfully, most of the time, how I look does not make me feel badly, mostly because I don't care or have forgotten about it. Mostly forgotten.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

It takes a long time to type posts one-handed, by the way, which is normally how I'm on the computer now (nursing baby!).

Speaking of nursing, I had a near fiasco the other day - my brush with mastitis! Friday I had gone swimming and felt really happy about doing 30 laps. I remember distinctly thinking "Wow, with swimming you don't have to build up to it. You just can go as much as you want." I had also been thinking how good I'd been doing with 6 hours or less of sleep a night. Sunday afternoon I started feeling lightheaded, and then when I went to bed for a nap I started to feel very warm. I took my temperature and it was 99.5. By 5pm it was 101, and late that evening it was 102.8. And my breast was sore and there were lumps. Not good.

I had done four things that I think caused this.
  1. pushed myself too hard and generally let myself get run down
  2. started taking fennugreek, because I wanted to pump more (but baby is getting enough)
  3. gotten lazy about correcting a latch problem - baby sucks it into a lipstick shape
  4. let too many hours pas (at night) without feeding the baby or pumping. I think this might have been the biggest factor, as for the past two nights I'd woken up engorged twice each night. Definitely made the boobs mad.
So, I took an ibuprofen, finally, and the fever began to break. It went down and stayed down. My breast was still sore and lumpy and I was worried (have you googled pictures of mastitis lately?!) I had been in touch with my midwife, and she said I should be able to avoid antibiotics but it wasn't pleasant. Massage, lots of water, hot packs, vitamins, etc. Lots of other people were telling me to get on the antibiotics before it gets worse.

Now ordinarily, I really couldn't care less about the antibiotics because I tell myself it's just health freaks who won't take them. Except now I have been initiated into the world of battle with yeast, in which antibiotics cheer on the nasty little overgrown yeast colonies. I mentioned that during pregnancy leading up to my labor I had an awful skin yeast on my chest. Well, let's just say that the yeast is very persistent. After rounds of OTC ointments, a round of gentian violet and grapefruit seed extract, and two months of prescription cream following all of that, they are still there. They wait for me to eat a few spoonfuls too many of ice cream, or have too much jam too often on my toast and then pop up. And they even pop up for hot compresses necessary to deal with mastitis or plugged ducts :( So, taking into consideration that a multitude of yeast woes are associated with anti' use, I did NOT want to have to take any.

But the pictures scared me, and it was still lumpy (blah blah blah, I said this all before) so I called my care provider at the hospital. I must have gotten them at lunch, because I had to leave a message. Hours later I was still wondering if my breast was going to rot off and I hadn't heard from them. But eventually I called them again and after hearing the fever had left, they basically said the same thing as my midwife (and my mom. I had called her because I knew she'd dealt with this kind of thing before). Hot showers on it, massage, etc. All of which I was already doing, which is probably what helped it improve so much.

I've done these things and now it is MUCH better. The knots are not completely gone yet but I trust everything will be pretty close to normal in a day or so more. It's a huge relief :)

So! Apparently helpful things I have done for this nasty thing that I pray no one else brushes with (but I know will, even possibly myself again, because it's so common):
  1. hot, damp compresses. Use a wet washcloth under a heating pad for extended periods. I slept with it over my breast in between nursing. Also get in the shower and put as hot water as you can reasonably stand, right on the affected area. Massage down towards the nipple
  2. nurse often, and offer the bad side first so the baby (hopefully) drinks with vigor
  3. massage the swollen knots firmly with oiled fingers down towards the nipple. Olive oil worked great. I tried to do this especially while nursing, with the hot packs in between
  4. empty your breasts often. offer them to baby often, and start on the bad side. My daughter already was a very frequent nurser so instead of wishing she'd last longer than 40 minutes in between feedings I thanked her for keeping my boob under control!
  5. nurse in different positions, including on all fours or leaning forward, hanging the breast above her. I think this one really helped because of the different angle of latch and gravity
  6. rest! I stayed in bed for practically two days. It felt like I had the flu, anyway so it wasn't that hard
  7. drink lots of water, take vitamin C (I've been taking emergen-C 3x daily) and echinecea. My midwife also recommended propolis, as well as a few other things I didn't get my hands on
If you are having problems like this, don't despair! You can get better :) I am very glad to have called a medical provider and hear that it wasn't really so bad after all. I guess the 102.8 fever had scared me, as pretty much everyone says antibiotics are needed at that point. But you may find the fever comes down when you get the milk flowing a little better.

Also, I find that the milk has not just suddenly let go, as I had heard of happening. The lumps are gradually going away as I work on it.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


One thing I have never been in my life is decluttered. I come from a family of "collectors" and though sometimes I tell myself that I have managed to avoid inheriting the tendency, I too, am a "collector."

I don't know how much I can get rid of (wrong attitude), because we have a one-bedroom apartment and I've already "skinnied down" (not true, either, because we used to live OK in a studio apartment and I've collected much much more than I had there).

One of the biggest problems is that I have two sets of clothes - pregnant and non-pregnant. I don't know when I'll fit into my prepregnancy clothes. I have 30 pounds to lose. Is it worth it to save EVERYTHING for the next year, while I lose that weight? Soon after, I'll most likely be pregnant with another child, and then I will have to wear maternity clothes again. Besides, I like buying clothes, especially at thrift stores, so why would I hang on to everything and just store it for two or three years?

Blogging, indeed, is a help for talking this out with yourself ;) Ok, so that's settled. A lot of clothes will go out.

Music is another thing. When I was younger I used to think having CDs was a huge deal, because they were just coming out, yadda yadda, and I tried to hang on to every one I could. I've gotten rid of some since then, but I still have a tendency to hang on to them because, gasp, they're CDs! They're music! But I haven't listened to a CD for at least a month and when I do listen, it's usually one of a dozen albums that I am really into at the mo. Of course, that could change, but the CDs I've considered dozens of times and not listened to? Out!

Shoes is another. I don't have many pairs, but I don't wear many, either. Some of them just don't seem to fit anymore because my feet are bigger now, post pregnancy (strange?). Some of them were just a hair too small BEFORE I was pregnant and never wore them. A good friend sent them to me and I was enamored of them because they are gorgeous, well-made shoes, but I will almost certainly not fit into them now. Well, I just went to try them on and I can't even fit my toes into the fronts of them. Definitely going out - either back to my friend or I'll sell them.

Brewing equipment - not going to get rid of any of it. Getting rid of other stuff will help me have room for it.

That piece of leather in the closet that I've been saving to make something with someday? It's going to fit in my designated sewing box or its going away.

The metal frame knapsack sitting in the closet? Am I REALLY going to use it? (Doggone, it's going to be expensive to replace, I bought it at a yardsale for $5). Sell it, maybe?

Well this is enough for me to chew on for now. Off to trash the place while the babe is sleeping.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

My Labor Story

I was convinced my baby was coming two weeks late. I woke up at 6 am one morning, a week before my due date with a cramping feeling that got stronger and then subsided. I didn’t really think about what it was and went back to bed. Thirty minutes later I woke again with another one. I thought excitedly that the practice contractions I’d experienced from week thirteen had started to change. I had always welcomed the practice contractions knowing they were getting my uterus ready to push out my baby. This morning, I assured myself that these were temporary, and would pause eventually and restart in a few weeks. Besides just a general feeling that the baby would be late, I had developed a bad skin yeast infection on my chest and I wanted the baby to be late so I could get it cleared up and not have to deal with possible complications with breastfeeding. I went shopping. The cashier asked me when I was due, and I laughed and said I wasn’t expecting the baby for another three weeks. The contractions continued very lightly all day.

That night, when my husband P came home from work, I didn’t tell him right away that I was having contractions, but they were starting to grow in intensity. When it came closer to bedtime and I felt like I couldn’t sleep, I mentioned to him I’d been having them. We both agreed it was probably false labor, and around 9 pm I decided to go on a walk, to see if I could get them walked off so I could sleep. I took my walking stick, which P had bought me at the hardware store. I had read about using a stick in labor in one of Ina May Gaskin’s articles and it appealed to me immediately. I figured I could use it to lean on during my walk, in case the contractions got worse. I halfway thought I should bring the cell phone with me (in hindsight, it would have been wise, though I didn’t end up needing it) but I left it behind. I walked to the river, which is about two miles away, and when I got there it was almost dark. The contractions had intensified, so I decided to really try seriously to walk them off and started walking as hard and as fast as I could when each contraction started. I remember trying to time them based on how many streets I had walked past. When a contraction started only a block after the last one had stopped, I started wondering if I was really in labor.

When I got home an hour later, P was getting ready for bed because he had to work the next morning. I stayed up and hung out in the bathroom for a little while. It felt good to shake up and down as hard as I could when the contractions came, and I did this either standing in the bathroom, bouncing on my knees, or on the exercise ball in the dining room. I knew somehow that bouncing would help the baby push on my cervix and get it opened up. I remember trying to lie down on the bed in between contractions and jumping up like a jack-in-the-box when the next one came, because it was so much more intensified lying down. At about 11pm I tried to time the contractions and they were about four and a half minutes apart and 30-45 seconds long. I knew the midwife said to call when they were 5 minutes apart and 30-45 seconds long, but I didn’t want to have her here and “officialize” that labor was here. Somehow the time warped here. I started using my labor stick again, because the bouncing wasn’t feeling good anymore. P got up and did things, but I don’t remember what because the contractions required so much focus. I would start the contractions standing, holding to the top of the walking stick, and then slide down as the contraction progressed. At some point I started to moan/hum, and I tried to keep my pitch low like I’d read about in Ina May’s books. I asked P to help me time the contractions, and when he did they were 3 minutes apart and a minute long. Now we were both convinced it wasn’t false labor. At some point I had a really strong contraction and it popped into my head no wonder women want epidurals! At the end I told P “I really want M here now!” I called her but I couldn’t talk on the phone when she answered because another contraction had started. I handed the phone to P and he told her what was going on.

M was here before long. In the meantime P started setting up the birth pool. I wanted to make sure I had really progressed enough before getting in because I’d heard of slowed labors from being in warm water. When M got here I remember her stepping in but I was in the middle of a contraction and couldn’t respond much. After it was over I remember we hugged, and then I asked her to check me. I remember hoping I’d be at least 3 or 4 centimeters, so I was thrilled to hear “You’re eight centimeters!” I asked if it was OK to get in the pool (I was so afraid of stalling labor!) and climbed in. It was a relief to get in. I was spending contractions leaning over the side of the pool, holding P’s hand. P left momentarily for some reason and all of the sudden I was aware of M’s presence because she was humming with me. Something just clicked then, and when P came back and a contraction came I said “make noises with me.” The contractions continued on like that for I don’t know how long. I would look grab P’s hand, look into his eyes, and we both hummed. Sometimes between contractions we kissed, and not just a peck on the lips. Serious labor goes with serious kissing! The second midwife came, and I asked for the Christmas lights to be turned in (we have them strung over a window). Things were so intense. Every contraction was very painful and required all of my focus. I was dimly aware of things outside of me. Looking back, I was dimly aware of what was going on inside, as well. I couldn’t distinguish anything but a very intense feeling that was painful beyond anything I’d ever felt, and I remember realizing that it was so far beyond any pain that I’ve felt that it was like another reality. There was no running away from it but forward. Sometimes it made my whole body feel warm. I said a few times “I can do this!” and P reminded me after each one that it was over and that I had done it. I felt triumphant and I was so glad for just those few words of encouragement. It reminded me each one was an accomplishment.

At some point I realized it was getting light outside, and I could hear the birds singing. This was right around transition, and I found myself vocalizing “Can I do this?” I knew I could, but I wanted my midwives and P to tell me I could. I asked M to check me and see if I was ready to push, because I had heard about a recent birth at which the woman pushed before she was dilated and had to wait to push for two hours even though she felt the urge to push. I did NOT want to go there! M told me I was complete, and encouraged me to check myself, which I had expressed I wanted to do. I could feel a very small, round patch of a hard head. It was a lot harder than I’d expected (I don’t know how I expected a skull to be soft!), and my next thought, after feeling the whole length of the birth canal that my fingers had to pass through was “Augh! That head that’s way up there has to come all the way down!” At this point I realized I could be pushing for 3 hours, and while that was a little discouraging, I didn’t really think about it because the urge to push came on quickly and powerfully. My body felt warm and it felt like it was both the worst and the best thing in the world. It felt like I was going to poop out the baby, for one thing, and I kept wondering how all the sensation I was feeling was in the back of me when the baby was coming out the front. I started making louder and louder noises, but I tried to keep the pitch low and not get anywhere near screaming. I really didn’t have much control over it, though, and somewhere inside of me I laughed because I was making so much noise when I hadn’t planned on it. I rested lying down in the water, leaning on my arm, and when a contraction came it felt like I would thrash around with the baby and the birth canal staying still. I wanted to check myself again but I was afraid that I wouldn’t feel any progress, so I waited a while until the midwife said her head was right there (she was looking). I reached down and sure enough, her head was a lot lower than last time. I kept my hand there through the next several contractions, feeling the bag of waters bulge very tightly with each one. I remember feeling as though I didn’t have enough power. I think I was starting to get a little disorganized and strung out, but I reminded myself the baby could take her time coming down and only one push was OK, if that’s all the contraction would give me. I felt her slide almost all the way back in between contractions. I felt membranes, or something, and I mistook it for torn skin, but I didn’t care at this point. The burning was intense, and at some point I started not feeling as much relief between contractions because there was so much pressure with her head right there. The midwives were getting ready the things that were needed immediately after birth, and I said, incredulous, not really believing I had made it all the way to the end “You mean she’s coming soon? Are you sure?” I think I asked this several times, and they reassured me she was indeed coming. In the middle of one contraction I decided I’d had enough and I was pushing her out. In hindsight this could have been bad if my tissues hadn’t had enough time to stretch without tearing but they survived, so maybe it was just the timing my body wanted. I remember bellowing, having little to no control over what I was doing. I took my hand away from her head, putting everything into that push. I felt her head slip out and then a pause, and M said “just a little more” and I remembered her shoulders needed to come and then in an instant I felt her body twist out of me. I remember being a little dazed as I tried to follow their instructions as they passed her between my legs and I sat on the little chair in the pool, and then I held her in my arms. I just couldn’t believe it. I was so happy and I just kept saying “Oh baby!” She opened her mouth and cried a little, and though I have a vague memory of the midwives doing their thing, I was hardly aware of anyone but the baby. After a bit, we remembered to check whether it was a boy or a girl, so P checked and pronounced her a girl. I was told afterwards that I sat in the pool for a while but it felt like just a minute before they helped me out and got us situated on the bed.

Afterward I ended up having two stitches, which were kind of “optional.” When they asked what I felt about it I thought “Novacain! Numbness! Yes!” so I had them do it. P got me a beer, and I sat there lounging on the bed while I got sewed. I felt so good!

So all in all, it was about 10 hours, from 9pm-7am, and I pushed from 6am-7am. The midwives were awesome and stuck around till after 11am, tending to me, breaking down the birth pool, collecting laundry, etc. They are the best.

I cannot tell you how unprepared I was for birth, even after having read all kinds of books and even watching videos on youtube. And nothing could have prepared me for motherhood, either, and I’ve only barely begun that. It was all very incredible and unexpected even though I knew it was going to be amazing and I knew the baby was coming sooner or later.

I'm not pregnant anymore!

After I missed the CLEP cutoff score for one test, I was so discouraged I cancelled the other, on Tuesday night. Then I realized I wanted the baby to come, since I didn't have anything to hold out for. I remember saying, "Ok baby, come now!"

Well whaddaya know, the baby came five days early, and I definitely would have had to cancel that test because I was in labor!

The next post will have my labor story. I want other women (and men!) to be able to read it to be inspired, or encouraged.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

CLEP Update

I missed passing the CLEP by one point. Granted, the school I attend has a rather high cut-off for the passing score. The test creators suggest a passing score of 50; my college requires 63. And of course, I scored 62!

This is bad for morale. I am going to retest for this one in six months, but I have another test due in August that I absolutely must pass then or I have to take the class. Same with the retest on the first test. It's my last chance to try to pass it before I need to take the class without falling behind.


On the bright side, the beer is done! And I must say, it's almost finished. We (the two of us) have drunk at least 2/3 of the batch in two weeks. We didn't even wait all the way for bottle conditioning. I was impatient and opened one up early. And it was pretty darn good after just a few days of conditioning, so I put more in the fridge. And that just lead to more. Now I have four in the closet for long-term aging, to see how it ages up, two six packs to give away to friends, and assorted bigger bottles (an old swingtop wine bottle, a 22 oz) and two 12 oz in the fridge.

I would start another batch immediately but it is not going to work budget-wise till next month, since I need to buy a pot for boiling.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Now To The Real Point

This blog is named Gambrinous, and at this point of the blog, a new adventure will start that is related to the title. For years I've wanted to brew my own beer but have put it off because I didn't want to invest so much all at once. However, considering that three or four sixpacks buys you a carboy, and just a few months of beer consumption would pay completely for all the equipment, it was quite silly of me to think that way. Now that I'm a full-time student with only part time work in the household (we used to both work full-time, basically), I am doing it!

I am so excited. I went to the brewing store with the intent of spending $50. I have a friend who's loaning me a carboy and an airlock, but I needed everything else. I ended up spending $50.58, which isn't as much as I thought it would be, actually, considering all of the things I needed. Here is a picture of the lot of stuff, excluding the yeast (which I discovered is expired, and I'll have to go back and get another packet! :(

I've gotten 24 bottles so far. I need to find another 24, and quickly! I'm planning on this being done around the time the baby comes, and I'll actually be able to imbibe.

Cascade hops.

24 bottles, all scrubbed and well-rinsed, ready for later sanitizing.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I feel bigger. And the baby feels lower. I'm at 37.5 weeks now. It's pretty exciting to think that in a month or so we'll have a baby. Well, we'll have a baby out in the open. We already have the baby, and I carry him/her around every where! ;)

My feet swell a little in the evenings if I've been walking around. My right fingertips are always a little tingly, and numb at night. I have heartburn. I can't bend over as well as I used to. It takes some work to get out of the pool. Sex is a lot more work.

But you know what, it isn't so bad. I feel patient right now. I predict the baby will come the 10th of July. That's 14 days late. We'll see :)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

36 weeks

I googled 36 weeks pregnant and was SHOCKED at how big the bellies were. Then I took pictures of myself and realized I am not as small as I think.

Exhausted, Confuzzled, etc

I am so tired. I've spent the last five days visiting friends in a town I used to live in. I've not been doing all that much, but it's exhausting. Tomorrow morning, I'm babysitting for a friend who is working on finishing her dissertation. Her children are so high energy. I don't know how she does it! Hats off to A and J, parents of U and O. :)

I have two CLEP exams scheduled. One is on the 17th (developmental psychology) and the other is on the 21st (US History I). The baby is due the 26th. I'm hoping the baby does not come early. Then July is a free month! Most of August, too. August 25, I take the TEAS test and in September I pass in my application to nursing school, and start school again. Then in the spring I should start the nursing curriculum, and then it'll be time for a lovely summer break all over again. I will appreciate summer break much more next year, I'm sure of it.

When should I tell my friends about my blog? I am writing to no one right now. Just me and the keyboard and the whole world. I haven't decided that friends should read it yet. Perhaps it will never be known that I have a blog here. This is my third blog so far in about seven years.

Saturday, May 21, 2011


I got my grades for the past semester. Somehow there were another five As, sitting all in a row there on the page. I have worried about grades in the past. I've worried that an A- (or God forbid, a B!) would mar the record. I would not feel this way if the first two college classes I took resulted in an A and an A+. Chalk it up to easy classes, but it was the beginning of a little obsession. Sometimes I tell myself I really don't care, and I just want to make it through. But then when I think about the reality of the 3-point-something rather than the big 4.0, I just don't want to think about it.

This is a testament to my parent's homeschooling, for one. It was not particularly demanding, as far as book-work goes. But we did get all kinds of education that cannot be taught out of books. I often think to myself - I know that word because Dad used it or I know about that phenomenon because we were exposed to it casually on family outings or work adventures. I finished 12th grade at 16, failing miserably at math and just wanting to finish the official school work. The reason finishing early was possible was because everything but math was well above average. Though my parents didn't have a lot of money when I was growing up, they somehow bought a library from a private school that was closing. We had a whole room, plus more, full of books, and the purchase also included a nice microscope. We also had lots and lots of tools at our disposal. My oldest (younger) brother was welding by the time he was 12 or so, and he rebuilt a bus engine under my dad's supervision when he was 14. We had access to handtools, sanders, saws, airtools, welders, etc.

What a good education I've gotten. Thanks Mom and Dad :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The baby is startling me. Sometimes the kicks are pretty vigorous, and they are never accompanied by a warning!

Another thing that has startled me is the scale. At the beginning of pregnancy, I guess I thought that I would gain 30 pounds, maybe I’d even be on the lower end, at 25 or so. Then I lost about 9 pounds from morning sickness and I figured I’d gain about 40 from that low point. But now I am at 34 weeks and I have already gained a total of 53 pounds. I guess it can’t climb much further, as I only have about 6 weeks left. But 53 pounds is a lot. I’ve never weighed this much in my entire life, and it did not occur to me once that I’d possibly gain this much during pregnancy or at any other point in my life.

So I figure I’ll lose about 20 pounds when the baby comes, because my hands are pretty swollen and I’m guessing I’ll have a lot of water retention that goes away. But that’s 33 pounds left to lose. I’ve never lost that much weight in my life, either. There’s a first for everything, I guess.

I Could Do Without You, CT

I had no idea carpal tunnel could be so painful. I knew there was some degree of numbness involved, and I had heard a little here and there about pain. On the last night of our recent trip to California, I woke up in the hotel bed nearly writhing in pain. I knew I didn’t have anything along to take for pain (and I’ve been staying away from medications in general, anyway) and I was too sleepy to be able to think of what to do or think about it. I just whimpered and rolled over, again and again. In the morning my hand was so stiff I could barely bend my fingers. Then later in the day I had been grasping something for a few minutes (pulling myself up on the handle on the ceiling of the car, to be precise) and then it felt like I had arthritis. It was painful to bend my fingers.

I might be exaggerating a bit, because I can’t judge very well how bad something hurt in the middle of the night, just woken from sleep, but I can say I’ll be so glad when it subsides and doesn’t make nightly visits anymore.

Oh, How Short Pregnancy Is

I went on a walk to the grocery today, to get milk (ours went sour on the week-long trip we took) and as I was walking I passed a gym. A serious gym, with kettlebells and big ropes and such. Then a runner passed on the other side of the street. I thought about how comfortable I would be after delivery, and how I’d love to just be able to go out and run, or work out again. But then I felt the baby move, and I realized I would miss the baby being right there, so close. Some days will involve walking with the baby on my body, or in a stroller, or hand in hand, but right now I get to have the baby the closest it will ever get, and I will miss that when it’s over. I think the last 6 weeks should last as long as possible, now.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


A friend passed from this life to the next. Someone refered me to my sisters facebook wall to get information on what happened, but I couldn't access the link because she is not friends with me.

Why must my family be so splintered? It's been two years since I've talked with my 12 year old sister, due to my parents' ideas about keeping their family "clean" from "bad influences" (me). One brother is friends with me on facebook. I happened upon his pictures of my grandmother's funeral/memorial gathering. I was not invited.

It doesn't make sense to me. And what about the extended family? Some of them sided with my parents, and most of the others I have not been in touch with for various reasons - the shock, the distance, the "I knew you through my parents' circle," etc.

Sometimes I think it will just get better. And sure, it will, eventually. But wrong doesn't just go away. I'll never get back these two years (and more to come) of silence.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Two of My Favorite Labor Videos

Youtube is a great resource for birthing videos. Some of them are just pictures, which I feel is a little disappointing. Most of the time the pictures are not phenomenal, and while they're fine as a memory (or to study at leisure, not put to music and sped through), I prefer videos to get a feeling for what the labor was like. So here are two videos that are really videos, and good ones too.

Our Easy Homebirth - birth in a tropical, relaxing setting with lots of women attendants
Unassisted Birth - partner and sister present. This was the first I watched, I think.


Decaf is apparently not in style. I went to this rally on the steps of the Oregon Capitol Building. It was great, featuring Jennifer Block, author of Pushed, as well as a number of midwives, homebirth fathers/mothers and even a 13 year old who gave a speech on the homebirth of her two younger siblings.

But anyway! Silly me, I forgot to bring quarters for city parking (blame that on my small-town living arrangements) and had to park four or five blocks away. When I returned to my car, I discovered I was in front of a coffee shop. It was the one I had visited when I was stranded one evening in Salem (the bus station was closed, and the train station was closed and I didn't know there was another train coming that I could have hopped on and paid my fare onboard.) There was a helpful boy there who used his smart phone to find a nearby hotel. I went in and asked for a decaf coffee. They were out of brewed decaf, and as I was thinking "Oh, that's ok, I'll just have a decaf espresso drink then" they told me they were actually out of decaf GRINDS as well, so no luck. I left and went to McDonald's. She said it would be 2 minutes and then I saw her brew the decaf. Funny :)

The last two times I visited the local McDonalds for decaf I've run into funny little issues. The first time, I was with my husband and ordered two small coffees, one decaf (but forgot to ask for cream in the decaf). When we got the coffee, they weren't marked! I really didn't want to drink caffeinated so I asked the girl at the counter if there was a way to tell, and she said "Oh! One of them is decaf." And then she realized there was really no way to tell and made another two coffees for us. The second time, I asked for decaf and the girl said it'd be a minute and I said that would be fine. So I waited, and waited, and waited. She even walked by the table once and I thought I caught her eye. So I went up after about 15 minutes (I was online, anyway) and asked about the coffee and a light went on in her head - "Oh, the coffee! I'm so sorry, I forgot!" And then I got my coffee. It wasn't so bad, though, because I was there to get online mainly, and the coffee was just my "tipping fee" for using the internet.

Seven Weeks (+/-) to Go

Who knows when the baby will come?! Probably around seven weeks from now, though. Tomorrow marks 33 weeks. It's pretty exciting.

You've probably already gathered from previous posts that we are having a homebirth. The midwife is coming in a few weeks, and thereafter will come every two weeks, and then every week. She was talking about setting up the pool at week 36. That's only 3 weeks away! Pretty incredible. I don't know if I can believe it.

The baby had a quiet spell the other day that was concerning. The baby moved very little all day. I called Margy (the midwife) and we talked about checking heart rate and things like that, and since I have a fetoscope I did it myself. The heart beat was good and strong at about 130 and went up when I moved around/ate/massaged my belly, which was a good sign. And the next day the baby moved around like normal, with plenty of side foot-kicks and bottom wiggles (I think it's the bottom). It's nice :)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Current State

The current state is flabby. It's beautiful, because of my belly, but the rest of me is needlessly flabby. Three years ago, this is what my arms looked like.


Then came some moves across the country (2), upsets in routines, and biggest of all, school. Let it suffice to say that they no longer look like that. (And they were never orange, as the photo appears). And ignore the funny looking scar. A story for a different time.

So my goals for post pregnancy are to keep doing well in school, get into the nursing program, and get re-muscled and strong. The school has a gym and I have access to a pool that's within walking distance. I have no excuses. I used to work out in parking lots with sound equipment. (Another story for another time). I can do this!

Why This Blog

I've written various blogs in the past, all of them basically about me and my opinions. This one is about the same but on different topics than I have written about in the past.

This blog is about my current life; married, nursing student, pregnant. I am planning on using this blog as a place in which to complain about school, celebrate victories, talk about pregnancy, childbirth, recovery from childbirth, and weight lifting and other exercise.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Checking Grades on Saturday

Is a complete waste of time. Seriously, do I think my profs are going to post grades on the WEEKEND?!

I'm 1/4 into a nursing program at a university (4-year degree). I apply this summer and am informed of acceptance (or not) in the fall. Also, my husband and I are expecting a baby this summer. Sometimes I am afraid of the future. How will it work out?

But I also should reveal that I am not tuned into reality; "working out" to me means maintaining a 4.0. Last semester was my first year of university. Before that, I had gone to a community college and taken a math and writing class. For some reason they give A+ at the community college and I happened to get an A+ in algebra and an A in writing. This made me super-pleased, having never attended a school before (I was homeschooled and didn't really finish highschool. I "finished" but not officially and not very well). But I warned myself that my GPA would drop the following year when I entered university. For good or bad, I managed to pull off a 4.0, despite the fact that I had morning sickness through part of it. This is kind of bad, because now I expect it to happen again. So, the question is, will I 'fail' this semester and get an A-? One A- is enough to mess it up (I've done the math).

Am I entirely ridiculous? Yes. Can I stop it? No. Not really. So far one professor has posted grades (out of 5), and it's an A. What lies ahead? Doom and gloom with a little minus symbol after a letter? Sometimes I wish I had one B, just so I couldn't worry about maintaining the little zero after my GPA.

Someday I will look back on myself, after I've grown up, and laugh at myself.

Why Gambrinous?

Because it's better than being full of shit.

Gambrinous, according to wiktionary, means "Drunk; full of beer."

Drunk definitely isn't what I'm shooting for (it stinks, in my opinion, from personal, vomitous experience), but I believe, as Benjamin Franklin would agree, that God gave us beer and it's a good thing. I'd sooner give my children beer than soda pop. One of my goals is to brew my own beer.

So, Gambrinous because:
  1. God ordained fermentation
  2. It's tasty
  3. It's healthy
  4. It's wheat-y
  5. It's comforting
  6. It's German (that's where I had my first taste)
  7. There's nothing like it
  8. The one-beer feeling, as a friend of mine put it, is great. Not drunk, just one-beered.
  9. It just has a great sound to it. Try it in German; Das bier.
  10. I like it (for all the above reasons).

Pregnancy Blues

So far, my biggest two complains are carpal tunnel and peeing all night long. I wake up with my right hand numb and both writsts are fairly sore during the day. Nausea would be on the list, too, but it ended at about 15 weeks, so it's not a concern anymore.

That's not all that bad, I don't think, since pregnancy is so often made out to be a nightmare :)

Things I love:

baby moving
baby belly
knowing the baby is coming soon!
looking at baby clothes

Minor annoyances:

"Is it a girl or a boy?"
being so hard to turn over in bed
not being able to sit still very long
restless legs
not being able to walk as fast

Friday, April 29, 2011

Pregnancy Photos

13 weeks:
13 weeks?

31 weeks:
31 weeks

48 pounds of weight gain between the pictures. Scary! I don't know what to think :) Still two months to go, too.

Monday, April 18, 2011


I'm feeling a little sick. A friend has become engaged to marry under extenuating circumstances - her dad "allowed [the boy] to communicate with her," which is what lead to the engagement. How can I be happy for her :(

Run away, little bird. Run away and be free.

Labor Laws

I am expecting a baby in 2.5 months. I've made a list of things that I do not want in labor and things I would like in labor.

There's no point in listing everything here, but I feel like going on a little rant about labor. I am having our baby at home, and will not have access to pain-killers. That doesn't make me crazy, but it does mean that I will be mindful enough to know what's going on :P


No "This is so hard!"
Yes "You are doing good at overcoming XYZ, keep it up."

No hidden bad observations.
Yes, tell me bad things if we need to deal with them (IE, you're bleeding and we have to go to the hospital.)

YES: Tell me I'm not going to break. Tell me the baby will be born. Tell me the baby is not being hurt. Tell me everything that is going well. Tell me my vagina is stretching. Tell me I'm not alone - millions if not billions of women have done this and lived!

Am I nervous about labor? No. I feel like I did before I started my first year at college. I want to get into it, feel what I'm up against, and just do it.

I saw a friend's pictures from labor that said "She was so compliant." That scares me a little. I don't want to be compliant. I can imagine the last thing I'll want to do is take orders from anyone.