Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A Birth Story A Year Late

Let me preface this by saying: From the moment I thought about having a baby I knew I wanted a drug free and intervention free birth experience. God had other plans. 

I was ready to meet my son at 40 weeks + 1 day, so I went for a walk, ate eggplant parm, bounced on the birth ball and drank a ton of fluids. The works! 

I was amped up when I went to bed and I couldn't sleep because of adrenalin, so I should have known something was up. Around midnight I emptied my bladder and hopped in bed when, wham, my water broke. I knew this was the real thing. I immediately got horrible and uncontrollable shakes, which didn't end till several days after he was born. 

We headed to the hospital and I was checked. 1cm 50% effaced. I barely had a cramp so at 6am I started pitocin and hours later I was checked again. 1-2cm at 60% maybe a generous 80%. Contractions were on top of each other so I knew it was time for an epidural because this was going to be a long processes. As nervous as I was about getting an epidural it was easy peezy and made me feel awesome, even though I was not a fan of my legs being numb. 

I was checked again around 4pm when my pitocin was at the highest recommended dosage and I was barely a three. Through the next hour the nurse kept shifting me around so I wasn't super surprised when my doc came in and let me know that there were just too many decels in the baby's heart rate during contractions. She let me know that she was heavily leaning towards a csection. Moments later my nurse returned and shifted me again and said we weren't waiting  anymore and started to prep me for the section. I just started praying for peace and my favorite verse popped in my head: be anxious for nothing... 

Once in the operating room I just breathed in my O2 and was silent while Mike stood by me and struck my hair. The atmosphere was just calm and I truly appreciated the laid back chatter of the whole medical staff. It made everything seem so routine and normal when in my head, before this moment, a csection was the worst thing I could possibly imagine. 

Suddenly I could hear the excitement.   Someone asked if they saw red hair and my ob exclaimed "yes" and I cried. Then at 5:45 pm I heard his little squawk. They lifted him over the screen and there was my precious son. All I could repeat in my head was, "it is well with my soul!" Mike brought him over and I just saw Mike in his  little grumpy scowl. I have never loved two redheaded men more than I did at that moment. 

The doctor explained to me that what went wrong was he was nowhere near being fully engaged, my pelvis is rather narrow and his cord was just wrapped all over his body. He just needed help getting out. So pretty much everything that I didn't want to happen did happen. But it couldn't have been a more peaceful of an experience with these circumstances than I could have imagined. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Love Letter

I worry about you all the time. I worry you won't make it. I worry about childhood diseases. I worry you will end up with a cleft pallet or extra digits. I worry that you will disappoint me. I worry that I will disappointing you.

I worry about you and I do not even know you.

What I do you know is that I love you

I will love you if you are athletic or artistic
...homosexual or heterosexual
...straight laced or rebellious
...blonde or redheaded
...high gpa or low gpa
...Christian or agnostic
...calm or active...

You are going to be loved, worried over and prayed over no matter what. We going to do our best to make you a brave, wise and straight arrow. You are the first in our quiver and we are thrilled to meet you in the Fall!

Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him. Children born to a young man are like arrows in a warrior’s hands. How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them!
Psalm 127:3-5 NLT

Friday, November 8, 2013

Look at Her

A college friend and I have been chatting about experiences in our lives and we both simultaneously admitted that we had been comparing our lives to other women. Women that seem to have it all together. We think this based on what we see of their lives on social media.

She has the perfect body
Her husband must make bank so she can stay at home
Her kids willingly choose veggies over gmo tainted gummy snacks
She works 40 hours a week, and fits in 14 hours of cross fit a week
Her husband looks just like young Paul Newman, and does charity just like him too

This will make you go crazy. Life online is unrealistic. But, I do it all the time and I must stop. 

I certainly don’t expect social media friends to Instagram pictures of their negative pregnancy test with a caption saying “Well, there is always next month #ttc2years #clomidfail #IVFnext #retirementfund.” Or post a 15 second clip of an epic fight about money with a spouse on Vine #foreclosure #secondjob #shouldhavemarriedadoctor. Or tweet about how badly they want a chase a bottle of vodka with a bottle of wine #249dayssober.  

We don’t hashtag the bad, we hashtag the good.

I have to constantly remind myself that I am called to be thankful and, in everything, I am called to love and trust Christ.

When I am dwelling on what is going on in her life, and her life and her life, I am unable to do the things that I am called to do because envy and "what if" is deeply seeded in my unbelieving heart. I cannot be or become who I am called to be.

Monday, September 30, 2013


During the first week of my freshman year at BC, my friends and I went to the campus organizational fair. There was this really cute guy with a sweet goatee manning the Karate Club table, so naturally I signed up for Karate. Weeks in and I was hooked. However there was one exercise I struggled with.
Usually at the beginning and end of each class Dr. Minnix, our sensei, would have us sit, close our eyes, breath and silently clear our minds by counting. Once a stray thought entered your mind, you would stop, clear it out and start the count over.

This is how it went for me:

Can I get away with size 14 font on my 5 page paper? Dang it!
*I can’t believe I almost killed Dicegay…
I like this color of nail polish…

My mind, is like a freight train. I could be making millions if those freight train thoughts were productive. Sadly, they are not.

I find that I have this same issue not only in my everyday life, but it intensifies in my spiritual life.
I remember a friend of mine said that she finished the entire Bible in the matter of weeks. It took me 3 years to get from cover to cover. It can take up to 30 minutes for me to read a chapter, and that is not because I am delving into every single word. I am constantly distracting myself.

This is what Psalm 91, my favorite chapter, would look like in my head:

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I wish  raw kale and spinach didn't taste like slugs
This I declare about the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
he is my God, and I trust him.
Wouldn’t it be cool to have a pet rabbit? Would it get along with Grayson
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
he is my God, and I trust him.
Nick kissed Jess. I wonder if this will mess up the entire mojo of the loft?
For he will rescue you from every trap
and protect you from deadly disease.
Did I set my alarm?

Obviously not much has changed since my freshman year. Psalm 91 is probably the most beautiful passage in the Bible and I ruin it! My thoughts are irreverent and irrelevant. My quiet time is being attacked and I am not soaking in what I should be learning and applying to my life. 

Several women from my family/framily are reading Crazy Love together. (Guess who is way behind in reading? Me!) While discussing our readings, my cousin brought up the parable of the sower and the soil. Good soil retains the Word of God, the bad soil does not. 

I am bad soil. I am a lukewarm Christian. 

My goal should not be reading through the New Living Translation, but to desire to learn from each word. It is time to set new goals. 

*Story for another day

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

My Nose

I like my nose. I always have. It is cute. It fits my face nicely. It is my favorite feature about myself. So you could say that I am pretty vain about my nose.

I noticed a tiny white spot on the right side of tip of my nose. It started to periodically bleed, usually after I dried my face with a towel. It started to get slightly bigger and puff up. I finally asked my GYN-PA to refer me to a dermatologist and she, being an amazing woman, did. Sure enough, the prognosis was Basal Cell Carcinoma: the most popular, easily treatable and typically non-spreading skin cancer. It required Mohs surgery and plastic surgery.

I arrived at the Dermatologist early in the morning for the Mohs surgery. They gave me local anesthesia in my nose which burned like fire with a hint of sneezey. The doctor scooped out the tumor plus a precautionary extra layer of tissue which, in all, was the size of a large green pea. They controlled the bleeding, bandaged me up and I went to the waiting room while they tested the tumor. If the cancer remained, I would have gone back in for a second scoop and would have repeated the process until all the cancer was gone. Thankfully it was clear with just one scoop and they sent me to plastic surgery.

The surgeon numbed me back up, good times, and then started cutting away. It felt like he was raking my skin. He had to borrow skin from the middle of my nose to fill the tip, then he borrowed skin from the bridge of my nose to fill the middle, then he had to pull the skin tightly from the side of my nose to cinch the bridge together. It was so tight I felt like and looked like I had a face lift on the right side of my face. The incision looked like a backwards 3 from the bridge of my nose to the nostril. 25 stitches in total.

He bandaged me up and discharged me. Before we were a mile from the hospital I started to bleed, which made me panic, which made me start to cry (ugly girl cry), which made my nose bleed more. So we headed back and we applied pressure, yes, pressure. Pressure! Pressure applied to a nose that was just tortured. A nose that was no longer numb. Finally three nose dressings later it had stopped bleeding enough to go home. (After Googleing, I found that bleeding was pretty uncommon.)

The next day my body, especially my feet, were sore from being so very tense and nervous through the surgeries. My nose, cheeks and eye lids were swollen, blue and tender. But the worst was behind me, with prayer and Tylenol, just days later I felt pretty good. 

Since the surgery my nose itches, has moments of stinging and cold burning. It feels heavy and numb along the scar. My nostrils are different shapes. But all in all everything looks and feels better than I expected.   

In the picture: Top Left. My nose before, you might notice a little lighter spot with a tiny pink speck, that is the cancer. Top Right: My nose after surgery. Lower Left: My nose after half the stitches were removed a week after surgery. Lower Right: My nose 4 days later after the final stitches were removed. 

So what did I learn?

1. Be proactive about your health. If you think something is wrong, stand up for your health.
2. Check your self, before you wreck yourself. Use your vanity and notice changes in your skin.
3. Anyone can get skin cancer. I'm young. I don't tan. Most of the sports I played were indoor sports. When I was outdoors as a kid, I spent more time in the woods than out in the open. I use SPF every day.
4. The smell of cauterized, betadine covered skin does not leave your memory quickly. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Peaches for Pirates

Tonight was a night of comfort food and this capped the night off perfectly!

Drunk Peaches

Slice 4 peaches in half and pit them. Place them, flesh side up, in an 8x8 oven safe pan.
Lightly sprinkle brown sugar over the peaches

In a bowl:
1 heaping tbsp of coconut oil
1 tbsp of agave nectar
1 shot of spiced rum
1 dash of nutmeg
1 dash of ginger
1 dash of cinnamon
1 dash of salt
1/4 tsp of vanilla extract

Warm mixture up slightly so that the coconut oil becomes liquid. (I just use a warm bowl)

In a small bowl mix:
1/2 cup of crumbled nuts (almond, pecan or walnut)
1/2 cup of oats

Evenly sprinkle the nut oat mix over the peaches
Evenly pour the coconut oil rum mix over the peaches
Lightly sprinkle brown sugar over it all.

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes and serve warm over vanilla ice cream!

You could use whiskey or bourbon to make this a true southern dessert. If you do this, then remember to use pecans!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Pinterest Fail or Prevail: Chia Seed Pudding

I live in a very rural town. We have two grocery stores. Not much selection. At all. So, when Mike and I were driving through Charlottesville, VA on our way back from vacation I stopped by Wholefoods and bought some Chia Seed. I have heard great things about this wonder seed so I wanted to see for myself.

I made this chia seed pudding from the Baltic Maid's blog.

I would say this was a prevail. It had the consistency of tapioca pudding, which is a personal favorite of mine. I would say that this recipe is a bit large for one meal. So I am now cutting it in half for breakfast and I add about a half cup of frozen blueberries to it.

Again, if you have a very sensitive tummy, like me, this one takes a bit of getting used to. Also it is a strange texture (slimy and crunchy) so that might cause aversions for some.

Chia Seed offers a good dose of sticker shock, but a little bit goes along way. 1/8 of a cup is all you need.

If you don't like it, you can always make Chia Pets with your left over seeds.