Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

2013 is 29 minutes away.

My husband is in bed not feeling well.

I am rocking my sweet girl back to sleep.
She is snoring softly in my ear.

It has been a long time since I brought in the New Year by myself.

I'll have to celebrate with the dog, but he will likely be in bed with my husband.

2013, what do you have in store?

2012 came and went so swiftly and with many changes in a seemingly short span of time. A whirlwind of the most lovely, surprising and welcome sort.

It is hard to believe that the little one will turn two in 2013.
My husband and I will celebrate 12 years together and six years married. I hope to create and cultivate more joy and love and peace in 2013.

From Tennyson's "In Memoriam":

Ring out the old, ring in the new
Ring happy bells across the snow;
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


I feel like life just keeps tumbling along lately.

Tumbling and tumbling and tumbling.

Dizzying, which is sometimes good and sometimes...


Abigail is off with her Daddy and I should be cleaning or running or something.

Yet I am here writing and not writing.

Brain full and brain empty.


Exercise might help me sort through things and blog more coherently.

So, I'll leave you with some photos and write more later.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

What Life Looks Like Lately

Where to begin...

Here. Right now. In this moment.
I am curled up on the couch.
My husband is in the recliner playing video games.
My sweet 18 month old, Abigail, is sleeping soundly.
Pierce Dog is curled up in our bedroom on my pillow, no doubt.

I am missing writing.
So, I am writing.


I am wearing a shirt to bed that I wore when I was pregnant.
I miss being pregnant.
Pregnant is not something you can just be or do.
It is not like writing where one second you want to be doing and the next second you are.


My husband and I went shopping together today.
We browsed Newbury Comics.
We picked through the racks at TJ Maxx.
We sampled delectables at Whole Foods.
We drove home with the sunroof open.
I giggled to my soul's delight.

Then we were home to our little girl who giggles the best.


Turtle earrings made of recycled, reusable, sustainable, eco-friendliness.
My husband picked them out for me today.
I would have gone for the blue hearts with the g-clef.
I asked him to pick for me.
So, I am wearing turtles in my ears.
I wondered about the symbolism of turtles.
In my Google search I came up with these gems:

The Indians have a legend that the world is supported by four elephants standing on a giant turtle.

Turtles seem to possess an enviable and god-like resistance to aging, and so they came to symbolize longevity.

The turtle symbolizes the primal mother and Mother Earth.

 The Turtle is an ancient symbol that represents creation, endurance, strength, stability, longevity, fertility, and innocence. The Turtle also provides protection, good fortune , and brings happiness and good omens. 

All of the above. Yes, please.


I am taking an exercise class with ten other women once a week.
Restore the Core by Karna Fitness.
It is very relaxing and challenging.
I like being around other adults, other women.
It feels good.
It feels empowering.
That one hour a week is precious and revitalizing.


I'm in the now.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Spider, what say you?


This week I have encountered at least one spider every day.
Some of them are alive.
Some are in songs.
I recently picked up a book for my daughter. It has been sitting on her shelf for a little while. This week she has been bringing it to me with greater and greater frequency. The book is Miss. Spider's Tea Party.

Tonight I was out on the front porch cleaning up the water table when an enormous spider, one that I am convinced could have carried me away, scurried along the bannister as I set a cup down.

"Eeeeeekkkkkkkk..." escaped my lips.

I reminded myself that spiders do an amazing service for all of us. Eating insects and other spiders is important business. 

Then something clicked and inwardly I thought,"O.K., I am listening, Universe. I am listening. You don't have to send me masses of spiders or even more massive spiders. I will figure out what you are trying to tell me.  Google, here I come!"


An aside:
As I sit here trying to make sense of this my husband,  who has no idea what I am writing about, started blasting "It's My Life" by Bon Jovi.

How appropriate is that?!?!?!?
What comes to my mind when I think about spiders:

are small, but powerful.
are small, but play an important role.
weave amazing webs over and over again.
make themselves at home wherever life takes them.
are survivors.
work hard.
are artists in every sense of the word.
incorporate art into every part of their life.
are resilient.
are adaptable.
don't try to control where they are going, but instead trust the Universe to send them on the breeze to where they are needed or belong at that moment.
I am still not sure what any of this means, but I have recognized it (1st step) and I am thinking about it (2nd step) which means I am moving in the right direction.

Are you paying attention to the little messages, the "whispers", in your life?

Where I did my limited searching on Spider Symbolism: here, here, and here.

Time and Walking

I was so ready to blog again.
Abigail is older and was taking just one big nap in the middle of the day.
I felt fairly able to balance my writing and my household duties.
Things were feeling a lot more settled and predictable.
I could definitely sit down and write every other day if not every.


Abigail is walking.
Abigail is "running."
Abigail is growing which means things that were out of her reach are no longer.
Abigail is learning which means she can get in to things that she never could before.
Abigail changed her mind about napping. The 2 hour nap is now 45 minutes to an hour and that is the only nap she takes all day.
Mama reporting for duty no later than 7 a.m. and laying sweet baby down for the night between 8 and 9:30 depending on the baby.


So, now I am setting a goal of one post a week minimum.

Here's hoping!

Friday, June 15, 2012


I noticed that I have been taking lots of photos of the ground lately.
I've been more aware of the beauty below.
There are lots of little things that I've been unintentionally missing.

There is a whole world below our feet.
There are tiny miraculous things growing.
There are ants marching and worms plowing and fertilizing.
There are rocks of many colors slowly turning to sand.

I feel mentally and emotionally grounded.

It is an unfamiliar feeling.

I have always been a head in the clouds type.
One who thrives on spontaneity and change.
The person who had moved 13 times in 31 years.
The person who has been a babysitter, a Library Page, a student (several different times at different schools), a Legal Secretary (4 different firms), and a nanny (to 4 different families).
I make things up as I go along.
Some might say, as Megan's mother said of Megan on the season finale of Mad Men, that I have the disposition of an artist without actually being one.
Some times I miss the freedom of doing what I like when I like and then...

Then there are the little moments with a certain little person who makes my heart soar while my feet are planted solidly on the ground and my soul is still set solidly in my body.
The other day I looked down as I slid into the drivers seat.  There were the yellow shorts I've had since the summer I became pregnant that suddenly fit again. There was my red purse that I've carried for years and is now caressed by tiny fingers on a regular basis. Attached to that purse was a blue baseball cap that belongs to the toddler with whom I spend my days.

I am still prone to flights of fancy, but there is something to being more grounded and more aware of exactly where I am and who I am. The awareness of everything around, above and below me keeps me in the here and now. There is nowhere that I would rather be.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Blue, Grey, Moody Days

The weather this week has been wonky.
Rain clouds and sun shared the sky.
Thunder and lightening came and went without leaving a trace.
We walked four blocks, played at the park for 15 minutes, and then the sky opened up.
Big drops of rain and tiny hail stones soaked and poked us.
We headed home only walk into blue skies two blocks later.

My moods have been wonky, too.
Running the gamut.
Spanning the spectrum.
I am sensitive to my environment, I suppose.

I'd like to be more like a tree.
Standing tall.
Bending with the breeze.
Allowing whatever befalls me to move right through me gently and pass.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Peace and Time

This morning our 1st non-family babysitter came to care for Abigail for a few hours.
I hid in the bedroom and got some much neglected projects done and still have 10 free minutes to blog.
I didn't know just how much I needed this peaceful time to do things for and by myself.
I love Abigail and love being her mom.
I am just now beginning to understand that leaving her in the care of a competent, experienced loving caretaker is not selfish or neglectful on my part.
In a few minutes I will take her in my arms and give her lots of kisses.
I will feel refreshed and ready to take on the day with her.
She will be happy to see me and tell me all about the fun she had with Sam.
All will be well.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Evening Sun

Today in Photos

As I ease back in to blogging the words are slow to come.
Pictures of today will have to do for now.

Back to Blogging!

So, I have finally finished writing Abigail's birth story!
I am really eager to get back to blogging again, especially after reading Susannah Conway's This Is Know: Notes on Unraveling the Heart.
I am also taking her e-course Exploring the Senses that she has given as a gift to everyone who bought her book.
Oh, she is a special woman that Susannah :0)
So, if you are here from Exploring the Senses, a special welcome to you!
Now I have to go chase my 14 month old who is going through all of our paper recycling as I write.
I'll be back and soon :-) Pinky swear!

37 Weeks 5 Days - Part Three

The following morning, a Saturday, we headed to our 9:30 appointment for the non-stress test. We were remarkably calm. Talk revolved around the baby and the possibility that the next time we were driving the same route it would be with the baby in the back seat.

We got to the hospital and headed to the maternity ward. They brought us to the intake room to be monitored. After 30 minutes of monitoring, during which the baby was super active and I was contracting though I could barely feel it, the Dr. came in. She told us that the baby looked good and considering the bile acid levels in my blood and the fact the I was more than 37 weeks, they would be inducing me that night. After checking my cervix (1 centimeter, 50% effaced), she sent us home to prepare and return at 7:00 p.m.

We updated the doulas and were told Cate would be our doula for at least the beginning part of labor and Maria 1 would take over upon her return, if necessary. We said that we would call Cate when we were ready for her, but it might not be until the following day (Sunday).

We spent the day getting groceries, calling Carrie (our pet sitter) to pick up Pierce, doing the laundry, installing the car seat, and  generally making sure that the house was clean and ready for baby's arrival. After a yummy take-out dinner from our favorite Asian restaurant, Asiana Fusion (I had Vegi and Tofu Pad Thai, no beansprouts), we went back to the hospital to be induced.

We arrived on time, but it took them a little bit of time to register us and figure out where we were going. After laying down with my head on my husband's lap in the empty waiting room for 45 minutes, they took us to a room. No sooner did we get settled than we found out that the room was not equipped with a telemetry monitor (allows monitoring of contractions and baby's heart rate while mom moves around as she wishes). So, they moved us to Labor Room 2 which was much larger and was equipped with a telemetry monitor, birthing tub, and the birthing ball that I requested.

Around 8:30 - 9:00, they inserted the Cervidil. 
I dozed.
I had contractions.
I dozed.
The nurse kept coming in to check on me.
I dozed.
After several hours of Cervidil, they removed it because the contractions were too close together and not effective.
They told me that my primary OB was on duty in a few hours and would be in to see me and probably start Pitocin.
I dozed.
Even without the Cervidil, I was feeling contractions.
I dozed some more.
I wanted to build up and save my strength and energy for the coming hours.

The sun rose on Sunday.
The doctor came in. It was not my Dr.
It was someone who was covering my Dr.'s shift.
I had met all of the Dr.'s in my Dr.'s practice, but this Dr. was not part of my OB's practice.
I was a bit disappointed, but he was nice and respectful and open enough and we discussed my birth plan and what the next steps in induction would be.
In order to avoid taking Pitocin, my husband and I opted for the insertion of a balloon catheter in the cervix to help dilation.
The Dr. had trouble inserting it as I found the process quite uncomfortable.
He stopped and told me that we would have to start Pitocin.
When he left the room the nurse said, "You've heard of stripping the membranes?" I nodded. "Well, you just had yours royally stripped."
They started the Pitocin and my husband called Cate and told her that I had a Pitocin drip and we were ready for her to come.
We rested.
Cate arrived and we introduced ourselves, talked about what had happened, was happening, and what we would like to have happen (birth plan).
I decided I wanted to walk and my husband and Cate took turns walking up and down the hallway with me and the telemetry monitor and my drip.
I would periodically stop to use the bathroom and then just keep walking.
I kept my eyes closed in an attempt to block everything out and listen to my body.
Then Cate asked if I'd like to listen to a Hypnobirthing c.d. and rest for a bit.
I said yes and I am so glad that I did.
Cate went to get lunch while my husband ate in the room.
The c.d. worked wonders for me.
My husband told me later that the voice on the c.d. sounded like Betty White and it was really hard for him to hold back laughter, but he did because he could tell it was helping me.
The mantra that stuck with me for the rest of my labor was "I trust my body and my baby."
I just played that over and over in my mind.
When Cate returned, I walked and walked and walked and walked.
I found out later that I walked for the better part of 8 hours.
I really had no concept of time during labor.
 _ _ _ _
Somewhere in there we made the decision to allow the Dr. to break my water.
I was doing a lot of work, but not dilating much.
I was 1-2 cm for a long while.

Also, somewhere in there, I was taking a break and using the ball when a nurse came in and loudly and perkily announced, "Your in-laws are here!"
My husband and I had instructed our parents NOT to come to the hospital and that we would call them when the baby had arrived and we were ready for visitors.
My husband went to deal with it.
I often wonder if my labor would have progressed more quickly had my parents not been there or had I not known they were there.
After they left in the evening, around the time Maria arrived, my labor progressed much more quickly.
- - - - -

After walking lots and lots, Cate and my husband suggested that I use the ball.
I had said no many times throughout the day, but they continued to offer.
This time I said yes.
While I was on the ball, Cate got a call from Maria 1.
She was home and on her way to the hospital.
What a relief!
I think I cried happy tears when Maria arrived.
I know I thanked Maria for coming and thanked Cate for everything.
Everyone said that I was a very polite laboring woman. Ha!
After laboring on the ball a bit and doing lots of moaning, Maria thought I should be checked.
She later told me that she was sorry for this.
From the way I was vocalizing she thought I was a 6 or 7 and that this would be encouraging for me to hear.
It turned out I was only 4 cm.

Maria asked what I thought about getting in the tub.
I have Lymphedema in my feet and legs which made me trepidatious about using the tub.
I said that I would love to get in the tub if it was possible to find a way to keep my feet out of the water.
They started filling the tub and got me a chair to use to keep my feet out of the water.
The tub is the best thing I did.
I ended up relaxing and putting my feet in the water after all.
After 3ish hours in the tub, they asked me if I was pushing.
I told them I didn't know, I was just trusting my baby and my body.
Maria told me that she was quite sure that I was.
They coaxed me out of the tub.
Maria told my that it was going to be uncomfortable because changing positions in labor is.
It was.
I told them that if I got out and wasn't at the end stages of labor after all they better let me back in the tub.
They all knew that would not be possible, but told me o.k. anyhow.

I was 8-9 centimeters.
I labored on my hands and knees and then on my side in bed.
The nurse asked to check me.
I was in the middle of a contraction and told her no.
When the contraction was over I said, "OK, you can check me but you better do it now and do it fast."
She checked and Abigail's head was RIGHT THERE.
They called some "code" to get the Dr. in there a.s.a.p.
Nurses don't like to deliver babies alone if the don't have to.
The Dr. got there and they told me they needed me on my back.
Minutes later, 45 minutes after I'd removed myself from the tub, Abigail was born.
12:10 a.m., Monday, March 21, 2011. 6lbs 4 oz, 18.75 inches.

The 1st words I said to her were, "Happy Birthday, Abigail! Mama loves you!"

I didn't expect to be induced, but throughout the induction I felt that Brad and I were making well informed decisions together. We still did it with minimal interventions and were able to have a vaginal delivery and a healthy and happy family.

As I finishing writing this a bit more than 14 months later I am still awed by the power of birth.

For more info. on Cholestasis:

Monday, January 9, 2012

37 Weeks, 5 Days - Part Two

The following day, Friday, I was walking/waddling around the neighborhood with the dog when my phone rang.   It was my OB's office.  I answered the phone, but the signal was spotty and I could barely hear the doctor.  I hung up and tried calling back, but I could not get signal for my phone.  It would have to wait until I returned home.

My instinct told me that my Cholestasis test results were positive.  I tried not to get ahead of myself.  "Positive or negative, just keep taking this one step at a time", I told myself.

Safely home, I called my OB's office and hoped someone would answer as it was nearly 6:00 in the evening.  The secretary answered and said the doctor would be right with me.  The doctor was on the line about 30 seconds later.  She said that I had tested positive for Cholestasis, that she had scheduled a non-stress test for me first thing the following morning, and that the doctor from the practice who would be there  would help us determine when I would be induced, but I would definitely be induced within the week.  I asked questions calmly which she answered calmly.  Then I thanked her and hung up the phone.

I called my husband at work, but he didn't answer his phone.  I left a message to please call me.

We had hired labor doulas who work as a team.  I called my primary doula (Maria 1) and left a message on her cell phone apprising her of the situation and asking that she call me.  Then I called the other doula (Maria 2) who, thanks to all that is holy, answered her phone.  I told her what was happening.  She was very supportive and answered questions I had.  She also told me that Maria 1 was on a bus to Pennsylvania to visit with family, but would be back Sunday night. Maria 2 also told me that she had 2 other moms-to-be who were 40 and 41 weeks pregnant and it was likely that she would be called to a birth tomorrow or Sunday.  If that were to happen then the back-up doula, Cate, would come. We said that we would talk after the non-stress test tomorrow.

After I got off the phone with Maria 2, I called my husband, again. He answered and I explained what was happening. He was stunned and asked me to wait a second while he found a more private place to sit and talk. Then I explained again and he said he was heading home right away. I told him that everything that could be done at the moment was being done and all arrangements that could be taken care of were taken care of.  All we could do was try to relax and enjoy the quiet time before the baby arrived. He seemed to calm a little, but said he was still heading home right away.

While waiting for him to come home, I called my friend Brenna and made arrangements for her to care for the dog the next day while we were at the non-stress test, just in case they decided to induce right away. I also called my boss because I was supposed to work the next day and then again on Monday. I let her know what was happening and she told me not to come to work either day and that she wished me well.

Brad got home and he and I took the dog for a walk, went to dinner at our favorite diner, packed in case we need to stay at the hospital the next day, watched t.v. and chit chatted before bed. We also put the car seat and car seat manual in the trunk of the car so that at least we would have it with us if I was induced. Remember, I thought I had another 2 and 1/2 weeks to prepare.

We were so excited to meet the baby. We just wished for a healthy baby, healthy mom, and were grateful that though baby would be early at least she would be "full-term".

To be continued...

For more info. on Cholestasis: