Monday, June 24, 2013

What am I up to?

Things changed quite drastically for me recently. I was planning to apply the Associates Degree in Nursing program this fall, which would mean I would have had my first nursing class this summer. Imagine my bit of confusion when my heart switched gears and I did some research and found out I don't have to be a nurse to be a Lactation Consultant. I was rather excited about this, and relieved I figured this out BEFORE applying to the program! As much as I want to help women and I want to be involved in lot's of baby delivery experiences, the thought of being the "nurse" had me a little uncomfortable. A big part of it was I wanted to be more focused on each patient. I knew as a nurse, I would be splitting my time between multiple patients. This was a big thing for me, I like to give people attention, I like to know their story, I like to not rush them. Imagine my surprise when I was online one day and I found a doula workshop being held blocks away from my house? Can we say MEANT TO BE?!?! I was hooked immediately and signed up! A long weekend in February was spent at a workshop. It was a Friday-Sunday event that if I counted hours attended it was about 30 hours of my time. It was a LONG few days. But it felt right. I walked out of that workshop trained and ready to get started. I hit the ground running by setting up my doula page on Facebook  and I've been working on building a network ever since. It's exciting and it feels right, but it's also something I need to have patience on, because I am still working to educate most people on what a DOULA is?! Simply put, a doula is "a woman who is trained to provide support to women and their families during pregnancy, childbirth, and the period of time following the birth". Doula work for me, is a liaison between stay at home mom and educated IBCLC (my ultimate goal is to be a certified lactation consultant). I envision my journey in doula work to help mom's in labor and delivery and then continue working with them post partum and into their nursing relationship. To build a real bond and friendship with moms. In the meantime, I am in the process of becoming a La Leche League leader, which I can work as for 2 years to help fulfill another "check" off the IBCLC list. 

This by no means says that I am done with school though. I was working diligently towards getting into nursing school, which means I have some college credit under my belt. Why would I stop now? I am about halfway to my associates degree, I've decided to get Associates in Arts and then move into a Bachelor's in Psychology. I felt Psychology was a great partner to all that women feel as they adjust to hormone fluctuations and a new and overwhelming life when baby arrives. 

It all works perfectly together and I like that I can work right away as a doula. The only downfall for me, is I don't do well as a "self employed entrepreneur" I don't have that "sales pitch" savvy that others seem to have to build a business, but I do trust that God is leading my path and the rest will fall into place!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Two hands

Happy birthday my sweet little girl! You are 10 today !!

10 years ago on this day, I became a mother. I was a young mom at the ripe old age of 22. It feels like ages ago. There were many things that came naturally to me, being that my mom ran a home daycare from the time I was 2. Other things, like cutting those little teeny tiny baby toe nails that were not so natural the first few times. I didn't write out a birth story, perhaps I should have. However, there are many things that I will never forget.

I remember:
-Craving oranges through my pregnancy!!

-Walking around for weeks dilated to 5 cm's and 80% effaced, feeling like I was going to give birth on the side of the road. I was terrified!

-Camping out on my yoga ball constantly for that last few weeks of pregnancy, partially hoping to dilate more, but more because it was soooooo comfy!

-Wondering when I was going to go into labor and praying my water would break, so I would *know* was in labor (it never did!)

-At 38 weeks and 1 day getting a back ache that felt "off" so I took that as my cue to go to the hospital.

-I remember walking into L&D and having the nurses look at me like I was nuts, because I was smiling and had walked myself up, but I told them I thought I was in labor.

-I remember moving into a room, getting all gowned up and them checking me and I was 6.5 cms, so I got to stay!

-I remember being asked if I wanted an epidural. (I did) And the nurses telling me "You are going to want to get it now, because the doctor is going to come in and start some pitocin to get labor moving" I wasn't about to argue at the time! I was "scared" of the pain!

-I remember the anesthesiologist coming in and being taken aback by my smiley self. He said I was the happiest laboring woman he had ever seen :) :) :) It was just because at that point, I totally didn't need the epidural, but my fear of "what was to come" was keeping me from telling them I didn't think I needed one.

-I remember getting a catheter before my epidural kicked in and feeling MISERABLE within minutes. That was the worst part up to that point. I was not a happy girl!

-I remember they did internal monitoring and my little girl was moving around, so I felt the wire tickling my legs.

-I remember feeling my water trickle every time she moved and getting so grossed out. Ha! I would make a face every time I felt it and I had my mom and my hubby in the room with me, I think it was amusing to them!

-I remember being complete and having a little bit of pressure. So, it was showtime!

-I remember the movie "What Women Want" was on and I was watching it and giggling between pushes!

-I remember pushing for 40 minutes and then meeting you!!!!!!!! It was 1:08 am!

-I remember (embarrassing as it is) when you came out, saying "That was like popping a huge zit!" (Oh yes, I did, and I still cringe when I admit it, but it is kinda funny!)

-I remember the joy of your birth was short lived, because I started hemorrhaging shortly after you were born.

-I don't remember much from this point on, but as lethargic and out of it was I was feeling at the time, I could feel the somber mood in the room. My parents were there at the time, my hubby was with our newborn baby and from what I was told, it was very scary for everyone around.

-I remember that mashing on the abdomen and vomiting from the pain. It was awful awful awful!

-I remember being wheeled into the OR and vomiting before I was out.

-I remember waking up alone, with an oxygen tube in my nose, crying. I called my brother, who was at home waiting to hear news. Apparently they had taken me to mother baby when my whole family was waiting for me in Labor and delivery.

-I remember being taken to Labor and Delivery and being emotional and upset that I was so puffy. They pumped fluids into me and I was told I almost lost my uterus because the bleeding got so bad.

-I remember being given 2 pints of donor blood.

-I remember at 7:30 am FINALLY being able to hold my baby girl. She was perfect and she latched on right away like a little trooper!

-I remember gazing at her with such love and adoration!

-I remember mentioning that her skin tone looked a little blue.

-I remember the nurses whisking her away from me. :( She was immediately taken to NICU. I never really found out what was wrong, other than they thought it might be an infection.

-I remember feeling so alone, because she stayed in NICU while I was bed ridden in my room. But making the best of it with visitors :)

-I remember 9:30 that night, I insisted they take me to see her, even if it meant wheeling me there in my bed. Which is exactly what they did!!

-I remember them placing her on my belly and her sweet little body wiggling up all the way to my face, where she nuzzled into my cheek and starting sucking on me. That was our bonding moment. It was the moment that I knew I was all she would need and that we were going to be great buddies! (Which is so very true, 10 years later)

-I remember my first time out of bed, telling the nurse I felt ok, until I passed out while sitting on the toilet and when I woke up there was a bathroom FULL of nurses to help and me saying I was having a nice dream! The nurse that was helping me that day came back the next day and told me I about gave her a heart attack! Ha!

-I remember going home without my baby. But being lovingly greeted by our poodle, which was my "first baby" :)

-I remember feeling so weak from the blood loss and felt so sad that I couldn't have her with me, but I was determined for her to get my momma milk, so I brought home a rented pump and pumped away.

-I remember going to see her and feed her for the two days she was in the NICU and then finally getting to bring her home!!

-That is where our journey began.
Acilia Rhiann was born June 20th and 1:08 am, 7 pounds, 1 ounce and 20.5 inches long. She was 13 days early :)

Monday, June 17, 2013

My baby is gone!

My daughter left for horse camp yesterday. She left a 9 year old and will come home a 10 year old. Horse camp was a "last minute" thing and it's the worst timing I could ever have dreamed, but it was "right" and we rolled with it. At the end of the school year, a flyer came home for walcamp. I half heartily looked at it, and then I spotted a "HORSE CAMP" option. I mentioned it to Acilia and lo and behold, she said she would LOVE to go. Acilia is a child who needs her momma. She has been this way since she was a teeny tiny baby. Momma's girl through and through. She has stated many times she has separation anxiety. So imagine my surprise when she so enthusiastically stated she was game for a week away from home! I was hoping to find a friend that would go with her, since this is her first time away from home, I wanted her to go to the week at the end of July. We had no luck in finding anyone to go with her, and then a we found out a friend of her's from school, one of her best friends actually, was signed up with her older sister. That was my cue. I had to let my baby go! As I said the timing is not great, we had about a week to prepare for this and she left on FATHER'S day. That irked me a bit! What also irked me was the fact that her birthday is this week and she was scheduled to come home the day AFTER her birthday. My baby has never been away from us on her birthday! She didn't seem to mind at all, so again, we went with it. I was in utter shock, but I wasn't about to let her know that. A part of me expected her to change her mind at some point. And then there we were, a day before she left, packing her bags. I was in denial and I was feeling anxious, but she maintained excited anticipation, so I went with it!

Yesterday, Horse Camp day came, we drove about an hour away and then checked her in and then...then...then...we left. That's right, we left her there. As planned, but I did NOT really expect it would be that way! I expected her to get there and decide not to stay and come home with us! But she didn't! Infact, she gave me a huge smile and a sweet hug good bye!

She is doing it! She is away from home and this is her second night there, and I haven't heard from her, which I take as a good sign! I still can't believe it, but I've been praying for her A LOT, so I know all is well! We've heard so many times that people have the best memories of summer camp and I am thrilled that my daughter is experiencing something so special! Even though I wasn't ready for it. Oh and the best part, we decided it would be OK for me to pick her up around dinner time on her birthday. It's the last day of horse camp and all she's missing is the last morning where check out is at 11 am. So she is excited and I can't wait to go pick her up and give her a big birthday hug!! In the meantime, we are giving Miles some extra attention and he will get to sleep over at Grandma and Grandpa's one night! 

Friday, June 7, 2013


The end of the school came and went so fast, if you blinked, you may have missed it. We made many great memories over this past year and the last day of school were no different. Acilia's class knew she would not be returning next year, so the teacher gave her the class "horse" puzzle. So appropriate because they know her so well and know she loves horses. The teacher also had each child in Acilia's class sign a card for her. We will cherish it. It brought me to tears, so very sweet!! 

I took the same exact picture on Acilia's first day at St. John's in 2nd grade. This is her on her last day of 4th grade/ last day attending St. John's

Miles on his last day of preschool. He saw this bear at Walgreens and insisted since he's a "Graduate" that he should get that bear. 

The end of this year was HEAVY though. I had been praying for and hoping for major changes so our family could feel more stable and more like a family.

A little background to that comment. Al is a self employed electrician. He works whenever the calls come in, which most of the time is around the clock. Take last night for example, he was up at 1:15 in the morning, to go work at a bar (have to work around the bar hours you know!), then went on to complete a full day of work and walked in around 6 PM. Other times, he will work a full day, come home for a few and then pop out again for an emergency call. Those are just a few examples. Bottom line, he's never home during "family business hours" and most certainly isn't home for dinner, however, when he is, he's usually not hungry because he's in the habit of having a late lunch because he doesn't like to eat when he's running around busy. So, family dinners go out the window. This house is our first home and we had no idea what we would want in a house. What I miss, is an eat in kitchen. Our home is all "boxed rooms" meaning, no open concept, or seeing into another room from one room, so the idea of eating at a TABLE with ample seating for everyone feels like a dream! I hear all of the time how family dinners are so very important and I fully agree, however, that is a non existent thing in our house based on Al's schedule and our eating accommodations. This needs to change. I dream of it changing and I am not sure Al's schedule is going to change anytime soon, but as a mother, I have the desire to atleast sit with my kids while we eat. Well, when are *are* home in time for a meal that is homemade, here's how it goes, the kids get their food first, they retreat to a place to sit (usually in the family room with the TV on) *MOTHER OF THE YEAR RIGHT HERE!!* and then I get my plate together and sit down on one of the 2 bar stools in my kitchen, I have the TV and the computer in front of me. I take a few bites, then one of the kids comes in for their second helping (or their dessert depending on how much they disliked the dinner, which is a common occurrence). I sit down again to take a bite or two and then the second child comes in. We get into a "grind" sort of attitude during the school year. My 2 hours a day driving schedule for Acilia's school was going to be done, because Acilia was going to be starting at a new school, closer to home (part of my master plan to simplify our life). However, I did something, at God's urging of course, I signed Miles up to attend school where Acilia was going. It feels 100% right, but at the same time, he will be attending half day Kindergarten next year, and that means I will be spending my mornings close to the school (20-25 mins from our house) so I don't have to drive home and turn around to pick him up. Craziness! I am wired for craziness though. As much as I crave "stable, quiet, stay at home mom" I go stir crazy if we stay home too long. I mean if I am home for a whole day without getting out of the house, I am pacing like a caged animal! ! So, finding a balance of out of the house and home to enjoy being domesticated, is a FINE line. One I have yet to find. In the meantime, the school year has ended. I wasn't ready for this. My kids are both meeting major milestones next year and I was holding onto the school year for dear life, which is not like me! I wait for summer all year long! Miles attended the same school for 3 years. He "graduated" and will start Kindergarten at a new school next year. (Cue the teary mom!) and then Acilia finished at her school and will be starting MIDDLE SCHOOL next year. She has been in private school her whole "career" and will be going public next year, which means school buses and "scary, mean" kids. Ha ha! Not really, but my mind is having a field day with this, and I know it's paranoia at it's finest, but there is a small (big) part of me that wants to take my kids and run for the hills and hide out somewhere and home school! Wow! This post is all over the place! See what happens when I don't blog my thoughts for a while? A big jumbled up mess of thoughts!

On top of all of that, our home is officially for sale! I've waited 5 years for this and it's here! We've had one showing in two weeks on the market and I know God will be gracious to us and His timing is perfect.So the lack of "traffic" in the home hasn't been too unsettling. As crazy and jumbled up it seems on paper, it all actually makes perfect sense and the timing is perfect too! I feel at peace with our choices and I know God is leading us through this.

We have started fun summer activities! We started the summer by going to a local arboretum that we love!! I actually signed up for a membership while we were there, so we can enjoy going a lot more. 

On top of the predicted numerous arboretum visits, Acilia will be leaving us for 5 days! She leaves on Father's Day and comes home the day after her 10th birthday. This will be her first big trip away from home and she is going to a Christian Horse Camp. We *know* she will be in good hands, but my mom heart is having trouble with this one! She will be away from us as she celebrates the milestone of turning double digits. Plus she has dealt with separation anxiety for a few years and this is a HUGE step! I am so proud of her, she has really blossomed over the last year, so I trust that she will enjoy her time away!! I pray the time passes quickly :) 

On top of all of that news, Acilia has started horse lessons at a new barn. The class is more advanced, they focus on cantering and jumping. She LOVES it, it's a great challenge for her and overall, we've been very happy with this new change. However, it's just that. Another change. We loved the barn she took her lessons at and then like a snap of a finger, we found this new barn and made the change, because we knew this opening was a blessing and we had to follow it!
Acilia's life long passion is horses!!

Life is crazy, but it's good!