Thursday, December 13, 2012

The circumference of me!

   Who am I? Why is this question even one? Can't I be Who am I! Because this will never change, time will pass on and on and Who am I or Who I am changes season of life to season of life.
   This is one of the most prized and glorious parts of life, the unexpectedness of gradual change.
   I originally wanted these writings to be my time but my time is obsolete times four, children erase time and they create time they make time more meaningful and make you wish time would either stop or hurry by.
  My life at this season is my children and as such these writings become who I am and in extension who am I?
   I am a mother, a part of cherished memories given as gifts all around me. Who am I! A Mother! the thought at times restricting but most usually exhilarating.

Double bouncy

  Last week we went to Trampoline Nation. There was a half pipe, a slam dunk area, a dodgeball area a super springy area and another area covered in trampolines just because there was room for it. There was more floor and wall square feet of Trampoline than I have ever thought possible. It was therapeutic in a way like being transported back in childhood when the trampoline felt as big as a city block and you felt like you could just jump up and you were sure that the next time you went up there really was a possibility you would be able to fly...or maybe next time.
   I was very impressed with the super springy trampolines they really were super springy and I could still do all my amazing tricks, I'm sure as a child I met my 10,000 hours of jump time making me an expert at 1-2-3 bum drop and double bouncing, unfortunately there is a one person at a time on the trampoline rule which was unfortunate as it takes away so much of the fun, but also most likely takes away most of the injury as well. I was still expert at bum drops, back drops, belly drops, donkey drops and front flips. 
   Sadly my age is not what it used to be and I could feel my tendons holding my knees together, though I would like to think it's just because that trampoline really was that extra bouncy. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Oh (baby) Christmas Tree

Merry Christmas Everyone! 

Benjamin loves the Christmas tree farm,
and all the "baby" Christmas trees. 

 He wanted his picture by every single baby tree we walked by, and, as you can tell, we walked past a lot of them. He even wanted his picture by a dead one until I told him it was dead and then he said in a very sad voice, "don't say that about that baby tree." 
 You can't see the saw but it is there and very sharp and heavy and dangerous.
 We got caught in a storm of rain and hail and sleet
 but we stayed warm and cozy, though a bit wet.

 Good Job
 Everyone is happy 
and Benjamin has a portfolio of baby tree photos.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

How I lost lbs and cured eczema

   I have had many people ask me about this diet I am on. I lost on average 1lb every 2 days. I am not a dieter and so this was the very first time I had done anything like this. I had to because my nursing baby had really bad eczema, face, body, arms and legs. Her eczema started to improve after 2 weeks and was completely gone in 4 weeks. I lost 30 lbs and did not get one head cold or illness for the 4 months I was very strict about this diet.

The following is what I do not eat and like most things there is an exception to most every rule:

No Soy products- no exceptions
No Dairy products- exception: Butter
No Nut based milk products: no exceptions
No Eggs- no exceptions
No Processed meats- exception: canned salmon/ seafood packed in water or olive oil
No Wheat- no exceptions
No Oil-exception: Olive oil, coconut oil
No Refined sugars- exception: Maple syrup, honey, molasses
No Flavored gelatin- no exception
and a few random things such as strawberries, tomatoes, pistachios and olives

I eat lots of meat, potatoes, salad and oatmeal. The biggest things I missed were eating out, granola bars and pre-made salad dressing. Oh, and cake and ice cream and cookies and chocolate.
So there you have it.

I gave her a very high quality infant pro-biotic
I gave her homeopathic sulphur 4 doses.

I also made an oil concoction that seemed to give her some relief when it got really red, inflamed and itchy.
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup coconut oil
4 Tbsp lanolin
24 drops seabuckthorn oil



Advent for Sister Turner

My Sister, Sister Turner is serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
I wanted to give her a meaningful gift that added to her service and gave her an extra dose of the true meaning of Christmas, what better way than to give her a service Advent.

The Santa Baby I only want to make you happy Advent Adventure:

1. Quote from the book Gift from the Sea. Note on service and joy. Rules for advent. 

2. Gift certificate to go eat at The Garden Restaurant in the Joseph Smith Building and look at the city lights. 

3. Sing What Child is this carol to someone or recite like poem.

4. Give a hug, quote about the power/goodness of hugs.

5. Read John 13, Lush lotion bar gift, give her companion a foot rub.

6. When Joseph went to Bethlehem from the Childrens songbook decoration for wall.

7. Sing Three Kings of Orient carol to someone or recite/read like poem. 

8. Make hot cocoa for a friend and yourself. gift card for milk and whip cream, mailed cocoa mix.

9.  Sent her a blank Thank you card for her to give to someone who she would like to thank for something someone did or a kindness shared.

10. Read in Matthew about the wise men following the new star. Sent her a star ornament I made.

11. Sent her paper snowflakes, picture of W.A. Bentley snowflake, note about W.A Bentley and his work photographing snowflakes and showing everyone the beauty that was in something they all saw but didn't see. 
Gift card to card to Papyrus paper store.

12. Mix for making ginger/dried fruit cookies for her to bake and share
-a ginger chocolate spice cookie with almonds, raisins, cranberries, figs, chocolate chips.

13. Sent a blank Christmas card with the instructions to -Write this christmas card for someone and leave it under the windshield wiper on a parked car. 

14.Sent her tissue paper snow angel and heart decoration (and tape to hang) make a face print in the snow if it's snowy. Shoes optional. 

15. Scripture, Luke 2:46-52, Mosiah 2:17.

16. Candy cane to eat, challenge to do something sweet, kind or loving for someone.

17. Sketch a Nativity scene with you in it, think about where you would put yourself and how you would feel to be there.

18. Gift Card to go to breakfast or lunch at a soup and sandwich shop also money to buy a 10 dollar gift card, ask the teller to give it to the next person in line as a gift. 

19. Gift card to buy an ornament, wrap with this paper and put this "For You" tag on it. Leave it where you can see it so you can watch someone find it.

20. Scripture Luke 2:1-20, 3 Nephi 1:1-21, think about how your thoughts, actions and service affect others and others and others as the pebble ripple in a still pond
 I see in my minds eye Mary praying for any night but this to go into labor, no family, friends, home, not even a room and on the other side of the world Nephi is pleading that the sign be given this night in order for his people to be saved. 

21. Gift, knit boot toppers.

22. Gift, Skirt.

23. Gift, Shirt.

24. Gift, Mighty leaf, and fancy salted carmel chocolate bar, grey (warm) leotards.

25. Nordstrom gift card

December Advent Adventure

1. Decorate the house for Christmas
2. Go to a friends for dinner and game night
3. Make a Christmas collage for your door, write letter to Santa
4. Make an ornament
5. Make Shortbread
6. Go Bowling
7. Make popcorn and cranberry chains for the tree
8. Go cut down Christmas tree at farm
9. Decorate Christmas tree
10. Make a wreath for the door
11. I love you because jar, make peppermint pennies
12. Go swimming at the pool
13. Make paper snowflakes, put on windows
14. Drink hot cocoa by the fire, read Christmas books
15. Ward Christmas Party
16. Take pictures by Christmas tree, play m&m Parcheesi
17. Set the table fancy, daddy brings dinner home
18. Camp out in the living room, make gingerbread cookies
19. Go ice-skating
20. Deliver Christmas treats to friends
21. Make Smores over the fire, watch a Christmas movie
22. Make gingerbread house cake
23. Go caroling
24. Drive to look at Christmas lights, listen to Baby Jesus story from Bible on Ipod.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Of Champions and Stars

   I have two Cub Scout Age boys, and we recently participated in the Cub Scout Rain-gutter regatta. First off you build you own sail boat from a kit then bring it to the Pack Meeting where you use the force of your own breath to blow it down a length of rain-gutter filled with water while a pack mate blows his sail boat down another rain-gutter and so you are racing your sailboats by blowing on the sails.
   Needless to say there is fierce competition, we had at least three handouts telling us the best way to build a "winning boat"
   The boats were sanded, painted, sanded, sprayed, glued, sails attached and trimmed, the boats were tested and deemed worthy so off we went to the Rain-gutter regatta with children, boats and brownies to share.
After nights of deliberation between Nathan and I we decided on the design with the lowest center of gravity which was a good choice as Ethan and Matthias had winning boats right from the start, racing through the competitors with their boats aptly named "Colorful" and "The Blower".
  The problem with winning the Rain-gutter Regatta is that you have to keep winning to win and the only way to keep winning is to keep racing all the other boys and if you are winning you stay there blowing your boat down the rain-gutter over, and over, and over again with your Mother and father cheering and clapping at the finish line you must not disappoint even though you are hyperventilating. And when it is all over instead of proudly strutting to your seat to enjoy the praise of your friends you stumble haphazardly while holding your head and sit dejectedly on the first chair you can find.

Here are just a few quotes from the night:
"My head hurts."
"My head is pounding."
"I can see my hand but if I look over there everyone is fuzzy."
"I just need to breath."
"I can see little stars when I close my eyes."
"I feel dizzy."
"Everything is in slow motion."
"Wouldn't it be cool if everything was always in slow motion like this."
"When I am racing my boat I can see the waves rolling so slowly."
"I thought I was blowing my boat but when I got to the end I realized I was still holding it and it wasn't even in the water."
   The boys won 1st over-all and 3rd over-all. There is a bit of a discrepancy that the boy who won 3rd should really have won 2nd which brought momentary sadness to said boy when he realized he would not be racing his brother for the ultimate championship position, as a good Mother I breathed a sigh of relief and told them to go get some treats. And I know it sounds very suspicious but I did not bring THAT kind of brownies.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Back to School

"You see", said the stick, "they were as pretty little children once as you could wish to see, and might have been so still if they had been only left to grow up like human beings and then handed over to me. But their foolish fathers and mothers instead of letting them pick flowers and make dirt pies and get birds nests and dance around the gooseberry bush, as little children should. Kept them always at lessons working, working, working.
Learning weekday lessons all weekdays. 
And Sunday lessons all Sunday.
And weekday examinations every Saturday. 
And monthly examinations every month.
And yearly examinations every year. 
Everything seven times over, as if once was not enough and enough as good as a feast. Till their brains grew big and their bodies grew small and they were all changed into turnips with little but water inside and still their foolish parents actually picked the leaves off them as fast as they grow, lest they should have anything green about them."   
                                                                                      Charles Kingsley (The Water Babies) 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

I Love Gardening

  "The big change, I believe, has to be from seeing education as a mechanical or industrial process to seeing it much more as a human and organic one. Gardeners know that they can't make plants grow. Plants grow themselves. Gardeners provide the right conditions for that to happen. Good gardeners understand those conditions. Running a school or teaching a class or raising a family is much more like gardening than (like) engineering. It's about providing the best conditions for growth and development. And if we get that right we'll see and abundant harvest of talent, commitment, imagination and creativity in all of our children and in all of our schools."
                                                                                 Sir Ken Robinson

Friday, July 20, 2012


   I took the boys for a bike ride down the russian roulette highway, also known as the Kent-Kangley, it's basically a freeway with a sidewalk on it - but it was worth the risk as the Dragon Boat Races were happening and we could hear the drums from our house.
   I was on my way home from illegally stealing unwanted, unkept raspberries with a friend at an abandoned homestead. Don't ask I'm not giving out the location they are mine, all mine. 
   On my way home I noticed there were many people walking to the Lake so I expected a crowd, after all Kent Cornucopia Days of Dragon Racing sounded like an event not to be missed. I was slightly misled as 90 percent of the walkers swarming to the lake, I realized later, were carrying a paddle so they were in fact not there to enjoy the cornucopia of excitement but to paddle in the early morning fog. 
   We hopped on our bikes and made it in time to watch match #3 of most likely 300. 
  The boats were fun to see with their dragon heads bobbing along in the water. The drums would beat and the paddlers would yell and sprint for the finish line. I thought it was exciting, Ethan and Matthias were intrigued by a sport that involved standing in boats and yelling. 
   Unfortunately the races did not hold much interest for children three years and younger. Fortunately there is a park at the park (you never know) so we went and played there for a while after we watched about four races. 

Dragon Boat Pep-talk "redundant I say" Who needs a pep talk while riding in a DRAGON boat? 

In unison paddling, drumming and yelling

 Contemplating ways to practice yelling in unison

This is how Dragon Boat Warrior babies smile

 Finding ways to make laundry day more exciting for me, note combination of lake, lake-weed and pockets.

 Just incase you forget your expensive amazing designer paddle-wouldn't that be like forgetting your horse at a horse show?...

 we supply a true cornucopia of paddles and life jackets. Complements of Kent Parks. 


Trying to watch the Dragon Boat races Pirate Style!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Too cute for words picture story.

Our Bee Garden

To swim or not to swim.

   The three boys enjoyed 8 days of swimming lessons, scratch that, the two boys enjoyed 8 days of swimming lessons. 
   The youngest swimmer didn't know if he wanted to sit on my lap or be in the water. I don't really blame him, his teacher was on a mission to get these three year olds swimming in the next summer olympics. 
   She came up to me and told me she had some advice for me, that when he cries and does not want to put his ears/head in the water she does not want me to come to the side of the pool, in fact it would be better if I sat on the other side of the pool, facing away and with earplugs as she can just take him and make him. Hahaha...hahaha...
   Benjamin and I had an agreement. He could either do lessons now, or wait till he was older, he didn't have to put his ears in the water but if he got out of the pool during his lesson he could not get back in later. So he would cry at the side of the pool when they wanted him to swim on his back but he never wanted to leave. 
I told his teacher that I didn't care if he played in the 2" of water in the shallow end for half an hour, I just wanted him to have fun and want to come back for lessons next time or in this case ever again. 
   My advice for said teacher is not to get a class of 3 year olds, float them on their backs the first day and end by dropping them in the water, kind of kills teacher student trust when each child there has a near drowning experience at the hands of their teacher on the first day. 
I was amazed Benjamin wanted to continue with the class. I have a theory that he didn't want to give up his twice daily personal elevator ride complete with pushing all the buttons.
   He had a great time about 75 percent of the time or in other words when he was not required to float on his back, swim on his back, splash his ears or get his head wet. 
The magical Elevator of LL and STAR
Keeping his distance from the backstroke 

The 2 older boys had a great time and learned lots of new swimming styles, goggle wearing styles and diving styles. 

Diving and swimming in the Deep Pool..very deep pool 17.5ft

Kick and...

That's right, if Hawkeye had kids this is what they would look like at swimming lessons. 

 Upside down or right side up it's not candy. 
I'm sure I can see the spark of accomplishment somewhere in his little wet head. 

Friday, July 13, 2012


   My hardest birth by far. I woke up in the morning and realized I had lost my mucus plug and there was some bleeding which I was concerned about as I had never bled previously before having the baby. Nathan was away on an all day motorcycle adventure so I was home on a Saturday with the two boys thinking I may be going into labor. I called my midwife Briana, she said to call her if there was any more bleeding and that I would probably have the baby soon. She kept telling me she thought I would go into labor and have this baby fast when it did start -that sounded good to me.
   I went for a walk in the cool crisp winter air and waited for the belt tightening sensations to start but they never did. I took it easy that day knowing my body would be working hard very soon. I was hoping I would not go into labor that day as Nathan would not get home until late and my Mom was not coming to this birth as my Sister's first baby was due at the same time.
   My little Sister heard my predicament and got in her car, got in a plane and flew down to Utah. Emily, my hero. She arrived the following morning.
   With Nathan back and Emily in town I figured my labor would start up quick but it didn't. Briana came over to check on me, I was still bleeding a bit, very pink and stringy, not deep red blood so she wasn't worried about that even though I was concerned about it.
  She said my stomach felt very hard and she couldn't believe I couldn't feel the contractions yet. So far I had felt nothing.
   Briana told me to call her whenever I wanted her to come, ah the beauty of midwives. She would have stayed then if I had wanted her to but since I didn't feel in labor at all I told her to go, I figured it could be hours or days as I felt just fine.
   I asked Nathan to set up the pool downstairs where there was a big "family room" and fireplace I thought that would be cozy. Looking back I should have put the pool in my bedroom but I was having a hard time deciding between my cozy bedroom and the fireplace. Turns out the fire wasn't that cozy while in labor.
   I sat down to play a game of Parcheesi with Emily, Ethan and Matthias, as the game finished up my contractions started coming, very quickly getting stronger, it was all I could do to finish the game and I headed to my room to try to get my head wrapped around these very strong contractions that came with a force out of nowhere...well I knew they were going to come but not so strong all at once.
   Nathan was filling up the pool and getting things set up downstairs, Emily was hanging out with the two boys. I was kneeling by my bed and rocking forward and back trying to embrace this awful and amazing unrelenting power.
   Nathan asked if he should call Briana, my "Yes" meant, most definitely, immediately and yesterday.
   I remember just wanting someone beside me, I didn't want to be alone but was alone as Nathan was busy rushing to fill up the tub and Emily was babysitting.
   Nathan came in for a few minutes to hold my hand and I kept telling him to stay but he had to go check on the water so he sent Emily in. I will forever blame myself if she never wants to have children but she was great and sat by me and it was nice to have someone in the room. My mom called at one point and wanted to talk to me but I think it was upsetting to her to hear me struggling and not be able to be there for me. Briana had left about an hour previously and she came back quickly once Nathan called her. She arrived, came in and helped me deal with the contractions a bit better. My contractions with this labor were entirely different from any others, very, very strong with wave upon wave of contraction with no break in the middle, one immediately flowing in on top of the next.
   Briana asked me if I wanted to have this baby here in the bedroom or in the tub. At that point I wanted both but the tub was set up down stairs so down I went. The tub was not very full yet but I got in anyways. Briana's assistant Cathy arrived soon after that. Nathan had a fire going, the boys came down to see me now and again, they were upstairs watching a movie and playing with Emily, their comment was, "Mommy's more entertaining than a movie". I didn't really want them in the room as my labor felt so out of control, I was glad when Nathan herded them back upstairs.
   My back was really hurting and I kept asking why my contractions never ended, why didn't I ever get a break Briana and Cathy reminded me to breathe and reminded me that they would end...eventually. Cathy was putting counter pressure on my back which I was not sure I liked at first but decided it did feel a bit better. Briana got all her equipment out, ready and organized. I remember telling Nathan the toilet was running upstairs and thinking it was weird that I was so with it to realize that. My normal out of it labor brain never kicked in, I was very present the whole time. I remember asking Nathan to warm up the room with more wood in the fire and wondering what the boys where doing. My labor felt very primal alert and powerful, most definitely not peaceful.
    Soon it was time to push and I did get a bit of a break between contractions at this point. I think I had had one one minute break the entire labor. Briana checked for the cord after the baby's head was out and it was around his neck, she told me not to push and she got one loop off and he was born through the second loop of cord. Nathan caught him as he had the previous two babies.
  Benjamin was born two hours from start to finish, my fastest and hardest labor.
 I had read a lot this pregnancy about embracing labor and being open and relaxed and allowing each contraction to cause progression and dilation. I think I went a bit overboard with this idea as in - too much of a good thing. Moderation Self, Moderation.

  Benjamin weighed 8lb 8oz
  Born one day before his due date
  and Happy
After he was born I stood to get the placenta out, finally someone told me to push it out. The second best labor advice ever (the first being to not listen to the old devil woman when she screams in your head to push the baby out with all your might) so much easier to push it out then fight the feeling of it falling out.
   I was ready to get out of the tub. Briana asked me if I wanted her to hold the baby while I got out, I would normally have said, " I'm holding my new baby thank you very much" but I found myself handing him over which was weird but I felt like I should. Nathan was helping me get out of the tub when I started to get very very shaky, they sat me on the couch and I am very glad I had handed over the baby because there is no way I would have been able to hold him I was shaking so violently. They covered me up with towels and checked if I was bleeding, a bit but not too much. They wanted me to eat or drink so I asked Emily to make some lemonade which she did and it was just what I needed.
   I felt like I was shaking for hours but it was probably only five to ten minutes.
  Briana handed the baby back and he had a good nurse and fell asleep. Emily, Ethan and Matthias came down to see the baby. He didn't have a name yet as we had one picked out but Nathan and I didn't think he looked liked that name.
   Briana did his newborn exam while I sat and rested a bit more, drank a bit more and I think I ate something but I don't remember what.
  I slowly got helped back up the stairs and into bed. Cozy and warm with my new little baby.


Monday, June 18, 2012


   I woke up in the morning and noticed some pink on my underwear so I called the midwife, Leslie. She said I had lost my mucus plug and that this baby would probably be born within 24 hours.
   I called my Mom and she started the long drive to Bellingham.
   It was a weekend and a beautiful sunny day in May so Nathan and I took Ethan to a park and I thought I should walk as this baby was at least two weeks late, I had tried rototilling the whole garden with a shovel, mowing the lawn and walking and walking and walking so I figured if I was going to go into labor soon the fastest way to get that to happen was to walk some more right?
   I had an enjoyable time at the park I remember the small white daisies all over the green hills and the nice warm sun which felt so good after a long rainy winter.
   I remember thinking how small Ethan was and I wondered how I would look after two babies as Ethan was only 21 months old.
   My labors were all very, very influenced by my concerns, desires and visualization of labor and birth.
This time I simply did not feel prepared at all even though I had everything under the sun that I needed for the birth I was not prepared and felt like Ethan was still to young to understand.
   A baby can only stay in utero for so long even if Mother is willing to carry it for another nine months.
   My Mom and youngest sister Emily arrived in town in the afternoon/evening. I started to get that tight belt feeling and knew what was coming. Nathan and my Mom started getting the water tub filled up- a big "rubbermaid" trough, the style used to water livestock. Someone called Leslie, they knew better than to ask me though maybe they did and I don't remember. She got there and told me I could get in the tub. Getting in the tub equalled committing to having this baby tonight I had to think about it for a few seconds and realized this baby was coming tonight either way so I may as well get in.
   Emily was looking after Ethan, I think they went for a little walk and played in the car. Ethan didn't want to come in the room, he would stand at the doorway and play in the living room but he didn't want to come in.
  The water was heavenly, I liked the tall strong sides of the pool, no one uses those pools anymore because of the plastic used to make them but they are far superior to the squishy inflatable ones in use now, handles or not I loved that water trough.
   I got in and it felt so nice I stayed in one position for about three hours in strong labor. I remember the dark room and every time a contraction came I would say, "no, no, no, no" over and over or, "I can't" over and over. It was so much more about life after the birth that I was concerned about, I didn't feel prepared at all and totally overwhelmed at the thought of a baby and a very young toddler.
   Leslie tried to get me to move around, to get out to go pee. My mom tried to get me to drink or to eat and Leslie kept getting my Mom to boil large pots of water to dump into the tub to keep it at a certain temperature I hated those pots of water and told myself if I ever got pregnant again I would give all my pots to the thrift store before going into labor.
   I felt very much alone even though Nathan said afterwards that someone was always in the room with me. I really liked the space the water tub gave me I definitely am a lone laborer and don't want anyone in the water or massaging me or touching me or talking to me or dumping boiling water in at me.
   I remember them talking in the other room, someone was worried I wasn't "progressing" Leslie wasn't concerned about it as the babies heart rate was good but she did say she would try to get me to get out and move around a bit. I guess because the baby was late and I was in there basically complaining the whole time they were worried the baby was too big or something. That is the only snippet of conversation I remember from the whole labor but at that point I decided that there was no way I was going to get dragged to the hospital and there was even more no way they were getting me out of this water tub so I decided then that this was the time to have this baby.  I told myself I had to stop complaining and mentally embrace those contractions to relax my mind as well as my body.
  I moved around a bit and I felt the baby roll or twist inside me. Minutes later I was leaning forward on the side of the tub pushing and the baby was born.
  Another five hour labor from start of contractions to holding a very large fat squished baby in my arms
Matthias was 8 lb 11oz
He was huge
He had lots of dark hair on the top of his head
He was so cute and perfect.
He was a hungry nurser

The placenta fell out when I stood to get out of the tub. Ethan came in very slowly and shy once Nathan and I and the new baby were all cozy in bed. He was very gentle and loving to the baby and we were all very amazed by this new little person that had joined our family.

Friday, June 15, 2012


   I had the car that day. It was a sunny day and I was feeling restless and wanted to go somewhere. I didn't know where I was going to go as I had nothing to do so I drove down the road towards the ocean. I stopped at a before unnoticed bench and sat and watched the water and the white sails on the beautiful sunny mirror of an ocean. I enjoyed those minutes just me by myself and I am thankful for them as that would be the last time in my life that my heart was all mine. Two hours later my water had broken and I was on my way to becoming a Mother.
   I picked Nathan up from work. He drove home because I would rather he did and my maternity pants were feeling much smaller than normal. I got home and felt like I was peeing as soon as I got out of the car. I went into the bathroom and the water started flowing down my legs. Not a giant splash or gush of water like the movies would have you think. I wasn't sure what was going on because it was two weeks before my due date and I hadn't even thought of the possibility of an early labor.
Nathan and I went to the midwife so she could take a sample or swab or something incase I didn't go into labor in the next 24 hours.
   My Mom came and I went to bed, I didn't sleep well but better than I have ever since then. Everything I wore felt too tight around my stomach, I had to get up to go pee a lot. I woke up in the morning with my stomach feeling tight. I did not expect contractions to feel like wearing a belt across your middle and cinching it up but that is what it felt like. After my traditional morning sickness which had been going on for seven and a half months my Mom got me to eat something and then said something crazy along the lines of going for a walk to strengthen up those contractions. Or in other words tighten that belt another few holes. The walk was effective up a hill and down a hill and now I felt how I thought I would feel in labor. I remember having to lean on Nathan when the contractions came and my Mom saying that that was good and that we could go home now.
   My Mom and Nathan were doing things like timing contractions and such. I was in my own little world trying to come to grips with this getting stronger and stronger. They asked me if I thought they should call the midwife. I dont' know about other people who are in labor but when I am in labor my mind does not compute things like when should we call the midwife, it's like it has to go through a translator in my brain and then back through one to get me to speak. I remember sitting there thinking why on earth are you asking me this? I don't care at all who you call.
My Mom called the midwife Leslie. I am pretty sure Nathan was with me the whole time but I'm not sure I honestly don't remember like I said my own little word of feeling.
Leslie arrived, everyone talked. I was on the bed, most defiantly not in bed. People came in to ask if I needed to pee or eat or drink, I thought what? There was nothing in the world but this and this moment and then there was the next moment and that is all I was focusing on.
Leslie came in when it was time to push. I knew it because all of a sudden the world existed again, It did not take all my mental power to translate what someone said I was alert and all of a sudden right there in the moment in an entirely different way. Leslie told me that when that old devil woman in my head yells at me me to finish this and push that baby out NOW!  Not to listen. To breathe and not push, my body would push for me my mind had to relax and breathe.
Ethan was born with me on my hands and knees five hours from the start of my labor or in other words once we got home from our walk.
He was born 14 days before his due date and was covered in vernix
He weighed 6 lb 7 oz.
He was perfect and tiny

In all my reading while I was pregnant I had read and read about labor and birth stories and information. I had a very good picture in my mind of what labor was but I hadn't thought about the placenta and that being an issue but it was. I had no idea how to deliver it and it didn't just fall out like I had thought. They feed me chocolate, put me in the shower, put me on the toilet. In my mind I was done, the baby was born. Leslie said I had to get the placenta out or I would have to have a shot to get it out. Someone needed to tell me I needed to push it out- you know with my mind and body. As my  body was "done" now was the time to push but I didn't know that. In the end Leslie had to kind of reach in and pull it out and it was totally unattached and just sitting there but I didn't know how to get it out. It is by far the worst sensation with regards to labor and delivery it feels like your insides are falling out and they kind of are, very dead and heavy.
I have never been attached to my placenta, it is an amazing life giving part of pregnancy but once it is no longer needed it just looks so completely dead to me.

I had no tearing
Leslie gave me some Arnica to take for bruising
Ethan was not a strong nurser to start off as he was so early we had to wake him up sometimes to eat and it took a while to get him interested and alert enough to suck but he caught on quickly. And it was very normal for me so we didn't have any problems.

Birth Stories TBA!

I have been feeling, thinking and procrastinating writing my birth stories. I was very uncomfortable with the idea of writing them when I was not finished with them but now that I am officially finished with giving birth and being pregnant forever and ever. (YAY) I feel comfortable writing about it.
How did I know I was done having children? Well, I was planning on having four children, that was the plan since I had the first one. Four seemed like a good number and some days I think that I am in way over my head and how easy life would be if I had stopped at two but I love my busy happy family and am grateful I was able to have four children. I was very, very sick with the last one, and the first one, and quite sick with the third one and a bit sick with the second. My labors were normal, uncomplicated, and an experience I would never wish on anyone else and yet a treasure I will be forever grateful for. I'm still not sure how those two feelings can co-exist but they do. These stories are my normal and very abnormal for the rest of this aria of the world.