Thursday, October 28, 2010

You tell me....

I think R. was ahead of himself in style with his hair.

When he was in 5th grade, 5 years ago, he decided he wanted to wear his hair long.  I didn't mind.  

Now R. had a baseball coach several years ago who constantly bugged him to cut his hair.  R. ignored him.  We ignored him.  What difference does it make how long your hair is if you play the game?  R. had been pitching for many years and doing a fine job as well.   I guess the coach didn't like his hair and he didn't think he pitched fast enough.  R. got short stop, third base or outfield.  Yeah.  

That was 2008.  He stopped playing baseball that year.  Burnout.  Fed up.  I don't know and in the end he really was enjoying his electric guitar and baseball games were a memory behind him.

Where am I going with this?  You tell me....but I think R. was rockin' the long hair way before the Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum....

My guy  -  2008

The Giants guy - 2010

My guy was definitely ROCKIN'!!!!!
 He wears his hair shorter now.   He still rocks...and rolls!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Toys at my P.T.

     P.T. is just a blast!   I have been treated with such kindness (really!), laughs, grimaces, great talks, grimaces, relaxation (while reading a magazine while I wait to be called) and there are such fun toys for me to have for MY benefit.

     After the fitting of my ugly splint the first appointment was all about measuring.  How far I could flex my wrist in different directions.  How uncomfortable that was.  Not part of the fun especially when you compared both wrists.  I have a ways to go before they are matched in the flexibility department.  The two hands don't even look the same!  The broken wrist at the beginning was swollen and quite stiff.  While presently the swelling is almost gone I still have some stiffness in my fingers and of course in bending my wrist.  Oh it is better, way better!   This whole recovery is going to take some time and I do need to be patient which sometimes I am not.

     So what fun things do I get to do?

      This machine is one that I think could be improved upon.   First of all you put your arm inside an arm hole of mesh fabric where they seal your arm around with velcro.  Good thing because when they turn the machine on all this hull stuff starts flying around with warm air.  Your suppose to make grabbing motions with your hand until the machine stops.  I guess about 10 minutes.  The improvement I have is there could be prizes inside that you keep searching for as you do the grabbing motion.  I suggested a diamond ring on the high side or for Halloween some silly items like fake eyeballs, plastic bats, and candy.  They laughed at me but thought that was a cute idea.

This is really fun to do!  The Parabath.  Doesn't that sound nice?  The idea is to put your hand in this warmed wax, dipping into it five times.  Letting it cool between dips till voila!  You have what I call the hand candle!   The point of this is to create warm heat therapy for my wrist.  Once I have finished my dipping my hand is put into a plastic bag and then wrapped in a towel for about 10 minutes.  I wondered how it was going to come off but it peels right off in one piece. can't feel anything with this but under my skin it is to promote healing for my joints and muscles.  They put a blob of blue (cold) gel on my wrist and roll it around and around for awhile.  We can have a nice chat about this or that during this time.  Passive therapy.

     This nifty gadget is a Muscle Stimulator.  I get hooked up with a couple of patches that are plugged in with wires to this machine.  Once the machine is activated and the dial is turned you gradually start to feel a buzz feeling.  I get asked if  I am stimulated enough (hahahaha!) and then my wrist is put on ice or heat for the next 10 minutes.   This is the last of my treatment at a session.  I stare out the window and look at the sky and trees or I eavesdrop on the next patient whose turn it is for whatever they need for treatment.   I bet you can guess what I choose to do.


Strength or what little I have after the trauma my poor wrist has had, was recently tested.  Last week I managed to squeeze to 15 pounds.   Pathetic.   This week I was pushing 23 pounds!  Yippeee!   The idea with this is you squeeze the handle and my therapist is able to read the dial of what I can do.  I can't even see it as it faces away from me.  

     I do like the massage I get on my scar to reduce the scar tissue that can build up underneath.  I also get much stretching of my wrist joint as well as the exercises I do at home repeated at my session.  Theses past two weeks I have been doing weights.  One pound weight.  Impressive isn't it?   My Love has had quite a chuckle over my weight lifting.  He better watch out is all I can say. 

     Looks like I will have another 3 weeks to go before I am turned loose to do home strengthening and healing.  I will be glad to not have to drive out there twice a week but I will miss the time spent with Jeff or Barbara.  They're really nice folks and I have learned a lot about my wrist and the healing process of what happened simply by falling down on a hike.  I am beyond grateful that I had such a good surgeon who fixed my broken bones.

     I can't wait to see what new toys I will get to play with Friday.....maybe I will get to play with the playdough stuff they have.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

No gain

     For two weeks the hot pink cast and I made peace with each other.  I liked that it was significantly lighter in weight than the post surgery one.  It was even kind of cute.  

     After the two weeks I went back to my Dr. to have the cast removed.  I was going to graduate to a removable splint!   

     What to my surprise after the Tech. removed my cast was that he told me to go wash my arm.  What?  Once again my wrist was weak and ached with the loss of the support from the cast.  I walked over to the sink, turned on the water to warm and looked down at the dry blood on the tape covering the incision area.  I felt sick to my stomach honestly.  Somehow I managed to remove the tape, wash my now naked wrist and remain standing.  No fluffy towel to dry off with only stiff paper.   Really wouldn't it be nice to provide a soft towel to blot the water off this expensive incision area?   

     I am told to go to the Physical Therapy department to have the splint made.   I cradle my wrist as I make the walk hoping, please, that no one trips me on the way.  It feels quite uncomfortable even with the Aleve I had taken prior to coming in anticipation of being in possible pain.

     Jeff, one of the two P.T.'s has me sit down and speedily creates a splint that I swear he could do blindfolded.  It isn't pretty that is for sure.  I mean, I have a sleeve to put on my wrist that reminds me of a rolling pin cover.  Next the ugly splint with wide velcro to hold it on.  My new support.  I make future appointments for the next phase of recovery...Physical Therapy.  Torture treatment?  Oh how I hope not.   I make it to the car and sit for awhile.  I begin to cry.  I guess I needed a cry even if I want to blame it on the discomfort. I wonder how I am going to drive because of the pain.   Time helps though.   I pull myself together and start the car.   Just get home is my mantra.

     Four days later I went to my first P.T. appointment and Barbara worked on me.  It wasn't as bad as I feared as at this appointment she did some measuring to see what flexibility I had post-cast.  She gave me papers with new exercises I was to do 3 to 5 times a day after going through each of them with me.  I can't say that I was liking all the different moves I was to do.   When my wrist didn't like what I was moving it let me know quite clearly with a sharp pain.  Each move was to be doing slowly and carefully.  Following the exercises I was to ice my wrist as well.

     Show and tell came the next morning as I removed my splint and the rolling pin cover.   My Love and R. got to see how big my incision was for the first time.  And it was much longer than I thought it would have been.  They watched me grimace as I went through the routine.  My Love cheered me on with so much positive praise as he cooked or washed dishes while I diligently stretched that tight wrist.  I was swollen and bruised still which made it harder to do many of the moves.   As a note though, each day all the homework does pay off.  Little by little I have less discomfort from the stretches.  More bend, less swelling, more rotation.  I accept the scar easier as I massage it each time before I start working on my wrist with massage oil to help it heal by breaking up the scar tissue that lies beneath.  I accept this which is something for me.   Remember when it comes to blood, scars and icky pain I am a wimp. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

What Lies Beneath

I slept horribly that night following my surgery.  Even with all the pillow support and the sling holding my dead weight arm in place I couldn't help but think I would wake up in agony.  Instead I would wake up and hope I would just fall back to sleep.  I touched my fingers which still had no feeling and I couldn't decide if it was better to not feel a thing or to have pain.  Pain doesn't sound good but the absence of feeling is just odd.
After tossing and turning most of the night, giving my Love a bad night's sleep as well, I lay in bed with no discomfort.  I looked at my new 'cast' that was so much bigger than the previous one.  The new sling  snugly covered my arm, which felt just as heavy as the day before.  Still no discomfort as I expected.   Just the same I took the pain medication to be ahead of whatever may happen.  

Around noon time I began to have some feeling in my thumb.  It was tingly but at least feeling had come back.   I really worried that I would never be able to feel my arm which just flopped around if I wasn't careful.  Good reason to keep the sling on!  As the day went on gradually all feeling was restored.  Pain was not bad whatsoever.  I lay in bed, watched TV and was waited on which felt really good but I am not a TV/layaround person so I was bored.  The family were going over to my sister by marriage's home where my daughter K. was fixing a special Mexican meal.  I wanted to go but really felt  and was encouraged to just take it easy.  

Good thing I didn't go as the next day late in the afternoon I started to feel kind of off.  By Monday morning I was feeling really sick to my stomach.   I must of picked up a virus and now I was nauseous as well as severely constipated.  The medication in addition had plugged me up.  What a day.  My daughter K. and her boyfriend B. were to leave that day to head up to Washington state and I once again could not enjoy there being at home.  I just kept thinking why is all this going on?  

Let's see, a pity party is forming in my head.  My mom is in the Geri-Psych ward, I just had wrist surgery, I have a stomach virus and on top of that constipation.  I sent my daughter E. off to get me some kind of a laxative.  I am extremely grateful for having E. here to do this.  I am home alone the rest of the day as my Love has the big job to do, R. is at school, E. had to go back to work and K. has left.  I was so weak and miserable.  Every so often I managed to go to the kitchen and drink water and I somehow managed to even warm some broth up which helped my strength. 

Gratitude is when you begin to feel better.

As the week went on I felt more like me as and I was getting use to wearing that 'Tree Trunk' cast on my arm.  I was  looking forward to my Dr. visit on the Friday coming up.  At the office my Dr. comes in asks how the week has been and then says he will remove the cast/splint which I have had on exactly one week.   Today I will get another cast!   If felt weird as he removed it but nothing like when it was gone. 
The weakness of my arm, the discomfort and the queasiness of looking at the long incision just about made me shake.   Next was new x-rays of my wrist with all the gadgets inside.  I couldn't wait to see what was underneath my skin.  Boy was my arm sore!  I couldn't believe how uncomfortable I would be and I now wish I had taken something before I came.  I  asked the nurse if I could have copies of the x-rays as I knew the family would enjoy seeing my new hardware.
Next Dan the Tech. calls me in and says he is going to put my new cast on. I ask him if they have any Advil and he found some for me to take.  At least in a half hour I should have some relief.   He asks what color cast I would like and after a brief time of joking with him I decided on bright pink.  Yes it was bright, more like Hot Pink.  I was glad to have the support back on my wrist and the warmth of the cast being put on felt soothing.
So here is what is inside my arm.  We have looked at these x-rays and marveled at what I have inside me now and forever.  I had no idea that many screws would need to be used or that it would be as large a T plate as it is.  I am grateful that I have this Dr. who did such a fine job as well.

I sII 

Friday, October 8, 2010

Fall Fest.....

I am feeling a bit sad this morning.  I have been thinking about how I could pull off throwing the Fall Fest I have been doing since 2005.  Yes, I did skip one year and skipping a year isn't the end...really.  Yet with each year my little nieces and nephews, not to mention my son, grow up more and more.  If I skip a year will the pleasure of coming to Auntie Ellen and Uncle Tim's party fade away?  Will they become busy with other things they would rather do?  I knew that would be a possibility in having the Fall Fest that I could have them interested for only so long.  Kids do grow up and they have friends who may have Halloween parties or school activities that will take precedence over our family party.  I really do understand this.

It just is hard to maybe see it pass away when that day comes.  

My Love has been the Wizard every year since the beginning.  The little ones never ever knew this.  My Love was so excited to plan what the Wizard would do and say.  We have a teepee that the girls were given ages ago that my Love decided would sit on the front lawn.  That has been to Burning Man and it has endured the cubby area below the house with all the musty smell absorbing it's canvas fabric.  A dead rat was found in it one year requiring a thorough cleaning and airing out.  I think that has given it it's character.  With the help of R., father and son set up a spooky entrance as well as decorating the walk to the teepee.  Each year we have added a bit more or changed how one gets to the teepee. 

All of us go to visit the Wizard.  My Love pretending he is the Wizard is in all his glory.  Each child sits before him usually one at a time, a Persian carpet spread on the floor of the teepee, the Wizard on a throne.  Between them is a crystal globe and a lantern off to the side casts shadows on the canvas walls.  The kids faces entranced with this man before them.  Sort of like a Santa without the 'Ho ho hoing' yet with a magical slow waving of his arm's in gestures, telling a fortune, asking questions of them.  Yes, there was magic.  A couple of my nephews have figured it out and have become more bold with their seeing the Wizard.  How long before the magic for them ends?  He wears a deep blue velvet robe, tall blue and silver hat and full gray beard and hair, each year the beard taking on a bit more tangled and dreadlocked.

We sit outside earlier in the evening, before the Wizard appears having seasonal appetizers and wine.  Later is dinner with me always fixing for the kids Mummy Hot Dogs and Curly Fries.  The kids some years have carved pumpkins and played games.  Lots of photos are taken as all are asked to come in costume!  We spend much time thinking of what or who we will be this night the month before.  The excitement of dressing up and seeing what everyone else will come dressed in makes my Love and I anticipate the evening ahead.   Even R. who clearly is feeling too old for much of this now, gets into it in the end.  That is what I had hoped.  That no matter the age there would be this tradition of family getting together for a night to be silly, a night to laugh at each other.  

So why can't I do it this year?  My wrist mainly.  I can't cook without much help.  I feel like all I do is ask for help and I am getting tired of asking for help.  How much should I keep asking my Love to do?  The man is tired.  He has been working at his job and coming home to do more work here of what I can't do.  Can I really throw a  party?  I just don't think I truly can.  By now I would have set a date, I would have started planning, and having my Love bring down boxes of Halloween decorations to put around the house.  Planning would have come up as to how we would decorate the front yard the decision of how spooky to make it for the little ones who I don't want to scare.  

I will be okay with this skipped year.  Maybe just have a Halloween dinner with our sister and brother by marriage as we did last year.  Watch a scary movie...plan for next year.....

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Buttermilk and Cornbread

     I was driving home from my Cervical Chiropractor after having to have x-rays and a double adjustment and trying to think about what I could eat tonight for dinner.  You see, after my wrist surgery I started having weird jaw problems.  I have been going to this Chiropractor for just over a year and the man is simple amazing.  I have learned more about my neck, my body and my emotional mind in regards to the health of my spine than I ever knew before becoming his patient.  

     I kept thinking ever since I broke my wrist, followed by the different casts as well as the surgery, that I was so lucky my neck was just fine.  I figured my neck surely would have gone out of alignment and yet here I was with no issues.  Then a couple of weeks after my surgery I started having popping in my right side of my jaw when I ate.  That moved on to my not wanting to eat on that side as it began to be achy and odd feeling.  Within days after that I had an ache down the right side of my shoulder blade.  Yet I couldn't think of it being a neck problem until that ache down my back.  I called my sister by marriage who confirmed to me that I should go see the chiropractor as that was a neck issue.  

     I went in and though my neck looked good on the heat scan I was not feeling good with him doing the hands on of my neck.  I was out of adjustment.   A quick adjustment and I was on the road thinking relief and still surprised how the body reacts.  For the next ten days I felt good or I had the popping begin, then it would come and then it would go.  I tried to ignore it and just thought since it would go away it must not be out.  

     At the beginning of this week my jaw seemed to become uncomfortable with chewing just as before.  I found myself once again avoiding the right side of my mouth.  The popping was annoying.  I went in and I was out of alignment.  Another quick adjustment and he told me to avoid chewy food, stiffle yawns and felt it would be okay but come in a week later for a check.  I left crossing my fingers that it would get better.  I just am tired of having so much on my plate with the wrist and my mom.  I don't need my neck to act up as well.  

     The next day I was hoping that all was fine but when I tried to eat breakfast it just didn't seem right.  I was popping every time  I chewed, then it began to be sore on my jawline.  Evening came and I yawned and that is when it really hurt!  I called this morning to get in and though I hate to have to go in it clearly wasn't holding.  The thing I really like about this guy is that he doesn't want to adjust you.  He wants the body to heal itself.  So when I have to be adjusted a part of me feels like my body failed.  He doesn't tell me that, quite the opposite but I still wish my body would cooperate.  

Not me but this is what he does to do an adjustment.  Magic....

     At my visit we discussed the possibility of when I was Intubated that it was likely my neck was put in an odd position that messed with my neck.  He did some x-rays to determine what was going on.  Sure enough two of my vertebrae were locked up.  So now I feel good.  I felt like this did the trick.  Still I was told to eat soft food, stiffle the yawns, do some ice and believe me I will do what he said.

     So what does this have to do with cornbread and buttermilk?  Thinking of soft food I thought of my Nan.  I remembered her crumbling cornbread up in a tall glass and then poring buttermilk till the glass was full.  She would eat it with a spoon.  I thought it was yucky as a kid.  I don't know if I would eat that now though I do love buttermilk and I do love cornbread, but not together.  What sounded good though was milk bread.  I thought some slices of cinnamon swirl bread with warmed milk sounded heavenly.  Sounded comforting.  It would be soft and oh so tasty.  I thought of when I was little that milk bread was a dish that was given to you when you were ill.  Why not use something other than plain white bread?  I actually wish we had some cinnamon swirl so I could have it but we don't.  Maybe this weekend I'll buy some at the Farmer's Market, fix myself a bowl and see if it is as good as I imagine it to be.  I wish my Nan was here to fix it for me too.  

     Keeping my power of the healing body that this neck will stay in alignment.  Grateful that I have this Chiropractor to help when needed. 

Friday, October 1, 2010

The birth of Megan

     The day of your birth was a warm Indian Summer day, October 3rd.  Somehow I felt within me that you would be born that day....I wrote this 25 years ago...I have revised it some but these are my words of that very special day.

     I awoke feeling contractions, yet thought that this was just more of the false labor that I had been feeling for the past weeks off and on.  Not at all uncomfortable, but they made me wonder if it could be the real thing.  I took my 6:00 AM shower as I always do, made my Love lunch, ate breakfast with him and the girls, then got the girls and myself dressed for the day.  After my Love left for work I started thinking more about these contractions and began to time them and jot that down on paper.  Not that close together.  Not that strong but they were there. 

     Kristin, our oldest daughter went off to Kindergarten leaving Erin, her sister and I to ourselves.  I started feeling excited and alive with an inner energy that I had never felt before.  It was a healing feeling that soothed over me a lot of the moods and discomforts I had experienced with this pregnancy.  I felt much closer to this child within me who went through my up and down times.  I sat many times in my rocking chair up in my bedroom dreaming of you my baby to be, feeling you kick and swim gracefully in your water world.  I sang to you of songs of love, of the joy of being with child and of when my arms would hold you and rock you.  So much inner thought waves seemed to be passing through us as though we knew our time as one would soon pass.  Our life as two, mother and baby would begin...excitement and yet I would miss this time in my life as I love being pregnant.  I love how my body changes, I am in awe of this gift as a woman, that I am able to nurture a life inside me.  I realized this might be my last time of being pregnant and though I was wanting this baby in my arms I mourned the memory of the feeling of being pregnant.  The first fluttering movements like butterfly wings, the rubbing my belly where your tiny feet stretched out , the knowing so intimately the feelings I held.

     Before my Love had left for work I did not say anything about my contractions.  I just didn't believe that this was it, yet I did.  I don't know why.....

     My contractions had started to get closer together so I thought it would be good to do something to take my mind off of them that way if it wasn't the real thing it would stop.   Around 10:15 AM, Erin and I decided to go for a walk and visit a friend who lived down the street.  I figured that talking would take my mind off the contractions which were now 8 to 10 minutes apart.  They had begun to become more noticeable and I could positively feel them grip at me yet I could not make myself believe that this was real.

     Outside was a beautiful blue sky.  A very warm wind was blowing the dry leaves all around the sidewalks.  Fall was just around the corner yet summer had not decided to leave yet.  Cool nights, warm days.  There is a unique smell this time of year and only then before the crispness of Fall begins.  I shall always remember that smell and how I felt that day.  I could tell it would be hot later on and I thought "Oh no!  I'm going to have this baby on a hot Indian Summer day just like I kept saying I hoped I wouldn't!"   Walking down the street I breathed deeply, as much for the aroma of the the air as for the comfort of the contractions.   I thought of calling my Love  but resisted, not yet, not till I was sure.  I didn't know what sign I expected but I just waited.

     It is a silly, scary, funny, overwhelming, mixed up, wonderful feeling when you realize you are walking around and you are in labor.  Especially when you are without your partner.  It is almost magical in what your body is doing inside. 

     At the time that I arrived at my friend Debbie's house until I left there, my body really began working.  The contractions became much more strong yet about the same time between.  I was having trouble talking and having a hard time sitting still while I was having the contractions yet I didn't  want to tell Debbie.   I still not believe this.  At about 11:15 AM I was feeling too uncomfortable sitting when the pains came. I decided it was to time to leave.  Walking home I became frightened.  Here I was with a two and a half year old, me in labor yet still trying to to deny it, without my Love.  Would I make it home?  I felt if I could just get inside our home that I would feel more secure, that things would change.  Labor would stop.  I didn't feel ready.  Being alone was not fun.

     I made it home and even managed to fix Erin her lunch.  That was not easy since at this time I was shaking.  Contractions were about 5 to 8 minutes apart and at times 4 minutes.  Believe it Ellen!

     My mother by marriage Betty, called and I still did not let on.  It was very difficult to talk and our conversation was short.  She came by not too long after.  I can't even remember why she came since I was so wrapped up in my contractions.  She sat with Erin for a bit and played then she left.  I wonder if she thought something seemed different about me?

     After she left I decided I had to call my Love.  I needed him badly.  At the time he was building a home for his cousins about a 35 to 40 minute drive from where we lived without a phone (this was before cell phones).  I was suppose to call the neighbors next door to the job  but they didn't answer.  Panic!  I'll have the baby alone is the crazy thought I had.    I remember that I can call dear Arleen and Clark who live in the town where the job is as well.  Clark says he will drive over to my Love and tell him to come home.   I called next to page Peggy my midwife.  She calls me back within minutes.  I tell her all that has happened and proceed to tell her that I hope it is not a false labor alarm.  Silly me...of course it is labor!  Contractions are about 3 to 5 minutes apart and I am having to use my breathing and my "Ah's" sound.  The pains hurt in my lower back and I hope that this will not be back labor as with my other two labors.  

     Erin is being so good.  I try to explain why I am swaying and saying "Ahhhhh" but she must think mommy is weird.  Please Peggy, my Love and Sandy the other midwife who is to help at the birth, please come now!  This is really it!  I was feeling so emotional.  Talking to Peggy on the phone I was almost in tears.  I wondered if I could hold it together till they arrived.

     It seems like forever before my Love comes home but at last he arrives.  It must have been around 1:00 PM.  I was so relieved to have him home with me.  I would be able to have our baby!  We gave each other a big hug.  I was giddy and I was shaky.  My Love thought he should call my mom to get Erin and Kristin as was the plan.  This would keep my mother busy instead of hovering over us all making me nervous.  No answer so we finally leave a message at Papa's office.  Next he calls Betty to come back over as she is the back up for the girls.  Then he calls Mary who is to take photos of the birth.  Lastly he calls Sue is sister to come as she is to be at the birth as well.  In the meantime Erin is quite happy playing by herself, with no care in the world.

     I am rocking and swaying my hips with my contractions which have become much closer together and longer in duration.  I barely have time in between to talk to my Love.  About 1:15  Sandy the other midwife arrives.  She does a check on me and I am dilated to 5 centimeters.  I am delighted!  She calls Peggy to let her know how I am doing and that I am moving along.  This will not be a long labor and tells Peggy to hurry.  She also wanted to know where Kay, the Midwife in training, is as she is not here and she has most of the equipment needed.

     My poor Love, he thought he would be able to take a shower before all the activity built up.  Forget that!  He and Sandy get our bed ready for the birth, bottom sheet, waterproof pad and another bottom sheet that have been ready in a bag are put on.  About that time Betty arrives to tend to Erin.   She is very excited and spreads such good cheer for us all.

     My contractions sometimes come back to back.  Double wammies as I call them.  Standing and leaning against the wall or my Love is the most comfortable position for me with my swaying hips as I say my "Aaahhhhs", keeping my mouth soft and open just as I want my body to be.  Open and relaxed to let this baby move down and out.

     My mom, Sue and Kay arrive, I hardly look up to say "hello", I'm too busy working!  Peggy makes it with her nine month old son and her Au Pair.  I feel so content that she has come.  I need her gentle, familiar presence as she was my midwife for Erin and also my childbirth teacher.  She is my mentor, she is the guiding force for me, I can't imagine her not here.  Another check, baby is doing great.  

     I am so hot.  The suggestion of a shower comes up.  No, but a bath sounds wonderful to me.  A delicious cool bath.  The contractions like it too.  Enough to cool me down as well but then I start to feel caged and disoriented.  Where do I go?  I am so unsettled as where to be in my home.  Do I walk some more, should I sit or lie down?  I begin to tire of this labor business.  All three midwives decide on another check and I can hardly believe them when they say I am 8 centimeters!  Then it is back to breathing, walking, standing, breathing, and swaying.

     The next check comes not long after the last one because they notice that I am sounding like I am bearing down.  I'm not sure really if I'm beginning to push or not but I do feel different.  In between contractions I feel great.  In fact they seem to have let up a bit.

     Mary the photographer arrives just in time to hear that I am fully dilated.  So fast! I don't believe any of them.  I feel too clear in my head.  Where was transition?

                                                                 Sandy and Peggy

     My waters were still intact but bulging.  The question came up as to whether we should break them.  We decide to.  The sensation of that feeling is warm and dreamy but only for seconds because then my contractions become quite intense and in earnest.

     I change to a side position but quickly decide that feels uncomfortable and awkward for me.  The pushing really hurts.  I don't like this one bit.  When will this baby pop out?  I go to a semi-sitting position and Peggy tells me to look at the mirror to see our baby's head as it peeks and hides and then I see the crowning of our baby.  I begin to feel in touch with this little baby who wants out as much as I want he / she out.  I feel so impatient!  I also become scared since it seems it is taking forever.  The excitement in the room builds and my efforts of pushing take on a urgency within me.  The feeling of letting go, to allow your body to release and let birth happen is difficult for me.  I know that if I let go that the pain will be real.  I know I can handle this as I did before, I know that my dearest Love is here to support me through this, but most of all my Peggy is beside me, talking in my ear "Down and out Ellen, down and out".  She is the birth whisper.  Her voice lulls me to follow her gentle direction to bring this child out of it's water world.  It is obvious that I am once again having back labor. 

     Peggy is close to my head, calmly and gently pulling me back to a quiet state.  She helps remind me how to push more efficiently.  I am so happy as well as relieved that she is here.  My Love has his hands on our child's head along with Kay the midwife as the rotation happens.  He has never had this experience and is worried he will hurt our baby with the turning.  He is encouraged by all the midwives he is doing just fine.  One push and baby's head appears.  Where is the rest?  Will I be stuck like this forever?  The pain is incredibly intense for this part.  The shoulders hurt so much coming and then with a slippery whoosh of the last amniotic water out then up to my chest our baby arrives! The blue shades melt into pink as she cries out.  How can one describe this sight?   Joy....words escape me for the profound feelings I have.  Tears of joy.

     My Love who helped with Kay guide our child to the world comes next to me where Peggy had been.  We look at this beautiful baby, perfect in every way.  Our little girl.....Megan born at 3:19 PM.

My Love, Megan and I

Papa, Erin, Kristin, Megan and I

     My timing of giving birth was perfect.  School kids were just walking to their homes while we were absorbing the birth.  Our windows wide open to catch any small breeze in the hot bedroom, our ceiling fan whirling round attempting to cool the air.  Had I still been in labor all the kids on the street would have heard me and more than likely most would have stood below our french doors to our driveway below for the entertainment they would have heard.  We lived in a neighborhood of days gone by where all the children of different ages played together.  Doors during the day were unlocked, most of the mothers were stay at home moms.  It was just several weeks before while I was taking a bath with Erin two of the neighborhood sister's came walking in.  They looked at my huge belly and smiled at me as they chatted, wanting to know if Kristin and Erin could come play.  Yes, I would have made good entertainment that day.  News traveled quickly that our family had a new little girl just as our daughters  were brought home to meet their little sister.   My mom still in shock that I would ever have a baby at home, and Papa smiling at the scene.  Wine was opened, crackers and cheese, laughter and smiles.  It was a fine Indian Summer was a good day for a birth.

                                                                 My Love and his baby girl

                                                          Auntie Sue and Megan

   **My Midwife Peggy wrote a book back in 2002...Baby Catcher...I highly recommend it for she writes so well and believe me the stories are amazing!


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