Welcome to your lodge, can't wait to follow your journey.
Sienna 11/2/05 Michael 1/11/09
Welcome to your lodge! I look forward to following it
Ack! I can't believe I have a lodge!!!!
Okay, I am working on my intro. . . be back later. I actually gave in and we got Rock Band 2 for DH as an early birthday present (March) since I figure between his first year of teaching and a new baby it may be a while before he would get to enjoy it. So friends are over and we are playing. I was just checking the boards while others are playing.
Hi everyone! I am kinda new here but have loved every minute I have spent on the board since I found it.
My name is Beth. I live in Abilene, Texas which is a relatively small town in west Texas with three universities and an air force base. As far as natural birthing goes, it feels a little like a desert!
I grew up in Bethany, Oklahoma, a quaint little suburb of Oklahoma City. I met Mike (my future husband) in 7th grade Brass class (band). I play French horn and he plays trombone. We were in most of the same honors classes together throughout middle school and high school but we were definitely not "friends." He was really smart and solitary (read: scary intense loner!) and I was pretty smart but more interested in having fun (read: being cool- LOL!). This continued until we were juniors in high school. We were in AP English, worked on a project together and became friends. We were also in band, chemistry, history, and precalc together and were both in the running for valedictorian. We had a lot of similar interests and I started "noticing" him more. We started dating a few months later. It wasn't very serious and we had lots of mutual friends so we did lots of things with all of them. When we started looking at colleges, it seemed like that would be the end of our relationship. I was wholeheartedly planning to go to Oklahoma State University and majoring in chemical engineering. Mike's parents were pushing for him to go to Oklahoma Christian. I went to visit Abilene Christian University on a whim with a friend from church and really liked it. Mike was also being recruited by them as he was a National Merit scholar. Surprisingly, their sciences were really solid (almost shocking for a "church" school). I kind of put it in the back of my mind and kept plugging away at school. Mike and I ended up being co-valedictorians having had identical GPA's since 7th grade. It was pretty neat! After graduation, I was offered full rides to both ACU and OSU and had to make the hard decision. Mike was looking heavily at OU and ACU. We both kind of picked independently and it was good. We both chose ACU.
In college, we had some ups and downs, but were mostly very happy together. Our course loads were hard. I was a math and chemistry major. Mike was a computer science and physics guy. We finally got engaged New Years Day in 2000. We were juniors in college and had been dating 4 long years. We opted for a short engagement and got married May 21, 2000. It was great!
Our first year of marriage was crazy!!! Right after getting married, we moved to Los Alamos, New Mexico so Mike could do research at the National Laboratory there. It was the summer of "the fire" and we spent a lot of time helping residents clean up the mess left behind. One day, while climbing some steps down the canyon behind the house where we were renting a room, I fell and shattered my ankle. I was in denial because we had no insurance. (We had just received the statement saying they had declined our coverage on the policy to which we had made application.) I sucked it up and got an air cast and splinted my foot and walked on it until the summer was over. I returned to Abilene 2 weeks before Mike to open the dorm. I was an assistant dorm director in a freshman girl's dormitory with 350 almost or newly adults. It quickly became apparent to my boss that I needed to be seen so I was sent over to the campus doctor. He sent me immediately for X-rays. It was much worse than even I had suspected. I had a 6 inch spiral fracture of the fibula, a tibia/fibula fracture where they join at the ankle, an assortment of chips in the ankle and heel, and some ligament and tendon damage thrown in for good measure. It was during and after this surgery that I also learned that I am just a bad candidate for most narcotic pain relievers. This was my third surgery and my third severe reaction to various pain medications. I quickly switched back to just Tylenol and Motrin. I spent a few months in a wheel chair (after having had tendonitis surgery in my wrist 6 months before) and it was really funny "bonding" with my new husband. We survived and I recovered pretty well- better than anyone expected!
More in Part 2. . .
WOW, quite a story! I can't believe you and your DH have known each other for so long. That is really neat. Looking forward to your lodge and more reading!
Ericka~Mommy to David, Paul and Adam
In October 2001, I got to travel with Mike to Hawaii where he presented his research and he was being pulled hard towards physics. We spent the following summer at Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island, NY. That sealed our fate as it turned out! After college, Mike decided to go to grad school at the University of Texas in High Energy Physics. We packed up and moved to Austin where we spent 6 very wonderful years (and where we had our beautiful little girl, Molly). I was lucky enough to find a job in chemistry that combined my talents with my passions - Cosmetic Chemistry! I became addicted to facials my senior year of college when a friend and I went at least monthly to be pampered at the local beauty school for $15. (They are still some of the best facials I have ever had, and I have had many and from some of the best spas in the country!) I worked for a small company for 3 years as their head cosmetic Chemist where I was in charge of production, research and development, and education. It was the perfect job for me - until I got pregnant.
The timing was not great for us. We had literally just closed on our condo the day before I found out. Looking back, I should have seen the signs perhaps, but I was so busy I missed them. I woke up one morning and realized that I was a little late (which was not uncommon for me to have long cycles) but I was charting so I started counting days since ovulation. I counted 17. That was longer than I had ever gone before. I looked again at our dates and we had celebrated Mikes birthday 3 days before I ovulated. Hmmm. I thought I had better be safe and go grab a test. I bought it and went to work 2 hours early. I took the test and waited. It was positive. I went and sat at my desk and stared at the screen. I was still there when a coworker arrived. (She had a 2 year old and was trying to concieve for about 5 months.) She asked me what was wrong and I started to cry and she immediately said, "Omigosh! Are you pregnant? Youa re aren't you!" I bawled. We sat and talked and then as my boss was puling into the paring lot she sent me to go wash my face and she went to go clock us in. I sort of floated through work that day and left a little early to go tell Mike. He was painting our new bedroom with a friend of ours. They asked me if I wanted to help and I declined and went to sit by the open window. Our friend wisely sensed the storm coming and left pretty quickly. Mike asked me what was wrong and I looked at him and calmly said, "I think I am pregnant." He said, "Why do you think that?" I said, "Because the test said so." He looked at me for a long moment and asked, "When were you planning to tell me?" I explained that I had only just found out myself and that I had grabbed the test on the way to work. He then went to the bathroom and closed the door. I heard distinct wretching sounds, toilet flushing, then I heard the shower. He reemerged about 20 minute later and we just hugged each other an cried. It was both terrifying and sweet.
As I was a production chemist, I had to tell my boss right away. My boss sort of freaked out when I told him about the baby. In very colorful, foul, and hurtful language, he told me how irresponsible and inconsiderate it was for me to get pregnant. He suggested that there were things I could do to take care of it. I quit a little less than 3 months later, ironically the same day that my coworker quit as well since she had seen how it would be if she was successful in getting pregnant. It was a big gamble for us, but I had had some early high blood pressure readings, apparently stress related due to my suddenly very unfriendly work environment. After I quit, I was sad and also relieved, and my blood pressure stabilized and never went up again. All in all, it was a great decision to leave that job despite the fact that we were going to be taking out student loans for the first time ever.
After Molly was born we had a very bad head-on collision on Christmas Eve 2004 as we were headed to Christmas Eve service. (Some of you will remember this as the days it snowed in Galveston.) Molly was 3 weeks old. A man had passed out behind the wheel with his foot on the accelerator and drifted into our lane. He was going over 65 mph when he hit us on a residential street. Our car was totaled. We were devastated. Mike and I were both hurt badly but fortunately none of us sustained life threatening injuries. However, we were very limited in our abilities to care for our infant. Thankfully, Molly was fine! Our mothers took turns coming to stay with us for the next 2 months - driving us to appointments, caring for Molly (It was about 4 weeks before I could carry her and about 6 before Mike could), and helping perform all of the functions of "life." I had the final surgery to repair damage to my shoulder in August 2006 (again with more varied medication reactions!). It took us 2 years to settle with the insurance company, but then it was finally over. We could finally move on.
Also in 2006, I found an add on Craigslist for a bed and bath company that was looking for someone, preferably a stay at home mom, to help with candle production. I emailed back and soon discovered my next job! I went to work for a young lady a few months older than me and helped her reinvision her company. I did work pouring candles, but we also reformulated current products, and began developing new products heading toward an all-natural and organic bath and body company. I was able to take Molly with me and work part time as I was able. My salary was fair but more than money, I was back into the industry I loved! After getting the company settled on a stable track, I reluctantly decided I needed to find a full time job and accepted a teaching position at a small private school teaching life science, health, and physics. I was pretty good at it, but it was hard work! I had 5 classes everyday and it was just so time consuming. (My hats off to all teachers!!!) Molly was able to be on campus with me at the preschool there and I could bring her to class occasionally an see her on my breaks. It was a huge blessing though we did miss a lot of time together. I found out I was expecting again last May, the week before finals. I had just come back from taking my physics classes to Six Flags where I had gotten dizzy and a little motion sick on some of the roller coasters. I got my first (very faintly) positive test 4 days later.
As school was wrapping up, Mike was finishing his dissertation. We put our condo on the market during finals week and it sold 9 days later. We were in a big rush to move and had just decided where we were moving- back to Abilene. It is not what either of us ever would have expected but it turned out to be perfect given the circumstances. He had had a temporary post-doc position offered to him from Yale and the permanent tenure track position from ACU with the option for research. Essentially the pay was the same for both so it was much better for our family to take the permanent position in the much cheaper (though granted, somewhat less desirable) location. Also, in Abilene we would only be 4 hours from both side of our families who still all live in OKC. I was also excited about Mike doing research. Travelling is one of the best perks of a being (or being married to) a physicist. We have been to back NY several times, Florence (leaving a then 16 month old Molly with the Grandmas in OKC), and last year, Mike and I went to India - all of this in addition to our other family vacations around the US. The professors here at ACU all take their families with them for summer research and most of the wives go to the big conferences. We are still really close to many of the professors families that were here when we were in school.
It is very nice here in Abilene and a month after moving here, I found my current employer! I am now working as a consultant for a company called Herban Renewal. I am again helping to improve production, rework existing products, and create new ones. The environment could not be better and the company utilizes Disabilities Resources for production, allowing permanently disabled and mentally impaired people to do something safe and productive to earn money. I love taking Molly out there and seeing her interact and how they love her. It was been wonderful and I can't wait to introduce them all to the new baby!