the Sleepy Sheepless Shepard
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Thread: the Sleepy Sheepless Shepard

  1. #1
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    Default the Sleepy Sheepless Shepard

    liked that title better than the original one...and now that Brian is here it is also FITTING

    HERE GOES NOTHING...*draws a bit breath and hits ctrl v*

    Posted: 2002-11-10 23:52
    well, an explination for the title: we have the 2 border collies, we have the land, we have the know how (done it for years)...we EVEN have the SHEEP...BUT alas, not the fences, so the SHEEP reside at Mom and Dad's

    anyway, I read a couple of journals...rejoice when things go good, and pray when things go bad (and am thankful when it isn't me)...so, here is hoping somebody gets something out of my probably short-lived journal as well

    a lil background:
    I am 32, opinionated, pregnant, hormonal (and this is ......unusual?)...I am born again Christian...dispite what some have said, I know where I stand, and what others thing rarely mean much to me, but I can be irritated, which can make me...irritatING in spite of my best intentions...ah yes, and for as long as I can remember, even pre-preg this has applied

    for some more mundane details, I was raised EXTREMELY conservatively...when I was rather sm our family went to the Mennonite church in Fresno, we came up here and went to a Southern Baptist-style Baptist church and I say that cuz I have modified what I believe after much soul searching and a LONG hiatus from ANY church...the lovely ladies at my folks church LOVED gossip, and I got burned...NO, I am NOT saying what I did was right, but it was certainly NOT their business, and they couldn't WAIT to go tell Mom (man this is so very very far off where I was going to go, but .......is just....sort of....cathartic

    anyway, when I was 8ish we moved from Fresno to WA State...a good move, but not one I was overly thrilled with in the beginning...when I was about...10? my Grandparents moved up here...both a blessing and a curse...my G-ma and I were close, but she never let me get away with much...she didn't let ANYONE get away with much, but to give you an idea, EVERYONE called her and G-pa G-ma and G-pa and knew they loved and welcomed just about everyone...oh yeah, and a lil background, I was born on her B-day...she always called me the "best birthday present"...there is a story that goes with it, but think I will wait on that one...this post is already turning into a monster

    so anyway, as a rebelious teen, I picked up a bf at 15...something rather stupid...he was definately one of the dregs of society, and my very strict parents did their best to disallow it but I could be....inspiring if I really chose to be, and we did manage some alone time...I was rather curious as to what sex really was and he was oh so willing to show me

    anyway, where was I? ah yes...during the 12-13 yr church hiatus, I had 2 rather serious relationships with 2...interesting men, both 5 yrs long, both long distance, both rather foolish of me as well...yes, I slept with them, no I never got preg...they were both rather different from one another, but similar in that they were...pretty self centered, pretty lonely...one was a Hispanic guy with a low self esteem, but was a great friend b4 we started dating...for the record, I still miss that friendship, but no longer the man...I have always been into the fixer-up stuff...car, house, friends, bf as well, and I like a challenge, so I held on for dear life...I was GOING to make it work come hell or high water...ah yes, 5 yrs my senior...I can count on one hand how many times he expressed a positive "I love you" emotion towards me and have fingers left...

    the second was a man 9 yrs my senior, the mighty white hunter, and what we call a road ho...meaning he worked about 4-6 mos out of the yr or more and played the rest...another fixer-upper altho he was quite a bit more self centered...this relationship was better...he was more attentive and more affectionate...we had more good times together, but whereas the good was better, the bad was.....oh so much worse...and, he didn't want kids period cuz, and yes this is a quote, "I don't want to have to share my stuff"

    I should have ran, but by now I had convinced myself I didn't want kids anyway, so why not?

    that one ended very badly...I did things I am ashamed of...sorry for...and learned from, I will NOT ever repeat them again (and no one has ever inspired me to that, which I find interesting)

    so, I had this friend once that said if you don't want to repeat your mistakes, change tactics...date someone DIFFERENT...so for 2 (?) yrs I was single, and PICKY...I sort of took a hiatus from the steady relationship aspect and started back to church (ok, off and on)...I finally decided that if I wanted a serious relationship I should go back to church and stick to my guns...no more fixer-uppers...I got serious, joined a church, was baptised

    and I didn't lower my standards, but I DID change them...I refined them...added and subtracted and voila, things started making more sense...I did the same with my beliefs, much to my Mom's dismay sometimes, but hey, is a grey area thing (and certainly NOT something I am going to post so ya all can debate me)

    so anyhow, I did meet my now DH...altho it wasn't in church, it was online...interesting, and I remember telling him just about off the bat that he was too old (yes yes, 15 yrs my senior) but that I was open to more friends...and we definately bacame really good friends rather quickly...we had so much fun together, and there were NO strings...we had tons and tons of fun, and I was always up front...he was...PATIENT...and, just a friend, and there for me WHENEVER I needed him...I finally saw the light, we started dating, and got married about a 1.5 later...we had a sm wedding...and it wasn't bad...IN FACT it was about the best I have ever seen...BUT, for the record, I would still ELOPE! but then I am just WEIRD!

    so, for some fill, by now G-pa has been long gone...he passed on when I was 22 I think...the Tues before Thanksgiving...G-ma moved in with my parents a few years later...

    so, fast forward 2 more yrs and I am married, 32, and preg...life has certainly never been better, for the most part...we have had to move G-ma into assisted living as Mom is no longer capable...I am still very close to her, and Mom and I make a point of spending time with her...doing things with her and taking care of her...but it is getting harder...in the 3 months she was there, my son has shown himself so I know HE is my son, or at least am pretty sure of it...I have felt him move, had hiccups, and I have gone from being sorta pregnant (DH's words) to VERY pregnant, and altho she wasn't always really coherent, she is at least so very excited about the baby and does remember that...and I get to hear all her baby stories, which is pretty neat!

    and when Mom went to Alaska in August, things started to happen...G-ma would get in turn much better and then much worse...she started making regular trips to the ER from her many falls and assorted problems...and it didn't stop when Mom got home either...it got progressively worse...and worse and worse and finally she was admitted to the hospital for observation...the tests I had been told by my sil to have done were FINALLY done...the news was not good at all...her dementia was caused by (from what I understand) a shut down of her kidneys spilling proteins en masse) which was also poisoning her system and her not drinking much/any water...it is sad to note I have a really good idea as to the why they shut down...I love my G-ma, please don't forget that, but she has always been a bit of a.....hypochondriac...she put a hole in her stomach eating aspirin like candy many yrs ago...she had massive back problems brought on mainly by her foolish actions (won't go there either) and I work my very best not to repeat...that brought on failed surgery's and a dependance on Tylenol 3 (T3) or Codienne, which she takes on a VERY regular basis...and then, when her brains have been a bit scrambled from the abuse, she forgets she has taken the T3 and starts to overmedicate, which would have been...about a yr.5 ago, and Mom had to take control (another long story) of her meds...at this point, she is upset cuz she needs more pills, altho the Dr says definate NO so she starts to take Tylenol and or Advil like candy, and Tums, and....

    so back to recent...the tests we wanted run, came back...her kidneys have failed...there is lil to no function left in them, and she has maybe 2 months left to live, altho even that today looks...like an overly optomistic projection...in some ways she looks better, but mentally, she is mostly gone...she is also on Morphine shots for a couple of reasons...the toxins aren't good, because of her back problems being bedriddin in itself is PAINFUL...the Morphine adds to her dementia

    BUT, on a lil brighter note, I have many blessings to count...I got to spend the majority of my life with a highly intelligent wonderul and loving woman that loved her family more than anything...and shared her love with the whole family, even those in her "family" that weren't blood related...today, she recognized us when we got there...Brian finally kicked for her, which she was so thrilled with...she lived her example...she was a beacon of light thru most of even the worse times (hey, we all have our moments!)...she is someone I would love for Brian to have known, so she can be his "angel"...I so don't think she will ever get to see him face to face, but at this point, I think I can handle that better then watching her for the next 2 mos like this...

    and thru it all, God has blessed me...I never could have done this alone...when G-pa passed away, I was pretty much on my own, and that was...so very hard...and while I loved my G-pa, I was so much closer to G-ma (another rather long story)...I lived with G-ma for a bit, helped take care of her before she moved in with Mom...I love her so much, and this is all very hard to deal with...but now that I have Mark (DH), I do have someone to lean on...he has been so very supportive, a light when I need it...sometimes I think he should be sainted or something, but he is "just doing what he is supposed to"...I dont think I could do this alone...I certainly dont want to try...

    so anyway, I see this is going to be one monster of a post already, so I will stop here...I know, too late, tmi (sorry)

    but it sure feels better to get it on "paper"

    I need to go see what DH is up too...last I say the dogs and Max were harrassing him so I should go rescue him...hopefully the next post won't be so very long!
    Cindy


    check it out! www.redcyndersdesign.com

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    Posted: 2002-11-11 20:48

    well, another day, another phone call

    after yesterday, and seeing G-ma in her current state, worrying about Mom, and helping pack up the assist living apt, I started feeling a little more at peace with what was going on...it really needed to become a her thing and so not a me thing...meaning, I was feeling selfish about being hurt that she would never get to see my son...our son...I have to say that was definately one thing I was so looking forward too...she had felt my tummy more than once and never had he once kicked her (he is so good at that too! ya touch the tummy and he STOPS)

    BUT, after seeing her, her condition...and knowing she was leaving so quickly...and then having Brian do the one thing I have been trying to get him to do...SHE knew...she was higher than a kite on Morphine, but SHE KNEW...SHE FELT HER GREAT GRANDSON AND SHE KNEW IT...omg...now I am gonna cry again...she knew...and she knew who I was, and that Mark was there...and SHE KNEW BRIAN WAS THERE...

    so, yes it hurts like hell...it hurts more than a broken heart, over some silly man (no we aren't talking DH either), more than physical pain...but she knew...it hurts, but she got to feel him...for me, right now, that is plenty...she is not suffering...in her incoherence, after we left her room, she started to giggle like crazy...I think she was in and out of reality, but Praise God, she knew...

    we did get more news today...it isn't good...her Kidney's are 90% ineffective (Renal failure?) and the pidley 10% left is fading fast...she is dumping proteins probably by at least 90% as well, which means she is getting next to nothing...she has the starts of Renal Failure related Pneumonia...she has absolutely NOTHING to fight it with...she has a not so good heart, tons of worthless fluid in her system

    instead of not saying anything, or making Mom go thru the calling again, I emailed everyone, including my sis and bro...first time around Mom said she could go anytime

    so I emailed everyone, then figured I should give Mom a heads up...it isn't nice to do something for her and then defeat the purpose cuz she doesn't know what is going on

    so I called her back...is good I emailed her first...her story changed...the Dr doesn't expect her to make it thru the night...I guess that WOULD qualify for anytime, but...

    so I spent most of the night up for reflux, and, maybe stress (ya THINK?)...I prayed that she wouldn't suffer too much instead of asking for her to stay...I feel raw, I hurt, I still have the worlds most WONDERFUL man behind me every step of the way...so, now I am feeling much better, in a way...I don't feel selfish anymore...I can see I was so very blessed with being able to be with her and help her towards the end...and help Mom...I can see I have had so much more than even my siblings in that I have been here with both her and Mom for so long...the 3 of us have had a grand ol time...we have done lunch...out...we have done shopping...we have done the Christmas and Turkey thing...just the 3 of us...I have heard countless of her stories over and over, and I know them by heart...I know my Uncle could be a pill...the middle one...I know the oldest one was such a joy even tho my G-pa was overseas shortly after conception...I know the youngest is her joy...I know so many things...that My Mother has been such a huge and APPRECIATED help to her...I know that altho she didnt really have a "favorite" grandchild, she had a "favorite" grandchild that was always there to help her out, or harrass her, or take her to her hair apt (and of course go get lunch with her!)...I know I can deal with the elderly...I know I can make a difference, even tho it is so very hard...I know that between the 3 of us, we have touched so very many lives...and that we have 2 wonderful men behind us, and one in heavon lovingly and anxiously waiting for his sweetheart to come to him (ok, find him, he was so very bad at directions, riding with him was ALWAYS an adventure)

    I know so many things, and was blessed so very much by just doing one simple thing, being there...loving her, taking care of her and letting her love me...and I am certainly am NOT the easiest to love

    I am like her in some ways...I also know now that I carry babies easily like she did, that came out yesterday...

    so, with that, I will relate her MOST favorite story...the one I will cry over as I write it...the one that so terribly embarrassed me more than once

    the date would have been Sept 28, 1970

    G-ma was working at a packing plant in Central CA (Alemeda sp? I think)...she and a couple of her work friends were busy with their day (ya all should know CA is one huge Ag state...tons and tons literally of produce)...somewhere around 3, my Mom calls her...from the labor and delivery room, and sings her happy birthday, cuz, on her 52 birthday, her oldest daughter gave birth to her BEST birthday present ever...you got it...me...I guess G-ma was a lil excited...between her and the other 2 ladies in the office, I guess they all totally lost it...they were in charge of paperwork that the loaded trucks were supposed to carry...needless to say, the wrong paperwork went with the wrong truck more than once, so that lead to ALL 3 of them being send home...

    so loves to tell that to everyone...even total and COMPLETE STRANGERS...I will so miss that story...what I would give to hear her tell it one more time...just one more time

    but I have that story...the memories...I have years of growing up with her...of becoming an adult and helping her out...I have more than most have...be at peace my love...I will certainly see you on the other side

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    Posted: 2002-11-12 23:09

    WARNING...this is an EMOTIONAL post...and a LONG one

    well, for anyone that is interested, or hasn't caught my posting on the Jan 03 board, my beloved Grandmother passed away this morning at about 7:30

    I knew as of yesterday that she probably wouldn't make it thru the night...is what the Dr told Mom...so we went to go visit her one last time...I really didn't want to go...what if she was dead when we got there...we left about 45 mins later then I had originally stated...then it was what if she dies when we are there...and then what if she does alone...I had Mark drive faster (he really doesn't appreciate that, and I really try NOT to ask him that)...so we get there and Mom is reading her Psalms...she is still...sort of with us

    Mark got the cord out of the radio for her so she can plug in G-ma's radio...she always loved music

    she couldn't hardly see anything...part of the renal failure means that the eyes don't get much lubrication, and she didn't have her glasses on

    and we were there to say goodbye...one last time

    I stood over her fighting for control so I wouldn't cause her angst...thru her confussion you could tell she was very thrilled to see us...I took half a step back so I didn't wet her down, and Mark had his arm around me, and was talking to her, and I was trying too anyway

    I brushed her hair, and stroked her cheek...she had a bit of a moment of lucidity and didn't want me to touch her, and made a motion about not wanting to make me sick...we all reassured her it was all ok, and I took her hand again and didn't let her take it away...she DIDN'T fight me, I am pretty sure she knew as well

    Brian started to dance again...I wasn't sure what to do...he was being his normal self and I didn't think he would cooperate and kick her again, but I think he did...I had to sit down...I managed to compose myself to start reading to her...it took me a few mins to really compose myself, but I got clearer as we went, and I read several of the Psalms to her, or at least parts of them....man I must say I was a bit surprised at how many War Psalms there were...we DIDN'T read those...started at 32 or 34, and went thru 60-something

    she was so pleased to hear them...I really think she was close enough to the other side to see it...

    Mom had an older book of hymns, so we sang a few of them too her...I was actually able to remember quite a few of them, and I can at least sorta carry a tune...as in, you can more or less recognize it...Mark sounded great, but then I am biased...so did Mom (at least to me)...

    by then it was about 9 o clock, we decided we had better head out...I wanted to tell her it was ok to go now...that she didn't have to stay for Brian, it would take too long...that I didn't want her to suffer, but I knew it would so mess up Mom, and wasn't sure I could actually say it...but I was thinkin it like crazy

    and it WAS ok...I was at peace with it, and so was Mom...we were about as prepared as we could be...Mom left her radio on...we made sure it wasn't loud enough to be a nuisance, but it WAS loud enough for her to hear

    we could hear her singing and humming as we left, she sounded like...she too was at peace

    is why I was so sure she could see the other side...her sight had more or less failed her on this earth, but certainly not there...

    Mom had booked it out of there pretty quick...I can't say as I blame her at all...I stopped at the nurses station and said please don't wake Mom in the middle of the night if you don't have too...she isn't sleeping already (go figure)

    we were the last visitors to leave that night

    we were the only visitors that night

    I got more than anyone else in my family other than my Mother...I got to say goodbye, I got to see God's hand, I really did, I got to comfort her and Mom, and I had my DH there with me FOR me...and I NEEDED him...

    and Brian danced on...

    we got home about 9:30ish, Mark made milkshakes, and I really think that helped settle my stomach...I didn't get much sleep (how SHOCKING ) BUT I did get SOME...Mark forgot to set the alarm, but I was up at 6:30, so he wasn't late for work (he is exempt, so is ok anyway)

    I never went back to bed, I was waiting for the phone to ring, cuz I already knew, I wouldn't see her again on this earth

    and I didn't have to wait long...Mom called about 7:35...I knew already why she was calling...she said G-ma sang and hummed all night long, that she sounded peaceful, and almost happy...why not? I can only imagine what she saw...who knows, maybe G-pa, her Mom and Dad, and brothers

    they went in around 7:30 to check her vitals, and she drew her last breath

    she was gone...she passed peacefully, she was not alone on either side

    it was over...she was out of pain

    a good friend of mine put it in perspective: all the things she loved to do, she could again...she could walk unassisted, she could sing and play the piano again, she could run, and jump and play as much or as little as she chose too...and it made me think...she can watch Brian and Mark and me as well...why not? ya know, is a grey area in the bible, and I would think she would love to watch ALL her children and grand children and great grandchildren, so I choose to believe she, G-pa, Great G-ma Anna etc ALL watch us

    and it added to my peace...I felt the hand of God touching my son, saw it touch my Mom, myself and my husband...my Dad as well, as he loved her like a Mother...and called her and treated her like a Mom

    I helped call my Uncles and Aunt...for now it is looking like 4 or 5 of the kids will make it for the Memorial service

    as will a number of my cousins, my brother, my sister and my nephew

    and I wouldn't trade any of it for the world

    not having to take care of her, not stressing about having to do the DR or ER stuff in Aug...not her almost ODing on my watch a couple yrs ago...NONE of it

    I got to know my Grandmother better than most, and I am blessed by it...I don't want to forget what happened either...I want to be able to tell my children about the woman that was their Great Grandmother...I want to tell them stories like Mom and G-ma told me about MY Great G-ma Anna...I don't ever want to forget

    I know in time the pain will fade, and the neat part is most of the bad stuff gets filtered in time and what you are left with are happier stories...

    so, here is looking forward to rememberances, for time spend with family

    and for peace

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    Posted: 2002-11-16 00:54

    well, another day, and more insanity

    so to start, I spent part of yesterday cleaning house and making arrangements as to who was going to stay with us and who wasn't...Mark was home for most of the day...which was nice, and he helped out quite a bit...

    today was....pretty hectic here and at the folks' as well...for the here part, I was really looking forward to Mark being home and didn't have a vehicle (is at Mom's)...he left at 10ish to check into work, and STAYED until almost 1:30ish...and I couldn't get ahold of him...Mom had called and asked if I could go get Jim, Judy and Kathy at the airport at 255, I had said YEAH no problem! was interesting as we had to go to the grocery store before hand...found out Mark had played cards at lunch...glad SOMEONE had fun...I was getting panicy...we will so not be doing the no car thing EVER

    so anyway, folks started flying in yesterday...A. Patty showed alone at about 5:30ish and we had a rather simple dinner here (chef salad, bread, etc) and then jetted, late, to our birthing class...which, incidentally went pretty good

    so for Mom's...guess my sister flew in at midnight last night after her flight was late and missed the connection, with her 4 mo old son....(cousin) Josh, wife Rachel and 1.5 yr old and his sister Kimi and her husband Jon and their 2 month old Christian flew into Seattle and drove in at 2ish (maybe with) U. Mike and A. Harriett...don't think Mom got more than 3-5 hrs sleep...Phil (brother) and wife got in sometime this afternoon, and U Jim, A Judy and cousin Kathy flew in at 3

    holy cow, what a zoo...but, a good zoo...we spent the majority of the time remembering and inflicting old stories...remembering Grandma, chasing kids...and finally having dinner...I am feeling...weird...Brian has definately dropped...not sure WHAT he is doing or where exactly he is...is just like he sorta...melted...am getting movement in strange places...needless to say just about everyone sympathised with my "condition" so we got to get out a LIL early...am a bit sore, but overall not too bad I guess...is just weird...suddenly my plate shelf is GONE...is more a ramp now

    SO, tonight I am going to put the ham in the oven on timed back, get up in the am slice it up, put the glaze to it and back in the oven...then to Mom's around 10 or 11 (we hope)

    Memorial time is 1, we are supposed to be at the church about 12:30 or so...my brother is still at Mom's and I am about to head into the shower, rub Mark's stiff shoulder (hard day of cards no doubt) and go pass out

    oh yeah and the joys of being pregnant...have been waking up no a reg basis at night...can't go back to sleep, and it finally dons on me last night it is Brian

    *sigh*

    just shoot me now? PLEASE? oh yeah, BUT, on a GOOD note, I DO have something good to wear to the service tomorrow...ok, not shoes, but.....I DON'T CARE...at least I ma not wearing jeans!

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    Posted: 2002-11-21 00:47

    well, 2 days ago I tried to update my journal...was having a bit of a problem with my puter tho...it hasn't liked me logging in, so when I hit send, I lost all of it (thought I was logged in dammit) and I lost a huge long post...*sigh* I am not ready to redo it just yet...

    BUT, short version is we had a great Memorial Service Sat afternoon...we got to reminiss (which I can't spell)...from her Dr that was a personal family friend, to the Pastor, to the Grandkids and Kids, friends etc...some of it was humorous, some was...tearful...all of it was great to remember...we are a rather strange bunch so ALL of it was... normal for us

    think all toll, we had between 25-30 family members...not sure how many were at the service...but I got to see cousins I haven't seen in years...even got to see my Mom's second cousins...that was really neat as well and we had a quasi-Thanksgiving dinner afterwards...yes, still 30ish people there, BUT with all the food from church and what we had made, we had LEFTOVERS...LOTS OF THEM

    holy cow...I haven't seen that many leftovers after ANY dinner ESP with that much company!!

    is a good thing I haven't told OUR pastor yet, am not sure I could handle it

    and Brian danced on and on...he finally nudged Mom...NOT kick, but he was movin for her...FINALLY...and got to hear the stories from my cousins, hold and play with my 2 mo old cousin (second?), my 4 mo old nephew etc

    it was great...could feel Grandma watching, and laughing...everyone could

    the hard part was Sun...we went back over to say goodbye to those that were leaving...Mom and I had discussed letting everyone take momentos...and we were fine with it...but it was a bit...much...I know it was important for everyone to have something of her, and most of it was just...stuff...nothing worth much other then memories...but it was so final, and most were leaving Sun afternoon or early Mon...and them going thru it meant Mom and I didn't, and wouldn't have to pack it all up and send it out...it meant they got something THEY wanted...and it wasn't as if I didn't have some stuff...most stuff I wanted I already had, some of which I actually GOT from G-ma, and I have some incredible memorable stuff...I got 2 of the bears I gave to her for Christmas one for Brian and one for either me or another child we might have...the rest were given out...

    and it was hard to watch...granted it was easier then us having to do it...and for that I was very grateful...for me not taking more (trust me I had thought about it) and for everyene getting SOMETHING...AND for not having to do it...but it was so...very very final...to be honest it was almost as hard to be there for that as it was for the service...and it wasn't easy for anyone...

    the neat thing tho, was EVERYONE did get something! there was G-ma's fav quillo thing that she had said Patty could have...originally Mom offered it to me, but I remembered Patty or Judy really loved it (amazing I remembered ANYTHING) so Patty got it...she was...touched...okokok, she is touched in the head anyway she also took some stuff of G-ma's that I had been planning on making a baby blanket out of, but then told Mom she would make the blanket FOR me...and she was such a help to Mom and I in helping sort some stuff after most had left...so Mom was able to donate/give away more stuff...

    so guess what I am trying to say is, overall, it wasn't too bad...I do miss her pretty bad still...I keep thinking I can just go down there and visit, but it just isn't gonna happen...she is already here with me, but the intangable of it is...hard

    Patty was here until this morning...and her and Mom had a pretty good time...after Mom dropped her off at the airport, she and I went to breakfast and got a few errands run, made sorta plans for the rest of the week, and made plans NOT to do much tomorrow other than sleep, clean a lil house, and get back together...

    ah yes, and tomorrow we have a birthing class...and Fri is Mark's Fri off and I am really looking forward to that...he has so much been my rock it was hard to see him go back to work Mon...he has even impressed my Dad, which is next to impossible to do

    we have all been touched by everything

    something kinda quick to mention...something that I really lost it over at the Memorial service...Dr Ben was sharing about how much G-ma touched his life as well...about how much he always appreciated her praying for him...about how deep her faith was

    and how even towards the end, she still relied on her faith to get her thru...when he came in to pronounce her, he said there was a slight smile on her face...she saw God, smiled and walked without fear to meet him...he said that is a rarity...that she truely died in Peace...

    what a blessing...and now, after 3 days, I cry again...am gonna go be held by my incredible husband...good night

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    Posted: 2002-12-03 18:20

    just a quickie for now...not much time to say what I want too for today, but I did want to have this in my journal as well...a friend of G-ma and my folks wrote this during the Memorial Service and I really wanted to share it, AND I don't want to forget it either!

    Parting Friends

    As darkness hides the coming day,
    We stand alone not knowing what to say.
    Our thoughts instead we send ahead
    To you as books waiting to be read.

    We will miss you
    Now that you’ve gone away,
    You’re a part of our lives
    Being stripped away.

    There will be tears
    In parting days,
    Of parting words
    And parting ways.

    We wish you were still here with us
    In this little town of old.
    So we will keep you close to heart,
    For close to heart is close to home.

    The closing of a era,
    the dawning of an age,
    The ending of a saga,
    The beginning of a page.

    And though we can not see your face
    And hear your laughter grow,
    You are in a better place,
    Where someday we will go.

    Julie Meyers
    In loving memory of Leatha C. Groft. God Bless and keep you in His loving arms.

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    Posted: 2002-12-03 23:36

    okokok...now back to our regular programing

    so, plenty of not much has happened during the last posting (ok, posting before last), which has been...comforting in ways...Thanksgiving was pretty low key...quite a drastic change from earlier...it was strange NOT having G-ma at the table...and NOT having to go thru the ritual to get her into the house...there weren't the often told stories...or the repeated questions...the repeated unending questions

    and I missed that...the food was great...I did some, Mom did some...there were only the 5 of us (Mark's son came for dinner as well) and it was...quiet...ah well, was hoping the Reilly's were coming but....they didn't make it over

    is still strange as well...I keep thinking I should go show G-ma...anything...or just call and see how she is doing...

    got to talking to my Uncle last night as well...it started out as a call to give our address, but ended up about an hr call about G-ma and how things went...it was good to be able to tell him about some of the things we did right before G-ma passed...and I do think it gave him some comfort...I know it did me...I was at a point where I wanted to talk about it a lil more...I think they are handling things about as well as to be expected...and I also wanted to reassure him, and I didn't want him to feel burdened about not coming up more (after all, they really couldn't have afforded it!)...but overall it was a really good talk

    but life goes on...and Brian still dances...

    wish he would sleep more sometimes!

    but he is at least healthy

    oh a different note...I AM starting to do some serious baby-related nesting...got all the 0-3 cloths washed...got the baby stuff packed up for delivery...sorted everything, got most everything else washable done as well, other than the crib stuff, which is mext...we also rearranged the nursery (again) and Mom got us the glider rocker we have been looking at...we went in today and got the sports-bra thing to do the possible water birth in, and the crib mattress cover (some of the last things left to get, not all, but getting really close!)

    ah yes, and some really really good news...part of the nesting has rubbed off on Mark (DH)...he has been worried about my truck for awhile, which I DIDN'T know...with all its' problems and limitations (no baby, no airbag shut off on passenger side)...so we have been...sorta looking for a newer truck...something that would last for quite awhile!

    we found one...oh my...a 2001 Toriador Red Ranger (loaded)...at first I was like no, is way too expensive...but, after quite a bit of negotiations (guess I still can do it, just wasn't ready for it) we got a pretty good deal...pmts are a lil more than I had originally anticipated, but doable...still has a few mi left on the warranty as well...and runs...great! Mark wants to drive it to....NO WAY BUDDY! MY TRUCK, NO TOUCHY! (think he is going to drive it to work Thurs!)

    and I hope G-ma can see it...I really wanted to show it too her...not cuz she would have liked it, but cuz she would have made the appropriate "happy" noise over it...Mom did, and is good enough...but still...

    so in some regards, it is a relief she is gone...no more health problems, I don't have to worry about it seriously effecting Mom's health...she isn't suffering...and after it got so bad in the end...

    but I still miss her...she is still in my thoughts...more than not...Mom and I are slowly going thru some of the remainder of her stuff, and that is still...really hard to do...but it does need doing...at least I can help Mom with that...and the strangest things trigger the strangest memories

    good ones...think I will hold on to those

    's allright? 's allright...

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    (this was a dream btw)
    Posted: 2002-12-20 12:11

    Well, finally….he came…have been waiting to see if G-pa would show up, and last night he did…it was a bit weird….did some touring thru some historical district…with some hockey players…went for a walk thru a swamp, yes, thru water but it wasn’t wet…Mark was there, and eventually Mom was there….and the hockey players were gone…toured some really weird stuff, but was kinda interesting so I let it go….then it morphed into a more family thing with Mom, Mark, bro and sis and that too was….a tad weird….and then G-ma showed up…we were all in a big room, and I wasn’t at all surprised to see her…we talked and laughed for a bit…and then Mom said we needed to pray…so we all sat together in a corner against the wall…Becky (sis) started it off…not sure where Phil was at that point, but I am pretty sure he was there, Mom started to pray…and then G-ma started to sing…Alleluia actually….and as usual I was a bit miffed cuz she cut me off…but, I just started to pray….I just wanted to say thanks for the wonderful husband God had blessed me with…almost started giggling as G-ma’s “bless his heart” was at the tip of my tongue (we used to tease her that was her way of swearing, she said it ALL THE TIME)…Mark had his arm around me on my right, G-ma to my immediate left, between Mom and I….don’t think I could touch her anymore tho, but that wasn’t bothering me anyway….am used to that sort of dream anymore

    And then we all said amen, and he was there…he called to her…I whipped around and there was G-pa….looking at G-ma and held his hand out…she put her hand in his and they were gone…for once I wasn’t the only one to see him….and he certainly wasn’t there to talk this time…and G-ma didn’t need comforting…not this time…I have had 2 or 3 different dreams where I was the only one that could see or talk to him…and like this one they have all been so very very vivid…most of the time he was there to comfort G-ma, or was when something good happened or when I needed a rock…I remember so distinctly when there was a rough patch and he came to comfort….G-ma was having a hard time too…it started off where we were all sitting at the dining room table at Mom’s (the antique one) and he was there…I was talking to him, and Mom wanted to know who I was talking too, so I told her…and then he put his arms around G-ma to comfort her as well….everyone wanted to know where he was and I told them….he said everything was ok, that he loved G-ma and then he was gone (and I woke up)…THAT time no one could see him, but not today…

    When it gets a lil later today, and Mom won’t freak when I call early (she thinks I am in eminent labor 24-7 now)…I will tell her all about it…was surprised last time I told her about it and she quietly asked if I had ever told G-ma about it…ya know I don’t know if I did or not…she said G-ma used to dream too…so weird…she didn’t tell me it was just a dream, she just got quiet…THAT was really weird too…wasn’t sure how to take that one…but ya know, it didn’t surprise me much either…

    So anyway, here is a really strange end to the dream…I whipped around the room to see if I could catch another glimpse of them, but they were gone…and there was a huge empty Darigold ice cream box with Leopard ice cream in it…now THAT has me going…we have some good gag gifts…we as in Mom and I…I found some leopard print silk boxers for my brother, and it kinda got out of hand from there (have ya all seen the latest rage?)…we ended up getting his wife the lil slip nightie and slippers to go with it, and were having a ball shopping Weds…it has all been rather cute and fun

    So, I sorta take that to say BOTH Phil and Kracinda were there…I dunno…I am no interpreter of dreams etc but…hey, is my dream…

    so I wake up, and was all emotional…was sorta…different…like G-ma was actually gone then…but it wasn’t a bad thing either…I did start blubbering, and curled up with Mark…and he said what was wrong, bad dream…that really got me going and I said no, it wasn’t a bad dream…it wasn’t bad at all…and it took me a couple of mins to compose myself and tell him about it…and he says he is sorry I had a bad dream, and I said…it wasn’t bad…it was a good thing…I wasn’t the only one to see him this time, and started crying again...is so very very weird…is all…I don’t know if he understands or not, but it WASN’T a bad dream…in a way it was a re-hello farewell sort of one…but it wasn’t bad…

    guess we can be sure she actually did find G-pa…even with his being directionally challenged…good to see he doesn’t have that problem anymore!

    will post more later...not a while lot going on...still pregnant...doing pretty good overall, or more appropriately doing well for being 9 mos preg...but, gotta free up the phone line!

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    Posted: 2002-12-27 17:17

    well, another day, more wind, but sunshine a lil this am...a most welcome change after quite awhile of fog...and I am STILL pregnant and it appears I will be for awhile...what am I, an elephant?!?!?! ah well, he is still healthy...it CAN'T go on forever!

    we had a pretty good week too...Christmas was pretty quiet...almost too quiet, but not bad at all...I found the ornament/tree topper I got for G-ma this summer...is mine now I guess...was a lil hard to find, but I still left it out...is really not to my taste, but she would have loved it...was all that counted...I like it quite a bit now too so...all during the Christmas Shopping I would find lil things that would remind me of her...sometimes it wasn't bad, sometimes it was not good...and I do miss her more now that some healing time has passed...I still wish I could just call her...so I call Mom instead...we DID do Christmas here tho...like we did last year...and I think that helped a lil...we went to Mom's yesterday and had a post Christmas dinner with good friends...we had prime rib Christmas, and Mom did a fantastic turkey

    but the house was so...G-ma-less...it was so strange...it was quite...disturbing in ways

    but we did have a good time with the Reilly's and the folks...the 3 girls were angels...and you can still feel the G-parents presence around us...we were cutting up quite a bit...trying not to inspire the girls with too many stories of our childhood...Dad and I just about went mano e mano over the pomegranite jelly...which was sooooooooooooo good! I ate a lil too much, which is still limited by my son who was somewhat quiet yesterday (this after doing the Watusi all Christmas day!)...Mark ate way too much...and we spent some time afterwards talking with the folks and making some plans...

    and then Brian danced on...the girls were having a great time watching him...he did cut a bit of a rug for them right before they left...they can't wait to see him...neither can I for that matter!

    we talked a lil hockey and it looks like after things settle down a lil the 3 of us and the 5 Reilly's will head to a hockey game...I can't wait! here is to hoping is SOON!

    so, things are getting back to normal...slowly, but getting there...we have a game tomorrow (GAME ON!) and it will be interesting to see how well I can get to my seat! we have an apt today to see the midwife, and I am hoping she will have good news for me...and am glad to have my apt a couple days early...altho, I still know baby hasn't dropped...and on a totally different note, Mark finished wiring the garage, and we have an inspection scheduled for Mon am (hehehe I did warn they guy I was due any day now...they said they would call first )

    and with the new hedge trimmers, I am going to go trim down some of the vegetation leftovers out in the flower garden if/when the wind dies down...one of my too cool Christmas presents! Mark is home today, sounds like he is playing the flight sim game I got him...is pretty great as far as I am concerned...I actually got the RIGHT one

    sometimes I amaze even myself!

    have decided to change my siggy too...as soon as Brian gets here, I will get a good pic of him up...know how I want things to look too...is kinda like moving on...I still miss G-ma but...she is still here, just not in body...is time for things to change I think

    so with that, I have run out of things to say I guess...I had plenty to say earlier, but the other half seems to be about as reliable as my due date so I will save it for another day

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    Posted: 2003-03-02 15:44

    well, it has been ages and ages since I posted here...I really should stay on top of this more, but.....hey, a new Mama forgets EVERYTHING!

    AHA...will start with a cheat post and paste my birth story here...and write more later...

    I hope

    For those of you that weren't there at chat, this is MOSTLY from Chat with Cynthia in Jan...speaker is prefaced...and anything in [brackets] are added later (like Feb 13) also the end note** will probably put it into my journal someday as well, probably after I get time to update that too!

    Ghostess: hehehehe......OK! by Fri (Jan 11) it was rather apparent we weren't going to be delivering at the birthing center, Mark and I had it more or less worked out verbally...I was SCARED! and Cynthia was acting worried enough that I figured I wasn't going to cajole my way out of induction, and I was finally ready enough to be DONE
    Ghostess: so ...we made an apt to go Sat am, or Fri if we could...needless to say we started Sat am...Cynthia and my class instructor met us there at the hospital, which we had had a tour of Mon before, so I for those of you that don't know, I abhore hospitals…HMO won't cover BC after 2 weeks over...
    Cynthia Flynn: OK, I admit I was worried. The baby was still high and had been that way since Christmas. He had shown NO signs of descent to zero station. [I totally didn’t get that from her…Cynthia wanted to induce and was getting pushy about it, I was still stalling]
    I was totally shocked, put out and worried when [Cynthia] wanted the induction done [Mark and I had talked about it, so] like I said, by Sat am, it was ok
    Cynthia Flynn: Actually, it's the state law for birth centers and my national accreditation that won't let me go over 42 weeks.
    Ghostess: aha...ok, well, I can see that on some levels...so we get started on the C something or another drug for induction and the first one didn't start anything…which I was warned, but was hoping for SOME sign the second didn't do much more, but had SOME sm contrax, nothing productive...pretty much the third went the same, altho they contrax were a lil more noticeable
    Cynthia Flynn: cytotec
    [by that evening, it was apparent it wasn’t going to work, and we all figured a fourth pill wasn’t going to do it so pitocin it was…we were supposed to start at 9 but wires were crossed somewhere….short version is we ended up starting at 10]
    Ghostess: oh yeah, and we almost had an arguement on the iv thing, but I knew it was so not going to win that one so......[the argument was about which arm to put it into…I made them wait til last min on WHEN…altho next time the WILL NOT be allowed to put the iv in my right arm, period…something I regret extremely not sticking to even now, a month later…my finger and wrist still give me problems]
    Ghostess: short version, we Mark and I walked the hospital, we talked C-section...which, btw, is also called a vaginal bypass, and I really loved that term! by the time they were ready to hook up the pitocin (10 pm), I was also actually more or less ok with...and was like ramp this puppy up, lets see what it does….was a bit...um...niave of me, but....I wanted to see SOMETHING going on for reassurances...so they did increase the dose, but at a safe rate *sigh*...at 12, something DID happen...oh yeah, and at some point I remember Cynthia went and assisted Dr Perry with a vag bypass...
    Cynthia Flynn: that was during the afternoon on sat when not much was going on with the cytotec
    Ghostess: yup...I do remember that...and feeling really sorry for her and so hoping and praying I wasn't next!
    Cynthia Flynn: me, too! She'd had two bypasses before, tho, and was just happy to have her daughter.
    Ghostess: so anyway, by Mark called Mom close to midnight and she zoomed right over! [so back to my possible c-section] by then it was the healthy baby issue...now is where the time thing gets fuzzy...I can tell you what was going on, just not exact times...I remember things getting really intense...{changing things here as some things are missing} and hearing [Cynthia say turn up the pitocin]
    Ghostess: I remember thinking.....whoa whoa whoa...wait just a min here! WHY? [this was the point I did know better than to “ramp up” the pitocin!]I also remember [I did finally] comment on it after hearing it more than once...[meaning DON’T turn it up more!]
    Cynthia Flynn: The pitocin kicked in at about the same time I broke your water, around midnite sat/sun.
    Ghostess: and I am pretty sure I remember being ignored...[turning up the pitocin]
    Ghostess: ah yeah...sorry, still a lil groggy...that was after I found out I had more than one bag of waters and that the first had ruptured
    Cynthia Flynn: what did you hear?
    Ghostess: I thought I complained about you turning up the pitocin…I remembering hearing you and Amy whispering also and you refusing to answer as to what you were whispering about
    Cynthia Flynn: She asked me how big I thought the baby was, and I told her that we don't ask those questions. I didn't tell her the answer. Amy was the nurse.
    Ghostess: I remember asking for something to take off the edge (esp after hearing this could end late that day) but I did NOT want an epi...so they gave me Nubain which did take enough of the edge off for an hr or so...and Cynthia said I was dialated to 4 (time?) and was going to take a nap
    Cynthia Flynn: about 1am sun I was hoping Cindy would, too, it had been a long day. And Mark
    Ghostess: [she expected me to nap?!?!?!] but at least we were making very noticable progress [can we say LABOR??]...Mark was there thru the whole thing, and I gotta say, I don't think I could have done it w/o him
    Cynthia Flynn: I second the motion on Mark--he was a rock!
    [at this point one of the ladies said she had nubain and it didn’t do anything for her]
    Cynthia Flynn: nubain is all in the timing in my experience. If you wait too long, it doesn't do a thing. [she said it didn’t work during or after transition]
    Ghostess: so anyway, we labored for a bit longer...and I was feeling things starting to change and I tried to wait to let her sleep, but it was feeling weirder by the min, [the second shot of nubain didn't work] and I figured I had better call her back...was about an hr to hr.5 or so...and she said I could have many hrs left to go
    Cynthia Flynn: since I thought she was just past 4cm.
    Ghostess: and I was thinking I had already had second nubain and it didn't work at all...and hearing that...I said EPI! and they called him in...I should have had Cynthia check me first...but I was having a bit of a problem getting things out to ask…but she did [check me after we called him in]....in 1.5 or 2 hrs I had gone to 9.5
    Cynthia Flynn: that-s 4cm to 9cm in less than 2 hours!
    Ghostess: and I could feel him coming down FAST...and I was still struggling with what I had asked for...and then it kinda dawned on me....TRANSITION
    Cynthia Flynn: She looked so peaceful, I would have never guessed. actually, I DIDN't guess! I was totally blown away when I checked her.
    Cynthia Flynn: What a woman! [glad I impressed someone…I don’t recall being impressive]
    Ghostess:[so at 3 something in the morning, the epi guy shows up and was informed that thanks for coming, but I didn't want one, and he starts in on how it might help with the pushing part...I remember thinking how effectively can I push if I can't think and then said "get him out of here" (ya know those split second thoughts of what the..?) I was sure I didn’t want one anymore, we were almost done!]...and appologised...I remember him watching me walk by and looking shocked...well, walking is actually a rather general term...so I am on my way to the bathroom, cuz I thought I had to go...so on the toilet, (yuck, I know) I was seized by the OMG HOW DO I NOT PUSH
    Cynthia Flynn: after coming in at 3 in the morning. [I did feel rather guilty about getting him up and to the hospital at dark oclock…ok, for a second I did]
    Ghostess: [anyway, on my way to the bathroom, which actually when I was seized by the OMG HOW DO I NOT PUSH] and asked if it was ok...and then almost couldn't figure out how I wasn't going to push, and ended up doing it anyway and thinking it was way to late...but OMG did pushing feel good...[I probably pushed 2 or 3 times before I realized where I was and I was certain I DID NOT want to deliver on the potty, so back to the bed I went] I gotta say between Mark and concentration and breathing it almost didn't hurt we started pushing with Mark on one side of the bed and me on the other, and squatting to the birthing ball...and ended up on all 4s on the bed as I was running out of steam...I remember snapping at Mom to take the pictures, which were wonderful btw....[she was supposed to be somewhat documenting the birth with the camera…something I had previously said was NEVER to happen…guess I forgot to tell Mom!]
    I remember getting on the bed.... and could feel him crowning...
    Cynthia Flynn: you should have seen that head of hair that came first! I mean, a real rug!
    Ghostess: and then he would come back in...I remember saying pull him out by the ears...[hey, can you tell I have delivered my share of lambs? It felt like he was that far out, which I found out later he wasn’t quite that far. When he was crowning…I wanted to know if he had hair...he looks just like the baby in my first dream btw...only with extra equipment..(I had a girl dream at about 3 mos)]
    Cynthia Flynn: Strawberry blond, but TONS of it before we ever saw head
    Ghostess: I remember the ring of fire... and thinking it was not unbearable...[certainly didn’t feel GOOD, but it wasn’t all that bad] and then felt the tear... and Cynthia told me to wait a second.. she had to get the cord...[I know it was the tear cuz I could STILL feel the burning]
    [and then she said push, so in I think 2 pushes the shoulders popped out] and I remember the shoulders were easy... [by far easier than the head! Btw, head was 38.5 inches in diameter, shoulders were 36…but what is 36 after almost 39!)
    Cynthia Flynn: The pics are great, but DO NOT do justice to the hair. and has dimples!
    Ghostess: overall I was really pleased.... and [Mark said I] had a great smile...and for a while they were cleaning, and getting him ready and would not bring him over…I asked for him at least 3 times and it started to worry me...[as in why WOULDN’T they bring him over, was something wrong?] Cynthia was also insistent to get the baby to the Mama...[Mark] was standing over him..
    Cynthia Flynn: He was just a tad stressed by the whole experience, nothing serious. Plus I needed to evaluate Cindy.
    Ghostess: and he started crying [now I know all about the sweetest sound on earth, esp after I was so worried about him].... and I was in tears..
    Cynthia Flynn: Anyway, we got him over there, and then it was so beautiful, with Mark and Cindy holding this gorgeous baby and bawling like babies themselves.
    Ghostess: [Mark] brought him over to [me] to hold.... it was surreal…[it still is to a certain extent] and I was thinking it was not that bad.. and I could do it again…[we actually talked about it!]
    Cynthia Flynn: For me, that's what it's all about.
    Ghostess: and I was soooo pleased that I had delivered him...oh yeah..I yelled WHAT when they said the weight...[with what voice I had left…it was shot for 2 days after that! I wasn’t quiet!]
    Cynthia Flynn: That's 9lbs 13.4 oz. For a first timer, that is truly an accomplishment! [ya do what ya gotta, as long as he was healthy] [Mark had been typing for a bit, from here I will leave it from his perspective]
    Mark: I spent the better part of the labor on the other side of the bed... holding her arms and hands.. and telling her she could do it..
    Mark: She was soo tired and thought she did not have the energy left... but I knew she did ...
    Mark: The head was 38 cm....
    Mark: and cindy is glad she did not know what normal was til he got out...
    Cynthia Flynn: I wish you could have seen how calm she looked when she was *flying* through those centimeters.
    Mark: She looked almost asleep... but was concentrating ..[concentrating my…foot…I was doing my breathing and concentrating on NOT feeling the pain, which, btw, actually WORKS…esp with Nubain]
    Cynthia Flynn: No, 38.5 cm at birth they said, but I measured it at 1 hr and it was 39 (average is 33).
    Ghostess: the breathing technique really worked... and we had music playing...

    **after they brought him to me, we were looking him over, counting fingers and toes (ya fall instantly in love with the lil fingers, toes and nails…and I was no exception…) comparing notes on who he looked like…and he picked up his head and looked at us….which TOTALLY BLEW me away…Dad had been sleeping in the foyer, and he came in to see us...after the stitches…and he and Mom went home so Dad could get a lil sleep…Dr Perry, the one Cynthia had helped with the vaginal bypass, stitched me up as it has to be done by a dr I guess…I also remember I had a 3rd degree tear…2 packs (??) of sutures…no clue how many stitches…they never did give me much problems or pain…I also had some “skid marks”…they DID give me problems…YOUCH…some of them were in the hood and everytime I went to the bathroom, MORE YOUCH! I was also a lil sore [muscles] from the birthing positions I had chosen, but I would have been no matter WHAT position I chose…I certainly DON’T recommend labor on your back…what I did used my stronger muscles…and I think were more productive, but each to his own! We DID finally get a lil sleep…after they brought me breakfast (yuck, hospital food)…I took a shower shortly after lunch (more ew hospital food, followed by the stew we had brought the day before), which felt heavenly, and started cleaning up to go home…Cynthia showed us the breastfeeding twice…once in the morning, and then again that eve after the nurses had me all screwed up! She did get us out of there that evening…so technically Brian didn’t spend the night (other than safe in Mom)

    I would definitely say I had a good birthing experience…there are only a few things I would change…I had a Great Midwife that I had tons of confidence in, and fantastic night nurse (cute too! Strange I would have noticed that…her personality reminded me of my sil.) the day nurses weren’t that bad…and for all my hospital phobias, I survived! Still, I do hope to do a birth center birth next time

    And yes, there will be a next time, but not til Brian is much older! Say in 2-3 yrs…but for now, I have a beautiful baby boy…who is learning so very fast already…he amazes me every day…

    And I would do it all again

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