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Amelia’s Birth Story

It finally happened! On April 25th and 12:45 PM, our little Amelia made her grand debut! Of course, it wasn’t nearly that simple. First, of course, was the fun, 39-week pregnancy, which was full of its own ups and downs (a lot of those during the first trimester, except those went down, then came back up, if you get what I’m saying), but was such an exciting time for J.D. and me. Around the end, J.D. was just getting so frustrated, he wanted to hold his little girl NOW! Well, now he’s got her!

Amelia’s original due date was April 30th, so I thought I had at least one more week to lounge around, finish binge-watching Lost, and clean the house. Thursday, April 28th, I had agreed to work the front desk for a piano sale on the U of U campus all day. I felt just fine all day, worst I felt was just getting a sore bum from sitting on a lightly padded folding chair for too long. Dinner that night consisted of French Toast lovingly made by my dear husband—I almost wish we’d gone with the Tuna Helper I had originally planned, but then the prospect of French Toast… Yummy! But that’s beside the point. I don’t remember what we did the rest of the evening, but we ended up going to bed around midnight, me falling asleep around 12:30 because hey, iPhone, I had some internet to do. Then, nary one hour later, I wake up, feeling very sore indeed, figured I just needed to pee, as I was at the point where that urge was usually a lot uncomfortable. So, off I go to the bathroom, do my business, and lay back down in bed. A few minutes later… Cramp! Hum, that’s interesting… Try to go back to sleep… About 10 minutes later… There it is again. So, I grudgingly pull out my handy iPhone and open up my handy contraction timer (which up to this point had only been used once before to measure what I don’t really think was really contractions, just gas), and start timing. All this while J.D. lay blissfully unaware of how exciting his morning was about to become. Lo and behold, they were coming about every 8 minutes, and all I could think was all the stuff that I had planned to do tomorrow and it was looking like I was not going to get to have my mom paint my toenails after all and that was a total bummer.

So, fast forward about two hours (sleeping between contractions, remaining about 8 minutes apart and 30-40 seconds long), I get up to go to the bathroom again, and, to sugar coat, pretty much confirmed that stuff was going down and things were getting real and I should probably wake up J.D. and call the midwife and change into something I wouldn’t mind throwing away or was easy to clean (which didn’t end up happening—I still have no idea when my water actually broke). So, I walk calmly into the bedroom (calmly because I felt like I was in some sort of crazy dream, so why panic) and tapped him on the shoulder, I think I said something like, “Hey, J.D., I think stuff is happening and we should probably go to the hospital soon.” But apparently I said it calmly enough that it didn’t panic him, but it definitely woke him up pretty quick! Up he went, and as I started having another contraction, we called the midwife, who informed us to head to labor and delivery once the contractions were five minutes apart, lasting for about 1 minute. Well, we skipped that and went straight to 3 minutes apart lasting for about 45 seconds just as soon as J.D. hung up with her. So, we let those go for about another 45 minutes while we finished throwing some things into the labor bag, brushed our teeth, put on some clothes, and continued timing the contractions (which stayed steady at 3 minutes apart).

We finally pulled up to the hospital around 4:00 AM, maybe 4:30, where we checked in and got all hooked up to the monitors in triage because I was only at a 2-3. Then I just had to sit there for what seemed like waaay too long to be stationary going through contractions. I think around 5:30 was when they finally took me off the monitors and let me walk around the halls in my stylish hospital gown while J.D. did an awesome job rubbing my back during the contractions.

When I couldn’t drag myself away from the hand rails on the wall between contractions was when we headed back to the triage room to get checked again (which consequently made me throw up any snacks I had tried to pack down before we went to the hospital). I had at least made some progress, going to a 3 or 4, so they gave us the option of going home or getting hooked up to the monitors again. I’m glad we decided to stay, because only an hour later of being monitored the screen turned yellow with the message “Admit Patient.” Dang was I glad, because there were some where the little line graph thingy didn’t even go back down to stasis, just dipped a little as a second contractions started right after the first one.

FINALLY we got our very own room. My WONDERFUL midwife came around, showed J.D. a FABULOUS counter-pressure technique to do while she filled up the Jacuzzi tub and the nurse put in my heplock (I had hoped I wouldn’t need one, but since I’d already thrown up and didn’t feel like I could keep anything else down they put it in so they could get some fluids in me). My midwife headed over to her clinic to re-arrange her schedule while I labored in the tub for I don’t know how long, but it was soooooo nice. Of course, I did throw up again, which sucked, but even with that, J.D. just stayed perfectly calm, bringing me another bag in case I threw up again. I cannot stress enough how great he was during the whole process. So, after what I think was an hour or two, I got out of the tub and labored for a while on a birthing ball, then my midwife got back and I labored for about a half hour in bed while hooked up the monitors and saline. Baby girl was doing great! I think at that point I was at about a 6. My parents showed up sometime during that monitoring stage, when my father and J.D. gave me a blessing and then we kicked my dad out and my mom hung around and acted as a support, finally went and got our labor bag out of the car (so much for all the labor stuff I packed)

So, after they took me off the monitors, we moved to a side-lying position and oh my word it was… Well, my midwife said sometimes the more painful the position is, the more progress we make, which we did—an hour later of doing that, I was at a 9 ½, 100% effaced, and just about ready to push.

I think the worst part was when I was feeling ready push (around 11 or so), but she told me to wait (hellooooo transition). She put me in a hands and knees position for this part, while I tried to keep my voice low low low, when all I wanted to do was sleeeeeeep (or push so I could go to sleep soon). Luckily, that only lasted two contractions, then we were ready to PUSH!

And, that was also apparently when my grandparents arrived at the hospital, because we hear a knock on the door, it opening, and then a “hello?” from my grandpa. Definitely a very inopportune moment, as there I was, getting ready to push in all my glory. Thank goodness for the curtain. J.D. darted away and shooed them out.

So, pushing. The first few pushing contractions I could only muster two pushes each, but then we started seeing the head and I was thinking, “Holy crap! This is happening! That’s a baby! Let’s do this thing!” so after maybe four of those, I started doing three pushes per contraction, and then things started moving MUCH faster. I could feel her moving down and down, and even turning and moving between contractions, and then 12:45 came around and my midwife told me to reach down and take my baby— There she was, beautiful, wide-eyed Amelia, immediately ready to suck on anything she could fit in her mouth, which at that moment was both her hand and her arm, NOISILY. We all sat and stared for what seemed like a perfect eternal moment, and once the umbilical cord stopped pulsing, they clamped it and J.D. was able to cut it. The staring continued. More staring, more hello’s; at some point my mother sneaked out so J.D. and I could have our moment. They let me keep holding and staring as long as I wanted; she was a great distraction from the pain of the stitches being sewn in, and as soon as my midwife was done with that, they took her and weighed her. The first thing she did when they took her was give out a perfect little squeak, sending smiles around the room. She weighed in at 6 pounds, 8 ounces and 19 inches long. She was swiftly returned to me, and we got right down to the business of nursing. She caught on very quickly! Easy as pie.

So, 11 hours of drug-free labor and our magnificent little Amelia was here! She is bringing so much joy into our lives, and we feel so blessed to have been trusted by our Heavenly Father to raise one of His sweet daughters.

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The difference between me and… Others.

Yes, I am still in the planning stages of this wedding.  Yes, my engagement has lasted this long.  And yes, I do live in Utah.  You’d think I’d have it all done by now?  Actually, you’d think I would have had it done by the time I was 18.  Well, I don’t, and I didn’t.  How many days until the big day? 35.  Yes.  Just over a month.  Now, an acquaintance of mine recently got engaged (to my ex who recently returned from a mission in December, which is… Ahem… Awesome.)  So, I’ve found it humorous to play some comparison games.  Because I’m like that.

Me: Brunette, short hair, like to wear men’s cargo shorts and read science fiction, 21.

Her: Blonde, long hair, likes to wear dresses and flowers, probably reads books by the guy who wrote “Charly,” 18

Her: Dated him for… Something like… Maybe three months? That might be pushing it.

Me: Dated him for… Something like… fourteen months.

Her: Engaged April 24

Me: Engaged February 12

Her: Hand felt like a museum piece first day back at school after engagement.

Me: Had fill-in ring first day back at school after engagement, just wanted to eat m&ms all day and not tell anybody–waited for people to notice my new jewelry.  The (very) reluctant attention hog.

Her: Considering elopement on April 28th

Me: Considering elopement now, because I only have 35 days left to make all this stuff for my wedding.

Her: Engagement photos done May 3rd (that’s only one and half weeks following the engagement)

Me: Engagement photos done April 10th (I think)– Two months after the engagement. Wow, slow.

Me: Engagement photos outfit: Jeans, Shirt from the D.I., and my boots of AWESOME.

Her: Pretty dress.

Me: Engagement photos: Park, messing around, and a giant pipe.

Her: Engagement photos: Trees, hay bales, and a tractor.

(My roommate is also getting married.  She was very adamant about doing her photos up at some national park.  I think that is boring.  “Stand next to this tree and smile.  Stand next to that shrub and smile.  Walk down that path holding hands and smile.” Ours were more like, “Hey, let’s go play on the swings!  Let’s ride these dolphins!  Let’s climb this wall!  Let’s see if we can both fit down this slide!”  Yep.  Much more fun.)

Her: Grateful for girl’s nights in the midst of “crazy wedding planning” (hint, her date is in August–it’s not crazy yet, dear)

Me: Grateful to be able to eat nachos and watch Bones/America’s Next Top Model/The Office by myself to relax from “wedding plans.” (AKA doing homework and letting my mom and future mother-in-law stress while I take “brain breaks” from said homework.  Also grateful that I at least finished planning the middle school band festival.  That was a higher priority than the wedding.)

Anyway, I’m a terrible Utahn/bride.  Dating for more than a year??  Procrastinating wedding plans???  Not including some shade of pink or purple in my wedding colors??? (BTW my colors are green, white, and gold)  No hay bales??? No matching denim?????  No hair extensions (might even cut hair back to a pixie)?????  Man!  What is MY problem??  Heck, I may even add a drum circle to my reception entertainment, just to let people know how TOTALLY wack-o I am!

Also, if I hear the phrase “It’s your day, do what YOU want!” I might throw up.  My favorite, though, is, “It’s YOUR day, do what YOU want!  But you’re GOING to want this!” I’m perfectly content letting J.D.’s mother do as much as she wants.  I have no idea what’s going on for the luncheon, but she apparently has it completely under control.  Thank heaven for mothers.

But… I am really, REALLY excited. 🙂

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Shoes and Music

I was recently trying to explain types of shoes to a male tuba major who knows absolutely nothing about women’s shoes.  Hence, I came up with these descriptions of what musical era different types of women’s shoes relate to.

1: The wedge heel

I determined that the wedge heel correlates most closely to the mid to late romantic period.  If you have listened to anything from this time period, there is a fullness of… Well sound.  Everything.  Almost to the point of being excessive.  Just as wedge heels are full, so were the orchestras and emotions of the mid to late romantic period.  It was almost hyper-emotional — and one cannot deny that wedges have the greatest capabilities for adding a touch of whimsy to any outfit, and are most often seen during the spring and summer months, optimal times for romances to blossom.

2.  The basic pump

The basic pump is unquestionably classical era.  Musically, it was a time of strict mathematics, unhampered by hyper-emotions.  Of course, it could be paired with great emotion, but in and of itself, it was a time of equilibrium and straightforward-ness — very much like the basic pump.  It can match any business suit, or be paired with a simple, romantic dress and still look good.

3.  Platforms

No, I am not talking about platform shoes of disco fame.  Nor are these shoes from the disco era, but more readily relate to the baroque era.  They are often excessively ornamented, but can also be relatively simple.  Such like a da capo aria.  It begins with the basic melody and verse, moves into a second, contrasting section, and then returns to the original melody, only this time, ornamented to the vocalist’s pleasure.  It often got very complicated, but nonetheless rather exciting — at least at the time.  I’ll be the first to admit I’m often bored to tears by baroque music.  But, it IS rather uppity, which is pretty much what the platform is all about, correct?

4. The basic flat

This shoe is undoubtedly from the renaissance era.  There was nothing too thrilling about it, and the instruments were rather basic.  This shoe just begs for lute accompaniment.

5.  These shoes

These shoes are, without mistake, early 20th century.  Still reminiscent of the romantic period, but trying to breathe a new life into things.  I’d say something like 12-tone music.  Rather unstable and alittle painful to listen to if you’re not used to it.  Of course, sometimes it’s entirely impossible to get used to it.  That’s where the next pair comes in:

6.  Stilletoes

This may look like the platform we mentioned earlier, however, if you look closely, you can almost feel the instability.  Of course, there is a little more stability than the “this shoe,” but still… if I were standing, I would probably fall over just looking at them.  This is why I would say they most closely correspond to basic 20th century, where things are become less stable, rhythms are being played with and manipulated, strange new elements are being delved into.  However, there is still an element of math in it– relating to the classical era, just as the basic pump has been modified to become this shoe.

7.  These other shoes

Yes, these are all shoes, including that green thing down there.  I’m thinking these are a 20th century form of music, perhaps from the 70’s.  Becoming almost unrecognizable in form, distorted to a point where they no longer resemble shoes, but a strange mass of “What the heck?”

And there you have it.  Shoes make a lot more sense to him now.

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NEED

I think I may be losing my mind.  I need summer to end.  Now.

I can’t stand to go to another message board or chat room.  I need to be around real people — And not to say that my family aren’t people.  I need to get out of the house.  Do something.  I can’t do that up here.

I’m going crazy!  I hate summer!!!!!

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Bless that Chiropractor

I recently took a trip to the chiropractor.  It was my first visit, so they did some routine check-up type things, including a zinc test.  I wasn’t too worried about this test, or so I thought.  This test works by me swishing some stuff around in my mouth for thirty seconds or until it starts getting a metallic flavor.  If I have enough zinc in my system, it should have started tasting metallic — but apparently, I had none, for as I swished and swished and the nurse kept looking up at me expectantly, and I was beginning to mentally yell at my taste buds to work — but alas, I failed.

So, I went on a quest to find out what zinc has to do with anything and how I can get more of it without having to take an easy-way-out multivitamin.  Quite frankly, I’d rather eat what I’m supposed to and not have to depend on pills to survive.  But anyway, turns out that I can blame my zinc defficiency on a lot of crap that I’ve been going through, such as this awful funk I was in last Tuesday or Wednesday, which was NOT aided by the fact that I am still jobless and beginning to resign myself to the fact that I will be sucked back to Dragon Hill for yet another summer of making only enough money to pay for books and some groceries for one semester.  According to Dr. Ben Kim, zinc is key in maintaining mental and emotional balance.

Perhaps my younger brother could use more zinc in his diet.

Anyway, you get zinc from beef, lima beans, eggs, and basically any other food that has protein, and on a ramen, mac n’ cheese, grilled cheese, peanut butter sandwich, and bananas diet, you don’t get much of any of this.  I got more of it my freshman year, which may also explain why I feel that my freshman year was so much more pleasant than this past year.

So, for now, I’m on a multivitamin and seeing a chiropractor for my bad back, but still doing laundry for my family and handing out wetnaps to anybody who might need one — I have a large stash of them in my over-sized purse right now. 

Nineteen is the new thirty-five, I suppose.

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Packing

I hate moving out. It’s a pain. Especially when you’re the last of your roommates to move out and you get to deal with all the stuff they didn’t want to pack or forgot. Pleh.

That is all.

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Streak-free Murder

11:30 at night in Syracuse, Utah, and I’ve just finished doing my nails and decide that I need some chapstick before I go to bed.  My bedroom is in the basement and I had left my purse upstairs, so I exit my room, glancing momentarily at the foot of the door across from me, my younger brother’s room, to make sure his light isn’t on and that he has gone to bed.  What I found was a terrifying monster of a spider (really only the size of  a quarter, but it was really scary at 11:30 at night) with fangs half the length of its legs, ready to creep into his room and kill my beloved younger brother!

I stood there and fretted for a few moments, trying to hear if either of my brothers were awake (there are three of us with doors right next to each other) but I could clearly hear my older brother snoozing away in his room — or rather, snoring [sorry Scott, even though the Breathright strips stop the snoring, you’re still a really loud sleeper], and I couldn’t hear gunshots from my younger brother’s room, which is a sure sign that he’s asleep because what else would he do in there besides play video games?  Anyway, I was fretting, making all sorts of squeamish “ooh’s” and “aah’s” but to no avail, the spider remained and even took a few motions in my general direction.

So, I leapt past the spider to the bathroom to see if I could find anything of use.  Toilet paper, cups, cologne… Nothing useful.  Of course, for anyone with courage, the toilet paper would have been enough, but I prefer a much less involved strategy.  So I cautiously exited the bathroom, made sure the spider was still there, and bounded up the stairs in search of something better.

I quickly opened up the cleaning supplies cupboard (after getting my chapstick, of course) to find nothing but furniture polish, clorox wipes, and… Windex.  Windex… According to many theologies, Windex can be used for just about anything, from washing windows to getting rid of zits… So why not killing monster spiders?  I grabbed the windex and made my way slowly downstairs, holding the Windex bottle in front of me protectively, searching the stairs and floor in front of me for the monster spider, which had plenty of time to make it to the stairs, I’m sure, and had possibly already ransacked my bedroom.  There!  By the unattended vacuum hose! (the vacuum had already been put away upstairs, otherwise this would have been done ages ago with the vacuum, but much too noisy)  The spider seemed to be seeking shelter from the light I had turned on in the hall, seeking refuge in the darkness of the vacuum hose attachment.  Little did the spider know it would soon be void of refuge, burning in house-spider HELL (with a streak -free shine).

I bounded up to the creature, aiming my weapon carefully, and BLAM!  I sprayed it right where it counts.  The spider tried to get away, bounding across to the other side of the circle created by the hose.  I leapt to the other side and continued spraying the thing, even as it attempted to climb over the hose — this was the creature’s last and most deadly mistake, as this gave me the angle I needed to send it falling on its back with one swift spray, unable to right itself before it was drowned in a torrent of streak-free bubbles.

So there the spider lay.  As each round of bubbles disapated, it was quickly replaced by more, for fear the the monster would revive and leap into my face with its fangs of death.  I squatted there in the hallway for what seemed like hours, with eyes only for the dying spider.  Once I was (mostly) positive that it was entirely immobilized, I put a cup over it (just in case) with a large, heavy combination lock on top, just in case the spider would have been able to lift a measly paper cup.

The dead spider prison is still there, and I really have no idea when someone will have the courage to lift the cup to make sure it’s dead.  I suppose we can give it a few more days.  Just to be sure.

Woodlouse Spider -- This is the spider I found in my basement.  Creepy little thing.  Click image for more on the Woodlouse spider.

Woodlouse Spider -- This is the spider I found in my basement. Creepy little thing. Click image for more on the Woodlouse spider.

Where it lies for the time being.  The note is to my brothers, informing them of my late-night heroism.

Where it lies for the time being. The note is to my brothers, informing them of my late-night heroism.

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