The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

So I’m adjusting to life with two kiddos.  Today I thought we’d venture out with daddy to the grocery store. I got Stormy ready and then went to get myself ready. I grabbed a dress and pair of leggings from on top of a basket of clean laundry. I put the leggings on, which felt cold and then prepared to put on the dress. That’s when I got a whiff of it…cat urine. I feel like there’s a distinct “cat urine” smell, it’s kind of like chewing gum with pineapple flavoring…not the taste, I’ve never tasted it because I don’t like gum and because it smells like cat urine to me. Anywho, I threw the dress into the dirty laundry and then realized the awful truth about the leggings, they weren’t cold, they were wet. As I had just added both items to the top of clean laundry (yeah, yeah, I’m behind on putting it away) I know the urination happened during the night. A night where the baby kept me up for hours and the cat consistently tried to smother me in my sleep. 

I peeled off the leggings and washed my legs. Then I had to find something else comfortable enough to wear. I finally got dressed and then grabbed Gertie to put her in her car seat. Right before I put her in the seat she spit up, lots of it, all over both of us. So back to the bedroom we went. I changed her and then changed myself (after finding something else I’d feel comfortable in – the postpartum belly is worse than anything).  Oh yeah, during all of this I’m trying to keep the cat in the office because he is officially banned from the rest of the house but Chewy was in there for something and so he kept escaping. It was a mad house here.  But we made it – for the grocery shopping done and the laundry but my goodness, I guess this is just a taste of what’s to come. 

D-Day

So – Baby Girl is here!

And for those who care – here is the birth story in a nutshell.

We scheduled an induction on her due date because I’m selfish and was tired to being pregnant…I started my day at 4:30 Thursday morning, after hitting the snooze button several times and also after several aniexty dreams – one which involved going to check on my son at grandma’s house to discover that she woke him up two hours after he fell asleep because she practices the Susan B Anthony method. Don’t research that, it’s not real.  But in dreamland we both knew what it meant and I got upset and raised my voice at her, telling her that the Susan B. Anthony method was outdated and she needed to get with the times. Apparently my son’s sleep is very important to me and I would even snap at my mother-in-law to protect it.

I realized as soon as I woke up how ridiculous that was. Anyway, Chewy and I got to the hospital at 5:45.  My doctor said he would break my water and things would progress “quickly” from there. I’m not sure what “quickly” actually means. To me it means there’s no time for anything else after that! Urgent, urgent, urgent! You know – like in TV shows where the woman all of a sudden says, “it’s time!” and they’re zipping through the streets trying to get to the hospital before the baby decides to enter the world.  That’s quick – in the real world I think those experiences are extremely rare (my sister has had one so I can’t completely eliminate them as probable).

Anywho – over here, let’s finish the story.  So I’m prepped and ready to go when the doctor gets there sometime between 7 and 8 to break the waters.  I won’t go in to detail but that was quite possibly more painful than delivery (I refer to Stormy’s delivery since my epidural had worn off).  The worst part, he wasn’t able to do it because my body hates me and likes to cause emotional damage as often as possible.  He decided to wait until I’d had my epidural.  But reassured me that once the water broke it would go quickly.

So they started me on pitocin and then we waited.  My contractions gradually grew but nothing I couldn’t handle.  It was only after Chewy fell asleep and my mom started to do stuff for work that they got worse.  I didn’t want to bother anyone so I just grit my teeth and squeezed the handle of the hospital bed.  A nurse came in and asked how I was doing and kind of answered for me – it was like, “how ya doing? Everything good?” and so I nodded my head in agreement.  I don’t think clearly sometimes.  Anyway, before the nurse returned the next time my mom had noticed, Chewy sat up and did his hand holding job and when the nurse came back we upgraded my pain level from a three to a five and I told her I wanted the epidural.  When she left to get that set up my mom said, “you say 5 but your face said 7″…as if I really understand these pain numbers anyway.

I got the epidural, which hurt but after it started to take effect everything and everyone was absolutely agreeable.  I noticed I could still kind of move after my epidural, which I couldn’t move at all the last time I had gotten one.  The doctor returned to break the water, I tensed at the memory of the first arrempt but this time I didn’t feel anything, he said I was dilated to an 8 and then said, “things should move quickly now” and I said, “you’re done?!” So like that – my water was broken. 

It was within an hour that I was ready to push, in fact I wasn’t too sure the baby would wait for me to push, I could actually feel the pressure of her getting ready. I got nervous about that because for some reason a baby slipping out on their own freaks me out and I never want to see or hear of that actually happening.

The doctor came back not a moment too soon, they got me ready to push and then I remembered the instructions from the first time I gave birth and tried to push.  I couldn’t feel a thing though so I wasn’t sure it was even working.  With Stormy it had hurt so much, but I could tell I was doing my part.  With Gertie (that’s her fetal name) I “pushed” and then looked at the doctor as if to ask, “did it work?” then he’d tell me to push again, once more…and wallah! I had a daughter.  I didn’t feel a thing, I pushed maybe three times in 7 minutes and there was a baby (Stormy was an hour of pushing). Born at 5:59 pm – which made my mom the winner of the bet that she, Chewy and I had over what time she’d be born.

Then the doctor lifted up this nasty little thing, covered in white something or other which came from inside of me…I just stared at it wondering what he wanted me to do about.  Did he expect me to touch it?  For reference – with Stormy, he was taken right away because he had already passed his first bowel movement so they had to check him and they went ahead and cleaned and weighed him before I had skin to skin time with him.  So this was new for me.  And it was gross.  The nurse grabbed Gertie and laid her on my chest and it was no longer gross.  …until that is, she peed on me…not once, not twice, but three times (at least I hope it was pee).

Gertie and I were able to stay skin to skin for quite some time as they finished everything with me (you know, stitching, pushing, poking, prodding).  We were taken to our room around 8:30-9 pm with our sticky baby and were told all about our paperwork as if we hadn’t been up since 4:30 in the morning and just gone through a physically exhausting experience.  They took Gertie away to clean her, then brought her back for some nursing.  It was almost midnight before they came to take her back to the nursery and I was finally able to get a few hours sleep.  With that long winded story (sorry, I know I promised a nutshell but I’m a wordy person) – here is the first picture of “Gertie” (they cleaned her face up while I held her). 

 

 

Stop It

A few recent events have got me thinking about how we treat each other, most especially the strangers we come near to, but don’t interact with and the internet we use to show our ugly side.

Last week my sister was in her car, at a stop light, when she looked over to find the passenger of the other car taking a picture of her with their phone. The passenger quickly retreated back in the seat when they made eye contact with my sister. This upset her. Why had that person taken a picture of a stranger? What would they do with it? You have to wonder that nowadays, will that picture now be a meme, meant as funny and possibly could be but at the expense of someone else? Or could it have been innocent enough – the individual taking the picture liked my sister’s haircut and wanted to do the same with their hair? Who knows – we never will.

The other incident was a post on Facebook. A friend had recorded, what I presumed was a stranger, dancing at a church event he was attending. If you know me, you know I appreciate those who can dance as though no one is watching, even though they are in the middle of a crowded room. I commented on the post to show my appreciation. The comments that followed however did not seem to be as positive, but not mean. Then a particularly mean spirited comment was posted, one that went on to attack the boy dancing, despite him being a stranger to the person who posted. The comment after that was from a friend of the boy dancing, who then tagged him in the video.  I noticed not long afterwards that the mean spirited comment had been deleted and more of the boy’s friends were positively commenting on the video. I checked back before posting this entry and there are so many positive comments and my friend explained that he had shown the video to the guy before posting it, and that they got along really well.  But the thing I am focused on is that one ugly, deleted comment.  

Because my point here folks, is that who we are and how we treat each other is, “never checked at the door” as Elder Holland would say.  I’m not here to preach how perfect I am and how imperfect the rest of the world is – I am just as guilty. I’ve been to thepeopleofwalmart.com; laughed at awkwardfamilyphotos; I make judgments on people who don’t follow the rules of common decency and walk on the correct side of the aisle at the store; I’ve poked fun at the pictures or videos of strangers doing strange things. But that’s beside the point, I shouldn’t do those things, none of us should. And with the internet it seems all too easy to put someone down.

Before the boy was tagged in the video it was easy for someone to post mean things, even though it was not anonymous like most websites where people troll. But the moment the boy received an identity, those commenting with identities (and profiles to display much more about them than just their names) retreated. Why is it that when we or the person we are commenting on lacks an identity we find it so much easier to be cruel?

We should strive to be kind always, otherwise how can we consider ourselves kind? I’m not saying we don’t slip, we lose patience from time to time, someone hurts us and our instinct is to fight back, with things like that we strive to be better after each failure (or at least we should), we apologize as best we can to the person we were ugly to. But what about what we post on social media? What we say about that stranger on YouTube who posted a video or had a video posted about them?  It’s almost worse online because we type our means thoughts. We type them and then we have one more chance to take them back, to erase them from ever being written but many times we hit SEND without a second thought. We hide behind a computer or phone screen and make snap judgments on a person we know nothing about.

I work with the youth at church, so this isn’t something new I’m thinking about – it’s just that recently I’ve seen (maybe realized) adults act the same as teenagers with cyber bullying.  One quote shared with the youth more than once in the past few years is from President Dieter F. Uchdorft from a conference talk a few years ago:

This topic of judging others could actually be taught in a two-word sermon. When it comes to hating, gossiping, ignoring, ridiculing, holding grudges, or wanting to cause harm, please apply the following:

Stop it!

It’s that simple. We simply have to stop judging others and replace judgmental thoughts and feelings with a heart full of love for God and His children. God is our Father. We are His children. We are all brothers and sisters. I don’t know exactly how to articulate this point of not judging others with sufficient eloquence, passion, and persuasion to make it stick. I can quote scripture, I can try to expound doctrine, and I will even quote a bumper sticker I recently saw. It was attached to the back of a car whose driver appeared to be a little rough around the edges, but the words on the sticker taught an insightful lesson. It read, “Don’t judge me because I sin differently than you.”

Might I suggest that we can change “sin” on that bumper sticker to anything: dance, dress, speak, look, think, etc.

I know I want to be better about how I treat people, those I know and love (and those I know and don’t love so much) but especially strangers.  I think we can learn a lot about ourselves by the way we treat those we do not know and do not have to look in the face while or after we have said things about them.  Be kind when you’re out and about (and if you see my sister, don’t take a picture.  She really didn’t like that), be kind when you’re on Facebook, snapchat, and other social media, be kind at home, work, school, even Wal-Mart.  And strive to be the kind of person people can trust when their back is turned to you.

And because I love Elder Holland so much and feel that one quote in a blog post isn’t enough – here’s one more.

HOLLAND

Googleimages – https://www.pinterest.com/pin/66498531971387763/

One is the loneliest number 

There are 11 days until baby number two is due. Am I ready? Who knows.

I’m a little nervous about having two kids. The one is a ton of work and as I recall he used to be a lot of work but in a different way….which means I’ll have two different types of “ton of work”.  It’s a daunting thought. 

And if it’s possible, which it is, I’m more nervous about labor with this one. Everything was so easy with the first one. I was scheduled to be induced so I had a date and then he came the day before, which was fine because I was already ready to go.  Chewy hadn’t left for work yet when the things I had read to look for to indicate the start of labor started happening.  I’m trying to be realistic that things won’t be exactly the same this time. Which I guess is what makes me nervous. 

That and now there’s more to take care of. We know who will be watching Stormy, but we have to work out how to get him to that person and we have to have an overnight bag ready. The worst part – What if labor starts in the middle of the night?! That’s the worst thing to me. I hate to bother people and we’d have to bother everyone in the middle of the night. I just want this baby to come during business hours like her older brother did. And it’d be nice if she came sooner rather than later, she killing me. 

So – that’s my update after a long absence. More to come soon. 

The Poocalypse

This past Sunday my husband left early for a meeting at church. Stormy and I were playing in the living room when a noxious smell permeated the room. It doesn’t take a special degree to assess where the smell originated from. I took Stormy to change his diaper. Got him set up on the table and prepared for why I thought would be a routine diaper change. 

I was unprepared for what I saw. It was super Ezra creamy and stuck to his bum like peanut butter to the roof of your mouth.

That wasn’t the worst of it though. Stormy’s little chunky hands first went for the diaper-I had to move it to the side with superhero speed.  He didn’t seem to mind or care as his hands, in one fluid motion, changed direction to his bare, feces covered bum. His right hand struck the massive poo, sticking to his fingers like molasses.  With one hand still holding his legs to reduce fecal damage to the changing mat, I tried to wipe his fingers but he yanked them away, getting poo on his other hand. Then he reached for me with his tainted fingers. I jumped away from my child as though he’d turned zombie, however I still managed to hold on to his legs.  Knowing my backup for diaper changes was miles away and unable to help, I cried for mercy, “please! I’m all alone!” 

I gave up on saving the changing pad, that could be washed. I cleaned up his fingers as much as he would allow and then focused on the source of the poo. It took hundreds of wipes. 

I finally got the bum under control, then the fingers again before taking him to the bathroom to scrub him down. I removed the changing pad cover and replaced it with a clean one and then scrubbed my own hands several times more. Yet- the smell of poo haunted me the rest of the day. 

It may be time to consider potty training. 

Be Kind

If you know me, you know I love all things Elder Holland. So it shouldn’t surprise you to learn that this morning I was re-listening to a Holland talk from General Conference. I’ll be giving the spiritual thought on Sunday as well as tomorrow night at my presidency meeting so I was trying to think of a good quote to share. Then I remembered a line from “Laborers in the Vineyard”, “be kind and be grateful that God is kind.” 

So I listened to the talk to see if there was a longer quote to share but also just to refresh my memory because sometimes I remember quotes ALMOST right and reread to find I missed a word or two or the context. I thought this would be a good quote to share for a spiritual thought because Thursday night for our activity we are doing something about bullying. An activity to show how much we have in common and the different things and experiences people have. We’re basically just going through a link I’ll post later. 

Anyway. Listening to the talk reminded me of a time in my life when I was mad because someone else was getting blessings when I believed they should have been feeling the wrath of God. I learned a lot during this time about perceived hurts, forgiveness, and being kind. 

I think at the time I was so hurt that I didn’t think about how the Atonement applies to other people. I was very selfish, and I know this because I felt that if God loved me he should avenge me – without thinking and acknowledging that we are all God’s children.  If God should punish this other person for what they had done to me, what made me think I deserved mercy for things I had done to other people?  This is all in retrospect of course-in real time it took me months to get over the hurt and pain and to live my life without it being tainted by a desire to rip this other person’s eyes out. 

The Lord IS kind. There are many things I don’t deserve forgiveness for, yet he forgives me if I ask. He even forgives me for the months I wasted hating another person, being jealous that they seemed to be getting all they wanted while I was left hurting and alone.  So when Elder Holland says, “be kind” I feel like it’s more than just “smile at strangers”, but rather it’s be forgiving, be merciful, be understanding, be selfless. Learn to love as the Savior does. That’s a big order for a mortal person but I feel secure that the Lord will see you trying and he will bless you for your efforts. 

If you are struggling to forgive someone for something they’ve done to you, perceived or real, I suggest you read Eder Holland’s talk.  Carrying around grudges is exhausting and it does more damage to you than anyone else-I don’t say this because others have, I say this from experience. I know the weight of the burden and I don’t think I’ll ever forget the miracle of feeling that burden finally lifted. Choose kindness, choose love and you will have more of it in your life. 

I’ll leave you with two paragraphs from that talk that made a big difference in my life. 

“I do not know who in this vast audience today may need to hear the message of forgiveness inherent in this parable, but however late you think you are, however many chances you think you have missed, however many mistakes you feel you have made or talents you think you don’t have, or however far from home and family and God you feel you have traveled, I testify that you have not traveled beyond the reach of divine love. It is not possible for you to sink lower than the infinite light of Christ’s Atonement shines.

Whether you are not yet of our faith or were with us once and have not remained, there is nothing in either case that you have done that cannot be undone. There is no problem which you cannot overcome. There is no dream that in the unfolding of time and eternity cannot yet be realized. Even if you feel you are the lost and last laborer of the eleventh hour, the Lord of the vineyard still stands beckoning. “Come boldly [to] the throne of grace,” and fall at the feet of the Holy One of Israel. Come and feast “without money and without price” at the table of the Lord.”