Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Happy Birthday to me!

Well, in only 6 minutes, it will be my 43rd birthday. What a year it has been. This time last year I was pregnant but didn't even know it yet. I found out on May 4th! It was a roller coaster pregnancy with spotting, gestational diabetes, low amniotic fluid and another early arrival but it all worked out so great

What am I doing for my birthday you ask? Well, I am getting all of my carpet and my couch cleaned. Yep, that's my birthday present to me and I can't wait!!! Used to be I wanted a massage, a pedicure, etc. Now, I want my carpet cleaned. Of course, I will also be getting a new camera lens, a tag for my medical alert bracelet, etc.

So, Happy Birthday to me! Maybe by this time next year, there will be a third and final addition to the family. The idea has been brought up again by the husband so we'll see!!!

Here is a new pic of me and my favorite gifts of all!

Monday, April 21, 2008

"The Business of Being Born"

We rented this documentary tonight and I wanted to give my opinions and impressions. I will start by saying these are my views and they in no way are meant to insult the views of others. Like anything, your life plays a huge role on your impression of things.

C was an emergency c-section. She had low fluid the final 3 weeks of my pregnancy. She failed many non stress tests but would barely pass the bio-physical profiles. When the fluid finally went too low, we induced. She had a very consistent heart rate in the 160's through my pregnancy. They started the induction and at 2 cm, and only about 3 hours into it, her heart rate was dropping into the 90's. We, with the dr, chose to go the c-section route. With J, I chose to do a repeat c-section. As I always say, we are the "1 in" couple. Less the .5% of the population suffer through as many miscarriage as we did. (know anyone else who had 8?) Our odds of having a child with Down syndrome were 1 in 300 based on my bloodwork. Well, we were the 1. When you say there is a "1 in" chance of uterine rupture or for that matter, ANY other risk, I won't take it. I have excellent physicians (high risk) who I trust like no other. I wholly trusted them 100% with my most precious blessings.

It was over 11 hours before I was able to hold C but that was because she was in the NICU and after hearing about the Down syndrome diagnosis, we didn't want to go to the nursery right away. I had to have some time to wrap my brain around what we had been told. With J, dh held her after about 3 minutes and I was able to hold her as soon as I was stitched up. I held her into the recovery room, I looked over every part of her, told her I loved her, I did what a mother does.

All in all, I thought the documentary was well done, but one comment did make it hard for me to view any of it with 100% credibility. Towards the end, one dr. (I wish I made note of his name) explained that endorphins are released at birth. These endorphins are what make you love your child. He said that when women have a c-section, they don't have those endorphines and they can't care for their child as well. WHAT??? I am an excellent mother and I love my daughters to the end of the world. With that thinking, a woman who adopts would have NO instinct to love their child and seeing my friend who adopted, that is as far from the truth as possible. I really believe that a mother is not born, she is created and that creation comes in many forms.

I think it all boils down to the same problem that lies in many, many areas of medicine. People need to be educated and given their options. I learned this first with C Did you know that 90% of parents with a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome terminate the pregnancy. I don't judge those people. Their life is not mine. I instead judge the drs. who give out dated information and in many, many cases, make a parent feel there is no choice. The ideal would be to educate the parents to be, give them the options and let them make an educated choice based on meeting with parents, getting updated information etc. I saw this movie the same way. No way of birth is right and perfect for every women but the choices need to be out there. They need to know what is available, meet with women who have been though the various forms, etc.

Most of all, I think women need to stop judging other women. I refuse to let anyone make me feel like my c-sections were the easy way out. That I missed the experience. I wanted to be pregnant, I wanted to have a healthy baby. I got both of those and the few hours in-between, for me, were just a small part of my dream and I am happy with the road I took and I would do it all over again.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


When C was born, as I have said before, her Down syndrome was a shock to say the least. When the time came for her baptism, fact is, I really didn't want to even do it. I was so angry at God if there even was a God. (still religiously challenged) We went through with it to keep the family peace.

When I worked for a photographer, a woman came in for portraits of her daughter in her christening dress. It was the most beautiful dress I had ever seen and I asked the mom about it. She said it had been made from her wedding dress. I just thought that was the greatest idea! I tucked it in the back of my mind.

When the time came for C's baptism, I wanted to do the same. My mother in law is a great seamstress. She asked me a good 10 times if I did indeed want her to hack up my wedding dress. There was never a hesitation. The one and only problem... my family.

We had a family dress that had been worn by all of the females for 3 generations. The gown was 100 years old that year. Well, to say the least, my mother was not overly pleased that I was bucking history. I tried to explain that I wanted this dress to have that special meaning to me... it was time for a new tradition.

I thought about doing pictures of C in the family dress just to have them to show my mom but fact is, and not sure exactally how to say this, I was just not into it. I felt like I was a hypocrite, I felt like C was not worth my extra effort. Yes, terrible, but fact is, that's how it was. I so wish I had done those pics now. Obviously, she was so worth dressing up and photographing in the dress. Of course, I can't go back in time but I did take some pics of J in the dress so I don't regret it twice.

Here are some pics that show the original wedding dress, C in the gown made from that and some of J in the family gown (and slip which I just LOVE more then the dress). Of course, you know I will be posting pics of J in her actual dress soon enough.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

What I have learned!

Well, I have been a grocery store cashier for a whole month now. I have been a grocery shopper for many, many years and have learned more in 1 month then over all of those years as a shopper.

From the other side of the register, let me give you some tips...

1. DO NOT GROCERY SHOP AT THE REGISTER. What does that mean? It means, if you know you have $60 and only $60, take a calculator to the store. Don't go to the register with what anyone can tell is $200 in groceries. You are deciding one item at a time what you do and don't want to buy and want a running total. Yes, I will take that, no, take that off. How much was that one? No, forget it. Wait, leave that and put this one away. Oh, I don't want that loaf of bread. It's squished. Don't know how that happened with my 2 cantalopes on top of it. That wastes the cashiers time and do you think ALL of those groceries walk their way back to the shelf? No, someone has to take the time to return all of that stuff. The store has to pay that person and you in turn pay the store to pay that person.

2. DO NOT STOWE THE THINGS YOU DON'T WANT IN THE MAGAZINE RACK AT THE REGISTER. Yes, I did say to not shop in line but better to shop then to abandon that yogurt container that is found after who knows how long. Guess what, in the case of a perishable, we have to throw that out. That again means, food is wasted and guess who pays for that. Yep, you.

3. PAPER OR PLASTIC? Seriously, if you want to be green, there is only one way to do it. Invest in canvas bags that can be used over and over. Plastic bags last thousands of years. Paper bags use paper which comes from trees and the process of making the paper and then the bags, release by products into the environment which also lasts thousands of years. From the cashier stand point, plastic is WAY easier. Since the environment suffers either way, pick the plastic. Your cashier and bagger will secretly thank you. Then go out and buy those canvas bags. Yes, canvas is harder to bag like the paper, but at least when we are doing it, we know it really is for a good cause. Check around the house. Bet you can find at least 3 canvas bags counting those free ones that came with magazines, clubs you joined, even a beach bag not being used.

4. THE WORST OFFENSE? CAN YOU GUESS... I bet you can. HANG UP YOUR CELL PHONE! Seriously, is your conversation so important that you can't hang up and call back while you are checking out? Fine, talk as you walk through the store (although if you have on one of those ear things... you just look like a dork talking to yourself) but when you get to the register, when you are in a face to face with another person, HANG UP THE PHONE!!! In the month I have been there, and the couple hundred, and yes, I mean couple of hundred, people who have been on the phone while checking out, only 2 have apologized. One had just been robbed that day so she was talking to her insurance agent and the other had been trying to reach his elderly dad all day and was getting worried and he finally got through. Dad just wanted to chat so the man, red faced, apologized.

So, there you have it. My observations from my side of the conveyor belt!