My Family

My Family
-Cozumel 2014

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Mexico Trip ~~ part 1

 
I was on hands and knees in my bathroom floor scrubbing it with some strange adrinaline rush. I could not stop! I was doing it with gusto and drive! I wish I could always have that kind of drive while house cleaning.
"Andrea" Nubun peeked in the bathroom holding a crying Coco. "Enough cleaning now it is time to go."
I stared at him for just a second. Wow. Could he repeat that? He loves a clean house and I never thought the day exsisted that he would declare enough cleaning! He must be excited too!
I ran out and started my last minute packing, sippy cup? Check. Video camera? Check. Shoes? Gotta get shoes. My head was pounding, but not in pain, it was in glorious anticipation! The last time I was this excited I got married the next day.
It was dark and we all piled into our SUV and headed to DFW airport. We almost got there too late thanks to the parking place for our car, but it was not a close enough call to kill my joy. We all piled out of our car and got ready to get into the shuttle headed to the airport.
We put Evie and Jasmine's cute little pink back packs on them and rushed off. There was a sweet little voice behind us.
"Daddy! Hold me!" And that was what Jasmine did for the rest of the trip. When we put her down to walk on her own she froze in panic.
Walking into that plane was very exciting! It was the first time in 4 years and the first time for two of our little ones, to even ride one. My heart was beating out of my chest, for we were going to my home town, the place that stole a giant piece of my heart so many years ago, and never gave it back.
It was not long before I was sound asleep with Colleen and Nubun was cuddling with our other two little girls. After all it was midnight. They woke us up once to fill out paper work, then when we arrived they told us that Oooops that was the wrong paper work so we had to fill it out again. We were the very last ones off the plane, since Nubun had to fill out 5 different ones for each of us.
We stepped off that plane and a gush of pretty cold air hit my cheek. I was wearing Colleen and holding the hands of Evie and Jasmine. I breathed in deeply, trying to calm myself so I could concentrate. We walked into the Toluca airport, which to me resembled an over grown mechanic shop with marble floors.
I loved it.
Then Nubun ran back to the plane, to get his camera he forgot.
We showed our passports when we left the plane, when we went through the check point thingy, when we picked up our luggage and even when we exchanged our American dollars to Mexican pesos. They required our passport to exchange $50! They even took pictures of our passports! Really? I still shake my head with the oddness of that.
We walked out and tagged down an airport taxi. The driver told me how much it was and helped me with our luggage and we started walking towards the taxi cab. I turned around to see Nubun still standing there. Oops! I forgot to translate.
We arrived at the hotel around 3am, it was a beautiful hotel!
Night time

 In the morning
   The gardens were amazing even in the dark. It took them about an hour to check us in because we were prepaid with a voucher thingy they were not familiar with.
  We were tired, all the girls were tired but Nubun and I kept sneaking glances at each other and smiling. We were on vacation! He didn't have to wake up and go to work the next day and I didnt have to wake up and cook and clean! Who needs sleep in paradise anyway?
Ok. So some people do need sleep even in vacation bliss.
 

  We got everybody to sleep around 4:30 and 4 and a half hours later we were eating the most amazing breakfast in the Hotel resturant. The waiters were quite helpful, they stood around and watched you like a hawk in alert for any need. Nubun took off his jacket and our waiter was there in a flash taking it from him and putting it on a dainty little silver coat hanger that came out of nowhere.
  I ate, and ate and ate some more, love buffets!
 
  We walked around the mall for a couple of hours and watched this 4D ride thing, where they forgot to give us our 3D glasses. Um. yeah.
  Back at the hotel, we packed our stuff and headed on over to the bus station. I went from line to line asking around where and when the bus to Cuernavaca was. Ah! I found one.
 "It leaves in 15 minutes."
Perfect! How long is the ride to Cuernavaca?
 "An hour and a half."
No restrooms? For an hour and a half? I would just have to tough it out.
  I did my last minute bathroom stop. What a high security place! I had to go through these steel bars, after paying my 4 peso fee, then going through a little 8 year old security boy.
  "Did you pay your fee?"
  "Yes. That is why I am in here. The bars do not move until you put 4 pesos in it."
  "You did not pay. Go back and pay."
  "I did too pay!" I argued with him.
  "No you didn't. It is the 4 pesos."
  My bus was leaving in less than 5 minutes and I was stuck argueing with a kid. He never did believe me so I just scooted pass him, pass another set of steel bars and and went along my merry old way.
   We piled into the bus, all 5 of us. It wasn't a very impressive bus, and I was starting to understand what 'de segunda' meant. Second class.
   Thirty minutes later we were still in Toluca, sitting in stinky traffic. No airconditioner so half the windows were open. The air comming in was nice and freshly baked car fumes. Ugh! I didn't know what was worse, smelling those traffic fumes or not breathing at all.
  The smell wasn't bad enough as it was so somebody in this lovely bus popped out some finger nail polish and started painting their toes. My nose was pretty offened that day.
  An hour passed by and they stopped at a little town on the way and picked up some travlers along the way. I stopped one and asked how far away was Cuernavaca. My bladder was taking a nasty punishment, poor thang.
  "About an hour and a half."
What!! I screamed in my head!  It has already been an hour and a half of driving!
  So about an hour and 2 more hick towns later I asked another pasenger how far away Cuernavaca was.
   "An hour and a half."
  Do what? huh! What!? No bathrooms, no bathroom stops!? Anybody that knows me well, knows how much of a misery I was in at that time. It could have been worse, I mean we had no problem with the girls, whatsoever. Evie and Jasmine just played with their iPads and Coco just slept the whole way, and the scenery was top knotch! Stunning beautiful! (So Nubun told me, I was seeing yellow).


  We arrived at the bus station, 4 hours later, I pratically floated through all steel bars and little boys. I was never so happy to see a toilet bowl, even without a seat or water.
   We were planning on taking the next bus to Chilpancingo but it didn't leave till 10pm so instead we decided to spend the night there in Cuernavaca.
  We were blessed that there was a tacos al pastor stand in front of our hotel so we boought 20, ambitious appetites we had there!

  The next day we were homeward bound! Chilpancingo here we come!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Mexico trip --The Preview

  Mexico trip the preview.

  As we were driving away down the bumpy old road I stuck my head out the window and struggled to see Mom for the last time from the second story balcony. There she was, in pink sponge curlers and red eyes. She was hiding behind the curtains watching us leave.  We turned the corner and I could no longer see her. I sat back in my seat and cried. How could I leave my Mom? It was just a few short years ago I told her that I would NEVER leave her and that if I ever got married I'd bring my husband to live with her too.  And now, It was 1999 and I was 19 years old and on my way to a new life in the States. 1,500 miles away from my Mom. 
   As I stood in my Moms room 13 years later, with my husband and 3 little girls of my own, I remembered that sad time in my life, but there were no tears rolling down my cheeks this time around only a sparkle in my eyes and a smile from ear to ear, for this was a time of reunion and not of farewells. I could hear my Mom coming up the steps and Nubun and I giggled in quiet anticipation, for I was the one hiding in the shadows this time!
   It was the week before my Mom turned 70 years old and we flew down to Toluca, Mexico to catch a bus, then a taxi to Chilpancingo to surprise Mom for her birthday 'week'. So when we got to her house she was gone on church visitation. We waited around 5 hours for her to get back and when my sister in law Apo heard her car coming down the bumpy old dirt hill she rushed us upstairs where we hurried to my Mom's room. We couldn't wait till she came through that door and saw us! 
   All the windows were open and a cool breeze came through the curtains and past my nose, I breathed in deeply, the smell of eucalyptus and mountain air filled my being. I loved the smell there! 
  Nubun and I were so excited we couldn't make up our mind what funny position we wanted to be in when Mom came through that door so we kept on changing positions. We ended up just bouncing up and down right in front of the door in childish glee! 
    Finally they were in front of us with just a door between, we could see their shadow under the frame  and could hear their muffled footsteps stop as Sarah turned the doorknob and opened the door. 
   Mom was right behind her, when they looked up there we were! 
   Time stood still. For just a second, long enough to take a photographic memory of this moment. 
  If I was wishing for drama and excitement then I wished well, and my dream came true! Sarah screamed and Mom bellowed then there was an array of hugs and kisses and laughter that followed! Oh I love surprises! I mean who doesn't love surprises?
   We had a wonderful time the next few hours, we sat around and talked with Mom and Nathan and Apo, then all of us but Apo and Weldon piled into Nathan's Trail Blazer and we went into Chilpancingo to get our necks pulled by an Alphabiotic Dr, sorta like a chiropractic adjustment. We were so happy to be together we laughed and giggled through the whole process, Nathan and I got one and to our amazement even Nubun and Mom decided to get their neck yanked too! You never heard so many bones pop at one time! Wow! How delicious that felt! And then when we were done we all piled back into the car and talked about how great our spine felt. Mom suggested us stopping by the new WalMart to check out the new place.
  "No!" all three of us answered -almost in unison. Then Nathan, Nubun and I kept on secretly swapping grins and knowing winks, for that was not all the excitement that was going on at the Patterson household that evening. We needed to be home for the rest of the commotion! 
  When darkness came once again our excitement started building up and we prepared ourselves for another surprise.  .....or two.
   Russell, Mae, Shanda and Paul drove up and snuck inside the house. Nathan and Apo quietly greeted them and Nubun and I hid in my old bedroom. We could hear their quiet footsteps go up the steps and open Moms door. Once more the drama queen inside of me relished the gleeful commotion going on one one room away. We waited a minute or two, for Russell and Mae didn't know we were there either! Then we went upstairs to announce our presence.
   After a full day of surprises and love going around we settled down and just enjoyed and relished each others company, I sipped on a hot cup of lemon grass tea and chatted with my Mom.
   So I did go off and get married, but I completed my promise of bringing my husband back to live at home with Mom, even if it was just for a week.
I smiled over my cup,  I could hear the wind rustling in the trees, and enjoyed the smell of my lemony tea. I liked to hear Mom's voice and see her smile as we exchanged exciting stories of the days gone by. I wanted to freeze that moment forever, because it was, well.... It was just, simply, wonderfully, and unforgettably,  perfect. 
 
  
  
   

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

WHERE'S MY COFFEE!?!?


     Where's My Coffee?!!?



   Last night after we did our nightly routine of reading books, singing and praying I headed off to my bed with the baby in my arms. 
   Evie stops us and starts begging me to let Colleen sleep with her.
"I want Colleen to sleep with me! Please! I won't wake her up I promise! Please let Colleen sleep with me." I look over at Nubun then shrugged my shoulders. 
"Ok" I said. 
    So I did, but OF COURSE Mama comes with the package. I made pallets all over our living room floor and we all bunked down. (my queen size bed just ain't big enough!) 
  After an hour I look at the clock and sigh, all 3 girls were zonked out, but  I am wide awake, uncomfortable, spoiled to my Tempurpedic. I twist and turn, stuffing pillows here and there, trying to get comfortable. Nothing helped so I ignored the nagging guilt feeling I had in my throat and I sneak Coco and myself to my bed and immediately fall sweetly to sleep.
   About an hour later somebody comes bursting through the door, crying with a broken heart that we left them, alone, on the living room floor?
  I was nursing Colleen so Nubun gets up and and picks her up and lays her down on his side of the bed and he goes to sleep with the other one in the living room. 
  I thought it was Evie so I fell back to sleep only to be awaken with both girls in my bed wailing! 
  I look over and and Colleen had a foot in her face! 
  Then I squinted my eyes and that's when I notice it was Jasmine not Evie! Oh no! Jasmine is dangerous to sleep with! She's like a propeller! Going around and around all night long, that's just how she sleeps, well on one of her 'rounds' one of her feet land on the baby!  
  I scoop my 10 month old up in my arms and nurse her back to sleep and I love on Jasmine by playing with her hair and wiping the tears off her cheek. They both fell back to sleep and I quickly take Jasmine back to the pallet in the living room. Then I crawl back in my comfy warm bed, Coco had scooted herself towards my side looking for me so I had about 6 inches of space left to sleep with. I lay on my side, halfway hanging over the side of the bed, in the air. 
    I close my eyes. 
    An hour (or so) later I suddenly wake up and as I open my eyes I see Evie standing there, looking at me.
  "Mommy." she whispered "why did you come in here?"
 So I get up and put her in bed with me. At least she stays still while she sleeps. A few hours later Jasmine is back because I feel the bed move and I see a little bottom sticking up in the air at the foot of the bed.  So I get up and walk over to her and lean down close to her face to see if she was sleeping, she was so I left her alone and while stretching my mouth in the biggest yawn I walk  to the kitchen to get a drink of water and as I pass the living room floor I see a lonely dark figure sleeping across all 4 pallets. 
  I cover up my sweet husband and kiss his whisker-y cheek. 
    Whoever doubts that life with a quiver full of little kids isn't a daily adventure obviously needs to hang around my house for a couple of days, we RULE when it comes to adventure and drama!   (mainly drama of course ha)
  Excuse me now while I go drink my strawberry juice with a double dose of vitamin B, and a large cup of hot coffee, I hear somebody waking up now and I wonder what new adventures awaits us today? 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Why Christians Should Never say the phrase: "Jesus Juke"

"  ...and thou shalt call his name JESUS: ..." Matthew 1:21b  The sweetest name I've ever known.
  The first time I heard the phrase is when I read it in a blog. I read it and re-read it in case I misunderstood the first time. Then I squirmed in my chair and got uncomfortable and it is because the Holy Spirit within me was telling me that something was wrong, and I knew exactly what it was.
  This phrase is popping up in the Internet world. And the gut wrenching sadness of it all is a supposedly Christian started it and it's the 'Christians' who are using it. This phrase can be said different ways.  (if you haven't heard of it yet you probably will soon)
I'll post a few.
  "I just Jesus juked you!" "So and so Jesus juked me." "You've been Jesus juked!". "That's what I call a Jesus juke."
  "But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment." Matthew 12:36
  Even more so when that 'idle word' was HIS NAME!
  If we act like the name of Jesus Christ is fair game to joke around with--use in jest, or as a light hearted nick-named title rather than the name that should cause every knee to bend then we are desensitizing our Christian hearts.

  Essentially we are making the 'Christian' name look like a joke and we are discrediting the true salt of the earth -old fashioned, kind of Christian men and women who really do relate most everything in life with Jesus and for the furtherance of the Gospel.
  How can we lower our standards as a Christian community so much that we take the name of God in vain and beyond only being in vain, but as a way to leave Him out of a conversation by using His own name?
Let me explain.
  "Don't Jesus juke me!"
Most of us have heard it-- some  have even used that phrase. (not me!)
You are really saying Don't bring HIM into this conversation. He has nothing to do with it. 
  When we as Christians should actually talk and walk as if Jesus really was in our conversation and presence at all times, and as if He really did have something to do with every step we take in our lives, every thought that crosses our mind and every conversation that comes out of our mouth.
  God created you. Loved you. Died for you. He deserves more respect than careless mentions.
  Some may argue that the name of God is Jehovah, not Jesus, (bad argument) but what matters is WHO we are talking about. We can gossip about someone, talk bad about a friend without even mentioning their name. If who we are talking about is God then it doesn't matter which one of His titles we use we are still talking about the same One.
  "That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;"
    Philippians 2:9
I truly believe that we are going to be held accountable for every single time we have said the name of God in our life, whether it be in vain, in jest, as a curse word, or in respect and honor and reverence.
If we can say or write the name of Jesus and not do it in respect and in fear then we need to search our hearts. Something is wrong. Have we already been given over to a reprobate mind? Have we gone so far that God has let our hearts grow cold to where we do not see the wrong in it?  If we can reference Him, and use His name so carelessly do we even  take God seriously?
  When you say the name of God. Talk about Him. Write about Him. Sing about Him. Think about Him--- do it only in respect and reverence. Never carelessly, in vain or light hearted. there are no excuses, explanations,  exceptions, or exemptions  it IS and ALWAYS will be wrong.
"Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain."
Exodus 20:7




  

Monday, July 16, 2012

Jasmine Joy Sangjun BIRTH.

Warning: there is some (what some would consider) slight grafic medical terms.

My Precious little Jasmine Joy's birth story.

    "Please" I said "I don't want a C-section" I begged with true tears stinging my eyes. 
"You are 38 weeks, your baby is transverse. It is too dangerous if you go into labor with a transverse baby."
     I looked down at my huge belly, it was square and moving. "What if she changes positions?"
My Doctor shook her head. "she is a big baby and is running out of room to move."   
"I don't want a c-section."
  "You want a live baby don't you."
 I cried freely as I nodded my head.
 She took pity on me. "We will give her till after Thanksgiving to turn, if not then I will have to section you."   

      I went home and the next few days I spent more time crying than not. I tried to talk to many people yet  nobody seemed to understand me. 'people have c-sections all the time its not the end of the world' so I heard time and again.    
    Well, it was a big deal to me, I didn't consider major abdominal surgery the equivalent of an in grown toe nail removal. I didn't want scar tissue 2 inches deep, from my stretched marked skin to my bladder.  I wanted a live baby, and I didn't know any better but to wallow in fear and dread.
    Was there someone, somewhere who understood my fear of being cut open? Was there someone somewhere who could understand that I wasn't being selfish and thinking only of myself but that  I was just genuinely terrified of surgery?
     I talked to my brother who is a pastor missionary in Mexico, who encouraged me to substitute my complaints and fears for time in prayer. And so I did. God gave me strength to confront my fears, but I never did have total peace about it. 
    The morning I was suppose to go in for my last sonogram at the doctors office I drew my bath and lay  in the warm soothing water with my 19 month old with me. I prayed silently while she splashed  in the water, and I jumped when my phone started ringing. I reached over and picked it up. It was my doctor.
      "Have you eaten anything yet? Good, don't eat and don't drink anything because I am going to have to do surgery on you."
 "yes ma'am" I said my voice sounding hollow and dry, I imagined I sounded like a woman on death row without hope. 
  I quickly finished my bath and got myself ready as Nubun dressed Evie.
  I couldn't stop crying.
 I had so many emotions flying around in my head I couldn't calm down to settle on one, I had no peace about it all. I should have just trusted in the Lord, but I knew something was wrong and was ignorant on what it was.
     I thought doctors knew it all and should be trusted.
    C-sections are not that rare, what was the big deal? I kept asking myself. I felt guilty about not being excited that I was to meet my new healthy baby soon.  I cared for the well being of my baby. Yet I was terrified to be cut open where my innards would be exposed to the open air. I was terrified of the pain I'd have to go through afterwards while taking care of a newborn and a toddler. I was terrified of the cold, metal table I'd be laid on in that  sterile room at the hospital.
    I shook my head as to clear it while brushing my hair I stopped and looked in the mirror, the eyes looking back at me were sad and empty. I tried smiling but it just looked fake.
  As I was headed out the door  I handed over my toddler to my little sister, it was the first time I had ever left her for more than 10 minutes at a time, and it made me ache, to leave her now. Nobody could say I didn't love my babies, even my unborn ones.  Then I said good bye to my Mom, and  I had tears running down my cheeks and dripping off my chin.
   "Mom, I'll take the pain of childbirth. I won't take any pain medicine if only I don't have to have a c-section! Pray for me."
  She gently wiped the tears off my cheeks and said she would. 
  As we walked into the doctors office my doctor looked at me and let out a loud sigh of relief.
 "Thanks to you I couldn't enjoy my turkey."    She went on to explain that she was so worried about me going into labor with a transverse baby that she couldn't enjoy her turkey and dressing on Thanksgiving.
 I grinned, strangely enough I found that statement endearing.
   I lay down on her examination table and waited for her to tell me the position of my baby.  She felt of me then frowned and reached over for the machine to give me a sonogram.  
"Is she head down?" I immediately felt a ray of hope.
  She didn't answer but went on to do the sonogram.  She looked at the screen and looked at it again.    "Your baby's head is down"
  I couldn't believe it! Oh me of little faith! I had prayed for that but I couldn't believe it!  I started screaming with sheer glee and I reached over and grabbed my doctors hands and kissed it like a dork.
 "Thank you thank you thank you!" I kept on repeating and although I was looking at her I was thanking the Lord for looking after me and my 'selfish' desire of a vaginal birth.
 I was breathing heavily with excitement, I was in a state of childish glee and I couldn't snap out of it.
  "Do you want to go over to the hospital right now and get induced before the baby turns again?"
 "YES!" I couldn't shout it out fast enough. "Yes, right now!"
  Compared to a c-section induction sounded mighty friendly to me.
  On the way to the hospital which was about 4 blocks down I called everybody I could and shouted on the phone "She's head down! I'm gonna get induced before she flops again!" then I'd hang up and call the next person.    
    Nubun was excited  also and when we walked into that hospital we were both wearing smiles from ear to ear.

    I was immediately placed flat on my back and on that hospital bed strapped to a fetal monitor, another strap that measured my contractions, an IV and a clip on a finger to monitor my pulse, and they put a Cervadil in me to thin out my Cervix. I could not move, I was strapped down. I couldn't walk or the Cervadil would fall out.  I was still on cloud nine that I wasn't being cut open, that I was 'given' the chance to labor, and I was so excited I was hyperventilating!
   Literally. 
  Because I was so excited I started to black out when the nurse was talking to me. She kept on asking me questions I couldn't answer because I couldn't concentrate.  She got impatient, and frowned and looked me directly in the eyes.
 "Pay attention!" she said and didn't stop to ask what was the matter with me. Even told her I didn't feel good to give me a second and she just ignored me and kept asking on.  She didn't care, a person who cares acts like they care.    After a while I settled down and quieted my excited heart so that I would breath normally.    Then I was hungry, starving really but my doctor said I couldn't eat anything. I begged and begged the nurse to call her to let me eat. She kept saying no. My tummy growled loudly and after a while the nurse came in and said   "ok Dr Rastogi said you can eat."
    That stale and dry turkey sandwich was simply heavenly! I didn't eat -it I inhaled it whole!

 Then I was given an Ambien to be able to rest. I was having very mild contractions all night and had no trouble falling asleep.  When morning came my room got busy, they checked all my vitals and dilation.     The first nurse  that checked for dilation couldn't find my cervix and after digging around for it untill I was shaking in agony she finally stopped and told me her fingers were too short so she called another nurse with supposedly longer fingers. 
  Take two:  I was gripping the side of the bed with one hand and squeezing the life out of Nubun's arm with the other as the second nurse checked me.  
  The second nurse couldn't find my cervix either so they called yet another one in.  As the third nurse was putting those blue rubber gloves on I teared up and even jumped a little when I heard the snap as the rubber stretched.  More torture. I braised myself once more. This one reached as far as she could for a long time, she had a confused look on her face when she finally stopped and asked me if I was ok. 
  "I'm ok" (I have learned since then that I have a posterior cervix.)
  "That's good. I am sorry you had to go through all that.  Unfortunately you are not dilated at all yet. I'm sorry, but it is ok we are here to help you out."
   I looked down at my belly and could see my baby still floating around high up, I couldn't tell if she was head down or not but I definitely knew she was not in position or ready to be born at all. But I kept on thanking the Lord she was head down at least when the threat of a c-section had appeared.    Before 6 that morning the nurse came in to give me Pitocen. I dreaded this moment because I knew once they gave me Pit my contractions would no longer be merciful.    As she was putting the induction drug in my IV I asked her a little sheepishly.  "Do I have to have that?"
  She looked at me with a frown on her face, you know the type, 'Well, uh-duh.' But she actually just mumbled a "Yes" and continued on.
 I immediately started getting hard contractions, but I didn't say anything except to my husband. After mere minutes they checked me for dilation. I was not dilated at all, still. The nurse reached over and upped the Pitocen.   
   The contractions started getting harder but were still manageable.  "What's your pain level?"
 "a three" I said bravely then was immediately sorry I said 3 because she reached over and upped the Pit some more. The next contraction slammed me and I opened my mouth with a silent scream   My husband held my hand as I trembled through wave after wave of unnatural pain. The nurse left the room and came back in a few minutes later and asked about my pain level. I told her it was a 7 --I thought a 7 was suppose to be bad, but evidently my lack of pain was an annoyance to her because she reached over and turned the Pitocen on higher.
  In under an hour she had started the Pit and turned it up 3 times and left the room.    The next few minutes was the most intense and painful time of my life, my contractions were hitting me like concrete waves, they took my breath away, I couldn't breath, I  felt like I was dying. My whole body shook and I couldn't talk even in between contractions, the room felt like a dark cave of liquid pain, I was looking through a tunnel everything was foggy and when the nurse came in she looked at me go through a contraction and then asked  "What is your pain level...."
  "TEN!" I screamed but I couldn't say anymore because the seconds between contractions were in the single digits.   Finally! The nurse was probably thinking--she is in enough pain.
  "You want an epidural now?"  I couldn't talk I could barely open my eyes and I totally forgot all about not having an epidural but just violently nodded my head. She called the anesthesiologist and I suffered through contraction after contraction of the most cruel intensity, flat on my back. My baby was posterior also so it was intense back labor.   After calling the anesthesiologist she put on her rubber gloves and checked me for dilation one more time. I was at an 8.  In 45 minutes I had gone from a 0 to an 8. She quickly called the anesthesiologist and rushed her.
  I was in a fog when she came and have no idea how I managed to sit up and be still for that needle to go in my back. They laid me back down and waited for the epidural to take effect.   My next contraction came in full force and the worse one yet. After it passed by I gathered all my energy...  "It didn't work!" I cried then tensed up with the horror of the next contraction.
   "She dilated too fast" the nurse explained "the epidural didn't have time to catch up."
Hmmmm... I wonder why I dilated so fast? Could it be that she over dosed me with Pitocen? Even after I told her I reacted fast to it with my first baby?   
  They checked me again, and only a little past an hour after they started me with Pit and I was fully dilated.  Since the epidural didn't work they gave me a spinal and numbed me from belly down.    I didn't feel anything. I cried with relief and smiled as I wiped sweaty hair out of my eyes.    The doctor came and and looked at me, not my face, but down there. 
 "How are you feeling?"
 "I'm ok now"    Yes, after just a little past an hour of the most intense and excruciatingly painful Pitocen contractions I was fully dilated and effaced, but she was at  a -2 position. Nubun said he could barely see her head she was way far up there.
  "What should I do?" I heard my doctor say, talking to the nurse "Go to the break room and have some coffee?"
  The nurse told her "yes" and she left me.   
  The nurse reached inside and told me to push. I tried but couldn't feel anything to push. She would shake her head and say "you are not pushing hard enough"    I would apologize like an idiot and push harder with the next contraction. She was trying to turn her manually from a posterior position to anterior with each contraction and push.  I don't know how long we did that but it seemed like hours. (it wasn't that long)   Finally my doctor finished her coffee break and came in to catch the baby. Unfortunately my baby was still way up high and not ready or willing to come out yet.
    I can not remember the order of things my memory of that time is foggy, but at some point and time she broke my water. I had polyhydraminios and it came gushing out faster than a fireman's water hose, spraying the doc right in her face, thankfully for her she had a clear mask on, but I thought that was pretty cool and I still chuckle two years later thinking about it.   
   I pushed for the doctor again and again and again. I still remember the machines in the back ground beeping and the nurse counting "One, two, three, push! Four, five, six...."     After a short while the doctor got out her scissors and cut a long episiotomy down my perineum and kept on stretching me and stretching. When the baby still didn't want to come out she got her scissors out again, and cut on the side this time.  When that didn't produce a baby she cut me down the other side and reached in with both hands and stretched in the most gruesome way. Nubun told me later that the two nurses that were 'observing' the procedure looked away it was just so. Well. Gruesome.     
   There was blood everywhere and Nubun held my hand tight, but didn't tell me a word of what was going on to me, till days later.
   Finally after a little less than an hour she came out, sunny side up and blue but she was out and plopped onto my belly. I looked at her and started crying.
   My baby.

   My little girl. I was so happy to see her and I had this very strong immediate bonding with her, I ached to have her in my arms, I yearned to feel her little body next to mine.  I just wanted to scoop her up and hold her close and  protect her from any harm, she looked so beautiful, so precious and so helpless...but alas that was not to be.     I had her on my tummy for a good, maybe, 30 seconds just long enough for Nubun to cut her cord then they picked her up and placed her in to be weighed and on to the little plastic box where they proceeded to put little clear tubes down her throat again and again to get liquid out of her lungs. She cried with that pitiful gurgled sounding cry that will forever ring in my head, and haunt my memories.  (I will add, that as I have learned through educating myself, Jasmine was not ready to come out, breath or face the world, but she was forced out and I truly believe that that is why she had slight breathing struggles in her first 30 minutes of life in this cruel world)

    Mean while they were working on my baby, the doctor was working on repairing me.  19 months earlier she had given me a (very unnecessary) episiotomy that took her 5 minutes to repair, it was 12 stitches. This repair work took her a whole of 30 minutes to fix and when I asked her how many stitches it was, well, she just responded smartly.  
  "Why do you want to know?" and never told me.


   I was so excited and happy I finally got to hold my baby and nurse her. She was hungry and nursed very well right off the bat!  
   I remember Nubun and I gazing at her that day, I was holding her in my hospital bed and she was just so beautiful, so stunning and so perfect. I played with her little toes and tuched her dainty little fingers, I didnt have to count I knew she was just right.


   I couldn't wait for her big sister to meet her.
   After a few hours my pain medication and spinal wore off and I was in excruciating pain!  Again, but this time it was a different kind. When I think about Jasmines birth I try to avoid the post birth memories but I can't help it, I am still hurt emotionally from it, the pain afterwards is still so vivid  and so traumatizing, even humiliating. It took me a long time to recover. 
   What is worse is that I know Jasmine had a rough start, it wasn't a walk in the park for her. It wasn't gentle or sweet the way she was born. She struggled and I am sure she was scared and miserable.

   Through it all I am thankful I didn't have a c-section and I am thankful she was born healthy and well.  I am thankful and give God the glory that despite the odds I still had a non-surgery birth, with no major issues.  
    Jasmine has brought so much joy to our lives, with such a different character. She is sweet, hard headed, stubborn, and extremely loving. She is crazy about her big sister, and can't get enough of her baby sister, and would be happy if her Mommy or Daddy held her all day, everyday. I love her so much and thank the Lord for His mercies in giving me my beautiful baby girl.
Jasmine Joy 8lbs 3ozs
19 and a half inches
December 1, 2009----she truly is my little JOY!






Just a note:    I look back on Jasmines birth and I think I could write a book on where it all went wrong, how it could have been different, how unnecessary the cascade of interventions were and how shamefully ignorant I was.
  After my 6 week post natal check up, I said good bye to that doctor and never saw her again, and I never looked back.
    Jasmines birth pushed me to educate myself about natural birth for my third time around.   I also had sweet and knowledgeable friends that helped me along.  And as I predicted, with my third baby I once again had polyhydramnios and a high transverse baby by my due date. Yet, because I knew better,  and matured in knowledge and characterI had perfect peace, no fear, an uneventful, natural, and intervention free third birth. 11 days past my due date, out of a hospital--- with an experienced midwife. That's another story though.   
  As underserving as I am, God has been good to me!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Reliving and living my life with you. To: Nubun

Life with you has been fun.  Since the moment I said "I Do" through thick or thin, till the day I die.
   We don't always agree on things, butter being one, and a million other things but there must be something to us because We seem to like each other, we always want to be together and laughing with you is like medicine to my heart. I like to be in the same room with you, even if we don't talk, just having your presence near me is sweet, it's the calming essence to my life. I like you, I love you and I always want more of you.     You are a planner, and I'd love to recount each anniversary I've had with you. Starting with our honeymoon.

   What a wonderful wedding we had! From the moment I walked down the aisle to stepping into our horse and carriage and riding off into the rest of our lives!       
   Then the honeymoon was waiting for us, 4 amazing days at the Holiday Inn right around the corner, our first midnight together we ate at Waffle House and I remember I felt like it was all laid out to perfection just for us, the honeymooners! The chef was entertaining, the waitress was sweet and jolly, the food was amazing and the air was thick with romance! 
   We felt so privileged to be able to park  in the parking spot closest to the hotel door.  Ah! The rosy atmosphere, we thought the world revolved around us. What a dream we were living! Then we woke up the next morning and saw the sign in front of our parking spot. 
  "Bird dropping zone"  And as we looked and laughed at our white spotted car we knew why that spot had been  empty.   

    We went to the Japanese gardens and there was a festival going on that weekend there, JUST FOR US! Or at least that's how I envisioned it. We ate at the gardens, I had almond chicken with mashed potatoes, you had tortilla soup. It was cool outside and the air was crisp and tingling with adventure!    The next day we went to church as husband and wife and that was the first time I was privileged to say: "This is my HUSBAND Nubun" it almost put me in shock how overwhelming those two words were!  "...my husband"   I was proud, happy and excited to try out my new toy, marriage. Then we went to the mall where we bought supplies for our next honeymoon adventure! HAWAII!!!    I remember Nathan took us to the airport and I was so shy with him because he kept on teasing me how I was now an "old married woman"

at the Airport
     The ride over there was fun, a layover in Utah proved a beautiful site. Then we arrived at our destination. I hogged the window to gaze and googoo eye at the ocean and beaches down below as we were landing. I giggled with glee and clapped my hands in anticipation. As we stepped out of the airplane hand in hand I felt the warm sunshine on my face, the wind playing with my hair and I could smell salt in the air. I couldn't wait to bury my toes in the sand! 
    The next 9 days were like a dream! I loved the rice, spam and eggs we had for our  breakfast. I loved our tours with our funny tour guide 'cousin Danny', I loved walking at night times through the heart of Honolulu and seeing all the excitement around us! I loved our expensive bike ride, all the amazing food, the mountain hike, the Wai Mei Falls,  the candy cane and the international market place and oh so much more!

Wai Mei Falls
    Every single glorious morning we were there the first thing we would do after breakfast was go to a lei stand where you'd buy me a fresh lei every single morning and place it around my neck. I'd wear the lei all day long, and sniff its rich exotic perfume everywhere we went. 

my lei
  If I had to pick a favorite moment from our honeymoon it would be when we slow danced together in the Polynesian Cultural  Center.

At the Polynisean Cultural Center
 I had never danced (I am a conservative Christian, I don't dance!) before and neither had you, but it was a sweet moment in our life and I can't remember it without getting tears in my eyes.  I had my head on your shoulder and the whole world around us got fuzzy as we slowly glided back and forth to the calm sound of the banjo playing in the background.     

By far the most exciting adventure was the kayak trip, oh man! That was the kind of adventure I'd been waiting for all my life! Do you remember the birds that were nesting there on that island?

 They only came to shore once a year to nest and I felt so special and privileged that they just happened to come when we were there! I felt like it was a special gift just for us in honor of our new life together! The lunch we had was a chicken sandwich and canned green tea, man! It was good food, especially since we were so hungry.   Even when our kayak tipped over with both of us in it, well, that was pretty cool.   

   The next day after our kayak trip we were so sore and tired we just wondered around and had a lovely low key day. We went to the beach and jumped over the waves. Can you remember it? It was cool outside, we had to wear a jacket to the beach then we took it off right before going swimming. We waded over to that little rock wall and we jumped the waves, we tried not to touch that rock wall because it had tiny little seashells that would leave little paper cut kind of marks all over our hands!

the rock wall
 Can you remember the cool air on our face, the warm water all around us and the taste of salt on our lips, and the sting of the ocean water dripping in our eyes? ah! To relive that moment! Priceless!     Then we walked around town and enjoyed the sites, just like we did every single day we were there.  

 The 6am trip to Hanauma Bay was so exciting! The water was freezing, but we were the first ones there and so it was also clear and the colorful fish were in abundance!

Hanauma Bay
     I apologies 7 years later for freaking out about the sea turtle and pushing you towards him while I tried to escape with my life! If it makes you feel any better the mouthful of sea water I swallowed while screaming under water was utterly disgusting. After an hour and a half of near hyperthermia we got out and headed on to our submarine adventure.

I was worried I wouldn't make the whole hour under water without having to use the restroom but I did. It was fun wasn't it!? After the submarine that day we went to the jewelry store and you bought some bracelets and a nice picture frame. We had a couple of hours rest after that, then we went on a dinner cruise.    

 Woh!  What an adventure!  When we first climbed on that boat they greeted us with a tray full of stuff cool looking cups of punch.   As I was reaching for a cup of the bright red stuff she asked me if I wanted the spiked one or the regular.   "No!" I exclaimed.  "I don't drink alcohol."   So she pointed to the 'safe' cups and I grabbed two. I walked over to where you were by the rales. The boat was flopping up and down, up and down with the waves. My tummy started feeling queasy and I was thirsty so I took a sip of my punch. I frowned and turned around and looked at the lady holding the tray of drinks. 
 "Nubun" I said: "I think these have been sitting in the sun too long, they taste spoiled." 
 You looked at yours, tasted it then gulped it down.
 "Mine tastes real good." 
 "Oh" I said and continued to sip my spoiled punch. It settled my upset tummy and made me feel better almost instantly. Weird. I drank half of it and after a while you grabbed my cup and said that since I didn't want it you'd drink it. You took a big sip of it and spit it out over the rail.   
 "Andrea! This is alcohol!"   
  Ooooooh... So THAT'S what alcohol taste like.   That little bit of spiked punch settled my sea sickness and your little sip made you sick! I remember eating, and watching the night time fireworks sitting down on the wood planks with your head laying in my lap. You only got up to lose more of your stomach contents then you came back to lay down. Your eyes were closed in misery so you didn't get to see any of the beautiful Honolulu fireworks. I felt so sorry for you, my brand new husband!      

 ....to be continued. 

    I wish I had time to finish this now but there is so much to our wonderful honeymoon memories I do not want to rush it. I will continue every week till I am done documenting our precious memories.   Happy Anniversary Nubun, it's been a wonderful ride. The past 7 years have been my greatest yet. I look forward to every year God blesses me with you. 
  I love you.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

My Heart job. Its what I Always Dreamed Of

                                                        Yes, another Mommy Post.
                                            It's what's happening in my neck of the woods.  
                                              Basically its just today's random thoughts.



    As my life has progressed I've thought of many 'dream' jobs I would have liked to have had. You know what I'm talking about, when you just sit around and daydream about useless stuff, when your mind wonders in and out of thoughts and back and forth like a bobble head wobbling around while riding in an old pick up truck.    
     Now I'm not an ambitious person, never have been, I just never cared about climbing up the corporate line, making an 8 digit figure or even being famous. I never even care about making supervisor at any of my out of home jobs. My ideas of life were way more simple than that.      
     When I was a kid I just wanted to stay with my Mom forever. No kidding! I loved my Mom and Dad, and at 12 years of age I told my Mom that I was going to live with her forever, that when I got married I would bring my husband to live with me.  
    As a teen I wanted to be an author like Louis L'Amour. I even started writing my own book it was called 'Determination of Steel' about a female spy in the Civil War. Pretty good if I might say so myself. (for a teen) (no kiddin!)
         At 25 I enjoyed planning my wedding so much that I dreamed about being a professional wedding planner, decorating churches, guiding little flower girls down the aisle and crying through the ceremonies.            Right after getting married, my new husband and I traveled a little, to Hawaii for our honeymoon, Mexico to visit my family, To Thailand to visit his family and to nearby  romantic bed and breakfasts. I decided I wanted to be a travel 'reviewer' (didn't even know the name) (still don't)   And travel to exotic places and write exciting articles about them!  honestly, how creative am I? Who wouldnt want to be paid to vacation?    
      At 28 for a while there as I was pregnant with Evie I wanted to be a professional food taster. (Since I couldn't eat anything that wouldn't come back up I was always hungry).  (this is still a nice dream to think about)   
    At 31 after  having a great experience with giving birth naturally I decided my dream job would be a doula, helping out new Mama's  and getting to attend their births. I still get all tingly inside thinking about this one!
    Now at 32 years of age, I think It would be nice to own a juice stand and drink, make and sell juice all day long. Not my most creative one... and I smile as I share this because I sound like a dork, and I know it. 
    And,  well ..... here I am. I relish in the simple things of life!    Although there is a little part of me that would LOVE to do any one of these 'dream' jobs maybe not the juice stand, pretty sure that would grow old pretty fast) The very best part about my life, what God has blessed me in the most (job wise) is that I actually get to do my 'heart' job.
    The job I have now is really where my heart is. I love being a Mom and wife, at home.  Oh my goodness, I just tear up thinking about it!   I am so blessed every day!  And my 'heart' job is so much better then all of my 'dream' jobs put together! Or actually... it just may be all my dream jobs put together.  Maybe some day when I have an empty nest....but I don't even want to think of that day. For now I just wish my kids would stay with me forever, that I can write about them everyday, I'll watch them dress up in white dresses, and a mosquito net Evie pretends is her wedding veil,  we'll travel down the sidewalk and pick exotic dandelions, I'll always taste their food before giving it to them to make sure it's not too salty, and I can't wait someday, if God allows, to attend the birth of my next baby, meantime I will enjoy making, drinking and giving my family my beet and apple juice. So I guess if you really thought about it my heart job is really all of my dream jobs  weaved together in the most precious way.     
    So if somebody asked me if I like what I do, well, my heart will swell up as I  say "It's what I always dreamed of!"  

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Banana Pancakes--Tuesdays Tummy Yummys

                                  

One of my new years resolutions was to start cooking different things and to think outside the traditional box. So today I became the proud chef of homemade banana pancakes! Glutton free and sugar free and oh so so so good!  And no,  am not going to be doing this every Tuesday. I love to eat food ~~ not write about it.
 So here is the post I said I'd never write. A food recipe! But this was so good I just had to share. Here are the ingredients. 

Makes 3 small pancakes.
 1 banana
 1 egg
 Half a cup of almonds
 A tablespoon of coconut oil
 Dash of cinnamon
 Dash of salt
 A little 3 year old helper

That's it!
Beat the egg with a fork. Smash the bananas with the same fork. (Hey! Why wash 2 forks?) Grind the almonds with a coffee grinder or whatever you want. 


   Then mix it all together in a bowl, except the coconut oil, put that in the skillet on the lowest setting, coconut oil burns really fast.


                                         Then just cook it like you would regular pancakes.



                                               Drizzle a little bit of honey and Whah-Lah! 


The girls both LOVED IT! Jasmine ate one whole pancake, that's a lot nowadays for my sick little girl.


                                                    Evie got mad when I took a bite of hers.

                                   Aaaaah. Success.  My new favorite pancake! Hands down....

Afterwards we felt so full and yummy and the weather was so nice we took a walk in the neighborhood. Jasmine walked for like 2 minutes then I held her AND Coco the rest of the walk.  At least we got our vitamin D fix.

  Here is when we were crossing the street I had both girls grab a hold of my skirt  so I could still have my hands free, well one hand at least, the other hand was holding the baby.

   The best part of my day was when Nubun came home and Evie climbed up in his lap and said: "Mommy made some yummy YUMMY pancakes! Ummmm mmmm mmmm!" 
                 AND I DIDN'T EVEN TELL HER TOO!
 And to end this ~here is a banana joke.  Come on! Everybody likes a cheesy joke.  It makes them feel smart. 
                     Why did the banana go out with the prune? Because he couldn’t find a date.

Good night!

Friday, February 17, 2012

THE CHEAP MOTEL


                                                              Dad and I in 1994

     When I get to missing my Dad and I start to get down in the dumps I remember the fun times we had as a family and think of memories that make me smile. This memory definitely does that.       One of my favorite trips of all times was when my sister Damara and her husband James rented a large 12 passenger van in September of 2001 and we went on an adventurous road trip to Washington DC. Mom and Dad, Sarah, Nathan, and of course Tiffany and Jared went too.

                                                  The day before 9/11 hapened.

     One night it was getting really late and we were all ready to get a hotel room and go to sleep. We were having trouble finding the right one, you'd have to know my Dad to understand. My Dad absolutely LOVED a bargain, and couldn't stand to pay much for anything so when we saw this little cheap looking hotel we stopped and Dad and I went in to ask the price and check it out.


   I was 21 yrs old but of course that still embarrassed me. Everybody else waited in the van.
  The price was right but Dad wanted to see a room to make sure the rooms were clean. The man behind the counter just grabbed a set of keys and handed it too us.
   "Go ahead."
    So Dad and I went outside and looked for that specific room number. Aaah! We found it and I put the key in and unlocked the door as it was opening I could see inside the dark room and the floor was littered with trash and there were two big lumps in the bed.     My heart jumped to my throat when I noticed the lumps were moving and ....talking!    "What is..."  
    I immediately stepped back and tried to close the door but Dad was standing there, he didn't know! I didn't have time to explain and I was too freaked out to use my voice so I just pushed him back with both my hands, and quickly closed the door.
   "Somebody is in there!"  I whispered in a breathless rush.
                  
    My Dad didn't say a word he just turned around and sprinted! I was left in the dust, I quickly tried to take the keys out of the door and I could hear movement and footsteps on the other side of it.    I panicked!    Finally the keys were out and I turned around to leave, Dad was about 5 miles away all that was left of him was the sound of his far off footsteps. I got two giant steps away when the door swung open loudly and a huge football player looking guy stepped out.   "What is going on!" he said it in a rough angry voice and it was more of an accusation than a question.    My throat went dry and my ears burned with embarrassment. I stopped in my tracks and turned around. My tongue felt heavy, and I was wishing my Dad hadn't turned yellow and ran, my Dad, my hero. Fathers day was only 9 months away and I was not going to forget this!   I murmured my explanation and before the man could open his mouth to say anything I apologized and high tailed it.  As I was rounding the corner to the office I imagined shadows following me, was it the not-so-jolly green giant? Dad was already in the van and I just tossed the key on the counter and hollered as I was leaving. "There are people in that room!"    Dad was in the car and they were backing out. I jumped in and we left needless to say we did NOT stay at that motel.    One thing good about times like those, they make extra good stories to tell and as the years go by, the stories get funnier and I cherish them even more with each time they are told.

                             This was a picture we took at my uncles house near Washington.
                                    Yep. That is my Dad, he was a fun kinda guy!

                Here is Dad checking out the gym in one of the hotels we were at.
                         You can see Damara taking the picture in the mirror.



                  Breakfast at a hotel on that trip--not THAT motel.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Common Comments That Pregnant Women Get.

These are popular comments most pregnant women get. I have certainly been told all of these, at some point in time. Now that I'm not pregnant anymore it cracks me up!

                

FIRST TIME MOMMY:

-Enjoy your nights while you can cause you'll never sleep again.
-Enjoy your freedom now go out on a date!

WHEN YOU ARE JUST PLAIN BIG:

-When is your due date? Do you think you're going to make it?
-Are you having twins? You sure?
-Did you swallow a watermelon? Whale?  Walrus?
-Oh my! That's one BIG baby!
-Are you sure they got your due date right?

SUBSEQUENT PREGNANCIES:

-You're pregnant AGAIN.? Don't you know how that happens?
-Boy! You sure are busy!

COMMENTS YOU JUST CAN'T MISS:

-You are having a boy/girl -I can tell by the shape of your belly.
-October? My birthday (son's birthday, uncle Joes birthday, my dry cleaners great aunts anniversary) is just 5 days earlier, maybe you'll go early!
-How much weight have you gained?
-Do you want a boy or a girl?
-You drank the water didn't you?

WHEN YOU GO PAST YOUR DUE DATE:  (my favorite category)

-You look like you're about ready to burst!
-You haven't popped yet?
-You still here?
-How long are they going to LET you go overdue?
-You look miserable!
-You poor dear.

RIGHT AFTER YOU HAVE THE BABY:

-You sure you don't have another one stuck in there?
-When are you due?
-You know you can wear control top pantyhose for that.

EVERY PREGNANT WOMAN's FAVORITE 2 COMMENTS:

-Here, you want a chocolate bar? I have two.
-*****--YOU LOOK SO BEAUTIFUL PREGNANT-*****

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

What A Gentle Beginning means to Me

  When I chose Gentle Beginnings birth center as the ideal place and environment to birth my baby, it did not occur to me that the name had a lot to do with the way the birth center and their midwives treated their littlest patients.  After having my baby there I understand now.

Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee...
~ Jeremiah 1:5

  When a baby has just been born it has never been away from his/her Mommy, never been touched before, never seen a bright light and never felt cold. Everything a new baby goes through right after birth is miraculous and amazing. It is also a lot that the little one has to adjust to. I consider it cruel to immediately take them away from the Mother for reasons that could afford to wait.
  At the hospital where I birthed my two older daughters they treated my new healthy babies like emergencies, like an accident waiting to happen!
   They came out, was literally plopped on my belly for no more than 60 seconds, so that I could see them. Then their umbilical cord was immediately cut, leaving behind up to 25% of their necessary blood and nutrients still in the placenta. That in itself is a shock to their system. Then they were picked up and placed under a heated little table where they start to give them a shot,  poke their little foot to get blood, they got gel placed in their eyes, and flopped around while the nurses rubbed them roughly trying to get all the blood and vernix off of them as if it is something highly dangerous and contagious. They weighed them and measured them and got their footprints immediately. Why is that so important mere minutes after birth I wonder?
          

   I lay watching from a distance helplessly stuck to my hospital bed. I watched the whole process knowing that something was not right about it, something  was just wrong and my arms ached to hold my baby. MY baby! The whole time my sweet little girl was screaming and upset, and all I could do was raise my voice and speak sweetly to her hoping that at least she could hear something familiar and be comforted from it but there were loud machines, loud people and distracting bright lights and too much distance between us. She was too upset and too busy being man-handled to hear me.
I tear up thinking about it.
I truly believe that she cried because she was scared.
   She had just taken her first breath and what a cruel world she comes upon, being treated like a second rate human. She was new and did not understand what was going on but my precious little baby was not second rate.
  After a while she was once again taken far from her Mommy, down to the nursery, where she got her first bath and was scrubbed clean from any remaining offensive vernix or blood, and they scrubbed her new delicate little skin as if she were an iron skillet! My baby screamed the whole bath only stopping to gasp in shock as bitter tasting soapy water drips down in her  little eyes, nose and mouth. Yes, I've tasted baby soap, it's nasty.
   You would NEVER see a new Mom or Dad handle their squishy little helpless newborn like that!
  What is sad is that this is the norm, it is the average treatment of a healthy newborn hospital baby.
Sure, my babies 'survived' and don't seem to be permanently damaged because of it but who wants to 'just' survive? Nobody! Why not treat the new one with common kindness that we show to each other as adults?
  At Gentle Beginnings as soon as my baby was born she was immediately placed in my arms, on my chest skin to skin. Her little face was right next to my heart beat. Where it had been for 9 months.
                
She could hear my voice and got nothing but gentle hugs and kisses from me. Our midwife checked her up and down all the while I was holding and loving on her. Neither my baby nor I even noticed she was there. We were in a sweet little world of our own!
  It was a loving, sweet, warm, candle lit and quiet atmosphere she was introduced to. It was a calm yet a very joyous time for all of us.

                            
   I was the first one she heard, saw, felt. It was a comfort to her, since her little body was still learning to breath and get adjusted to wide open spaces she was introduced into that in the most gentle, calm and soothing way possible, by the one who loved her the most.
   After a few moments of a sweet welcome to this world she was lovingly placed on my chest to nurse. Which was another natural comfort for her.  She ate as much as she wanted for as long as she needed. When the placenta had expelled all it's blood, iron, oxygen and vital nutrients it stopped pulsating and then, and only then did they cut her cord.
  After a while my baby and I settled down into the warm and soothing herbal bath. Where I held my baby in the warm water softly swaying her back and forth, while my husband reached over into the tub and gently massaged his daughters little scalp with a soft baby brush. It was so soothing to her that her eyes started to droop and she calmly fell asleep in my arms, contented and happy.

When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.
~ Prov. 3:24 from KJV

                 


She never cried or complained, because we gave her nothing to be upset about.

                 
   When I had to get some stitches and get 'fixed' up, or when I went to the restroom my baby was safe in her Daddy's arms, receiving cuddles, kisses and coos from him. She never was placed in a plastic tub, heated lamp or behind a glass window, she was warmed by her Daddy's body heat, or my own with no glass wall between us.
                 
  After her gentle introduction to the world we laid  her down on the bed and the midwife very tenderly checked her vitals, her length, weight and etc. Her Daddy and I are right there watching and enjoying it all. It was a fun and sweet celebration! No blood is drawn, she was not an emergency. Blood works could wait at least a couple of days. She didn't cry or get upset because she was treated like a first class citizen, made of flesh and blood, that had real human feelings and fears. Like the precious jewel that she was!

   That night we went home and enjoyed the comfort of our own bed, surrounded by the sounds and routines we were both used to, and slept. It was a deep and healing rest that can not be had if it weren't for a sweet and loving GENTLE beginning.
    A gentle beginning is the best birthday gift my baby could ever get. It will always be a place and a time in my life that when I look back on it I will always have that soft glow in my eyes and a contented sigh on my lips. No matter how big my baby will get I will always hug her close to my heart beat and with sweet memories I'll cherish our first gentle moments together, and whisper a prayer of thanksgiving for that little unforgetable blessing, a moment and a memory that will forever be engraved in my heart.

Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb...
~Psalms 127:3
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
~ Psalm 139:14 from KJV