Stepford goes to Church

For about the last, oh I don’t know, maybe 5 years, Wonderful Husband and I have been saying we are going to find a church.

While we both had very different experiences growing up in the church, his being loving and stable and picturesque, mine being weird and rocky and ending when I was around 10, we both agreed that we didn’t want to let God disappear from our lives.

He was raised a Lutheran. I was raised a, well, I’m not real sure, we traveled a lot and went to many different churches. Some danced in the aisles and spoke in tongues. Some didn’t even approve of clapping during music. We never really found anywhere that we fit and finally stopped going in the mid 2000’s. So when it came time to pick a church, we could never really decide on what we wanted to be.

I was confused by lutheran-ism (is that a word? I’m not even sure that’s a word), they had their own book they taught from and the pastor wore weird clothes and they didn’t even want to let my dad give me away at my wedding (I won that argument, in case you were wondering). I wanted a fun church where we could be free to express our love of God, but I needed some structure because I had basically forgotten everything except basic bible stories. After a few debates about it, and realizing that in a ghetto crack town there are two options of churches- stuffy white people or crazy black people- we sort of let it slide.

When Little Darling came along I was determined that we would find a church. I called on a few local pastors. I drove past a few churches. I was reminded, again, that if we wanted anything with substance (not substance abuse) we would need to travel a ways. And at that point Wonderful Husband was traveling all the time, and the thought of entering a new place alone with a baby gave me anxiety, let alone keeping said baby quiet for an hour during a sermon. Nope. Couldn’t do it.

So, last year, I came to the decision that as soon as we were set up in West Virginia, we WOULD find a church. And we would attend said church. Regularly. We may even go to bible school. We needed a church family and a support system since we would be so far away from our own families. I didn’t care if we had to become Catholics, my kids would know God and bible stories, and have some friends who knew about such things too.

Then we moved to West Virginia and I got scared all over again and every Sunday would squeak by and I would make excuses. Wonderful Husband is away. Wonderful Husband is home, but has been away and we should enjoy our time. We shouldn’t pick a church until we know where we will be living permanently. We don’t even know the service times. We may not pick a good one. I don’t wanna go.

Last week, in the middle of the day, a little blue car pulled up my driveway and out popped a ridiculously cheerful lady. She introduced herself and explained that she, her mother, and her sister are all our neighbors! They had seen we were new to the area and wanted to introduce themselves, they brought me a little gift of homemade apple butter and a magnet from their church. They attend a Methodist church that is 3 miles down the road. She didn’t make a big fuss about it, just let me know that the service times were on the magnet and they’d love to have us.

Now, there are plenty of things in my life that I can’t take a hint about. When I ask if I should eat that last donut and my love handles jiggle back “for the love of God, please stop eating”, you better believe, I am gonna eat that donut. When I am pleasantly polluted and feeling fine and think- should I have another glass of wine before bed? I am gonna have another glass, even as WH is reminding me what happened last time I had one too many.

However, something about this random stranger dropping in to meet me, say hello, squeeze my babies cheeks, and drop a line about a church, rang with me. As if God was like “hey Bitch, get your ass to church and quit putting it off” (ok, maybe not in those words, but probably close because it has been YEARS of me saying I was going to go and then not doing it). So I stuck the magnet on the fridge, and kept the thought in the back of my head that if Wonderful Husband was home next Sunday, we just may take a trip down the road.

What do ya know. Wonderful Husband got today off. So I woke up early, made pancakes, and declared that we would be attending church this morning.

Service started at 11am, and at 10:42 we were sitting in the parking lot coming up with a game plan on how to escape if it all went to hell. The church looked ok on the outside, a small, old building with stained glass windows and a steeple. There were, however, two old men standing in the parking lot glaring at us.

We tentatively got out and started to walk up to the front door, one of the grumpy old men stopped us and said we could go in the basement, there were cookies and coffee. We politely declined and headed to the steps when an old lady slammed the door open with a boisterous “HELLO! Come on in! We have SNACKS!!” and we found ourselves being herded into a small, stuffy basement with about 15 old women who were about to pee themselves with excitement.

The conversations were hectic and overwhelming. They all pushed in at us clamoring about how great it was to have new comers, could they get us some coffee, can Little Darling have a cookie, how old is Little Littles, Oh They just LOVE Children.

We made our way to the back and collapsed into folding chairs. A lady brought Wonderful Husband a coffee, another lady brought Little Darling a baggie of goldfish, there was a little boy running around and Little Darling ditched the goldfish to make a new friend. They hurriedly explained that it’s not normally so calm and laid back, however, they always give their pastor the 5th Sunday of the month off, so he and his family were away and they were just going to do a short and easy service (in all honesty I do not believe there was going to be any service until we showed up). At 11am, we all herded upstairs to the tiny sanctuary with pews going in every direction to make them all fit in. With a congregation totaling no more than 25 and only 3 of those being men (including WH) We sang hymns, we took prayer requests, a lady from the congregation gave a short sermon, they laid hands on an older lady who was having health issues, we sang a closing song, we were done.

At every break in the service, after a song, after a prayer, at least one person in the congregation would turn around and tell us how happy they were to see us. The neighbors who had stopped down were over joyed, gave me their phone numbers, and told me I could call them if I ever needed anything. They exclaimed that they hoped they hadn’t scared us off being it was so laid back and informal. We were recognized from the pulpit that it was so great to have newcomers and they just loved having children in the congregation. We were invited to VBS in June, and bible school every Sunday at 9:30am, and reminded that on normal Sundays when Pastor is there they do a children’s message.

We got out to the car and breathed a sigh of relief. We did it. We survived. And not only was it not painful, it was enjoyable! The entire time we were there, I felt at home. I didn’t feel like anyone was judging me, I didn’t feel like I was a stranger in someone else’s church. I felt comfortable, like I had just spent an hour with 15 of my closest grandmas.

I have already decided that we will go again. I’d like to see what it’s like when the pastor is there and does a sermon. I may even like to see what bible school is all about. I don’t feel any anxiety about returning if Wonderful Husband is away working.

I feel like we are on to something, even if we go a few times and decide this isn’t the place for us. We have passed that hurtle of making ourselves go and putting ourselves out there. We are on back on the path, and it feels good.

The Bitch Is Back

Hello Hello Hello!!

Man, Oh day have I been missing my blog. It has been one year, one month, and 4 days since I last posted. What the what!!? How does that even happen!?

Lets see, last time we talked, Wonderful Husband and I were struggling to make ends meet, I was keeping a HUGE secret from EVERYONE, and I had just started my Pure Romance business.

So what exactly has happened in the past year? Lets talk turkey.

Not actual turkey though, I’ve never made a turkey. And, I kind of hope to keep it that way because those things are huge and intimidating and you only make them on special occasions where you can’t mess up- which ultimately means it would mess up and I’d be stuck explaining why the bird was burnt, or raw, or something. But seriously though, I can’t wait to tell you all about my past year!

My big secret?

I was PREGNANT!

After six months of trying, wondering if we even wanted another baby, and basically only having sex in order to procreate, we did it! I found out the day Wonderful Husband left for his two weeks of annual training for the Army. Literally about 4 hours after he left the house I took a test. So then I was tasked with keeping this huge secret for two weeks until he got home. And then we both were tasked with keeping the secret until my first ultrasound at 12 weeks, where we saw a beautiful little babe in my expanding belly.

It was exciting to create a new life and know that in 9 short months we would have a new child, Little Darling would have a new sibling, and our lives would be forever changed a second time. However, it was also terrifying, because we still weren’t real sure Wonderful Husband was even going to have a job come April, let alone come September when Little Littles was going to be making his/her debut.

Time passed and several more exciting things happened!

We found out that Little Littles was a Little GIRL. Little Darling would have a sister, I would have another daughter, and Wonderful Husband was already dreaming of baby number three in hopes of a boy. I spent almost my entire pregnancy sick as a dog. I lost weight, I couldn’t sleep, I regularly barfed.

April came and went, and Wonderful Husband didn’t lose his job. In fact, it seemed like the big bosses really liked him and invited him to start making the trip to Bridgeport WV to see the headquarters down there and meet some of the other employees. Work still wasn’t very consistent, but at least it was existent, so we couldn’t complain.

I did Pure Romance all summer, with many successful parties, and was able to keep food on our table, gas in my car, and even got a few extras. I ended up giving it up when Little Littles was born. At that point there was just too much going on for me to juggle a toddler, a newborn, a business, and the newest exciting opportunity in our lives.

What was the exciting opportunity, you may ask.

Well, after a few months of making the daily 2 hour trip to and from Bridgeport to work, Wonderful Husband’s employer made him the offer to move down there! They agreed to put us up in a “man camp” (a fancy name for a trailer) right in the parking lot of the shop until we were able to sell our house in PA and find a new house in WV. Within hours of getting the offer we had made our decision, and within two weeks we had packed and moved. We put the majority of our items in MIL and FILs garage, a handful of boxes with clothes and important items came with us, a large portion of our life stayed with our old house.

It took us three months to sell our house. We had to drop the price a few times, but in the end we got enough to pay the mortgage. Then it was time to find a house in WV.

About this time, Little Littles was born! 7lbs of chub. She had beautiful blue eyes, pale skin, and never, ever freaking slept. She cried constantly. About everything. For everything. I was exhausted. The last thing I wanted to do after giving birth, and then never sleeping again, was start house hunting. But it was either that, or live in a tiny trailer where our living room, dining room, and kitchen were all smooshed into a 12×12 room for the rest of my life. And so, the hunt began.

We looked, we searched, we traveled. The fact of the matter was our $200k budget with hopes of land, privacy, and turn key availability was laughable in this area. Most houses were $300k or more, and that didn’t include any land, or it didn’t include a livable house. Everything came with compromises. We were confused, annoyed, and getting worried.

At last, after several months, we found what seemed to be our dream house. It was huge, close to Wonderful Husbands work, had no neighbors except an empty business, and came with a tidy 2 acres of land. There was a small run off pond in the back, two porches, two patios, and the basement had already been made into an in law suite with its own kitchen, bedrooms, and baths. It even had a fireplace.

For me, it was love at first sight. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. It was slightly out of budget, but nothing we couldn’t handle. I loved everything about it, I had everyone’s rooms planned out and was secretly designing where furniture would go in the 25×21 great room. We would definitely need a large farmhouse dining room table.

We made the offer.

We got scared and backed out.

The house was taken off the market.

I was devastated.

Here I was, living in a 400 sq ft trailer with a 2 month old who never slept, a toddler who was a ball of energy all day, a husband who was preoccupied with work, and it seemed like things were going downhill. The holidays came and went, there were no more houses to go see. We were out of possibilities.

At the end of January, we decided to have our realtor reach out to the owner of The Dream House. She did. It wasn’t available. It was rented until November.

Damn.

Within a couple days though, our realtor got a call back from the owner. His renters were willing to leave and we could have the house by the end of February.

Oh Happy Days.

We wrote up the offer and submitted it.

He denied it. Apparently, the renters were now refusing to leave. They wanted to stay until June so their kids could finish the school year. We wrote up the offer and resigned ourselves to six more months in our tiny man camp.

Then the worst happened.

We got notice from Wonderful Husbands employer on February 7 that we had to be out of the man camp by the end of the month. They needed it. Since Trump had won the election, business was picking up. They had men in the field who needed places to stay. We were no longer welcome there.

After a short fling with the idea of renting an apartment or even buying a different house. We made the decision that me and the kids would move in with FIL and MIL. Wonderful Husband would move in with my dad who only lives about 40 min from WH’s work. We would spend the next six months in separate states living with each others parents.

I felt broken. After 8 months of trying to think positive, trying to tell myself it could only get better, things had continually gotten worse.

On my last day in Bridgeport, I was trying to put my stuff in the storage unit, to no avail because I am too small to open or close the unit door. I am not sure that you can get more pitiful than laying in the gravel parking lot of a storage company, in the rain, pleading with God to let you get the God Damn door shut.

I sat in my car and cried. I texted Wonderful Husband and told him he had to come after work and lock the unit because I can’t do it. I hope nobody steals our stuff in the next few hours.

I stuffed the kids, the dog, and the cat into the Honda and made the long two hour trip to MIL and FILs house where they welcomed me with open arms, as usual, and helped me get settled into what would be my home for the next five months.

We had been there for about two weeks, when Wonderful Husband called and made an announcement. The renters were done for! The house would be available March 31, and we would be closing April 3. Everything was in order and we would be back together much sooner than we had thought.

The next six weeks were a blur. I spent the day trying to stay busy, cleaning and cooking. On rare occasions the sun would come out and I could take the girls for a walk or play in the back yard. Typical winter in South West PA. Wonderful Husband was busily getting the mortgage finished, I was trying to make lists of everything we would need and spent an exorbitant amount of time online shopping for rugs and furniture.

We had a few hiccups- the renters left the place a mess, a window needed replaced, the seller was out of town. But finally, on April 4, we signed the papers and moved in.

I sit here, on my new rug, in my new house, thinking of everything I can be thankful for. Things got pretty low, and I felt pretty low. But sometimes things have to get worse before they can get better, and I can say with certainty that I have learned a valuable lesson (or two) in the past year.

Little Littles still doesn’t sleep, but ever since we started solid food and quit nursing she is at least happy and smiling during the day. Little Darling has adjusted to every situation flawlessly. She is almost potty trained, sleeps great, talks in full sentences, and even has chores she does around the house every day. Wonderful Husband is back in full swing at work, we may not see him as often as we would like, but we definitely see him more often than we ever used to. His day always starts and ends at the shop, which is 2.4 miles down the road. Some days he even swings by for lunch.

I am well on my way to feeling myself again. I was sick for 9 months, and homeless for 8. I moved three times in 6 weeks all while 7 months pregnant. I have two beautiful kids, an amazing husband, and a life most people wish for.

So, I hope you are ready to be back on this wild ride of Stepford living…

Because, the bitch is back.

Crafty Stepford

With all this free time of Wonderful Husband being away, I have been trying to catch up with my party planning for Little Darlings birthday, shopping and baking for holiday gifts, and scrapbooking for Little Darlings baby book.

I. Am. Exhausted.

Here is a peek into my day today…

Last night Haven came back on Syfy – if you have never watched Haven before… Go. Go now. Go and watch every season until you are up to date on Haven because HOLY GOD is it like the best tv show ever. I love Haven more than I love The Walking Dead, and that. is. saying. something. Duke Crocker on that show- HOT DAMN is that a piece of man, I mean I would still probably pick Daryl Dixon in a fight or the apocalypse, but Duke is a close second. And he is taller. And he showers significantly more often than Daryl. I have put a lot of thought into this, in case you hadn’t noticed- so I was up until midnight watching the two hour long season premier. Since Wonderful Husband is away, I spent the rest of my night tossing and turning and hearing every noise within a 3 mile radius. My alarm went off at 7 and I dragged downstairs to get my coffee and a bottle for LD.

LD wakes up at 7:29am almost every day. Very seriously. I have started timing it. Her little eye balls pop open at 7:29 and she is instant action, standing up along the bars of her crib like a tiny fleecy inmate. She gets her bottle, which she, thankfully, now holds on her own most of the time, and I get my coffee, while we watch the news. We lounge like that in bed until about 8am. Then I get up and get dressed and we start getting ready to go downstairs. The only difference today, was when I went to get her at 7:30, I was greeted by a snot nosed, hollow eyed, coughing, grumpy inmate. She wasn’t too bad, just enough for me to know that she wasn’t feeling great, and that it was going to be a longgg day.

She played on the floor while I made the bed and gathered up the dirty clothes and any dishes I carried up the night before. I piled everything that needed to go downstairs in the dirty hamper and sat it at the top of the steps. I made sure her blankets didn’t need washed and tidied up her room a little bit and then we headed downstairs. She played quietly in the living room while I sank into the couch with my coffee and turned on Jungle Junction. She played on the floor, sometimes watching the story, most of the time ignoring it.

At 9am, we headed into the kitchen. She gets an egg with cheerios and fruit while I wash any left over dishes and tidy the kitchen and dining room. Sometimes she also gets yogurt, sometimes she doesn’t want anything to do with her breakfast at all and she sits there slowly feeding it all to Pixie who has taken up residency underneath the high chair any time she sees tiny legs poking out of it. Some days we skip the high chair and eat breakfast on the living room floor and catch a second episode of Jungle Junction. She may not care what happens to those crafty cartoon characters, but I kind a like them.

By 9:45, breakfast is over and we play in the living room or snuggle on the couch, or go upstairs and have story time in her bedroom. By 10am she is wiping her little eyes and yawning. She goes down for a nap and I have the house to myself for up to two hours.

Today, during her nap, I got a plate of food and climbed back in bed myself. I ate, surfed the internet, and then fell asleep while watching an episode of Disappeared. I must have been exhausted because I didn’t budge until she woke up at 11:45. We came back downstairs and I gave her some lunch- ravioli with mandarin oranges, colby cheese, acorn squash, graham crackers, and sippy of juice. We played in the living room with some country music playing and then at about 1:30, a horrible rain storm hit. It pounded on the windows and ricocheted off the front porch. I suddenly had a hankering to watch a movie and snuggle, so we turned on Tangled and curled up in blankets in the recliner. About 20 minutes in, she was crying and wailing and had tears and snot streaming everywhere. I finally caved and gave her tylenol, no idea what is going on if it is teeth or if she caught a cold or what but the Tylenol seemed to greatly improve her mood and we finished the movie snuggled in the chair with a bottle.

At 2:45 she had another round of crying and I put her down for another nap. This time, I got busy. I swapped laundry and washed dishes and tidied the house. Then I got a shower and settled in at my computer desk to work on some party planning.

I ordered a pirate onsie for LD for her first birthday party in December. I ordered witty pirate shirts for both me and WH to wear at said party. I ordered a Pirates of the Caribbean replica necklace of the gold coin for me to wear too. I planned what food we would have and what decorations we would have. I pinned all of my ideas so I would have them when it was time to order the decor and invitations.

I wrote out a list of all the goodies I want to put in my holiday gift baskets for friends and family and then marked off everything I already have made. I made a grocery list of what I still need to get to finish the gift baskets.

I suddenly remembered that I had a Red Box movie sitting in my diaper bag that I had promised WH I would return on Wednesday. Whoops. Then While checking my bank account after my ordering spree I realized I had forgotten that my school loan payment came out this week. I had to text WH and tell him I had like $10 in my bank account. Whoops.

at 4:30, LD woke up. I made a bottle and put her in the car. We went to the bank to get some money from our joint account and put it into my personal account. Then we went to Walmart to return the movie. We went into the store to get glue sticks, and jars for homemade hot cocoa. We left with glue sticks, jars, and two boxes of Cheez-its. whoops.

We got home around 6pm. LD and I shared a turkey sandwich. She had a meltdown because I wouldn’t let her eat Cheez-its. She played on the floor, sipping her night time bottle and climbing on pillows until 7 when I got her into her pjs and held her on my lap for the last of her bottle.

at 7:15 we went upstairs, I wrap her up in her favorite blanket, sing Hallelujah, and put her into her crib. She went right to sleep.

When I got back downstairs I remembered that I had bought glue sticks to work on her scrap book. This led to almost three hours of me pasting and cutting and gluing and folding all of her hospital bracelets and paperwork and memories into her scrapbook and then getting on shutterfly to order corresponding photos so when the photos get delivered I can paste them into the scrap book. Then while I was at it, I figured I might as well work on her baby book too, so I don’t get too far behind.

Now it is 10:48pm and I am so exhausted I can barely see straight. People who craft for a living must have some sort of genetic disorder that allows them to focus that hard for that long. I feel like my eyeballs may turn to liquid and fall out of my face. But, I am so close to having her scrap book up to date and I am so excited! If I can get it up to date, then all I have to do is keep up with it and it will be finished right after her first birthday! Then I think I will switch to just making shutterfly photo books. I would do that now, but I have all these items that you can’t incorporate into the books. I don’t want to get rid of her hospital bracelets or her first fingerprints.

So, now I will write a few blog posts, drink some wine, and head to bed way later than I should. And tomorrow, we will repeat the entire day. And I don’t even mind.

I love my life.

Becoming Mommy

I am feeling very nostalgic this evening. The family and I spent the day in my home town visiting my grandparents and spending time with my mom. I wanted to write a post about that, but I haven’t quite found the words for it yet. So instead, I decided to post about the night I gave birth to Little Darling.

I guess I should start at the very beginning. In 2013, before Wonderful Husband was actually a husband, we were just two blissful kids, madly in love, living life, enjoying every moment. We decided in March of that year that I would go off of birth control because my doctor was concerned about my fertility. I had been on the Depo shot for almost three years and my doctor was having second thoughts. Since I had been on some type of hormonal birth control since the age of 13, and they really didn’t know how that would affect me, we made the call that I would just stop doing any type of birth control at all. Then once we really thought about it, we decided we wouldn’t even use condoms. We called it “playing the lottery” and we just hoped we would get lucky. We knew we loved each other, we knew we wanted to be together forever, a baby would just make it better (it has). Welcome to the 21st century. No judgements please.

While I went off birth control in 2013, we didn’t end up getting pregnant until 2014. We had time to get engaged, plan a wedding, and be only 2 months away from it. It took a solid year to get pregnant. As time went on, I had become more and more convinced that birth control had ruined my fertility. Thank god it hadn’t. The day before Easter, 2014, we found out we were expecting. It was crazy, emotional, amazing, and terrifying. While we had been so sure we wanted children and we didn’t care what other people thought of us. When it happened, we were suddenly so unsure of ourselves. Our wedding was only months away! However, our families took it great, everyone was just really excited to become grandparents, aunts, and uncles. We made it through the wedding, the honeymoon, and the next five months with pretty much no differences.

I had an amazing pregnancy. I didn’t have morning sickness, I didn’t gain weight (I actually lost almost 12 lbs my first trimester!), I didn’t have crazy cravings, I didn’t even miss work. Things got a little iffy at 7 months when I suddenly went into preterm labor and had to spend 3 days in the hospital taking massive amounts of tiny orange pills to try and stop the baby from coming early. Wonderful Husband was loving, supportive, and understanding. He brought home cheese fries from our favorite bar that I could no longer visit, made a few midnight runs for rainbow sherbert, and even let me borrow his button ups in my last couple months when even my maternity clothes wouldn’t stretch over my watermelon belly.

Little Darling was due December 22nd. So, when on the morning of December 19th I was sitting in a meeting at work and suddenly got weird feelings in my belly, I pretty much knew what was happening. I worked at a bank with some amazing ladies who treated me like their own daughter. They immediately plopped me in a cushy chair, fed me cookies (you know they won’t feed you in the hospital dear, just have one more!), and called WH to come get me. He was in West Virginia (about three hours away) and thankfully his fabulous boss let him hop right into his truck and speed home to me.

We called our doctor who told us to come in and get checked out. They were located in the basement of the hospital I would be delivering in, convenient eh? We went in, got a non stress test, and we were told I was in labor! They sent us up to the triage unit to get checked in to have a baby! WH and I were in the elevator high-fiving, eating more cookies, and giggling wildly that this would be some of our last “solo” moments.

When we got to the triage unit, they checked me in, gave me a bracelet, and put me in a room. I wasn’t even done changing into my gown before a nurse came in to tell me that I wasn’t in labor bad enough and I was being discharged. I. Wasn’t. In. Labor. Bad. Enough. ARE YOU CRAZY!? We whined and complained and they let me stay one more hour, my contractions were five minutes apart, I was miserable, WH was getting concerned. They discharged me anyway at 5pm.

* I should step in here and let everyone know that I was laboring and delivering at Magee Womens Hospital in Pittsburgh. Under No Circumstances do they deserve their reputation. I don’t care if you have to deliver in the Sudan during a tsunami. Do Not Deliver Here.*

We live almost an hour and a half away from the hospital. We were scared to go home. We were scared to not go home. We were pretty much just scared. We sat in the parking lot and we cried. My Wonderful Husband, who is about the manliest man that has ever man-ed, sat at a red light in the middle of Pittsburgh and cried. He said “I thought today was the day, I thought she was gonna be here…I got my hopes up.”  I was in pain so bad I was having trouble sitting still in the passenger seat. We decided that instead of going home, we would go to dinner somewhere downtown, that way if my contractions never got better we could just go back to hospital. So, Wonderful Husband treated me to an expensive dinner, and wine, at Ten Penny. A couple of our friends came to eat with us and give moral support, the waiter was terrified of me and repeatedly asked if my water had broke and if I was feeling ok. We finally decided nothing was going to change (the hospital had told us we were “not allowed” to return until my contractions were so bad I could not breathe, could not stand up, and they lasted at least 2 solid minutes each time), and we should just go home.

We got home around 11:30pm on December 19th. I got a hot shower, put on my pjs, and crawled into bed.

My water broke at 2:18am.

We drove back to the hospital – not even going into detail here, just imagine 1.5 hour ride in the middle of the night with weird fluids leaking out of your depends protective underwear.

At about 4am I was put into a triage room. They told me they were out of beds for delivery.

What?

You are a hospital, known for delivering babies. Known for delivering HIGH RISK PREGNANCIES. You are out of beds?

What?

We laid in triage until about 9am when I was finally put into a labor and delivery room. Family and friends started showing up at around 12:30, and I got my epidural by about 1pm.

Within minutes of getting the epidural, I started having the itchies. I itched. I scratched. I finally told the nurse what was going on and she told me that its actually a common occurrence for women to get itchy from epidurals (would have been nice to know…) and that a quick shot of nubain (a pain killer) would make the itchy go away. At about 4pm, a doctor was in the room checking my cervix and a nurse was giving me a shot of nubain. She verified with the doctor multiple times- 5 mg right? 5 mg. 5 mg of nubain right? She even stated to me- I have to give you 2 injections because you need 5 mg and this syringe only holds 3mg, so you will get a full one (3mg) and a 3/4 full one (2mg).

She gave me 50mg.

Within minutes of the injection, I could no longer stay conscious. My blood pressure fell. The baby’s blood pressure fell. The nurse came in and put me on oxygen. I drifted in and out of consciousness for about 3 hours before Wonderful Husband realized something was wrong. I remember coming to and whispering to my friend that WH was “like a detective, he is like investigating…and stuff…”. In reality, WH was rippiing apart the SHARPS container to find how much nubain had actually been injected into my system. He called the nurse repeatedly. He went to the nurses station. He googled “nubain” multiple times… Nobody came.

Finally at about 8pm a doctor came to see us. She brought a chair and sat down and calmly explained that a mistake had happened, it could have happened to anyone. A simple accident. They did the math, and the half life of the nubain is 5 hours. So at 9pm, the nubain would be starting to wear off. I would be conscious, baby would be conscious. I could deliver. But until 9pm, there was nothing they could do.

At about 9:20 I began to feel pressure… I will skip all this part because its gross and awful and nobody needs to hear it or think about it….Lets leave it with- the doctors and nurses ignored me.

At midnight, I became the raging, crazy pregnant lady that you see on TV. When I finally got a nurse to come into my room I became slurring threats at her about pooping babies on the floor and wandering the halls to find somebody to catch her when she fell out. Nobody seemed to understand that my cervix hadn’t been checked since 4pm, and that my babies head was pressed firmly against my vaginal opening. Wonderful Husband had become a raging lunatic, the whole family was gathered around my bed offering words of encouragement, and my epidural was wearing off.

When the doctor finally checked me, it was clear it was time to have a baby. They ushered everyone out of the room except me, WH, and a nurse. And we proceeded to start pushing. Another part to skip- push, push, push…I NEED TO HEAR SIMON AND GARFUNKEL…push, push, push… DOES SHE HAVE HAIR? CAN YOU SEE ANY HAIR?? It was this strangely surreal experience where I was having horrible pain, but it didn’t really hurt that bad because I was just so excited to see Little Darling in person. Wonderful Husband was smashing my face into my chest with every “push” session, and Hallelujah was blasting on his iPhone.

When Little Darling’s head finally popped out, the nurse says to me “ok, her head is out, stop pushing until the doctor gets here”

The whole family in the hallway heard me screaming “I CAN’T STOP PUSHING”

WH swears that he saw the nurse holding LD in by her shoulders while she was frantically on the phone calling the doctor. What was probably only minutes, felt like hours, and finally a doctor swooped in to catch our little miracle.

At 2:19am on December 21st, Little Darling popped into the world. She was purple, and slimy. I had no idea what to do and repeatedly petted her face while cooing “hi” at her. WH cut the umbilical cord and wiped away a tear from his eye. NICU nurses swept in and grabbed her up to make sure the overdose of Nubain hadn’t affected her. She was pronounced happy and healthy and laid on my chest. I looked up at WH and he looked down at me, and suddenly we were parents. He was daddy, and I was mommy. Within minutes, the family was bustling into the room to “oh” and “ah” over the bundle of joy.

What should have been a wonderful time of my life, was made a little harder by the hospital. I certainly wasn’t expecting it to be all sunshine and rainbows, but I also wasn’t expecting to be OD’ed by my nurses either. I am profoundly disappointed in my experience at Magee. I have since changed my OB/GYN and will not see anyone who delivers at that hospital. Thankfully Little Darling was not affected by the medicine pumped into her tiny system, but that doesn’t make it acceptable either. I thank God that we all came out of the situation unscathed.

Labor is hard, birth is actually a little easier, and being mommy is the greatest thing I have ever done. Just make sure you always question everything you are given while in the hospital because even professionals can make mistakes!

The NomBaby necklace

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Having a teething baby, or any baby really, can take a toll on your jewelry. Now that my little darling has turned into Tina-Touch-It-All I have had several broken chains. We are also having a wonderful time with the Throw-it-on-the-ground-and-make-mommy-pick-it-up game. Other than tying the dollar store rocking horse teether onto a rope and hanging it around my neck, I wasn’t sure what my alternatives were. While that may have been the most practical route, it definitely was not the most Stepford route. So, of course, I turned to Google. And, I found teething necklaces!

The general idea of a teething necklace is such: thread silicone beads onto string and make a fashionable necklace, then let baby chew on that instead of mommy’s expensive anniversary necklace.

These necklaces range anywhere from $10-$50 and come in any array of colors you can imagine. I looked through Etsy and Amazon trying to find the best deal (I mean REALLY who is going to pay $50 for something your child is going to slobber on and probably destroy??). I reached out to a few different shops about making me a custom piece, but no one was getting back to me. After a few days, I finally came across NomBabyNecklace on Etsy.

According to the info page for NomBaby, the store was started by a little girl named Lainey who is only 8 years old! Once the store took off, her whole family got involved and now they all take part in selling these amazing little pieces. I surfed through their store and immediately noticed how well priced their products were. They were running a sale, all their pieces were $1 off, making their necklaces only $9.50! Not only were the products well priced, but this family had thought of all kinds of things other stores hadn’t. Their necklaces are designed to not have any beads up around the hair line so your hair won’t get pulled (and lets face it- who wants to trade hair pulling from a baby for hair pulling from a necklace- No!), they are dishwasher safe, and they even offer engraving on the silicone beads! After a careful search, I picked the necklace that had all of my favorite colors on it and placed my order.

Once my order had been placed, it gave a 3-5 day shipping time frame. I was hopeful that I would get the necklace on Friday since we leave Friday evening for a wedding in Dear Hubby’s home town, and I wanted to be able to wear the necklace to the wedding if it looked ok. Imagine my surprise when I received the necklace in the mail on Thursday morning! What an amazing turn around time!

As soon as I popped this little jewel out of its baggie I knew it was a keeper. The colors were so bright and brilliant, the pictures online didn’t even do it justice. It has a wonderful break away clasp so if the little darling pulls on it it will just come off. As promised, the beads don’t get stuck in my hair, and it matches my wedding outfit perfectly (not to mention every other outfit I own because I am senselessly attracted to blue and green).

I think Little Darling likes it too..

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This picture was taken at bedtime- notice the darkened room and pjs. She refused to let go and I eventually had to take the necklace off and put it on the coffee table until I could get her calmed down enough to go to bed.

All in all, I am super pleased with this purchase, I am already trolling through the NomBaby store for something featuring pink, you know, for Wednesdays.