Sunday, September 28, 2008

Unexplained Sightings in the Midwest

There are some things in life that simply defy explanation. I saw two very disturbing things today, both of which nearly caused me to rear end the driver in front of me. Now bear in mind that I am a cautious driver, not easily distracted by other things on the road.

Today was very, very different. It may as well have started out with a headline that screamed: "UFO Sightings in Chicago". Never mind the fact that I was actually in Naperville when these two incidents occurred.

Incident number one...

You know those cute little safety backpack-type items that very young children wear? They're usually in the shape of a fuzzy animal, and the long tail is actually a "leash" of sorts that the parent can hang onto, in order to keep the child from wandering away. I don't use one, but there are all kinds of variations. Here's one for example:Anyway, I'm not really an advocate of them, but some parents like them and that's fine. What's strange is that I saw several adults wearing them. Let me clarify...I saw a trail of OLDER adults wearing them. As in, white-haired adults. They were leaving a restaurant, laughing and chatting...and hanging onto the tails of each others' backpacks, marching toward their cars.

I did a double take and almost rear-ended the car in front of me. No worries, though, because the person in front of me was also doing a double take and almost rear-ended the car in front of her. Fortunately, no accidents, but a very, very strange to thing to see.

Okay, now for crazy sighting number two.

Just a few minutes after seeing the white-haired trail of leashed backpack wearers, a man zipped past me on a motorcycle. He was wearing a creepy gray and red striped sweater, a la Freddy Krueger. I didn't see his face (nor did I want to, because I was afraid it would look like a stretched out pepperoni pizza, just like Freddy's face in the Nightmare on Elm Street movies), but at the next stoplight, he straddled his bike with his feet on the ground and arched himself backward like he was stretching, and I saw something that looked like this...It's a freakin' Freddy Krueger glove belt buckle! These things are real, people! Anyway, when the light turned green, I was so freaked out that I hit the gas in an effort to get far away from the Freddy Wannabe and almost bumped the car in front of mine.

Whew! I think I'm going to stay home for the rest of today. These strange sightings have made me nervous. And now I have a strange urge to decorate for Halloween.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Heard in Our House Tonight...

As we're cleaning up the downstairs in anticipation of company tomorrow...

Him: I think I'm going to call it quits tonight.

Me: What?! There's still a ton to do!

Him: I already cleaned a lot.

Me: [feeling mean and nasty] I cleaned more than you did.

Him: Whatever. I cleaned the living room and dining room.

Me: Are you kidding me? You moved the toys and books from the couch to the floor and put some cards into the hutch in the dining room. That doesn't equal actual cleaning.

Him: I ran the garbage out.

Me: I emptied the fridge so you could

akgiorikfdjleroijrtewkl LITTLE STRUGGLE FOR THE KEYBOARD THERE. THIS IS SHAWN AND I DO NOT SUPPORT THIS MESSAGE. IGNORE MY WIFE!

Sorry for the interruption there, folks. He's in a sour mood because I pointed out to him that I scrubbed the kitchen sinks and counters, cleaned and dusted the desk, dusted all the tables and knick-knacks in the living room, scrubbed the kitchen table, went through a week's worth of junk mail, emptied the fridge (which he was supposed to do last night in anticipation of garbage day), cleaned the windows and

kfjhguioruihjfdjhduyotr LISTEN EVERYONE. THIS IS SHAWN AGAIN AND I'M GOING TO CLEAN THE BATHROOM, OKAY? I ADMIT IT, I WAS LISTENING TO THE CUBS/BREWERS GAME IN THE KITCHEN WHILE SHE WAS CLEANING. BUT ONLY FOR A LITTLE WHILE. IT'S NOT MY FAULT THAT SHE CLEANS FASTER THAN I DO. AND I KILLED THE BIG NASTY SPIDER ON THE LIVING ROOM WINDOW SO SHE COULD CLEAN IT. SO THERE!

And that, dear readers, is an average night in our house. I'm now laughing so hard that I have to stop typing.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sorry for not posting recently. This whole teaching-three-classes-thing is taking a serious bite out of my blogging time.

Things here are fine. Crazy and busy, but fine.

I just got home and I missed dinner, so I'm eating leftover chicken as I type this. Not a good idea. I'm dropping food on the keyboard, so I think I'm going to prioritize and eat my dinner. More blogging later. Or tomorrow.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

I Made the Cut!

I've been growing out my hair for the past ten months--with regular trims, of course--in an effort to make the cut for Locks of Love. Imagine my dismay when I had my ponytail all set, only to find that it was about a half-inch short of the requirement! I had two options at that point. I figured I could wait another month (which made me want to cry--I do NOT like having long hair) or, I could still get it cut and donate it through another program. It's Patene's Beautiful Lengths program.

I really liked the idea of Locks of Love, but I caved in. I couldn't stand the upkeep of my long hair for another minute, so as we speak (or more appropriate, as I write), I have a 9+ inch ponytail in a plastic bag, ready to be sent off for donation through Pantene's program.

My neck is exposed, my cheekbones are noticeable again, and lo and behold, I have ears! I've got a nice, jaw-length bob and had some red highlights thrown in, just for fun. I also got an immediate confidence-boost with this haircut. I realized I was literally hiding behind my long hair most days. Now, my face and eyes are just sort of out there for everyone to see. Do I have pictures to show? Not yet. I'll try and get some later!

Right now, I have to run to the grocery store and then I'm taking my daughter to the zoo. Hope you're having a great weekend!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Friday?

I went through most of my day today thinking it was Friday. Imagine my surprise around 1pm when I realized it was, in fact, only Thursday. My mind was totally playing tricks on me.

Sigh.

And on top of it, I also realized that there are some very strange things on television in the evenings...and I don't even have cable. I glanced over my should just in time to see three midgets (sorry, is "little people" the correct term? I don't want to offend anyone...) contorting themselves to try and fit through a wall--sort of like puzzle pieces. My husband just told me that the show is called "Hole in the Wall."

This is what the world is coming to? Strange.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Conversations with God and The Value of Friendship

Genuine friends must be cherished and not forsaken (Prov. 27:10).

A few nights ago, I had a dream--not a weird, wild or crazy dream that is so typical of me, but a simple dream. In my dream, I was being reunited with an old friend. He was my closest friend until my husband came along, and though I rarely admit it to myself, let alone admit it out loud, I miss him terribly. I haven't seen him in over eight years, and that by itself (I think) should mean that I shouldn't feel so sad when I think about him, but that's not quite the case. We met in college, shared some of the same friends, were involved in some of the same activities. We met completely by accident through a mutual friend...and realized that we were so different and so similar at the same time, that it was likely we'd end up buddies or end up throttling each other. We went the buddy route. It was a unique friendship, one that most people didn't understand, one I'm not always sure I understand.

In this dream, I was walking through a valley of sorts, surrounded by rolling green hills, trying to determine if the hour upon me was sunrise or sunset. The sun was bold on the horizon, fiery, streaking colors across the sky as a gentle wind lifted my hair from my neck. I didn't feel afraid or lost. I was walking with purpose, seeking something or someone, my heart fluttering with anticipation. I picked up my pace, hurrying along, when I rounded a curve...and I saw him. He was sitting on a wrought iron park bench next that was perched on the banks of a lagoon.

He didn't turn and look at me, but I know that he knew I was there. My heart was racing, blood thundering in my ears. How long had I waited for this moment? To see him face to face and reconnect? There was nothing, nothing, romantic about my feelings for him, but I couldn't deny that I wanted to throw my arms around him and hug him for all I was worth, to say all that I needed to say. To put aside my stupid pride, humble myself and ask his forgiveness.

I sat down next him, on the opposite side of the bench, not touching, not speaking at first. Neither of us knew what to say, but just like always, he was the braver one, the kinder one, the one willing to do the harder thing, and he broke the silence.

"It's been a long time. I'm glad you finally found me."

I felt my throat clog and I swallowed hard, fighting not to be overwhelmed by tears. I didn't know how to respond to him, so I just started talking, filling him in on what the last eight years were like for me...during all of this, my conscious mind knew that I was dreaming and I felt a frantic sense of urgency, like I needed to talk as fast as I could because I knew our time was limited...because I knew that even though I'd found him, it would be a very long time before I saw him face to face again.

As my body fought to wake up and start the day, my mind gently shushed it, continuing to drift in the hazy place where my dream was unfolding.

He spoke to me as we sat on that park bench, though I don't remember even a single word of what he said. His voice was neutral and low, the way it always was, the same inflection and tone that I remember so well. I leaned in closer to better hear what he was saying and inhaled the scent that was uniquely him, noticing a few strands of silver peeking through his dark hair. I looked into his eyes, as dark and mysterious as my own, and was flooded with regret for letting go of this friendship, for not honoring him the way a true friend should be honored.

He reached out and squeezed my hand and another flood of memories came back to me...like how I remember he was the first man I ever associated with who held a door open for me...who I could spend time with in silence, just working together but separately...who held his hand out for me when I was on crutches after knee surgery and struggling to manage my backpack over the icy, snowy terrain on the way to class...who laughed even when my jokes weren't funny...who picked a random cherry blossom out of my hair when we were in Washington, D.C. on a scholarly trip with a group of students and professors...who always seemed so genuinely interested in my thoughts and ideas...who engaged in spirited debates with me about religion, politics and history...who clung to my hand for support at his father's funeral...who told me that he knew I would go far in life, as long as I was true to myself and recognized that just getting by and surviving would never be enough for me.

I remember that he was nicer to me than I ever was to myself. I remember that he saw potential I didn't even know I had. I remember that he believed in me long before I ever saw myself as a person worth believing in.

I felt my body rushing toward wakefulness and I mentally struggled to cling to the moment. He got up and started walking away from me, but I called out to him, trying in those last desperate moments to explain the external forces that drove a wedge in between us...why I let that wedge come in between us. I tried to make him understand why I made the decisions I did...how once everything was set into motion, I felt helpless to stop our friendship's barreling race to the finish line, to avoid the disastrous collision course I put us on.

In my dream, he paused and looked back at me, listening intently. The sun reflected off his glasses as a small smile curved the corners of his mouth and he slowly shook his head back and forth. "It's all okay, you know. It's in the past. You've punished yourself far more than I ever could have. Just be okay and know that you'll see me again sometime."

I woke up then, shaking and sweating, my nose running and tears leaking from the corners of my closed eyes. The dream was so vivid, so real to me, and yet it was something borne of my own imagination. I couldn't help but think about it the rest of the day. It had stirred up feelings I had stuffed so deep inside of me, that I had actually fooled myself into believing they were gone.

I got through the day, though it was a struggle not think about the dream and wonder what triggered it, wonder what it meant, wonder why it was nagging at me. My first thought, of course, is that there's some unfinished business. I did a terrible thing in walking away from our friendship with no explanation...no explanation that he knew of, anyway. But as I thought about it more, I wonder if it was more symbolic. I struggle with my beliefs and my faith. I try hard to be a good Christian and a good Catholic, but of course I fail sometimes. Lately, in moments of frustration, I've been looking for God, wondering where He is...before I remind myself that if I'm looking for God, He's not the one who's lost. I think about what was said in my dream...It's been a long time. I'm glad you finally found me...It's in the past...You've punished yourself far more than I ever could have...

I think there's a deeper message, something that goes beyond the surface of simple words. And maybe, just maybe, the message came to me in this form because it would make me pay attention and make me think long and hard about it.

And believe me, I'm thinking long and hard about it.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Oh no...

I have a terrible case of writer's block. I don't know if it was all the chaos of the past week or what, but I'm really struggling to string together words that are meaningful and that make sense. I've been working on a post all week and can't seem to finish it and even in regular conversation, I can't seem to keep my mind focused enough to come up with something even halfway intelligent. I had a few nights this week where I didn't get enough sleep, so maybe this is an after-effect. I dunno.

How's the weather for everyone? It's been raining incessantly here for the past 24 hours. Overnight was horrible--torrential rains, winds shaking the house--and we're not even in the path of Hurricane Ike! I think the remnants will be hitting us tomorrow as the storm falls apart and moves upward toward the midwest, but I don't know how much more our waterlogged land can take. Our sump pump is running about every 3-4 minutes and there's standing water in the lower-lying areas of our neighborhood. There's just nowhere for the water to go.

I went grocery shopping this morning and it took me almost an hour to get home. Sheesh. I'm still hoping to get out to the library and then the fabric store to buy some black fabric for my daughter's Halloween costume. She was a witch last year, and wants to be a witch again this year. I bought a pattern that comes with 5 designs--an angel, a princess, a gypsy, a witch and a pioneer girl/frontier girl. I was hoping the munchkin would pick the angel or gypsy, but she's hung up on being a witch, so a witch it is!

Hark! What is that I hear? Well looky there...the rain has temporarily stopped. I better make a run for the library before it starts again!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Pending Post

I'm working a post right now...something a little more relevant than the past few. The weather here has been gloomy and I think the lack of sunshine and fresh air is making me a little nutty. I'm feeling sort of bummed, but completely unmotivated to do anything about it. On the up side, I have a chicken cooking in the crock pot and it smells divine...

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Saying Hi!

I've been busy the past few days. It was a crazy weekend, and for the next few days, I'm enduring the trials and tribulations of a DHS survey at work. It's going okay so far, but it's incredibly hectic and stressful. Hope everyone out there is doing well!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Proof in the Pictures

Last weekend, we took a short trip (okay, it was kind of a long drive with a three year old) down to Arthur, Illinois for the Arthur Cheese Festival. I had intended to post a few pictures sooner, but the week got a little out of hand. Anyway, my husband was there for the cheese, the kiddo was there for the fun stuff (including a super cute Elmo balloon person), and I was there to take in the Amish surroundings. I had to restrain myself when it came to taking pictures, because the Amish don't believe in any graven images, which means no photos of them. It was hard, but I respected it.

I did, however, want to point out that they are just like everyone else in a lot of ways. Case in point, when things break down and they can't afford something brand new...


Now, just in case you can't clearly see the sign...here it is a bit closer.


I also posted this over at the blog I share with my sisters, too, so if you've peeked over there before today and already saw these, sorry for the repeat!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Roly Poly

I have a bunch of roly-polies in my basement! I know they're attracted to moisture, so it figures they would cluster down there. Errrrr. I vacuumed up a bunch of them and cranked the dehumidifier. I'm going to buy some Borax tomorrow and sprinkle it around the perimeter of the house, inside and out. I know roly-poly bugs are completely harmless, but (gulp) I am really scared of bugs, so this is a huge issue. I think the only major mistake I made was vacuuming up two big spiders with the roly-polies. If I had left the spiders there, maybe they would have eaten the roly-polies. Except I'm more scared of spiders than I am of roly-poly bugs.

How's that for something weird about me...I go into dangerous neighborhoods and work with (some) people who have serious criminal records. I do that without even blinking. And I'm afraid of bugs. Go figure.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

A Fitting Day for Rain

After today, I'll get back to posting about more lighthearted issues. But for now, there are heavier things on my mind.

When I woke up this morning, greeted by a leaden sky, clouds bloated with rain, all I thought was, "Good. It's a fitting day for rain."

My dear friend Kim and her husband Mark are burying their child today, and while I believe that in everyone's hearts, it's always raining the day you put someone you love in the ground, the weather matching today's events just seems fitting.

And then there's another part of me that wished for a beautiful, sunshiny day, for the purpose of giving hope, a reminder that over time there will start to be more good days than bad, that the memories, no matter how short they are, are still beautiful and something to hold close.

If I could march up to the gates of Heaven and bring their daughter back, I'd do it in a heartbeat. But life doesn't work like that, nor does death, and like it or not, the world keeps turning and the days continue to pass.

After leaving the funeral home last night when the wake was over (which, as odd as it may sound, was absolutely beautiful--a wonderful setting and moving tribute to a life cut tragically short), my husband and I talked about what a beautiful baby she was. Is. Is. How beautiful she is. Just beautiful--all pudgy and round and pink the way newborns are. We talked about the love that flowed between Mark and Kim; we expressed amazement at their grace and dignity in facing what is no doubt the worst thing a couple could ever have to cope with. We talked about how it just seemed wrong that cars were zipping along the street, full of people going about their daily routines. It seems like the world should stop for something like this, to give the parents the time they need to try and find some kind of meaning, some kind of peace to carry them through the next dark days they'll be facing.

I've spent a lot of time in quiet reflection these past few days, as is common in many people after a sudden, sad experience. My husband and I talked quietly on the way home last night about our beliefs and God's plan. I think I'm a pretty good Christian, at least a decent Catholic, but I don't believe that it's ever part of God's plan to break the hearts of two loving, wonderful, good people, who planned and prepared for a child that was wanted so much. I don't always buy into the fact that everything happens for a reason, that there's meaning in every tragedy. I believe that God was grieving as much as every person in that chapel last night. While I believe that He was joyous in greeting little Alyssa with outstretched arms when she passed into Heaven, I also believe that He knows the grief a parent feels at the loss of a child, and there is no joy in that for Him. I don't believe for even a second that this is some kind of test or some kind of punishment. I believe in a God that shares in our joys and sorrows--but it's up to us to let Him share in that.

There's really nothing more to say about it, nothing more to do, so I'll end here. I've been poking around on my favorite blogs, though not commenting much. I'll get back to that soon, too!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

A Little of This...A Little of That

Greetings. Is it the weekend yet? Oh yeah, I just came off of a long holiday weekend. It went way too fast. Way. Too. Fast.

It started out good--we went to the Arthur Cheese Festival. There was a cheese eating contest, cheese curling (goofy sport...), lots of arts and crafts (I bought a few funny signs...one says "Mom's Diner-Open 24 Hours" and another one says, "My house was clean last week. Sorry you missed it."), and perhaps the best of all was my munchkin going on her first pony ride. I'll get around to posting pictures. (It just seemed like it wasn't as big of a deal after I got the e-mail yesterday from my girlfriend about the sudden, tragic death of her daughter.) The hubby and I went to Home Depot and got some new plants for the front yard. We have a patch in front of the windows where nothing seems to grow. It's just kind of crappy dirt, I guess. In the end, we bought some boxwoods and Russian sage to fill it in. I've got my fingers crossed that they take root!

Classes are in full swing at the university this semester and I'm already tired. I do love teaching, but it is a second job, and there are some nights when all I want to do is come home, sit on the couch and eat cheesy poofs. Instead, I'm doing the crazy classroom stuff. I do plan on having a less intense work load next semester. I value time with my daughter too much to keep up with a schedule like this for very long.

Sometimes I wish I was wealthy. Not too wealthy. Just enough to...well, just enough to be enough. I'd like the bills to be paid and I'd like to stay home with my daughter. Maybe I could finally get around to starting my own business--which, ironically enough, could be the key to being a little more wealthy. But first I have to structure my time to get to that point. I'm starting to feel like a hamster on a wheel...running around and around, but not really getting anywhere.

Ugh. This post is all over the place. I'm going to blame it on my allergies. They've been absolutely terrible the past few days. It's like my sinuses have taken over my whole face and my eyes are all icky and itchy. This happens every year at this time and there isn't squat I can do about it because I can't take allergy medicine. Well, I can take Benadryl, but it doesn't do much for me. Ah well.

I'm going to lurk on my favorite blogs for a little while and then go to sleep.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Prayers for Baby Alyssa

After much humor and reminiscing earlier today about the joys and pitfalls of labor and delivery, I received a heartbreaking e-mail from one of my girlfriends, who along with her husband, was eagerly anticipating the birth of their first child.

The e-mail, in paraphrase, was this:

It is with much sadness that we announce the passing of our baby daughter. She was born on Thursday, August 28th at 7:41am. She was 5 lbs., 3 oz., and 18 inches long. After an emergency c-section and tireless efforts of the dedicated doctors and nurses, our beautiful daughter passed away. Although she was only with us this brief time, our lives have been touched in a way that we never could have imagined.

I still can't quite believe any of this. I know my friend and her husband can't believe any of this...to pray for and anticipate the joy of new life, only to have it leave so suddenly. I'm stunned into silence, humbled and heartbroken by this experience that isn't even my own. Please pray for my friend and her husband. Pray especially for her, the mommy, who has to learn now how live her life with a hole in her heart, with empty arms that will no doubt ache to hold the child that had been planned for with such love...the mommy who will have nothing but a few short, beautiful memories to sustain her until she meets her child again.

"When my bones were being formed, carefully put together in my mother's womb, when I was growing there in secret, You knew that I was there--You saw me before I was born. My days in Your book were numbered, before any of them ever began." **Psalms

Labor Day--Reminiscing about Labor...

I saw this meme on Missy's blog and thought I'd play along! (I'll have pictures from the Cheese Festival later...) It's funny thinking about the day I had my daughter. It seems like it was so long ago, yet the memories are so vivid, it's like it just happened. I'm long-winded, especially when it comes to talking about labor and delivery. Happy reading!

How long were your labors?

Well, let's see. That's sort of a matter of opinion. I would say 13 hours, including push time, but there were a few things going on beforehand that I didn't recognize as labor symptoms.

I had an OB appointment on Wednesday, May 11th, 2005. I hadn't been feeling well, kind of nauseous and achy, and even though I wasn't due for almost three more weeks, the doctor said that if I didn't have the baby over the weekend, she wanted me to call on Monday, because she wanted to induce. I had an excessive amount of amniotic fluid and in her words, "Even though it's early, we're going to have to get your baby out in the next few days. There's just no more room for it to grow." She then told me that I was dilated to 2cm and if I did some extra walking, it might trigger labor to start. I asked her what I could do about the pain in my back and she suggested a massage from my husband. I went back to work and took a half hour walk on my lunch break. Nada.

That night, my husband and I went shopping for a few last minute baby things and went for a walk. Still nothing, though the Braxton-Hicks (or so I thought) contractions were becoming more frequent. But my back was hurting even more.

I went to work on Thursday and made it about 5-6 hours. I just didn't feel well and my back really, really, hurt. I laid around that afternoon, picked at my dinner and went for a walk with my husband. It took about 45 minutes to walk around the block, and by that time, I was crying. I just wanted to lay down, so when we finally made it home, I took a shower and slept like a stone for probably 7 hours.

I got up for work the next morning--it was Friday...

How did you know you were in labor?

I got up for work and I was making my lunch--it was just after 6am and my husband was literally walking out the door. I asked him to please wait, because I really didn't feel so well. All of a sudden, I felt like I was going to throw up and a rush of water ran down my legs. My water broke. And all I thought was, "That stupid nurse lied to me in childbirth class! She said that if my water even broke, it would just be a little trickle!" I pressed my legs together and made my way upstairs to get changed so we could leave for the hospital. My back hurt so bad, I thought I was going to faint.

Where did you deliver?

I delivered at a local hospital. A Solucient Top 100 Hospital in the Nation for the past 4 years. Best hospital experience of my life so far--it really was fantastic, though of course, that probably also has something to with the fact that I was excited to see the kid I'd been toting around in my belly.

Drugs?

I tried hard to go all natural, but early on, it was obvious my contractions weren't strong enough and they started Pitocin. That got the contractions moving, but the only problem was that it turned out all the back pain I'd been having since Wednesday was back labor, and I didn't know it. I'd technically been in labor for 48 hours. After my water broke, I went eight and a half hours with no pain meds. Then I caved in and got a shot--Stadol, I think it's called--and was able to rest for about an hour. The doctor and nurse knew I wanted to go natural, but they actually recommended an epidural because I was so exhausted from trying to manage the pain and they agreed that I needed to save my energy to push. I was only dilated to 4-5 cm at that point, so I finally agreed to it.

The anesthesiologist was hilarious. When he found out that at that point, it had been almost 10 hours, he stood there, open mouthed and asked incredulously, "Are you joking? Women still try to go all natural? Wow! Do you mind if I tell the other anesthesiologists? You've gotta be one tough chick!" We had a good laugh as he jammed the needle into my back. They kept the epidural light because my doctor knew how badly I wanted to go natural. I still felt all my contractions and knew when I needed to push and could feel everything when I pushed, but the intense pain in my back had blessedly eased to a manageable level.

C-Section?

Dangerously close. I was in the final stages and pushing when I felt something go very wrong and the doctor started screaming at me to stop. Yeah...there's something very large coming out of a very small space, but just stop. Uh-huh. But I did stop, because I could just tell something wasn't right. My daughter (though we didn't know it was a girl at the time), defiant little bugger that she is, had turned her head sideways and was stuck. She refused to move. The doctor tried to rotate her manually, but no luck. I was almost hysterical at that point, and the doctor had to use a drill sergeant tone of voice with me to keep me calm. I was in no frame of mind to make a decision--I was busy screaming, "Just get it out, get it out, GET IT OUT!!" The doc and my husband briefly discussed trying to push the baby back in and doing an emergency c-section, but the doc really wanted to avoid it because of the risk to both of us. All of a sudden, there was an entourage of people marching into the room and I was trying to close my knees. I didn't want all those people in there! It had been just me, my husband, the doctor and nurse. Now, there were two more nurses, the anesthesiologist, a neonatologist and pediatrician, and I forget who else. I'm usually very together, but I was completely unhinged at that point. I was still yelling, "GET IT OUT! I don't care what you have to do! GET IT OUT!"

In the end, we skipped the c-section (and all those strangers left my room, other than the neonatologist, who wanted to examine the baby immediately after delivery) and I had the mother of all episiotomies. Out came the scissors--and half a dozen cuts (that I think ultimately required 14 stitches)--and finally, blessedly, out came the baby.

Who delivered?

I was so lucky to have my own doctor deliver. My original OB moved to California when I was almost seven months pregnant and he referred me to a new practice with three doctors. I honestly didn't like her very much at first, but we totally bonded during the delivery. I think it had something to do with her expression of amazement while I was pushing..."Holy crap, Martha. How much amniotic fluid do you have in there?" She really made me laugh and that made the process so much easier. Afterward, she was there for me when my heart went haywire...when I had post partum depression...and when I had two cancer scares in three months. I now recommend her to everyone I know.

Ah memories. If you want to play along, head over to Rocks in My Dryer and leave a link!