Wednesday, May 18, 2011

So I had a dream a few weeks ago . . .

and you know it had to be memorable if I still remember it now. But anyway.

Oh, but before I go on, I MUST share that my 11 year old is trying to set a new world record in forgetfulness. Was I seriously that forgetful at 11? I mean, it is out of control. ANYWAY, back to the dream.

In my dream. I was having an interview with my old boss. The only boss that I've had twice - I was looking for a summer internship as a techical writer and Tim interviewed me and hired me as an intern for the summer of 1993. Then he asked me to stay on as on contract until August 1994. And then he hired me back in 1996 and I worked there until December 1997.

So back to my dream. I was having an interview with Tim. He was working someplace new. I was looking for a job and saw a position that looked like I would be qualified for, and I went to the interview and I was surprised to see him there. He told me about what he had been doing for the past 10+ years since I'd seen him and then he asked about me. I told him that I'd worked as a technical writer for another company for a year, and then as a trainer for 4 years, but I'd been teaching preschool/doing daycare/getting a masters degree/being a mom for most of that time.

And then he said it. "You know, I thought you would have done more with your life."

In my dream, I was crushed.

And then I woke up.

And I've been thinking about the dream. A lot.

I do think that what I've done since I last saw my old boss has been important. Especially the mom part.

And it has certainly helped me figure out that "just" having a career is not enough for me. Or is the most important thing to me.

My family is certainly "DOING MORE" in my eyes.

My family certainly is the most important thing to me.

And figuring out how to get through the past few years - emotionally, physically, mentally. That was "doing more" too.


(you knew there was a but)

it really has made me think more about my "career" too. It has made me think about why I went back to school to get a masters degree, and why it was important for me to finish. It has made me think about the skills that I have that don't involve talking to people that are under 5 feet and under 12 years years old.

And it has made me really think about finding a way to come as close as I can to having it all - a way to still spend time with my children, time forgardening/preserving/sewing/cooking, etc. AND time to do something with training/writing/teaching.

I'm pretty sure I have a plan too. I feel good about it - because now I am getting to be more purposeful with my life. Before, I worked because that is just what you did after you went to college. And then I worked at home because that is what you do when you get laid off and you have a two/three kids at home. I enjoyed it, but I didn't choose my path.

Now, I'm choosing. And I feel happy about the path that I'm choosing.

So thanks Tim. Even if you didn't really say it. And even though it was a mean thing to say. And even if it wasn't even true.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

In honor of Mother's Day - my story of motherhood

It was September 22nd, 1999 (almost 12 years ago. I know. I. CAN'T. BELIEVE. IT.) It was pregnant with my first baby (after my first miscarriage in February 1998.) I had spent much of her pregnancy being worried, but so far, everything had been fine. I was due on September 20th, and I was miserable. I went in for my last dr. appointment and the dr. agreed to induce me on the 22nd.

So in anticipation of the big event, Mr. Simple and I, my parents, and my sister, her husband, and their 5 month old baby went out for dinner the night before. I actually started going into labor that night, but by the time I left for the hospital at 7 am, the contractions were still far apart. I labored on my own until 9 AM and then they started Pitocin. Immediately, the contractions became VERY close together. They would last at least a minute long and I'd only have a 30 second break. I sat and rocked in the rocking chair for hours. It was the only thing that felt good to me. At 2 pm., the dr. broke my water and I got an epidural and by 3 pm, I was complete and ready to push. Everybody said that things were going so fast for a first baby. Everybody said that it would be soon. So I started pushing. And I pushed. And pushed. And pushed. They kept saying "It will be the next one!" Except it wasn't. Finally, 3 hours and 45 minutes later, the dr. came in and did a forceps delivery. (Well, technically, it wasn't a forceps delivery. He put the forceps in place and made enough room for the baby to come out.) Flower was born on September 22nd, 1999 at 6:45 pm. She was 7 lbs. 12 oz. and had the roundest head - which seemed funny after all the pushing that I did.

She was a terrible nurser (This lasted for the longest 6 weeks of my life too. She finally figured it out thankfully.) I sent her to the nursery that night to try and get some sleep, and they would bring her back every hour saying that I needed to nurse her. She wouldn't latch and would just sit and scream for 20 minutes. This went on all night. I kept her with me during the day, but of course, she mostly slept during the day. The second night was more screaming.

I was convinced that I shouldn't be allowed to take Flower home from the hospital. But they sent her home with us anyway. And she (and we) survived.


It was December 17th, 2001. It was the end of Jelly Bean's pregnancy. Jelly Bean's pregnancy had been difficult. I was on bedrest from week 10 to week 20 with cramping and contractions. At 29 weeks, I went to the hospital with pre-term labor. I was already dilated to 5 centimeters when I got there, and everyone was sure that I would deliver then. Thankfully, I didn't. I was on hospital and home bedrest from 29 weeks until 37 weeks. Everybody said that I'd probably deliver the next day. I didn't. In fact, I had hardly any contractions for the next 3 weeks.

I went to my last dr. appointment and the dr. said that he wanted to see me deliver. I said that I didn't want pitocin. I didn't want an epidural. He said that he was sure it wouldn't be necessary. He would just break my water and I would probably deliver the baby shortly after that. So we showed up at the hospital at 9 am on December 18, 2001. The dr. broke my water.

And. Nothing. Happened. I had hardly any contractions. He came in and talked to me at 12:45 and said that I could continue like this for a few more hours, but now that my water was broken, I did need to deliver, and so if something didn't happen after 8 more hours, I'd have to do pitocin. Or I could just start pitocin now. I didn't want it, but at this point, I was just tired. I was tired of being pregnant. I just wanted to deliver.

At 1 pm, the nurse started the pitocin. The contractions started right away. I still wanted to not have an epidural. But as the contractions kept coming one after the other, I asked for an epidural. The nurse said that I couldn't have one until I was in True Labor. WHAT??? The nurse came in and figured out that the monitors weren't recording the contractions. She also checked me and said that I was at 6 centimeters. So she said that she would call him, but he wasn't at the hospital and it would take about 10 minutes before he got there. It was about 1:45 at this point. As soon as the nurse left the room, I noticed that I was pushing. I mean, I wasn't trying to, but I was pushing. I told Mr. Simple, and he said something about only being at 6 centimeters, but then when he saw that the baby was coming, he ran out in the hallway and said that I was having the baby. Mr. Simple and a nurse trainee came back in the room. The nurse trainee told me not to push because my dr. wasn't there yet. He would be there in 5 minutes or so. She told me to practice my breathing. I tried, sort of, once, but with that one breath, out came Jelly Bean. She was born at 1:53 pm. She weighed 6 pounds.

I didn't want to hold her at first. I felt bad about it, later, and even at the time, but my body was in shock that I'd just had a baby. It had been SO fast. And everything had seemed so out of control. But after 10 minutes, I held her. She was so small and red.

She nursed like a champ from the beginning. Yet, she was my tiniest baby at birth, and for a long time afterward. Like until she was 2 years old.


It was September 25th (which isn't his actual birthday, wait, I'll get to it.) I had been at my one of my friend's son's baptism that day. A bunch of my other friends were there. Everyone was asking when I was going to have the baby.

Super's pregnancy had been a HUGE surprise. I'd had lots of trouble getting pregnant with the girls and so we figured that we were just going to be blessed with the two girls. Then when Jelly Bean was two, I started feeling sick. But it was winter. I always feel sick in the winter. And it wasn't really bad. Being pregnant didn't really cross my mind. Finally, I decided to go to the dr. and lo and behold, I was already almost 3 months along.

I also had pre-term labor with him, and it was even earlier, at 26 weeks, but they were able to manage it better this time, and I spent less time on hospital bedrest than I did with Jelly Bean. And when anyone asked, I told them that I did NOT want to be induced, and I did NOT want an epidural.

So anyway, his due date was September 20th (the same due date as Flower!). It came and went. And the next day and the next. By the 25th, I was getting pretty impatient, but I really didn't want to be induce. But the dr. said that he would only let me go until the September 27th. By the night of the baptism, I had resigned myself to the fact that I'd be going to the hospital on the 27th to be induced.

We get home and have dinner. I don't feel that well, and I hardly eat anything. I go lay down and sleep for a bit. When I wake up an hour or so later, I was having contractions. I went to take a bath because I knew that if I took a bath and the contractions stopped, they weren't "real" contractions. They didn't stop. I got out of the tub and started timing them. It was about 9 pm at this point. Mr. Simple kept checking on me every half hour or so, and I kept saying that it wasn't time yet. I didn't want to go and have to sit at the hospital or have things stall or something. Mr. Simple came up at midnight. He took one look at me and said "We are going."

We got to the hospital and we had to go in through the ER entrance because it was after 8 pm and the main doors are not open. We go in there, and the tech calls someone from Labor and Delivery to come bring us up. A nurse comes down and wants to have me ride in a wheelchair but I say that I want to walk. So we walked. It took almost an hour to get to L & D because I was having contractions every minute or so.

I got to L & D and was examined and I was at an 7. My water had already broke at home. Everything was going fine. I just walked around the room some more, sat on the birth ball, and talked to Mr. Simple. This was easy! I could do this every day!

Then about 2:45 am, everything changed. In retrospect, it was transition, but I didn't know it at the time. All of a sudden, I had the worst contraction EVER and it wasn't ending. And then when it did, another one started. I was so scared and it hurt A LOT. I told Mr. Simple I wanted an epidural. He tried to convince me that I didn't, but I wasn't not going to be convinced. So the nurse called for an epidural and she said that it would be about 10 minutes. (Haven't I heard this before?)

He got there at a little after 3 am, and it took about 5 minutes to get everything done. When he finished, I asked how long it would take before it took effect and he said usually about 10 minutes. I told him that I was feeling a lot of pressure, and he quickly went and got the nurse. The nurse came in, checked me, and then went to get the dr. And she told me not to push. (Haven't I heard this before?)

The dr. came in about 2 minutes later and two pushes later, and before the epidural kicked in, Super was born. He was born at 3:16 am on September 26, 2004. He weighed 6 pounds 14 oz.

We hadn't found out if he was a boy or a girl before he was born. I just assumed it would be another girl. So when he came out, Mr. Simple walked over to the bassinet and then back to me, and whispered in my ear "It is a boy."

He was such a calm baby. I enjoyed his babyhood so much more than with the girls. I was much more relaxed as a mom too. None of the kids were in school yet, and so we would just hang out around the house all day for the first 6 months or so. It was great.


Happy Mother's Day (a few days late!) I feel so blessed that I am a mom. I'm not always the best mother, and I don't always have the best behaved children, but we have each other. And for that, I'm grateful.