Posted by: Hackypie | 10/06/2015

Introducing: Cooking Guy!

IMG_5311

This little piece of cuteness is my son whom I am exploiting for the enjoyment of all you lucky people. This three year old chef will show you how to make No Knead “Dump” Bread! Don’t let its name deter you. It is super yummy, but don’t take my word for it! You won’t believe what this guy can do.

I am currently motivated to get more of these recorded, at least one a month. We shall see 🙂

If it’s like any of my other hobbies, I give it less than a year before I find something else to do. Until then, please enjoy this very special first episode of “Cooking Guy.”

Advertisements

See Part 1

and Part 2

*Disclaimer: This is a birth story. A real one. An honest one. There is some blood, some doubt, and at least few bad words. Recommended for mature audiences.

As soon as we found out we were pregnant again, I began researching home birth options and calling midwives. The closest one was 35 miles away. She had just had a baby and wasn’t taking clients… the next call was to a discontinued number, the next to a lady who had moved and lived three hours away, the next went to voicemail…

I received a callback from Rebecca Dean, she was the next closest at 50 miles away. Rebecca said she wasn’t taking clients; she was in a house transition, had people staying with her and was remodeling. She gave me the names of a few other ladies to call. I was persistent enough or something and begged her to reconsider. I had already called the ladies she mentioned, and I really didn’t want to drive all the way to Wichita (90 miles). She mailed me her information packet and highly encouraged me to call and meet with more midwives so that I would find one that I felt the most comfortable with. I said, “Sure-sure.” (But I didn’t really because Rebecca was the closest one to me, and the most affordable at only $2865.) I read through the packet and called her back right away to schedule my first appointment.

By nine weeks along, just a week before Jayden’s second birthday I woke up to pee in the middle of the night and noticed that I was bleeding. I came back to bed and cried myself to sleep. We were back in Nebraska for the weekend, working on our rental house and visiting friends. At church the next morning I made it through the few opening songs before I broke down. I couldn’t be here. Surrounded by a few hundred people; Singing about heaven, and love, and joy, when my baby was dead. Again. My sweet Jayden saw the tears running down my cheeks and needed me to hold him because he was sad for me. I used him as a shield as I left the auditorium. Ben drove us back home to Kansas as I texted my friends to apologize for skipping town early.

Rebecca wasn’t answering her phone that Monday or Tuesday (turns out I was dialing the wrong number), so I tried calling the local clinics and hospitals. All I needed was for someone with a heart monitor to tell me if my baby had a heartbeat! The hospitals would not see me unless I set up and registered my pregnancy with one of their Doctors to see for the remainder of the pregnancy. No thanks…I finally was able to reach Rebecca who could see me the following Monday. UGH. I had to wait almost a week.

So for the second year in a row, we had Jayden’s birthday party with me knowing that I was carrying a dead baby.

But I’ll skip ahead to the good part: Rebecca found baby’s heartbeat within seconds. I didn’t have anymore bleeding the rest of the pregnancy. The nausea let up right at 12 weeks. I felt baby start moving around 15 weeks—almost peed myself at 17 weeks when she kicked my bladder. Good times…

25weeksHere are a very few reasons I loved using a midwife with this pregnancy: Rebecca’s hands were never cold. Rebecca became a friend to me; most of my appointments lasted around two hours long—because we would spend an hour sometimes talking about things that had nothing to do with my pregnancy. Jayden came to almost every appointment and played with Rebecca’s daughters. Rebecca was affordable. Payment in full was due by 36 weeks, and she only charged just under $3000. (Jayden’s hospital birth was $15,000.)

Okay, I’ll quit stalling. Here’s the story of my home birth experience! What you’ve all been waiting on for the past 4500 words.

Jasmine Faye was born with a strong set of lungs just after 5 o’clock Saturday evening, November 29, 2014. Her “due” date was approximated the Tuesday before. The house

40 Weeks

40 Weeks

was clean, the toilet scrubbed, fridge full of food, all ready the weekend before. I had been having painful “false” contractions, or Braxton Hicks, the whole week. Not really painful, I suppose. But noticeable, and uncomfortable, and kept me from walking, bending over, or doing anything useful. They came about every 10-20 minutes. Friday, the contractions were more regular and were starting to change from “uncomfortable” to “painful.” I was ready to not be pregnant anymore. Not ready to have a new baby, and not ready to push it out.

I called Rebecca on Friday evening, told her that I didn’t think anything would happen this evening, but I was pretty sure that labor was starting for reals. I planned to try to go to bed early and get some sleep if I could. This was 7 o’clock with contractions coming every 7-8 minutes. I managed to sleep-ish from about 10 o’clock to 1:30 am. They were now painful enough that sleeping was completely out of the question. I stayed in bed and tried to rest as much as I could. My goal was to make it to 6 o’clock. Because then it would be morning and I would have made it through the night.

At 4 o’clock I woke up Ben and told him I couldn’t do this alone anymore and I needed his help. Silly husband, he patted my knee in his half-sleep and said, “It’s okay, don’t worry about it,” and went back to sleep. Yea, no. Not happening. I woke him up again and told him to go take a shower or something because it was time to be awake.

At 5 o’clock I called Rebecca and told her I was ready for her to come. I knew it would take over an hour for her to get here. I also knew I wasn’t going to pop out a baby any second, but I was starting to get scared. When I was standing up the contractions came about every three minutes, when I was lying down, they came every seven minutes.

Rebecca arrived sometime before 7 o’clock. She gave me a hug and I started crying—until another contraction hit me and I had to focus again.

We called our friends to come pick up Jayden. In between contractions I would go into Jayden’s room and try to wake him up and give him some love before he left; that boy is not an easy one to wake up if he doesn’t want to be up! When Lance showed up to take Jayden, he told him, “Hey, buddy, let’s go get some donuts, how about that?” And my boy says, “No, thanks. Tractors, please.” Lance is a custom harvester, and Jayden has been out on his tractors and combines many times…he would pick tractors over donuts. I knew he was in good hands.

Okay! Now, I could have this baby. I was aiming to pop this sucker out before lunch. Not my lucky day though. I cried a lot, I rocked my hips, I sat on the exercise ball. I took a shower until the hot water ran out. On the upside, there were no needles stuck in me, nobody coming in to check me every couple of hours, there were rugs on my floor, and my own bed to rest on, my own couch to lay on, my own fridge full of my own food.

Rebecca kept encouraging me to try to eat something. Often throughout the day I would feel so hungry, but when offered food I had no desire to eat it. Rebecca rummaged through the fridge and found some plain yogurt, mixed in a dollop of honey and she and Ben force-fed me through the afternoon… they also made me drink sweet tea and juice.

If I had written this account two weeks ago the day after it all happened my story would be much different. I would have talked about the unbearable pain, how I still secretly wished for an epidural. I was scared, and anxious. I really didn’t know if I could do it—I had never done it before! For all I knew, I might have died the last time without going to the hospital.

But already, just over two weeks later, the memories of the pain have faded. I can tell you how bad it was and how awful I felt, but it is as if I am telling you a story about somebody else’s pain. When I think of Jayden’s birth, over two years ago, the pain is still very real and scary.

At some point I said, “I’m sorry I’m being such a whiner! This is just really terrible…” Rebecca told me I could say whatever I wanted to say. So I did. I questioned God’s logic on this birth process. I get the whole “Eve curse” thing, I really do. But then explain to me how all these other women can have short labors? After I’ve hit the 12 hour mark I start to question if I did something to deserve this? Is this an extension of Eve’s curse because I’m a bad person? Then what the hell! Mother fucker, this HURTS. And Holy Shit.

I said all of that. Shame on me, I’m sure.

Sometime that afternoon my water broke in the living room. It took me completely by surprise. In the middle of a contraction, I was on my knees with both arms out supporting my weight on Ben’s knees or something, and then there was the gush of water. “Oh good! It’s clear,” Rebecca says, all calm and cool. Luckily, I was kneeling over one of those absorbent bed liner pads—we had them scattered about the place just in case. She quickly switched out the pad for a clean one and tossed Ben a towel—apparently it had splashed all over his foot.

At some point I was feeling pretty discouraged—I felt pretty discouraged most of the day because, you know, birthing a child is absolutely no fun at all. I asked Rebecca, “WHY IS THIS TAKING SO LONG. Someone Please tell me I am going to have this baby soon. Can you check me or something for the fun of it?” So she did, I took me forever and a day to make my way across the house and climb into my bed. She checked me and says everything is progressing fine. The baby is just on the other side of the pelvic bone. Getting around the bone is tricky because baby has to adjust. No talk of dilation or effacement.

A few times during the day Rebecca gave me something to put under my tongue, I didn’t even question what it was until the third time. She said it was some homeopathic remedy to help with fear. Which was good, I guess, because I was drowning in it. By the afternoon I needed Ben or Rebecca to talk to me throughout each contraction. It sounds silly, but I needed to hear someone say, “You can do this.” Not just once, but over and over and over.

Some very clear snapshot memories are of Ben’s face, I would just look him in the eyes and focus on his face, like I could somehow pull some extra energy and strength from his eyes.

Tired. So tired. I began to sort of whimper, cry after each contraction because I was pathetic ready for this to be done and afraid that I would be in labor another whole day. All I wanted to do was sleep. I made it back to my bed—it was so hard to walk, and move at this point, standing up was frightening because the contractions would come so quickly right on top of each other, but lying down was also bad because the contractions were longer and more painful. I did lie down because I was so tired. They would be as much as five minutes apart and I began falling asleep between them—which was good for my body to be able to rest, but really terrible because I wouldn’t wake up to the warning signs of brace-yourself-you-are-about-to-suffer-an-unberably-painful-contraction, I would simply wake up in unbearable pain…Rebecca told me that whatever I wanted to do, was what I needed to do. I could say in bed and rest, and the labor would still progress, but likely at a slower rate. Or I could get up, and the chances were greater that I would have the baby sooner. I said, “Yea, okay, I should probably get up”… and drifted off to sleep after the next contraction.

I really really really wanted this to be over. I said, “I just need a break. I just want it to stop. I’m so tired. I can’t keep doing this. I just need a break.” Rebecca suggested I try getting in the bath, it might help my body relax some and calm things down. I was all for that. But again, it was all I could do to get out of bed! The tub is maybe 15 feet from my bed, and I had three contractions on the way there.

They tricked me. Bloody flaming ashes, the second my feet touched the water it was like all hell broke loose on my body. I had heard people talk about “the urge to push.” I don’t even know what that means… No, this was like, your body is pushing this baby out, whether you like it or not. There was no choosing to push, or not push. I had also heard that the pain is less during the pushing because you are pushing and not just contracting. Also a flaming bloody lie.

Oh, and here are some neat facts for you, because I warned you this was a real birth story, I feel the need to mention that I peed in the bath, and there wasn’t much I could have done to avoid it, and I also pooped in the bath. (Eww! Gross!) We fished it out and flushed it. Good, moving on.

My tub is not very big, just a regular old small tub. I found the best way for this active pushing-baby-out work was to sort of squat facing the long outside of the tub. I could hold myself up with both hands on the same side. Every now and then Ben would offer me a drink of cold water, wipe my forehead, and he provided me a towel to rest my head on in-between contractions—which wasn’t very long.

I could feel with my hand inside of me that something was there and I sure hoped it was baby’s head! Every few contractions I would check to see if it had moved further down; it had. Okay, and here is the gross part, but hopefully you’re not reading this story if you didn’t really want to know. There was something coming out of me that was NOT baby. I said to Rebecca, “Something is wrong. There’s something coming out, but it’s not baby. It’s like my vagina is being inverted and pushed out. It’s all squishy.” She asked if I wanted her to check. I was like… sure. So she did, “Tasha, that is your baby’s head.” I said, “Nu-uh. It totally is not, why is it all squishy?!” She told me that was the soft spot of the baby’s head. I still didn’t believe her. And at this point I really wasn’t thinking very rationally. I was groaning and moaning almost constantly. Just trying to keep breathing. I told her, “I feel like I am going to split open! The baby is going to bust out of me and tear me in half!”

Rebecca was very calm… She suggested that maybe it was time I moved back to the bed. Her logic (that she didn’t bother to explain at the time) is that things were moving too quickly and gravity wasn’t helping in this case. If I was able to lay down, it might have helped baby progress down without “tearing me open” as I was so worried about.

I do not know how I managed to step out of that tub. But I did!! This is one of those “I am a freaking powerful woman” moments for me. I stepped out of the tub with the baby practically crowning. That’s as far as I got though. I got out of the tub and I could not have moved another step. This baby was coming, and coming now. Another couple of contractions with barely enough time to catch my breath in between, and the head crowned. You have heard of the ring of fire? It’s a real thing. My goodness gracious, it is terrible. The only good thing about it is that at this point you know you’re almost done.

I had my baby standing up. Ben was down on one knee in front of me, I had both arms on his shoulders so that I wouldn’t collapse, and I pushed out baby’s head. There was a short minute of relief until the next contraction that pushed out the rest of baby!

What utter bliss! Once she was out there was ABSOLUTELY NO PAIN. For the first time in a lifetime, I was feeling no pain. My baby was alive, outside of me, and LOUD. She didn’t waste any time taking her first breath and screaming to the world that she was here. Rebecca had baby just under me, between my legs, and (another gross part), I could see baby was actually very clean, and then a waterfall of blood poured all over her and down my legs.

Rebecca passed baby under my legs to Ben, and then she helped me move over and sit down on the toilet. The pain had come back, sadly. I was feeling pressure, and swelling, and bruising, and I had torn some, so that was probably hurting as well.

Her poor head!

Her poor head!

They handed baby to me sort of wrapped in a towel. I was naked, she was naked, and we’re both covered in my blood. Rebecca went off to get something, the scissors I think, and I checked baby’s gender. It’s a girl!! Of course it’s a girl. How could it ever have not been a girl? How perfect that she is a girl! It was just so right.

I asked how long does it normally take for this placenta to come out…because I was ready to sleep now. Rebecca said it could take up to two hours. Two hours! Ain’t nobody got time for that. How about 10 minutes or less? So that’s what happened. Rebecca tied off the cord, Ben cut it, and a few minutes later I birthed the placenta into the toilet. This entire time baby girl had not stopped crying. She wasn’t interested in nursing either.

From the time I moved to the tub to having her, it had only been about 40 minutes. She was born just after 5 o’clock in the evening. All in all I count this as a 22 hour labor; which was 18 hours shorter than Jayden’s! They helped me move to the bed, where I was able to rest for a bit holding my baby girl. Ben and talked about names for a while and settled on Jasmine Faye. Jasmine had been on the list, and Faye was brought up just that evening. We tried it out for a couple of hours before confirming it. I asked for a warm rag and tried to scrub the blood off of my body, it seemed to be everywhere. I tried to talk Rebecca out of stitching me up because I was so ready to be done… But Ben said to quit being a baby and let her do it. Four stitches later, Rebecca helped me up out of bed so I could take a shower. AND I PEED ALL OVER THE FLOOR! I have no idea where all this pee came from because I seriously had been peeing all day, but I was numb, and bruised and apparently had no bladder control because as soon as I stood up I started peeing. AND IT KEPT COMING. Luckily we still had a lot of those pads on the ground, and thank goodness for wood floors. I honestly wasn’t even embarrassed… pee happens, you know?

I felt like a human again after my shower, by the time I got out, Jasmine had been cleaned up—not bathed, but all the blood had been washed off of her. Rebecca had changed the bed sheets and gathered up all the bloody towels, rags, and trash. She’d cleaned up my pee from the bedroom floor, and had started a load in the wash. Jasmine nursed finally for the first time, and I began answering all the texts we’d received throughout the day.

After Jasmine had eaten and was resting, Rebecca weighed her, 7 lb 12 oz, and measured, 19 ¼ inches, and did all the other measuring that means something to somebody—head circumference, 14 inches… listed to heart and lungs and all that other good stuff.

Midwives are awesome.

Midwives are awesome.

Dear Rebecca finally headed home around 9 o’clock, I think. She needs to charge more for her services, I can tell you that much. She came back on Monday for a check-up and again on Friday. I now won’t see her again until the six-week check-up and that will be the last. I will miss her, and will probably have to set up play dates for the kids or something. I don’t want to wait until I’m pregnant again to hang out with her.

This birth story is so very different from my first. They were both painful, and both long, and horrible, and yet after only two weeks I am not traumatized by the memory of it; I feel pretty empowered that I birthed my baby at home standing over a pile of towels in my own bathroom. The pain memories have faded, the doubt, and fear, and stress seem like somebody else’s story. My story is that I did it and I feel awesome.

Just me and my girl :-)

Just me and my girl 🙂

Older Posts »

Categories