In Memory

As I sit here waiting on the instructor for the neonatal resuscitation program(NRP), my thoughts again drift back in time. Every two years, for the past ten years, I have attended this exact class. Last night I was anxious and couldn’t sleep. It isn’t due to being nervous about taking this class, but to the place that I have to go to take it. It is held at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. On the same floor as my daughter was on. It is held in a classroom on the neonatal intensive care unit(NICU). Some of my readers may know that six years ago, I gave birth, prematurely, to a dark-haired baby girl. We knew(doctors and myself), that my baby girl would have something wrong with her, we just weren’t exactly sure what. When I went into labor at 33 weeks and they couldn’t stop the contractions, she was born. The hospital was concerned about transporting me to the original facility I was supposed to deliver at, the one with the specialty pediatric ward, so I had her at a rural hospital. When she was placed on my chest, she was a beautiful pink color and looked like a perfect little doll. She was also hard like a baby doll. Something was definitely wrong with her. The nurses swept her off my chest onto the radiant warmer next to me. There was a flurry of activity, then they took my baby away. I’m not sure how long it took for someone to come tell me news about my baby, but it seems like an eternity. They told me I was to come to the small nicu area. That Vanderbilt’s Angel team was there ready to transport my baby. They said they never let anyone go back here. That made me nervous to think that they’re letting me and my husband go back. I’m thinking my daughter was in a dire state for them to offer this. They told me that they had given her several drugs to help her and that she was sleeping and may not respond to me. There she was, lying in the radiant warmer, attached to many tubes, she was intubated(a tube down the throat to administer oxygen) and she wasn’t breathing on her own. The staff gently placed her in my arms for me to hold and see her since at her birth, I wasn’t able to. Too soon for me, they took her back. Out to the special ambulance that Angel transport had waiting. They would take her an hour away to the hospital I was supposed to deliver at. I wasn’t able to go with her. It took several hours for me to be discharged. By the time I got to see my daughter again, it was midnight, 7 hours after her birth. The attending doctor we saw that night was absolutely horrible. He pretty much interrogated my husband and I before he let us back to see our daughter. After doing some scans, they noted that she had a severe brain anomaly. We were so tired from the day that we briefly saw her and then went back to the rooms the hospital kindly provided patient’s parents. The next morning, we went back to see her again. An older doctor was there this time. The first words out of his mouth were, “You did nothing to cause what is wrong with your baby. It is not your fault.” I immediately liked this doctor. What a different approach he had than that awful doctor the night before! This doctor kindly and patiently explained his findings. Unfortunately, her cerebellum didn’t form properly during development. The cerebellum is responsible for multiple functions of the body. Which includes breathing and swallowing, two major needs to live. He told us that we could take time to decide what we wanted to do. How long we wanted to keep her on life support. He said that we could keep her on it for as long as we wanted, but said her quality of life wouldn’t be good for an extended period on life support.

The next day, a new nurse was there caring for our baby, Ansley. This nurse had been a former hospice nurse and was amazing. She had me do some care on our baby, like changing her diaper, giving her a sponge bath and changing out soiled clothes and linens. She also helped us make foot and hand cast of Ansley. My husband and I had decided to take her off life support the next day. We wanted family to have time to come visit her while she was alive. It was a hard decision, but we just could see our little baby suffer any longer. She would be lying there, unmoving. Some of it was due to the drugs they were giving her, but she had no motor control of her body. If they hadn’t given her those drugs, she would be in constant contracture(which is when your muscles seize up and won’t release). We took photos of her and loved on her. Family came and went.

The next day came too quickly. I didn’t want to let her go. I held her while they removed life support. Her little heart beat strongly, but she wasn’t breathing now that the tube was removed. It was about an hour before her heart stopped.

Today as I walked out of the big, double doors, at the hospital after my class, I was overcome with sadness thinking that I had carried my baby out these doors. She wasn’t alive when I carried her out. I was able to take her to the funeral home myself.

So, you now see why I get so anxious each time I need to renew this certification. The class is top-notched. That’s why I still go back. But, the memories are strong. This never will go away. I don’t wish them too. The pain isn’t as raw now as it was six years ago, though it is still there, inside of me, like my memories of my precious daughter. In a few weeks, she would be turning six here on earth. My May baby.

Squishy baby birth

My sister had her baby on Thursday, the nineteenth, at 7:07 A.M. I was happy and honored to be in attendance during her labor and birth. It had been awhile, I would guess three years since I’ve attended a birth now. I used to be attend births many times during one month.

It was, at least to me, a nice and easy labor and birth. Though I felt weary after as I’m not used to getting up so early in the morning(3:30 A.M. I was awoken).

I spent most all of the day at her house helping out with laundry, dishes, and food. Also making placenta prints, along with assisting in photographing the placenta. Then I helped with preparing the placenta to be dehydrated and made into nourishing capsules. https://www.mamanatural.com/why-eat-your-own-placenta/

Friday we got our things ready to hit the road as my sister had her baby and we’d been camping on her land for the past month.

We are at our home base in Tennessee for two weeks before heading to Missouri for a rally with other fulltime RV families. This is my first rally to attend and I’m excited to meet more folks like us.

Saturday I did a major Costco haul as I hadn’t been near one in over a month. I also hit up the grocery store. Whew, it was a long day getting stocked up on food and then the fun part, finding places to put it all in an RV.

Today was completely a time for relaxation. We caught up on some shows on Netflix and Hulu as it was a rainy day.

I’m hoping tomorrow I will be back into my routine of journaling and reading. But, these past few days have been good and busy. I am still waiting on the rest of the photos from our RV photo shoot. I’m excited to share these with you all!

Journal Entry No. 17

Today was cold with light snow being blown by strong winds. The girls and I snuggled in bed a bit longer this morning since it was so chilly out and Brent is out of town. It was close to 9:00 A.M. before we were done with breakfast and started book work. After this was done, we watched Pippi Longstocking. Then the girls went outside to play with their cousins while my sister and I went for a walk.

I made lactation cookies today for my sister. My phone was disabled for many hours due to an update(the recipe is saved to my phone), so I used a different recipe this time, but my favorite is this one: http://www.drmomma.org/2010/08/lactation-cookies-recipe-increasing.html?m=1

So, on to my journal Entry for today.

What five things would I spend $5 on for fun or self-care?

  • Coffee
  • Books
  • Chocolate
  • Glass of wine
  • Flowers

Journal Entry No. 8

I know I need to be more accepting of myself. Like I wrote in Journal Entry no. 1 about being a critical person, I tend to be critical of myself. I’ve read many books and articles that say to “just accept yourself.” Why is it so hard for me to just accept myself? I’ve come to see I need to set my mind, daily, on being grateful and happy about things unique to myself, that make me truly me. I like when I did a yoga video from Yoga with Adriene, and she had me place my hands on my abdomen and say a word of thanks for all it does for me, day to day. It is one area of my body, in particular, that I’m unhappy about. But, in doing that exercise, I see I’ve been very ungrateful to this body part. It has done, is doing, and will do so much for me. My abdomen area has helped carry four babies, helps hold in numerous, vital organs, helps me stand tall, helps me with breathing, so, so many functions in which I seem to take for granted.

I accept myself. I love myself just the way I am(even if those statements sound cheesy😊). xoxo tummy

Too long to wait expectantly

Oh my! It has been over a month since my last blog post! I do thank all my readers for being so patient with me. Seeing that having my children home all day and schooling them takes up a good portion of my time that I would otherwise have allotted to work, I am behind on keeping this blog up-to-date.

Since my last post in September, What I have been up to, I have successfully completed the Dr. Sears’ L.E.A.N Expectation training. I am now certified to teach these workshops! For now, I will be offering these workshops via video calls as we have several months of travel planned. We will be returning in March of 2018 and I would like to offer some physical workshops for those in the Middle Tennessee area.

I am excited about this certification since it goes hand-in-hand with my past midwifery work. I am so happy to be able to be involved again working in the pregnancy and post-partum arena!

At the end of September and into the first part of October, the girls and I drove to Lafayette, Louisiana to visit my mother and grandfather. It was so lovely to visit and catch up. A funny thing to note, I didn’t eat much cajun food while there. I did eat a yummy beignet, which I bemoaned the next day as I’m not used to all that sugar, wheat and gluten! We celebrated my mother’s birthday while there and I made a flourless chocolate cake, which was a big hit.

Then back up to Tennessee to drive to Kentucky for a wedding of one of my sister’s. She is expecting her third child in April and I have the honor of attending her birth. We will be parking our RV next to her home as it is almost a 3 hour drive from our home base in Columbia, TN. I am so ecstatic to attend a birth and no less, a new niece or nephew.

After her wedding, we traveled up to Louisville, KY so that Brent could visit some cafes in the area and also my in-laws were taking care of our girls while we went on a cruise.

So, haha, in October, I turned 40! Many say this is a huge land mark in a person’s life. I’m not so sure if I felt it as much as turning 39 last year. For me, 39 was a time of reflection for me. It was the year we decided to fulltime in an RV and I got my first tattoo(one to remember and honor my daughter, Ansley, who died three days after birth).

Back to the cruise now! Brent booked this cruise for my birthday present and he also knew it was something I had always wanted to do. We took a shorter cruise as it was our first, three nights/four days to the Bahamas. Another couple went with us and we all enjoyed the cruise and each other while celebrating my birthday. This was October 19th to the 23rd. We also stayed in Miami, Florida for a day before and after the cruise. We had some amazing Cuban food while there at a restaurant called, Havana 1957. We strolled along the beach front and also enjoyed sight-seeing. We toured Vizcaya, which was lovely, especially if you enjoy antiques and architecture. http://vizcaya.org/

Unfortunately, I did pick up some virus while on the cruise ship. I believe it was due to eating sugar(which lowers the immune system). The desserts offered at the restaurants on the ship were hard to pass up! I don’t regularly eat processed sugar so I am sure my body was having a hard time handling it! So, I spent almost two weeks recovering from this. Now, I am feeling better and will be able to get in the flow of things.

Brent and I also took time to do a “family re-set” plan with Mama Says Namaste. I would highly recommend this to all! It really helped us prioritize what each other means to us and what our family means to us. Go here to read more about her coaching packages:   https://www.mamasaysnamaste.com/coaching/

In December, we leave for Florida to stay at a campsite for the month in Orlando. We will be taking the girls to Disney for their Christmas present. From there, we will drive to San Antonio, TX to explore the area and surrounding it. Then we head to Phoenix, Arizona for a month. We will need to return by the beginning of March to await for sister’s birth. On our way back, we will stay in Albuquerque, New Mexico, which my mother and her family lived for many years when she was a child.

I hope that I will not keep you wonderful readers waiting as long as I did this time!

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Why Some Women Experience Cravings During Pregnancy

It is unknown for sure why some women experience cravings during pregnancy. It is most likely due to shifts in hormones. Some women may even crave non-food items such as, dirt, clay, ice, laundry starch, or coffee grounds, which is called pica. These cravings should be discussed with the pregnant woman’s care provider.

 

 

craving chocolate pregnancy

 

It has been noted that cravings are particularly prevalent in eating and weight-related issues. Interestingly, food cravings are seen most commonly in North Americans.

 

Cravings in pregnancy are seen mostly in the first trimester of pregnancy and taper off toward the second trimester. Along with cravings, food and smell aversions may happen at this time.

 

Some hypothesis for why some women crave certain items during pregnancy may point to a biological nature of preserving the well-being of the fetus by which a women’s olfactory sensation and taste sensations are heightened during this time to prevent ingesting any toxic substances. Another is that she may be deficient in certain vitamins or minerals, such as commonly seen in the second trimester of iron deficiencies and craving sweets or chocolate. One last reason may be that the woman craves the pharmacologically active ingredients in certain foods.

 

Bringing awareness to a woman’s attitude and behavior toward her eating habits is the best way to help combat food cravings, at least for now, the studies suggest.

 

http://www.marchofdimes.org/pregnancy/cravings-during-pregnancy.aspx

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4172095/