Monday, June 28, 2010

Brynja's Story Part 1

It's been three months and eight days since my baby girl took her first breath and it's high time I tell her story as it is one that needs recording.  Childbirth is one of my very favorite topics.  I love to hear birth stories, and I love to talk about my own children's births.  Not everyone feels the same as I, so if birth is something you'd rather not talk about, or in this case, read about, please feel free to skip this post.

For whatever reason, I did not want to write much during my pregnancy.  Perhaps it's because this pregnancy was harder for me than any of my others.  I was more sick than I was with Ella and Rohan, but not as sick as I was with Mac.  Early in the pregnancy, I was so incredibly tired.  I've never been so tired in my whole life.  I was ready to go to bed at 6pm every day. 

But it wasn't just how I felt physically that made this pregnancy harder.  I feel like emotionally, or psychologically it was more difficult than ever.  For the last few years I've known there was one more person that was supposed to be in our family, but I was very comfortable in my then-current circumstances in life and I had gotten far enough past the "baby" stage of child-rearing that it was hard to want to start anew with diapers, nursing, binkies, and sleepless nights.  I honestly just wanted to be done, but my little Brynja was waiting and I knew it.  Dustin knew it too (although he always denied it).  Despite this mutual (but mostly unspoken) knowledge, years passed and the time was never right.

But then, suddenly, it was. 

And I got pregnant.

Those nine months flew by and suddenly my due date, March 12th, was here!!! ...and then it was gone.  I already wrote out some of those feelings previously.  It was such a weird time.  I had so much anxiety and yet so much detachment about having a baby.  I was scared of labor this time.  (I always am, but more so each pregnancy.)  I was anxious about how my life would change once the baby was born. And yet, it felt like it was never really going to happen.  It felt like, despite my ever-growing belly, it was not really going to happen.  I wasn't really going to have a baby!  As it turns out, I was and I did.

My due date came and went and I, relatively patiently, waited for something to happen.  But nothing was despite all the walking and various other things we tried to start labor.  I would show up to my midwife's office hoping for some progress with dilation or effacement and I was let down repeatedly.  I was dilated to 1cm and "thick".  The next week, no change.  And the next week, barely dilated to a 2 and still no effacement.  Then at almost a week over my due date I was still the same.  It was very frustrating.  Not to mention the fact that I kept thinking the baby had "dropped" because of the discomfort I was feeling and the fact that people continually told me I looked "lower" than I had been before.  But each time she'd check the head position, the baby was still floating around, easy to move, not engaged at all.  I only cried a handful of times.  

And so, on Friday, the 19th of March, I thought perhaps my water had broken.  But then I didn't know and I was left confused.  I called Helene, who is my midwife, and she said unless it's "gushing" or consistently leaking not to worry about it.  So, I didn't.  Dustin and I went and got some food that night and I was sure that the baby dropped as we were out on the town.  I was excited to go for a non-stress test the next morning at 10:00 to see if my suspicions were true.

We went to bed that night with no sign of anything happening.  I woke up at about 4am and found that my water was definitely broken and was at the "gushing" stage.  Awesome.  If you haven't had your water break, you haven't LIVED!  or something.  I've never had that happen before.  My water broke with Mac when I was in labor and dilated to 5cm, and Ella and Rohan's labors, my midwife broke my water just before they were born.  So, this was new to me.  Water breaking with no contractions?  Weird.

I figured I'd be having a baby within the next 24 or so hours, so I took a shower!  Yes, I took a shower, fixed my hair and put on some makeup at 4:30 a.m.  I was going to look "cute" in labor, I decided.  Vain?  Maybe, but I do get tired of looking like total crap in all the pictures of post-delivery so call me vain if you must.  Dustin was up with me and he showered too.  As I was fixing my face/hair, Dustin decided he was going to go back to bed for a while and try and get some sleep.  I finished my beautification and then puttered around and gathered the rest of my stuff for our hospital bag.  It was very weird to be doing that with nary a contraction.  Not even a ripple.

I got my bag all packed and it was almost 6am by that point.  I didn't want to wake my midwife up unnecessarily early so I decided to follow Dustin's example and try to get some sleep, make-up, fancy hair and all.  Into bed I climbed and I was asleep almost instantly.

Rohan woke me at 8:00 with his daily request for a bowl of cereal and the day was officially underway.  And oh, what a day it was!

I called Helene, my midwife, and told her I was "gushing" fluid and she told me to eat some breakfast and head on up to the hospital to get started on my antibiotic.  I was lucky enough to be Beta-Strep positive for the first time ever, and so I had the pleasure of an I.V. in my arm.  I had one previously with Mac, but neither Rohan nor Ella's labor did they require it of me.

I had always assumed I'd go into labor in the middle of the night, because that's what I've done every other time.  So, I had arranged for help with my other kids for the middle of the night.  I never dreamed I'd have to arrange for my children on a Saturday morning.  I made a few calls and got things arranged.  We all ate some breakfast and packed up! 

It's a very surreal feeling to leave your house with zero labor action and know the next time you come into it, you are going to have a baby in your arms.

So, we dropped our kids off at our friend's house.  Rebby wanted to take a picture of Dustin and I, on our way to have a baby.

And there we are!  Dustin and his big rarely-seen-in-pictures smile, and me, in all my round, feminine glory.  Uh huh.

And off we went.

To be continued...

Part 2

Saturday, June 26, 2010


Don't laugh, please.  Anyone who knows me knows I am not crafty by nature.

Despite that fact, I've been surfing some little crafty waves in my life.  I would just love to add pictures to this post, but alas, my camera just stopped working the other day.  No reason.  I didn't drop it or anything.  It just randomly freaked out.  Stupid thing.

It's strange but I've been "seeing" the possibilities in things.  I was at a craft store getting some supplies for this project I did with my kids and I saw this shelf on sale....


That was extremely boring and I don't want to write about it anymore.

I just want to write something and I want it to be good.  That was not it.  Neither is this though.  None of this is good writing, but I'm writing something and I'll take it.

I was at Lowe's this evening and I asked one of the workers where something was.  She told me and then walked with me for part of the way.  She smelled so darned good.  I just kept sniffing the air around her.  She stopped and helped somebody else and I looked for my items.  When I finished getting what I needed, I walked past her again and stopped.

"Can I ask you a strange question?"  I inquired of the woman.

She looked dubious.  "Sure..." she said.  Her tone was anything but sure.

I tried to look reassuring.  "Do you wear perfume?" 

That was not the question she was expecting to hear.  A myriad of emotions flew across her features in the blink of an eye.  She laughed nervously. "Yes, I do!"

"What kind is it?" I responded before she asked me if I was a psycho.  "What's the name?"

"Skin Musk" she replied and laughed.

I figured I owed her some sort of explanation at this point.  I told her how she smelled so darned good and I just kept wondering what it was I was smelling.  She was shocked and told me that she was worried because she'd been sweating a lot and she was sure she was just plain stinky.  I reassured her that she didn't stink at all, and, in fact, smelled heavenly and asked her where I could purchase this lovely scent.

"Walgreens," she informed me.  "Just down the street."

Guess where I stopped on the way home?  And guess what only cost me $6.99?  I hope it smells as good on me as it does on her.  I'll keep you posted.  Or not.  We'll see.

All in all it was an interesting trip to Lowe's.  And, all in all, this turned into a strange post that has nothing to do with the title.


I guess that would be sound I heard today as Dustin and I fixed the broken belt on the car.  Really, there was no sound to the fixing, I just wanted to synchronize my post from earlier.  There were a few sounds, I guess.  But I won't mention Dustin's cursing.  It just wasn't that nice.

So, Dustin and I didn't take the van to the shop... we fixed it ourselves.  That's right, I said we.  I totally helped!  (It's Shake and Bake... and I hailped!... random commercial line that just popped in my head.  Does anyone else remember that stupid commercial?)

Dustin fixing cars himself is nothing new.  He's a fairly good mechanic-man.  A very good trait, that.  But me fixing it with him?  New.  I was so brave.  I put my hand way down inside the enginey area and put the belt in the right place in several spots.  I hate engines.  I have fears about sticking my hand down there.  I remember my ball or toy going under the car when I was a kid... I'd try to coax someone else into going under to get it for me, or I'd get a broom or something to shove it out with.  I did whatever heroics I could to get that toy out without having to go under the car myself.  I was S-C-A-R-E-D.  So, yeah, I overcame some fears today and put my hand right down in those enginey parts.  TOUGH Clancy.  Dustin was way tougher than me though.  He laid down on the yucky road in front of the auto-parts store, got all grimy and gross and stuck his hand in enginey places whilst feeling claustrophobic.  (maybe he didn't feel clausto, but I did for him.)  So, he wins.  But he's not scared of that, so maybe I win, right?

Whatever.  And, as it turns out, it wasn't the alternator belt.  Well, it was a belt that goes on the alternator, but Dustin said it's called the "serpentine belt".  Did you know cars have serpentine belts?  I didn't, but it sounds so cool, right?

"I'm going to wear my 'serpentine belt' today."


Friday, June 25, 2010


That was what I heard turning my car in a fast food drive-through chute yesterday.  I thought I hit a little metal pole with my car, but I checked my mirrors and, no, I didn't.  Hmm... I shrugged it off, ordered my not-so-delicious-but-I-don't-care-because-cooking-dinner-is-apparently-beyond-the-scope-of-my-abilities-today food, and then heard a "ding"!  I looked down and saw a dash-light I didn't even know existed... the battery light.  Does your car have a battery light?  Mine does, but I didn't know that prior to yesterday.  'Why is the battery light dinging at me?" I thought.  "I don't know" replied my thoughts.

I started to pull forward to pay at the "second window" and realized that I had no power steering.  No power steering in drive-through tight corners is a bad thing.  I guess it could be a good thing if you're looking for a new arm and shoulder workout, but that's beside the point. 

The point is, I snapped my alternator belt.  It makes very little sense to me why my alternator belt would affect my power steering.  Dustin explained it to me, but I forget the mechanics of it. 

And, of course, that would have to be the day that I forget my cell phone.  Darn that dependency on technology!  Thank goodness for a nice gentleman who let me borrow his.  And thank goodness for my mom who came and rescued me because Dustin won't answer the phone if he doesn't know the phone number calling.  Even if it calls five times in a row, back to back, apparently.  (could have to do with the fact that he had a screaming baby in his arms... the cell phone was not the only thing I left at home.)

So, today I get to play the "car in the shop" game.

Good times.  

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


I was right in the middle of a veritable cleaning frenzy.  And now I'm distracted by my blog.  I need to write things.  I love to read them later.  I just reread "Bounce" and it satisfied me to read it, silly as it was.  And so...

My older three children are on a little trip right now.  Dustin's parents met us halfway(ish) between our house and theirs and picked up Mac, Ella and Rohan.  This morning the kiddos got to ride on a passenger train of Union Pacific's.  I don't know details except that they were excited.  I can't wait to hear about it. 

This was important to Marsha, my mother-in-law, because her father was a train engineer for Union Pacific for a long long time.  He retired with UP.  She wanted her grandchildren to have an experience with trains and I wanted to be supportive of that desire.  Not to mention my kids were STOKED to ride a train.  I thought it sounded fun myself!  But the thought of driving anywhere of any distance with my newish baby and without my husband makes me sweat.  Brynja does not, particularly, enjoy riding in the car.  So, we met them halfway and they took our kids and are keeping them for a couple days, which is a nice little break for me, coupled with the duality of missing them.  *sigh*

Speaking of Brynja, she and I went on a long walk this morning.  One hour, to be exact.  I haven't moved my body very much since she was born.  (or before, for that matter)  It was excellent.  I am anxious to get myself moving and get my body back into shape.  Miss B seemed to like the stroller.  She hasn't liked it much so far, but she's almost three months old now and she's becoming more aware of the world beyond the 3 feet surrounding her person.  I think that made the difference in her stroller-enjoyment factor this morning, plus the fact that it was finally a pleasant temperature outside (hello, it's June 15th!  'Bout time, I say!). 

Garage sale is still pending.  I'm shooting for this weekend now.  It's rather an involved process, preparing for it.  And so, I best get back at it, the cleaning and yard-sale prep. 

Monday, June 7, 2010


There are various havocs being wrought in my life right now. 

Nursing wreaks havoc on my back and neck.  So does holding a baby for much of the day.  But this little bug is so sweet and precious and this time is so short that I'll savor the havoc wrought.  I don't mind one bit. 

Remodeling wreaks havoc on my house and my sanity, but there is such a big, bright, shining, radiant beam of light at the end of this tunnel, I don't mind this one bit either.  I really can hardly believe I'll have a new basement soon.  SOON!

Rain everyday wreaks some havoc on my mental state.  But I don't have to water my grass and garden much. 

Greek food (or Lebanese) wreaks havoc on my taste buds and I want to eat it every day.

Not having a dresser for Brynja wreaks havoc on my room.  Sad thing is, I have one, but I want to paint it and so I keep not using it thinking I'll paint it.  And here I sit typing about it while it sits downstairs remaining unpainted.


All good things.  Equal measures of havoc and peace.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


I have a hole in my bathroom wall.  Dustin threw his dirty clothes down the hole tonight because he wanted to be funny.  Don't worry.  They landed right in front of my washer and dryer in the basement.  If you're thinking, "Hey a laundry chute!", just think again.  This hole is behind the tub and you can see all the "tub guts"... pipes and such... that are normally hidden by the wall.  This hole is right next to the toilet.  If you feel so inclined, you can look up from the basement and say hello to someone as they are doing their business.  It's a little weird when guests drop by.  But we already know I get a little nutty when guests drop by.  I am getting better about my nuttiness. 

But the hole in the wall doesn't help.


My thoughts are bouncy right now.  I'm sitting at the computer at 12:27am and I'm reading various items while I listen to the washer and the dryer do their thing.  I can't type fast enough. I'm having thoughts again.  Thoughts that I want to share.  Thoughts that I want to scribble out with my swirly handwriting.  But I'll type instead.

Does anyone even read this anymore?  I feel like I've forgotten how to blog.

When I die I want to be buried in a pine box.  Like, a homemade one.  I don't want thousands of dollars spent on my coffin.  Just a simple pine box.  Or cremation.  That's ok with me.

I dislike cooking bacon.  Do you know why?  Because I can't stand my house to smell like bacon.  And I can't stand my hair to smell like bacon.  And let's not forget my clothes.  I don't like my clothes to smell like bacon.  Bacon tastes good.  But the smell clings like the dickens.   

I have a smell thing.  I can't stand my hands to smell like food, unless it's cilantro.  I love cilantro.

Today I put on my blue shirt.  I love the color of this shirt.  
 When I put it on, I smelled the most wonderful smell!  I was in heaven.  I kept sniffing myself (well, my shirt, really) all day and wondered why I smelled so darned good. 

Later I figured out that I wore this shirt last Friday.  I had gone to the mall and tried a tester of perfume at The Gap.  Guess what?  I want that perfume.  Bad.

I am not good at mailing things.  Just so you know.

Sometimes I want to die when people come to my house.  I get so self conscious about every imperfection.  If ever anyone goes into my basement, I always ask them before they go down if they will still be my friend if they see how messy and crazy my basement is.  Silly?  Yes.  And there's some sarcasm in the question... but mostly it's a valid fear. 

My aim is to have a yard sale on Saturday.  I'm excited and anxious about it.

I don't like planning birthday parties for my kids.  The hardest part for me is getting out the invitations.  I'm really not very good at this facet of parenthood.  But that's ok with me.  I'm good at the ones that are more important, I think.

I love doing laundry.  Don't let me fool you if ever I'm complaining about it.  It's very possible that it's my favorite household chore. 

I'm trying some generic diapers tonight.  Keep your fingers crossed for me and Miss B.

Speaking of Miss B, baby Brynja is precious.  She laughed last Thursday and Friday nights.  I told Mac about it when she did it the first time and he went on and on about how he just couldn't believe it.  How she's growing up so fast.  His face showed every emotion and he said, "That just makes me want to cry!" and I could see the tears just under the surface.  What a sweet, tender boy.  How many almost-ten-year-olds would be so thrilled and emotional about their baby sister laughing for the first time?

I love my life and my bouncy late-night thoughts.