Friday, August 29, 2008

Desperate Times Call For Desperate Measures

"WESTIE: Four males $600, One female $650,.... Delivery negotiable."

DonDee called yesterday, paper in hand, to say "I knew you'd cave eventually".

Thursday, August 28, 2008


Twelve years ago today, I started this journey called Motherhood. On that day, I thought I had it all together. I read all the books and had my parenting plan mapped out pretty precisely. I even looked disdainfully during my pregnancy at some of those parents in Walmart who weren't doing it as well as I would.

And then he came home.

It took me all of 3.5 seconds to realize that I was indeed THE most unqualified human being on the planet, nay the universe, for this job. One thing was for sure though, what I lacked in qualification I made up for in pure, unadulterated love. This little person was mine and I felt something so new and fierce that I would give my very life to protect his. His being evoked such emotion that I could barely contain it.

His birth was one of the 2 things that God used to open my eyes to see my desperate need for a Savior. He used the deep love that I had for my child to show me that He, as my Father, felt that way (and infinitely more) about me. I needed that, and I welcomed Him into my life shortly after I welcomed my boy.

Ty is my guinea pig kid. All of the twists and turns of parenting are first tried out on him. We have done alright in some situations, thus far, and we have failed miserably in many more. It seems kind of hard that this whole process is a "learn as you go" deal, but I have a sneaking suspicion that God wanted it that way so that we would rely on Him all the more. I just hope that when it's time for Ty to spread his wings and fly that he won't need too much therapy.

I love you so much my sweet, precious, beautiful boy. I can't even believe how fast time has flown. "They" said that it would, but I guess I needed to experience it for myself. You have such a quick wit and you make me laugh unlike any other kid on the planet. You find it hilarious to rile your brothers and sister up, but your heart is a tender one. I watch you process profound truths at an age where all your Mama cared about was what she would wear to school the next day. You love and admire your Daddy more than any other person and I love watching you become a young man who reminds me so much of him.

"And this is my prayer, that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blamelesss until the day of Christ. Filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God." Philippians 1:9-11

Happy 12th birthday, Ty Michael. We love you like crazy.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Pictures

As I've gone around looking at everyone's San Antonio posts, I am realizing that I am not alone in my exhaustion. I have been covered over in things to do since I have been home, and I am still wiped out from the weekend!

I took a bunch of the pictures that I have and made them into a slideshow for you to see. Most of these were taken on Cindy's camera because I was, for whatever reason, barely picking mine up all weekend. Cindy's camera and I are not friends, just for the record. I was in charge of taking some of the pictures with it and, without fail, they almost all would turn out fuzzy. No one else had a problem using it except the Mexican housekeeper, but to her credit, I don't think she had ever taken a picture before, period. Gracias por su hospitalidad, hermana.

I am also completely sad that I didn't get the pictures that I had intended to of the Riverwalk and of so many of the others that we fiesta-ed with. If any of you have a picture of us, I would love to have a copy for my own album! Ok folks, on to the slideshow:

P.S. Angela, dear friend, before I forget to acknowledge this, I was only in DFW for about 40 minutes. If the timing had allowed, I would have never missed the opportunity for lunch. Yet another near miss, huh, friend? :(

Sunday, August 24, 2008

True Praise

I think I have started this post 3 times already, but I simply don't know where to begin. There are just so many things that I want to say. So. Many. But, I need to pull it together better in my mind.

Some of them are so completely hilarious that I have to hold in a SNORT every single time I think about it and probably will for the rest of my life. Including now, which is causing me and my laptop to receive some very concerned looks. I am at the airport, by the way, waiting on my flight out of San Antonio. Suffice it to say, we laughed y'all. I mean laughed till it flat-out HURT!!

Then there were moments like getting to meet and hang out with my sweet friend Cindy all weekend. I already loved her, but she is even more of a treasure to me now. She is all that you'd imagine and then some. We laughed and we worshipped and we stayed up way too late chatting about everything under the sun, just like we'd known each other forever. I am missing her dreadfully already. So I better quit talking about it because I will, for sure, start with the ugly cry and then these poor fellow travelers will certainly request my ban from their flight.


Together we spent a ton of time with the Fabulous Amy Beth who knows and rocks the awesomeness of a late night girl talk. Not only that, but she comes bearing gifts of the chocolate lava cake and ice cream variety to said late night gatherings. And you thought she could only pull off the nacho cheese... Negative. Love that girl.

Then there's Jennie, who had to endure two of the most directionally challenged people ON the planet thankyouverymuch. She was still kind enough after suffering many of our antics to want to have the longest most awesome lunch ever, in the coolest most awesome spot ever, along the Riverwalk. Love that girl, too.

I was finally able to look at so many lovely faces to so many of the blogs that I read, and I was blessed. BLESSED by ALL of my encounters. There just isn't enough room to write about each of them, but every single one, from the moment I arrived, are special to me.

Here comes that dern lump again. God is just so good. So good to bring together a bunch of His daughters from all across the nation to raise the roof together in worship, and to just do what He designed us as women to do.

I plan to blog about this more as the week goes on because there is too much for just one post. I especially want to tell you how awesome Living Proof Live was, but before I do that, there is one thing I have to tell you about RIGHT NOW. It impacted me so strongly this weekend and showed me how deep God's strengh can run in one person that for me to keep it to myself would be wrong.

I already mentioned that I am"directionally challenged", so when I had to go back to the hotel to meet up with Cindy and Amy Beth after lunch on Friday, I was a mite panicked. Everyone else was heading to the Alamodome which is in the opposite direction from where I was where I needed to go.

By the grace of God, two women, who were with our group, were going my way and they appeared to know what they were doing. We loaded up on the trolley and began the normal, "where are you from?" and "what's your blog name?", which, incidentally, would usually illicit a huge squeal because THEN we would recognize each other. So it wasn't weird to hear someone say something like, "I'm Fuzzytop" followed by the high-pitched "OH MY GOODNESS!! It's SO good to meet you" and then a huge hug would ensue. But I am getting away from my story.

So we're on the trolley chatting all the way back to the hotel and when we got into the lobby, I thanked them again, and we went our separate ways.

On Saturday morning, we ended up sitting right behind them. Cindy had to use the facilites, and Amy Beth hadn't arrived yet, so I was alone when Michelle (one of the ladies) decided to crawl up one row to chat. I told her how I drug Cindy seven blocks in the wrong direction trying to get to the Alamodome and we had a good chuckle at my obvious issues.

Then I noticed the CUTEST Build-a-Bear dog sitting on Michelle's seat. I commented on it and touched it's foot, when she said that it reminded her of her son. I guess I thought that she was taking it home to her young child, but no. She then went on to tell me that three years ago to the day she had to say goodbye to her boy while on this earth. He was 17 and in a terrible car accident. He survived for several days, but his precious body was just too broken and God wanted him home. I listened, barely able to speak, to her tell about her Father and how she praised Him for healing her son for eternity. I was in awe at the strength of God in this woman. I hugged her so tightly and then the event started. She took her seat and I went on to watch her for the next 3 and a half hours worship and receive and offer up her battered heart in deep praise.

Girls, there are no words. Her and her Father together blew me away. And I couldn't have been more blessed. Michelle Bentham, it was so good to meet you this weekend. God used you to show a few girls in the next row what an awesome Abba He is, and I am so grateful. I love you my sister.


Friday, August 22, 2008

First Leg

I learned something about myself in the wee hours of this day. Let me begin by saying when I was younger, I was always a night-owl to the highest degree. But as I matured (or should I say was “forced“) to actually SEE those hours which were prior spent snoozing, I began to appreciate them. Now, I can say that I not only appreciate them, but I deeply love them. Let me go ahead and clarify that “those hours” mean the hours between 6 - 9 a.m. Not the 3 a.m. wickedness that I was subjected to this morning. Yeah, that will NEVER be appreciated.

So anyway, what I learned about myself is that while I am now a happy morning person , I have some strong conditions. And the most important one being that I don’t have to spend said morning with obnoxious business men who hate babies that are being completely and wonderfully pleasant. Men who are making more noise with their heinous chatter about everything boring at a volume that should be outlawed. Because THAT, I find, throws me back into the old nasty NOT morning person who wants to grunt and stare because there isn’t enough coffee in the world to make these people tolerable.

I am about to land in Dallas, though, so all shall be right with the world. All the grouchiness will be gone because, next stop…..SAN ANTONIO!!
Will update soon,

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Unprecedented Fun

This is probably going to be the most boring post ev-er because I am running on fumes AND I am distracted, but I wanted to let you know what's going on in the World of Westie.

Really, the last few days, and the rest of this week, fall under the category of New and Exciting, but it has left me with nary a brain cell to be able to string a coherant sentence together. So I will simply give you the Readers Digest version, and I will do it in bullet points, no less.

*First, we started a 2-day-a-week co-op which we have never done before. I have always done most everything school-wise here at home, but it was time for a change, and this was the perfect fit. I am teaching the K5 class and I LOVE it, yet it has been no small amount of prep. Yeah, my brain is fried on K5.

*Next, I started keeping the sweetest 2 year old little guy while his Mama goes back to work. He is such a sugar and he is running around here right now, hence the reason I am distracted. Oh, and I will say here that it's been about 3 years since I had to change the diaper of a 2 year old. It was rough y'all. ROUGH.

*All of this while I am getting ready for my BIG girls' weekend in Texas. I am so excited and butterfly-ey that I think I have lost 5 pounds in sheer anxiety (the good kind), but hey, I'll take it any way I can get it. I just can't believe that I am only 3 days away from getting to meet some of you face to face!! I'm NERVOUS!!

*Finally, I am typing all of this on my shiny, new, black LAPTOP!! Can I get an Amen? Hold on while I wipe a tear. ~deep breath~ I don't think I have been this happy with a gift since I got a Cabbage Patch AND a Care Bear at the same time for Christmas. I can't wait to give you a play-by-play on the weekend AS IT'S HAPPENING. Because my memory? Not so much something that we should rely on.

Alrighty, I know that this was short, but I guess I had better put this thing down and go make sure nobody is putting their wet fingers in light sockets or anything. ;)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Rock On Brother...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Fah-yer Aynts

As I was sitting here thinking about how you never cease to amaze me with your wealth of knowledge in entomology, I remembered a time, when I didn't know any of you Southern gals, that your wisdom would have spared a stupidity never to be repeated.

For those of you not in the South, or should I say, those of you who are able to lie down in your grass without fear, let me introduce you to this creature who comes straight from the bowels of hell:

This, dear innocent ones, is a Fire Ant. He needs no introduction to anyone South of the Mason/Dixon line, I'm sure. I will tell you right off the bat that he never travels alone. EVER. And those little pincher thingies? They're meant for biting. Biting PEOPLE. Oh and one more thing, it hurts just as bad as you would guess it would by looking at them, and probably even worse. But remember, they don't travel alone. EVER. So there are at least 5 of them biting you at the same time if you are foolish enough to come within a 17 foot radius of one of their mounds.

I am now going to tell you about how I learned about these little beasts. One day, while living in South Carolina, I happened to notice my neighbor outside in her yard. I was such a lonely stay-at-home Mama at that point which caused me to jump, if not absolutely hurl myself, at every opportunity to have adult conversation. So naturally, when I saw her, I snatched up baby Ty and headed out the door with such determination that I didn't even put on any shoes.

Yeah, it's pathetic, I know, but this chic thrives on social interaction, people. Which is why, when I run into a young Mama at the grocery store who strikes up a conversation over the eggs and then proceeds to tell me her life story while nervously giggling the whole time, I recognize the precipice that she is on and I try to listen attentively.

Anyway. I tried to appear as casual as one can without footwear as I made a beeline toward the little fence that separated our properties. She saw me coming, stopped what she was doing and reached for Ty (because she was awesome like that) who happily went right to her, then we commenced chatting over the fence. What happened next is so indelibly burned into my psyche that I don't even think the Joys of Heaven will be able to erase it.

All of a sudden, both of my feet and one of my legs felt like they were being punctured by hot, thick needles, repeatedly. I backed away screaming and questioning loudly what fate had befallen me.

"Looks like you yerself got into some fah-yer aynts" drawled my Southern friend.

"What are these wicked things that you speak of", I questioned further, while begging God for mercy. She just smirked and probably called me a Yankee for the 768th time in my life.

I was rapidly brushing the horrid creatures off of my leg and feet only to have them attach to my hands to bite me further. It took me all of forever to kill them, but all of one minute to realize for eternity that beautiful mounds of freshly turned up soil are NOT a place to put your foot or any other appendage. Because what lies beneath are dark, sinister beings that quickly rise to the top and whose sole purpose for existing is to destroy the human race one bite at a time.

Now you can consider yourselves informed and I can feel like I have done my part in the world of Innnnsect Identificaaaaaaaaaaaation. Oh, what will we talk about in the wintertime?

The Bug Policegirl,

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Caterpillars and Crumpets

It's time for yet another installment of "Insect Identification". You have to read that in one of those deep voices with an echo-ey sound in your head. Like "Muppets in Spaaaaaaace". Ok, so let's try again:

"It time for yet another installment of Innnnnsect Identificaaaaaation..."

In our last episode we figured out that we had a Writing Spider wolfing down a bee right outside my window. BUT in this episode we must conclude what the wicked, albeit weirdly beautiful, creature is that has made himself at home by devouring every single leaf off of my tomato plants.

It's almost worth it, though, because this is honestly one of the most odd things that I have laid eyes on, so if you get this, y'all are good. REAL GOOD. And my hat will certainly be off to you. So without further ado....what the heck is THIS (and do not say a caterpillar, smart alek...that's my job):

And because I aim to please, I won't end this post with a mere caterpillar. No, I will show you my bizarre moment from yesterday. I must first tell you that I have lived here, in this exact location for 9 years. It is across the street from a pretty busy train track yet never....never-ever....have I seen anything like this:

And not only have I never seen actual people on the train (except the conductor, of course), I would never in my wildest dreams have thought that I would view grown men snoozing under sunflower umbrellas like they were sailing down the River Thames.

Tea and Crumpets, anyone? BIZARRE.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Who's Smashing Who?!

Just in case you missed THE BEST SMACKDOWN E-VER:

I still haven't got the full use of my voice back yet. Rock on U.S.A.!!!!

**Edited to add: Apparently NBC is being stingy with their video and has pulled it from YouTube screaming about copyrights...SO, I have another option. Only it's in Chinese. I can translate for you though, aren't you lucky? They are saying U.S.A. is AWESOME!!

Oh, and here is a link to the official Team U.S.A. Swimming site to read all about it if Chinese isn't your thing. U.S.A Sets World Record in 400m Free Relay

Friday, August 8, 2008

Don't EVER Say That You Have Nothing To Blog About

I must first start with a warning. This post is gross. And if bodily functions offend you, please, for both of us, move to the top right and click the big red X. I have questioned my sensibility many times over that I am even sharing this to begin with. That being said, I have never claimed to be sensible. I will probably deeply regret this post tomorrow at church when I am staring at some of your sweet faces, but it IS kinda funny, we go:

Today, we had the biggest meeting of the year for our homeschool cover. It is a HUGE cover, so this meeting is a really big deal for us. If any of you have been reading here for any length of time, you probably already know that my friend, DonDee (yes, I am calling YOUR name!) and I are the leaders for our geographical area. That means nada, except to say that we were there today kind of early in order to get things ready. We were walking around the building to orientate ourselves when we happened upon the auditorium. It was dark (we were really early), but the leaders of our school, the people who frequently share a meal with our Senator and other such important people, were the only two in there doing the preliminary preparations.

It was at that time that I had the "need" to use the facilities. It is extremely important for me to convey to you that we are talking about a girl who has such an aversion to public restrooms, that my body has actually become so inhibited while camping that I didn't go # 2 for the entire week. So the fact that I was even feeling any kind of urge whatsoever was perplexing me a bit. At that point, DonDee looked at me and asked what we should do next. I matter-of-factly stated that this would probably be a fine time to find an Out-Of-The-Way bathroom. She made some remark about jr. high because I didn't put it that delicately, and we began our search.

We ended up finding said Out-Of-The-Way bathroom relatively quickly. DonDee mumbled something about lighting a match as I was closing the door behind me. When I looked on the back of the toilet, I noticed something that I was SURE was a candle which completely cracked me up because of DonDee's match comment. I quickly forgot about the candle before I could really ponder it thoroughly though, because as I sat down, I experienced what is one of the most dreaded and nasty of all public restroom (or any restroom for that matter) experiences. The seat was wet. And it was too late. I was already fully parked.

I was at a crossroads in my existence at that point, people. I could either scream and wail the way I really wanted to, or redirect my thoughts to something else. You will be happy to know that I chose the latter. The thought that I decided to utilize was that of saying a word that rhymes with "coop" to DonDee and watching the shock spread across her face for a mere moment. There really is a gene that has been passed on for many a generation on the paternal side of my family to CRAVE being able to shock someone into a certain expression. It is so priceless to me and I live for it. It's a sickness, really, I know.

So anyway, as I am sitting there re-living "the expression" I am falling into peals of laughter while I am on the throne. I finally forced myself to gain composure and finish what I had gone in there for in the first place, but don't you know, that while I was focusing on the "candle" upon arrival, I failed to check for toilet paper. Yeah. Thankfully, I have 4 children who frequently need tissues in church, so I had it all taken care of. At this point, I was ready to part ways with my little Out-Of-The-Way bathroom, because I had had enough of its antics. But it wasn't done with me. No, not by a long shot.

As I put my foot (because who really touches those) on the flusher and pushed down, nothing happened. So I pushed harder. Nothing. I began to maniacally wiggle the flusher in all different directions still using my foot while balancing on one leg, when I caught another glimpse of the candle on the back of the toilet. "What kind of candle doesn't have a wick?" I thought to myself. Then it all came crashing into my mind like a flood. The wrench. The WD-40 and other tools on the sink as I whizzed by upon entering. THAT, my friends, was no candle, it was the water supply seal. Let me break it down for you. No attached water supply seal = No water to the toilet = No flushing of it's contents.

I am no plumber, people. I quickly weighed the thought, at that moment, of giving it my best shot, but all I could picture was massive amounts of water spraying everywhere if I touched something, so I did what any self-respecting, adolescent-minded, 33 year old woman would do. I bolted.

My well-formulated plan was to open that door, meet up with DonDee, and quickly mosey far, far away from my sin. As soon as I cracked that door, I saw my non-suspecting friend and I was almost home-free when out of the corner of my eye I saw Her. I tried not to panic. Afterall, she may just be passing by, right? So I closed the door to the wicked Out-Of-The-Way bathroom right as She Who Frequently Dines With Senators, greeted me by name AND WALKED RIGHT INTO THAT BATHROOM.

I lunged at DonDee, grabbed her by the arm and jerked her to the nearest stairwell desperately whisper-spitting "IT'S BAD. IT'S REEEEEAL BAD!!!" She rolled her eyes to the back of her skull thinking I was just trying to drag her back to my jr. high world again and just stared at me. I just kept begging her to RUN. I could only manage 2 words at a time, so I kept repeating "Flusher Broken! Hurry UP!" Eventually she put it all together and hoofed it up the stairs with me to a far off classroom where I contemplated how long it would take me to slit my wrists with a spork while she whipped open her cell phone to call anyone who would answer their phone.

After a solid hour of coaxing me to come out of the fetal position, DonDee finally convinced me to face my fears and walk back through that hall (the only way) to get to the auditorium because our meeting would be starting. I finally got up, went back down the stairs only to be greeted by a VERY angry looking janitor spraying Lysol all through the hallway after she had very noticeably cleaned the bathroom (I know this because the doors were propped open and everything looked disinfected). I quickly walked past her avoiding her glance and made my way to the auditorium.

Before long, the meeting was started and She Who Frequently Dines With Senators began to speak. She thanked us for coming, mentioned a few other important things, and then wasted no time requesting that we show respect for the facilities. She went on to give us examples. Her first example was that if we found a piece of paper lying around, pick it up and throw it away, but it was with great exuberance that she made her next point "If you make a mess in the bathroom, PLEASE be sure to clean up after yourselves!". Then we went into prayer. No kidding. I closed my eyes wishing for sudden death when all at once, I thought there was an earthquake because the entire pew was convulsing. But wait. It wasn't an earthquake at all. It was DonDee turning 65 shades of purple with tears streaming out of her eyes in an attempt to suppress her laughter.

And do you know what she said to me when it was all said and done? "I (ha-ha) just (ha-ha) couldn't (ha-ha) help (ha-ha) it.....(SNORT).....YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN THE EXPRESSION ON YOUR FACE....(BWAAAAHAHAAAHHHAA!!!). Oh. Well now I completely understand.

Going to die now,

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Just the Facts, Please, Ma'am

In the spirit of not griping, I will give you a numbered run-down of today's events. Draw your own conclusions...

1. Woke up this morning, late, to go to a very important required meeting.

2. Went to put my contacts in. They were not there. They just....weren't.....there. The case was, the contacts weren't. So apparently we have a contact eating monster. I suppose that's not entirely out of the realm of possibilities, right?

3. Made it to the meeting on time. Score.

4. 3 hours later I am leaving the meeting because I have a wicked migraine
brewing. I won't go there. I just won't. But suffice it to say, I didn't get my Chick-Fil-A for lunch either.

5. As I am driving home, all I can think of is how I am going to go lie down on my bed with a tall glass of ice water in my nice, cool bedroom for about an hour so that I can be refreshed before getting back to work.

6. Those dreams were quickly dashed as I walked in the front door only to realize that it was as sweltering inside my house as it was outside my house. We live in Alabama y'all. Trust me when I say, there is no "cracking the windows to let in the breeze". Breezes and temperatures below 95 degrees are non-existent here in these parts in the Summertime.

7. So I took my dog, my kids, and my migraine, and I headed to my Mom's all the way across town.

8. But before I got there, I remembered that I won an expensive piece of curriculum on Ebay for a very reasonable price. Guess where the seller is from? Right chere in my town. So she sweetly met up with me so that I could get the goods without having to pay (the kinda high) shipping fee. Bonus!

9. I drive on over to my Mom's, unload everything, then realize that I don't have the key. Mark does, and he's in the big city. I think I may have had a minor meltdown here, but there were no witnesses (well at least none that don't depend upon me for their food), so maybe not.

10. Big bunch of shenanigans later, I finally get my mitts on a key, and we enter the blessed temperature that is my Mom's home. Me, the dog, the kids, and of course, my migraine, which at this point is bigger than all of us.

11. I get the kids settled and I lie down on the couch for 10.3 seconds before my phone rings. It's Mark saying that he has wrecked his truck.

12. He thinks that the damage at this point is cosmetic and he's fine, but a little shaken.

13. He is now on his way home, so that he and one of our friends can work on the A.C.. I beg him to make a pit stop at Chick-Fil-A, because we are starving, and bring it to Mom's before he goes all the way home. He totally does that, which means he is 6,578 kinds of awesome.

14. After being stopped by 2, count 'em 2, trains, I finally hear my man pulling up out front loaded down with the nummy-nums. So I whip open the front door only to find a headless bird on the front porch. A HEADLESS BIRD.

What do you think was the first thing that popped into my mind? Why, all of you, of course. Not because you remind me of dismembered animals or anything; Rather, I have great affection for sharing the bizarro things that happen to me, here, with all of you. It almost makes me giddy, in fact. My quagmire is that I often feel the urge to provide proof, so I turned on my heal toward my camera (which you know, resides in my purse, for just such times), but then I decided that you would probably like me better this time if I refrained.

Hopefully, we are far enough along in our relationship that you can just believe me when I tell you that there was a freaky headless bird on my Mom's front porch, and simply trust me that proof would not be prudent at this juncture.

So anyway, where was I? Oh yeah....

15. We ate, Mark went home and rigged the A.C. until Friday when some important parts will be replaced. Now here we all sit (well the children are finally in bed) at 10 p.m. while the house is slowly cooling down. We are at a brisk 88 degrees in here right now. And I am going to bed after I hit publish. Me, my migraine, and my hubby, where I plan to dream of Alaska and Advil all night.

Looking forward to tomorrow,

Monday, August 4, 2008

I Can't Even Come Up With a Title

Spiritual analogy of a splinter in my thumb that I didn't even feel......Nah.

Trying to grow my hair out which puts me at emnity with it.....Nope.

Cute but beserk dog.....uh-uh.

Monday morning mess.......oh sure! Let's talk about that for the 750th time.

Well, it's official. I have a mild case of Bloggy Block. I'll be back when I think of something completely random and useless to say. See you tomorrow.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Labor ~ For Real (and we'll throw birth in there too, cuz I'm feeling generous)

Yeah I really don't need to be doing this (see below), but, well, whatever... So anyway, here is the next installment of:
I said that we would discuss the actual business of labor today, so we shall. Warning: the opinions expressed herein are just that, opinions. Albeit STRONG opinions of a Mama who has done this FOUR blessed times. However, you will find that others are just as strong in their beliefs, and may not agree with my method. For the record, though, I think you should listen to me. ;)
That being said, now that you are lying in an oddly shaped bed in a gown that is about as modest as a cotton ball, you will be hooked up to every manner of machinery. Don't be afraid. Just revert back to childhood when we all had dreams of being an astronaut and pretend that you are defying gravity. Some of those pre-epidural contractions will make you see stars anyway, thereby adding to the illusion.

The epidural, you ask? Why yes, my child. You must labor your pretty little head off until you hit about 4 centimeters dilation. Hang in there. It will hurt, but you will live. But the minute you reach that most important milestone, then, blessed... oh so blessed... relief is all for you.

Yeah, you could go on and writhe. That's your call. But I can promise you that your children will not be born with 16 eyes and brain damage because you choose to go with the epidural. You won't be a hero any less if you opt for this route because you STILL labor, and you STILL push another human being out of your loins. The difference is that you will be able to rest and relax so that you save your energy for the pushing. But before we get to that...

I am sure that I probably lost some readers with that last paragraph. I hope you can still be my friend and we can simply agree to disagree here. The very best thing would be to post your thoughts for Amy Beth's Roomie on your blog, so she can see both sides. Moving on...

We are now at the pushing part. You're almost done here, girlie. This is where the rubber meets the road. Where you are finally almost able to meet that little sweetness that you have been caring for over these last 9 months. Keep your focus on that.

I am sorry for being so graphic here, but the bottom line is that the way to accurately describe the right kind of pushing is to liken it to taking the biggest dukey of your life. It is the exact same action. Just grab those knees (it also helps if your coach(es) can each take a foot and provide counter-pressure) and push, or bear down, with all you've got. Once you feel a contraction coming on, that's your cue to start your push (you will know that it's time before anyone else, including your nurse). You can usually get 2 or 3 good pushes in with each contraction. Then you rest. Have your coach put some ice in your mouth so you don't dry up like a prune and wait for the next one while breathing deeply.

I am wringing my hands because there is one little wicked detail that you probably should know here. It's wrong. It really, really is, but just remember that every-single-person who has given birth this way has experienced this (and if you didn't, the rest of us really don't want to know). Oh, sweet precious goes, because it is better to be informed.....SINCE pushing is the exact same action as....well, you is perfectly normal to have a small accident whilst doing so. It is really no big deal, and the nurses totally expect it. They will just wipe everything up and replace the little blue thing under you so fast that you won't even have time to think on it. I know. It will be ok, sweetie. I promise. Ok, now I have definitely LOST readers, but y'all PLEASE tell her that it's normal before you go!

So anyway. Before you know it, the baby will start crowning. You will feel pretty strong pressure at this point and you will hardly be able to contain your urge to push, but as soon as the head is out, it is imperative that you listen to your Dr. and resist. TRUST ME. If you continue to push, you could tear and you do not want to do that. I'll let someone else handle all of those details, because I fear that you are already twitching over the dukey thing, so we will just quickly go to the point that you are about to give one last push.

THAT, dear girl, is the best feeling you will ever feel. There is no feeling like it in the world. The minute that precious baby slips out of you. Oh, no words. I bet most Mama's are tearing up right now thinking of their own experience because it really is the most amazing thing. All at once, you feel profound physical relief, and JOY that is inexpressible as you look at that little person for the first time.

At this point, they will lay him/her on your belly and Coach or Dr. will cut the cord. They will end up taking the baby over to the little area set up in your room to check all of his/her vitals and all that stuff, while they finish with you. You may have to push one more time, but honestly, I don't remember ever having to do that. Anyone? It will be to deliver the placenta (lawsy mercy, we won't even go there). Then they will stitch you up, if need be, and get every one back to working order. We will discuss post-partum next week, though. This is already ridiculously long.

So girls, did I miss anything, or was my experience completely different from your's? Tell it, she's listening! And if you want to participate in this Fetus Friday, go here.

Have a great weekend, friends!