Friday, May 10, 2013

Oren’s Birth Story



Today, Oren is one week old. For someone so young he has already triumphed over enough to call him a Champion. I have had a week of resting to think on and rehash everything that happened. Some things blurred by the speed of how things unfolded so if I got some things mixed-up, I hope you’ll forgive me. Though we did not get the birth setting that we planned on, we did get Oren. And that supersedes all expectations of time and setting.

Here goes:

On the evening of Monday, April 22nd I felt my first real contraction. It was subtle but having been dealing with Braxton Hicks, I knew this was no Braxton Hicks. Excited, I started thinking that possibly in the next day or two I would be holding our son. But the next day came, with more, even stronger contractions-- except with no real consistency. Then the next day we had an appointment to see the mid-wife. She checked baby’s position which he was still posterior signaling this could be a long (and I learned a new term) prodromal labor. She suggested we go home, rest, do some rebozo and see what happens.

Nothing but more irregular contractions happened.

Which was so frustrating and sleep depriving.

Though I rested on excitement and joy to keep me from getting negative I could not help but think something was wrong at times. I’d cry, maybe from just being plain old tired or perhaps being scared to death. A week had passed since that first “real” contraction and we still had not had a baby. Seth had taken time from work to be with me--which was turning out to be pointless. I was feeling guilty and wimpy…two emotions I don’t do well with.

Then one morning I woke up drenched in sweat with some serious pressure being felt. This was Friday--May 3--around 7 AM. Almost two weeks later.

This was it.

We made the phone call. Got everything in order. Checked the temperature of the hot tub. Put the soup on the stove. We had everything together and we were rocking it out. Feeling an energy and excitement that you only feel when you are preparing to have a baby. It was beautiful. We went for walks around the yard. My man held me close when I’d feel those contractions come on stronger than ever and held my hand every other time. I love him so much.

The Midwife came. They checked me out. I was 6cm dilated. Woohoo, this could happen really fast. Or so we thought. I labored in the hot tub until it started thundering. A storm came, of course, just like it had with Esten. In the middle of it all though, I noticed things. Like, no one was able to get a signal to call out. I looked to Seth, with worry and a question. “What if something goes wrong and they can’t call for help in time?” Negative energy was there and it was feeding me thoughts and worries. I knew. It was just that I wasn’t aware of my knowing at the time. Seth talked me back into the light. He reassured me that everything would be ok. He kissed my face, held me close, did everything he was created to do in that situation. The rain had let off a little so we got back in the hot tub. The midwife checked me again, this time, she accidentally broke my water. Stronger contractions came. I, pushing, felt no progress, no descend.

Then something odd occurred. She wanted to hear the baby’s heart tones while I had a contraction. Later telling me, that was about the time she started to think something wasn’t right. He wasn’t moving down.

Still higher than expected.

We got out of the hot tub.

She got her birthing stool and I sat on it for what felt like a minute or two. That’s all it took for her to hear that Oren’s heart rate had dropped to 60 bpm. That wasn’t good. Her voice was different now. She told her assisting midwife to get the oxygen and minutes after that she sent out word to call 911.

Now, I had never been administered oxygen in an emergency-like situation. Seth held the mask to my face and I just wasn’t getting the necessary amount of air to take those “long deep breaths” I was being told over and over again to take. I was half wondering “Am I doing this right?” and “Is this thing on?” the whole time. And because of this extreme circumstance, panic came over me like nothing I had ever felt. My chest tightened. I was taking only half deep breaths which wasn’t good enough. I was listening to my baby’s heart rate, trying to stay calm, wanting so badly to get him out of my body so he could be safe in my arms. I saw the lights of the arriving EMS truck flashing on the bedroom wall. Heard the voices of strangers asking those important questions. I was scared and leaving the moment. The moment I was trying so hard to stay in to make the next moment count. I felt like I was sinking into darkness and the only things really keeping me from falling completely was the sound of that baby’s heartbeat, my daughter’s voice ringing out through the room with “I love you Mom!” and Seth’s tear-filled eyes, his face framed in light, his voice begging me not to give up. I couldn’t give up. Lord knows, after every push that brought no progress I thought about it. But it’s hard to give up when you’ve got so much to thrive for. Oren’s heart rate had dropped only that one time. Every time after that it was normal and good. But he still wasn’t coming down. Our Midwife suspected a chord issue, knew he was posterior. These things were working against us.

They were working against me.

I never felt so weak.

The EMS guys called for a helicopter. Due to us living so far out, maybe they thought if things were to go further south they would need a quicker way to transport. Then this is where it all gets blurry. My Midwife told me to make the call, if I wanted to keep trying at home or to go to the hospital. I had only a second to ask my gut and my gut said something isn’t right, you need to go.

I couldn’t breathe for what felt like forever so as soon as I got into the EMS truck and they put a mask to my face that had the cleanest freshest air, flowing into my lungs did I start to feel like I had the energy to do what I needed to do. Seth was still over me, talking to me, his voice so soft and encouraging yet frightened. He was scared, I could hear it in his pleas. But I could breathe, the panic was subsiding. In just moments, very long and worked moments it seemed, I would have that second wind to rear my body up and push like I had pushed Esten, to push like I had pushed Madelyn…out into this world.

And push I did.

When Oren was born, he had to have fluid pumped out of his lungs. I saw our midwife working on him, I was elated to see his lips quivering. I thanked God and everyone in that truck over and over again. Born posterior. He had a “true knot” in his chord. Days later the Mid-wife told me had that chord been wrapped around his neck WITH that true knot, it could have been a whole other story.

At 8:40 on a Friday night, 13 hours and 40 minutes after waking up, drenched in sweat, our son was born. He was born in an ambulance, on a road in the country. He was born with so much wisdom in his eyes and a story waiting to be told on his lips.

Our midwives never left our side. I have so much love for those ladies. They believed in me and truth be told, I needed every bit of their belief.

Our family of families sent out a many a prayer that night and I sincerely believe all of that energy concentrated our way did the miraculous. I'll be forever grateful to Seth's Mom and Sister, our most supportive of support teams.

I sit with my son cuddled close to my chest now, tears falling...I’m oh so grateful.


I think about the bound together chapters the story of our life has. This chapter gives so much profundity to all of the others. Especially to the one of Seth and I meeting. Who would have thought that at a party at a friend’s house you would meet the man you’d share so much with. Who would by all accounts keep you from sinking into the depths of such a fearful place to bring your child into the world. I am grateful for every line in every chapter already written with him.

And I look forward to the next turning pages and everything we, this rocking family of FIVE, will fill them in with.



Your breath is a blessing. It is a most powerful blessing. I, for one, will never ever forget that.

Friday, April 5, 2013

It is never "just another day" around here. (Photographic Reminders)

Take time with one another. Create the special stuff.

 Explore, fearlessly.

Wear funky rain boots whenever you get the chance.

Run through a yard of wet grass on barefeet, boundlessly.
Play. Run. Smile.

Let the light of others in and warm you right up.

Follow. Lead. Keep going.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Recipe: Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

In an attempt to be a little more frugal, make due with what I have on me and get a little creative all at the same time I made a vinaigrette that turned out to be super good. I put all of the ingredients into a mason jar for storage also making for an easy to shake to container.

1/4 c.Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 c. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 tbl spoons of Honey
Chopped basil
pinch of thyme
dash of kosher salt
dash of black pepper

Shake well.
Serve over the most beautiful salad you can make.

Apples compliment the depths of balsamic really well.

Hope you enjoy this quick and simple vinaigrette. It definitely has me thinking I'll never go back to store bought dressings again!

Friday, June 29, 2012

For the Love of Baking Soda

As parents we're constantly battling and on many fronts losing this grotesque war against the Chemical Industry who sees nothing wrong with manufacturing products that are known to be horrible for us and the Environment. 

Many cleaning products as well as personal hygiene products contain cancer causing carcinogens and/or toxins that cause a variety of abnormalities. They're lurking in everyday things..Shampoo, Deodorant, Household Cleaners. 
Most of the time we think as long as the product isn't being ingested then all is safe but the sick truth is our skin and respiratory tract are taking most of it in without us even really paying much notice. And whats worse is that our kids are being subjected to heavier concentrations of these toxins because simply they're smaller than we are and not fully developed.

Having a clean home and smelling okay shouldn't kill you in the long run. It's just not a fair trade. So why not get back to the basics?

There was a time before everything just had to smell lemony fresh that clean was clean. If you've ever seen a big ol' box of baking soda at your Granny's house then you just might know what I'm talking about. I use it to bake with and clean with.. It's so all around, I've come to depend on it. What makes it just the ultimate of all ultimates is how safe it is. 
Baking Soda has been around for a while, garnering it much credibility. It has roots all the way back to Ancient Egypt. Whats more is that it is naturally derived. There are no hidden or hard to pronounce ingredients. In it's most simplest explanation it's aerated salt. 

It is so versatile the list of ways to use it could stretch out very long but here are a few uses for Baking Soda I choose all of the time.

1. It makes a beautifully mild face and body scrub. Not too abrasive at all and whatever the skin type, it does what it was born to do....neutralize! You'll walk away with your skin feeling all kinds of clean without the residue left behind by synthetic ingredients.

2. Jewelry Cleaner. I put 1 to 2 tablespoons of baking soda in a mason jar containing 4 oz. of water, stir and put my bracelets in and let them sit for a few. Whatever bit of tarnish or dullness there was, is now no more.

3. Pot and Pan Scrub. Yep, when I'm standing over the sink working on the pot that stayed on the stove a little too long or the pan that wasn't oiled enough I get out the baking soda. Baking Soda and elbow grease combined will get your cookware back in tip top shape!

4. Toothpaste and Mouthwash. As a gentle abrasive it scrubs away plaque and neutralizes the bacteria that hangs out on your tongue and gums. If fluoride already freaks you out, this makes an excellent alternative.

5. Laundry Detergent booster. I add a 1/2 cup of baking soda along with the recommended amount of detergent according to my settings. It boosts the cleaning power and aids in neutralizing the bacteria that causes the odors.

So there you have it. 5 Simple to implement uses for Baking Soda that I hope you give a try. In many cases Baking Soda will clean 10 times better than many commercial products but most importantly you will be reducing the amount of toxins you bring in to your home. It's a hard battle but well worth it. 

Other uses:

Shampoo booster
Kitchen sink scrub
Tub Scrub
Taking the sting out of a bug bite when mixed into a paste.
Chrome Cleaner
Oven/Range Cleaner
Battery Cleaner
Carpet Deodorizer

Friday, June 15, 2012


It has rained nearly everyday now--I love and appreciate not having to turn the sprinklers on for the garden. Working that pump just a little less, saving energy and money!

A previous idea of putting the (rain) barrel by the garden for large scale worm tea turned out to be not a good idea....So I'm moving it to the front of the house--where there's a gutter--to collect all this rain!
40% chance today. Happy about that.

Picking okra and eggplant daily now. I'm really happy about how the eggplant are growing. Last year we grew them using 5 gallon buckets as a self-watering system. It gave us plenty of eggplant BUT the plants themselves were restricted....growing them in the ground has given them ample space to branch out. The plants are good and big, so much so, that with the rain we've been having they've been staked up to keep them from falling over and keeping the fruit off of the ground.
Frying eggplant for Father's Day:) Yum!

I'm picking tomatoes while green and letting them ripen on the counter. Some of the tomatoes are bursting open from so much water--rain. What I've learned is to take my chances with the frosts and start seeds in January. With tomatoes AND cukes. We didn't get any where near the amount of cukes we've harvested in previous years--it was pitiful--and the only difference was in previous years I was on it, had seeds starting in the closet underneath a light when it was still "winter"...this year I wanted to play it safe with these heirloom seeds---lesson learned!

There's a large section that was recently tilled--We're going to plant legumes a'plenty...More black eyes, green beans and even some limas.

I've got 4 blueberry bushes that have been seriously cut back. I'm researching the appropriate soil for them to determine where they should be planted. I'd love to have at least one side of the garden lined with berry bushes. Still have plans for a small orchard one day.

It's easy to get distracted most of the time. There are so many small plans that are had to lead up to, or in making up, the master plan: To be self-sustained. I figure if we can tackle as many small things as possible eventually we'll get there....But there are also other things to take care of.

Self-sustainability and frugality go hand in hand. Much of the problems we face financially as a society are caused from people living essentially beyond their means. Wanting "things" causes the most suffering, I've discovered. But my wanting a wholesome life for my kids overrides that. I ache for them to appreciate the little things and not to take anything for granted. Sometimes I feel like I'm failing--but other times I feel so hopeful that they're "getting it".

Sometimes I worry that by us moving out here, we've solidified a future of solitude.  But that can't be. If anything we've moved to a place that could become a haven for other's. A place to go to for a smile and maybe even a full belly. Possibly?

Really all I know is I want to learn to feel the seasons change on my skin and to teach my kids that working with the earth, trusting in her to provide by offering our humble sweat is the best start for any lifetime full of gratitude and appreciation. That slowing down provides more time to see and appreciate all of the beauty. I don't want them to be afraid of work--I want them to jump in, get dirty and get stuff done.

Here's to the journey!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Ease Up.

Eventually you'll run out of reasons for the reasons of why you feel a certain way. You'll have traced it all the way back to it's source and say to yourself or anyone who cares to listen, "A-ha!!" Maybe you will be in the shower with shampoo just enough in your eye to hurt a little and you'll be there...Alone and naked. Appropriately so, with absolutely nothing between you and the truth.

The Truth:

It's you. It all began with you. You do what you do then you take all of the doings of everything and everyone else in. A constant transfer is taking place between you and the beautiful and on occasion effed up world. We feel happy about the good things that happen and get all grudgey about the bad. Easy responses totally, yet they can cause so much unnecessary weight.


You can't rationally change the fact that you were born. You can't change the fact that things happen and sometimes they're good and sometimes they suck. That's the way it is. It's just happening.Whatever it is will be over and then something else will happen. Good or bad. Right or wrong.  After your actions go out, your control over what you get back leaves too. But that's ok. You're not in this for control. You're in this to be happy. Happy and Control have a hard time co-existing in the real world.
The only way, I'm thinking, to get out alive here is to just let the shit happen, let the chips fall where they may. Do your best to do right in the world and after that you can rest your head knowing that you tried...

We'll most definitely screw it up more times than we'd like but if we can keep it up...

...practice just might make perfect...


Who am I kidding!!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Elixir for the Soul

"Happiness depends upon ourselves." —Aristotle

Wanna kill the bad vibes and get over you shit? Turn the Grrrrr into something great and groovy?
Well get grateful for all of the not so bad stuff going on in your life. Because folks it could be worse and if you're not counting your blessings then you are definitely letting them go unappreciated.
You get one shot at this life and every second you're not doing something to either benefit you, your family, the world around you then you are choosing to not put yourself to use. Thereby making yourself feel useless....

You're in control. You're doing it. Stop being a jerk to yourself and get on with living the best life you can possibly live. Make better choices to get a better outcome.

Easy Peasy:)


  • Cut bad people out of the mix if all they do is bring you down.
  • Stand up for yourself!! If someone hurts you it's better to let them know and go from there instead of wishing you had and kicking yourself for not.
  • Take up some sort of exercise regimen. Really. Being active is a definite mood booster.
  • Spend more time outside. We weren't created to be secluded indoors all day. 
  • Get out of your head. It's the thinking and judging that keeps you bound to old habits. You're trying to set yourself free!!!
  •  Do something you really love to do. That you can't imagine not doing. That is just as much a part of you than anything else. 
again...."Happiness depends upon ourselves." —Aristotle

Get to it.