Sunday, September 30, 2007

Happy belated birthday to my little guy!

My cute son, JA, turned 7-years-old just few days ago. I still get all choked up when I think about how my little guy is growing up. He's been such a fun kid.

Jacob's birth started my journey into the world of birthing education, doulas, and midwifery. Jacob's birthing day started the day before he was born. I was getting so tired of being big and a lot of people told me walking would encourage birthing to start. We had just moved to L.A. and were living in the business apartments paid for by his work(and the best part was the maid that came once a week, heaven!). And kitty-corner from us was a mall. The walk didn't look that long, but being that big OH MY HECK! What was I thinking? But I did it, it was all for a good cause right? I got home and oh my gosh the back ache would not go away. No one told me that a back ache was a symptom of being in labor. I just decided to lay down and sleep as much as I could. Sleep was not easy either because I had PUPPPS(Pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy). What a nightmare of a rash, I scratched until I bleeding. Unable to sleep, itching and scratching, I was now getting urges to pee like every five minutes. Still nothing was clicking in my pregnant brain that I was in labor. Around midnight I lost my mucous plug(eww, I know that the last word you want to hear, but it's the truth and since I'm a birth guru you may hear even more detailed words such as placenta and cervix, oh my!). Five minutes later a tiny POP. No gushing or "the flood gates hath opened", but leaking like I couldn't hold my pee in.

I labored at home as long as I thought was neccessary(I should've stayed home A LOT longer) and then we headed to the hospital around 6 a.m. I had no idea what I was in for. They hooked me up to several machines, had a very uncomfortable monitoring belt around my big belly and noone to tell me I had options. I had every right to get out of that hospital bed and walk around, to refuse an IV(even if I was Strep B positive), to refuse being "checked" every hour on the hour, every right to labor in different positions, to do so many other things. But no, the nurses just let me lay flat on my back in that stupid bed. Probably the worst thing for a laboring mother. After being checked so frequently, being rudely interrupted my mother-in-law followed by sister-in-laws who came by to participate by becoming voyeurs, learning our JA was posterior I relented and got the epidural. Yes, it's not as bad as I imagined and it did bring me relief. But I was still left on my back which doesn't help baby progress and decreases oxygen to baby because me laying on a major artery. To make matters worse the epidural STOPPED my labor progressing, which is very common I later learned. No one told me about the epidurals side effects either. That I would shake uncontrollably, that it would stop my labor(adding further more "preventions" to augment labor) and that I would birth a very sleepy, sluggish baby.

They finally started me on PIT(pitocin), which is a total monster. And because my body wasn't ready for it(it never is and don't ever let a nurse or dr tell you that pitocin is natural, it's synthetic and will never be like the real oxytocin the body puts out which is much more gentler and effective) it started stressing JA out in the womb. BABY'S DON'T LIKE PITOCIN! It's not good for them, and I'll never understand why impatient women would choose to augment labor like that(except in cases where it is medically neccessary, which I have witnessed), it's torture for mom and baby. So JA is getting stressed out, still no one is letting me move onto my side and then the dr's start coming in and threatening C-section. Finally I'm complete and pushing lasts for 45 minutes, and it was "purple pushing" where the nurse yells in your ear," 10, 9, 8, 7, 6,....!!!" So your holding your breath and depriving yourself and baby from more oxygen, meanwhile your face starts to turn red and it looks like you may pop a vein in your forehead. From start to finish, his birth was 18 hours(from the time we entered the hospital to the time he was birthed). I tore. Had I been in an optimal pushing position I wouldn't have. Most women won't tear if they're in a good position, and episiotomies should only become neccessary in the event that the woman is going to tear upward toward her clitoris. The lithotomy position(on your back with legs in the air, in a stirrup, or up behind your ears), is the WORST position to push in.

And because JA had a tinge of meconium(when baby takes a dump in utero right before birth, it can be bad, but his fluid was barely yellow) in the amniotic fluid they wouldn't let me hold him right away. I cried while the dr stitched me up, I didn't even get the chance to see him. The dr wanted to know what I was "boobin" about. I think I was crying because I was already in mourning. Mourning all the happy moments in birth that should've happened, mourning my lack of participation because I felt like an observer, mourning how my body had been treated. Nothing about what I had gone through was sacred. Then in an exasperated-give-her-what-she-wants voice he asks the pediatric nurses to hurry and bundle JA up so I could hold him.

FINALLY, in my arms! I'm in love! He is the most beautiful baby boy I've ever seen! My joy lasted 20 minutes because then the nurses insisted on taking him back to the nursery to get under a warmer so he could maintain his body temperature. Had I known I would've slapped him next to me, skin-to-skin and started nursing. I had just been through a workout, I was plenty warm for the both us. Sheesh, isn't that a survival tip they teach you in Boyscouts? Plus I needed that bonding time that was so rudely stolen from both of us as soon as he was born. But no, they whisked him away to the nursery for 6 HOURS! I was furious. In that time, they bathed him, took off all that good vernix that keeps baby's skin moisturized(without it baby's skin cracks and dries up and baby lotion just doesnt' cut it), gave him a bottle, do you think he wanted to breastfeed? NOPE!!! Not to mention that when I did get him the rude nurse wouldn't give me a moment to just snuggle with my newborn, no she wanted us to breastfeed and her idea of helping the process along was grabbing my breast and shoving it into a sleepy baby's mouth. Neither of us were very happy. I was greatful when she left, I was greatful to snuggle my baby skin-to-skin, it felt natural, it felt right.

The next morning HOLY SORENESS BATMAN! Shaking from the epidural had left me sore all over, I literally couldn't move. The epidural site hurt so much. The hospital food was horrible. Josh had taken the day to spend with his mom and sisters, leaving me all alone with my fluxuating hormones and a newborn. Thanks! Reality really hit me when JA had his first bowel movement of meconium. The nurses wouldn't let him room-in with me, so they would bring him back and forth from my room to the nursery. Well, he had this messy diaper and I kept wondering why they kept bringing him back to me with a messy diaper? It. Hit. Me. I'm the mom and I have to change the diaper. Whoa! Yeah, it's funny now.

I left the hospital the next day thinking that IF I had another baby there had to be another way, a better way. And there was! Lo and behold I was knocked up again six months later and I'll share AL's birth story on her December birthday. Maybe now you can see why I'm so passionate about childbirth and why I wanted to be a birthing doula.

But now I have this truly beautiful boy of 7. He is a joy to me. JA I feel so blessed that you came to our family, you have brought us so much happiness and have taught us so much. You helped me find my passion. I love your spirit and zest for life. I love how you love rocks, insects, and are sooo interested in the human body. I love how mechanical you are with your hands and how you want find out how everything works by taking it apart and putting it back together. I love how your kiss me and your sisters goodbye when you leave for school. I love your sensitivity and your intuitiveness. I feel so blessed to have this Crystal child. Thankyou for coming to me.

I'll post some pictures later of his birthday party(because I'm quite proud of them). We did a homemade "Transformers" birthday party, since that is JA's super hero of choice these days. I downloaded Optimus Prime wallpaper, cropped it and added wording with our Printshop and printed them out on photo paper. Bought a record-shaped pinata, took if it's decor and cover it with black and silver(foil) to make a Decepticon face. I found some Transformers plates and cups at the party store, Transformers colored ballons(blue & red for Optimus Prime, black and yellow for Bumblebee), four pizza's from Little Ceasars and Kool-aid that we already had. I used brown paper lunch sacks, that I already had, for the goody bags and glued Autobot and Decepticon faces on them. I made a birthday cupcake tower for his birthday cake. I think I spent about $50 for this birthday party.

Best part, JA and his friends had a blast! It was fun to visit with the parents from his school class. This birthday party was a success!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Get To Know Me

I stole this little questionnaire from a friends MySpace page. Thought it would be fun to post. Enjoy!

Name: Katie
Birthday: October 10th
Birthplace: Coos Bay, Oregon
Current Location: Murray, UT
Eye Color: gray/grey - however you want to spell it
Hair Color: brunette
Height: 5'1"
Right Handed or Left Handed: I'm a lefty
Your Heritage: European(scottish, english, french, and german)
The Shoes You Wore Today: Running shoes
Your Weakness: Men with accents, Scottish accents makes me melt.
Your Fears: tripping right before the finish line - in so many ways
Your Perfect Pizza: Ham and pineapple
Goal You Would Like To Achieve This Year: survive Christmas with the in-laws
Your Most Overused Phrase On an instant messenger: okay. I write "okay" a lot. Guess I'm just agreeable.
Thoughts First Waking Up: I'll get up in 10 more minutes
Your Best Physical Feature: my ankles lol!
Your Bedtime: Usually midnight, I'm a total night owl
Your Most Missed Memory: Vacation with my hubby right before he went on his mission, that was the funnest vacation of my life!
Pepsi or Coke: Coke, but if it's Pepsi it has to have vanilla in it.
MacDonalds or Burger King: Neither. I can't do fast food anymore, I really like my gallbladder and want to keep it in me.
Single or Group Dates: Depends on the group.
Lipton Ice Tea or Nestea: I rarely drink this stuff anymore, and I can't even remember which one I had. I remember drinking one with a peach flavor, soooo good!
Chocolate or Vanilla: Both
Cappuccino or Coffee: I like the smell of them, but I don't drink either.
Do you Smoke: no
Do you Swear: in my head, does that count?
Do you Sing: all the time.
Do you Shower Daily: no, I prefer every other day.
Have you Been in Love: I too, thought I knew what it was to be in love. I was sadly mistaken.
Do you want to go to College: Will be going to back to the Utah College of Midwifery next year.
Do you belive in yourself: some days yes, some days no
Do you get Motion Sickness: no
Do you think you are Attractive: I used think I was attractive, but not anymore. I miss that the most about me.
Are you a Health Freak: Yes, it the only way I'm keeping all my body parts inside me.
Do you get along with your Parents: I have boundaries with them.
Do you like Thunderstorms: Who doesn't like a thunderstorm?
Do you play an Instrument: no. I used the play the clarinet in 5th and 6th grade.
In the past month have you Drank Alcohol: uh, no
In the past month have you Smoked: nope
In the past month have you been on Drugs: define drugs. oh the illegal kind? uh no.
In the past month have you gone to a Mall: I cannot tell how much I want to go shopping now. It's one of those times when you really hate living within a budget. Gah! (I'm totally swearing in my head right now.)
In the past month have you eaten a box of Oreos: Yes, but I'm still a health nut.
In the past month have you eaten Sushi: Ewww!
In the past month have you been on Stage: No
In the past month have you gone Skinny Dipping: This is my life long dream. I have yet to do this and I swear before I die that I will go skinny dipping atleast once!
In the past month have you Stolen Anything: uh, one gummy worm for the bulk bin, shhhh...
Ever been Drunk: no, but I think muscle relaxers can induce the effect on me....I guess.
Ever been called a Tease: yes. I admit I was a tease back in high school. I think I hurt some feelings over it too.
Ever been Beaten up: I've been threatened.
Ever Shoplifted: well, I stole a gummy worm, so I guess a I have.
How do you want to Die: I don't want to die, I'd rather be twinkled.
What do you want to be when you Grow Up: A grown up.
What country would you most like to Visit: Scotland.
Number of Drugs I have taken: 0
Number of Piercings: 2, one in each ear.
Number of Tattoos: 0
Number of things in my Past I Regret: A lot!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Marriage break through

Is break through one word or two? Can't remember.

Anyhoo! I feel like we've been making some progress in our marriage and I'm starting to feel better. We've been going to a counselor for some weeks now and up until our last meeting everything was just so-so. We really started to take a deeper look into why we chose to marry eachother. The qualities and common goals that lead us to choose eachother. I've been so busy feeling inadequate, unworthy, and small in this marriage that it was sort of struggle for me to find the good qualities about me. But I've found some.

The quality that I admire in my husband is that he is a great example to me. He's always been the teacher in our marriage. And our marriage has been on big learning adventure for me and I don't think it'll ever stop being that way. I'm okay with that. But maybe you can see why I've felt like I brought nothing to the marriage. It's kind of hard when you feel like you have to be the teacher and your student isn't benefitting from anything your teaching. Then you start thinking that you're the dud in the relationship.

So I've started to think of us in a different way. Our relationship dynamic is that he's the teacher, I'm the student. Wow! I know this may seem simple to other couples, but this is huge for me. I have now only to be greatful for the man that I married. He has taught many think that I don't think I would've otherwise learned in another relationship. This leaves me in a wonderful, unique position. I have been in pursuit of things that I can do to show my hubby how much I love him, but I can't reciprocate with the kind of gifts that he gives me. Roses and chocolate spontaneously brought home totally earn brownie points! However, my man's not a roses and chocolate kind of guy. So what do teachers love from their students? When they do their homework? Duh! It hit me that I can quit all the inner murmuring and focus on all these wonderful things he's taught me and start applying them. Wow, that's a change of heart in a way. Maybe now things will feel more real from me for him. Feeling a lot better today.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

My 2-year-old

MC is my 2-year-old. She is so full of life and I love it. She does the cutest things, like when she wakes up in the morning she happily announces to her tired mother, "I waked up!". She wants so much for us to be proud of her little accomplishments.

Well, yesterday she must of thought she conquered a huge feat of washing her hair. I was upstairs folding some laundry when I noticed that it was really quiet downstairs. Now all moms know that silence is never good. I walked downstairs to the sound of the toilet flushing, keep in mind that we're potty training said 2-year-old who has acquired a new fascination with the toilet because of it. All I can think is, "great what's she flushed now?!" and that cartoon of baby Daffy Duck when he's learning to flush the potty,"water go down the hole" - flush. I walk over to the bathroom to find MC with her head in the toilet and just flushing away giving herself swirlies. Bahahahaaa!!! How can you be mad at that? It totally made my day.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

My Weekend

So, the other day, Josh woke me up at 5 a.m. He had been awake since 2:30 and not sleeping well. He wakes me up saying,"Um, I think I'm going to take my dad's offer and go to Oregon for the weekend." Okay, I'm awake and you have my full attention. Run that by me one more time!

Things have been extremely stressful for him at work lately. And while where he works is a great environment, he's decided that he's just not passionate about his career. It's starting to affect him physically. The problems in our marriage are a small part of this too. So he wanted to take a weekend to decide what the next step for him will be. New career? Keep working? New job? What?

I am really hoping that he's finding the answers he's looking for. It's kind of scary when your future feels so uncertain. I am happy to report that since he took the weekend off that he's been getting more sleep and feeling more restful. That makes me feel better since he's not been sleeping well at all that last month.

With that said he decided to take JA along for company. And now it's just me and the girls. AL and I have spent the last two nights playing "makeup". Giving eachother manicures, pedicures, painting nails, putting on makeup, getting all glamoured up. I wish Josh hadn't taken the camera because at the end of the night we both look like clowns. Atleast I feel like a clown, AL however, feels beautiful. And that's what is important.

This has given me the opportunity to tune into my daughters and just get to know them better. I think they'd agree with me, that we're all having a great weekend.

Having said that, I hate, absolutely hate sleeping alone! Why is it so hard to fall asleep or even want to get into bed when your bestfriend isn't there next you?

I've also had time to think about our marriage. We've been in this really long rut now. But I'm glad to be with someone who's not a quitter. I'm giving up either. He really is my bestfriend. I enjoy all the playful moments we have together and want more of those memories. I know sometimes the grass looks greener on the other side, but when I really think about life without him, I know it wouldn't be as good as this. I really am so blessed to be with a man that loves me and wants to create a better partnership. I really do have a lot to be greatful for.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Happy Birthday 9/11

This blog goes out to my nephew who celebrates his birthday today. I remember how I was in complete udder shock on 9/11. My heart grieved for those who lost their lives and those who were left behind, but my heart also grieved for my nephew. My nephew has had a difficult life and 9/11 just kind of added insult to injury. It was difficult for him to accept that his special day would be remembered as a day of chaos, disaster, mourning, grieving, and helplessness.

Happy Birthday bud! I know you may not like me saying this, but I hope we never forget 9/11 and how it touched us individually.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Open Mouth, Insert Foot

I've finally done it! I've had my most embarrassing moment since high school. More embarrassing than the time my daughter, AL, blamed me for publicly farting(when it was someone else, honest!), and probably my most embarrassing moment EVER.

Tonight was Family Home Evening and as a treat for our kiddies we decided to take them to the dollar store. We were having a good time, JA picked out a fake handcuff set, AL wanted a coloring book, I got some Jolly Ranchers(yum!), and our babies were feverishly trying to pull everything they could off the shelves. Josh spent most of the time chasing after MC(have legs, will run......away) and preventing AL from pulling the cart over with AM in it. What a night!

And it just got worse. As I was walking with Josh past some isle I notice a husband and wife who are embracing eachother. And it isn't just any embrace, it was the kind that made me think that maybe this woman is pregant and laboring kind of embrace. Her arms were clasped around his neck, his arms were supporting her upper back like he was holding her up. In doula speak we call this movement "dancing". They were swaying as well. I noticed the woman's body. She was definitely full figured and I thought her pregnant belly added to that fullness. I looked at their basket and noticed that it was full. I thought to myself, "hmmm, she must be nesting or in early phase." Early phase refers to the time when the cervix dialates from 0-4 cms. This time can take anywhere from hours to minutes. If it's first time mom, usually takes hours.

Now as a birthing doula I get all excited when I see a pregnant woman. I get anxious to share with her all the wonderful things a doula can do for a laboring woman. Can ya already see where I'm headed with this? So I confidently walk up to her and say,"I'm sorry, but I couldn't help noticing you and your husband doing the birthing dance, are you by chance in labor?" I was seriously ready to show them all my neat techniques right there in the store. Instead, she looked at me confused(probably thinking what the bleep is a birthing dance?) and replied,"Oh, no, I'm not in labor. I'm not pregnant. What you saw was just me giving my husband a hug."

Someplace, somewhere is a deep hole with my name on it that I can hide in. I must've turned several shades of red as I profusely apologized. I feel very lucky that she was nice about it and that this couple was already at the cash register checking out when I pounced on them. When I hear these kind of stories, usually the offended woman has a quick tongue and lashes out. Anyway, I quickly walked to the back of the store and told Josh about my moment. He had a good laugh. I hope you readers are too.

BTW, I have reached the clean up pinnacle for ALL poop messes(I've done the whole Poocasso thing too). I don't think anything can ever top this. My son, JA, has a habit that we're trying to break of using too much toilet paper when he does a #2. And then of course he doesn't flush because he knows it will flood. Well, it sat over night, completely unknown to us. Until this morning when my two-year-old MC flushed the potty. Poop and toilet paper over flowed out of the toilet, onto the floor, down onto the floor by our waterheater, out into the kitchen and it somehow reached outside. GROSS!!!! So yeah, I got the clean up the poop mess of all poop messes. I don't think it can get any worse than this. "Bring It On!", is all I've got to say to my two youngest. As a consequence for causing the toilet to flood(because he should've come and got us to tell us that the toilet was too full, because he's a repeat offender in flooding our toilets, this is nothing new), he got to clean my kitchen floor. Sweet! I didn't want to mop anyway.

Friday, September 7, 2007


As if my blog wasn't already a downer, I think I'll add another log on the fire. I feel the need to blog about my marriage today. Maybe someone can sympathize with me, but have you ever woken up on morning and wondered what happened to me? And how did I get here? I can't deny it anymore, but I feel very unfulfilled in my marriage - in every area.

Now before I start making sound like my husband sound like not a nice guy, let me say he is. He is an excellent catch. He a great listener, a great provider, an awesome father - he absolutely loves his children, the most logical and objectional thinker I know(which is a huge help to me because most times I'm the irrational, impulsive one), not a quitter, always full of solutions, and is totally cute-to-boot!

No the problem doesn't lie with him, but me. I guess I had this expectation that when I eventually married that I would be my husband's muse, his inspiration, and that I could help his reach his full potential, help him feel his self-worth as much as he helps me feel my divine nature. Well, it didn't turn out that way. How do you inspired, encourage, enlighten someone who already does that for you? I entered into our marriage feeling very inadequate, feeling not needed. How had I attracted someone so wonderful, so giving, so loving, so self-sufficient? I immediately felt really low, just feeling like I would never match him. And immediately I felt even worse because I remember a quote by one our General Authorities, I don't remember who said it, but it went along the lines of," the General Authorities are in the positions they are today because of the women they married". Then to make matters worse my husband said one day after a Fast & Testimony meeting, after me commenting on how wonderful it was that a lot of husbands were getting up and praising their wives, that the wives must be deserving of such praise, in other words they did the work to get the prize.

Well, that did it for me. I was doomed to be unhappy in this marriage. I already felt inadequate, felt unworthy of praise, and it made me hurt even more because here is this wonderful man, this spiritual giant who should be doing great things and I can't inspire him. On top of it he's been sick our entire marriage with various ailments(one for which he had surgery for). And now my body is starting to manifest my unhappiness(my thyroid, adrenals, and gallbladder are not functioning right anymore). When do you say enough is enough?

I guess I'm at a crossroads in my marriage right now. I miss me, how I used to be before we were dating. So full of energy and life, just starting to figure out my place and be comfortable with who I was. But the consequences of leaving an 8-year marriage with four children has profound effects. At times I can't even rationalize my reasons. This would be devastating to our small children and I've seen what the effects of divorce have on children. However, my kids need a fully functional mom. How do I find happiness for them when I feel hopeless?

Monday, September 3, 2007


We got this picture on the way home, just coming into Park City. I couldn't get it all on camera, but it actually was two double FULL rainbows. Something you don't see very often.

I had a great weekend. Some friends of our invited our little family up to spend the weekend at their cabin. It was an absolute blast! The boys went 4-wheelin' and us girls stayed behind, doing what girls do best - talking. I spent a majority of the time playing Risk with my hubby. Wow, I never knew that game could be played that long. And the kids loved being out in nature. It was nice to have a good weekend for a change.