Monday, March 31, 2008

Son of my right hand

Tom and I belonged to a wonderful church- The Rose of Sharon. (now defunct) One day, I had nursery duty- and was sent for (Asked to come to the front of the congregation upstairs). I joined a group of women at the front who were being prayed for- although I wasn't sure why. Turned out, it was a group who had agreed, along with their husbands, to let God control their wombs.

I wasn't exactly cool with this. But God worked on my heart. He had to show me that HE truly was the One who opens and closes the womb. We went several months without birth control... and I didn't get pregnant!

Our home situation was in flux at this time. Tom's well paying job as a concrete crew foreman ended when the contractor he worked for eliminated the concrete crew. Tom decided to use his GI benefits before they expired, and went back to school to become an A&P mechanic. It was a real financial struggle. Tom became very depressed. I got hired at the USPS., part time. The weekend before I was due to start work, my good friend Debbie came over with a double pregnancy test kit. Mine turned out positive. I started with the Post Office, and with the morning sickness.

The lady we rented our house from decided to let her daughter move into the house- so we were requested to move. We looked and looked for a place to rent- as as the deadline for us to be out of the house loomed- I finally found a great place. Half a mile from Lake Worth. A HUGE back yard with fruit trees, a garage, three bedrooms.... and in our price range. I signed the lease on the spot. the agent handed me the keys on the front porch... just as a B-52 crashed into the house.

OK- it didn't crash into the house. It flew over so close to the rooftop I swear I could read the tire-pressure off the sides of the wheels. I had just leased a house directly in the landing pattern for Carswell AFB. We learned that you CAN get used to just about anything.
We had a fellow church member who was studying to become a midwife, under a certified midwife. Sharon asked us if we would consider letting her deliver our baby. We agreed. Tom was still going to school, and working full time at various short-term jobs. He grew tired and depressed. I was working inside a vehicle that didn't have air-conditioning- and I couldn't roll down the windows or the mail would blow out. It was the middle of the summer in Texas and I was getting larger by the day. By August, I had to take a leave of absence from the job, until after the baby was born.
I began having some serious contractions on October 5th. About 10 that night, my water broke. The midwives were called, on standby. The next day- contractions were sporadic at best. I was ordered to walk. I walked, walked, and walked some more. While I walked, I contracted. When I stopped walking, I stopped contracting. The midwives showed up, did a check. I was a "4"- not very impressive. They gave me some herbal remedy to boost contractions. I walked more.
People came to fix our leaking bathtub. Nasty people who smoked in my house and dropped their ashes and cigarette butts on the floor. I finally asked them to leave, to come back another day- I was TRYING to have a baby. It got too dark to walk outside- there are places you just do not walk at night in Ft Worth.
I was still at 4cm when the 24 hour mark from the water breaking came. In Texas, if your water has been broken for 24 hours, the midwife must transport you to a hospital. (She didn't tell us we could "fire" her- relieving her of legal obligation- and stay home, and that she would have stayed with us) So I was reluctantly transported to John Petersmith Hospital. NOT a charity case this time. I made sure I had my driver's license, marriage license, and all sorts of ID.
Petersmith pulled up my records. They refused to admit me under my current name- insisting I had to be registered under my former married name. This was NOT COOL with Mr C nor myself. He objected. LOUDLY. They called security to have him ejected. I was taken to the exam room and questioned.
Was I on drugs? WHY had I not come to the hospital At Once when my water broke? WHY was I trying to have a home birth? Was I trying to kill my baby? Did I want the baby to die? What drugs was I on? They put me down as No Prenatal Care. (Care given by a midwife Did Not Count.) I was examined, prepped, attached to a belt monitor. I was questioned more about drugs. (I didn't even take headache remedies!) I had my first and ONLY, ever, sonogram. The technician was rude to the point of being hateful. I asked if he could tell whether it was a boy or a girl, and if the baby was OK. He said I "would know soon enough" and left the room.
They sent someone in to tell me the doctor assigned to me preferred an internal monitor attached to the baby's skull. I said "NO." I was ignored. They tried inserting the monitor without my co-operation. It took four orderlies and a nurse forcing my legs apart and holding me down as I struggled and screamed out "NO!- I am REFUSING this treatment". The monitor was inserted- screwed into my unborn baby's skull against my will.
By now I had been in labor for about 27 hours. They let me labor two and a half or three more hours- mostly sobbing from exhaustion and frustration- before deciding my Labor Was Not Progressing.
This was why I had to be transported to the hospital in the FIRST PLACE!
A pitocin drip was started. They let in the midwife-trainee from our church- she was a L&D nurse at Petersmith Hospital as her regular job.
She apologized at all that was happening to me, but it was out of her control. She talked them into letting Tom come into the room with me. It doesn't take very long for pitocin induced contractions to leave one begging for a C-section. I was checked after a couple of hours of pitocin.. I was to 6 cm.
Sharon talked the doctor into turning down the pitocin, and giving me a shot of Demerol so that I could rest for awhile. I had been awake / in labor for over 31 hours. I was in tears and beyond caring. The nurse in charge came in and gave me a shot of Demerol into my IV. She explained it would let me rest several hours and be completely worn off before the baby arrived. I fell asleep at once.
I was asleep less than 5 minutes when The Urge To Push awakened me. I told Sharon, "I am going to have the baby NOW". She thought it was a question. I told her again. "I am having the baby NOW!!". She looked- baby was crowning. She called the goon squad and I was whisked into the delivery room.
I was propped and strapped into The Position. My body pushed the baby out.
"Oh, you have a son!" I was told.
"That's nice", I said, drifting back into the drug induced sleep. I was too loopy to hold the baby. I have no idea whether Tom was there or not.
Boom! from 6cm to birth in under 10 minutes. I just needed to relax. Benjamin Paul weighed something like 5lb. 12 oz. Born October 7th at 10:10 am.
In the days following- Ben was subjected to various drug tests. I was lectured and scorned by the medical staff at every opportunity. Child welfare people threatened me- they were going to take my baby from me! (As Soon As / IF they proved he had drugs in his system.) It was Simply Not Condoned: Attempted Home Birth.
We were finally released, no drugs having been found in either of our systems (aside from the Demerol).
Ranks right up there in bad birth stories, doesn't it?

Sunday, March 30, 2008

A little Grill

By 1985, my life was completely changed from what it was when the two oldest boys were born.
I had survived a divorce, remarried, miscarried.
Tom and I were still shaken over the miscarriage- I had been due on the exact same day as two of my closest friends. By the time their baby boys were born- I was expecting again.

(Which really helped me)

I was really concerned that Tom adamantly wanted a son- someone to carry on his family name. He refused to consider the possibility I could have a girl- wouldn't even discuss girl names. At one point, he said if I were to DARE to have a girl, he was naming her Haggai Ezra and going to call her "little Hag" for short. I fretted endlessly, even speaking to Tom's Dad about my concerns. He tried to assure me, little girls have their ways of winning Daddy's heart.

I felt that God had spoken to my heart the name "Rebekah Rene".

After the first few days of morning sickness, I was in great health for this pregnancy. Tom was already a health food fanatic, and we used the Feingold diet because of Chris' problem with hyperactivity. However, I did have a mortal fear of going to the hospital to give birth. We prayed and prayed about what to do. My friend Angie had once had a doctor come to her house to deliver a baby- the first 'home birth' I had ever heard of. I even went to see him- and didn't like him one bit. He had given up on home deliveries anyway.

Our next nudge (shove?) in the direction of homebirth was an article in the Ft. Worth Star Telegram Newspaper. A midwife told of the growing trend of homebirths. She was just a few miles from us- so we contacted her. She ran a regular homebirth practice- quite large- and boosted by the article we read. I quickly persuaded Tom I would much rather try a homebirth than suffer through another round at the hospital. We signed up with this midwife.

For the next several months, we did our prenatal care with this woman. We diligently read all of the books she sent home with us. In our sixth month- I ran into something I really didn't like. I cannot remember the name of the book she sent home with us, but it had instructions in it on how to address your newborn baby. You hold the infant- tell it that it has been born into a humanoid life form on the planet Earth, in the (Solar system name) in the (Whatever our galaxy name is,) then you introduce yourself as its earthly parental units... This book was waaaay too whacked out new age for us. We were having a baby- not an extra-terrestrial.

We tried discussing the book with the midwife- and she informed us she had to keep an open mind towards ALL of her clients. (We were a bit too "Christian" for her.) After a considerable amount of prayer, Tom and I were no longer certain we could do a home-birth- not with this woman. We asked for prayers about the decision at church, and the Bible-study group we belonged to.

I was visiting at my Aunt Jean's house after a women's Bible Study one morning. One of the ladies who "happened to" come that day was talking about her new home- and some of the people who had helped her move in. Just in passing, she mentioned her "midwife friend" ... and I practically pounced on her with all seven months of baby belly. She hadn't heard we were looking for a new midwife. She gave her friend a call. The friend no longer delivered babies, we were told... but after her praying about it- we got a phone call from the midwife.

Dolores Rangel was a registered nurse- midwife. She agreed to meet with us because she felt led of God to do so. On our first meeting- she gave us a list of her rules and philosophies. Her first statement was that she was a Christian, and if we wanted her to be our midwife- we had better be prepared for her to pray for us and for our baby both before, during, and after delivery. She was truly the person we were looking for to deliver our baby. She accepted us... even with me seven+ months along.

Dolores gave us classes on what to expect in every aspect of home birth- just in case she failed to make the birth for any reason. We learned to recognise an emergency, and what do do in case of any given emergency during childbirth- whether she was there or not.

December rolled around again- I think my due date was the 13th or 14th. Chris had his 6th birthday- and didn't get the baby sister he was hoping for as a birthday present. On the evening of the 15th, we sat down and watched a John Wayne movie. It ended at 9:00pm. I stood up as it ended- and ***SPLASH*** my water broke. Chris and Bill thought this was the funniest thing ever- Mom pottied on the floor!

We called Dolores, and she came over. (She lived 3 miles away, almost a straight run). Dolores arrived- but contractions did NOT. She stayed a couple of hours, but I didn't have so much as a twinge of contractions. She recommended we ALL get some sleep, since we would probably all need it later. Dolores went home, and we all went to bed.

The next morning, the alarm went off at 4:30 for Tom to go to work. We briefly debated whether he should go (an hour and a half away- the other side of Dallas) or not. I still wasn't having contractions. I said we would be having the baby today at some point, so he decided to stay home. I got up out of the bed- and it felt like a rubber band suddenly snapping. Wham! Contractions started. I was in business!

I paced around the house, fed the boys their breakfast, prepared a bed for the birth, and paced around some more- until the contractions became too strong. Then I went in and laid down. Tom watched some TV, played with the boys, checked on me from time to time. He got me a bucket when I felt ill- a sure sign of transition for me. At a few minutes past 9- Dolores called to see if labor had picked up. Tom answered the phone. He chatted for a few minutes, telling her I was great, yes, laboring since about 5 am. In between horrendous contractions, I told him to tell Dolores to "GET HERE, NOW!"

Tom says calmly: "Tammy is fine, but I think she might feel better if you came on over." (That was so NOT what I said!)
Labor progressed. I suddenly felt I needed to have a bowel movement, so between contractions, I waddled the few steps to the toilet. That was when I discovered it wasn't a bowel movement I needed to pass. I yelled to Tom, who tried to pick me up and carry me back to the bed. I screamed at him, no uncertain terms- to put me down and DO NOT touch me. (Hey, I was in the middle of a contraction!)

Just then, the doorbell rang. Tom went to let Dolores in. I was still standing in the hall in the midst of a contraction- Tom was freaking out saying I was having the baby RIGHT NOW and I WOULDN'T go to the bedroom AND I was screaming at him... Dolores took one look at my face- washed and gloved herself up-led me back to the bedroom (the contraction passed)- and told me to PUSH.

About three or four good pushes, and there was a baby. And it was a girl. Tom was beyond caring- he was in love. He asked me, "What were you going to name her?" I told him, "Rebekah Rene". He held the baby up over his head, turned his eyes to Heaven, and Thanked God for his beautiful, healthy little girl. He said, "Lord, I give Rebekah Rene back to you in dedication, that she may serve you". Becky was born at 10:16 am, Dec. 16, weighing 7 lbs. 4 oz.

Dolores gave us some time for bonding with Becky, and went out to the back porch where Chris and Bill were playing. She brought them in to meet their new sister. Bill looked a tiny bit disappointed- he was hoping for a little brother. He says, "That's OK, Mom. You can have a boy next time." (And I did)

My Mom arrived about then. She had been worried about a home birth, and when she learned I was in labor that morning, hurried over. She arrived just in time to give Becky her very first bath. After visiting awhile, and taking a few instant Polaroid pictures, Mom took the boys home with her for a few hours so that I could rest. She also took them to lunch at the Deli where she worked. One of her friends was there, and teased Chris and Bill about the new baby. He offered to buy her for a dollar. Bill Joe declined: "We just got her, " he says "But we will sell you her picture for a quarter!"


Today is my DIL Seneca's birthday. She is a wonderful mother to her share (5!) of my grandchildren, and among my best friends. Happy Birthday, Seneca!

I am feeling better this morning- but so restless. Maybe because I haven't set foot out of the house for more than a week? As I tried to relax into sleep last night, my brain was so busy- I thought I would never drift off. I was thinking of the Pampered Chef Party... what to feed folks. .. The Demonstrator at the party is going to make skillet lasagna. I am about settled on making a relish tray and some of my breadsticks... cut into snack sized bites. Maybe some cookies as well.

I wasn't just stuck on the party. I was thinking of having to move. What if this house has finally been reduced in price and sells.? We could buy a house. Or not. But we would be forced to move. Buying a house means me going back to work. The boys are caught up in their schoolwork- or close to it. To stay on top of it and work full time has already failed- I might get by with part time.
Mr C mentioned right before bed- maybe the "high-timers" buy-out will come soon. Eagle is constantly full of rumors of one sort or another- and this one has now been around for well over a year. All we really need for confirmation that the high timers are close to a package deal is for Peter B. to deny that any such idea is up for consideration. (That is the Eagle way!, isn't it?)

yeah, Ohio keeps floating through my head. No wonder I had trouble falling asleep.
Matt discovered the 'magic' pencil sharpener the other day. When a pencil quits writing, you stick it in this gray box that makes growling noises and the pencil comes out all ready to write again. So he keeps a close eye out for pencils that aren't sharp- especially colored pencils. We can usually find a few that need new points. Matt doesn't get to use the magic gray box himself- but is fascinated at watching it work.

He is also quite impressed with the printer- when it starts spitting out papers, he shrieks and points- it took a few times before I could convince him he does NOT need to help the paper escape by yanking it out as soon as it appears. Where were all these cool devices when MY kids were little?
Becky has Ty's First Haircut pictures up on her blog.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


I have been noticing how influences have been a two-way street in our family. Becky's DH Stephen came to our family not owning a T-shirt.... at least not as an outer garment. He wore button-up shirts for everything- from church to goat wrangling. In the last several years, I have noticed he does wear T-shirts with some regularity these days.

He has influenced his younger BIL's. They are seldom without their "multi-tool", a length of twine, a pocketknife, and the ubiquitous roll of electrical tape. Lately, I have noticed that Tommy and both of the twins routinely wear button-up shirts. Last night, both Daniel and Sam were in white dress shirts. We almost never go anywhere that merits dressing up, and as they will soon outgrow these shirts, I have no objections to them wearing them around for 'everyday'.

Tom and I went to the local grocery store today- neither of us up to facing WalMart on a Saturday. Tom made Sam remove his cape before we went in. IMO, if Sam wasn't embarrassed to wear a cape around the grocery store, we should have let him wear it. I am all for letting kids be KIDS. Too often, they are forced to grow up before they should have to.

NW Arkansas Property management called us about 4 yesterday afternoon- wanting to show the house at 6:00 pm. Usually, I don't mind. But with everyone barely into recovery from this Bug, I asked for them to put it off for a couple of days. I wouldn't want to interview a house that had someone shoving me out of the way so they could rush into the bathroom... or someone laying in the bed moaning "hellllllp meeeee- oooooohhhh aaaahhhh helllllp meeee". The agent said they will reschedule in a couple of days.

Gma Arlene was telling me this morning that Net Jets in Columbus is having a big hiring surge. That is the company that interviewed me last year. Mr C has been looking online for job opportunities in Columbus and vicinity.
Not that he would actually go so far as to APPLY for a job- but he has been looking.
At this very minute he is out driving around 'looking' at houses.
I figure I have driven by every house within 30 miles of here at least once, and if we don't have an appointment to go inside a place- why bother. I am still not up to just riding around- this Bug has lingered long after it wore out its welcome.
Next month... or as close as it is- next WEEK- we can be qualified as 'first time home buyers', since it has been longer than three years since we sold the Marlow house.
Tomorrow is Seneca's birthday. HAPPY Birthday to her!

Friday, March 28, 2008


The Bug hit me full force Wednesday night. I was thinking I had escaped moderately well- no puking, just the overall malaise. Then it hit.
I hate to puke.
So after several bouts of hugging the bowl, that part was over. I didn't get dressed at all yesterday. By mid-day, I held down a cup of hot tea. Late afternoon- I added a few crackers. For supper, Tommy grilled some chicken. I had about 2 oz. That was all I ate yesterday. So why is it today, Part two has me sticking ever so close to the bathroom? Part two has wreaked smelly havoc on the household. (Maybe that should be 'reeked'!). Poop Soup.

Mount Washmore has reached disgusting heights. Truly. Disgusting. heights. At the moment, the washer is going with a load needing bleach and water as hot as we can produce. I haven't yet sorted the mountain into loads- since I really can't get that far from the bathroom... I am just making up loads by excavating until the machine is full.

The boys are bugging me about assigning them schoolwork. My brain isn't up to that yet. Today's assignment is: clean. And Disinfect.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


My second son, Bill, was born a mere 16.5 months after Christopher.

During the pregnancy, the apartment management decreed we Must move from the two bedroom apartment into a three. I think they were concerned that the second baby might be a girl, and only same-sex children could share rooms. Whatever the reason, we were assigned a new apartment, across the parking lot and downstairs from the first. We were due to move on the first of May. The baby was due on the 27th of April.

My PaPa (PawPaw- grandfather) said I was going to have the baby for his birthday- April 29th. He had money bet on it with anyone who would take him up on it.

On April 25th- I went into labor. PaPa said I may as well save the trip to the hospital- I wasn't having the baby until the 29th. With contractions strong, and 5 minutes apart- I went in anyway. The doctor examined me... and sent me right back home.

On the afternoon of the 28th, the apartment manager came to us and said she wanted us to move THAT VERY DAY. She was putting new people into the old apartment the day we had been scheduled to move. You know I went straight into labor, don't you?

We got started hauling stuff down the stairs and across the parking lot, into the new place. After several hours- the OLD tenant of the apartment we were moving into showed up- screaming at us in outrage. She wasn't yet finished moving out. Sure enough- all of her stuff was still in the kitchen cabinets, not even packed. So she was moving stuff out, we were moving stuff in practically on top of her... and I was in labor. Gotta love property management, huh?

My family and WHN's family all came to help- and shortly after midnight, we were at least IN the new apartment. Labor was going great guns- I said I needed to get to the hospital. WHN said not until he had had a beer. Or three.

Eventually we went- arriving about 3:00 am. I was examined, and surprise! I was in transition. I trundled to a delivery room- and the on-call doctor came in. I was trussed up In The Position, and told to push. Every time I touched my abdomen, a nurse slapped my hand. If you have been In The Position, you know you can't get much leverage to push. After several hand slaps, I was told I would have my hands strapped down if I didn't stop trying to contaminate the birth area. My doctor had promised me no episiotomy unless it was necessary. This doctor didn't wait to see. He was a routine cutter. Still, it wasn't too long until little "Billy Joe" was born at 4:20am, weighing in at 7 lb.s, 12 oz.... and PaPa was right- born on April 29th!

This time I was taken more or less directly to a room. When the birth certificate people came by to fill out the forms, I went slightly against the agreed upon name- and the baby became William Joseph- just in case he wanted to become a doctor or something some day.

(When Billy Joe was about three years old- he literally put his foot down- STOMPED it- with his arms across his chest and lower lip stuck out- and said, "NOT BILLY Joe. I am BILL." He refused to answer to "Billy" after that).


Another day- another round of The Bug That Is Upon Us.

I wish we had established beforehand some Rules.

Simple rules- like:

If your aim is off, wipe your spew off the toilet rim and floor.



(I don't care which end was over the toilet bowl.)

Do NOT leave half-sipped cups of soda sitting around for "later". (I have a toddler in the house!)

Is it really too much to ask?


Mr C joined the ranks early this morning.

I don't know if I haven't had it as bad as everyone else, or if it just hasn't hit me yet. I have not felt well- but I haven't been incapacitated.

All I felt like doing last night was going to bed- with everyone else already down, but the kitchen wasn't cleaned. The dishwasher of the day was down and out. Someone had at least put away the chicken soup after supper and stacked the dishes in the sink. So The Mom washed the dishes and washed the counter-tops and table. Took about all the energy I had, but I like having things in order when I wake up, and so far in my life, I have learned you cannot rely on the Dish Fairies to show up during the night.


It seems like so many people around me have lost loved ones this month. My DIL's Seneca and Glynna each lost an uncle. My niece Casie lost her MIL yesterday. Glynna's GF had a heart attack during their Easter dinner- but he is recovering. Please pray for these families.


I did get the Pampered Chef invitations addressed. I ran out, so some of you folks who have already said you would try to come, may not get one. You are still invited! For that matter, anyone reading can come to it, if you like. Just let me know- I can provide the address and directions.


With Mr C home sick, I may not be posting for a few days. Just check back when you can!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Firstborn of Many Bretheren

I hope you don't think the title is blasphemous. Chris was my firstborn- and many brothers followed- but he certainly is not Jesus Christ, the true Firstborn.
This is Chris' birth story.
I was previously married. Since I can almost never utter The Ex's name without feeling as if I need to wash my mouth out with bleach, I think I will just refer to him as "WHN"- short for What's His Name. I mean that in the most unkindly way. (I wish I could figure out how some folks can line through their writing while leaving it on the page- someone want to explain to me how?)
I got married the day after my 18th birthday. Chris was born after I turned 19.

So much lousy stuff happened during my pregnancy, I could go on about that for weeks- so I will just add the things relevent to his birth.
First of all, my folks were right about WHN being a lowlife. But I was married to him and wanted them to show them we COULD make things work. So I didn't ever tell them that when his meager paydays rolled around- he bought dope before he made allowances for rent and groceries.
For much of the pregnancy, I just flat didn't get enough to eat. He made $4.20 (four dollars and twenty cents) a MONTH too much to qualify for foodstamps. We didn't live in an area that had WIC. I was too stupid and 'proud' to tell my parents I wasn't getting enough to eat. Once I week I went to a Bible Study with my Granny- and she always bought me lunch. I would eat every crumb- and any leftovers anyone else had! My mom went on a diet, and brought me over about 40 boxes of powdered geletin that she wasn't allowed to have. If Mom or Granny didn't buy me a meal (and I lived so far away I usually saw them only once a week or so) I would have a can of veggies and some jello as my food for the day. WHN and I eventually were evicted from the place we were living- and my Granny and PaPa (grandpa) took us in while we waited placement in a government apartment. My last couple of weeks, I was finally getting enough to eat!

I was living with Granny and WHN was staying with a friend (yeah turned out to be a GIRLfriend) closer to his job as my due date approached. I was due December 19th. Along about the 3rd, I went in to the county clinic for my regular appointment. My bloodpressure was through the roof, I had 'protein' in my urine, and some other symptoms that had my doctor (Dr. Scott Freeman) really upset. Pre-eclampsia. He had me admitted into John Petersmith hospital right then. Do not pass go- do not go home and pack. I was in for the duration of the pregnancy.

Really, I felt fine- other than being SOOO hungry! The hospital meals just weren't enough. But I 'ballooned' all the way up to 116 lbs by December 11th- the day I actually went into labor.
I was so excited to be having contractions. I wasn't allowed out of the bed at all, except long enough to go to the potty. I was in a room with 3 other 'charity' cases- and we were watching soaps. My Mom had come up almost every day to visit. On "General Hospital", Dr Leslie was about to deliver Monica's love child by Dr Leslies husband. Monica and I labored together....

I had asked the nurse when she came in- how long do I have left before the baby comes? I had been naively "laboring" all morning. She sent a stray doctor in to check on me. He examined me pronounced me "Not In Labor". A short while later, a nurse came in with a shot of "something". She layed it on my tray and told me that the Doctor wanted me to have this. I wondered why... I wasn't in really in pain- I was excited... I had been in the hospital more than a week and I was ready to go home with my new baby. (The apartment WHN and I had been waiting on had opened while I was in the hospital, and he had moved in).

The nurse insisted on giving me the shot- I stupidly thought it was to START my labor. Nope- It was to 'relax' me. Very few people are more naturally relaxed than me... and I wanted to have a baby- NOT relax. Before the shot could take a good hold on me, Mom suggested I might want to potty. So I went into the bathroom. I peed. Then I stood up- and passed several liver patties onto the floor. And a lot of water and other gore.

I yelled for my Mom- who called the nurse. The nurse wasn't at all concerned about the huge clots on the floor-but said it sure looked like the Doctor was wrong- I was In Labor after all. I was removed from among my cheering room-mates and wheeled to the Labor Ward.

Chris was born during the last era where fathers were Not Allowed into the labor or delivery rooms. I was in a ward with a dozen women in various stages of labor. By Myself. One was a screaming lady who had crossed up from south of the border just in time to give birth. She screamed, and screamed, and screamed.

I just went into my own little world as the labor got stronger and stronger. Petersmith was a teaching hospital, so periodically student doctors would come by and do a series of internal exams (yes, a series of interns examined me one after another- I was a charity case and had no say so in the matter). At one point, I was pronounced "intact". I demanded to know what was meant by "Intact". I was told that it meant- for my silly information- my waters had not yet ruptured. So I enquired as to what was the nature of the wet slimy subtance I had been laying in for several hours? I was re-examined (Oh Joy!) and Oh MY! She is NOT Intact.

Apparently I wasn't totally forgotten behind my cloth curtain. At one point, a nurse said she thought I ought to be sent back to my room- as I was obviously Not In Labor. She could tell, because I wasn't complaining and screaming. The second nurse said I could not go back to the room- my water had broken. (They discussed me as if I were Not There.) So they made the call to Doc Freeman to tell him he may as well make his rounds before coming to check on me. He suggested they send me to X-Ray to be sure my pelvis wasn't too small to deliver this baby... which I supposed would have kept my labor from progressing. I had not heard his end of the call, and wasn't aware of my destination.

Orderlies were called for, and I was wheeled up to X-Ray. I had asked one orderlie if This Is IT- I was going to the Delivery room? He said "No- Xray."
I was surprised. No one had actually checked me in quite awhile. I was sure I was ready to push.
So I was tranferred to the XRay table- even MORE sure I was Ready To Push.
The Xray Tech took my pictures- SCREAMED at the orderlies (like it was THEIR fault!) To "get (me) to delivery- STAT! Why the heck had they brought (me) to XRAY?".

So back onto the gurney I went. (Ready to push) "DON'T PUSH, LADY!!" Back into the elevator. "DON'T PUSH, LADY!!" Down the hall. "DON'T PUSH, LADY!!" into the delivery room. More demands that I not push... while I am transferred to another table. "DON'T PUSH, LADY!!"

Doc Freeman skated into place just in time to catch Chris. He weighed 5lb 1/4 ounce. Just a quarter of an ounce above the cut-off that demanded he be put into the preemie nursery. He wasn't premature- he was small-for-date, due to poor prenatal nutrition. Born at 4:20 am December 12th, 1979.

My fun didn't end there. I was placed in a recovery ward to be monitered for the next 24 hours (due to the pre-eclampsia), lest I spontaneously go into convulsions. My new baby was Not Allowed. About five hours later... an orderly came for me. He helped me into a wheelchair and we started down the hall. I thought I was finally going to be put in a room and get to see my baby. Nope. He said he was taking me for my surgery.


Yep- He was taking me to get my tubes tied. He said I had signed consent forms. I had NOT. He checked his paperwork and said Miss ____? I have your paperwork right here.

Wrong Name. Wrong patient.

What if I had not spoken up? Would the surgeon have checked to see if he had the wrong patient? Or would I have had a lawsuit... and no more children?

My Dr. Freeman came to the ward to check on me as as he made his rounds- He told the nurses to Give Her The Baby. They said it was Not Allowed. He demanded. He won! So I finally got to see my tiny baby son- hours after his birth.
Chris' birth story is the beginning of the reason's we turned to home birth.


Over half the (at-home) kids came down sick yesterday. Tommy is the only one standing... probably because he had this three days ago. I am not feeling any too well myself.

Sort of reminds me of the night before Tommy was born- every kid in the house sick. Obviously, we are calling another 'sick day' off from school.

Oh Joy.


Becky started a new blog. Here is her link: She started before I did.

One thing I can't shirk today is getting the addresses on the invitations to my Pampered Chef party. ( Saturday, April 12, 3:30pm) I have MOST of the addresses I need- Thanks to Wanda and Cinders. *************************************

Last night I dreamed about Granny- her homecoming. I posted more detail about the dream on the myspace blog. I have tried to post a recent picture of Granny and myself here, but it is just refusing to load.. Ahha- edited in later!Granny and I, January 2008.


Monday, March 24, 2008

A New Home

A brand new home... at least for blogging. I have blogged for about two years at , but several folks have suggested that I ought to move forward into the real blogsphere. So here I am.

I recently quit my full time paying job to catch up my full time non-paying teaching position. (January 2008!) My four homeschooled boys needed more attention to their educations than I could provide while putting in the 40 hours a week handing out aircraft parts to mechanics.

In the interest of future posterity (is that an oxymoron or what?) Let me introduce you to myself and my herd.

I am ~Tammy~, usually called "Mom". I am called "Mom" so often that even the little boy I babysit (Matthew) calls me "Mom". When my older kids were growing up, our house was the place all the kids hung out... so I was called "Mom" even by stray children. I have got used to it.

I have been married for over half of my life to Tom. You may see him referred to as Mr C., or DH in my posts. At home, I really do usually call him "Mr C".

My oldest son is Christopher. He may also be called DS#1. He is married to Seneca- a fabulous and someday will probably be famous photographer. They each have three kids- which totals to five between them. (That is some math for you to figure out.) Chris will be 30 next year.... which may also give you a clue that I am not exactly the youngest blogger on the block. Their kids are Jade, Amber, Connor, Alana, and Gavin.

The second born of my children is William. I have called him Bill since he was a toddler and insisted that he was "BILL- NOT Billy Joe". Bill is married to Glynna, and so far they have not (foot tapping impatiently) brought forth any offspring.

My Only DD is Becky . AKA Rebekah, L.G., Three-of-Seven. Becky is married to Stephen. They have one baby -so far- Tyrel. Tyrel was named for a character in a Louis L'Amour book, "The Daybreakers" . I feel compelled to mention that, just because so many people inquire about his name.

My next son- right in the middle of the pack- is Benjamin. He may be referred to as DS#3, or Ben.

DS#4 is Tommy. He goes by his middle name. About two days after filing the birth certificate, Mr C decided he wasn't thrilled with naming the baby Stephen. We enquired about getting it changed- but couldn't afford the $600+ it was going to cost. So he has just always been called by his middle name. This is pretty helpful at family get-togethers these days- you may have noticed my SIL (son in law) is also Stephen.

After 5 kids, we already had more than most people encourage. Tom and I were packing and planning to go on our first (and only) trip away from home without any kids. I checked the calendar to see if I might need to pack some *girl stuff*... and discovered I was over a week past time to have needed said *girl stuff*. A test was immediately procured.

SURPRISE! Two pink lines.

The two pink lines eventually produced Surprise! Surprise! Twin boys. These two are now almost 12 years old.
Daniel and Samuel, DS'#5 &#6. More often than not, we refer to them as "the twins", or "Twin" when speaking to either one alone. As if they were a single unit and not two distinct individuals.

We have an elderly cat. Her name is Al E. Cat. She was named Al back when she was a boy kitten. We adopted a boy kitten specifically. We are astounded when Al began to show every sign of producing kittens. That was when we actually CHECKED the plumbing- but she was already answering to Al. She is 16 years old.

We have four goldfish. One is over five years old: Petey. The others don't have given names. Additionally, we have Two Stupid Dogs. They may be referred to here as TSD, or by their given names of Jaffa (from Stargate TV show) and Drover (From the Hank the cowdog book series).

We currently live in NW Arkansas. It was a decision born of economics when DH's employer closed down the maintenance base in Lawton and opened the base here in NW AR. We had to sell our house- the first/only home we ever owned. We have rented since the big move four years ago. This area has yet to become "home", so we tend to refer to this as "house", not "home".

All in all, this post is pretty boring. Like my life most of the time. But I promise I have some funny tales to tattle on the kids, some *interesting* birth stories, and glimpses into my frequently weird and unbalanced mind.

Thanks for setting out with me on this adventurous ride. Remember to PB4UGO!