Our power is back. Officially came back on at 8:04. I was happy to see lights returning to our neighborhood. My family was estatic to have power back and returning warmth.
Our power is back. Officially came back on at 8:04. I was happy to see lights returning to our neighborhood. My family was estatic to have power back and returning warmth.
So last update I was stressing so much that I accidentally took a nail to the finger. I’m happy to report it’s healed perfectly and is barely noticeable.
To that end Nathan & Hannah made strides to complete things, & got everything close enough that I was able to conceed that the rest could be done at a later date.
Ian’s room at that point looked like this:
Essentially all that is left is part of the window trim, the one panel at the end of the furnace, trimming a few carpet squares, and finishing his furniture arrangement.
At that point I knew baby was ready for me to be ready, so I pushed to prep for birth. We put a rug on top of Ian’s carpet square floor for extra padding, tarps to keep water off the rug, and set up the birth tub & supplies. That was Friday night, & this was the results:
We covered the tub with blankets & construction scraps because Buddy Cat wanted to play on/in it and we were afraid he’d pop it.
We casted my belly for memories (Ian’s was a duct tape cast the didn’t last, so this one we used plaster) and I did some henna (wanted to do more, but ran out of time & energy):
Saturday brought much pelvic discomfort & baby pushing lower.
Sunday morning at work early labor/ Braxton-Hicks contractions started & remained through out the day, never getting regular, & intensity being mild.
Sunday evening I headed straight home from work skipping my evening massage client, and I’m glad I did. About 6:30pm I sneezed and my water broke.
Ian’s water didn’t break until right before he was born, so it took a conversation with the midwife and another BH contraction to know for sure that’s what happened. I asked if I should do anything to encourage real contractions and she said no, since I’d worked all day it was better to rest and that contractions would come on their own.
She was right, by 8pm they were increasing in strength and about 8 min apart, and by 9pm my plug turned loose.
A little after midnight they got into the 4 min apart range, & my midwife & her assistant arrived shortly after. Baby was doing fine and I was allowed to get in the tub. Somewhere around 1:30am I began dozing off in between contractions, & my pace slowed. A contraction around 2am woke me and I realized I was cold & very tired. Everyone helped me out of the tub & got me dried & warmed up. They checked my progress and discovered I was only dilated to about 4cm, a long ways to go. I told them I was sure it was because baby knew I was so tired. My midwife agreed and I was put to bed with a disclaimer to sleep as much as possible and to let her know when they picked up again.
Contractions spaced about 15 to 20 min apart for the rest of the night and into the morning. I slept in the gaps until about 11am, and Hannah made calls for my massage work on Monday and Tuesday letting them know I was in labor.
By 4pm I was able to eat enough to regain strength & stamina & contractions had again gotten to 4 min apart. We let the midwife know & her, assistant, and student headed over. The assistant was first to arrive and noted that I was doing great, took heart beat of baby and noted she was also going great. The assistant started prepping for birth organizing supplies as desired, and double checking everything was present & good to go. By the time midwife & student arrived I was in the final stretch. Contractions were closer together and super intense. Shortly after I noted that I could feel baby’s head working out. They asked me to differentiate between inner cervix and vaginal wall, and I specified cervix. About 4 contractions later I could feel head beginning to exit and reached down to feel baby’s hair and help stretch myself to ease baby’s head out. It took 3 more very intense pushes to get her head all the way out, and 2 more very intense pushes to get body out.
Baby was born & perfect… 8lbs 10oz. That’s 12 oz more than Ian- to be expected with the first & third trimester hormone/allergy induced high sugar battles. A few seconds of cool air out of the water & she coughed and fussed and began turning pink. All was well.
Dad didn’t get into the tub until baby was born, so he could hold baby in the warm water and help cut the cord. He put swim trunks on, so when it was time to get out, he was first to get out & work on drying off. Then he helped hold baby while I stopped at the potty & got comfy in bed.
Midwives checked me & baby out. I had no tears or significant abrasions, my blood pressure, temp, and oxygen were good. Baby was perfectly healthy per visual inspection, & good oxygen saturation. They’ll be back in 2 days for heart, heal prick blood test, and hearing test and follow up check, & birth certificate delivery.
For now, lots of snuggles in bed and nursing, & loves. No one has to go anywhere or do anything except eat, sleep, & rest.
Labor was longer than with Ian, and a bit more discomfort (probably because of her slightly larger size), but completely worth every minute of it. She’s beautiful and perfect and I couldn’t ask for more. Welcome to the world my little pure light, Katherine Jyoti.
I’m definitely in post birth bliss & everyone that’s seen her has gotten mushy & teary eyed. Now to let grandparents and everyone else know- 1 at a time. *Happy sigh*
So today was a fairly normal work day, at least until 2pm.
Our special entertainment then was a presentation by a rare-bird rescuer. She’s from near Kansas City, but rural. Her and her husband have been caring for birds reascued from smuggling situations over the last several decades.
She had lots of beautiful birds that made me go “squeee”. There were parrots and parrotlets, cocatiles, a toucan, AND an Eurasian Eagle Owl. OMG’s he was sooo beautiful!
OK, so can you tell my day perked up at that point?
Aside: It was much needed considering I’m still battling round 2 of full body hives from my food allergies. The downside was it took very little of said food to cause it. The upside: it validated that Thai food is too much for my system to handle anymore. I ordered Thai Rama Chicken (chicken, broccoli, and red curry sauce), and only ate a third of the dish. Why I can eat bucket-fulls of mild seasoned Saag Paneer, but a tiny smidgen of Thai Rama Chicken sets my body afire is beyond me. I suppose it just is what it is.
Anyway, back to the birds. I was doing my job and bringing in residents when I noticed the lovely owl. Then I was privileged to be the photographer for most of the presentation, enabling me to snap some pictures with my phone. I’ll show those in a bit. It was wonderful, she was well spoken, entertaining, great interacting with the audience, and her birds did many wonderful tricks. Several of the birds spoke quite a lot, enough to converse like a child. Then there was the parrot that whistled Dixie- I loved it!
In fact I love all big birds.
The owl was saved for last. She explained that it’s the largest owl species in the world and is related to the Great Horned Owl (my favorite of the U.S. big birds). She then explained that females are larger than males, and her male Eagle Owl was nearly double the size of a female Great Horned.
THEN she asked if there was a volunteer to help demonstrate his flying. I nearly yelled “Yes! I’ll do it!” I was so very excited.
Her instructions, hold his perch up and when she asked if I was ready to simply call his name “swoop”. She stood at the far end of the room (about 50 feet away) and asked if ready, with her back still turned to me. I called his name and she turned around & let go. He flew straight to me with 3 wing beats. Landing on his perch right in front of my face.
My fingers were 3 inches from his razor sharp talons. He was so very big, yet lighter than my old lady kitty Priss. I looked in his beautiful eyes and was in awe. We weren’t afraid of each other, but I definitely understood his stern look of “don’t break the rules”. I could look but not touch. I told him he was very beautiful several times and felt my heart swell.
He was just amazing. I was so very close to such a large beautiful raptor. I wanted to reach out and pet him so badly.
Alas, it wasn’t a good idea, I knew breaking the rules would result in consequences. So, I relished being so close and spent the rest of my day remembering every detail of him, with permagrin.
I’m still enjoying the moment 5 hours later!
So now for the pictures:
Mmmm that was a wonderful day!
AND I just realized my blog post from January 10th was about finishing drawing a picture of this lovely Owl. (cue Twilight Zone theme song here) Mmmm, I wonder if my drawing helped manifest today. Perhaps I need to do many more drawings of things I love and want.
Yesterday continued with happy. I finished the garden finally. The tires behind the swing now have an array of mellons and squashes and asparagus seeds. I noticed that all my previous seeds are sprouting as well.
I also finally got the hose into the hose reel & our barbeque grill set up.
Added some decorations to the garden. The only thing missing is the light string for inside the aquarium table. Even built a small birdbath out of 3 plastic pots & a plastic bowl (& a handful of rocks for weight) – cost including glue $5… I love Dollar Tree.
At one point a tufted titmouse (little brown bird with crest like a jay) pointed out all the feeders were empty. I went looking & discovered I was out of birdseed. So I opted to put out the last of my sewett & some oranges & grapefruit until I could make it to the store for loose seed. I even filled my hummingbird feeders.
By the end of the day, the solar lights came on & I decided it was a great evening to grill some food & relax by the fire. Nathan got me shnooked with one drink – apparently the new diet means I’m an extra lightweight.
Ian did his best to help, even carrying a log nearly as big as he is.
That being said, I really enjoyed the mellow evening. We ended up having grilled chicken (Nathan had veggie dogs), grilled asparagus, & grilled zucchini rounds… sitting by the fire listening to the bullfrogs croak, tree frogs and crickets chirping, & somewhere in the distance my favorite: great horned owl hooting. It was wonderful. Blissful even. Still plenty of work to be done, but between my tattoo & my new outside arrangement I’m very content at the moment. Happiness is very good. Si va hir su.
I did pull myself out of the depression hole. I now know I can. It was hard, took a solid week to fully come back up. Several days of exercise and then behaving diet wise, and I am back to relative chipper. (I say relative because I’m not sure my best moods ever constitute what some refer to as chipper, however, I am in a good mood place.)
My phone, which is really a miniature computer that makes calls and receives text messages, started acting up. It was eating files and overheating. Wednesday of last week it started overheating to the extreme and failed to take and hold a charge. I called customer service (using my husband’s phone) and they gave me instructions for sending it in, free of charge- I love when warranties work! Then as I was prepping to send it in, it suddenly acted like it was ok again, so I typed up a short letter explaining everything that had happened and giving a disclaimer that it seemed to correct before mailing. I really hope the technician reads my summary. I’m not sure I care whether they fix or replace it, so long as I get a working phone back.
I’ve realized that without my phone, I feel very disconnected and unprepared. I have come to rely on the quick access to my calendar (i.e. my livelihood); being able to look things up on Google or YouTube. Being able to make a call or send a quick message without hunting down a Wi-Fi connection. I’ve even realized how it has affected my work, as before I was using a couple of Chinese Medicine reference apps on a regular basis. Not having access to those apps, I have had to rely on my computer when available, but mostly my memory- which is occasionally very spotty, and in Chinese Medicine there is an awful lot to remember. It’s not the end of the world, and I’ll make it the 9 to 14 days that it will take to get something back, I’ve just realized that I’ve grown very attached to my tiny computer/phone. I’m definitely in withdrawal.
Speaking of Chinese Medicine, I’ve done some for myself. After being sick that week, I had congestion that just wouldn’t drain. My sinuses were sorely backed up and causing problems. I began having a continual throbbing jaw pain on the left side of my face and noted some red sore spots (a sign of excess, especially the congestion type) on what I knew were accu-points. I just couldn’t remember which points they were for sure and what their use was.
I looked them up and sure enough, every point had to relate to sinuses and congestion. They were stomach, large-intestine, and bladder meridian points that dispel wind. In Chinese Medicine, wind can be an external influence (windy days causing sickness) or a symptom of liver/spleen excess (which also manifests as anger or yelling). I found myself saying: I don’t know which cause it was because I’ve experienced both of late. So I relegated to carrying out the most efficient solution- Acupuncture. I would love to go to an Acupuncturist often enough to heal my body for real. However, being as low budget as I am with a basic knowledge of Chinese Medicine, I’ve opted to do very basic acupuncture sessions on myself to solve acute issues. This time, was one such event.
I have to say after the 1st treatment I was significantly better, though it re-flared, so I’m actually in the middle of my 2nd treatment as I write this. Being that I’m not a fan of pain, I’m hoping that this treatment polishes off the congestion/wind and I’m back to full normal tomorrow.
Beyond that life is mostly normal. I’m still working every day, commuting 90 min and dropping loads on fuel. With the new route income we have managed to begin to catch up on car maintenance and repairs. We still have shocks, 0-2 sensor, and some kind of electrical short to figure out. It’ll all get done eventually.
I’ve still been conversing with my potential poly love interest online. He’s taking a business trip to the East coast for several weeks, so between that and my AWOL phone, I’m in withdrawal of our conversations too. However, I’m hopeful that his time out east also bears some fruit with his fiancee too, at least metaphorically speaking. I hope he is able to get a better sense of his fiancee as a person and what he’s really committing to. My biggest concern for him is that he’s walking into the rest of his life completely blind. That could cause so many problems long term. I know that the culture of arranged marriages (regardless of country of origin/perpetration) is predicated upon that premise: that the couple to be is to know that their parents and whomever else is involved in the selection process, has their best interests at heart, and thus should be trusted. Yet, I can’t help but think of the horrendous outcome that would have befallen me if my parents had picked my husband.
My parents may love me, but they lost sight of who I was as a person long ago, and at this point we disagree on more things than we agree upon. I can’t imaging how horribly wrong their choices in personality, political views, and general world views, would have been for me.
I’m honestly surprised that arranging marriages is still thriving so strongly, I would have thought it to have fallen apart decades ago. Although, I suppose there might be something to the idea that angry bitter people might be wanting to punish others for their forced marriages, and what better way than to force another marriage. The gentler more conscious version of that would be “maybe if I do a better job picking a mate for my son/daughter then their marriage will be better than mine was”. Though I hardly think either stance will provide the desired outcome for anyone, especially when younger generations are being raised to believe in freedom and love. The two ideologies simply don’t mesh well.
My biggest hurdle is accepting his decision to go with the arrangement and not refuse. I understand why he feels the need to follow through with it, the complexity has weighed heavily on me. I sincerely wish I had the financial resources to provide an acceptable 3rd option for both him and his parents. Yet, I don’t currently have that ability, and based on his explanations, I don’t see a valid alternative without it. I just wish so much for him to be happy and have freedom of choice, even if that didn’t involve me long term. It’s all I would ever wish for anyone. Happiness, and freedom. I feel really strongly about those two things.
It’s really why I get so angry over our political environment here in the USA. Our government allows us as society to have just enough freedom to be complacent, and has ensured over the years that restrictions to our freedoms are quietly put in place (with a good reason mind you) so that it’s a surprise when someone goes to do something and is told no. Then we have to fight 10 times harder to have those laws removed from the books and freedoms restored. It’s a pattern that has repeated itself over and over again in US history, yet we keep letting it happen.
Anyway, I’m rambling. I just want peace, happiness, and freedom for all. I want to help people get on their feet and rebuild their lives. I want to have a lasting positive effects on this world. And right now all I can do is get up every day and go to work to ensure that my family has food, clothing, shelter, transportation, and communication with the outside world. And since that is ALL I CAN DO, then do that, I will. However, I will keep telling the story of Atira (coming to a blog post near you, soon!), the good things I wish for, and maybe the more I tell it, GOD and GODDESS willing, I’ll be able to welcome it into my life for real. THAT is my new focus.
So today was fruitful, nut not in the way I planned – as usual!
The plan was to make way for laying subfloor. We had multiple odds & ends to do to accomplish that task. Not one of which actually got done.
However, the morning started by hearing back from an inquiry on a used scooter. I had sent an email saying I could do a hundred less than they asked, & they responded by saying yes, we’ll meet you to look at it & decide from there.
So we scrambled to figure out how we would get said bike home if it was good. We asked to borrow the trailer – it was in use. So we calculated & guessed that it should fit in the van if there wasn’t anything else. Proceeded to empty the van & drive to meet the sellers at a big hardware store.
It was good too, because I ended up running in to buy 2 tools to take the rear-view mirrors & tail storage cube off so that it would actually fit in the van.
After watching the man start & ride the bike around the lot, I was sold- it wasn’t brand new, but only had 418 miles on it. They even helped us detach parts & fit it in our van. Then he even sold me his helmet for $20 because it fit.
Oh & apparently the helmet fit Nathan too, though it was a very tight fit for him with his dreds.
I am now the proud owner of a bright yellow scooter. Of course now I need to get it insured, inspected, tagged, and then I have to get a motorcycle permit, & then a motorcycle license. Hopefully within a week, so I can start driving it for work & saving gas money. It should pay for itself in about 2 months.
Next: my garden brought me to tears when I saw it. Keep in mind we’re out at the trailer once a week right now. I haven’t tended my garden at all. Yet, it was lush and gorgeous. I was amazed because it’s been so long since I’ve had a garden, that I half expected it to fail. Especially since I’ve killed pants while living in our apartment.
I’ve even got flowers sprouting, both in pots & on the ground:
Finally, despite the chipmunk that’s been trying to eat them, I even have squash plants sprouting:
I harvested 2 gallon bags of greens (kale, beet greens, & 2 kinds of lettuce), & there’s still plenty. This is the harvest & post harvest garden shot:
I’m just so amazed. I’m going to be eating food from my own garden for the first time in years!
Anyway after my awestruck garden moments, we unloaded the scooter & covered it, & then we did a quick oil change on the van. Good job I’d say!
The final moment of happy was after the oil change: walking into the mostly demolished trailer to put tools away, and seeing Jennifer’s horse through the window, no more than 75 feet away. Again I was in tears. Despite all my stress, all my worries, the massive work load in front of me, & the mess I was standing in- I saw beauty – for the first time in years.
It was a good day.