30 September 2009

everything....and the kitchen sink.

i have so many thoughts running around in my head. so many things that i want to write about. yet every time that i sit down to actually post something it ends up being either too detailed or too personal and i just write it in my journal instead. perhaps its just taking a little longer than i thought it would to adjust to motherhood. or perhaps i just dont want to seem like i am complaining about small, insignificant things. perhaps its that my house is just a bit too messy at the moment that when i sit down to write i feel guilty, like i should be cleaning instead. (really, who likes to clean anyway?)

but i do have some thoughts.

first and foremost, i couldnt imagine life any other way. i couldnt imagine not having little eleri, i couldnt imagine not being a stay at home mom. i just couldnt. what do i other people do? i dont know. i stay at home and hang out with the most precious little girl in the world. i love watching her little mouth move when she sleeps. i love seeing her wake up with a little stretch and i LOVE it when she looks over, sees me and a big smile breaks across her face. i love singing to her, teaching her things like clapping and rolling over. basically i just love her. and i couldnt imagine it any other way.

and it only took about 6 weeks to get there. i wasnt prepared for that. i loved my daughter instantly. and it grew a little more each day. but it wasnt until 6 or 7 weeks down the line that i actually felt adjusted, normal. it took that long to get the hang of her schedule, to put her on a schedule really. it took that long to be able to play with her, feed her, change her, take care of her and take care of other things. its really only been the last few weeks that i have managed to do any kind of cleaning, cooking, shopping and not neglect the little one. before that it was one or the other. obviously it was the housework and cooking that fell by the waste side. that was hard on me and rhys. now? well, now i feel adjusted. which is great, i thought it would happen instantly. i thought i would bring the little one home and i would have no struggles, no adjustment period, no tiredness, no sadness...all sunshine and roses. but then i thought labour would be pain free too, so clearly i have unrealistic expectations. i read other peoples blogs who said they were instantly comfortable with everything, people who only needed 1 or 2 weeks to feel completely normal. i heard about friends who were completely fine. i think there is an element in there where people just dont talk about the hard things. but also the element that everyone is different. each experience is individual. and the same principal about not comparing yourself with others physically, financially etc... well that principle also applies to motherhood. each mom is different. each baby is different. and that is what makes it so exciting.

thought number two? i still LOVE diagnosis murder. no matter how much i watch it, it just keeps getting better. what ever happened to classic actors like Dick Van Dike? i think modern hollywood is really missing in the mark. and todays episode was even more fantastic than usual. why you ask. because today not only had Dr. Sloan (aka dick van dike) the guest star was Matlock!! (aka andy griffin) seriously how great is that?! it was a good show. cheesy? yes. predictable? yes. but fantastic all the same.

next thought? i want more of the suburban life than i ever thought i would. i have always claimed that i would be fine travelling, adventuring around the world, living out of a backpack, never really having roots. and then eleri happened. and ALL of those ideas went out the window. and down the drain. and as far away from what i want for my reality as possible. i want roots for eleri. i want her to have a home, a yard to play in, a street to ride her bike down. a street that does not have double decker buses zooming up and down it. i want her to have a table to eat at, room to crawl and walk around in; and selfishly i want a dishwasher. i dont necessarily want more things (well, aside from the dishwasher) like extra toys, or more clothes or electronics...its not the things, but the place. london is no place to raise a child. rampent knife crime, busy streets, small spaces, smog. its the lifestyle that i want. who knew, i want the white picket fence! dont get me wrong, my love of travel will NEVER go away. i am already making plans to take the little one to Paris, Rome, Berlin, Zurich; major European sites whilst we have the chance. but there is a massive difference between travelling as a single person, even as a married couple, and trying to have a travellers lifestyle with a child. my sense of adventure will never go away. but my need to provide a stable lifestyle is taking over.

and finally, i love mcdonalds. i know, i know, that is disgusting. who likes mcdonals? really? its greasy, fried, soaked in oil and fat, processed, no natural ingredients at all, and basically one of the most revolting things you could eat. and yet, inspite of all that, i still love it. to me those golden arches mean more than fried, fast food. to me it means happiness, memories. i had some of my childhood birthday parties at mcdonals. back when the hamburgerler and grimce made up playground rides. i won $50 on the mcdonalds monoploy when i was 8. $50 is a lot to an 8 year old. i was with my grandparents and they let me keep all the money myself. in high school my best friend and i used to skip school and go to mcdonalds. (or sonic...mmmm...sonic) mcdonalds was the first place i drove on my own when i got my license. i ate at mcdonalds the morning of my wedding, on my way to the church. i had mcdonalds for lunch about 30 minutes before i found out i was pregnant. i had a happy meal when i found out about the cancer. and i had mcdonalds today. nothing special about today, i just happened to have it. i have limited mcdonalds recently, and i can count on my two hands the number of times i have eaten there since i became pregnant and am breastfeeding. but sometimes, man its just nice. probably even nicer to me now in the absence of other fast food places like sonic, or taco bell, or chick-fil-a.

so there it is. my thoughts for the moment. now i am going to go and play with my daughter. she is just waking up and has the cutest little confused look on her face. gosh, i love her so much. i am so lucky to be able to be with her everyday. thank the lord for UK maternity leave. i love my life.

29 September 2009

yes, he is outstanding!

so everyone go this website and check out how great my husband is :) just look past the word "autumnal" at the start of the article. seriously? autumnal? who came up with that word?

(my favourite is the "man of the match" mention at the bottom!)

26 September 2009

dinner conversation

me: ah stupid fly

(so i watch the fly carefully, reach out and grab it in my hand)

rhys: ok then mr. miagi (karate kid reference)

me: ha ha! i am so cool

(i open my hand to kill the fly, but instead it flys out...buzzing back around the house)

rhys: not so cool anymore eh?

me: i catch flies in my hand ALL THE TIME. i am super.

24 September 2009

2 months

my baby is two months old today. i cant believe it. i know its a cliche, but its gone by so fast. or is that an addage? cliche because its a stereotype that sometimes proves true and addage because it is true? is that the rule? or could it be that i am even having that discussion because i am so exhausted that i can hardly think straight. addage, cliche, does it even matter?!

the point is that whilst i love my daughter so much, and still hold that she is perfect, this whole week she has decided that she prefers to be awake in the night. she slept from 9pm to 5am 3 nights in a row. and i was so thrilled that yes, in fact, i did have the perfect baby. but now? all week she has gotten up at 2 or 3. then again at 6 or so....not really what i was used to. even before the 9 to 5, she would get up at 4 go back to sleep until about 9. perfect. i got used to that. 2 and then 6? not so used to that. and i as exhausted. so the lengthy 2 month post wont really happen. here are some bullet points.

*went to the weight clinic today and the babe weighs 12.6!! yup, she can still have the classification of giant baby.

*first rugby match. i carried her around in the baby bjorn and she was perfectly content the entire game. and everyone thought she was so precious. it was a great day. (at her second rugby game, she got to see daddy score! woo hoo daddy!)

*big e had her first bottle. rhys has really been wanting to feed the baby so we have been freezing little bits of breastmilk here and there. we finally got it out and rhys feed her. 3 times now. she took to it perfectly and it was so cute. we have a picture of it but my computer wont let me up load. man i need a new computer.

*i am sure there are more...but my brain is turning to mush so i am going to bed. good night.

happy 2 month birthday little chick pea!! mommy loves you!

22 September 2009

appeal to the masses

i am ready to move! really REALLY ready. its crazy how much having a child changes things. i dont mean everyday life functions, although a baby changes those. i mean mentally, emotionally. my thought process has changed. the things i look for and desire are completetly different. and the little flat just doesnt cut it anymore. I love that we share a room, so the one bedroom is totally fine. but i want a back yard for eleri to play in. a nice neighbourhood street for her to ride her bike down, space to play, crawl, walk, a kitchen table so we dont have to eat on the couch. and i dont feel like these are unreasonable requests. but they are requests that can never be realised as long as we stay in the second most expensive city in the world.

its time to move.

and when it comes down to it, you really get more for your money in america. thats just how it goes. the pound may be worth a lot more than the dollar, but you can do a lot more with the dollar in america than you can do with the pound in the uk. and so its time to move. hopefully to america.

so this is where you all come in. we need jobs. we need a kitchen table, but i suppose the job has to come first. so blog friends and real friends if you know of anything, or have some great connection or even just a good idea, let me know please. our little family is ready for a change!

21 September 2009


i am hoping that was the last time. the operation went well on friday. i am just waiting for the biopsy results now. and i am hoping that is the last time. as i mentioned before i am sure tired of stitches! plus my left leg is beginning to look like it was stitched together by the same scientist who put together frankenstein. it is not attractive. i am glad we are going into winter...no shorts for me!

thanks for all your prayers. i will let you all know the results.

18 September 2009

perfect and not so perfect....

for as long as i can remember i have personified inanimate objects. when i was younger i believed that everything had feelings. if i didnt hug and say goodnight to each and everyone of my stuffed animals, well someone would feel left out. i had to look at both sides of my closet, all of my shoes, each of my bows for fear of one feeling neglected. i remember once when we were taking a family vacation to texas, my mom said i could take a few stuffed animals with me. i snuck about 50 into the car each time my parents turned around. under the seat, in the pockets, in the trunk. everywhere i could put an animal, i did. i didnt want any to feel sad because they were left at home. i had so many stuffed animals in that car that i had trouble sitting in it myself! i type that out i realise how silly that sounds, but i really thought that. as i got older i think those thoughts let to a bit of my OCD tendencies. for example, if i open one drawer in the kitchen, i have to open the drawer opposite. and i have to check that the door is locked at night exactly 10 times, and so on. (note: i do realise that this makes me sound a little sad, and a little crazy,...but hey, what can you do)

and now that i am older, inanimate objects are still personified. for example, if i buy a punnet of strawberries and one out of the entire box is gross and i dont eat it, i feel bad. like it did not fulfill its 'strawberry destiny'. and all the other strawberries will make fun of it because they will be eaten and the lone gross strawberry will go on the trash. i know that strawberries are not capable of feeling, but...(again, i promise i am not crazy regardless of how it sounds)

so imagine my excitement when i found out i was not alone in this thinking. Rhys and i made popcorn this afternoon. just the microwave variety. and when we took the bag out and dumped the popcorn into a bowl, Rhys took note of the unpopped kernels. He said "do you ever feel bad for the corn that didnt pop? like they are not fulfilling thier destiny?" seriously? did he really just say that?! did he just give corn feelings? a destiny?

i am not alone in my crazy. he is perfect for me.

what is not perfect is years and years of sun exposure and tanning that has led to cancer. unfortunately the operation in may did not take care of everything. the check up i had in august after big e was born showed more. so today i had another operation. and it was not cool. at least this time i had some atheistic so that was better. but more stitches. boo. i have had stitches 4 out of the last 6 months. that is 4 months too many. hopefully this will get it all because i am really really tired of getting cut open and stitched up! enough is enough people. not fun. moral of this story? WEAR SUNSCREEN or else you end up with less than perfect results.

*edit: i mentioned to rhys that i wrote about the popcorn conversation on the blog and he added the following comment. "i also think what if there were little corn brothers in there and one got popped and the other didnt. 'johnny be strong. its ok' yells one as he gets popped and his brother stays behind." so see? we really are perfect for one another.

14 September 2009

stupid governments are making me miss christmas!

i have a bit of a problem. its confusing so lets see if this makes sense.

rhys and i alternate Christmases. this year it is our turn to go to my family. its my Christmas. and i am REALLY excited. its big e's first chirstmas and i was super excited about it being in tulsa. obviously we need passports to leave the country. big e doesnt have one yet.

my visa expired on 20 August. I had a certain number of days before it expired to send off all the necessary documents to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK. and by necessary documents i mean every tiny little detail and piece of paper showing identification that they could possibly ask for. how can all of that be necessary?! that aside, i sent everything required off to the Home Office. including my passport and rhys' passport. that was on 5 August.

as you all know, i had a child just a few weeks before that. she needs a passport. i have to go to the embassy in central london with the following documents: my passport, rhys' passport, our marriage certificate, proof of residence in the UK currently, proof of residence in America before the birth of the child. they recommend tax returns and school transcripts. oh good, i have those things with me. cause when i was packing up to move overseas i thought 'you know what? i think i will bring some old tax returns with me to england. bet those will come in handy' yeah. so i dont have ANYTHING that the embassy wants. most importantly, our passports.

stupid british government still has those.

so i call said stupid government to find out about the status of my application. i have to wait 14 weeks before they will give me any information and even then they will only tell if my application has been decided or not. they will not give me any further details, like when i will get my passports back. so even if i manage to wait 14 weeks (which is only another 8 from the time i sent things off) that puts me at the beginning of November. my ticket is for the 24 November. i then have to make an appointment with the american consulate, bring in the documents (which i dont have in this country) and apply for a passport for eleri. however that can take up to 3 weeks to get back. so even then i will still miss my flight.

i explained my situation to the nice lady (she was actually very nice) and she said they will send me my passport back at any point. i only need to ask. oh great, i say. problem is that counts as withdrawing my application. so i would lost the 820 pound fee as well as my right to reside in the UK. i would have to leave the country and reapply from the states. at the british consulate in California. how convenient to OKLAHOMA!

so the stupid american government wont let me register eleri's birth, get a social security card or her passport and the stupid british government wont give me my passports back. stupid governments.

so what all this means is that they is a very strong chance that i WILL in fact miss my christmas. and that really sucks. so thats my problem. nice eh? if you are the praying type...start praying! i need my passports!!!

11 September 2009

where were you....

its 4.11 the morning and i have just laid my daughter back in her crib. usually i head straight back to bed, having no problem falling back into a deep slumber. today is different. today i am reminded of a conversation i had with my dad many years ago. as i have always loved history one day we were discussing major historical events. he said that he would never forget where he was the day that heard President Kennedy had been shot. he was in his high school classroom and they announced the news over the intercom. every was shocked. he said it was just one of those things that you would never forget.

i too will never forget where i was when i heard the news. I got up early that morning so i would have time to get a breakfast sandwich from the LRC cafe before chapel. i had just gotten my sandwich and was getting ketcup when Pablo came up to me and told me that a plane had flown into one of the twin towers. what? i didnt believe him. i asked him if he was kidding. he assured me he wasnt, it was on the news, go and see for myself. I grabbed my sandwich, ran across campus to my dorm room and found my roommate already glued to the tv. I got there just in time to watch the second plane hit.

and i couldnt believe what i had seen.

by now words like 'terrorist' and 'war' were being thrown around. after news of the pentagon and the plane in Pennsylvania were broadcast, we were in shock of what would happen next. i just couldnt believe it. this was insane. on a normal day roughly 50,000 people worked in the trade center. i remember thinking how many of them would survive. i had a friend who worked in the second tower. on the 52 floor. i tried to call, but no answer. i sent an email and waited 3 days before i got a response. he was fine. his best friend and girlfriend didnt make it out. can you imagine? what do you say back to that? any words seem trite and insignificant.

my country was under attack. MY country. my friends were talking about war. would they go? some wanted to enlist straight away. the sense of patriotism was unlike anything i had personally experienced before. i have wondered if those days after September 11th were a bit like the days after December 7, 1941. I realise there was not a world war going on in 2001, but i imagine the sense of unity of country and defiance towards the aggressors was similar. American sentiment was so strong. i dont think i have ever seen so many American flags flying before.

images of New York and Ground Zero will forever stay embedded in my mind. I started collecting newspapers and magazines from the 12th on. i remember thinking that i wanted to save as many articles as i could. it was history and i wanted to have it for years to come. and then i remember feeling really bad about that. collecting newspapers of a disaster? what kind of person was i? thousands had lost their lives and i was busy collecting clippings of those accounts? i took everything i had collected, put it in a box and sealed it in storage. it still sits there today. unopened. untouched.

perhaps some day i will look through those images and read the words still raw with emotion. perhaps i will teach history one day and my students can read accounts of what happened. accounts not written years and years later by people far removed from the attacks, but stories from people involved just one day after it happened. perhaps i will get the box out and show my children what the New York skyline looked like the first time i saw it. but i think mostly those newspapers and magazines, whenever i get them out, will serve as a visual reminder of what the world used to look like.

i remember visiting Washington DC and the White House before there was a giant barricade around all government buildings. there are some parts that you cant even see anymore. i remember taking a tour of the White House. now you are not allowed. i toured around government buildings and the Mall without armed guards, security checks and intense scrutiny. my daughter will not have the opportunity to do those things. I remember going to the airport as a child, watching the planes fly away, waving good bye to people at the gate. I remember when you could go the airport without hours of security check points, regulations on what you can and cant fly with. i remember when it used to be easy and exciting to fly. my daughter will never have that feeling. I remember countless trips to New York City, going up in the statue of liberty, touring the twin towers, seeing the ever so famous NY skyline. my daughter will not have that chance. that breaks my heart. and makes me angry. the future generation has lost some of its freedom, freedom within their own country, because of the actions of outsiders. and that is despicable.

the first week in October of 2002, just a year after the attacks, some friends and i took a road trip to the east coast. our trip involved stops in both New York City and Washington DC. i will never forget the sight that we were met with at Ground Zero. where the twin towers once stood there was nothing but a gaping hole. the make shift cross, created from steel beams and put up by the rescue workers was still there. a silent memorial to those who never left that spot. the air still had a faint smell of ash and burning steel. the buildings surrounding Ground Zero were still closed off, boarded up and vacant. windows off street level still had broken glass hanging in the windows, an eerie reminder of what had happened. and the walls and fences boarding the WTC plaza were covered in signs of the dead and missing. husbands, fathers, mothers, wives, daughters, sons....people desperately searching for a sign of a loved one. most never to be seen again. there was a fire station across the street from the towers. directly across the street, maybe 20 feet away. the men of that station were the first brave men to respond. and they lost all but 2 of their men.

to say the sight was moving or heart breaking is an understatement. there are no words. i will never forget reading through the names of the thousands that died.

September 11th came with unbearable heartbreak, but also with undeniable courage. the strength of the fire fighters and police who ran into danger instead of away from it. the spirit of the new yorkers who helped on another. the selflessness of the relief workers who worked tirelessly around the clock, desperately searching for survivors. and the resolve of a nation, a nation who vowed to not rest until those responsible paid.

i am not sure that those responsible have paid. i am not sure that that is something that will happen in our lifetime. but i do know that on September 11, 2001 my country changed forever. the world changed forever. not only did the hijackers take thousands of lives in New York, Washington DC, and Pennsylvania. they took away a bit more of our innocence, a bit of our freedom. i was both appalled and amazed at what my fellow human beings were be capable of. incredible bravery and undeniable cowardice were simultaneously evidenced that day.

and i will never forget

9 September 2009

labour story. finally.

i have hesitated to write about my labour because do people really want to hear about that? but i have had lots of questions about it, so apparently people do want to hear about it. but then i wonder how much detail to include. i am mindful that people like my father-in-law and brother read this blog. how much to do they really want to hear about my experience of birthing a child? but nevertheless, i will acquiesce and write out what it was like for me.

All through out my pregnancy I had convinced myself that birth wouldn't be so bad. sure people talk about the pain and hours of anogy that labour entails, but i was convinced that it was one of two things: 1.) they were being too negative and having negative perceptions to begin with or 2.) they were just being pansies. really, birth couldnt be all that bad. as long as i had a good attitude and went in thinking positively i would be ok. plus i always considered myself to have a pretty high pain tolerance. I mean come on, in May I had 45 minutes of stitches with no anesthetic. so that makes me tough right?

Lesson #1: no amount of previous experiences with pain can prepare you for birth. its unlike anything you have been through before. granted birth is different for every person, but it doesnt matter how many stitches you had with no pain relief or the fact that you were run over 7 times by a car and still managed to drag yourself to the nearest hospital with your arm only hanging on by a thread....birth is different and if you have never experienced it before, its hard to prepare yourself for it.

lesson #2: even my husband agrees with me. after being with me for the entirety of my labour and birth (depending on who you ask, somewhere between 22 and 15 hours) he agrees. birth is intense. the whole time i was pregnant we had the 'which is worse' discussion getting kicked in the balls or birthing a child. after watching me give birth, he was quick to say he would rather get kicked in the balls than go through anything close to natural labour. nice to have that one settled finally.

my due date was 23 July. the 23rd came and went with NO BABY!! I was furious. to put it nicely. I compare my situation to that of Rachel on Friends. She was late and miserable. and miserable to everyone that she was around. i think its safe to say that i was like that. i could not wait to have the baby. i was so tired of being pregnant and it felt like it was never. ever. going. to. end!! when i got into bed on the night of the 23rd, i was so discouraged. i just wanted a baby! all along the midwives had said that my due date was wrong and to except the baby early, but it here it was, my due date, and still no baby.

i was up at 1.30am with a very intense contraction.

and they didnt stop.

woo hoo labour! i was thrilled. i remember thinking "yes! i am in labour! i am so excited!!" perhaps a weird reaction but remember 1.) i was SO tired of being pregnant and 2.) i was convinced labour was not going to be that bad. My contractions kept coming all through the early hours of the morning and by 6.30 we decided to go to the hospital. Not sure what the procedure is in the states, but over here they say not to go to the hospital until your contractions are 2 to 3 minutes apart consistently. my mom found that advice appalling so i imagine it is a bit different in America. anyway, we got to the hospital and i could barely walk. every few minutes i had to stop because i felt like my insides were trying to come outside. and it was not very comfortable. a midwife examined us and said i was only 4cm dilated so not even in real labour. they were going to send me back home. i asked it i could stay and finally the midwife relented. so i was admitted about 7am. a new midwife came on shift at 7 and she was so lovely. young, but cheerful and pleasant. rhys, my mom, kayleigh the midwife and me settled in for the day.

the UK is very particular about birth plans. you write one, sign it, have your midwife sign it, take it to the hospital and that is what they stick to. since i was convinced that labour wasnt going to be all that bad, i was very adamant that i wanted no pain relief.

lesson #3. be flexible. i should have allowed for more flexibility in my birth plan. writing no pain relief AT ALL meant that they didnt even offer. never having been through labour before i should not have assumed i knew what it would be like. i should have offered myself some options...hmmm something to remember for next time.

they came to check me again about 11. i was only 5cm dilated. apparently my body wanted to drag this process out for as long as possible. i remember calling stef, tara and leah between contractions, having a chat when i could then passing the phone off to my mom when an intense contraction came. jack johnson and stereophonics were playing in the background, in alternating playlists. all day it went like this, intense contraction, nothing, intense contraction, nothing. no pain relief for little kristina meant that i was pretty tired and in pain all day. since things started at 1.30am i had not slept at all. Plus the midwives kept telling me to walk around. so here i am, 5 or 6cm dilated, in intense pain, struggling to walk up and down the hall. one midwife even suggested that i talk a little stroll outside! i got as far as the hospital door and ended up almost in tears, so we just turned around and went back to bed.

finally at about 5.30 i was determined far enough along (between 7-8cm) to get into the birth pool. off i went down the hall, jack johnson in hand, and got into the giant hot tub like pool, positioned my arms nicely on a floaty and prepared to birth my child in the warm water. about 6 i got the urge to push. so i did. 45 minutes of really intense pushing in the birth pool amounted to absolutely nothing. the midwife had me get out, examined me again and decided that the pool wouldn't work for me. so back to the room i went. walking down the hall at 9cm dilated, fighting the urge to push...lets just say i was not a happy camper.

by this point my mom is getting worried. which was making rhys and i a bit nervous. my midwife called another midwife in and they were discussing what seemed to the be problem i had been pushing for about an hour now with no real sign of baby. They determined that my water had not broken and that they would manually do it and that would speed along the baby. i was still standing up at this point, leaning on rhys, and just as they decided they would have to break my water, it broke. all over rhys. (he later told me that it was one of the most disgusting experiences of his life. i can imagine) there was lots of blood in the water which freaked me, and everyone else, out. my mom was asking for an emergency c-section. the midwives were saying it was ok and i was exhausted, leaning on rhys, just wishing the baby would come already.

by now its almost 8pm. i have been in intense labour since 4 in the morning! i have been pushing for 2 hours! the average it about 30 minutes. so 2 hours is crazy!! i am exhausted both emotionally and physically. i cant imagine anything else. plus its time for a shift change. thats right, i went through an entire 12 hour shift and NO BABY! kayleigh, my all day midwife, said she would stay on until the baby was born since she had been there all day. and a new midwife came on to help out. the new midwife had practiced for nearly 10 years and she recognized right away that there was no way this baby was coming out on its own. my muscles were too tight. great when you want to look good in a bathing suit. not great when you want to push a baby out.

so after 15 hours of labour and 2 straight hours of pushing, i was told that nothing i could do would get the baby out on its own. i needed some help. some she helped the process along (i am trying to be discreet for the male audience)with a cut and 2 pushes later, at 8.08pm, out came little eleri. all through out my pregnancy my midwife was estimating the baby was about 7 pounds. when i was admitted to the hospital based on my weight gain and what they could feel, they also estimated about 7 or 7 and half pounds. but out came eleri. 9 pounds and 7 oz. yeah, she was giant.

she was also bright purple and i thought she was dead. i kept asking if she was ok but no one would answer me. obviously everything turned out ok, so i will spare the details there but basically the moral of that story is that the NHS sucks.

then, after all of that, they asked me to get out of bed, get into a wheel chair, go down the hall and get some stitches. but then again, thats a whole other story. and one that will have me ranting about the NHS. so i will leave that alone as well.

lesson #4 the NHS really sucks. from long labour, to non-private rooms, to 1950's style beds, to bad advice. and the lists goes on and on. so whilst i was actually pretty positive about the whole midwife and natural birth thing, after going through it. well cant say it was all that is was cracked up to be. and i will never birth another child in the UK. ever.

lesson #5 i am really glad that i gave birth naturally. it was really important to me whilst i was still pregnant to be as natural as possible. i wanted to be fully aware of everything that my body was telling me. i wanted to be awake, alert and in full control. believe me, i was aware of absolutely every single thing my body was telling me. but i wont do it again. there is something to be said not for no pain, but for the end result. After labouring for so long, in so many different positions, with such strong intensity i was beyond exhausted when it was all over. they made rhys and my mom leave that evening and left me with a newborn that i couldn't even pick up because i was so weak (again, a long story that involves many negative words about the NHS) with pain relief (and perhaps a doctor) that wouldn't have been the scenario. so next time i birth a child, i will have an epidural. hey, i have been through it once so i can safely say what i will want next time. if i labour for 15 freaking hours again, it will be a heck of a lot less painful.

so there it is. my labour story. hopefully that satisfies everyone questions of what it was like giving birth in england. and hopefully it was not too detailed for people like my father-in-law :)

7 September 2009

beware....a long post

I usually try and stay away from religion and politics in my posts because those are two of the most controversial topics out there. i prefer to stay on an even keel with those of you that read this. the exception of course is if i feel really strongly about something. usually that means something about the military or soldiers and nationalised health care. looking back through my blog, those tend to be the only controversial things i write about. and i feel VERY strongly about both of them. Soldiers should always be respected because they deserve it and nationalised health care sucks.

and today i am faced with yet another truth that i feel just as strongly about.

almost every time i feed my baby i think about my relationship with God. He created us to have free will, to make our own decisions. Yet HE clearly states that He will never leave us nor forsake us (joshua 1:5) so regardless of the fact that we are more than capable to make everyday decisions for ourselves, He is always right beside us, leading and guiding us. All we have to do is ask. and He is always faithful to answer us, pointing us in the right direction.

funny thing is, more often than not I dont ask. I dont seek out Him and His will for my life, I just bumble along in the dark, wondering why things are not working out or going smoothly. and there He is, right in front of me, just waiting for me to ask for His help. See the thing is, since He gave us free will to make our own decisions that is exactly what He lets us do...make our own decisions. so how ever foolish or damaging our decisions may be, God is not going to hit us over the head, telling us we need to be doing something else. but He is always there. looking over us even when we are pursuing the wrong thing, heading in the wrong direction. He has more than enough grace to welcome us back each and every time. He never holds our bad decisions against us. He always forgives, always accepts us back. He is always willing to help us out, no matter how many times we have screwed up before.

so what does this have to do with feeding my baby you ask?

every 3 to 4 hours when Big E wants to eat, she makes the cutest little bird face. she purses her lips, makes a little sucking noise, and starts trying to suck on anything. seriously anything. it ranges form her tiny, little fingers, to an arm, to a shirt, to the burp cloth. anything and everything she sees, she goes for. even though i am right in front of her with what she actually wants, more often than not she ends up getting a mouth full of cloth instead of her much needed nourishment. sometimes she doesnt slow down long enough for me to give it to her. she is too busy trying to find it herself.

just like me.

sometimes i am so busy trying to find the answers myself that i dont actually slow down long enough to realise that God is right there in front of me with exactly what i want and need. and i am eternally grateful that He has enough grace to welcome me back each and every time.

and what brought all this on today? this article from the BBC News Homepage.

In case you dont go to the link and read the story, here is a summary. An 18 year old muslim girl has just graduate from jihad training camp. she is training to be a martyr. whenever she is told, she will strap a bomb to her waist and blow herself up; hoping to take men, woman and children of her opposition with her. suicide bombers are not a new thing. its something we have heard about for years. so why this story? because of the last sentence. All through out her interview she spoke of how this was an honour, to serve her god in such a way. and she concluded the interview with this...

"There are many duties to preform before we are ready to face god. I am trying not to make any mistakes so that i do not miss this opportunity"

and that broke my heart. She is serving a god that not only keeps a record of what she does and doesnt do, but one that also holds her wrongs against her.

one of my favourite verses is found in 2 Corinthians 12:9 "My GRACE is sufficient for you for MY POWER is made perfect in WEAKNESS" What a beautiful example of the power of God. His power is not made perfectly evident when we are super strong and doing everything just right. His power is evidenced the most when we are at our weakest. when we are truly dependent upon Him. and to me that is wonderful. It no longer is about what i can do; how many good deeds i do in a day, how many prayers i say or religious acts i complete. Instead it becomes about God evidenced in me, in helping me when i can not do it on my own any longer. Sure He gives us free will, knowing that sooner or later we will remember that we cant actually do it without Him. and that is where His GRACE and POWER come into play.

i am so thankful that i dont have to live in the fear of making sure that i do enough things; pray enough, fast enough, wear the right clothes, talk to the right people, preform enough of the right tasks...and having the fear that if i dont do enough of those things then i will "miss out on the opportunity" to serve my Lord. To me that is not a faith that offers hope, a religion that has a promise of a better tomorrow, or a God that is trustworthy.

and so even though this post turned out to be incredibly long, and potentially controversial, i feel strongly enough to write about it. so there you go.

5 September 2009

having a baby is not......

like getting a very, very, tiny flatmate.

sure there are similarities, like her stuff is everywhere and she has taken over the bathroom. but thats about where they end.

but having a baby is amazing in its own right. she has the most precious smile, the biggest blue eyes, the softest baby skin ever, and the sweetest little giggle...but this week she has also acquired a little cough. it is the saddest, most pathetic sound i have ever heard. and it breaks my heart.

the cough also comes with a cold and to prevent it from settling in her lungs, we have medicine. little tiny drops that i have to put in her nose. and that breaks my heart too.

and a baby that doesnt feel well takes up extra time. which is great because i love spending time with my little one, but it means the blog is getting neglected. soon there will be stories and pictures abounding. but for now, the baby beckons

2 September 2009

is this too much?

i cant decide if this was created for parents like me or if i am a bad parent because i want to buy this for my baby....