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Madre de Muchos

The ramblings of an overwhelmed mother and birth junkie.

Updated: 2014-10-06T19:59:06.578-06:00


What Does Your Anthem Sound Like?


I know it's been a while since I've written anything of substance. Sorry about that. I feel like I have so much to get my readers (if I have any left) caught up on that I don't know where to start. Like I'm afraid I'll start typing and never stop because there's so much to tell, but then everyone would be confused because I'd be telling it all out of order and it would make no sense.So today I'm just going to ask for some help. I'm working on playlist. I am going through some changes (nothing major, just growing) and I need some music that reminds me of my ability to stay strong and positive.Some of my Soul Sisters have already introduced me to the first few songs on the playlist.A friend/doula client played india.arie's Private Party at her empowering HBAC (home birth after cesarean). I fell in love with the lyrics:I’m havin' a private party Ain’t no body here but me, my angels, and my guitar singin’ baby look how far we’ve come here I’m havin’ a private party Learning how to love me Celebrating the woman I’ve becomeThen there's Exactly by Amy Steinberg. I can't tell you how many times these words have helped me stay calm during stressful times:i am exactly where i need to bei need to be exactly where i ami am surrendering so willinglyto be the perfect me inside this nowand truly how else could it bedestiny she blesses meA beautiful midwife I know posted a cool song on her blog by Jill Scott called Hate on Me. I love her confidence and attitude when she sings: Hate on me, hater Now or later ‘Coz I’m gonna do me You’ll be mad, babyGo ‘head and hate Go ‘head and hate on me, hate on ‘Coz I’m not afraid of it What I got I paid for You can hate on meThere's also Just Fine by Mary J Blige. There's no way you can be in a bad mood when you're singing along to: No time for moping around, are you kidding?And no time for negative vibes, cause I'm winningIt's been a long week, I put in my hardestGonna live my life, feels so good to get it rightThen there's a song by the Brazilian Girls which my Jane and the lovely MB introduced me to. It's a song that just makes me feel good (and laugh). I can't really post any of the lyrics, just in case my mom is reading.So my friends, what songs brighten up your day, make you feel strong and powerful, or simply make you want to shake what yo' mama gave ya?[...]

All He Had To Do Was Ask For Some Candy


I guess he knew that my answer would have been "No."

The Boys always get a lollipop when they go to the barbershop. I'm assuming Thing 1 had a sweet tooth. He got a hold of Hubby's beard and mustache trimmer and did this...

(image) I had hoped we could fix it and still save some of his hair until I saw this...
(image) and this...
(image) I knew there was no hope after looking at this...
(image) Oh well, at least he has a nice round head.
He got his trip to the barbershop and his sucker.

5 Years ago today...


I looked like this (actually imagine me 3 weeks bigger).I was 34 weeks and 6 days into my final pregnancy. I had been having contractions off and on for a couple of weeks and had been to the hospital twice during that time. Both times I had been given a shot or two of terbutaline to make my contractions stop and was sent home to rest. When the contractions started up again on the afternoon of February 22, 2003 I took my "labor-stopping" pills, got in bed and waited for things to slow down. It didn't work. I called the doctor's office and was told to go to the hospital. I was convinced that we would just go get a shot and come right back home.On the way to the hospital I decided to call my doula, just to give her a heads up. She was resting so I told her husband what was going on but since I was sure I was coming back home I figured I wouldn't disturb her. She called me back right away and asked the question that I now ask every one of my doula clients when they are (or think they are) in labor, "Do you feel like you need me?" For some reason (it must have been intuition) I said yes and asked her to meet us at the hospital. On the way there I noticed that the contractions were 4-5 minutes apart and I was starting to have to breath through them. I still thought I'd be home in time for dinner. Thing One and Thing Two had other plans.Here is the rest of the story as told by my fabulous doula.Dear Thing One and Thing Two, Here is what happened on the day that you were born. I am the doula that had the privilege of being with your parents at your arrival. It all started when Mommy called to tell me that she was experiencing contractions again. She was already on bed rest and terbutaline. The contractions were consistent enough for Mommy to call and give me a heads-up. I was actually resting and Mommy let me sleep and left a message with my husband. I awoke to him telling me what was going on so I quickly called Mommy. She said that they needed to head over to the hospital to get checked out and that she was hungry. We talked about how once she gets to the hospital, she couldn't eat, and to do what she felt was right. So, as Daddy went through a drive in, Mommy got some food. We all arrived at the hospital around 4:00pm. K was our fun nurse who enjoyed giving Mommy a hard time. First it was, "Why have a doula for a cesarean?" Then, "Why didn't you take more of the terbutaline?" Lastly, "Why did you eat on your way to the hospital?!" It didn't take Mommy long to realized the humor in everything she said. She checked the cervix and we were all surprised to hear that the cervix was already 4-5 centimeters dilated and 80% effaced. It was time for the two of you to be born today! Everyone was in a bit of shock, especially Mommy. She really didn't think your birthday was going to be for another week or so. Nurse K prepared the chart and Mommy for the upcoming births. We actually had quite a few visitors too. Aunt R had Cousin J in the waiting room, Aunt J and Uncle M, with Granny, and Grandma and Papa watched your brother and sister. It actually was a pretty fun couple of hours as we anticipated meeting the two of you. Dr. H came in and did a quick ultrasound to confirm your transverse presentations. He was very kind and soothing. Dr. Y the anesthesiologist introduced himself and explained his role. C came on at 7:00 to be our nurse and it was soon time to go to the OR. At 8:00pm Mommy was wheeled back to the OR as the family waived from the waiting room. C stayed with Mommy as Dr. Y administeredthe medication while Daddy and I looked in the window. Once Mommy was settled, we took our places by Mommy's head. Before we knew it, Thing One was born at 8:21pm, weighing in at 5 pounds 4 ounces and 18 inches long. Thing Two was one minute later at 8:22, weighing in at 5 pounds 8 ounces and 19 1/2 inches long. You were both so cute. Thing One made more noise than Thing Two who was just tryi[...]

Biblical Twin Birth


My mother called me today to ask me to explain this scripture to her.
Genesis 38:27-30. It says:
27 Now it developed that in the time of her giving birth, why, here there were twins in her belly. 28 Further, it turned out that when she was giving birth one extended his hand, and the midwife at once took and tied a scarlet piece about his hand, saying: “This one came out first.” 29 Finally it developed that as soon as he drew back his hand, why, here his brother came out, so that she exclaimed: “What do you mean by this, that you have produced a perineal rupture for yourself?” Hence his name was called Pe′rez. 30 And afterward his brother upon whose hand the scarlet piece was came out and his name came to be called Ze′rah.

I can't picture this birth. Baby A's hand came out (and was out long enough to have something tied around it), he drew it back then Baby B was born, causing the mom to tear?
I told her it couldn't happen. I also told her to keep in mind that the book of Genesis was written by a man. My mother reminded me of the scripture that says "All Scripture is inspired of God", meaning that since God inspired Moses to write about this birth, it must have happened. I still believe this is physiologically impossible.
Any birth professionals out there who can make sense of this one for me?

Seven Things


The Beautiful Brooke tagged me over a week ago. I've been so lazy about posting that I'm just now getting to this. I am supposed to name seven weird or random things about myself.
I think this will be tough because I am an open book, I guess that leads me to the first random thing.
1. I get off on people knowing me well.
I guess I figure if other people know me inside and out, the more likely they'll be to help me figure out who I really am.

2. I graduated from high school when I was 16.
I skipped Kindergarten (started first grade when I was 5). When I was in 3rd grade we moved & the new school felt that I was too young to be in 3rd so I was sent back to 2nd grade. After repeating 2nd grade the school realized they made a mistake so they put me in 4th grade. I blame never finishing 3rd grade for the fact that I'm not smart anymore.

3. I can't stand cottage cheese or ricotta.
There's something about the lumpy, clumpy texture that just makes me want to puke. I also can't stand cold salads made with foods that are supposed to be eaten warm (potato salad, macaroni salad or any other pasta salad, egg salad. BLECH!)

4. I love creativity.
The people I admire most each have at least one or more artistic talent. (writing, singing, playing an instrument, designing, sewing, crafting, acting, dancing, speaking more than one language, being an educator) . I often wish that I can be more like them. I try to surround myself with creative people, secretly wishing that I will somehow soak up some of their creativity.

5. I style my hair with conditioner. That's it.
It took me years to figure out how to keep my curly hair manageable. A few years ago I left conditioner in my hair after a shower and I loved how it kept my curls from frizzing. Since then that's pretty much all I do, take a shower, brush my hair out, put conditioner in it & let it air dry. Simple.

6. I go over my cell phone minutes every month.
No matter how hard I try, I can't seem to use less than 1500 minutes a billing cycle. That doesn't even count the amount of time I'm on my home phone. I love to talk. My mom has a picture of me at a year old, with a toy phone to my ear dragging it around the house (I don't think cordless phones were invented back then. Thank goodness somebody came up with them). Who could have guessed that I would still have a phone to my ear most of the time.

7. I can't stand the sound of AM radio.
It drives me nuts and I don't know why.

Whew, that was tough. If I remember the rules of this meme correctly, I'm supposed to tag 7 other people. Since I'm so late at doing this and most of the bloggers I know have already done this, I'm not going to follow the rules.

Anything else you'd like to know?

Why Do They Insist On Torturing Me?


This is my favorite time of year, partly because I love all things pumpkin. Unfortunately, because of my gall bladder issues I had to give up Starbucks. This means no Pumpkin Spice Lattes for me. It makes me sad every time I think about it.On top of giving up Starbucks (and the Gingerbread Latte that will also be coming out soon), I've now been advised by my acupuncturist to give up dairy, sugar, and cold foods and drinks. This means giving up one of my favorite things in the whole wide world, ice cream.I haven't been doing such a good job at this no sugar, no dairy thing. I've actually been behaving like one of the Things, doing the exact opposite of what I've been told to do. This last Saturday Little Bit bought me a couple of loaves of sweet bread (one lemon poppyseed & the other blueberry) . They were both gone by Wednesday, and I didn't share much with my family. Last night I met with a client and we shared a Pizza Cookie.A 1/2 pound of Chocolate Chip, White Chocolate Macadamia Nut, or Peanut Butter Chocolate cookie dough, slightly baked in a 6-inch pizza pan then topped with 3 scoops of vanilla bean ice cream. Ours was half peanut butter, half chocolate chip.After eating such a yummy dessert and having a tummy ache for the rest of the night, I decided that I was going to start taking my care provider's advice seriously. I decided to kick my sugar habit once and for all.I woke up determined to behave but when I opened my email I saw this:This description followed: Doulala, Sadly, thousands of pumpkins are destroyed and wasted each November. And for what? Distance. We're talking about the new cruel "sport" of Punkin Chunkin, whereby people build highly powered machines, such as catapults, to see who can hurl pumpkins the farthest (yes, we're serious). Barbarians! Well guess what, Chunkers?! We built a machine, too! It's called a Blizzard® machine! And it blends pumpkin pie with creamy DQ® vanilla soft serve to make the delicious Pumpkin Pie Blizzard® Treat! Now the DQ® Blizzard of the Month! In our opinion, no other machine in the world can beat it. Well, maybe the space shuttle. Maybe. That is, if space shuttles could make DQ Blizzard Cakes! This month, try the Pumpkin Pie Blizzard Cake. It's our Pumpkin Pie Blizzard layered with creamy DQ vanilla soft serve and irresistible pie crust pieces. Perfect for Thanksgiving or any other occasion. and then they included this: How could they do this to me? Not only do they put two of myfavorite things together but they also tempt me with a coupon???Maybe that's what I get for being part of the DQ Blizzard Fan Club. [...]

I Can't Get The Doobie Brothers Out of My Head


It keeps you runnin', yeah it keeps you running...

I must be nuts! I let someone convince me to do a 10K run that is just 10 days away. What in the world was I thinking??? That is 6.2 miles! I am in such trouble! I haven’t taken training for this seriously enough. I have been running 3 miles at least twice a week, sometimes 3 times a week for the last few months. “If you can run 3 miles regularly, you can run 6, no problem”. This is what my whack job of a friend said to me to convince me to sign up, and I believed him. The problem is I run those 6-9 miles per week on a treadmill, which I am now learning is much different than running outside, on pavement.

Yes, I am nuts!

Yesterday I ran 2 miles (on the treadmill) , then boxed for a half an hour, then ran another 2 miles (one on the treadmill and one around the track). Surprisingly, I feel fine today. I boxed again today but didn’t run because I had to watch Jane’s girls for her (Thanks for getting me out of running Jane!). I am supposed to somehow run 5 miles on Saturday and then next week a friend of mine is going to help me train so that I can run 6 miles by next Sunday. Yeah, right! I’m going to go from running 3 miles, (occasionally 4) to running 6 miles in less than 10 days.? Dear readers, you should start saying your goodbyes now. Anyone want to volunteer to help Hubby raise the Things?

The only thing that might save me is that I am on call for two mamas right now. Maybe I’ll get called to a birth! November 11th sounds like a wonderful day to have a baby, don’t you think?



The reason I started this blog was because I wanted to start writing more. I am surrounded by wonderful women who seem to have a gift for making written words dance and sing. I have a gift of gab. I can talk all day long but I don't enjoy writing, even though I really want to. I want to be able to write as much well as I talk. I want people who read my writing to know me as well as the people I talk to do.
I'm really tempted to try this because I'm the type of person who needs outside motivation to do things. For example, I need an appointment with someone to make myself go to the gym. I needed a friend to convince me to sign up for a 10K to make me get serious about running (which really isn't working but that's a whole other post waiting to happen). I need to invite people over in order to get motivated to clean my house (I really enjoy having a clean house so I must do more inviting).
On the other hand, it seems quite silly to commit to blogging everyday for 30 days when I average about 3 blog posts a month. Someone like me should probably set smaller goals like blogging once or twice a week for a year (or maybe for a month).

Maybe I'll do NaBloPoMo or maybe I'll fail miserably. If I fail, it's not like anyone will think less of me, anyone besides myself.

Do You Ever Feel Like Wearing A Sign?


Thing 1 and Thing 2 are finally civilized enough to take out in public without me having to worry about being utterly embarrassed by their behavior. On Friday I happened to be feeling like a nice mommy so I agreed to take all the Things to Jamba Juice after I picked them up from school. We placed our order for 2 Power sized Peanut Butter Moo'ds, substitute strwaberries for peanut butter, with immunity boosts, split into 5 cups. It's a yummy chocolate, strawberry & banana treat.
As we were waiting for our drinks, I noticed a woman staring at us. I'm used to people looking at us when we are out in public but this woman was studying us. She kept looking at each Thing, then at me, then from Thing to Thing, over and over again. She was so busy scrutinizing my family that she didn't even notice that I was watching her do this. I almost wanted to ask her if she had any questions.

Maybe I should make it easier for people by wearing a sign that says:

  • Yes, they are all mine (even the pale, blondish one)!
  • They are bi-racial.
  • Two of them are twins. Nope, not that boy & the girl. The two younger boys.
  • Yes, I realize that one of the twins is much taller than the other.
  • The oldest boy is 10, the girl is 6 and the twins are 16 months younger than she is.
  • Yes I have my hands full and yes, I'm done.
  • Any other questions???
Do you think a sign like that would have stopped that woman from staring?

My favorite part of the Jamba Juice trip was the man who commented "It looks like a school bus!", as I was rounding all the kids up into the van.
Do people really think these kinds of comments are cute?

She's One Of The Many Reasons I Run


My Aunt left me this amazing comment in my Running for Life post that I had to delete because she had a few personal details that I'd rather not have on my blog. Her words were so beautiful that I had to repost them (an edited version).

I think it's time to make sure my wonderful, generous, and so full of love niece/sistah knows how much I appreciate and love her. Doulala, as I'm sure everyone who knows her is aware, is an unbelievable support system. Most times, before you even know you "need" she is there offering to help. We have a special relationship - always have. Even though I told her she looked like a monkey when she was little! From diagnosis to today, Doulala (and all her "things") have taken care of me and allowed me to basically take over their home (her poor husband!). As only "Aunties" can do - I had those "things" in boot camp! Hey I was bored and on drugs. At times they asked me, "when are you going home?" But, with was all with love! Doulala...thank you for ALWAYS being strong for me when I wasn't able to be strong for myself. I love you ding dong...

You are always welcome, my wonderful (but crazy) Sister/Auntie! I love you too!

Get Movin' iMix


For some reason iTunes didn't include all of the songs on my play list but here's most of them.

Music That Gets Me Movin'


I went to a club last night with a couple of girlfriends and had a blast. A lot of the music they played is also on my workout play list. I never knew that my music tastes were still cool and current in some circles.I was reading Fat Lady's blog today and noticed that she's sharing the music that she moves to so I figured I'd share mine too.I have about 60 songs on this list that I shuffle through when I'm working out or cleaning the house. Here they are listed in alphabetical order by artist. Keep in mind that the stuff that gets me moving isn't always the type of music I listen to on a day to day basis.Get Me Bodied(extended mix) BeyonceBeautiful Liar Beyonce & ShakiraLet's Get Retarded Black Eyed PeasShut Up Black Eyed PeasHey Mama Black Eyed PeasPump It Black Eyed PeasBoogie Oogie Oogie Brooke ValentineAin't No Other Man Christina AguileraCandyman Christina AguileraOne Two Step Ciara featuring Missy ElliotBrick House CommodoresGasolina Daddy YankeeImpacto(remix) Daddy YankeeIndependent Women pt.I Destiny's ChildBootylicious Destiny's ChildParty(Up in Here) DMXLet's Grove Earth Wind & FirePintame Elvis CrespoSuavemente Elvis CrespoTambourine EveMake Me Better Fabolous featuring Ne-YoRockafeller Skank Fatboy SlimFergalicious FergieHere I Come FergieHollaback Girl Gwen StefaniTipsy J-Kwon Tell Me 'Bout It Joss StoneSexyBack Justin TimberlakeThe New Workout Plan Kanye WestAmerican Woman Lenny KravitzAre You Gonna Go My Way Lenny KravitzGet Low Lil Jon & The East Side BoysControl Myself (Joe Bermudez Tantric Experience) LL Cool J & Jennifer LopezI'm Bad LL Cool JMama Said Knock You Out LL Cool JMove Somethin' LL Cool JHeadsprung (radio version) LL Cool JRuffneck MC LyteWe Run This (Stick It Edit) Missy ElliotShake Ya Tail Feather Murphy LeeHot In Herre NellyMove Ya Body Nina SkyOye Mi Canto N.O.R.E.Nasty Girl Notorious B.I.G.Slam OnyxHey Ya OutKastCan I Have It Like That Pharrell featuring Gwen StefaniCulo PitbullButtons Pussycat DollsDon't Cha Pussycat DollsC'mon N' Ride It (The Train) Quad City DJ'sShut Up and Drive RihannaGet Busy Sean Paul (the remix is good too)We Be Burnin' Sean PaulMas Que Nada Sergio MendesHips Don't Lie ShakiraBig Things Poppin' (Do It) T.I.Square Biz Teena MarieLean Back Terror SquadGive It To Me Timbaland feat Justin Timberlake and Nelly FurtadoSwitch(reggae remix) Will SmithI Got It From My Mama Will.I.AmI hope you enjoy working out or just shaking your booty to these tunes. Please feel free to add to my list. I am always looking for music to keep me motivated.[...]



Yesterday I was having a temporary identity crisis. As I was thanking my friends for reminding me that my blog name really fits I had an "Aha" moment.
Not only am I a mother of many children, but I'm a doula. What do doulas do? They mother mothers. I have mothered many women in my life as a doula. Of course the name Madre de Muchos fits.
Silly me!

What's In a Name?


Many years ago, around the time that Girl Thing was born, I used to post on various forums. I had just become a SAHM and was really into the whole "being a mom is my identity" thing. I thought that Madre de Dos was a cool username. Eventually people on the boards just started calling me Madre (I sometimes wonder if they realized that they were calling me "Mother"). Fast forward 9 months to when I found out I was pregnant again. Alarmed by the fact that we were adding two more people to our family, I changed my name to Madre de Mas Y Mas. When the twins were born I settled on Madre de Muchos because that's how I felt, like I was a mother of (way too) many.
I am beginning to realize that, even though I feel like I am inundated with children, I really don't have that many. I look at some of my fellow birth workers who have 5, or 8, or even 11 children, or I read blogs by people like Swistle, and I start to wonder if this blog really deserve the name I've given it. I mean if I'm Madre de Muchos what the heck do you call someone like Michelle Duggar?

What do you think? Am I due for a name change? Feeling like I have a whole lot of kids has been part of my identity for so long, it's weird to realize that the name really doesn't fit.

Breast Awareness


Last week my aunt had her lumpectomy. Thing 1 and Thing 2 wanted to know why Auntie couldn't come over. I told them that she was in the hospital having a lump removed from her breast. They made the appropriate sounds, serious "ohs" and "mm hmms", as I did my best to give the 4 year old version of breast cancer. Just when I was starting to think that I had such intelligent and sensitive little boys and that I had done a wonderful job explaining the situation, Thing 1 asked me "Where is her breast?" I pointed to mine and said "Right here" (surprised that all this time they didn't really know what I had been talking about) Thing 2 said "You mean her boobs?!"
"Yes." I said, and they both screamed "Eeeew!"

Later that day they decided to tell their sister all about it. I'm not sure exactly what was said but I heard bits and pieces about her tummy getting bigger and bigger. Finally, Girl Thing said " Mom, what are the twins talking about?!" Original Thing tried to clarify by saying " She had something in her that was making her sick and the doctor had to take it out." Girl Thing asked where and I said "In her breast". She gasped "You mean where she makes milk for her babies?!?!"

At least she knows what they're called and more importantly, what they are for.

Breathe or Blog?


Because the month of August has been unusually hectic, my poor blog has been neglected. I've barely had time to breathe, let alone blog. OK, that isn't really true, I've found time to read other blogs. Reading doesn't require the energy that writing does. Reading the words of others helps me relax, writing makes me think to much.Three of the four Things started school this month. Original Thing and Girl Thing started on the 1st. They started a new school that I am pretty happy with. Thing 2 started his second year of preschool on the 13th. Thing 1 will start preschool later this week or next Tuesday. They will both be in Special Needs Preschool for speech therapy. They were evaluated last year and Thing 2's speech delay was much more pronounced than Thing 1. I asked the school district to reevaluate Thing 1 a few weeks ago and they determined that he barely qualified but that he could benefit from preschool as well. So now they will both be in school but in separate classes. Thing 1 will go in the mornings and Thing 2 in the afternoons.The day after Thing 2 started school, we moved. We've been looking for a bigger place for a while now but of course I didn't start packing until everything fell into place. We found a house that is just a mile from where we used to live. It's much bigger and will cost us a lot less monthly. We found it 10 days before we moved so everything was last minute. We are adjusting to being in a new place and trying to find time to clean out/up our old house.The new house is almost perfect. The only problem is the people who lived here before us must have had a cat. My house smells like cat pee! The carpet was cleaned right before we moved in but the smell was still there. I tried this, this, and this but the last two only seemed to make the house smell worse. I even bought several Method Aroma Pills (mmm, the cut grass fragrance is nice, and was on clearance at Target). I think the carpet just needs to be replaced. My mother in law bought me a black light so that I can find the source of the nasty smell. Now all I have to do is find something to get rid of it, something that actually works.In between the move and the children starting school, I have been attending more than my usual amount of births and going on interviews like crazy. I am a 1 (2 at the most) birth a month kind of doula. I had 2 August clients and 2 September clients. So far 1 of my August clients gave birth (my first twin mama!) , both of my September clients had their babies (one was 5 weeks early) and my last August client's due date was last Wednesday.Hopefully I will make the time to blog about these births. I have lots of thoughts about them. I have learned so much from these women and their experiences.Girl Thing was also in a pageant this past weekend. Yes, one of those. Sigh, I feel a bit of shame every time I tell someone about it. That whole experience is definitely a blog post waiting to happen.Wow, I feel like I'm talking to a friend I haven't seen in a long time. I've got so much to talk about. I'm looking forward to finding my inner writer again and keeping my readers (if I have any left) updated.[...]

Running for Life


And someday if they tell you about itIf the darkness knocks on your doorRemember her remember meWe will be running as we have beforeRunning for answersRunning for more- Melissa EtheridgeI have always been a supporter of Breast Cancer Awareness. I wear a really cool BCA blinkie in my email's signature line that looks something like this,I have some really comfy pink ribbon shoes that I wear to births.I've purchased pink measuring cups & spoons as well as a "Pink Plaid" cookbook so I can Cook for the Cure.Last year I put together a team for my local Birth Network to walk/run in the Komen Race for the Cure.Over the years I have known friends and other families whose lives have been affected by this disease. This year it hits much closer to home.A few weeks ago I found out that my aunt, who is more like my sister, has breast cancer. None of my advocating for awareness, having pink ribbons painted on my toenails, drinking out of pink ribbon water bottles, wearing pink ribbon jewelry, not even eating the pink M&Ms prepared me for how it felt to get that news.I can't think of the right word to describe the feeling. The best I can come up with is "heavy". It's a lot more intense than when my friend had breast cancer. It's even more intense than when a good friend of the family's mother died from it. It feels a lot more personal.When my aunt told me I immediately started thinking, "Oh my goodness, I need to take care of her!" My favorite way to take care of people, other than supporting them in labor, is feeding them. I started thinking up all these healthy menus, full of cancer fighting foods. I even promised to be her personal chef. The only problem is that she lives almost an hour away and as Hubby gently pointed out, I'm barely cooking meals for my family of 6 (It's just too dang hot!).I'm still trying to figure out how I can get her to eat better. She has always eaten like crap (and still manages to be super skinny, I think I hate her) and she is preparing to take the bar by studying every waking hour(she graduated from law school a couple of months ago) which doesn't leave much time for meal preparation or eating.My other reaction to this news feels a bit selfish. I can't help but think that now that there's breast cancer in the family my mother and I are in the "higher risk" category. I'm going to have to pay closer attention to taking care of myself (and getting my mother to take better care of herself).My aunt has a big fight ahead of her and I'm going to do my best to support her. I am also going to continue supporting companies and organizations that are committed to fighting this disease.Our Birth Network has a team again for this year's race. Last year we had 24 members. This year I hope to have at least 50. We've also set a goal of raising at least $1500.There's been a lot of talk in blogland about doing the Couch to 5K program. I started a couple of weeks ago to get ready for this year's race. Find out if your area has a race coming up and sign up. This is an excellent way to get yourself moving and help out a great cause. I hope lots of you sign up for the race, donate some $$$, or click on some of the links I've posted so you can purchase something that gives back to the cause.[...]

A Lot Like Singing in the Shower


The other day we were in the van on our 90 minute car ride home from my MIL's house. We were blasting the Dreamgirls soundtrack (after jammin' to Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind & Fire, and KC & the Sunshine Band). All of a sudden Girl Thing says, "I sing really good in my head, just not out loud."

I'm In Repair...


...I'm not together but I'm getting there.
John Mayer

Some of you know that I've been working on losing weight since early March. I'm trying to get down to around 140 or a comfortable size 8.
Six months after the twins were born I weighed more than 200 pounds. I was a mother of four, 29 years old and overweight. I set a goal of losing 50 pounds before I turned 30. I wound up losing 60. The first 30 came off just by changing my eating habits. I had to get my butt in the gym to lose the rest.
Unfortunately once I reached my goal I stopped working as hard. I slowly added Oreo Blizzards back in my life & stopped going to the gym. To my surprise, the weight stayed off. Woo hoo! I could eat what I wanted and be a lazy bum (as lazy as 4 children would allow).

Then I weaned the twins. Slowly but surely my weight crept back up. By February of this year I was back up to 167 and spilling out of and over the top my size 10 jeans (I had no business still trying to squeeze into those pants).
So now I'm back to eating right, going to the gym, and doing my best to resist the call of Dairy Queen (have you seen June's Blizzard of the month? Waffle pieces, chocolate chunks and caramel, YUM!). Doing all of this has helped me drop 15 pounds and fit in my size 10s comfortably (sometimes they are even a little loose).

I've had 2 births this past week so I've been slacking on my work outs, and not eating the greatest. It's hard to eat right when you're up in the middle of the night supporting someone in labor for hours and hours. It's also hard not to give in to your cravings for ice cream when it's 110 degrees outside. I've tried June's Blizzard at least three times this month.
Today I was in a hurry and pulled on a pair of jeans. They were unusually snug and my first thought was "Ok, these are fresh out of the dryer, no big deal". As I rushed out the door I realized I couldn't move real well in theses jeans and I had a serious muffin top (more like a big ole' inner tube). I started getting seriously depressed. I couldn't believe that just a few days away from the gym and a Blizzard or two or three could make my comfortable, almost loose jeans impossibly ill-fitting.
Suddenly I remembered that some of my jeans from two years ago were in the same drawer as the ones I wear on a regular basis. I found a bathroom so I could check out the tag. Lo and behold, I was wearing a size 8! Suddenly I went from being depressed to being excited! I could actually pull on, button and zip an 8! I still have a way to go before they will be comfortable but I'm getting there.

50 First Dates


I attended my first birth as a doula in August of 2004. Today was my 50th time assisting a mom in labor and getting to be one of the first people to meet a brand new life. I met a beautiful little boy who's name totally fit him. It was a relatively short labor for a first time mom, just a little over 12 hours from the time her contractions woke her up until her boy was born. M was the epitome of a birth warrior. I always marvel at how women can be so powerful but extremely vulnerable at the same time. It's an amazing thing to see.
I love my job!

My Heart is Heavy


It's amazing how connected we can feel to people we meet in "Blogland".
I met Kate while she was pregnant with her twin boys. Being a fellow mother of twin boys, I immediately felt a connection. It also helped that she was friends with some of my soul sisters (Jeanette, Leigh and MB).
I laughed and nodded my head when she wrote about the crazy things people say to you when you are expecting twins. I could totally relate when she described her uncertainty of becoming a mother to two more little boys. I was shocked and worried when I read about her boys being born much too soon. I followed every post she wrote describing the joys and fears of being a mom to Liam and Ben .
She is a wonderful writer. She is so open when she writes. Her writing makes you feel like you are listening to a close, personal friend. She has such an incredible gift.

Yesterday she lost one of her gifts. My heart hurts for her. In all her sadness she was still able to share her gift with the rest of us. She is my hero.

From the Mouths of Babes


Thing 2: Where are we going Mommy?

Me: To Leigh's house.

Thing 1 and Thing 2: Why?

Me: I'm going to make a cast of her belly.

Thing 1 and Thing 2: Why?

Me: Because she as a baby in there and...

Thing 2: When is her baby gonna come out, Mommy?

Me: I'm not sure.

Thing 1: When it's ready. Her baby is gonna come out when it's ready, right Mommy?



After a jam packed day of running errands and hitting the gym yesterday, I left the house around 3pm to go to a birth. I got home from the birth at 5:30 this morning. Of course I haven't been able to get more than a couple of hours of sleep thanks to Thing 1 and Thing 2.
The birth went well. It was another VBAC (yipee!) I will write more about it after I've had some rest (and after I finally post the rest of the first VBAC story I started writing about).
It doesn't look like I'll be resting anytime soon. I'm supposed to be doing a belly cast for my darling friend Leigh today, and then heading up North to see my Mother in law. I have an all day Birthing from Within class I am supposed to attend tomorrow so the Things and I are gonna spend the night at her place. My Mother in law lives 90 minutes away but they haven't seen her in a while and she's one of the few people who can handle all four of the Things for more than a couple of hours. I'm so tired, I'm not sure if I can make the drive. I wonder if I should just wake up at the crack of dawn and drive up there in the morning. Ugh, that probably won't work. Maybe I should just get off of the computer and make Thing 1 and 2 take a nap with me.
Yep, that sounds like the perfect plan.

Snake in the Grass!


More like snake in my house!!! UGH, I'm still all freaked out by it!When Hubby got home this evening I left the Things in his care and went off to a prenatal visit with my new doula client. After that, I had a present for Jane so I stopped by her house to give it to her and then headed to Costco. From there I went to a smaller grocery store to pick up a few items that I either couldn't find at the warehouse store or I just don't need in bulk. Hubby called me on the way home and asked me to pick up something from Wendy's for him. After doing the gathering for my little tribe I headed home, anxious to put the food away, eat the side salad I got myself and go to bed. As I was turning on my street I got a call from another doula's client. She couldn't get a hold of her doula and she just needed to talk. She was 42 weeks yesterday and she is starting to worry that her body doesn't work properly. We talked a bit, I listened to her worries, told her to drink some tea, take a deep breath and rest up tonight (I really feel that she'll be in labor tonight or tomorrow). As we were chatting I pulled into my driveway and saw what looked like a snake but it didn't concern me because Thing 1 had been playing with his sister's toy snake earlier today. I figured he dropped it over the balcony and I would pick it up in the morning.I finished my conversation, took some groceries in the house, kicked off my shoes and asked Hubby to help me finish bringing the stuff in. As we were making our second trip from the car to our house, he stopped in his tracks and said something like "Oh Sh*t, a snake!" At first it didn't dawn on me that he was looking in the direction of our front door and not in front of his car where I originally saw the "toy". I was about to laugh at him for being scared by a toy until I saw the snake slither it's way into our home.Of course I screamed, not caring if I disturbed the neighbors. I ran back to the car, got in and shut the door. Knowing that Hubby is more afraid of snakes than I am, I wondered what he would do to get rid of the critter. I got back out of the car to check on his progress.Original Thing and Thing 1 were sleeping but Thing 2 and GirlThing ran out to see what was going on. Hubby ordered them to get out of the house via the back door. The more obedient of the two, Girl Thing, ran outside crying because she couldn't understand why Hubby was yelling at her to get out. Thing 2 practically walked right into the snake as he walked closer and closer to Hubby, trying to figure out why he was at the front door, in his boxers, yelling with a golf club in his hand. Finally he looked down, saw the snake, started screaming and ran out the back door too.I gathered the two of them up and we locked ourselves in the car, leaving Hubby to slay the dragon all on his own.Poor guy, I didn't really know how much he hates snakes until I peeked out the window and saw him pounding and pounding the reptile into the ground. Finally, using two golf clubs and a floor scraper, he killed the snake and got it into a garbage bag. Once we had been given the all clear, the kids and I got out of the car. Hubby and I finished putting the groceries away and put the kids to bed.Unfortunately, we are both too creeped out to sleep. I keep wondering what would have happened if he hadn't noticed the snake going into our house! Yikes!I have lived in this state for 17 years and I've never seen a sna[...]

Cesarean Awareness Month (pt. 2 of who knows how many)


Before I finish I have to say that I have always had a very bad memory that has only gotten worse since I had the Things. This is exactly why I need to stop procrastinating when it comes to writing these birth stories. Especially in this case, when at least 2 or more of my readers were actually at this birth. I'm having a hard time remembering the timing of certain events. If I get something wrong, leave something out, or add stuff in that didn't even happen, please forgive me and just pretend I'm writing fiction.

Now, back to the story...

After getting home, I slept off and on and got as much rest as I could while letting Thing 1 and Thing 2 watch as much Nick Jr as they wanted. Around 3pm I hadn't heard much from L & J so I called to check in. J said that L was able to rest a little bit. She was still contracting but things hadn't changed a whole lot. He asked if I would come to the hotel and stay with her while he went home to check on their daughter. I told him I would come as soon as Hubby got home.
I called Jenny to give her an update. We were both convinced that she was still in very early labor and that it could be at least a day or more before she had the baby. Our plan was to get her to accept that too so she could relax and get some real rest. Boy were we wrong!
I got to the hotel around 5pm. J left not long after I got there and things quickly changed. L went into a zone and started working with her body perfectly. This felt right, so different from the night before where we were trying to tell hew how to work with her body. All she needed from me was to sit there, hold her hand and occasionally say some reassuring words. J called to ask me how our game plan was working, had I been able to convince L that she still had a long way to go? I told her "not exactly". She could tell by the sound of my voice that something had changed so she decided to head over too.
At some point we called Jane, who happens to be a wonderful doula, apprentice midwife, and reiki master. We asked her to come to the hotel, thinking that L could benefit from some energy work. I think we called her before we realized that L didn't need much help at all.
It turns out that even though we didn't really need the energy work, we still needed her gifts. Once Jane, Jenny, and I were together we quickly fell into a grove of supporting L.
When J came back from checking on their daughter, he was probably surprised to see this hotel room full of women. I remember L saying "Hi Honey, I guess two doulas wasn't enough."
L's labor progressed beautifully. I loved watching her be so in tune with her body. She didn't need much from us other than our presence. One of us would hold her hand while the other would place cold washcloths on her head and neck.

Edited 6/8/07: I'm still having a hard time finishing this story. I figured It's better to post what I have instead of letting this get lost in draft land. Obviously this will be told in at least 3 parts.