Thursday, August 14, 2014

This week and a half has been a whirlwind of activities we are squeezing in before school starts.  Our ward has an annual overnight campout with an unlimited supply of corn.  We have never gone before because of Belen.  Last week she was in WY with her grandparents, so we went and had a fun time.  The kids ate marshmallows ad screamed and ran around.  The little ones ate corn on the cob for the first time ever and that was a hilarious thing to watch.  :-)

Zeke and Stan are now up with Grandparents and we will pick them up this weekend.

Belen has her very last horse riding lesson today for the summer and I will try to grab a few pictures to post.

I cut my own hair and the littles.  Here is a photo of Stan right before I cut.
 I'll post another one of the after as well.

Mine is just back to my old normal.  It was getting unwieldy.  It has never been that long.  In fact, there was even enough to donate.  Here is what I was looking like before the cut:
And here is the hair after:

We have been running to and fro to run errands, but hopefully it will mostly be done by the end of this week. School starts on Tuesday and we will have 2 needing to be ready for it.  I finally got Zeke's schedule ironed out (I think).  It is really nice that we have the opportunity to dual enroll here in Utah, but one of the problems with it is that since not many utilize it, nobody is really sure how the implementation works.  I think we have it though.  We'll find out if the truancy officer shows up at our door a few weeks into school.  ;-)

Sitting in a Special Ed Law Conference last week, 2 IEPs this week and a support night for families with disabilities has got my head swimming in disability advocacy right now.  Usually it isn't this intense.  Hoping that Belen has a better year this year.

Well, those are the exciting bits.  Excited to organize again for school.  I get to do it twice: once in September and again in January since our "official school year follows the calendar, but we regroup when all the other kids leave.  Omi has sent the fun packages to help us get ready and we have all sniffed the crayolas.  :-)

Sunday, August 3, 2014

With my parents in China for the next few years and my in-laws in Casper for the foreseeable future, I decided to dust of the old bloggy-blog and start recording some happenings.

I do not apologize for misspellings or weirdly worded sentences, you will just have to deal with it.  :-)

Belen has just left me to go spend the week with her grandparents in Wyoming and I am on the verge of falling apart and a panic attack.  She has only been away from me overnight for the first time when my now 2 year old was born.  She has never been more than an hour out of my grasp and I am not handling this well.  I forget for a while and then I remember and my heart starts beating.  I am trying to be mindful of the fear, mindful of my physical reactions to the fear and know the normality that my daughter really wants to be like other kids her age and spend some time with her grandparents.

I hope I can handle it. I hope she chews her food.  I hope my mother-in-law (who is an extremely capable mother of 9) can keep her safe.

But if not,

I know that things will be okay.

I have been going through lots of grief work the last month.  Anticipatory grief (like always), but also expectations needing another shift.  I have allowed myself to make plans for her future that I had not allowed in years' past and I am not sure that is a bad thing.  I just don't know if my heart is ready for her future.

Zeke has been having tons of fun on scout campouts.  He had high adventure this week and rapeled down a 50 foot cliff.  His leaders was so impressed that he was so visibly afraid and did it anyway.  I could see definite comparisons to my own youth and I am happy with the way he was able to deal with his fear, when I couldn't at that age.

Abe went to Bryce Canyon last week and had lots of fun.  And Lu and Stan  spent a week with their cousins in Orem and had a blast.  They went to bed too late and played video games and whined and laughed and loved it.  I am glad they have the option to visit family and learn about other homes.

My sweet baby is 2.  She loves to sing "Frozen" songs and wears her siblings shoes all over the house.  This means that even if someone were to put away their shoes, there is no guarantee they will ever find them again.  She is also wearing unders most of the time now.  She loves it.

this is the first year in several that I have not had obligations on World Breastfeeding Week.  It has been nice.  Although, I don't anticipate it happening again in a very long time.

I am so glad to have the temple back, I can hardly stand it.  The open house is going right now and will be dedicated at the end of September.  We have our tickets for Belen's birthday and I am so antsy to be able to go back on a regular basis.  I know I have taken it for granted having a temple so close for most of my life, but getting away with 6 children is *hard*.  I know our ancestors are also itching to have us find them.  There are new ones posted every few months on family search, it is so exciting.  If you would like to see the inside of the Ogden Temple and would like a friend to go with you, let me know.  I will be there!
 This is Belen who was so saddened that every single one of her siblings in public school had achieved the much-sought-after award of Student of the month.  During "summer school" we had Belen be our Student of the Month.  She loved her cup and pencil more than the work it took to put it together.  :-)
 We had our biannual Hardman Family Reunion and Belen was pretending to operate the boat.  She loved every bit of that time and so did we.  :-)
More reunion pics.  The girls loved being dragged around by the rope on any number of floaty things.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Birth story of Jethro

heehee. The baby was supposed to be Jethro. I "knew" the baby was a boy. I had lots of other experiences that led me to the name. It turns out the meaning for Jethro was supposed to be applied to a GIRL!

How was I to know?

Please keep on mind that this *is* a birth story and will have subject matter that belongs in a story about birth. I no longer use terms such as "squeamish" or "graphic" when associated with birth. But others might, so be aware.

My niece was staying for the week with us to help out with the kids. I had had days of prodromal labor, at least two serious false starts and I was just getting to the end of my rope. I had shed several buckets of tears and just wanted to be left alone. Every well-meaning question was humiliating and uncomfortable for me: "So...You're still here?" "Wow, you're still pregnant?" "Aren't you due yet?"


Anyway, Jared had made some yummy dinner and I had given up eating easily digestible foods as I had given up believing the baby would come. Going back and forth every hour and every day was exhausting. I wasn't sleeping well either and I was looking forward to an early evening. While we were chatting at our picnic table and I felt a pop.

(Aside)When poring over...I mean, reading birth blogs, I had always read that phrase and thought, "they are just joking...I had experienced spontaneous rupture of membranes before and it was never like that. I've never felt anything before the gush. (Aside over)

Well, I shifted a little in my seat and yes, that was fluid and it just gushed, I mean, Gushed, out. It was dripping everywhere and I started laughing. Luckily, I was outside, so there was no mess to clean up. When I told the kids what had happened, they got really excited. We told them that they still had to go to bed and we promised to get them up when the baby was coming. I told them it could take a long time, but they were too excited. They kept coming downstairs all night long. They kept playing upstairs and unfortunately for them, the baby came right when they had finally all fallen asleep, so Rapunzel actually didn't make it until after the baby had come.

We were eating a bit late, so by the time I got cleaned up and called the midwife, it was about 7:30. She asked if I wanted the apprentice to come, and I said I was still okay. I wanted more people there, but not quite yet, and I hadn't really decided *who* I wanted to be there.

As we were settling the kids down, my best friend stopped by for something and when my husband told her, I was in labor, she asked if there was anything we needed. I knew then that it was right that she was there. I asked her to take the photos of the birth if she was willing. Her family was all occupied elsewhere as the night got on, so she made sure they were fed and then came back over. She also asked if it was okay that she call our other friend to let her know. I said that was fine.

I don't remember much in this time. I tried to keep the carpet dry as I had surges. They were not difficult, not really even intense, and they were still over 8 minutes apart. In fact, they never really got closer than that until the very end.

When my friend came back, (I'll call her friend1 and the other friend2, as she was mentioned first...I's so impersonal when compared with what they actually did that night, but I still want to protect their privacy too) she set to working. She started making the miso soup for me. I had bought all the ingredients about two weeks earlier, so I would be all set. I ended up drinking about a gallon, I think, after all was said and done. It just felt so great, salty, and nourishing.

When the midiwfe got there, she was surprised at the huge amounts of fluid I was leaking everywhere. It meant that the head wasn't fully engaged yet. I already knew that...I could feel it. She would rub my back as I had surges. I really tried hard to get them more intense. I would squat during the surge, using my ball to support me and after it was over, I would rest in between. The midiwfe called her apprentice to come eventually and asked her to pick up some more depends on her way over (that way I could be a little more mobile instead of trying to stay on the chux). About that time, friend2 came over as well. She brought some essential oils and was going to do my feet, if I needed it.

The surges were a little more intense, but they did not feel productive at all. With Little, I could really feel my cervix dilating, but with this one, there was nothing. It felt discouraging. I tried to move around, to try other postiions while trying to conserve my energy for when it got more difficult. I was breathing and relaxing rather well, I thought. The hypnobirthing was kicking in just wonderfully...except that I wasn't progressing and I could feel it.

The midwife offered to check if I wanted it and I certainly did not. I was afraid that there would be no dilation at all and I was worried enough that nothing was working. I knew that this was real labor, but I did get worried that we might have to transfer because it wouldn't progress, or I would get too tired. There was absolutely no indication of progress (at least to me).

But I kept plodding along and trying to allow things to unfold as they would.

I had all sorts of support. I had the everyone taking turns with my back during surges and friend2 doing my feet with oils. That part was heavenly. I felt so surrounded by love and support. We labored that way for several hours. Little wouldn't go to bed without her "nursie night-night" which meant that she stayed up very late. I was not even about to entertain the idea of nursing her while I was working like this. She was getting so tired, but would not let anyone else put her to bed. At one point, friend1 was reading books to her on the other side of the room, so she could keep the noise level down (which I needed), and she was also telling stories while folding my laundry.

At about 1:00, she finally went down with Boy. He came out of the bedroom without her. For the whole 15 minutes he was in there, I kept telling myself, "I've got to go outside with just him. Just to be alone for a minute...I'm sure things will move along if we can just go outside and be alone."

When he came out, I told him I wnated to go outside with just him. I left the house and wonderful, sisterly chattering and just breathed. Immediately at that moment, I had a *huge* surge that just about knocked me off my feet. I made Boy squeeze my hips as hard as he could during every surge. As soon as we started walking, I would take about three steps or so and just be washed over by another surge. I remembered the midwife's comments about births with lots of attendees. she said that the woman will often be just fine and then as it gets closer, she will retreat from the crowd to do her hard work. If you leave her alone, things will be much smoother. I couldn't help hoping that this was what was happening for me. Although, there was not much thinking beyond just breathing at that point for me.

I really had to work hard to get through that walk, but I wanted to keep going to make sure I was closer. We walked from my frint door to the far end of our sidewalk around the corner, and then back. I knew that I was close when we got back to the door, but I insisted on going all the way to the driveway and back. I'm not sure of the time, but I think it took us 20 minutes to take that walk.

After we cam back in the house, it was extremely difficult for me to "keep it together". I was antsy, I wanted to move, but I couldn't find the right position. I wanted to escape, to just get away from my skin. I knew it was close, but I became suddenly afraid of the actual birth.

Yeah...good luck with that. It's happening at this point whether you want it or not...

I had been trying to labor standing or using the back of the couch as a support, but moved to the front of the couch using the cushions as support. I needed to be on my knees and I started to be enveloped by the surges. It felt like I was drowning.

(Aside)Even now, as I write this, my adrenaline is going up and my breathing is getting I want to be an anthropologist when I grow up just to study this process(Aside over)

Someone offered to go get the kids at this point, and I'm sure I yelled something totally rude. I was almost to a full yell at this point. I could feel the baby start to shift around and move down. I absolutely was aware and did not care that my toddler was sleeping just on the other side of a door. I was going to yell, and I didn't care who else had to deal with the consequences.

It felt like I pushed *for*ev*er*. I know it was only a couple minutes, but it was longer than Little, and I was expecting it to be as fast as Little. When it wasn't, I started really yelling. I know I begged them to "take it out" and yelled at the baby to get out faster.

When I finally pushed that baby out, my wonderful midwife, turned the baby around and sent him/her right through my legs, so I could quickly turn over and hold him. I demanded that my shirt be removed so that I could be skin to skin and only a few minutes later, realized I was naked and there were people in my living room. I aksed for a towel and a planket and they were immediately brought. I had thought about and planned this moment for a long time. Even before this baby was conceived, I thought about how I would do things differently. I would keep that baby skin to skin for days, not just minutes.

I smelled her. I didn't allow anyone to rub her off or wipe her down. I just held her, felt her, smelled her and watched her. I wanted the full faculties of my hormones to help with this amazing love process. Although, I was still bothered by the fact that the placenta wasn't out. I tried every minute or so to push it out and it did come much faster than my others. It was about 5 minutes after the birth that it came. After that came, I felt *so* much better. It was such a relief.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Baby is here...

Hi all,

I know some of you are waiting for news and the news is...

Baby was born on July 17th at 1:44 am. That is really the most accurate time of any of our babies born at home. Jared looked at the clock and called it just as she was born-although I think he had a reminder from the midwife to do so. :-)

I was absolutely certain that this baby was a boy. We only had a boy name picked out (it was a name that was told to me rather than me picking so much) and I had only gotten our boy/gender neutral clothes ready. I have been right with every child except Frodo.

Until now...

My amazing friend even managed to catch a pic at the exact moment I checked in between the legs. It is priceless and I just might post it when I get up and start doing things instead of staring at and loving on my new baby. ;-)

Jared went out of town all this week, so I probably won't get to the birth story quite yet. I need to hurry though, before it starts to fade.

Welcome to the world, new baby girl!


ps, oh yeah...giant child...weighed in at 8 lb 10 oz and 22 inches. I know it won't end up on her resume when she grows up, but I'm sure putting it on mine:

Grew and birthed a giant baby; 8 lb 10 oz and 22 inches long when my current height is only 4'11" and I am generally considered shortwaisted.

Friday, July 16, 2010

40 weeks's true. Yesterday was my "official" due date. Unfortunately, the baby didn't get that memo.

Babies come when they are ready and we will post when he/she does finally make an appearance. :-)

Monday, June 14, 2010

June at my house...

Oh goodness. I've been trying to cut down my time at the computer and I've been doing such a good job, that I haven't posted anything in a very. long. time.

I should first wish the Little Happy Birthday!

She turned 2 in May. We decided that there is a surplus of toys and other "stuff" in the household, so we got her what she needed (shoes, and an outfit or two) and she had a grand time unwrapping what Buggy had delightfully wrapped for her. We sang Happy Birthday several times and she just loved it. So did Buggy. Birthdays are her favorite, so she had been gearing up for this one. :-) She talks all the time now and says some pretty funny things. She'll tell me when she wants to watch the "bahbie fincess" movie and she can say everyone's name very well.

When she spent such a long time watching Buggy and her attempts at potty learning, she one day just decided that she wanted in on the action. I'm not sure why, we have no "rewards" for pottying other than cheering. But she is now happily in underpants (or out of them) and using the potty much more regularly than Buggy. She will even go out and spent all of Sunday (including church) dry.

It means we have an abundance of nakedness at our house. Be Warned. :-)

She also wants to dress herself. a lot. She has several changes of clothes each day and if I won't dress her in what she wants, she will go and get her sisters' clothes and use those. They are easier to take on and off anyway. I've thought about fighting that battle and have decided that it's not worth it. At least not right now. When we go out, I at least attempt an outfit that won't be ripped off the second I turn my eyes, but sometimes it backfires on me. I don't think Frodo knew how to dress himself until he was almost 4. I always was in charge of the clothes, what, when and how much. I don't think it occurred to him until after Rapunzel was born that he might have a choice in the matter. He still doesn't like to tie his shoes. Rapunzel got herself dressed when Buggy was in the hospital. She liked clothes, but not overly so. Her big quirk was that all dresses (including nightgowns) must be to her ankles. It was the only way it could be "pretty". Buggy loves to dress herself for school, and as soon as she attempted, I encouraged the self-help skills as I know many kids with her disabilities often learn helplessness. I guess Little saw this as an open invitation. ;-) She has definitely take it to the extreme and I'm not really sure what to do with it. I did know that I had to get her clothes out of my room. It was causing a tornado that would reintroduce itself every few hours, whether I cleaned the mess or not. Now, at least...the mess is where I don't have to see it. :-)

Frodo finished 4th grade with k12 and has requested to do it again. He was pretty disgusted with my lack of routine and his apparent "holes" in education. He only has two subjects with k12, but it operated very much like school at home. He was badgering me about why we never did any other subjects. I finally sat down with him and let him plead his case while I countered with what he was learning in my "unschooling"-ness.

He was shocked.

"You mean, all that stuff had to do with school?"
"why didn't you tell me?"
"Would you rather we sat in a desk for 6 hours a day and did the same stuff?"
"Well, I guess not, I like to pick what I read"
"OK, then."

He's stopped bugging me so much. ;-)

He did, however, request more subjects through k12. I allowed one more. If he can keep up with it with minimal prodding, we'll add another one. It's been pretty funny going through math with him this year. I have *finally* figured out he was an auditory learner and when I started teaching him that way, he got pretty upset and asked why I just didn't do it the way his teacher did it. When I showed him how many problems he would have to complete if we did it that way, he "allowed" it my way. He picks things up so much quicker when I have him say things out loud. He really is very good at math and loved the chapter on logic puzzles. I'm afraid that he might be a math geek like the rest of us. ;-)

Rapunzel has been drawing pictures that astound me. She still doesn't think she is a reader (we're hoping to remedy that soon), but she is drawing in perspective and loves to make her own paper dolls for her sisters. She loves to do crafts and art projects. It certainly isn't her vision that is holding her back from reading. We had a long conversation about how sometimes our brains just aren't ready for things: just like she was a late talker, but now she can talk just as well as anyone else. Or how some babies walk before other babies. Sometimes reading just takes longer for some kids, but they can still be great readers. I'm hoping that all of this reinforcement will help her realize that she is still smart and can do hard things.

She ended up in the emergency room last month with croup. What 7 year old still gets croup bad enough that she can't breathe? I asked about risk factors for asthma and any other breathing stuff and they said it was a totally different bird. I then asked when she would grow out of it and they said, "Most kids have grown out of it by now, but sometimes it can last until they are 10 or even later."

Buggy has been rambling all over the place and started riding an adaptive tricycle at physical therapy. It is amazing for her. She loves it.

We have decided not to send her to kindergarten this year, which means that we had to sign a waiver at the school district abandoning our right to all services relating to a "free and appropriate public education" for her. I'm still sorting out how I feel about all of that. The classroom was a great supportive environment, but not appropriate for her at this time. I'm taking it just a piece at a time. I realize that my educational goals for my children are significantly different from the public school system. I also am realistic enough to know that in order for me to provide all that I can for Buggy, I need respite. Right now, I have access to Buggy's preschool. They have graciously allowed her to stay for another year. It is the perfect environment for her. When that is over, I'll have to reassess.

For now, that is enough.

I feel myself getting very nesty and very little energy with which to nest. :-) I am glad that the lazy days of summer are finally starting. We can sit outside all day and play. I am excited about my pending birth and hoping that I am as ready this time as I was last time. I spent so much time practicing my hypnobabies last time and I haven't been as diligent this time around. I have done a lot of studying around the cultural attitudes surrounding birth and my Faith. So much of our culture has seeped into my religion about birth, but it has absolutely no foundation in fact, it often runs counter to the doctrine that we believe as LDS people. Understanding the reasons for this and then wanting to shout from the rooftops the disparities has me exhausted. I also know that I need to respect the choices of others if I have any hope of being respected myself.

HeaterBoy and I have discussed this often and he is a great sounding board when I get frustrated or have an epiphany. I feel like I have grown, as a woman, very much during this pregnancy. I understand my purpose a little bit better. I understand my role and its importance along with the attacks being made on me and all of us as adults while we struggle to understand what gender has to do with our lives in this universe.

I am grateful for personal revelation.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

I have to post this before the month is over...

Happy Birthday, Rapunzel!

My girl is now 7 years old. It's hard to believe that it's been that long.

So I checked back through my archives and I have never written her birth story on my blog...Here is a version of it:

I had been on complete bedrest for 24 weeks. Yes...24. Starting at about week 28 or so, I was in L&D about every week for labor that wouldn't stop at home. Sometimes they just monitored, sometimes they gave me extra drugs, and sometimes they just threw up their hands and didn't know what to do. At about week 30, my doctor put me on Terbutaline (a tocolytic-labor-stopping drug, absolutely not approved by the FDA for that purpose). I went absolutely crazy. I took it for about two or three days and it felt like I was having one long panic attack that just wouldn't stop. My skin was crawling and I couldn't take it.

After that terrible episode, they tried a different drug called nifedipine. It is also for blood pressure, but it was much more tolerable. I felt "out of it" rather than skin crawly and since I was supposed to be in bed anyway, it was much better than the alternative.

Once I reached 35 weeks, I thought my doc would discontinue the drugs...he didn't. I was starting to get antsy to be a regular person again. At my 37 week appointment, I told him that I really didn't like the way the drugs made me feel and I wanted off. He countered that he had just delivered a 37 weeker that needed to be in the NICU because of RDS (Respiratory Distress Syndrome, another term for "my lungs are not ready because I was born too early"). He was not prepared to allow my body to go into labor. I suggested and amniocentesis as he could check the lungs that way and have a definitive answer. I was okay with the risk of labor with the amnio since I was so close anyway. ;-) I also knew he had done countless amnios in his time and I trusted his expertise. He said he wouldn't do one in his office, it would have to be with the perinatologist. I said fine. When they got on the phone to schedule, they found out that the peri couldn't do it for at least 5 more days. I was crushed. I was also very vocal. (oops) He consented to an amnio in his own office the next day.

I went in and brought my aunt and my mom. I was scared, but wanted it over with. I was fine watching the U/s screen instead of his hands until I saw the needle on the screen. ;-) Then I got a little light-headed and had to look away. Everything went well and he said he would call with the results. I expected at least 48 hours...he called that afternoon. He said her lungs were ready and I could stop taking the pills the next morning, he would take out my cerclage in the office and we could wait and see what happened. The hope was that my body would immediately, but normally go into labor and I would be able to leisurely go over to the hospital and have my baby in a glorious VBAC.

HeaterBoy came with me to the cerclage removal. We were nervous and excited for the impending birth of our baby. I had talked to my doula and we had agreed to call her when we were sure I was in labor.

The removal was not so cut and dry.

The doc said he couldn't take it out and he wanted to meet us over at the hospital for another cesearean. He said some things that made us worried for the safety of our baby and the safety of my uterus and my future ability to have children. We agreed to the surgery and drove over to the hospital. We called my doula, but she was in work and couldn't get away right at that minute. She said she would come as soon as she was able.

I was amazed at the time it took (or lack thereof) to prep me for surgery. They all knew that I had a doula who was supposed to be present at the birth. I had my epi placed (actually it was technically a spinal, but essentially the same thing) and I had my legs tingle. I remembered to warn the nurse anesthetist that my BP always drops with an epi and he was good to remember and keep me talking so I didn't pass out. Boy was careful to stay on *his* side of the drape so as not to pass out either. ;-) The doc commented on how easy it was to make the cut and he worked for a while and out came my screaming daughter. :-) We were so happy that all had turned out well. this hospital was different from our son in that they had my husband with the baby at all times. He stood by her in the warmer while they "cleaned her off" and did their thing and then he carried her to the room at my side when I was finished being stitched up. Of course, I wasn't able to hold her as my arms were strapped down and by the time they took her out, the epi had done something weird and I could barely breathe. But she was healthy and her APGARs were all good.

When we got back to the room, we had a little time before everyone showed up to ogle the baby. She started nursing right away and didn't let go the entire time we were inpatient. :-) Unfortunately, I didn't realize she had a terrible latch until my breasts were so damaged that I would cringe every time she would wimper for nursing. And of course, this didn't happen until we were home and out of the care of the LC in the hospital.

but during the hospital, I was in heaven. She had a bassinet in our room, but the only time she was ever in it was when I had to go to the bathroom. :-) I was afraid that she would be my last baby. Her pregnancy was so difficult and the doc was pushing to have my tubes tied. I didn't think I would ever be pregnant again. I didn't want to miss a single moment with her. I fell in love. It was so different than with my son. I spent lots of time skin to skin with her and I loved every minute of it. It was almost fortunate that none of my friends were able to visit for the first several weeks. I did have one friend, who was the mother of 12, and she came to help out a bunch (as she had when I was on bedrest) and I told her it had been 4 days since I had last showered. She said "You know, it's okay to shower...I can hold her while you shower...It's also okay not to want to put her down. Hold her as long as you want. She will grow up and you don't want to miss it. Babies are okay to be held. They need it" She made me feel okay for wanting to spend every waking and sleeping minute with my daughter. Because of this, I felt so much more competent starting out. I got to know Rapunzel from the very beginning and I knew what she needed. It's a good thing as she was so very high-needs. But I never worried. Other people always said what a "good" baby she was. I laughed. Any baby would be "good" if they were being held 24/7. :-) At least that was what I thought since I knew that as soon as she was put down she would I never put her down. :-)

We figured out breastfeeding with another visit to the LC and a little time and patience.

There is more to this story, but I tried very hard not to color it with my current beliefs about birth and my personal feelings about my doctor, who had made choices that he felt were right, even though I now disagree. I had done the research I had done and I made the choices I made because I thought, at the time, that they were right. That is all we can ask of ourselves.

Although I ended up with a repeat cesearean birth, I still count it a triumph. I learned much during that pregnancy. I learned much in the postpartum period. Rapunzel helped me to love mothering. If I had it to do over again, I would do it differently, but that is the beauty of *don't* have it to do over again. You only have the future to "do". You learn, and you take what you have learned and it makes a new you. New facets are added that enable you to help others and learn for future choices.

My Rapunzel is my oldest daughter. I love her. She is so very intense in her needs and I am grateful to be blessed to be her mother. She is constantly teaching me how to calm down, listen, and reflect. I look forward to the adult she will eventually become.

Happy Birthday Rapunzel!