Its amazing how much I've discovered I can get done before 10 am now. Yet somehow I haven't made the time to blog until now? I've had a few posts in my head, but its easy to forget about blogging and remember to do laundry, or vacuum, or cook with my extra few minutes. So today I decided to take 5 minutes and post something.
My beautiful baby girl, Mahalia Ruth. Born on July 22, 2011 weighing 8 lbs 10.4 oz and 21 inches long. She's healthy and fully cooked, even though she came about 12 days early. I lucked out, she's calm and strong and inquisitive. And look at those eyes!
So here's the story...
On Thursday, July 21st I went for my 38 week doctor's appointment and they did a non-stress test which came out fine, but my blood pressure was a little high and I think there was a bit of protein in my urine, so they wanted me to go to labor and delivery to have some testing done, just to be safe. I'd had high blood pressure a few weeks earlier, but it resolved itself when they had me lie on my side, so until this time there was no reason to be worried. Even my doctor said she thought they'd send me home that night, worst case probably keep me overnight for observation. So I went home and changed clothes and grabbed my hospital bag, just in case, figuring that Murphy's Law would mean that way I'd DEFINITELY get to go home that night. They did some blood work on me at the hospital and when it came back they found my blood platelet count was dropping and I actually was becoming pre-eclampsic. So they decided to induce me that night. So I called in the troops. That would be my parents and my neighbor Peggy, who was my birthing coach. Everyone got there as quickly as possible (my parents had an hour drive) and I was induced around 7pm that night. Because my platelet count kept dropping (though not horrifically, but enough to worry that it might cause issues later) it was suggested that I allow them to put in an epidural catheter early, but they wouldn't start the epidural until I actually asked for it. Not a common occurrence, normally they want to start the epidural medication once the line is in and not stop it until everything is done. I had planned on having a natural birth without an epidural if possible, but in this case, knowing that Pitocin makes for more intense contractions, ultimately I let them do it, after a little wavering on my part. I'm glad I did, because I was laboring for 24 hours and some of those contractions left my entire body shaking uncontrollably. Thats when I said it was ok to juice me up. It made the remaining hours much more bearable. But by Friday evening I was still only about 6-8 cm dialated and about 85% effaced. And then the baby turned face up (they're supposed to come out face down) and my cervix started swelling up. Which was when it was decided that the best course of action would be a c-section.
I don't remember much about the c-section, because when they amped up the epidural medication it made me rather loopy, plus when they draped me my face was covered too, but my mom and Peg were there the whole time, holding my hands and talking to me, and trying to get a look at what the doctors were doing. I guess it helps that my mother has a strong gut and Peggy used to be a NICU nurse, huh? Because they watched the whole thing and even held the barf bowl while I vomited while the doctors were inside me. I do remember when the baby was pulled out my mother and Peg both telling me how perfect and beautiful she was, and the baby being whisked in front of my eyes for a second, but I also remember that I was really uncomfortable and I allowed myself to be sedated so the doctors could sew me up. Apparently there was a lot of internal swelling which made that kind of difficult, so it took a while.
After being in recovery I was taken BACK to labor and delivery because I was hooked up to Magnesium Sulfate for 24 hours to counteract the effects of pre-eclampsia. Which meant being on my back, in bed for another 24 hours, without any food or drink (I hadn't eaten anything since about 11 am on Thursday, stupid me). Its a pretty miserable treatment by the way. Thank goodness I was on Dilaudid for the whole time.
In all we spent 5 days in the hospital. And then a week at my parents' recuperating. We've been home for about a week now. Everyone still in one piece. Even the dogs. They're doing amazingly well with her. Though every time she has a poop-splosion poor Charlie downright levitates. And my kid can pee and poop like a champion, let me tell you.
We lost a great one here in Baltimore tonight. Former Mayor, former Governor, former Comptroller and all around really special person, William Donald Schaefer. I count myself really lucky to have had as much interaction with him as I did.
At the age of 20 I worked for a stock broker who had founded a charity campaign that became one of Schaefer's pet causes. I spoke with him almost every day and could never get enough. At that time he was teaching law at the University of Maryland after having left being Governor. Wow, was he ever just full of knowledge and lore and love for Maryland, especially Baltimore. This was a guy I had always wished I could have as a grandfather, and I told him so. I grew up in Baltimore while he was Mayor and he was just amazing. He downright put Baltimore back on the map. I told him once that I would always think of him as Mayor Schaefer, because the city he had recreated had given me such wonderful memories and his response to me was that from anyone else it would be an insult, but he was happy to have me call him that. I also told him that if he EVER ran for public office again I would be there voting for him, now that I was old enough to do it!
A few years later I got that chance. He became Comptroller. And a number of years after that, when I was first self-employed I realized I was going to be a few days late on my state quarterly estimated tax deposit. Frantic (because that stuff creeps me out), I called the Comptroller's office and spoke with an assistant there. It came up in conversation that I had used to do work with Mr. Schaefer and she put me on hold, went and told him I was on the phone, and though he was too busy to pick up the phone and talk to me, she came back with a message from him for me, that he was glad to hear that while I wasn't still working for my old boss (whose name I won't mention here), he had kept tabs on me because I had later done work with a woman he was very close with and she had mentioned me to him. He was glad I was doing well.
Finally he left public office. And eventually moved into a retirement home not too far away. I called to ask if I could come and visit him, it broke my heart to think that he may be lonely, or not happy where he was. I should've known better, that man didn't stop! But I went and visited him, for what was supposed to be a short visit, maybe an hour. About 4 hours later I left. I thnk we talked about everything under the sun. And I'll be damned, that man NEVER forgot a name or a story. He remembered some of the conversations we had when I was 20. We talked about current politics and local politics, and why he got into public service. He answered every question I ever had for him. And the stories he told!
I'm saddened that I didn't get a chance to go back and visit him again. Watching the tributes to him tonite on the local news made me cry at times. But they also made me smile. I know that a lot of people didn't like him. And I know that a lot of people reading this will have no clue who I am speaking of, but dammit Don, I'm going to miss you!
I took a little detour in the rain on the way home today. Theresa had told me a few weeks back about a yarn store in Randallstown, MD that I'd never heard of. AND IN RANDALLSTOWN. Who'da thunk it?
So I had to investigate, of course.
Its called Colours, The Yarn Gallery and its hidden inside Kings Point Shopping Center, a shopping center that when I sold payroll services 10 years ago was unfortunately desolate and run-down even then. I hate to say it, but the shopping center hasn't gotten any better. There's no signage on any marquee saying that there's a yarn store, but there is an electronic sign. But if you didn't know to go inside the mall area you may miss it.
That being said, the store is like a little knitting oasis in a very abandoned desert. Even though its inside the mall its bright, clean and there are sofas and tables to sit and knit at. The owner, Thelma, is a doll. She's inviting and open, much like the store.
The yarn she carries is recognizable to most people, Berrocco, Cascade, Noro...but the area she's in she's completely breaking new ground. Most of the people in that area would have been buying their yarn at Wal Mart or JoAnns prior to visiting her store. In light of that, WOW. She's been open for almost 2 years even!
So if you're a local, or even a kind of local, stop in to the shop. We need all the yarn stores we can get don't we? Especially nice ones.
Because yeah, its been a while since I posted. Its been kinda busy here. Some good, some not.
I've been fostering more dogs, though the last one, Sophie, was adopted out to a wonderful family right before Christmas. Since then I've been taking a break.
Because I'm pregnant.
Yes. Pick your jaw up off the floor. I'm due in early August. Needless to say, it was a bit of a shock, and kind of scary too. I think it shocked everybody, myself, friends, and family. But now its starting to be interesting. I'm just beginning my 2nd trimester, and according to quite a number of people I'm beginning to show a bit. So now I can't answer, 'its just fat.' Now its a girl.
I can honestly say that my friends have been wonderful. To the last one each of them have stepped up and supported me in some tangible way. I hesitate to start thanking everyone because I'm worried I'll miss a name. Pregnancy brain, you know? So I'll just say to all of my friends, THANK YOU. And I love you.
At some point I'll post a picture or two (or 12, watch out) of ultrasounds and stuff. In the meantime, I'm just going to listen to my cravings and marvel in the comfort of maternity pants.
Friends are much like teeth. If you don't take care of them they'll probably go away.
I thought of that earlier. Apropos of nothing. Just going up the stairs. It's weird where my wisdom appears isn't it?
Oh, and Cavalier Idol voting has started! I entered Conan and Charlie this year. Conan is contestant #329 and Charlie is contestant #330. Voting is $1.00 per vote. It goes to help Cavalier Rescue and is tax deductible. Please vote for them. They already have 2 votes each, but Bucky from Florida already has 110! Help me stuff the ballot box everyone!
Possibly its because I really have nothing of import to share. Life here in Dogtopia is rather routine. Eat, sleep, shit...and that's just what the dogs do. I'm kind of comfortable with routine these days. Maybe I'm just getting old. I remember being younger and wanting to be out every night and with friends as much as possible. I still love my friends and want to spend time with them, but out every night? No way man. I'm old. And crotchety.
Like I said, nothing much changes. I spin and I forget to take pictures. I knit and I forget to take pictures. Sometimes I even buy yarn, and I forget to take pictures. Ahhh, routine...
The only real news is that I've been fostering dogs for Cavalier Rescue . They're the group that gave me Sydney and Charlie. I've always given them money, but in honor of Sydney now I give them time too. I've only had 3 foster dogs, 2 of which were a bonded pair.
Toby and Izabela. The sweetest pair of dogs you'll ever meet. It was like taking care of one dog they were so sweet and easy tempered.
Izzy is the wee-est thing and Toby is the largest cavalier I've ever run across. He's also one of the happiest, and he shows it with his whole body.
I had them for a month and then they were adopted by a wonderful couple, both research scientists, who were home most of the day. You know you've found the right people when a shy, timid dog like Izzy goes right up to a man and sits there and lets him pet her without even flinching. She was on his lap in minutes. He calls her his princess.
Unfortunately after about 2 weeks the husband was diagnosed with an acute form of Leukemia and Toby and Izzy have been staying with a friend. Though they're not suffering for it. Not even remotely. The friend has a cavalier of her own, and a terrier and a dashschund. Toby and Izzy have their own room, with their beds ON TOP of a bed, and steps for Izzy so she can just trot on up them and get into bed. And there's a doggy door that Toby isn't afraid of and uses so he can go outside and investigate to his heart's content. And they're loved. Their adoptive parents have visited with them, now that the husband is out of the hospital for a bit. I was there the first time they visited and cried to see how happy the pups were to see their parents and how happy their parents were to see them! Especially their dad. He needs to get better so they can come home. Besides, Izzy picked HIM and she's not the kind of dog to do that easily or often.
Charlie, or New Charlie as we called him here, was our most recent foster.
(does that face remind you of anyone in particular?)
Came to us from a horrible background and with all sorts of bacterial infections and other junk. But sweet. So sweet. And forgiving. I think you could've beaten him and he'd still just look at you adoringly and want to snuggle. Poor little guy started suffering from abcesses on his feet about 10 days after coming to live with us.
We were constantly at the vet getting them drained, and it seems like he never got off of antibiotics. He was so brave about all of it too. He went to his new family about a week ago (August 22nd). Talk about having a wonderful new life! His new mom even says that he was loved before he even got there and this is the home he'll have forever, no matter what. He's got a cavalier brother named Rowdy, and a spaniel sister named Abigail (who has diabetes and is blind, but took to Charlie right away) and 2 cats. His new parents have grandkids, who were there when I dropped him off, so he even has a BOY to play with sometimes. To add to the awesomeness he even gets to go camping in an RV! With his own look-out station! Maybe tomorrow I'll post the email that his mother sent to me (from him). It'll make you laugh and cry.
Cavalier Rescue is holding its Cavalier Idol fundraiser soon. Please vote if you can afford to. Plus its tax deductible. There have been some expensive dogs this year, including New Charlie. Don't make me break out more dog photos. If you really make me beg I'll send Charlie after you.
Ok, enough of the pandering for money.
My friend Heather has also started an Etsy shop. She does some amazing things with yarn and dye. Go there, buy stuff. Feel free to buy this for me. You have to. I made her open the shop.