Baby Jedi’s Birth Story – Part 2

gareth csection

When we got to the hospital, I felt pretty sure we needed to go to the ER so that I could get admitted.  Daddy Jedi dropped me off at the front door.  While most would want a wheelchair, I knew walking and staying on my feet would help me cope with the contractions.  I walked down to admitting while Austin ran ahead to find someone that would have some idea of what we needed to do.  It was around 5 am, so, needless to say, there were few people around.

I was approaching the ER, I heard my husband getting irate.  Apparently, someone in the ER was not being very nice.  I walked in and the man started asking me questions slowly, while I continued to moan and scream, depending on where I was in the non-stop contractions.  I think I would have happily punched the man repeatedly, except I think he quickly realized that I needed help immediately.  He got a nurse, who insisted I sit in the wheelchair.  She wheeled me up to L & D.

We arrived at the nurse’s station, and an older grey-haired woman was standing there.  She explained they would have to triage me to verify that I was, in fact, in labor and that my water had broken.  There was the snarky part of my brain that had to wonder how many pregnant women they get, screaming, who were, in fact, not in labor.  It’s like the warning on Preparation H not to take it internally.  It wouldn’t be necessary unless someone had actually done it before.

I was to the point of screaming and stomping very hard during the peak of every contraction.  The grey-haired lady was named Maggie, and she was Scottish.  For me, that was a blessing from God.  Considering my Scottish and Irish ancestry, it was like having a wonderful friend in a time of pain and torment.  She was firm but kind, allowing me to stand and stomp and scream when I needed to.  She paged a Resident, who would need to do a pelvic exam to confirm everything.  My midwife ensured I was in good hands and that they had a copy of my medical records before saying good-bye. When he arrived, he kindly got everything ready before I laid down so that the pain wouldn’t be intense for long.  

And guess what?!  I was in labor.  It wasn’t Maggie or the resident’s fault.  Policy sucks.  Anyway, they paged anesthesia and got an IV placed, despite my dancing around screaming.  They took me to a room, which I felt was back away from everyone else due to my screaming.  Maggie left to find out about the epidural, which meant poor Daddy Jedi was left alone with his crazed screaming wife.  I couldn’t lay down so I instead gripped the IV pole for dear life and screamed and stomped my right foot as hard as I could. It seemed like hours before Maggie came back to let us know that anesthesia had an emergency intubation in ICU which meant I had to wait.  I wanted to cry.  

I begged her for something, and she said she could give me an injection of Stadol to take the edge off until anesthesia could get there.  Never in my life have I been that eager for drugs.  After the injection, I was loopy and felt great.  I could lay down, relax, and stop trying to stomp my way to China.  

I honestly don’t know how long it was before the anesthesia nurse came.  I was in a happy place, though the Stadol was wearing off when she did arrive.  She was another blessing.  Her name was Sharon and she was amazing through my whole hospital stay. She was getting me setup for the epidural when the anesthesiologist arrived. I honestly can’t remember his name, but he actually put me before his other pages and got the line placed in just a few seconds.  

After he left, Sharon stayed to make sure the epidural was working well and to explain the button to give myself more if I needed it.  Daddy Jedi was immensely relieved. He had his wife back. He suggested calling and having my mom come down since I was no longer at home and screaming.  And I actually wanted her.  He called her and let her know.  She told him she would get ready and head down immediately.  I asked for something to eat and enjoyed munching on orange Popsicles and being able to carry on multi-word conversations with my husband for the first time in hours.

Stay tuned for part 3 . . .

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Get Your Garden On

Garden?  What?  If you are like me and have looked out the window today, you are probably wondering, as the snow flurries drift down, why I am talking about gardening.  It seems like a colossal waste of time.  Most people are still in some form of hibernation mode.

But, if you want to really get the most out of what you grow, you have to start early.  Really early.  Before the ground has thawed and there is even a hint of green, most farmers are already planning crops, starting seeds, and prepping their beds.  By the time they can transplant outside, their plants are much, much closer to producing food.  And this equals more food with the time they do have to grow.

Planning

The first thing that has to happen before anything else is planning.  It is a really good idea to know how much space you have to work with, what plants grow well where you live, and even the kind of soil you are going to be working in.  So, let’s get started.

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There are some fantastic websites out there designed to help you plan.  One of my favorites is Smart Gardener, mainly because they have a great free basic membership that gives you a lot of options.  And if you want to get some of the add-ons, most are less than $3.  Definitely not going to empty your wallet.

This website will ask for how many people you are trying to feed and what hardiness zone you live in.  Once you get this information in, it will walk you through creating a garden plan that lets it know the size garden you are working with.  There are options for planters, pots, or in-ground beds.  Finally, you pick your plants and record when you planted them.  From there, the website does all the work.  You’ll be told when to transplant outdoors and when you should be able to harvest.  You can even get reminders to water, prune, or mulch your plants.  To me, it is the epitome of working smarter, not harder.

Of course, you can always go with plan old pencil and paper.  Some grid paper would be helpful for planning.  It will just require a lot of leg work on your part.  If you are interested in this method, leave me a comment and I’ll be sure and write a separate post for that.

Starting Seeds

If you hate starting seeds, fail miserably a lot, etc, then buy your plants from the garden center nearest you around the beginning to middle of April and skip past this section.

This is a big step, and it can be equally daunting.  I have been gardening for as long as I can remember, and to me, starting seeds can be the most confusing.  Some seeds need light, others don’t.  Some have to be soaked.  Some get planted deep, an inch or more.  Some should just be scattered on top.  And don’t get me started on planting them at the right time!

Of course, if you use Smart Gardener, than a lot of this is answered for you.  But I wanted to include some other great sites specifically for this.  Also because there is so much information out there, I don’t want simply keep rehashing what has already been said so well.

  • Garden Guides – This site is a wealth of information for all things gardening.  They offer a very simple explanation of some of the things you’ll need and how to actually plant your seeds.
  • You Grow Girl – These girls are fantastic!  They keep things very simple, but also include some nice DIY ideas as well.  They also have some great charts to help you get your seeds started if using the pencil & paper method.

Prepping

Let’s talk dirt.  No, not gossip.  I mean what you have in your pots or beds or planters or whatever.  If you read some of the above articles, you will see that you need good soil just to get your seeds going.  To keep them going, you will need to keep your soil at the same level.

If you want, you can simply plow up a part of your yard and move on.  But, as we learned in January, good soil=good food with lots of nutrients.  Your yard has been sucking nutrients for years.  (Also, you will have a lot of invasive weeds.  That is NOT fun.  Trust me.)  I suggest making a soil mix that you can use instead.  This is especially useful if all of your soil is clay soil, which is like trying to plant things in a brick.  Doesn’t really work and your plants end up not producing.  They use all their energy just trying to put roots out.

I personally like Mel’s Mix, the guy who started Square Foot Gardening.  It allows plants to grow easily, is also super easy to pull weeds from, and has a lot of nutrients from the compost.  It can get a little pricey, if you are buying the compost.  So, be sure to shop around.  Better yet, look into composting yourself.  That, my friends, can be done for free.

Even though the ground is hard now, and unworkable, I am suggesting this so you can go ahead and have the mix made.  Last year, I tried making patches while I was working in my beds.  I ended making a lot of trips with my wheelbarrow and my back ached for days.  This year, I want to have a lot of it ready to go.

Are You Ready?

I know that I have barely skimmed the surface of getting started, but, as I already mentioned, I also don’t want to simply repeat what others have said.  Check out the sources and start working on your plan.  Also, if you do join Smart Gardener, my user name is sweetangel273.  I would love to link up!  (Just be aware that I haven’t planted anything yet.)  So, leave a comment with what you’re planning or any questions you may have!

Time to Workout!

© Stefan Krilla

© Stefan Krilla

So. You have a plan.  A nice, step-by-step plan based on a specific and measurable goal.  With a deadline.  Great!  Now what?

I am going to post some different types of workouts or apps for workouts that can help you achieve your goal.  I hope to give plenty of variety since goals could, and should, vary depending on where you are in life.  A pregnant woman, like I currently am, should not be trying to do 1000 burpees for CrossFit.  An elderly person may need to go slow at first.  A fitness buff may be able to jump right in.

Goal: Gain Muscle

It may seem like a no-brainer.  If you want to gain weight, you go to the gym and go through every weight machine the place has.  Some workouts have it broken done to work each teeny muscle in your body, based on what day it is.  It can be confusing.  It can be frustrating.  And it can simply not work the way you think it will.

I recommend starting with Body Weight Strength Training.  No equipment, no excuses.  And no crazy or impossible plans.  I find that the more complicated you make it, the less likely you are to do it.  If you are just starting out, I strongly recommend Steve’s Basic Body Weight Workout over at NerdFitness.  I started doing this, and I did not make it to 3 sets.  I was lucky to make it to 2 and still had to take a break.  But, that is where goals can help.  If you can’t do 3 sets, that is your goal.

Want something more advanced?  Then start adding in weights.  Nothing complicated and please, for the love of cheese, don’t separate out single muscles.  You don’t use single muscles in real life, you use groups of muscles.  You can

Goal: Lose Weight

For this, I still say read the above goal and work on gaining muscle.  The reason is two-fold: you will look good when the fat comes off, and you will burn more calories than cardio exercise alone.  So, start with doing the Basic Body Weight Workout 3 times a week.  When I started this, it usually took about 20 minutes and I could only complete 2 sets.  The other days would be when you add in some cardio.  If you are anything like me, you will find that an hour on a treadmill or stationary bike at the gym would be pure torture.  I bore easily.  For some people, though, this would be a great way to get in some cardio.

For me, I use the Run, Zombies! app to encourage me to walk.  Getting some form of reward, even an imaginary one, has a tendency to motivate me.  Another great option is Couch to 5K, because you can be a complete sedentary person with this program.  By the end, it will have you moving and you will feel fantastic!  No matter how you slice it, add in 2-3 days of cardio if you can.  I emphasize “if you can”.  The idea of working out 6 days a week can be overwhelming and daunting, especially if you’re starting out.  Maybe that should be a goal.  Start off with something and work your way up!

Conclusion

I know there are more than two goals out there, but those are usually the two biggest.  Some of your specific goals may fall under those two above.  If not, leave what you are working on in the comments and I’ll be happy to help you find the resources you need to get started!