Well, it has taken me long enough to compose this post, but I think I have finally gotten it all down in a way that I like. Let me start by saying that if, given the choice, this is not the birth plan I would have chosen. I wanted our child to turn, to be able to have a natural childbirth with limited or no medical interventions and to be able to hold her to my chest as soon as she came from my body into the world. I have tried to spare no gory details and write it down as truthfully and plainly as I could. It has taken me months to get over the trauma of this birth, and I can only hope that any children I have in the future will come to us in a much less traumatic way. So that being said, here is my bumpy-hiccuppy journey into motherhood.

On the morning of March 27, 2014, instead of sleeping in like a normal person about to go into a planned birth, Ken & I woke up at 8am to spend our last few hours as a family of 2. We took a last pregnancy photo in the baby’s nursery, finished washing some clothes, checked on arrangements for someone to take care of our dog & cuddled up on the couch to watch a few episodes of How I Met Your Mother to take my mind off of the impending surgery.

At 10am, we headed over to Virginia Baptist Hospital to get checked in for our 12pm surgery. Lots of paperwork, an uncomfortable hospital gown and an awkward shaving experience later, I was in the hospital bed and eagerly awaiting our appointment. The nurses came in to place my IV and I was completely unprepared for this part. I’ve had IVs before, but never in my hand. Damn, those suckers hurt. Honestly, it was probably the most painful part of the whole process… until things went wrong. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

We were supposed to head into surgery about 30 minutes after they placed my IV. The anaesthesiologist had already been to see me, we had discussed how prone I am to panic attacks and he had decided to make sure to have some Versaid on hand to give me before the Spinal. A Spinal is like an epidural in that it is placed the same way, you lean forward into the face of a nurse who is holding you steady and you are told to breathe and remain completely still while some guy slowly sticks a huge needle in your back between your vertebrae. Then he will inject you with a time-release drug that will *very* quickly numb you from about the bottom of your rib cage all the way down. The anaesthesiologist brings the needle in to show you, and explains that it is only this long so that he can guide it in properly, but that only a few inches of it actually goes into your back. While that may sound comforting, seeing the needle in all it terrifying glory is just that: terrifying.

So now, we wait. Our doctor comes in to tell us things are running a little behind schedule and our 12pm surgery slot comes and goes. My father and grandmother come in to see us since we have not gone back yet. Turns out my father was so excited that they got to the hospital about 10:45 that morning. Little did we all know what a long day it would be.

1pm. 2pm. 3pm. Nothing. Still waiting, still have that awful IV in my arm, still unable to eat or drink. At this point I hadn’t had anything to eat or drink since 10pm the night before and I am starving, thirsty and just a little cranky. Depriving a pregnant woman of food is just cruel and unusual punishment, especially when she is this close to a very momentous life event. Ken has gone out to speak to our friends who have come to the hospital thinking that the baby would have come during our scheduled slot and that we would be out of recovery and checked into our room by now. I am happy to know that so many people want to meet our little bundle, but I am feeling pretty guilty that they are all waiting around for me to finish having our child.

4:45pm comes and we are informed that an unplanned hysterectomy took longer than expected and that we are next on the list. All of this waiting and then, BAM, everything started happening at once. Ken gets sent off to change into his scrubs; he won’t be able to come into the surgery suite until after I have had my spinal and am laid on the table, but just knowing that he will be allowed to be there with me is comforting.

I get wheeled in and they have me sit on the edge of the bed and take the nurse’s shoulders. If I hadn’t been so scared I was shaking, I probably would have been upset that I hadn’t brushed my teeth in hours and had no-water-or-food-for-almost-24-hours breath. But the nurse was very sweet and kept trying to distract me from my horror. Two doses of Versaid and 1 pretty massive panic attack later, and I am very quickly tossed back on the bed and arranged like a rag doll. Ken comes in, sits down beside me and we are off to the races.

Having a C-Section is very akin to feeling like someone has tied a string around your uterus and is yanking it back and forth like a marionette.  Ken kept laughing at me as I made faces. Not pained faces, just what-the-crap-this-feels-weird faces. It didn’t take very long before we heard one of the doctor’s say that they found the cause of the baby being unable to turn in the womb. Her cord had wrapped around her neck until it was too short to allow her much movement at all, and there was a knot in it. I couldn’t help but feel very lucky that I hadn’t let them talk me into trying an external version and that I had trusted my instincts that our baby knew what he or she needed. The doctors and nurses were very careful not to use pronouns until we were able to see the baby, as we didn’t yet know the sex. A big, big tug later and I heard the most beautiful sound I have ever heard: a sweet little wail that meant that everything was just fine in baby-world. They picked the baby up and brought it around to my husband and I. We looked at our little one through our tears and they started to take the baby away. There was only one little problem, I had been so busy looking at the peanut’s face that I didn’t bother to check the sex. “Wait, what is it? I didn’t look!” and then my husband said the two words that would fill my heart to overflowing, “It’s a girl!” The nurses asked what her name was, Ken looked to me and I said the name that was on my heart. It was one of two that we had tossed around and I just knew it was hers: Fiona Ainsley.

As they took her to bathe and get checked out, the doctor turned over my surgery to the resident who was there to observe. Now, I wasn’t asked beforehand if the resident could participate, only observe, and so the closure took longer than anticipated. I was alone in the operating room, dozing lightly, and then the tugging sensation became a pricking sensation, like little needles. No, not like little needles, an actual little needle. Wait, I could feel it? This wasn’t supposed to happen. Without thinking what I was doing, I started to sit up. The nurse and the anaesthesiologist took my shoulders and pressed me back down and I asked them if I was supposed to be able to feel it, really feel it? The doctor took a tool of some sort and ran it across my foot and my reflexes took over and I shook my leg. The guy with the drugs looks at the doctor and hands over some syringes of Lidocain. So after all of that, I got a topical anaesthetic to finish off my C-Section. Closure finished, they nurses wheel me out and back to a recovery room.

It’s been so long since I’ve seen my husband and baby… baby girl, it’s still hard to remember at this point that I’m a mommy!… that I’m starting to get anxious. I just want to hold her against my chest and feed her. I want that bonding, I need that time with her that mothers who have a vaginal delivery get. This is time I will never get back with her and she is experiencing things I will never know, because I could not witness them. After about an hour, I get transferred to my real room, and Ken carries Fiona in to see me. She is all swaddled up, so I immediately take off the blanket, pull my dressing gown down and cradle her to my chest. My sweet little girl. I check and recheck her toes, her fingers, her beautiful slate grey eyes and all of that red hair! I pull up my breast and start trying to guide her to latch. As I do, a helpful nurse comes in and shoves her hand in between us to grip my breast and rub it on Fiona’s lips. I know now that it’s a way to tempt a baby into suckling, but at the time I just wanted the strange hands off my breasts. Fiona latched like a little champ and she got the most important bit of nourishment that I could give her: colostrum.

While I was feeding Fiona, another nurse comes in and apologizes to me for what’s about to come. Before I have a chance to ask, she starts massaging my abdomen. “Massaging” is a delicate term for it; what really happens is that they push and push and push, rolling like a Swedish rolling pin down your belly (you know? The one that’s just been cut open and stitched up?) to make sure that blood is flowing well and that everything that needs to come out has come out.

However, despite my being able to recall it so clearly now, at the time I was so happy to have Fiona in my arms that the pain just receded and I simply absorbed it. Nothing could take away the warm, happy glow that being a mother has given me. And though I haven’t showered, have flop-sweated, panic-attacked and my stomach has practically gnawed on itself at this point, I feel beautiful and powerful and more content than I have ever felt in my life.

People start to visit us now. My father and grandmother come in and there are tears all around as they hold their new grand/great-granddaughter. The day was also my father’s birthday, so he had a double portion of happiness and it was contagious. Being good family and friends, everyone exclaimed that she was the most beautiful baby they had ever seen, and her hair was the talk of the town!

Around 9:30pm, everyone but Ken had gone home and our little family settled down to get to know one another. Fiona was in her little crib-thing and I was sleepy, but I just couldn’t stand for her to be so far away from me. I knew I would get in trouble with the nurses, but I made her a little pillow fort and fell asleep with her in my arms. I had always known that I wanted to co-sleep & it was a perfect fit. Not for the nurses, but for us. Some time later, the nurse came to help me go to the bathroom for the first time. Man, that was some trip to the potty. I thought I had lost my shame before that moment, but it truly was just then that it happened. The nurse had her hand in my crotch, checking my giant pad-like diaper for clots of rate of bleeding and then she squirts warms water all over. Afterward, she blots me dry and gives me instructions for how I am to go to the bathroom for the next 8 weeks while I am still bleeding. I replace the pad on my incision and the one between my legs, and I waddle back to bed. It’s only been a few hours, but I already feel much stronger and I’m allowed to have lots of water and Knox Chicken Broth.

That Broth was the best thing I had ever tasted: warm and salty and so good to my very empty stomach. Rotating between beef and chicken broth, I get through the night. Fiona eats several times and sleeps like a champ and Ken sleeps through everything. I can’t help but look at him and smile. My precious husband who has given me a new purpose for my existence. I pick up Fiona and slide back into bed to cradle her against my chest. I have never known such love… and no amount of pain med mishaps, mesh undies, discomfort or pain could ever dampen what I felt in those first few hours as a mom. It remains to this day one of my most treasured memories of her life & I look forward to every new memory we make together.

Fiona is now a healthy, active 14 month old: officially a toddler. We are expecting our second child in December (a total surprise!) and I am trying not to take any moment with her for granted. I am utterly content with my life at this very moment, and I thank my lucky stars that Ken & Fiona found me and kept me, because I can tell you with all certainty that without them I would be lost.

At least, no one told me (warned me is more like it). Sure, people will always give you advice & often times you neither want nor need it /thank you *kind* old interfering woman in the grocery store who told me that my ginger child must be adopted since both my husband and I currently have brown hair. Mine is dyed; just an FYI, nosy/ . But sometimes, just sometimes, you wish someone had clued you in on a few of the *little* things beforehand. What are some of the things I wish I had been told? Buckle up and take a little trip down Embarrassment Lane with me.


1. Eventually you will wear poop. You will wear poop all day. You will wear poop all day and you just won’t be able to care because your child is still crying for the fourth hour in a row, you have to shop for dinner and your sweet little scream-machine is already strapped into her carseat. And so you go out in public with crap on your shirt and no amount of stranger staring can penetrate your mommy-fog.


2. Even the easy babies can drive you nuts. My daughter has slept for an average of 6-7 hours a night since we brought her home from the hospital. Despite this, or maybe because of this, her nights when she does wake up to feed once or twice a night are always tough and the following mornings suck. Hard. Since we figured out what was up with her latch, she really only cries when she is hungry, cold or overly sleepy. I really am lucky. And that’s what I tell myself when my little lovebug won’t stop kicking me in the stomach and go to sleep, even after we’ve been trying for three hours.


3. Your newborn daughter isn’t the only one who needs to wear diapers. Those first few weeks after you give birth, your potty breaks come with all sorts of strings attached. You have to douse yourself in tepid water, blot yourself (“Don’t wipe!” you get told in no uncertain terms by the nurse currently wrist deep in your business and washing you off), take off and dispose of your current diaper only to put on another huge diaper, and then you finally get to pull up your beautiful new one-size-fits-no-one mesh panties. And if you had a c-section, like I did, you get the added fantastic experience of lifting up your new belly fold and tucking another diaper in there. But when you let go of the skin, for god’s sake do it gently. Letting all of that ex-baby-house flop around is not only incredibly mortifying, it’s also pretty f*cking painful. What once took you 3 minutes, including a very thorough hand washing, now takes you 7 minutes if you’re not also trying to fend off an overly interested 85-lb. dog who wants to lick your ouchie and make you feel better. I can’t tell you how many times I said, “Gross, Rosie! Go. Back. Out. No. Stop!”


4. You will whip your tit out in front of anyone to feed your child. My father has seen them. My husband’s father has seen them. My clients have seen them.  My nurses, lactation consultants, specialists, doctors, midwives, coworkers, husband’s coworkers. Yep. They’ve all seen them, too. Who the hell cares at this point? These things are nothing more than giant, painful, poorly sealed ziploc bags… that do happen to do some pretty amazing shit.


5. Speaking of titties… You will grow to hate your own boobs. They will be ridiculously huge, then they won’t anymore. And you’re not quite sure which one you would have preferred. I had an oversupply in the beginning and then, wham-o, it just went away. I had to start supplementing at 8-weeks and it damn near killed me. Feeling like my body betrayed me and feeling like I was starving my child & couldn’t provide for her the way a mother was supposed to be able to was more than I ever thought I could handle. But somehow I did; and if it happens to you, so will you.


6. Some day you will wet yourself. If you had a vaginal delivery, you might experience it more than once. For me, I went 16 glorious weeks before it happened. Today at the babysitter’s my daughter ran out of formula. Since I was going to be picking her up in 2 hours, the babysitter didn’t call to alert me since she knows I take my daughter straight home. But today, my husband had rehearsal across town and I forgot my house keys. I drive 15 minutes to my husband’s work, swap my cash for his credit card (long story and not worth explaining) and then get back in my car to go home. My daughter begins to have a meltdown 10 minutes from home. By the time I pull in, I have to pee so bad my eyes are floating but she is seriously upset. We get upstairs and I manage to get the door open on the first try (go mommy!), with one arm full of baby and the other full of baby stuff. I debate for all of about 2 seconds if I can go pee before I make her a bottle and feed her. If you read the first sentence up there, then you know I obviously chose the bottle first. She makes it halfway through and I just can’t wait anymore. I set her down and waddle awkwardly to the bathroom, only to be about 5 seconds too late. So now mommy is wishing she was still wearing those stupid diapers.


Now, don’t get me wrong. There are some hilariously rough parts of parenthood, but they are outweighed so heavily by amazing things that will make your heart feel more full and complete than ever before. Those are the things people always share with you: the smiles, the hugs, the love, the baby sounds, the joy of simple things like tracking objects and faces, the beauty of a sleeping baby, the overwhelming adorable that is a baby who is sleeping so hard she has pushed the paci from her mouth and is crushing it with her squishy little cheek, the way that she holds your pinky and somehow manages to fit your whole heart in her fist as well.


Oh, those things are so lovely! I suppose there’s a good reason no one warns you about the mommy-diapers, or the boob hate, or the poop shirts; they’re scared you’ll choose not to be a mommy, and they know that it is the most amazing job you will ever have, because they’ve been there. So I just want to say, yes, there are things no one will tell you & you’ll have to fumble around and figure it out on your own, but you will figure it out. And you’ll do it your way, and you’ll be the most amazing mother your child could ever have. And you just have to remember that it will all be ok. Even on the days that you piss yourself.

One week left!

The hubby and I have just one week left until we meet our new little one & I can’t wait! This weekend was both the unofficial celebration of St. Patrick’s Day and the *real* St. Patrick’s Day, so I decided to rock a little green at work on Monday to show my spirit. Be easy on me… I’m not very experienced at selfies, these are only my 2nd attempt ever, and i still haven’t managed to master the whole not-looking-at-the-camera thing. Lol. I hope you all have a great week & enjoyed your Irish pride safely and responsibly!!

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My Assignment for the week:

Write down 5 things that you are going to do that make you happy. Not “even though you are fat” but because you are fat and awesome. 5 things that have nothing to do with trying for the sake of others. 5 things for yourself and your well being. Like “go out dancing and actually dance”, “throw away my scale”, “make something yummy and bring it to work to share”, “join a yoga class” and “wear that tight leopard skirt”. Blog it, Instagram it, Tweet it (#fatbitchecourse, #nearsightedowl), etc. and share it in the comments below. EXTRA CREDIT: Do some of them!

1. Get an edgy new haircut.
2. Put on makeup just for me. Try a new, bold color or technique without worrying whether people will think that I’m just putting a pig in a party dress.
3. Rock my baby bump in some tight clothes! I’ll only have this beautiful, glorious bump for another 2 weeks, so I am going to enjoy my goddess body while I have it.
4. Begin postpartum body-positive meditation exercises. My before-plus-sized body will be a whole new kind of plus-sized body and I will need to learn to love it all over again, new bumps, lumps, dimples and all.
5. Start putting aside a few dollars from every paycheck for my awesome new green zebra glasses. I really, really *want* those sassy glasses!!

Our discussion topic: 

How do you deal with people that make assumptions about you based on being fat? Is the best revenge to live well and be happy? How do you feel about the concept of there being a “good fatty” and a “bad fatty” perceived in society?

As a large woman in society, you face hurdles every day that people who are “normal” just don’t have to worry about. And to that I say, why in fuck’s name do we do this to each other? As human beings, isn’t it our responsibility to take care of one another instead of turning on one another like rabid wolves because that person’s sensibilities or appearance or likes/dislikes or beliefs don’t totally jive with our notions of the world? I am a firm believer that a person should love themselves at any weight, because in all honestly sometimes it is just as hard to love yourself when you are thin. But just because I am fat doesn’t mean I am lazy or dirty or gross. Quite the opposite, in fact. I am a diligent worker who has to be told to stop and slow down most of the time. I have great hygiene and take care of myself, my husband, my household, our dog and our unborn child. Doesn’t sound too lazy to me, but maybe I’m biased. Lol. When I get judged, whether verbal or implied, it gets my dander up. It pulls up all of those insecurities from my past and that really pisses me off. I hate that someone else’s judgement about what my body says about me can affect me so deeply and so swiftly. So I try and let it go, let it slide. Try. If you happen to catch me on one of those days where I’ve just had enough, you’re going to get an ear full. Or an eye full, lol. But those outbursts never make me feel better, and I’m fairly certain that they don’t positively impact the person I’m trying to defend myself against. So I would say, yes, the best revenge is to live well and be happy. To be healthy, contrary to their assumptions.

“Good fatty v. Bad fatty” is just a ridiculous concept. I can see how it may make thin people more comfortable to think that all fat people are trying to change their bodies, how thinking that a fat person could ever be confident in their bodies might shake their carefully cultivated notion of what it takes to be happy. But I also think that saying that every fat person must diet or hate themselves to be accepted by society, society is doing us a huge disservice. By denying us our right to love ourselves, you are essentially denying us our right to live.

I’ve decided to take a major step in my life. Again. You see, I have failed to keep tabs on a serious problem I have. That problem is called low self-esteem. If I work at it, pay attention to it, and make a concerted effort to stay positive and recognize all the good in myself, I do pretty well. But I’ve had so much going on lately that I’ve let it slip and now I’m in a little bit of a dark spot, and I need to address it and quickly.

Pretty soon, I will have a new little bundle of love (as in, less than 2 weeks soon!) and I know how important it is that parents love themselves as well as each other and their children. I want to make sure that my little one gets to have a mother who loves herself, is proud of who she is, and sports a positive attitude about her appearance. It’s so easy for children to develop complexes from the judgement they face outside the home every day, I don’t need to add to that pressure or stress by showing my child that I can’t love myself. That could easily turn into “Well, if mommy can’t love herself and I’m so much like mommy, then how can I love myself?” I just can’t have that happen to my child. Ever.

So, I’m embarking on an amazing eCourse called “How to be a Fat Bitch.” And yes, it’s just as rad as it sounds. But the first week, the discussion topic got me a little off track and I realized at the end that I hadn’t even begun to answer the question at hand, but instead had poured out all these years of repressed feelings and shame. And what do you know… By getting off my chest and into words, I somehow felt better. Like, a lot better.

I didn’t want that energy or catharsis to go to waste. I don’t know, it might even help someone somewhere along their journey. We’re not so different after all. Everyone has a story, and this one is mine.

I’ve been large for the majority of my life. I was the little girl put on the carrot and water diet when she was 6. The little girl who was kicked out of tap, jazz and ballet because the teacher thought I was just a little too big to fit into her show. The little girl whose parents were told that she would be so pretty if she could just lose that baby fat. And I didn’t see it. As a child, I wondered why so many people cared about how I looked. I thought I looked great in my spangly jumpsuit as I practiced tap dancing to “The Locomotion” for hours in front of the mirror. I would pull my hair back in a tight ponytail, throw on my brightest, biggest headband and my awesomely humongous red plastic-framed glasses, don my puffy-painted bunny sweatshirt (my mother’s creation, mind) and traipse off to school never even considering that someone else would have something to say about my getup. But boy, did they ever. Parents, students, teachers (shame, shame)… Everyone seemed to feel like they had the right to tell my parents not to “let me wear this” or to “watch what I ate” because obviously they were failing at this whole parenting thing by having a chubby little porker like me running around the world like I actually belonged there. *Gasp!*

There was a period of time in college when I was “fit and trim,” and honestly it will go down in the annals of history as one of the most miserable stretches of my life’s road. I was obsessed with the food I was putting in my mouth, often restricting my calorie intake to less than 800 calories a day and to top it off, I would exercise more than 5 hours a day. Did I mention I was also in college with a full-time class load, working a full-time job and going through cancer treatments? I was convinced that if I kept myself healthy and exercised, my health couldn’t possibly diminish. I was compulsive in my habits, often waking in a cold sweat at 3am with the idea in my head that I had to go running *that very moment* or I would succumb to my illness. Every choice I made with regard to exercise was dangerous, from running in dark, unpatrolled, unsafe parks at 3 in the morning to doing so many weight-bearing exercises that it sent me into ketosis.

That girl? Weak, sad, miserable, terrified, and just barely holding life together under the seemingly beautiful exterior. I prided myself on my diet and the fact that I hadn’t lost my vigor (or my hair) during the course of my treatment. I was a poster child for vain pride, but neither self-acceptance or self-love. After I was given the all clear and pasted with the sticker of “in r——ion,” I slowly started to conquer my compulsive habits and realize that I had a serious problem. I ballooned. More than 100 pounds in the course of a year. Hell, more than 100 pounds in the course of about 4 months, if I’m being honest here. Still didn’t have a great view of myself, but I felt healthier once I stopped the restriction and obsessive exercise. I could sleep through the night again, and suddenly I just started to feel better all around.

I found a partner who, while not super supportive or loving, stayed with me despite my weight. I should have seen the warnings, should have held out for someone who loved me because of my body and all it encapsulated and not despite it. But I didn’t, and I hated myself more every day because I just couldn’t shed the weight, even with my lover’s “help.” He would do everything from fat shaming to pinching my body fat to sabotaging meals he saw as unhealthy. I saw this as his attempt to help me, because I still didn’t care for myself. I heard how worthless and disgusting I was from society and, more detrimental than that, I heard it from my would-have-been spouse and family. At this point in my life, I started to hide. I hated how I looked and didn’t want to put anyone else through the horror of having to look at me.

That girl? Still weak, sad, miserable… still barely holding it together, but this time she didn’t have the “beautiful exterior” to rely on and fell way down the rabbit hole of self-loathing. That dark and scary rabbit hole led to an eventual suicide attempt. Luckily, it didn’t work. Obviously, lol. And I am so happy that it didn’t.

I woke up the morning after my failed attempt and decided that that was quite enough of that, thank you very much, and that I was going to fix myself and my attitude. And you know what? It worked. I put myself on a strict diet of positive self-talk and redefinition. I embarked on more than three years of self-imposed celibacy to try and correct my pattern of abusive choices in partners. Turns out… yep, that was exactly what I needed. I needed to discover myself again, my positive outlook, my independence, my love for life. At the end of three years, I was amazed at who I saw when I looked in the mirror. I was big *and* beautiful. I was complicated *and* lovely. I was kind *and* feisty. And that was ok; I could be each of those things. I could be a big ol’ mass of contradictions and still love every convoluted inch of me, just as I am.

Now, that girl? She doesn’t care if people in the grocery store mutter when they spy cookie dough lounging in her cart. She just happily tosses in that bag of oranges and goes on about her day. That girl doesn’t mind when parents come into her place of work and ask her if she gets stuck in the tunnels (oh yeah, that girl? She works in a children’s museum. Lol). Well, truthfully she minds like hell, but it no longer pokes holes in the delicate balloon of her sense of self-worth. That girl has the most amazing husband who loves her just as she is, not despite her size, but because her beautifully big, imperfect body holds in all of her sass, her talent, her intellect, and is currently creating and nurturing their first child. And that man? He’s just about the best thing to ever happen to any human being; and this woman, yes this woman right here, is the luckiest person in all of the world because that man chose to love her just as she is.

So this weekend, my in-laws were able to make it down from New Jersey for what will be the last time before our family’s topography changes forever. Jan & Ken, my Ken’s parents, made the 7 hour drive south and his grandfather and his lady friend, Adele, made the 7 hour trek north to convene on Lynchburg for a whirlwind weekend with us. This visit was originally supposed to happen Valentine’s Day weekend, but then all of our areas wound up getting rocked by more than a foot of snow.

Friday night, we went to dinner at the Depot Grille, a favorite with Ken’s family, and it was lovely. It was great to catch up and to meet Adele. The next morning, we met them for breakfast at their hotel before Ken & I both headed off to work. My friend, Melora, had contacted me earlier in the week about having a quick impromptu meeting after work about a theatre production we are working on together, but she promised that it wouldn’t take long and she would get me back to the family in time for dinner. I didn’t think anything of it, so I agreed to the meeting. The issues needed to be addressed, after all.

Well, the meeting was not a meeting. It was… a surprise baby shower. I turn the corner and pretty much just hung my head. They got me. Again. First a surprise bridal shower, then a surprise 30th birthday party, then a surprise baby shower. I have a feeling people know that I don’t like being the center of attention and wouldn’t agree to a party otherwise, lol. I held it together, made a couple of jokes, and then, my Dad comes around the corner. Oh, I just lost it. I hadn’t seen Dad in a couple of months and I can’t help but cry when he cries. I think I’ll always be a Daddy’s girl.

Ken & I could not have been more spoiled by our amazing friends and family. Pretty much everything that was on our registry was purchased for us, and I can’t believe that everyone thinks so well of us that they would take the time out of their schedules to come to our shower, let alone to be so thoughtful as to give us presents. Now all we have to do is put everything together, wash all the new itty bitty clothes and finish setting up the nursery. So, you know, not much. 😉

So I have been a horrible preggo-blogger, but I figured since this week is the first one I’ve actually had to make some changes in, I’d go ahead and update the world (because the whole world is as interested and obsessed with my pregnancy as Ken & I are, right? Yep, right. Just go with it; my hormones are starting to get the better of me ).

Our appointment this week went well. Nothing special, nothing out of the ordinary, just a midwife visit. My blood pressure is still great (110/72) and my weight has been holding pretty steady. Some weeks I’m a  little up on the scale, some I’m back down. This one was a down week. My starting weight was 235.4 and my current weight was 234.8 for a grand total of -.6 lbs.

Baby Brand is still very much breech and doesn’t seem to want to move around in there, though with the size of the little moose already he or she may just be running out of room. I will be honest, though. I’ve always fantasized about being able to have a natural labor and delivery, should I be lucky enough to carry a child to term. I know that no matter what, as long as the little one is healthy, I will be fine with whatever delivery method we need to take, but I am so disappointed that they are talking about a C-section already.

I would love to at least try a vaginal delivery, but if the baby stays super breech I have a feeling that won’t even be an option. When the midwife started talking about setting up a meeting with the surgical team for us as  a couple to discuss either C-section or ECV (External Cephalic Version), it took everything I had not to start crying then and there. The procedure seems a little excessive just to give me the possible option of delivering naturally, with the added awesome possibility of an early emergency C-section at the time of the ECV because the cord might collapse. I feel so guilty that I’m even considering the procedure. It makes me feel like I’m an awful mother already, but I think it’s just a natural desire to go through all the hard work and then have a squirmy, red-faced, pointy-headed, absolutely beautiful new person laid on my stomach for me to start loving on immediately. I want to breastfeed as soon as possible after delivery. I want to have my husband be proud of me for bringing our child into the world. I want to be the one who makes our family complete. I want to see this pregnancy through to the finish.

And what do these statements all have in common? They all start with “I want.” And I know full well that in the end, should a C-section be better for the baby, I will not hesitate in the slightest, but in a perfect world, I will be able to have the baby naturally. Either way, we have two weeks until we need to make an ultimate decision and I’m just praying that the baby does some serious gymnastic work in there. So keep your fingers crossed for us and I’m going to sign off for this week. Next week, hopefully I will be able to update you a little bit about the baby’s positioning.

It has been such a long time since I have posted and there is a ton to catch you all up on, but I will start with this… I’ve been super busy with this…


Yay!! I honestly could not be any more happy than I am at this point in my life, and I promise you that I will let you guys in on all the details in later posts. Right now, though, I have some fun new crafts to share with you.

The first and biggest that I want to share actually has nothing whatsoever to do with our upcoming wedding. But I’ve got a couple of great progress shots and I am seriously anxious to share them with you.

The project is a giant cross stitch of the Super Mario World map. Yep. The whole thing. There are even options to do some of the little mini-maps of the different levels (funkymonkey from SpriteStitch.com is the author of the pattern and has some other awesome stuff on the site). But that is a very distant thought; the map itself promises to take at least 2 years, if I work on it every day. It is that large a pattern and the stitches are that small. This is what the map will look like when it is all done:


I purchased the evenweave cloth and some of the first colors I would need for the pattern over a year ago & then I just kept putting it off time and again. Something would come up or some other craft would come along and I would talk myself out of starting the pattern. Then on the 15th of June, I had crafted a ton of stuff for the wedding, started a new job and decided that I needed a break from wedding planning and DIY. Mario fit the bill.

So far I have two updates to share. This first photo is from June 25 & is about 3,120 stitches. I figured out that with this tight a weave on my fabric, I only have to do 1/2 stitches on everything but the black. In order to get crisp 8-bit lines, I went ahead and did full stitches.


The second photo is from June 30 and I have absolutely no idea how many stitches I have done now. I’ll keep posting updates as I go, but they may seem quite unimpressive. This is probably 30-40 hours of work, so it does take quite awhile to make any visible progress at all. Lol.


Ken & I have been engaged for 1 month & a couple days, and we’ve been making some nice strides toward the wedding of our dreams. I have to say that Ken is a most interested, involved groom and I could not be more thankful for his input and suggestions. And I also have an army of friends and family who are so willing to help. I am truly a lucky, lucky woman.

Thus far in our journey, we have gotten the centerpiece vases for our tables, lined up a florist who has agreed to help me make my vision a reality, a caterer who is such a joy to work with that I will firmly be recommending them to everyone that I know, my wedding dress & my reception dress have been purchased and paid for, and the Remembrance Table is well under way.

I ran across an old 1920’s Peerless Reproducer at a pawn shop in downtown Lynchburg. It is a little distressed, but that keeps in line with the vision that I have for our big day. The “public” side of the speaker is lovely and, while the volume of the output is incredibly low, the original wiring and speaker parts still work! I can’t wait to incorporate this into our decor and design something awesome around it.

30 Before 30

Well, folks, it’s about that time. I am nearing a birthday that I have been dreading. No, it isn’t the big 3-0, yet. But it’s pretty darned close. I turn 29 in 2 weeks and it has been getting my down. No need to lie here… I’ve been seriously contemplating lying about my age, repeating a few numbers I’ve already lived through, dying my hair, getting botox, figuring out a way to get my hands on a student ID card and continuing to live my life like an early 20-something. But, alas, I can do none of those things… at least not without feeling like a heel.

Earlier today, I saw that a friend was contemplating what to do for her 30th birthday, and she had so many grand ideas. Well that gave me one. Why wait for that one special, and oh-so-dreaded, day when I have slightly over a year to gear up for it? I’m going to turn my 30th into something to savor and look forward to, rather than something to avoid or look upon with the heavy heart of a youth misspent. And thus my version of the 30 Before 30 list was born. I haven’t managed to nail down the whole list yet, but when I do, you’ll all be the first to know. This is what I have so far:

  1. Hike a portion of the Appalachain Trail.
  2. Take a belly dancing class.
  3. Cook a gourmet meal for my closest friends.
  4. Relocate.
  5. Lose those last pesky pounds (current count: 40).
  6. Finish the first draft of my novel.
  7. Attend a spiritual retreat, ritual or convention.
  8. Purchase a more reliable car.
  9. Get a tattoo.
  10. Workout for 30 days straight (yoga, weights, jogging, hiking, you name it- anything goes).
  11. Overcome my fear of being submissive.
  12. Be just a little bit selfish.
  13. Go to NYC to see a show and eat at a little known, but well loved, local joint.
  14. Pop my karaoke cherry.
  15. Get over my fear of cameras by taking 1 photo a day for 30 days (of myself, no exceptions)
  16. Go back to college; pursue a degree in English.
  17. Forgive, but not forget.

I am not a giant fan of photos (see #15), but I will do my best to document these as I go. I will undoubtedly be enlisting the help of my lovely friends to make this a success, so perhaps they can chronicle my journey. 🙂 I can’t wait to get started on this journey toward my next big milestone, but I think it will have to wait for tomorrow morning!