Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Yesterday I did the unthinkable and woke the baby up from her afternoon nap. There was a needlefelting workshop at a local cafe smack in the middle of naptime, and since I have been curious about this weird craft for awhile now, I decided to be wild and crazy and go for it.

I'm so glad I did it! Needlefelting is indeed about the oddest thing you could ever imagine spending your spare time on, but something about it really resonates with me. Basically, what you do is you get a big hank of raw wool and a tiny little barbed needle and you stab the wool over and over and over until it turns into whatever you want it to be. It's way easy and an excellent way to vent any nagging frustrations -- like stabbing a voodoo doll again and again. Plus there's this thing about can sort of "paint" with wool. You blend the colors all together and create really cool stuff.

The best part is, you don't have to have any coordination or skill whatsoever. All you have to have is the needle and the wool and a level of inertia that allows you to sit for a fair amount of time doing repetitive jabbing motions.

So yesterday I made a fried egg and a little blue ball with a sun on it. And today I made a strawberry. Next, who knows? A doll? A flower? A replica of the Lincoln Memorial? The skies the limit. If I can just keep the cats and the baby away from my wool balls, that is.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

veda's amazing birth story (very graphic - read at your own risk!)

I originally wrote this in a letter to my friend Kim while Veda nursed or napped. It was all a bit haphazardly thrown together and I haven't edited it at all, so please excuse the roughness of it...

I went to see the midwife on July 22 and was 2cm dilated, 50% effaced so I knew it was coming...I had felt it coming on for days already anyway. I kinda felt like I was in early labor for almost a week (while we were moving all the shit out of my house in 95 degree weather! totally no fun, that) know...lots of random, braxton-hicks-like contractions, and was just generally feeling like I was going into that "birth zone."
Then at 3am on July 23 I woke up with a really strong contraction and I had a pretty good feeling that the big stuff was starting. I waited until 4:30 or so to wake up Scott...until then I just paced around the house in the dark and breathed and meditated and stuff. When Scott got up he started getting the birth pool ready and made up the bed and all. I tried to sit in a chair by our back window to watch the sun rise over the woods, but as soon as I sat down I got a big, fat contraction that really got my attention and I started moaning and told Scott to call the midwife right away. He had a hard time getting the midwife to call back -- it was around 6 or 7am by this time. I went to the bathroom and found out I had bloody show...lots of it. At about 8am the midwife and her apprentice/assistant arrived and by then I had laid down on my side on the bed with pillows between my legs...the contractions were hard and strong...I had to chant and sing through each one to keep focused...I played the "Birth Chants" cd on a loop over and over and used the chants on the cd to focus also.
Rani checked me at about 10am or so and I was at 7cm and 100% effaced. she told me I should get up to help move the baby down more, so I got up but it HURT to move...and it was disrupting my little peaceful mental cocoon, so I sort of limped in to the birth pool and got in...with my socks still on! SO funny...I just didn't want to take them off so Scott just let me be and I got in with them on.
For the next hour the contractions got more and more intense and I just hung over the edge of the tub on hands and knees and chanted my way through them. With each contraction kept feeling this overwhelming urge to push (never felt that with Birch). FInally Rani checked me again and I was at 9-10cm, BUT...I had a cervical lip. Arrrrgggghhh! Rani said she wanted to go inside me during my next contraction and move it,but it was gonna hurt like a mother...When she tried to do it, I freaked and splashed her with water. So, we decided to wait a bit and see if it would go away. Long story short, it didn't move and finally she went in and moved that time I was so over the overwhelming contractions that I was just glad to get it over with.
Then Scott got in the water behind me and leaned against him, pulled my knees up and started felt like I was pushing a truck out of my body! It was just this huge, primal rolling thunder of craziness...and then...she crowned!!! Yay!!! I was so excited! I could feel her hairy little head in my was so weird! Then I pushed really, really hard and felt the 'ring of fire' and her head came out...and I was so excited and pleased for like 1/2 a second, then Rani started to freak...she ordred me to get on my hands and knees..."right now!" she said. I was like "hell no, I'm not, I just got that huge head out" and then she ordered Scott to flip me over, and so I got on hands and knees...I knew then something was really wrong and I started to feel sad, like my baby might be dead...
Rani ordred Jen (the apprentice) to call 911 then she started the most painful thing...she went inside me and started pulling and twisting to get the baby out...the baby had shoulder dystocia!! I thought she'd never get her out. Turns out the cord was wrapped several times around her neck and torso like a harness also, which was making it all more difficult. When she finally got her out, I collapsed down and didn't look up at first because I thought the baby was dead.
When I did look up, Scott was holding her and she was ENORMOUS (9lbs 8oz) and looked so foreign to me...not like Birch who I knew right she was totally limp and smashed-looking and dark blue. I thought she was dead...but Rani was working with her...and she got her breathing...
They pulled me out of the tub and we stumbled down the hall to the bed...I was dragging this huge, long umbilical cord and dumping so much blood all over the floor! We got in bed and they put Veda on my chest...and she was doing fine!!! About then the paramedics all showed up...there were at least 4 or 5 of them standing in my bedroom looking all embarrassed (butt nekkid me and all this blood everywhere) because Rani told them everything was fine and they could go.
A few minutes later I delivered the placenta...the HUGE placenta! It weighed around 5lbs -- biggest one Rani had ever seen. No wonder I had placenta previa -- it stretched from the top of my uterus to the cervix for most of my pregnancy.
Turns out Rani being such a kick-ass midwife saved Veda from being severely brain damaged or dying. WHen a baby gets stuck with shoulder dystocia,there is a 4 minute window for them to get the baby out. If they don't make it, it's death or severe mental and physical handicap. Rani got her out in about 2 minutes -- by being a no-shit, takeover awesome midwife. YAY Rani!!
SO, that's my story. It was a great birth. Scary at the end, but it all turned out okay. i couldn't have asked for a better birth partner than Scott or a better midwife than Rani. Birch had wanted more than anything in the world to be there for the birth, but he was visiting his dad then and didn't get a ride home until 2 hrs after she was born. Turns out that was a good thing, because he would have completely had a melt down and lost his shit if he had seen me in all that pain and bleeding and the baby looking all dead at the end. The universe had a good plan in keeping him out of the picture.