Thursday, June 04, 2009

Well, Hell's Bells, Mel!!

That is in reference to a dear friend of ours, Melanie. I have all kinds of phrases and voices I use with her when we talk, and this one seemed fitting for the title.

Melanie and I were suite mates in college, and her husband Ben and Ryan are BFF's (how sweet - i'm just messin.' i love their man-friendship). Ben was Ryan's bestman, they were in a band together for a long time, and our two families seem to do a lot the same. It's a bit weird sometimes.

Here's a general rundown. We all went to Truett-McConnell. Ben and Ryan went to Belmont together (roomies). Finished with college...both got studio engineering jobs. AND they both left that business around the same time for technology jobs. We bought our 1st houses at the same the same neighborhood. Our dogs were even boyfriend/girlfriend for a while until things went sour at one of their spend the night parties. Well, the list could go on. Since we've moved back into town, we've still managed to keep the friendship very special. However, I do miss the days when we would drag our plastic-wheeled grill down the street to cook out. I can still hear the ruckus of it scraping the sidewalk. Good Times!

These people are more like family than anything else, so that's why the intro because I feel completely ok to share this story.

Moving On...this blog is about how Melanie blew us all away, especially me, a little over a week ago. Melanie was pregnant with their second daughter, Adalyn Ruth. One evening when I was still pregnant, and Mel was pretty early on in hers, they asked us some questions about our decisions to give birth - naturally, away from the hospital. Didn't think much about it. We got that a lot.

Melanie started to have warm up surges a few days before Baby Addie decided to show up here, and she would call me and we would talk about some ideas and things she could do to move things along. She called me Tuesday eve, the 26th, and she thought she was having real labor contractions this time. I was on my way to teach a childbirth class to a couple, and Mel and I talked over the phone. I went over some breathing techniques and gave her and Ben a quick to do, drink, rest, shower, pee every hour....and told her I would call her after my class was over.

Well, Mel called during class, so rude of me or not, I answered it. We talked a few minutes about things she could do or when she might need to go to the hospital. I started answering like I would for a woman going naturally. So, I stopped myself. Mel never said anything about wanting a natural birth, so I dropped part of what I was saying and apologized. I called after class, and they were headed to the hospital. We had several phone conversations over the course of the evening about breathing, updating, and encouragement, I hope. When she was in active labor, I offered to come to the hospital if she wanted. River was asleep for the night, and I was free to help. We got cut off a couple of times because of some contractions. So, I was about to retire for the evening, and I called to check in. Keep in mind - it was 11:52 p.m. at this point.

Kari: I'm about to lay down, so if you want me to come, just let me know.
Mel: I don't know if you'd make it.
Kari: Call me and let me know at any time if you want me to come down there. Remember to keep breathing like you're blowing out a candle.
Mel: Maybe you could come...I don't know. Here's Ben.
Ben: Kari, I don't really know what you could do at this point or if you'd make it.

I believe last time Mel was checked she was at a 6. In dilation, you need to get to a 10 to be complete. From what I understand later, she was thinking about the epidural, and the nurse said "Let's give you 15 more minutes and check you. It's never too late."

I got a text from Ben at 12:11 a.m. that said....She did it.

She did it. She did what????? Of course, I start texting...Did what? Is she here? What? We spoke on the phone, and I'll be.......if that wild woman, Melanie Sams, didn't just go into that hospital with an "open mind" to see what would happen, and flat out give birth NATURALLY!!! I was so amazed! A lot of women spend their entire pregnancy thinking about and planning to give birth with little or no interventions. Mel just told her doctor a day or so before that she was going to be open to see what happens and gave us all a run for our money. Now, that's a Birth Warrior!!!

It truly is so amazing what birth can be (hard work and painful -yes!), but without drugs and expectations...our bodies just do the work. No resisting, some privacy, and an open heart and mind to the experience, and you come out with a healthy baby and a totally empowered and accomplished mama.

Adalyn Ruth is a beauty, and Karis is going to be such a great big sister. And they have a Mama to be so proud of!!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

River!!! 4 Months

We have been so busy lately that we haven't been able to update the blog, so we are doing a bunch of them tonight, and last but not least is a picture update of our little man River.

The Nerd Crew

As most everyone knows, I left William Morris back in April to become a Park Ranger. We'll I wasn't too upset about leaving the field of Information Technology, but I was not looking forward to leaving the friends I had made there at Willy Moe.
My last day as an IT professional was April 24th. A bunch of my fellow employees went out to lunch with me to celebrate and commemorate. Well, I didn't know the fun was just beginning.
Kari told me she wanted to take me out to dinner that night to celebrate the transition. We had been talking about it for a couple of weeks. The day before I had been thinking about where to go and thought we could go to Waffle House! Why not? Cheap and easy! Just how I like my food!
Well, little did I know Kari had other plans. When I told her about Waffle House she suggested that we go to Gojo, our favorite restaurant. So I said that was great.
So that afternoon I get home and Kari meddles around a little in the house and we gather River and his things and head out he door. When we pull up to Gojo, I notice a car that looked like our friends 'Logan's car. I said, "hey, that looks like Logan's car!" Kari then fessed up and said that she had invited Logan. I said "cool!"
I opened the door to the restaurant and SURPRISE! Well, they didn't yell it like at a surprise birthday party, but it was deffinitley a surprise. There were a bunch of friends there from William Morris. The gang we lovingly called the "Nerd Crew". We would all get together during lunch at Willie Mo and watch funny tv shows like Flight of the Conchords.
We all sat around and talked and remenised and told jokes and ate ethiopian food. It was wonderful. I really felt special and thought it was amazing that my friends thought that much of me. Everyone should feel like the man of honor at some point!

Left to right: Ryan Jenkins, Stephanie Haymes, Jonathan Insogna, Elizabeth Young, Abi Baxendale, and John Gimenez.
Us with Logan, one of River's Devil-parents
River's God-parents, Choyer and Jim

Our Farm Visit

The horse we named Slim Shady during the workshop last summer.
He's always there to greet us!

We had our 6 week check up when River was 3 months old. Oops! Pamela, our midwife, said she actually liked it better that way anyway. It gave us more time to get adjusted. So, we took a day trip down to The Farm where River was born. We ate at The Farm Store (yummy...homemade vegetarian chili and pomegranete yogurt), hung out at the clinic, and spent time with Pamela and Jen. They checked River out and said he was perfect, and they checked me out and said I was doing well too. River = Perfect. Mama = Doing Well. She said I was still a little tender and healing. Then, we sat and talked about our postpartum period. Of course, she sat with us for a couple of hours and we felt loved and cared for like always.

The Farm Store. Yummy Food and Great People.

Bowl of Spicy Veggie Chili

Delectable Yogurt!

The Farm Clinic where we go for prenatal/postnatal care

Pamela, our midwife, lovin' on Mama and River J!

Our Birthing Cabin in the Spring

River had a long day!