The circle of life, and other things inbetween

Quite a lofty-sounding title for a bullet-point summary of things, lately.

  • My sweet friend Annie had her baby yesterday afternoon.  She was 10 days past her due date.  As she had been having prodromal labor with back labor for about 48 hours, contracting every 10-30 minutes.   I had a similar situation with my first (though as he was 2 weeks early, I didn’t realize it was “real” labor).  This absolutely exhausted her, so she agreed to be induced on Wednesday night.  However, as the hospital delayed in calling her in, she actually went spontaneously into labor on her own, so by the time she got to the hospital at about 3 a.m. on Thursday morning, she’d been having steady contractions — down to 2-3 minutes apart — for five hours.  But, as she had not really slept at all for three nights, and had been having back/prodromal labor for 50+ hours, I had compassion on her desire to have an epidural — when in labor with my first, I could handle the contractions, but my back hurt SO BADLY that I very nearly got anesthesia just because of that.  Annie herself had intended to have a natural delivery, and I was *SO* excited to take part in that, but, ah well.  Even though she ended up with a epidural (and pitocin), her Bishop’s Score was 10, so I was confident that labor was going to progress well.  Labor did slow down once the meds were administered.  She was “stuck” at 4 cm for about 5 1/2 hours.  Then, the doctor broke her water, which, again, I’m normally not a fan of.  But, it was what she needed, due to the circumstances.  She dilated the remaining 6 cm in less than 3 hours, and 3 1/2 hours after the AROM, she had a baby!!  She pushed like a champ (she had quite a bit of mobility and sensation, even with the epidural);  it took about 10 pushes and less than 30 minutes to deliver her 8 lb 1 oz baby boy, just shy of 12 hours after arriving in the hospital.  Minus the first 30 minutes or so, I was there with her the whole time, and felt very privileged to be present.  I was SO PUMPED after the baby was born…   (BTW, neither my first son, nor Annie’s baby boy were posterior, which is frequently the cause of back labor.)
  • A friend and brother in Christ lost his mother a few days ago.  She was a member of our church, too.  She had suffered a long, disabling illness…  Hearing reports from our friend about the time of death, and some visions he had in the middle of the night of his mom with Jesus…  it’s hard to describe how his words have impacted me.  There was a lot of peace and beauty, and my heart swells to think of her worshiping Jesus, free and strong in His presence.
  • Today is the last day of school for my kids for the summer.  I am looking forward to a number of projects, including cleaning out every corner of every room in the house, as if we were moving, though we have no plans to.  Having been in this house for nearly five years, there are some things that have just piled up, and become very disorderly.  I realized that, prior to this home, our family’s moving every 2-3 years was an involuntary purging that was actually quite valuable!  So, now I feel a GREAT NEED to do a voluntary purging.
  • I just ordered my first book of the prerequisite reading for becoming a DONA doula, unsurprisingly entitled The Doula Book.  I also revisited the DONA website for an overview of all the requirements to become a doula.  The process is more involved than I had remembered.  I was thinking I needed simply to read 4-5 books and attend one weekend workshop, then attend/observe a few births, and take a certification test…  turns out there’s more to it than that.  I’m not as concerned about the time involved;  if it takes me an additional 6 months or even a year to become certified, I’m OK with that.  I am, though, rather worried about the cost;  it’s going to end up being several hundred dollars more than I realized…. though I guess if that’s spread out over an additional year, it won’t be such a drain on our tight budget.  🙂
  • Last night was the best Little League game I’ve ever seen.  It was so exciting!  Of course, I probably wouldn’t feel nearly as happy about it if my son’s team would have lost…  It was the 2nd game in a double-elimination playoff.  Ethan’s team was seeded 2nd of 8 teams.  We played the 3rd seed last night, after both of the teams had won their first playoff game.  Our team, the Diamondbacks, led 1-0, then the other team, the Cubs, rallied and scored two, so that they led, coming into the bottom of the 6th and final inning.  My son Ethan, who actually has had a very tough year, came up to bat with two outs and nobody on.  He faced a pitcher who threw three straight balls.  The opposing coach switched pitchers, and the new pitcher threw his first pitch, which was also a ball:  Ethan walked.  He stole 2nd.  Then, his teammate who was at the plate got a hit, which advanced Ethan to 3rd.  So, runners on first & third, two outs.  The next batter faced THREE pitchers, as the Cubs’ coach kept pulling his pitchers as soon as they threw a ball.  The pitcher threw a pitch — it was a ball, a wild pitch.  As the catcher scrambled for the ball, the pitcher ran up to cover home plate.  Ethan ran like crazy, executed a perfect slide, and when the cloud of dust cleared, the umpire signaled that he was safe, scoring the tying run.  Everyone erupted in whoops and hollers and Ethan got a lot of thwacks on his helmet for a job well done, and had a grin a mile wide.  After that, the batter struck out, inning over.  Normally, Little League games end at a maximum of six innings, even if there is a tie.  But, I guess during playoffs, they go into extra innings.  We got three quick outs on the Cubs in the top of the 7th.  In the bottom, we got two boys on, first and third, with no outs.  Our best hitter came up to bat, and the opposing coach decided to intentionally walk him, which I don’t recall ever seeing in Little League.  However, on what would have been ball 4, the batter rrreeeeeeeached way out over the plate and just made contact with the ball, which plunked it into shallow center.  The ball was caught for an out by the center fielder.  However, our guy on third — who, incidentally, was at the very bottom of the order and had a stellar hit himself to even GET himself on base — tagged up and scored in another crazy, dust-cloud-obscured play at the plate.  The ump declared him safe which scored the winning run.  Everyone erupted into even greater cheers, and the players all mobbed the boy who scored the winning run…  My throat ached from cheering.  It was sweet.  What was all the more remarkable to me was that it truly was a team effort, and that when our star pitcher was unable to keep the other team from scoring (a mere two runs, but still, enough so that we were losing), it was the bottom of the order — the 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th batters who contributed significantly towards the win, with Ethan being the 9th in the order.  (There are actually 13 guys on the team, but one player wasn’t there for some reason.)  In Little League, the coach can play any player at any position in any inning — though pitchers have to pitch consecutive innings and cannot return to the mound once they leave — and though he can limit the players’ time defensively, and bench players for 2 or 3 innings (Ethan himself only played 4 of the 7 innings, defensively), all the batters bat all the way through the order.  The “star” players did really well, but it thrilled my heart that the not-so-stellar players, my son included, were genuinely significant in the win.
  • In semi-related news, throughout the regular 22-game season, Ethan’s coach kept a clear plastic jar in the dugout, and when a player made a fabulous play, Coach would write the boy’s name and a note about what he did.  Many of the boys had 4, 5, 6 clothespins in there.  Ethan had ONE.  One.  For a 2-RBI hit in a clutch situation.  After the last practice, Coach pulled clothespins out to award various prizes.  All of them were nice:  most were autographed sports memorabilia.  But the biggest prize was an iPod Touch, which had been donated by one of the team’s sponsors.  Well… guess who won the iPod Touch???  Mmhm.  So cool.  One of the other parents whispered to my husband, “I was praying that Ethan would win that!!!”  Ethan is the sort of boy you root for, even when he doesn’t do great.  He has a great attitude, and he tries hard.  Of course, I’m biased.  😉  Ethan said, “My iPod is the most advanced piece of technology in our whole house.”  I think he’s right.

About Karen Joy

I'm a partially-homeschooling mother of six -- 3 boys ages 19, 17 and 15 years old, and three girls: 11, 8, and 3. I like birding, reading, writing, organic gardening, singing, playing guitar, hiking, the outdoors, and books. I very casually lead a very large group of homeschooling families in the Phoenix area. I have a dear hubby who designs homes for a local home builder and who is the worship pastor of our church. I live in the desert, which I used to hate, but now appreciate.

Posted on May 28, 2010, in Babies, Baseball, Birth, Budget, Encouragement, Family, Friendships, Get Organized!, Homeschooling, Housework, Introspective Musings, Medical Stuff, Sports Stuff, Summer Plans, The Dear Hubby, The Kids. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. So happy your friend had a vaginal birth! YEA! I did pray, just hadn’t gotten back to you! So glad!

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