Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Lydia's Birth

 After trying everything in the book to get my labor going, it was good old fashioned nipple stimulation that got my contractions started. In about 45 minutes they went from the normal Braxton Hicks, I had been feeling for weeks, to something I had to walk around and breathe through. And once they got going they kept getting stronger. At 11:00 pm August 17th, as I was on my knees leaning over my birthing ball, one contraction was strong enough to break my water.  JC and I knew this meant we were going to have our baby within the next 24 hours and he rushed around gathering last minute things for the hospital and calling the midwife while I tried to breathe through the increasingly intense contractions. The midwife told us to head in to the hospital but I wanted to wait as long as I possibly could, which didn't end up being very long. By 12:30 I was already worried I wouldn't be able to walk to the car. So we headed out and I sat backwards in the passenger seat hugging the back of the seat the whole way.

When we got to our hospital room I wanted to get in the warm tub as soon as possible. The nurse checked to see how dilated I was but only told JC because I didn't want to know, and I got in the tub. The contractions were so strong the thought of relaxing through them was far from my mind. The pressure felt like my stomach would explode if I didn't fight against them. JC kept reminding me to relax everything. For the first few hours this sounded like a preposterous idea and the last thing I wanted to do.  But after several hours of tightening and nearly yelling my way through them I decided on the next one I would really try to let go. Instead of envisioning the intense pressure making my stomach explode, I envisioned all the pressure pushing my baby out and I just let it happen. I relaxed everything from my face to my toes and let my body do what it needed to do. What a difference! It still hurt terribly and I still had that inner desire to scream like mad, but I felt in control and safer somehow. JC was so encouraging as he could see that I'd finally clicked in. I thought, I can do this. I've got this. When I found it difficult to keep control I'd have JC put more hot water in the tub and I'd focus on my muscles relaxing to that hot water. I looked almost asleep through each contraction. Then came the first urge to push. A completely involuntary grunt escaped me as my body made me bare down. I still had no idea how dilated I was but JC and the midwife did and immediately told me not to push, that I was not ready. I thought, okay I must be somewhat close. I can fight these urges for a while. But with each contraction the urges got stronger and stronger. I was still able to fight them off but every now and then I would lose focus and another grunt and push would escape me. I thought, this has to be close to transition and in an hour, maybe two, I could finally give in and push. Boy was I wrong. I would find out later that I was only dilated to 4 cm. The midwife was having a difficult time getting my baby's heart rate and needed me to get out of the tub "for a little while" and lay in the bed so she could check it. Once I got out of that tub it became increasingly difficult to focus on relaxing and the urge to push became so intense I had to tighten every muscle in my body to hold the baby in. Contractions hurt. Fighting against them is 10 times worse! My contractions started coming one after the other without much time for me to catch my breath. Now through each contraction I was tightening stiff as a board and blowing air through my lips and then gasping for a big enough breath to do it again. I wondered to myself how this was productive labor with me holding back with every ounce of energy I had. I asked if I could get back in the tub but the midwife told me I couldn't until the baby's heart rate went up. I wasn't the only one having difficulty recovering from these contractions one after the other. The only way I could lay to prevent my baby's heart rate from dropping was on my left side, which was excruciatingly painful and made it impossible to relax.

When I could catch my breath I said to JC, "I don't know how much longer I can do this." As soon as I said this I thought, this HAS to be transition. He looked concerned but tried to encourage me. After what seemed like an eternity of this, I finally I broke from my birth plan and asked how dilated I was. He told me I was a 6. My heart sank. They tried to be encouraging and said I was obviously making progress. I thought, oh. My. Gosh. How in the world am I going to last? But I just tried to focus on one contraction at a time. The next contraction brought on a whole new level of push power and I could not stop myself from pushing with everything in me. As soon as I could catch another breath I said, "I need some relief! Not an epidural but something just so I can control the pushing." They gave me fentanyl, which was a joke. It made me relax between contractions but when the contraction came it was just as powerful and push-crazy as ever. And it only lasted through two contractions. I was pushing with almost every contraction at this point, despite my fighting it with every voluntary cell in my body. I was completely out of control and just trying to get air. The midwife said to me, "Rachel, I am watching this and it does not look like it is productive labor because you are unable to relax. It seems like it is just torture for you. I know you didn't want this but would you consider and epi..." "Yes!" The words I had tried so hard not to say, that I had built up every defense against, burst out of me in desperation and nothing could have stopped me. Once it was out I became focused on how soon it could happen. I had been slipping in and out of consciousness and don't remember signing a form with all the risks of an epidural listed, which JC read to me. JC asked if it would slow labor. We were told that it would only affect the baby in rare cases and that an epidural "does not slow labor" and "that is a common misconception." Both JC and I knew this was not true. I knew I was opening the door to more interventions but we would deal with those as they came. JC continued to look me in the eyes and tell me I was doing great. They had to give me a shot to make my uterus calm down on contractions long enough for me to hold still to get the epidural. I have never been so grateful for someone in my life than I was for that anesthesiologist.

Once it started working the urge to push left and contractions spaced out. The midwife told me my baby's heart rate looked better than it had since she arrived. I was so out of it I had no idea they were so concerned about her heart rate. Because of the epidural I had to get a catheter and they put two internal monitors in. One to monitor the strength of my contractions and one to monitor baby's heart rate. Then they left JC and I to get some rest. A few hours later the nurse came in to check how far I had dilated. I was still a 6. When she told me that I thought, well, it's gonna take a while to dilate but that's okay. The doctor came in with the nurse and midwife. They explained that because I had the epidural my contractions were too weak and I would need to be put on Pitocin to help speed things along. Surprise, surprise... Epidurals do, in fact, slow labor. They said they would be back in an hour to check my progress and talk more about Pitocin. When the doctor left the nurse explained to us that because the baby seemed to have such a difficult time recovering from contractions when they got close together she suspected there was a problem with the placenta. She said what would most likely happen when we start Pitocin is that the contractions would get stronger and closer together and baby would not be able to tolerate it and we would have to do a C-section. I wanted to cry. It was exactly what I didn't want and here it was being laid on the table as almost my only option. I tried to have a good attitude and accept that labor is unpredictable and all that mattered was a healthy baby, even if that meant weeks of recovery and decreased chances of having a future vaginal births.

Another hour went by and I had progressed to a 7! This lifted my spirits because it showed that I WAS progressing without Pitocin. They also found that the baby was cocked sideways and that this meant at least two hours of hard pushing when the time came. I didn't care. I just wanted the nurse to go tell my midwife and the doctor that I had progressed! To my dismay, the midwife and doctor were not as thrilled as I was about this news. The midwife still felt the progress was not enough to count and she would come back in to talk more about Pitocin. JC just said, "We're going to wait another hour." The nurse told us we would have to sign a form saying that we are going against medical advice. We said, "Okay." I felt tired and confused about why we needed to rush this. Was it really for my baby's benefit? Was I being ignorant and stubborn? I asked JC for a blessing and in the blessing he asked that we would spiritually be directed about what to do and that we would feel good about the decisions we make, that we would know it was the right thing. I felt so much better after that. When the doctor came back in and was going on about starting Pitocin I just said, "I'd really like to avoid Pitocin." She jumped back, "Well yes but you are not going to have a baby with contractions as weak as yours. They've done research and people just don't have babies at this level." I said, "I just feel like we're going to try Pitocin and it's going to stress her out and leave me no option but a C-section." The doctor said, "Well yes! It would be your last option. You came here to have a baby so whether that's vaginally or a C-section, you came to have a baby so what reason is there in prolonging it?" I said, "Peace of mind." I looked at her and said, "I really do respect your knowledge and I'm listening to everything you say. We are not trying to be annoying or difficult. I just feel that if we jump the gun on this Pitocin and I end up with a C-section, I am the one who is gonna have to live with that." JC pointed out that I was progressing and as far as the concern about infection he pointed out that it had only been 11 hours since my water broke and we get 24. The doctor said, "Well we can wait another hour and maybe miraculously you will progress enough in that time." I said, "I believe in miracles." She said, "Well, so do I."

In that next hour JC and I watched the monitor like hawks. My contractions were averaging a level 30 and they needed to be 50 or 60 to make any progress. I had asked if we could lower the epidural because I didn't need to be pain free. I just needed to be able to control that urge to push. They immediately said, "Oh no. That will just put you in pain and stress the baby out." I was thinking, wont Pitocin stress the baby out and I just said I didn't mind being in pain. It didn't make a lot of sense to me but they seemed adamant. The thought came to me that I needed to change positions to help the baby's head descend and me to dilate better. I asked to sit up in bed. The nurse helped me sit up but told me she didn't want to keep me there too long because epidurals are affected by gravity in the body and its effects would start to lessen. Bing! I was so glad to hear that and when she left I did feel the contractions start to come on again. We also found, by watching the monitor, that when I bent my knees contractions would lessen and when I straightened my legs they would intensify. So for the next hour we watched the baby's heart rate and the contraction level and frequency and with almost exactness were able to balance their strength with what the baby could tolerate. I would breath through some hard contractions and then we would back off a little by bending my knees and let baby recover. I tried not to make it obvious that I was feeling the contractions when the nurse came in because she would then firmly tell me to push the epidural button. I pretended to push it a few times. I did push it twice overall. In an hour I was checked and was an 8.5 cm! And the baby had turned to perfect position! The nurse was amazed. She gave us another hour, which we spent glued to the monitor, controlling contractions. In the next hour I was 9.5 cm and I could feel a head. Later we found out that the nurses were all gathered around our monitor watching and cheering us on. When Lydia's heart rate would drop they'd start yelling "Pull up! Pull up!"

Then it was time to push. I could feel the contractions coming and knew where to push.  I could feel her head descending. With every push she moved visibly out and in 3 contractions she was on my chest. I couldn't stop the tears from coming and coming. Looking at her for the first time I felt like I already knew her. Dr. C-section came in to congratulate us. I was so overjoyed and proud of us. Even though it was fast, I only had a very small tear. Fifteen hours from the time my water broke we had our little girl and the next day we were home. I've learned some things I want to do differently the *gulp* next time around, but I couldn't be more happy with how it went. Just like my blessing said, I know that we made the right decisions and we felt the spirit guiding us every step of the way. 

She was 8 lbs 2 oz 21 in and born August 18th at 2:25 pm. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012


About 90% of the time I have decided to be positive about the outcome of the election. I don't want to create more disunity and fear than there already is. However, I get to use this blog to get out all my thoughts, even the ugly ones. So if you disagree with me politically and want to still like me, you may want to pass this blog by. Or better yet, skip down to the summary/key points of Obamacare at the bottom. 

I am amazed. The work of the Obama campaign should, I think, go down in history as the most skilled of any campaign ever. To take a president who has doubled our debt when he said he would decrease it, who lied to the American people about Bengazi and the four deaths that happened there, who promised to be bipartisan and instead dictatorially forced Obamacare through without a single Republican vote, who promised to decrease unemployment and instead raised it and then to have so many Americans choose to reelect a him based on popularity and pretty speech, and deeply in their hearts believe he's going to do better this time. THAT is no simple task and they pulled it off with flying colors. Well I guess we should give some credit to the MSM who covered up and twisted things with the greatest of skill. 

I find the following map interesting. The red regions voted for Romeny. The blue is Obama. I understand that some areas are more densely populated and votes are represented by population. But I still wonder... 

Something that really frustrated me about the election is that most of the overseas military did not get to vote because they were never sent their ballots in time. The military is 90% Republican. This same problem happened in the 2010 elections and no one seemed to want to fix it before 2012. Along with that ACORN was caught registering Obama supporters to vote like 70 times! What the flip-itty do da day??? Not to say there wasn't voter fraud on both sides but come on ACORN. Also, in one public school that was set up as a voting post, there was a huge mural of Obama on the wall that said "Hope" and "Change", regardless of the rule that no propaganda is to be in the vicinity of a voting post. 

Since Wednesday following the election the NASDAQ and the DOW have continued to plummet. To which Obama will respond with another stimulus which will shoot it up again for a while, decrease the value of our dollar even more and then it will fall back down again. It's a yo-yo effect that any person who has taken an economics class can see and its starting to get me sea sick. But then again, government has infiltrated public schools and colleges so much since 20 years ago, regulating what is taught, that it probably wouldn't matter if  you had taken economics. I partially blame that infiltration of the school system for the outcome of this election.

But women need free birth control gosh darn it! Since they can't afford the $9 a month it costs they
need Obama to beat it out of the rest of us. They say that government has no right to tell them what
they can and can't do with their bodies do why does governemnt have the right into yout bank account?
They don't understand that he who foots the bill has the power. By letting government pay they are letting
government into their bodies more than ever. Duh.

Well since it is now surely going to be a reality, we might as well all
understand Obamacare. I'm sure no one has 
read it, at least, without going into a coma so here are some key
points we should all be aware of. Sorry if it
gives you nightmares. 

The Patient Protection and Affordable Healthcare Act (Obamacare)


22 – The government will audit all books of all employers who are self-insured.

29 lines 4-16 – Healthcare rationing $5000 per individual, $10,000 per family.

30 section 123 – There will be a government committee that decided what treatments and benefits you receive.

42 – The healthcare commissioner will choose you benefits for you.  You have no choice.

50 section 152 – Healthcare will be provided to all non US citizens, illegal or otherwise.

58 – The government will have real time access to individual people’s finances and a national ID card will be issued.

59 lines 21-24 – The government will have direct access to your bank account for elective funds transfers.

65 section 164 – This is a payoff subsidized plan for retirees and their families in Unions and Community organizations. (see ACORN)

72 lines 8-14 – The government is creating a Healthcare exchange to bring private Healthcare plans under government control.

84 section 203 – Government mandates all benefit packages for private healthcare plans in the exchange.

85 line 7 – AARP members healthcare will be rationed.

91 lines 4-7 – Government mandates linguistic appropriate services or translation for illegal aliens.

102 lines 12-18 – Medicad eligible individuals will be automatically enrolled in Medicad. No choice.

124 lines 24-25 – No companies can sue the government on price fixing and no judicial review against the government monopoly.

126 lines 22-25 – Employers must pay for healthcare for part time employees and their families.

127 lines 1-16 – Government will tell doctors and the American Medical Association how much they can make.

145 lines 15-17 – All employers must enroll employees into the government plan.

149 lines 16-24 – Employers with a payroll of $400,000 and up who does not provide the government option will pay an %8 tax on all payroll.

150 line 9-13 – Employers with a payroll of between $251,000 and $400,000 who does not provide the government option will pay a 2-6% tax on all payroll.

167 – Any individual who does not have acceptable healthcare according to the government will be taxed 2.5%.

170 lines 1-3 – Any nonresident alien is exempt from individual taxes. (we pay for them)

195 -  Officers and employees of the healthcare administration will have access to all American financial and personal records.

203 lines 14-15 – “The tax imposed under this section shall not be treated as tax.”

239 lines 14-24 – Government will reduce physician services for Medicaid which will affect the seniors, poor and low income.

241 lines 6-8 – All doctors, no matter what specialty, will be paid the same.

253 lines 10-18 – Government sets the value of doctors time and professional judgments. (the value of human life)

265 section 1131 – Governement mandates and controls productivity for private healthcare industries.

268 section 1141 – The government regulates rental and purchase of power driven wheelchairs.

272 section 1145 – Cancer patients in specific hospitals will be rationed.

280 section 1151 – The government will penalize hospitals for what the government deems “preventable re-admission.”

317 lines 13-20 – Prohibition on ownership and investment. The government tells doctors what and how much they can own.

317-318 lines 21-25, 1-3  -  Prohibition on expansion. Government will tell hospitals when they can and can’t expand.

321 lines 2-13 – Hospitals have opportunity to apply for exception but community input is required. (ACORN)

335 lines 16-25 &
336-339 – Government mandates establishment of outcome based measures. Healthcare the way they want it. Rationing.

341 lines 3-9 – Government has authority to disqualify medical plans, HMO’S etc… forcing all intot he government healthcare plan.

354 section 1177 – Government will restrict enrollment of special needs individuals.

379 section 1191 – Government creates more bureaucracy, the Telehealth Advisory Committee.

425 lines 4-12 – Government mandates “Advanced care planning consultation.” Seniors will be interviewed every year for health issues and decisions will be made as to what care they can and cannot receive.

425 lines 17-19 – The government will instruct and consult regarding living wills and durable powers of attorney. This is mandatory.

425 lines 22-25 &
426 lines 1-3 – Governement provides approved list of end of life resources guiding you into death.

427 lines 15-24 – Government mandates program for orders for end of life. They have a say in how your life ends.

429 lines 1-9 – An advanced care planning consultation will be used frequently as patients health deteriorates.

429 lines 10-12 – Advanced care consultation may include an order for end of life plans.

429 lines 13-25 – Government will specify which doctors can write an end of life order.

430 lines 11-15 – Government will decide what level of treatment you will have at end of life.

469 – There will be community based home medical services. (ACORN)

472 lines 14-17 – There will be a monthly payment to such community based organization. (ACORN)

489 section 1308 – Government will cover marriage and family therapy.

494-498 – Government will cover mental health services including defining, creating and rationing those services. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Credit scores: Why?

Among the many surprises that smacked me in the face with growing up is credit. Apparently there is this mysterious, invisible number attached to every person once they start growing up and start using money. This number places a value on each person, like your grade at living life. It follows you no matter where you go until the day you die. It tells everyone you want to buy stuff from if you get an A grade at living life or a B or a C, D or if you Fail at life. If your life grade is not good, you basically can't do anything ever in life until you get that grade up. The tricky thing is, no one really knows what makes your grade go up or down and no one really knows how to find out what their grade is. And then if you ever do find out how to check this grade, this is bad and you are punished by getting an even lower grade. And even if someone steals your identity and runs a muck on your credit and leaves you with a D grade, too bad. Go ahead, call the IRS, call the banks and try to explain. It doesn't matter. You are stuck with that social security number, that identity and that horrible grade until the day you die, unless you can figure out what things you need to do to raise your grade. As far as I can tell, this entails buying more stuff and taking out more loans that you can't afford in order to show that you can pay for them. Which you can't. Which is what got you into this mess in the first place. You may be thinking, Well I just wont buy anymore stuff then and wait it out. Wrong! If you don't buy stuff you can't afford then you have "no credit history" and you fail at life again. I would like to clarify that my credit is not bad. I think I get a B- at life. Of course this is a guess because heaven forbid I find out what it really is. But whoever came up with this twisted system gets an F from me. I understand that banks need to know that the person they are loaning money to is going to actually pay them back. And I probably wouldn't be so against this system if it was more transparent. Why can't we have a little credit score ap on our phones that dings every time you do something that lowers or raises your credit score. You could even ask it what to do to raise credit or prevent it from lowering. And you could constantly at any time, know exactly what your credit score is, for FREE. No more of these sign up and pay monthly to know your own personal information and if you don't pay it your credit score drops. If credit is really so important to being able to buy or do anything in life then it should be like checking your bank account. Easy. Free. Your right to know it. Yeah, that's what I think.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Potty Emergency!

Have you ever had something extraordinary happen to you that you want to tell people but you know it's not appropriate? Well todays entry is about just such an event. You see, in my years of watching girlfriend after girlfriend get married I've noticed something. They ALL get sick in their first few weeks of marriage. I've heard about the infamous UTI that plagues many new brides and I was determined that would not be me. So about a week before the wedding I started taking 10,400 mg of cranberry concentrate supplements a day. And regardless of all my other precautions after the wedding I too became a victim of the UTI. Now I've taken care of many patients with UTI's and I know all the textbook answers. But let me just say that "frequent urge to urinate" and "burning sensation upon urination" are the biggest understatements I've ever heard. A better description would be "constant sensation that your bladder is going to rupture at any moment if you don't get to a bathroom NOW" and "a sensation that you have had a blazen torch shoved up your ladiness with backwards hooks on it with the sensation that you are trying to pull said hooked torch ouch during urination". THAT'S the description they need to put in textbooks. The thing is, even though you feel as if your bladder is a full to the max water balloon, bouncing precariously with each movement, once you do actually face up to the painful experience of going to the potty you're lucky to get three drops; three painful, hooked-torch-ripping drops. Then 5 minutes later you start the whole process over again. I was miserable and tired but I couldn't even think of sleeping with a torch up my... er... self.

So my husband told me he knew of a few things that would help. At 10:00 at night we got in the car to try to find a special store with special cranberry stuff. I was hesitant to lock myself in a car, without a bathroom near by, with a hooked torch water balloon bladder, not to mention that gallons of water I'd been drinking to try to clean out my system. But not wanting to be a whiner I just decided to tough it out. I thought, If I can't handle a little bacteria in my urethra how will I ever handle childbirth? A whole baby is a lot bigger than bacteria! So I just got in the car. I always suspected that woman voice on my GPS had it in for me but now I know it. She dragged us way out into the country in the middle of the worst storm I've ever seen. JC was literally dodging tree branches and giant tumbleweeds and debris as the raging wind tried to push us off the road. Large sparks lit up the distant sky as power lines were blown to smithereens. All the lights in all the street lights and houses and business were plunged into darkness. By this time JC had given up on trying to find the store and was searching for any gas station, bar or anything with a toilet. I'm nearly in tears I have to pee so badly.

Finally I spot a gas station that is still lit up and open. "THERE!" I yelled! And JC swerved across two lanes and parked in front of the gas station door. Now getting myself up and hobbling through the convenience store without exploding my bladder or wetting my pants was a feat I was proud of. I was ready to bulldoze my way through anyone and anything that tried to stand between me and that bathroom. And I just knew something would try. Not to my surprise I found a shelf of food pushed in front of the bathroom doors. As I tried to push it aside the store worker said from across the room, "Sorry they are closed." I said, "Are they closed because they aren't working or because you were told not to let anyone use them?" He mumbled out, "I'm not supposed to let anyone use..." "Okay then I'm sorry but I've got to use them. I'll get in trouble for you." "I'm sorry but you just can't go in there." And I continued trying to push the shelf aside thinking in my head, dude have you ever had a UTI? "Hey you can't do that!" he yelled and started toward me. "Mam! Get out of the store!" I hurried a squeezed through the shelf and ran toward the first bathroom I saw, which was the men's, and locked the door before he could get to me. I've had lots of experience running to the bathroom and locking the door while being chased as a kid. I heard him exhale in frustration but he couldn't do anything about it now and I was left to sweet/painful release. As I was leaving the store he wouldn't look up at me. I just said, "Thank you. Sorry. Goodbye." and joined my husband as we continued our quest for pure cranberry.

After checking four different stores (of whose facilities I surely utilized) we found the stuff he was looking for. Pure cranberry juice and A-zo. The most potent stuff for cleaning out your system known to man. I guess druggies drink this stuff when they have to pass a drug test the next day. JC had me drink nearly the whole bottle of that nasty stuff and to my surprise, I slept like a baby all night. Today the pain is pretty much gone and I feel much better. Usually these things take days to get over and I was afraid I'd have to go on antibiotics.

This experience has given me SO MUCH more empathy for those patients of mine who get UTI after UTI and almost constantly live with the pain. I honestly don't know how they keep their sanity.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

No Reservations

This has indeed been a crazy year! After quitting my first nursing job to move across the country on a crazy whim, having two unsuccessful, dramatic and drastically different relationships, flying a guy, who was very wrong for me, into Portland for Christmas to meet my family, narrowly escaping a public proposal (to which I would have had to say no), breaking that off after heavy family intervention, moving back across the country to Idaho, dating one of my patients sons (big no no), witnessing the conversion of and getting engaged to that son, quitting my new nurse management job to move to Colorado where I had no job and no prospects to be closer to said patients son and now currently planning a wedding in less than two months, I sometimes feel that I need to explain myself to everyone. Then I realize, I can’t. 
And why should I have to? I get tired of sitting around waiting for life to happen to me. Sure, I could have done the “responsible” thing and stayed in Oregon and stuck with my charge nurse job. Then I could be like all the other 40+ charge nurses who’d been working there for 20 years. But what would I stand to gain but 30 extra lbs, a few furrow wrinkles and a mentality that dreams are unreachable. I’d see my future stretching far into the distance, a very straight and steady line. I’d be at the mercy of chance, waiting, hoping that all the good things I wanted in my future would find me. I’d come home to an empty apartment, read a book, work on my current hobby and go to bed. That picture is so... anticlimactic... So empty... So void of people, growth, responsibility, relationships, learning to be one with someone, learning to live for someone other than myself, kids, teaching ABCs, sticky fingers, potty training, sacrifice, progress... And the longer I stayed put the more I could see exactly where things were heading. 
After feeling frustrated, trapped, powerless and trying to keep my heart stuffed safely in my chest, where it didn’t fit I said to myself, “Why?” I’m not paralyzed. I’m not behind bars. I’m not inept. Everything I want is out there and nothing is holding me back from finding it but me. And why? Because I need to be responsible? I was a single woman, a licensed nurse with no pets or children relying on me. I could get a job anywhere! Yes, I could get my heart broken. Yes I could sometimes fail. But I have a resilient heart and I’d get over it. This is my life and its happening right now and I’ve only got one shot to make it what I want it to be. And I do have more control over that than I sometimes think. Of course I wouldn’t want to be reckless. But I think sometimes we confuse reckless with taking risks and you simply have to take risks in life. 
This risk taking year has not been void of failure, heartbreak, frustration, extreme loneliness, doubts and second guessing myself. But considering what I’ve gained in this year, I think it was a pretty good bargain. Not only have I found the person I want to spend the rest of my life with, the person I want to raise a family with and with whom I want to face whatever challenges life is aiming to throw at me. I’ve learned how to recognize when the spirit is screaming, “No!” and I’ve learned when I feel that way its best to drop everything and run. I’ve learned to recognize the peace that comes when I’m doing things right. I’ve turned my simple testimony, my hope that the gospel is true, to an unshakable knowledge. I’ve seen miracles. I’ve witnessed the Spirit working in people, including myself, to change or soften them. I’ve learned to trust that Spirit.
Even if the only thing I gained from all of this is that I never have to go on a first date again, I’d have done it all 10 times over! But along with that, being in a healthy relationship with a person I can thoroughly respect and admire and just absolutely adore, has made me happier than I thought possible. I tell JC that if we get any happier we might just die from heart explosion. I don’t think the physical heart is as big as the spiritual one because I swear there just isn’t enough room! I had resigned myself to the idea that I was just one of those people who would never find that person I thought walked on water. And I was going to be okay with just a functional relationship, at least. 

I do live life a bit more abruptly than many would be comfortable with.The concern now is that JC and I have moved too fast and because of that, will have a rough road ahead of us. I don’t blame anyone for feeling this way.  But I don’t think dating another 4 months is going to save us from many rough roads. (Maybe a few.)They can’t be avoided. Something I wish someone had told me when I was a little girl is that life rarely, almost never, turns out the way you imagine it will, that there is no magical recipe in life that can provide any kind of guarantees and that that is okay. What I feel, (and I may be an ignorant, foolish, stubborn girl) is that you just have to follow that voice inside your heart speaking peace or screaming, “No!”. And weigh that against your mind, your logic. And guess what. There are STILL no guarantees! But when I say for better or for worse, I don’t just mean for better. I’ve come up with the worse things I can imagine happening, the most difficult things I can think of to deal with, and I’m committed. What else is life for but to be lived? “A life lived in fear is a life half lived.” I have that inner peace, that green light. I’ve made my choice and I’m geared up and ready to get dirty. No looking back, no reservations. 

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Happy Thoughts :)

In this lecture I learned that by doing 5 things for 21 days I could have a more positive and empowered level of thinking. Well I could sure use that! I've been so negative these days and I know that my happiness is not so much affected by what is happening outside me as by what is happening inside me. So I'm taking the 21 day challenge!

21 Day Challenge 
1. write down 3 things I'm grateful for
2. journal about these 3 things
3. exercise
4. meditation
5. random acts of kindness

I'm going to post my progress whenever I can get to a computer. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Oh that I were an angel

Every now and then I have a rough day when I am really missing Risa. Today was one of those days. The songs sung at her funeral have been forever changed in my heart. There is new depth and meaning and emotion attached to them and I can't hardly listen to them without tears coming down my cheek. One of these songs is the one Risa specifically requested that Reana sing at her funeral. She asked two or three times. No one recorded Reana singing it but I found a version on youtube that I listen to now and then. I have no idea who these ladies are and I'm sure they'd be a little creeped out that I'm stocking them. But when I listen to this song I can just feel what Risa must have been feeling during that time in her life. Reana used to play it on the piano and sing it now and then. I remember Risa was spending a lot of time in her room and had started to withdraw from us and the things of this world. She was in constant pain and mentioned several times that she was at peace with death. When I listen to this song I close my eyes and I can feel what she must have felt, laying in her room upstairs while Reana sang it downstairs, unaware. What a song! No wonder she wanted it sung at her funeral. It expressed the deepest wishes of her heart. I can see her so clearly, laying there, soaking in the peace that only the Spirit can bring in the deepest of pain and most troubling times. Sweet, pure Risa. Instead of anger and bitterness at her constant suffering, her heart was filled with the sweetest desires. Today while I was driving I was thinking about her and it hit me that her desires are being fulfilled now.

Oh That I Were an Angel (listen here)

"Oh that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people!
  "Yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth.
 "But behold, I am but a man, and do sin in my wish; for I ought to be content with the things which the Lord hath allotted unto me.
"I ought not to harrow up in my desires the firm decree of a just God, for I know that he granteth unto men according to their desires, whether it be unto death or unto life; yea, I know that he allotteth unto men, yea, decreeth unto them decrees which are unalterable, according to their wills, whether they be unto salvation or unto destruction."

Alma 29:1-4