Q Anon and Anonamom

Let me open by clearly stating: I have come to understand that Q Anon is a dangerous hive mind. I have never been a part of that group. I do not, in anyway support their claims, dogma, or doctrines.

That being said, I am concerned about the reality of the Q Anon movement. This mindset is gaining popularity at a tremendous rate in our country, and from what I understand, in other countries also. Our little family is going to have to live in community with people who think this way.

What are the dangers for us who don’t believe? How will we navigate to do the things we need like earn our living, get our groceries, see our doctor? What does the future look like with these minds beginning to have greater influence, potentially heading for Congress?

I have not dived in to see what they believe and why they believe it. I have only skirted their dogma and read the accounts of other sources whose reporting I trust. There’s a part of me that’s fearful to know; the survivalist in me knows that ignorance could be costly. I have my family to protect. We have so little right now, we are so vulnerable, that I’m trying to keep aware of all the threats around us. I want to know as early as possible if we need to bug out. I’m also aware that I’m as vulnerable to manipulation as anyone. I hold this awareness as a tool to protect myself. I seek to ask, “Why,” at every turn as another tool to protect myself. I always look for the science, for the evidence, to protect myself. I’m grateful for my husband who has a brilliant mind and thinks for himself; I check in to protect myself.

I’m going to go look now. I’ll come back with what I find and hope to be useful to you, my readers, and our family. Wish me luck.

Small Wins

Last night I actually got ready for bed the hour before I laid down with my daughter.

My husband took care of our daughter while I took my dog for a 20 minute hard walk.

I put wrapping paper on a small box and used it to organize our diaper kit for the bed so we could quit fussing.

I changed how I’m handling my dirty clothes and moved my hamper gaining me a glorious extra square foot of space on my side of our bed.

I got to be there virtually for a friend.

I drank enough water today.

I got our grocery shopping list created.

I got to hang out at home topless without leaking milk all over the place all day.

We snuck in love making twice.

We have so little compared to the little we used to have; yet we have more love and support in each other than we ever had before with others.

My small wins are so big in my life. I’m proud of myself for making space for them.

Home Birth (Part 7)

I called my midwife about 1:30 that afternoon and she and her partner were set up in our small home by 2 o’clock. They brought chocolates left over from the previous day’s festivities.

I had gestational diabetes, so sweets had been out for me for months. It was so good to be able to grab those chocolates as I wanted. At first, we visited. We made sure we had what we needed. My contractions started coming on more frequently and I put on “Superstar” to have something funny to laugh at. The midwives settled in playing on their phones to pass time with me.

The sunset and my contractions came on harder. They stayed about 2 minutes apart for hours. It got to the point where I could hardly focus on anything else. I couldn’t eat. My husband tried to help me eat an apple, slicing it into small bites. I made my way through two. I got through contractions by moaning low and loud. I moaned for hours. At one point, I took all of my clothes off because I couldn’t get cool.

My husband was a great support. He stayed with me through the whole process. I remember his face, his smile, his love. I know I could have done it without him, but I’m so glad he was with me every minute.

The time got lost to me. I remember making it back to our bedroom. We were cramped in there. The midwives sat on the floor while I laid on the bed with my husband. I tried all sorts of positions looking for one that might bring relief, but none could; I was in the thick of it.

It went on for hours. About 11:30 that night, I had some sips of beer. It was enough to shift my consciousness. I sang to my baby, a song close to my heart, calling her to come out of me. I was so tired. I decided to turn the lights low to try to sleep. As soon as I fully laid down, my water broke in a huge, warm gush.

I was so scared. I thought it was too much fluid. I called for my midwife to check for blood, there must be blood. She looked and smiled. Nope, all water. Things were going to move quickly now she warned me. It would hurt more without the cushion of the amniotic fluid. She was right.

I was lost to my contractions. All I could do was lay in my bed a scream my way through them. Every so often, my frustration got beyond my contraction and I was close to raging. My midwife brought me back with a calm and confident, “Walk it back a bit. This is the work we came here to do.” I quickly came to the point where I was no longer in charge of riding my contractions. They were so powerful, I found myself thinking, “Ok, this is it, I submit.” I quit thinking all together.

There was a change in the room when I felt the urge to push. I was exhausted, laying flat on my back in our bed, and my midwife peaked between my knees. It was stretching that I had never experienced. I thought the contractions were powerful; pushing was the next level. No one rushed me. I wanted each push to mean more, but I was encouraged to be patient, to allow myself to stretch. Each push is a little more stretch. All this time, every so often, they checked my baby’s heart rate; baby was doing good. Stretching around the head seemed to be its own eternity. I had my husband’s hand clasped in my and squeezed hard. They said the baby was crowning. Then the head popped out. The midwife asked if I wanted to see or touch it. I was in such pain and focus I felt I couldn’t move. I said no. Mentally, I told myself to slow down, my baby’s head was out, I needed to slow my contractions to let the shoulders turn. My next contraction didn’t give me a chance. The midwife invited my husband to get ready to catch. My eyes flew open, I found his and I said, “Don’t leave me.” He stayed holding my hand and in the next contraction and push she tumbled out of me in a rush into the hands of my midwife.

The team held on to the baby for a few minutes. They told me it’s a girl. I asked my husband to check for her fingers and toes. He told me they were all there. She started crying and I started crying.

They brought her to my chest and wrapped us in dry towels.

Home Birth (Part 6)

We ate breakfast. Our friend and her little dog came to join us for breakfast. It was good. My husband is a wonderful cook. We all puzzled over the continuing official activity and the end of our street. I let my midwife know that I was pretty sure it was the big show and she told me to call her when the contractions were about 4 or 5 minutes apart.

Nope. It’s still too hard to write this. This beautiful, awesome day happened in our home that burned to total ash and twisted steel just a month later. I miss our home. I’ll just have to try continuing tomorrow.

Interrupted

I’m not a perfect person. I’m not the most disciplined. I try to gain momentum, but I’m human; my efforts wax and wane. I’m coming to peace with the reality that it is not devastating to start and stop projects; especially when this writing is something on which no one is really depending. The most important thing for most projects us to keep coming back; keep continuing to try. With that, my story continues.

Home Birth (Part 5)

It was 12:30 a.m. on February 15th when I had my first contraction. My husband was planning on going to work the next morning, which meant he was asleep, and planning to wake up at 5:00 that morning. I thought to myself, “Could be Braxton Hicks, could be the real deal, I better try to get some sleep.”

At the time, we slept in complete darkness in our bedroom. I rolled back onto my side of the bed and shut my eyes, trying to relax. Sometime later, I felt another contraction. I pulled up my phone to mark the time and the light from the screen woke him up. It was about 2 a.m. He mumbled something to me about come on, he needed to sleep. I let it go. I knew he was still very much asleep.

And he didn’t know what I knew. I managed to get back to sleep for a little while and woke up with another contraction. It was just after 3 and I was too excited to get back to sleep. I lay in the dark, listening to my husband snore and thinking about what lay ahead of me.

At 5:00 that morning, my husband’s alarm went off. We talked for a little bit and I told him, I didn’t think he should go in to work that morning because I was pretty sure it was going to be our daughter’s birthday. We snuggled up and then we heard a terrible crash outside. Neither of us knew what it was, so he quickly jumped out of bed and into his bathrobe to go outside and check to make sure it wasn’t something to do with our vehicles.

He came back in after a few minutes. He couldn’t see anything unusual on our driveway or our street, so we went back to sleep for a couple of hours. I had a couple more contractions during that time, but managed to not wake up to much around them.

The sun came up about 7. My husband’s parents lived just a couple of streets over from us. His mom texted, asking if everything was ok, because she could see fire trucks and sheriffs’ SUVs at the end of our street. We let her know we were ok, had no idea what was going on outside and that we thought the baby was on the way.

Home Birth (Part 4)

I asked her if she had taken her little dog for a walk yet and she told me she hadn’t, that she’d been asleep since last night. I told her to stay in bed and scooped up the little dog. Thankfully he only weighs about 5 pounds and really likes me. I got him leashed and out the door. He peed quickly and we went back inside.

She had fallen back to sleep. I woke her up again and again she was disoriented. Through more talking she asked me what was happening and that she felt extremely weird. I asked her if she remembered taking any medication and she said she had the night before and that her doctor must have given her the wrong dose of her muscle relaxer. I had a physical therapy appointment that I needed to leave for, so I asked her if she wanted to go to the bathroom while I was there, in case she fell. She said, yes, she needed to pee terribly and she got herself out of bed.

She made it about two steps before she collapsed again. I didn’t reach to help her. I will admit I was selfish in this, but seeing how little control she had over her body made me certain that if I tried to support her, I would likely get injured. My due date was in a week. I knew my baby could come at any time. I did not want to risk being injured for delivery. I did not reach to help her up.

She decided it was safer for her to try to crawl to the bathroom. She was incapable of getting on all fours. She butt scooted into the hallway, then lost her ability to sit up. She was nearly completely out of control of her body. I kept asking her if I should call for an ambulance and she kept telling me no, that she would be fine soon. I’ve dealt with enough drunks and drug addicts in my life to have felt confident she was definitely intoxicated on her muscle relaxers, but I had never seen anyone so incapacitated. It was like someone turned the gravity up on her. She laid on the floor in the hallway and asked me to bring her the small bin she uses for her recycling bin from the kitchen. I did. She managed to wiggle it under her butt, wiggle her sweats and underwear down and peed. Poor dear. It was an imperfect bed pan, but it caught most of it.

Having relieved herself, she managed to wiggle her pants back up. Then she scooted back to bed and crawled up into it. She told me she was feeling a lot clearer and that she just needed to sleep off the rest of it.

I let her know I needed to get to my physical therapy appointment, but that I would come back and check on her right after. I asked her if she wanted some water before I left. She did, so I handed her the short glass she had on her night stand. She managed to take it in her hand but failed to connect with her mouth. She tried a second time, spilled again, and I asked if she had any drinking straws in her kitchen; she did not, so I guided the cup for her to sip. I showed her where I put her phone within her reach and she was back to sleep before I left.

I can’t remember if I called my husband on my way to my physical therapy appointment. I do remember sitting in the waiting room looking overdose information for the muscle relaxers I found on her kitchen counter. I decided she most likely was having an overdose experience. I texted my husband, asking if he thought I should have called an ambulance, should she be at the hospital. Ultimately, we concluded that she was cognizant enough for us to respect her wishes.

I had been in physical therapy for about 4 months. I went in with a pulled muscle in my lower back and stayed because my pelvis kept slipping out of alignment. I really loved my primary physical therapist. She had given me an ear for listening, strength and confidence in my ability to rock my upcoming delivery. I hated to rush our last appointment, but she checked my alignment, told me I was in really great shape, and I knew I wanted to get back so I passed on the last opportunity for a massage.

I drove back and let my into the house. She was asleep. I woke her up and she was still deeply affected, but much clearer than she had been. She apologized for messing up my Valentine’s day and thanked me for taking care of her, for being so kind. I assured her that we love her, I love her, and we just want to make sure she’s going to be ok. We visited a little more and she let me know it was ok for me to leave, that she was going to get some more sleep.

I went home. This was all before noon that day. My husband finished his work day and went to check on her that afternoon. He stayed for a couple of hours to visit and make sure her heart was in the right place. He came home. I was wiped. The whole ordeal was emotionally frying for me. I spent time in bed. I don’t think we did anything special. That wasn’t a big deal to me. I’m not really into Valentine’s day. I know he didn’t realize that it was that day, in his distress over making sure our friend was ok.

I know we made love. It was lovely. I went to bed early.

It was 12:30 a.m. on February 15th when I got up to pee and had my first contraction.

Home Birth (Part 3)

I was huge; about to pop. I got in my pick up truck and drove over.

When I pulled up, I could see her car in her drive way. It was about 9 a.m. I waddled up to her front door and knock/rattled her security screen door. No sound from inside. I had a moment thinking, “Maybe she’s taken the dog for a walk,” but my intuition immediately shot that down. She walks her dog at 7, without fail, because she doesn’t have a yard in which to let him out to potty.

I knocked again with my stomach starting to sink. I decided she wasn’t going to come to the door so I reached up for her spare key. I unlocked the security door and knocked hard on the wooden door. No response.

I unlocked the door and opened it into her living room. From the door mat, I could see all the way through her short hallway and into her bedroom, to her bed. Her little dog popped his head up. It was so weird that he didn’t bark at all. I thought, “This is it, she’s got be dead,” but I called out loudly, letting her know it was just me and that I was coming in. I was relieved when she startled awake. I stepped all the way in and closed the front door.

Three seconds later she had fallen out of bed and was on the floor dazed. I rushed in and started talking to her. At first she didn’t recognize me and didn’t understand what was going on. After a little explaining, she seemed to remember me. She got herself back up into bed, seemingly with no trouble, but her speech was slurred and she was drifting. My husband was worried and he called me. I gave him the run of things, and that she seemed off, but I didn’t think she needed an ambulance yet.

Home Birth (Part 2)

Pregnancy blew by. Before I knew it, we were married. It was very important to me that I get to change my last name from my ex’s and that we have the same last name on our daughter’s birth certificate.

Thanksgiving came and went. I had just started monitoring my blood sugar. I definitely had gestational diabetes, but I’m so grateful, my body responded very well to a healthy, low carb (honestly, nearly no carb) diet.

I made a dietary exception for one day and enjoyed Christmas treats.

January was a blink.

It was Valentine’s Day. That morning was the last morning I really had to myself. My husband left for work, like usual. It was very early. Usually, I would text him, “Good morning,” as soon as I woke up, around 8, to see how his morning was getting started. Some instinct in me guided me to wait. I got up, used the bathroom, and ate breakfast before I texted him.

We have an older friend, a friendly woman who my husband met through work. She’s got a sharp sense of humor, a big heart, and a past with which my husband and I both find a resonance. She doesn’t have any family and has moved to our town which is far away from her few friends; we are very much all she has apart from her cat and little dog. My husband is closer friends with her than I am. He visits with her every day.

The morning of Valentine’s day, he didn’t hear from her. When I sent my, “good morning, how’s it going,” to my husband, he let me know he hadn’t heard from her, that he was worried about her, and was debating whether or not to leave work to check on her.

I decided I didn’t want him to leave work, that it probably wasn’t a big deal, so I told him I would go.

Home Birth (Part 1)

When I married my ex-husband, I was working as a housekeeper for a midwife. I shared with her that I was excited to start our family. She lent me a copy of Spiritual Midwifery. I drank in the stories of trusting one’s body and healthy babies. I grinned at the smiling faces in the book’s pictures. I read the medical section and everything made such sense. I embraced the idea of having minimal involvement in my pregnancies and giving birth at home.

What Spiritual Midwifery implanted in my non-conscious mind is that everything is better when the love is right. With that drumming through my awareness while I wasn’t aware of it, my ex and I got unintentionally pregnant. The love was not yet right.

We both freaked out and made the decision to terminate quickly. I only needed a medicine to accomplish the stop, so for us the real feel was what was in our hearts. I can’t speak to his real experience, but I know he made me feel that he was angry it had happened and it was all my fault. He asked me if I was irresponsible enough to unintentionally get pregnant, how could he trust me to be responsible enough to raise his child? I decided he was probably right. Also, I knew him making me feel that way meant that the love wasn’t right. I don’t want my children to ever be considered mistakes or their presence resented. In my heart, I knew it was better to stop than have a life time of suffering. I let go of this opportunity thinking, with love, of my future children.

Just over a year later, it happened again. I learned I was pregnant. I was ready to try. There was so much I just swallowed and was willing to accept: his self centered nature, our perpetually unfinished home, our financial stress; willing to accept it all and jump into the unknown to start our family. He wasn’t. He said it would ruin his life. So, I knew, again, the love wasn’t right. Again, I stopped this chance at a life. I don’t regret either of them. My ex-husband and I never got the love right. We eventually divorced, years later, sharing no children.

My current husband and I had been best friends for years by the time I got divorced. I spent some time single, kicked in the gut from having been shoved out of my first marriage, and realized not only did I love him as my best friend, I could feel what he excited in me.

I surprised him. My husband never expected me to invite him to romance, even after my divorce. I opened the door and we fell into love so easily I knew, finally, the love was right.

I’m over 30. I am at a point in my life where I am seriously focused on having children. I’m only getting older and I want to get the physical challenges out of the way while I’m as spry as possible. We had a beautiful first spring as lovers, but by the summer, I knew I was ready. When I brought the subject up to my husband (who was only my boyfriend at the time) he didn’t miss a beat, he played it cool and warm and told me he “could do that.” We invited the universe into the bedroom and I surprised him again by getting pregnant right away.

I remembered Spiritual Midwifery and knew I wanted to give birth at home. We lived in a single wide mobile home. It was ancient, it was small, but it was all ours and it was clean enough to get going. I loved our home. I loved almost all of being pregnant. Being nauseated for weeks on end is something I’d like to avoid in the next round, but it’s not enough of a deterrent to keep us from number two.

I am not foolish. I am grateful to all the tapestry that is our universe that the midwives I had the privilege of working with live in my town and take my insurance. It could have been a challenge to get to have a home birth, but for us, it was easy. My midwife and her team were true angels. They took time to get to know me and my husband. We are all of similar schools of thought. They believe in the science and mystery as much as I do. I learned and grew and grew my baby. I stayed out of doctors’ offices and clinics. I felt confident in our assessment of the health of the situation.

My husband and I got married on Halloween. I was round! I loved it. He loved it. We had such a great time together. He cooked and I ate healthy, delicious meals. We talked late into the night about what fun lay before us when our baby was actually born. We didn’t learn the sex of our baby, just for fun.

My due date swiftly sprang upon us after feeling like we were waiting forever. I miss our home. I’m having a hard time writing this because every bit of it was in our home.

My big belly making me have to stretch to wash the dishes, and wear an apron. Us squeezing past each other in the bathroom and squeezing each other for fun on the way. My dog barreling down the hallway to our bedroom, shaking the whole house with her enthusiasm. Sitting on our couch and looking forward to replacing it with a better one. Our coffee table. Our kitchen table, where I spent hours journaling and planning and eating with baby in mind. My whole pregnancy is memory steeped our home that is gone now. I hope one day it doesn’t hurt so much so I can enjoy remembering more; I hope this happens before I forget too much.

That’s enough for today.