Monday, December 29, 2008
A Hunters Ambition (Short Story)
Created by EnchantedGatherings
Small story I came up with when I was bored. =P
Created by EnchantedGatherings on Sunday, December 28, 2008
As the sun’s cap peaked from the edge of the eastern horizon and the darkness of night faded, a lone hunter, by appearance no older than seventeen stumbled through the thin bushes spread along the tree line to a great pine forest. Small trickles of blood ran down his face and unclothed arms, these places had been struck and scraped by the thorns of bramble as he had raced between the trees. Ignoring his small wounds he trekked through the large meadow he had been working towards for days; his pack was torn to shreds and hung on his back under the quiver that held three, fairly thin, oak arrows, each with a deadly and razor sharp metal tip pointed down into the hardened leather. His tan shirt drenched with the water of the rain that had just cleared the sky’s thirty minutes before, and his brown pants fitting to him like a loose glove, held up by his ebony colored belt and his usual broad figure.
Trekking through the grass, his boots worn and covered in the fresh morning dew he walked for a little over an hour, covering at least a mile and finally coming to a stop at a beautiful patch of flowers, full of daisies, and a few un-named specimens of woodland flower. And in the center, there stood a small doe; her head was hidden in the flowers as she fed upon them. He smiled and silently crept closer to the creature, stopping twenty yards away he swung the unstrung yew bow from his shoulder, pressing the curved base against his boot and pushing down to string the tool, its wood creaked as it was flexed to form its normal crescent shape. He raised the bow straightening his back out and turning to the side with his left shoulder facing the doe. Bringing the bow to eye level, holding it in his left hand the string pressed against his skin, reaching back with his right he pulled a single arrow from the quiver.
Twisting his left wrist out a little to bring the string off the skin of his inner arm he slotted the arrow onto the string just above the small, clear bead in the center of it. He placed the center of the arrow on the small split he had formed with his thumb and the side of the bow, sliding his right fingers along the smooth arrow stopping at the string, placing his forefinger above it and his middle, and ring fingers below it; locking them into place by curving them inwards the underside of his first knuckles gripping the string. He grinned and pulled back with his right arm, forcing the string to bend and the bow to creak once more as it flexed back, pulling the tip of the arrow closer to the bow. He had stopped as his right hand reached his cheek, aiming for the doe’s neck and closing his eyes, whispering to himself. “I am sorry my friend, but I need the nourishment you provide; please forgive me once you reach your place of peace.” Opening his eyes and readjusting his aim, allowing the string to slip from his grasp and loosing the arrow with a twang, a sound that had echoed throughout the meadow and through the trees, causing a cloud of black birds to take flight and disappear into the horizon......
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
Monday i got an appointment with my Dr. (Dr. T) and since my bp was 220/100 in her office, she put me on a blood pressure med (on this med my bp was steady around 143/95) and sent me for a CT of my lower torso - specifically the kidney's. On Friday she got the results back that say both my kidney's are small. The right one is smaller than the left and the artery to it is small as well. I do not know how small in relation to normal which is irritating to me. Monday morning we set up an appointment with a vascular surgeon for Tuesday. Monday afternoon at our follow-up appt. Dr. T put me on a 'mild sedative' due to anxiety that is causing me not to be able to sleep or eat.
Tuesday was disappointing. The surgeon (Dr. M) was just very straight forward, no real personality. Just came in and said we will do an arteriogram and ever so briefly described how it works. He did say that if there was blockage he would fix it right then. He also said that if he felt like something needed to be done about my kidney's he would refer me to a nephrologist. I walked away from that appointment more anxious than ever because i had gone in wanting answers and was just told that his office would call and tell me when to be where. As we were leaving a nurse caught us and told me that Dr. M wanted me on another bp med and gave me a few months worth of samples. So now i am on 2 bp meds and my bp is hovering at 117/75.
Dr. T asked me to call her after my appt so i did and when she called me back we talked about the appointment and my anxiety. She asked what i am anxious about and i told her mostly the unknown and the shock of it all and the fact that no one is able to tell me anything about my kidney's and what i need to do or might need to research. I told her i want to see a nephrologist even if Dr. M doesn't think i need to. She knows of a great one that she will refer me to after my arteriogram. This makes me feel a bit better but i am still anxious about the unknown, the arteriogram and the fact that this kind of thing isn't supposed to happen to me!
I have been able to curb the anxiety without meds most of the time mostly because i hate taking medicines and i hate the side effect of being so drowsy. I have started a modified South Beach Diet (actually its Phase 2 instead of starting with Phase 1) and Chet is doing it with me. I have also started walking on a treadmill a friend loaned me (thanks Aubree) but Dr. T wants me to take it easy until we get my bp all figured out and such so only 2 mph for now.
I have been spending time looking for bright spots in this and the biggest one i can think of is that i am so very grateful that i was able to give birth to Emma at home with ease. The next biggest one is that i am grateful I have such a wonderful husband and amazingly supportive friends. I am working on my faith as with this news and my recent breastfeeding challenges it really wavered so that can be considered a bright spot as well. I have great kids that are mostly helpful and sympathetic when i am lacking energy. We are blessed with great insurance. Dr. T looked at my kidney's first instead of last. I have many people praying for me. I do have so many things to be grateful for that are not directly related to the situation and i am constantly reminding myself of them and finding new ones.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
This journey has been bittersweet. I was able to nurse her for 4 months, much longer than the boys but the whole time was a struggle until a few weeks ago when i stopped trying everything and just decided to redefine our nursing relationship. So we had a few weeks of peaceful nursing with supplementation that i will cherish for the rest of my life and that she wont ever remember. I miss it terribly...
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Jingle bells, Jingle bells
Jingles all the way
It's almost fun to ride and share
With everyone in the waaaaaay
repeat over and over and over...and over
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
- I am thankful for my kids, of course. Today was spent at United Life Spiritual Center at "Friends-Giving" and my kids were attentive, helpful and participated fully. We all had a good time relaxing amongst our chosen/Spiritual family.
- I am thankful for my Tribe of friends as without them it would be hard to make it through the rough times as they help me keep things in perspective.
- I am thankful for the time i spend nursing Emma. I try to stay in the moment every time and am finding it a great spiritual practice.
- I am thankful that Emma will now let Chet get her to sleep so now it is not all me, all the time.
- I am thankful for the shower i got this morning as of late they have been few and are farther between than i prefer.
- I am thankful for my family. I have talked to/emailed with my sisters more this week than most times and it has helped me to appreciate them in my life.
- I am thankful for donor breast milk, the mom's that give so freely and my wonderful husband who travels to Dallas to get it.
- I am thankful for the beautiful day today and the great food shared...and left overs!
- I am thankful for our new family meetings and helper jobs as it has made our lives more harmonious and life easier for me.
- I am thankful for so many other things that i don't have time to type right now...
i think i do need to keep a running gratitude list instead of saving it up all year ;-}Hope your Thanksgiving was a wonderful one!
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
We went to get a pumpkin and here is Angelic Aden having a great time amongst the 'patch' - he loved this pumpkin:
and these decorative corn - he tried to eat some:
We bought some popcorn cobbs and burned the first 2 - third time is a charm. Pretty cool to pop it in the cobb and it was even fairly tasty:
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
I was a 22 year old single mom when my now 14 year old was born. He was born at a freestanding birth center with no interventions or hoopla…great pregnancy, great birth. At his 3 week well-child appointment the midwives said he was not yet back up to birth weight and suggested I see a lactation consultant. The one they recommended was on vacation so I ended up seeing one at a local hospital. She watched me with him for a short while and said, “looks like you are doing everything right, I think you are stressed and that is why your milk supply is low. You need to supplement.” She gave me formula samples yet still encouraged me to breastfeed. I tried in vain (with very little support) for 3 more weeks until I just couldn’t deal with it any more…I was way too stressed at that point to see any benefit in me continuing to try…
Fast forward to 3 ½ years ago and add a wonderfully supportive husband. I had a bit of a harder pregnancy (a couple weeks on precautionary bed rest for mild bleeding) but over-all it went well. Gave birth at home with midwives. No interventions or hoopla – great birth! I was determined to breastfeed and made it my focus. I used the excuse that it was winter and RSV season to not go anywhere (except the dr.) and not have visitors. Since the situation was completely different than the first, I was not quite as anxious as I could have been though I did read more info on breastfeeding than with the previous. I read “The Womanly Art Of Breastfeeding” and a few other books I found at the library. I was told by everyone not to worry about pumping or anything else just to make sure I was eating & drinking enough and that I was offering the breast at LEAST every 2 hours. So I did, I tried to relax about it all and my husband was a great support…making sure I ate well and drank lots of water, etc. At about 2 weeks we did the circumcision and the dr. was very slightly concerned about weight and asked us to come in for weight checks every other day (or something that seemed like a lot at the time). I started pumping and getting very little but saving every drop. He was either nursing, sleeping or crying…there was really no middle ground and I was feeling like something wasn’t right. I called a different recommended lactation consultant and she said “it sounds like you are doing everything right” which I held onto and just kept doing what I was doing…offering the breast as often as he would take it, waking him if he slept more than 2 hours…everything I had read or heard, I tried – fenugreek and blessed thistle included. I felt like I was being tested every time I stepped foot in the dr. office so I stopped going, after all I was “doing everything right.”
When he turned 6 weeks, I needed to go see a friend (former LLL leader – I had forgotten that at the time) and a few days after we saw each other she called with a concern that he wasn’t filling out the way he should have been. Add that comment to the underlying fear of not doing something right but being told I was, I broke down crying on the phone with her. I called the same breastfeeding consultant and she came over the next day to watch us. Again “it looks like you are doing everything right.” But this time was different than any other time of being told I was doing things right. She went on to say “he is not filling out the way he should be so I am concerned about a genetic disorder.” She recommended (and went with me) to her pediatrician.
Long story longer, he had gone from 8lbs at birth to 6lbs. 5oz. in 6 weeks with me “doing everything right.” The Dr. set up all kinds of testing and recommended I get a supplemental nurser (the thing you put formula in and attach to your breasts while you nurse) to help him gain weight while still breastfeeding. I re-read everything I could about breastfeeding in hope of finding something I didn’t read before. I tried and tried and tried and tried to continue nursing and ended up with the flu but still nursed/pumped pretty much round the clock. During this time, we found out there was no disorder and it had to be a supply issue. A last ditch effort on my part I got a prescription for Reglan(sp) and tried that – in vain. I was too sick to continue – I just couldn’t go on so formula it was – defeated again.
While awaiting Emma's arrival I was more determined than ever to breastfeed. I started going to Le Leche League meetings a few months before she was born. I am re-re-read “The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding” and reading the articles some from LLL sent. I told everyone I know that breastfeeding is my mission and sole focus with this baby and that until I have established a good supply, they probably wouldn't be seeing much of me/baby. I had a friend (who has 7 kids and much experience in breastfeeding) set up to be my post-partum doula – her main focus being to help facilitate breastfeeding in any way needed. I have an arsenal of friends that have successfully breastfed at least 2 children in addition to the wonderful mama’s I met at LLL meetings. I have a digital infant scale, a good quality pump, and every possibility of what I *might* have needed available, including the herbs so it would never be a matter of “I don’t have that on hand.” I kept saying and affirming I WILL SUCCEED and will breastfeed as long as this lil person will let me!
When Emma was born at home unassisted - a great birth again, the beginning looked very promising as she latched well and my milk came in on day 3. Little did I know that when I weighed her a week later she would have lost 1lb instead of the normal 10% with an increase beginning by that time. We went to the pediatrician who was very supportive and suggested supplementing with a Supplemental Nursing System (SNS) instead of bottles and recommended seeking help from LLL and lactation consultants. So we supplemented and I contacted everyone I knew could possibly help. There were many suggestions, most of what I had already read/heard but some I hadn’t. We rented a hospital grade pump and I tried to pump but that is hard to accomplish when baby wants to be held and there is no consistent help due to Chet having to go back to work. I started to really loath the pump and only used it once or twice a day which was totally ineffective. I got a prescription for Domperidone and of course started taking herbal supplements and eating everything I could that is supposed to increase supply.
At week 2, I took Emma to an ENT to see if she was tongue tied – “she looks perfect” was the ENT’s response. One of my friends started pumping for us and encouraged me to become a member of MilkShare (thanks Phoebe) and get more donor milk so Emma could have the best live-food instead of having to use artificial dead-food formula (thanks ladies). Around 2 months we started physical therapy and found her suck was weak and disorganized so did various things to strengthen it.
It has been 3 months of supplementing (both myself in form of herbals and prescriptions and Emma in form of donor milk) and I am coming to a point of not seeing any progress. As a matter of fact we discovered through test weights that Emma wasn’t getting the amount from me that we thought she was based on her weight gain, so somewhat of a set-back. A dear friend who has gone through a similar situation has helped me soooo very much in figuring out things to try and encouraging me (thanks Felicia) called a lactation consultant in New York who is an expert in sucking as related to breastfeeding. Through her, Felicia has been giving me even more things to try. We switched from the SNS to special bottles (Breastflow) that require Emma to nurse at the bottle instead of just suck like normal bottles which actually corrected her suck and latch issues. Emma nurses from me then has her donor milk from the bottle.
As a last ditch effort, I committed myself to pumping for 10 days to see if I could increase my supply that way. We had an appointment with a pediatric ENT to get a second opinion on the tongue-tie as we suspect a possible type 4 tongue tie which is hard to diagnose, again "she looks perfect" was the diagnoses. It was my hope that through pumping and her nursing prior to the bottle, my milk would increase and we could stop using the bottles at some point. Due to the pump not increasing supply, the fact i didn't not have any breast changes during or after pregnancy, i think i have Insufficient Glandular Tissue. As an effort to find out why i cant feed my babies i went to a breast imaging center only to find out there is nothing that can diagnose this definitively because each woman is so different there is not a quantifier to know how much glandular tissue is needed to produce milk. There is also no way to know that if the glands i do have are working properly and the closest we could come to seeing the glands would be a mammogram which would also show fibrous tissue the same way so it would really only tell us how much fibrous and glandular tissue i have combined.
So now i am reduced to having to say "i don't produce enough milk" which is used as a cop-out in more situations than not. This says nothing of the 3 months of hell and emotional torment i have lived just trying to do something as natural and simple as feeding my baby. It seems a sick joke to be able to easily give birth to my babies yet not be able to feed them.
I am surrendering to what is, I will nurse Emma prior to the bottle for as long as she will let me and be at peace with using the bottle. I will be eternally grateful for the donor milk she receives for as long as we can get it. This defines our current nursing relationship. I appreciate the prayers and support we have received through this time as i would not have made it very far without it.
(Update) We have not been nursing since 12/18/08 but Emma has thankfully still been on breastmilk due to my wonderful donors! Thanks doesn't even come close to what i want to express...breast milk donors ROCK!
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
i tried to get Aden to turn his head more my direction and he thought that meant to smile for the camera...teeheehee what a ham! Emma is smiling too, look at the love in her face!
And one by herself to show how cute the outfit is on her...notice Aden's hand, he just cant stop touching her.
Monday, October 6, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
Seth went to Not Back To School Camp for a week (Aug 28-Sept 4) and had to get his hair recolored first. I don't have pics right now but hoping to get some soon. Anyway, his hair looked very cool and he had a great time. He has plans for going to 2 sessions next year and is in process of getting a resume together to get a job to be able to save money for the trip. He had quite the experiences flying, one of them being that the flight from Denver to OKC on the way home was delayed due to weather. Luckily he had friends from camp to hang with while they were all waiting to get on planes to get home. I will try to post more later with pics but for now Emma needs to nurse. If you see Seth around, you might ask him how camp was.
And on 8/31 Aden painted a picture on our fence with mud and a stick (note mud hole in front of fence):
Aden got a new pool. The one Melissa got us had a air leak (prolly from the cat) and had to be disposed of so to compensate Chet took Aden to the store to pick out a pool...not much to choose from but he found "The coolest pool in the whole world" and in the second pic you can see why it is so very cool:
On 9/5 Chet took pics of the house to send his grandmother and Aden posed for her..."See this is our house":
Last but not least yesterday he did what he does the most of...playing with Emma:
Sunday, September 14, 2008
I am going to relish this feeling and focus on it as something else we have to look forward to when we have weaned off the SNS!
Friday, September 12, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
Big Bubber (see how much she looks like him?):
Emma with her Build-a-Bear - Funkin (will be taking a monthly picture with bear to compare size):
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Emma Dawn Putnam
Born: 8/13/08 10:27 am
Weight: 7lbs9oz (correction: scale read 7.9lbs which converts to 7lbs 14.4oz)
Length: 20 1/2 inches
Mom and baby are doing wonderfully! Will post pics and birth story later.
Aden says "She is very pretty and I sang her a song like this:
don't letta fuss go bye
don't let the fussy go bye
right now in the rain drops
and don't be afraid of me
don't be a fussy ever again!"
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Well some we have been eating - they are like candy! So yummy you can't have just one (oh wait that is chips, huh?). Anyway, there were some that needed to be used right away so i spent an evening out on my back porch peeling and cutting peaches while Aden played in the inflatable pool and Chet mowed. It was so peaceful, even with Chet mowing! Can you tell i love our home?
Anyway, i think i did about a million peaches until i had enough of shooing the 2 pesky flies away and retreated inside. We put them away (except for some i have used in my morning smoothies) until we had the supplies to make pies (today). Chet researched recipes and made a peach pie. I admit neither one of us tackled making the crust but the insides are all Chet's doing (well Aden helped a bit).
Ala mode...is there any other way to eat peach pie???
Look at how yummy the inside looks!
Chet cutting the first piece...such a smarty pants...the smile is him making fun of me taking pics of the momentous occasion! First homemade pie in our very own home!
None of us wanted to wait to eat it but we did and were so very rewarded! YUMMMMMMMY!!!!!!! He didn't want to make the second pie tonight so i think i might try my hand at it tomorrow (still using store bought crust, mind you) and use up the rest of the cut peaches.
Friday, August 8, 2008
We told him it was a cicada shell and i started trying to describe the process but failed miserably. So i said, "Hey, let's look it up!" We did a quick search and found this neat page with just enough info to satisfy what he wanted to know and boy did i learn a ton! http://www.cicadamania.com/cicadas/what-is-a-cicada/
So the pics are of Aden and his new friend, the nymph exoskeleton. He doesn't want to touch or hold it, of course. He doesn't like cicadas because they "make that loud noise." We learned that the loud noise is the males serenading the females for mating purposes (why else?) after living 2-17 years (yes, years!) under ground on the root of a tree. So now he says, "I don't like their singing." Unschooling rocks - without it i wouldn't have been inclined to look this up. I mean really, i am sure Seth asked the same question when he was younger and i probably just said something like "its a locust shell, let's make a wish and crush it!" I certainly wouldn't have gone through the 'trouble' of looking it up and learning a bit myself in the process.