Saturday, January 31, 2009

Two babies and more snowboarding...

Waiting, waiting waiting... hm... will the baby ever decide to come??

I was having a hard time deciding whether to try and sleep or not. Freida had called for me to come home from Amy's about mid-afternoon and it was now 11:00pm yet still no call to come. My fear was that I would just get to sleep and then the phone would decide to wake me up and make me leave more groggy than I would have been if I had just stayed awake. So I laid in bed writing my blog until about midnight and then figured I might as well get some sleep rather than stay up all night waiting. The last time I looked at my phone it was 12:32am.


Hmm.... "I wonder what time it is?" As I slipped my hand under my pillow and forced my eyelids open to look at my phone. 2:32am it said, well at least I got 2 hours of sleep. I had gone to bed with my clothes on so that I would have one less step to do when I had to wake up so when I was awakened I waited for a couple minutes and then quietly went to the stairs to see if I could tell whether Freida was getting ready to leave or not.

Silence and complete darkness

Now I was at loss for what to do. I was sure that it was the call for who else would call at 2:30am, but there was no sound nor indication that Freida was up getting ready. So, rather than go to sleep I decided to get online.

"Riiinnnggg...!!!" 3:20am, this time I knew it had to be time. Yet being I was already dressed and ready except for putting my veil on I decided to wait for Freida to come tell me it was time to go. I grabbed a bowl of cereal to help keep me awake. For some reason eating helps do that. I have the strangest eating schedule down here at times. We left at about 3:40am and headed down the road. About 10 minutes along our drive Miriam's husband called and told us that she was starting to feel pushy. Those are the worst words to hear when you are still 20 minutes away!!!

I quickly shot up a prayer that the Lord would slow her labor down so that we could be there for the birth. I then went into "be ready to jump out of the car as soon as Freida gets close enough and slows down" mode. I jumped into the backseat and then leaned over into the trunk to get all of our supplies ready;

birth bag, newborn bag, clipboard, birthing stool... would we really need all these things right away??? I decided I could leave my bag in the vehicle. After loading myself up I sat and waited until we pulled into the driveway. I swung open the door and jumped out and bounded up to the front door. Then composing myself I calmly opened the door as not to make a big commotion as we entered. Her husband greeted us at the door.

"Is she still in one piece?" I asked

"Yes" He said with a bit of a smile.

Maybe he could tell I was worried. I had 3 bags and a clipboard in my hands and was on my way over to get all set up. The baby was in a difficult position and therefore was having a hard time coming down. After changing positions and locations of where we thought the baby would be born, we finally had a baby girl at 5:02am (I think, I'll check on that to be sure) She had caput quite badly for the first couple of hours but then it went back to normal. Her parents were fine with me taking pictures so for the next 20 minutes I had some fun.

She was so alert from the moment she was born. Freida,
her father, and myself were all taking pictures and the little one didn't make a peep, other than squinting her eyes in response to the flashes.

I was trying to get a certain effect but it really didn't work
too well, yet this is what I came out with.

And finally an actual picture of me holding a baby in a rocking chair.
This was obviously not a Swartzentruber home.

We left there around 7:00am and Freida was quite happy that we wouldn't be starting our full day of prenatals too late. We had just been on the road for about 5 minutes when Freida's phone rang... it was Amy... Esther, our "twin" lady was in labor. Her water had broken but she was not having any contractions. Amy was on her way and would call us as soon as she found out what the status was.

I was now a bit concerned. Swartzentrubers went really fast with their births and this was her 8-9th pregnancy, i think, and if it really was twins I really really wanted to be there.

The last time Amy and I were there we spent quite some time trying to figure out whether we thought it was one or two. Her belly was all gelled up by the time we were done and Amy and I was just as unsure, if not more so, as we were before we started. When we got into the car I told her that I thought the hard "thing" on her right side was probably a fibroid and not a baby. Due to what we heard, or shall I say didn't hear, I was quite sure that it couldn't be a baby, but who knows. We were hoping it was two yet Esther was hoping it was one.

So as we drove home to get our stuff and pick up Emily. I was now hungry again so I got another bowl of cereal, my second "meal" of the day. As I was finishing getting my stuff for the day Freida called down in a bit of a hurried tone letting me know that Amy had missed the birth, the baby was struggling and we needed to get there as soon as possible. I ran up the stairs and out the door to jump in the car. Little did I realize I left my bag sitting in the house by the couch with my water bottle and saddest of all, my camera inside. Rushing to the house we were not sure what we would find. The turkey that had charged Emily and I a few weeks earlier came to my mind as we were approaching the house, but I was going fast enough and was not a bit concerned about how it would look if I ran into the house to get away from it. There was silence in the house, all except for the sounds of the baby's labored breathing. There was fluid on the floor and a big baby on his mother's chest. He was still a bit blue but finally stable. When Amy had arrived he had just been born only a few minutes earlier, blue, limp, and barely breathing. Her mother was there when it happened, his head was born but the rest of him did not come out for another 5-10 minutes. As he was sitting there he was losing oxygen and strength. After much stimulation, suctioning and prayer he started responding. His placenta and cord were heavily stained with meconium. We stayed for a while to make sure he was stable, and after a little while he was doing well. Sadly it was only one baby with one HUGE placenta. Freida and I left Amy and Emily there while we went on our way to do some prenatals.

I was oh so sad not to have my camera, especially when we went to Anna & Andy's home. I really wanted to get a picture of their rocking chair. There's a bit of a story that goes with that chair and so I really wanted to have a picture the exact one. Freida offered for me to use hers and I decided to wait for a good time.

"Anna, would it be alright if I took a...picture...of the rocking chair?"

"Sure" she responded as a slight smile came across her face.

She wasn't there when I had my experience with the chair so I'm sure she must have been thinking it was a rather strange request.

By the end of the day I found myself falling asleep in between prenatal visits. I would faintly hear Emily talking and come to for just long enough to ask how long we had before we arrived at the next house.

We arrived home and I walked down to my room in a bit of a daze. Freida asked if she should take my computer and phone to make sure that I would get some good uninterrupted sleep. I consented to turn my phone on silent and let her know that the computer wouldn't keep me up as I was already falling asleep as I was walking to my room. Did my bed ever feel good... it was 5:00pm and I was now in bed for the night. :) I can't remember the last time I went to bed that early. I woke up a few times and checked my phone to see if I had missed any calls. I'm glad I had it on silent or I would have been woken up about every 30-45 minutes. I woke up at about 3:00am after 10 hours of, almost, straight sleep!! my body decided that it needed sleep and did it ever feel good to sleep for that long. I decided to get online and work on my poor blog that has suffered so much the past week.

Breakfast-time came and I was in the mood for cooking. Pancakes, scrambled tofu, hashbrowns...mmmm. I used my maple syrup that was made by the Swartzentruber Amish, it was delicious.

Plans for the day... cleaning, paperwork, going to Amy's, vespers at the Hagan's home...

Cleaning ~ √
Paperwork ~ well it was all out on my table
Going to Amy's house ~ I was just about to run out the door, I had all of my stuff ready and was picking up my last load to take out to the van and I saying goodbye to Freida when... "riiinnnggg"

"Oh no... not again" I thought, "this is the second time I've been getting ready to walk out the door when the phone has decided to interrupt all my plans." Don't get me wrong, I LOVE deliveries, it's just that at times I wish that they'd come at more convenient times. Not too realistic of thinking, I know.

Freida let me know that Martha was in labor and being how quick she normally goes that it would be best for us to head over. I quickly gathered my things together, grabbed my food, put my veil in my pocket as I was planning to put it on in the car and headed up the stairs. Freida thought it'd be best for me to drive separately so I could go to Amy's and the Hagan's after the delivery. She gave me three boxes to drop off at the post office and then asked me to pick up Emily and head towards the delivery. I couldn't believe I was actually going to the post office when someone was in labor but as I normally do I prayed that if it was the Lord's will that we would get there in time.

I looked down at my gas gauge, oh no, I didn't have enough to do all the running around that I would be doing on Sabbath and who knows how long it would take at Martha's house. Gas stations can be hard to find down here. Well I found one but their CC thingy wasn't working so I handed Emily some money and had her run in to pre-pay so that when I got it ready they would be ready and I could pump it and get out of there as quickly as possible. Patience is something I do well with, except for when I'm on my way to a delivery. The Lord has been working with me on that quite a bit lately! Getting stuck behind slow cars, red lights, and now the gas station are just a few examples of how He's been doing it. So as I was trying to pump the gas nothing was happening, and nothing was happening, and nothing was happening... Emily ran out and I asked her if she could go back in and see if they did it right. She ran back out letting me know that they had put it on the pump on the other side of where I was.

"No problem" I said to Emily "It'll reach over here"

"What?" She said in a bit of surprise.

"Sure, I'll pump it and you watch the cost as it goes up and tell me how close I'm getting"

"Ok" She said, with a bit of laughter.

"Where are we at?"

"just $10"


"13" "14" "15"

By this time we were both laughing, I'm sure it must have looked a bit funny.

"we're at $18 now"

"ok, let me know when we get to $19.50 and I'll start slowing down" I said.

"we're there, 50, 69, 72, 84, 86, 88, 90, 92, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99... STOP!!"

I hurriedly put the gas thing back and we jumped in the car to go. She got directions as we were driving. Down the driveway we went both ready to jump out of the car as soon as I stopped. We jumped out and ran into the house now realizing that I had not put my headcovering on. Uh oh, oh well... I couldn't do much now.

Freida had arrived not too long before we had. The house was quiet and Martha was having her contractions standing up in the bathroom. Emily and I calmed down and I called Amy at 2:18pm to let her know why I wasn't there.

"Splash"... uh oh... we knew what that meant. Completely ungloved and not ready the baby was coming and coming quick. Freida and I ran over to her and Freida delivered the baby, I wipped the baby's head which was covered in blood and held onto the little one as Emily frantically ran around the room trying to find the baby blanket which was "on the bed" only it really was in the kitchen. What a mess, but Praise the Lord we had a healthy baby girl at 2:20pm.

It took 3 weeks but I finally got a bit tired of wearing dark clothes most of the time. So being I was going to Amy's house I decided to wear light colors and do my hair regularly. BAD CHOICE!!! I had blood in several locations on my light blue zip-up sweater and even on my face. We went into her room and put her in bed for the delivery of the placenta. it was coming quick, so quick that I had no time to even put gloves on. I cut the cord and then went to go wash up. She was the cutest little thing. After her mom was situated Emily and I happily took the little bundle to go wash her up.

She did so well with her washing, she didn't even cry. I had to wash her hair three times and then get the comb to try and get everything out of her hair.

We had fun getting her hair all sudzy and playing with it.
She just laid calmly in my arms letting me do anything I wanted to her.

Sweet little Regina Faith ~ 7lb 11oz

Time to wash her feet

Look how adorable she is, she didn't even wake up when I washed her feet.

As we were getting ready to walk out the door Martha inquired as to what the baby's blood type was. Oh no, that's right... Martha is Rh-. We stopped her husband as he was taking the placenta to the garbage and got the blood we needed to test her blood type. B+, this meant that she would now have to go in and get Rho-Gam. Were we ever grateful that Martha remembered. We then left and off to Amy's for an hour I went.

I walked in Amy's door, I wasn't able to call her to let her know I was coming, and got smiles all around as everyone was wondering how I happened to be there so soon after I had called to say that we were at a birth. The Lord answered both Amy and my prayers that it would be quick. yet not too quick, it happened perfectly. Emily and I were there 5 minutes before the baby was born.

I ran upstairs with them to show them some pictures and then we all decided to go outside for a few runs and some sledding.

The sun was so beautiful

Doesn't this look like fun??

I figured out what my problem was... I was going down the hill the wrong way. Being that I'm left-handed I wanted to go down turned one way, yet Amy's brother informed me that I was doing it wrong. After switching sides it was a lot easier.

Amy and I

Amy and I...again

I then left their home and went up to the Hagan's house for a wonderful meal and fellowship.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Hi Laura!!

... this is what happens when you're on my computer! :)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Trying to become a "country girl"

You just never know what you'll end up doing...

...I would have never imagined that I would be doing this...



Yes, that's me, milking a cow. Crazy sight eh? It wasn't too hard. I did try it the old-fashioned way as well. This was a lot easier though.

Everyday I go to Amy's I never know what to expect... last time it was milking a cow, this time...

"Laura, you're just in time! We have a cow that has a breach calf, do you want to come help?"

"Sure, wow, neat, I've never seen a calf born, let alone a breach one... I can help???"

Chains?? What are these for? You're gonna reach in that bucket and get them right??
The expression on my face gave away the fact that I was not a "farm girl"

"Hold that one tight while I wrap the other end around the other hoof..."


And he's out... getting all cleaned up by mommy...


I was sitting in the rocking chair here in my apartment thinking about how I should probably update my blog, especially since it had been so long when I realized that I should probably call Amy and see what she was planning on doing the rest of the day.

It was still quite icy outside but hey going to Amy's sounded like a lot of fun and I was not afraid to face the roads :) We had gotten about 5 inches of snow in the past few hours and so there would be a nice layer of powder on the hills. Just perfect for snowboarding! Amy and I had talked the other day about how much fun it would be for the two of us to try and snowboard down their hill, and today was going to be the day until the ice decided to cover everything, but now that we had snow, snowboarding was on our minds. Everyone over there thought it would be great for me to come over and have some fun. They seriously have the sweetest family (yes I know you might be reading this, but it's so true) they have welcomed me into their family and are such a blessing to me.) But anyways, it took me seriously 30 minutes to scrape the 1/2 inch thick ice off of the car and I barely made it out of the driveway. The roads were horrible and at one point the buggies were going faster than I was. In this weather is when it's easier to be in one of those than a car. Right after I was thinking that I turned the corner and had to go about 15 mph behind a buggy until it turned off the road, oh well, the reasoning worked for a few minutes. I got to their house and they were all ready for me.

A delivery?? Here, now?? No way, I was so excited!! It was even breach!! I thought I was coming over for snowboarding, little did I know I'd be able to help with a delivery. They thought we had about 45 minutes so Amy and I decided to take a few runs before it was time to go help with the birth. Amy decided to let me try the hills first...

Well, getting it on was pretty easy. Standing up was a bit harder. Being in control with both feet strapped to the board and not knowing how to turn, that was even harder. I don't think I did that bad being it was my first time. I fell backwards a few times on the nice soft snow. Then I went a bit faster and faster and tried to turn, whoops, wrong thing to do... boom, I was falling on my face, but caught myself as I fell to the ground. Hmmm.... what was I to do now?? Oh, I had seen this really cool thing where they flip themselves over, so that's what I did. Everyone watching was really getting quite some entertainment from this. I finally made it down the hill, yea!!!

Now to get these things off... hmmm.... I'm stuck... ok, lets see how well I can hop my way up the hill... nope, that's not going to work... think, think think... oh! I got it!!!

Now I just had to climb up the hill... the first time the hill didn't seem that big, but the second, third, fourth, fifth time... it just got longer and longer and longer. Great exercise and tons of fun.

I finally got the hang of it, well kinda... the third time I went down I started out really well, then I fell. No problem, I thought, I'll just get back up. Well who knows what the problem was but I stood part way up and then fell back down at least 6-8 times before successfully staying up. Everyone up top was finding this quite amusing. Amy was getting her camera out to record this entertaining sight and just as she got it on I finally got up and started moving again.

Then they had a dog-sled so we took a few runs with that.

The birth was still in the back of my mind so I asked Amy if we should go check to see how it was going. She made a call and they thought it would be another 30 minutes or so. If it didn't come by that we would have to pull it out. How exciting!! So we took some more runs, put everything away and then headed to see how the laboring mom was doing.

I carefully tip-toed into where she was: it was quite a different birth experience for me, not the normal calm, quite, peaceful atmosphere. There were tons of others around, being quite noisy and hustling around all seeming to want to get in on what was going on. As I walked up Amy's sister plowed a path for me so I could walk to where she was. I ended up going to change my boots. I walked to where she was, hm... the gloves were made ready, a bucket of water, and something for the baby to lay on after it was born. Being it was breach, well legs first, we didn't want it to stay in for too long or I was told that it would probably die and paralyze the mom. So in order to get it out a couple chains were taken out of the bucket to go in and tie around the feet so that we could pull it out. Wow, they told me I could help. I ran and grabbed the chain, after it was securely fastened, and started to pull, her brother had to help me. Well after some other measures the baby finally came out. It was a boy and born at 4:02pm. After he was born we took the chains off his legs and drug him closer to his mom so she could lick him clean. He was a bit lethargic but after a good licking became more alert. Wow, what a great first breach delivery!

After the excitement was over we put the cows all back into their pen and all walked back into the house to get cleaned up.

We had a nice time watching the guys play ping-pong. Then someone spilled their drink upstairs and it started dripping down on the guys while they were playing!! I uploaded some more pictures (the birth pictures will come after Amy sends them to me, we've now worked with two deliveries together), and then started getting into a great theological discussion. Ring, ring ring (for once my phone was not on vibrate) it was Freida, someone was in labor yet it wasn't time to go yet. So off towards home I drove. Now I'm happily sitting on my bed, waiting waiting waiting for the phone call to go to the delivery.

I'll see how much time I get to backtrack and finish writing out previous days... but for now... farewell and I pray that the Lord is blessing each and every one of your lives as He is mine! ~

An Ice day

So today was my day "off" but I don't know if anyone seems to know the real definition of that.

I woke up this morning and had some quite time with the Lord. Freida came down and was questioning the wisdom of me going to Amy's today being that we had an ice storm last night and this morning. After taking a quick glance outside I realized what she was talking about and saw that this was a great picture taking opportunity. I grabbed my boots and my camera and ran out the door. It was amazing how the ice was covering everything. Here's the result of some of my time outside.

Freida has some of the most beautiful birds that come
to her feeders which are all around the house.

I was sitting on Freida's kitchen counter with my one arm out the window
trying to be as still as possible so that I could get some good shots of the birds. There was one bird that came to the feeder that had frozen ice on its tail, that one flew away as soon as I came near the window and never came back.

The birds love peanuts

It was so icy that even the little birds were even having a hard time standing on the branches.

Everything, and I mean everything, was coated in ice.

Where I call home :) Freida has been blessed with a wonderful home.

A frozen tree

Ice coating the pine needles on a little pine tree


A baby pine tree

Our stairway... look at those icicles!!

The beautiful forest covered in snow

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Pictures...a bit more exciting than writing at the moment ~

Sheep... and corn stalks... they were in the field outside of the window where we were to look at a little boy and try to diagnose what was wrong with him. So while we were waiting I decided to take some pictures. Freida must think that I'm constantly looking for things to take pictures of.

A really neat plant at the same house. I had in my mind how I wanted the picture to turn out: with the Amish style window and drape clearly seen and the rolling field covered in snow in the background... yet as you can tell it came out as just a bright light.

Anna & Andy's house. We had the most amazing birth!! This is the house where Emily and I arrived before Freida and we got everything all ready and I delivered the baby. I had quite the rocking-chair experience there! It was such a special birth, there seemed to be no distinction nor wall between us even though they figured out that I was "English."

For some reason this caught my eye

All hung up and ready to wear... I seriously just walked around the house taking pictures.

Their hats...


Little Mattie's birth announcement next to the kerosene lamp.
This was the first one that I did the footprints for, they turned out alright.

Something else I found to take a picture of while we were at their house.
After my rocking-chair experience I figured it was safer to be standing than sitting, at least in
the rocker, and if I couldn't sit there I really didn't want to sit anywhere.

The traditional Swartzentruber baby outfit and baby scale in the back.
I actually do quite well getting them all dressed in their very unique and special little
shirts and dresses. I've not poked a baby with the pins yet :)

I just love how they have the racks above the stove. This is what you'll find in 99%
of all Swartzentruber homes. I think we should have the same things, it is a great way to
warm things up and to hang your things on. When I wrote about sleeping next to the stove
on the floor it was one like this.

A picture I took while driving to a birth.

A very friendly sheep.

A very accurate and important reminder.

Playing with his toys while we were doing our prenatal visit.

Driving in to do a prenatal... they have the most inventive mechanisms to hang their laundry.

He was looking right at me, probably wondering what I was
doing after taking at least 10 pictures of him and the buggy he was hitched to.

In the rocker shop.

A shot through the barbed wires of a little Amish girl walking home from school.

Hmmm... can you guess what this is??

A cold frosty morning.

Another birth announcement and a kerosene lamp, they play such vital rols in our night deliveries, I don't know what we'd do without them. I tried using my cell phone light to replace it and ended up going back and getting the lamp to bring with me. This is from the house where I got the wonderful honey and who had the SDA neighbors. I also delivered this baby.
Oh, and this is the desk that I fell asleep on when I was supposed to be doing the FHT's.

One of my favorite things

Shedding just enough light to light the path before our feet to keep
us from stumbling and to see the path before us.

Driving to do prenatals on a cold snowy day.