Sunday, October 23, 2005

Congratulations are in order...

In Denmark, the land of my ancestors, a new prince has been born. He's really cute, too (tho looking a wee bit jaundiced -- I'm sure that's cleared up by now)! All the best to the new parents.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

It's been awhile...

J. just left to play an afternoon gig at our local hippie natural foods co-op, for the princely sum of $15.00 store credit. You can read more about the gig later, here, I'm sure. Thirty seconds after he left, the door opened again -- he'd forgotten his guitar...

Thursday, October 20, 2005

October Roses

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


...catching my breath. I came home at 9 this morning (Wednesday) having worked 32 of my work week's hours, slept 4 hours out of the last 48 hours, taken the kids to a Halloween party, & had a doctor's appt. So, after lapsing into unconsciousness for a good several hours, I got up and made dinner for everyone. In my pajamas.

Had a labor patient on the overnight Monday into Tuesday and heard a lot of "I can't" that night. Everyone has their moment during labor where they cannot wrap their head around what it is they are being asked to do. My lady was fine during labor, but broke down with pushing and decided that was the end of the road. She would say "I can't" and the family would tell her "sure you can" and "you have to" and "you're doing it." This sometimes does not work so well. Some folks, hearing that, feel that you don't understand what they're trying to tell you, that this is not physically going to work -- this is when you get moms lashing out at their support crew.

Not that what they were saying wasn't true -- of course she could do it, and was doing it, and had to do it. She wasn't giving me a wimpy, whiny "I can't" that you get sometimes from people who won't even try. It was just a desperate, scared "I can't" that really just represented that we'd reached the limit of her imagination. She hadn't been through this before & she couldn't see it happening. In that situation, you have to say, fine, your head says I can't -- we hear that. Let's now put it aside and see what your heart and your guts come up with. Let's have a little faith.

There is no opting out. Even when you say you can't the contractions will still come, and they won't be ignored. Refusing to deal with the situation just prolongs it. Life in a nutshell, really.

We dealt with one contraction at a time, 3 pushes each. Tried to keep her focused on the moment -- don't think about where we're going with this, just give us this one push, as strong as you can manage. In between contractions, when she still said "I can't" reminded her that in this moment, you don't have to -- just breathe, just rest -- the last one is gone, the next one not here yet. Right now, they don't exist. Have faith that you will be done -- the process won't last forever.

First baby, with an epidural, she pushed an hour and a half -- did an amazing job, and proved herself wrong.

Last night I was in the nursery and took care of a baby who's going to be with us for probably 2 months. Mom is on the highest dose of methadone I think we've ever seen. I'm sure by now they've started this kid on tincture of opium -- she was already starting to show some withdrawal symptoms last night, not even 10 hours old. Usually they don't start feeling it for 24 hours. Out of the 12 hours I worked, I think I was holding her for about 8 hours. Couldn't settle her down with any tricks. She's got a hard road ahead...

Saturday, October 08, 2005

waiting for next year again...

R.I.P. Red Sox 2005 season. Summer's really over now.
Anyway, here's some other girls that like the Red Sox...
Maine Life
the Dangerous Redhead
and this one.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

all fall down

Story on the radio this afternoon made me think about Magazine Man's ghost story (shiver) and wonder if the ghost might have been one of the unfortunate millions who fell victim to the flu pandemic of 1918. Seems that scientists have finally determined the structure of the 1918 flu virus which killed some 20 million people.

This is one of those stories that always seizes my interest -- I remember reading when they had isolated the virus from lung tissue of soldiers bodies found preserved in permafrost (soldiers were the flu's first vector -- it entered the US through Fort Devens, MA). I spent an afternoon while waiting to be called for jury duty devouring Gina Kolata's book on the subject.

Reading about the epidemic from 85 years distance is mind-boggling enough, but dip into some of the primary sources and try to put yourself there...

Then think about how we are just as vulnerable now to an epidemic like this -- even more so given how mobile society is today.

because it is, after all, fall...

...I'm starting to put the garden to bed for winter. Well, basically, I'm just digging up and potting things I want to bring inside before the frost hits. Thyme, oregano, basil, sage, the gardenia I moved outside for the summer. I've found that I don't have enough big pots; I'll have to pick up some more. It's been in the 80s for the past couple of weeks and still feels like winter could be months off, but these things can sneak up on you. Still, since we haven't had frost yet, it's too early for cleanup. We'll just let those tomatoes sit out there as long as they want to.

I also filled the bird feeders after letting them sit empty basically all summer (I got sick of pulling up sunflower seedlings after the sparrows had unceremoniously dumped everything -- the feeders are mounted on the fence over the garden). I'm glad to see the chickadees are back. They keep me company all winter and remind me of home.