Sunday, December 6, 2009

Bonham going on a Mission!

My son, Bonham, is going on a mission for our church. He recently got his letter telling him he will be serving in the San Jose, California area working with Spanish speaking people. He is very happy and excited to get started. He starts on February 1st, 2010 and serves for two years. I am very proud of him. If you see any Mormon missionaries, please be kind to them as a favor to me. I know this doesn't have anything with delivering babies, but it has a lot to do with my life. My life as a midwife always has been and always will be intertwined with my life as a mother.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Sad Week- Our Dog Died

Another thing that happened that has nothing to do with delivering babies, but a lot to do with the life of a midwife. Our little, sheltie, Pup-Pup died a few days ago and I have been so sad all week. We had only had him for a few months, but were very attached to him. He just showed up at our house last summer and we kept him. We took him to our vet to see if he had a chip so that we could find his previous owners. He didn't have a chip, but the vet told us he had heart worms. We had him treated- which was kind of expensive- and we thought he was going to be ok.
A few nights ago, he started coughing and having trouble breathing. We knew he was going to die. He struggled to breathe all night and died early the next morning. The vet had warned us that might happen, but we had started thinking he was going to be ok.
The death of a pet or anyone in your family is very sad and that is how I have been feeling this past week.

Waiting for a Mission Call

My son, Bonham, is 19 and he is getting ready to go on a mission for our church. We are waiting for a letter to tell us where he will be assigned. He sent an application in early November and we are expecting the letter any day now. He has been checking the mail every day. I think it will be a Spanish speaking country because he can already speak Spanish very well. He thinks it will be Russia. I know this doesn't have anything to do with delivering babies, but it has a lot to do with the life of this midwife. I will let you all know soon where he will be going.

An Old Friend Found Me!

My best friend, Candy, from junior high found me on Facebook. It has been so much fun to reconnect with her. I haven't seen her in about 30 years and I haven't talked to her in about 15 years. She knew I had 5 sons and she knew I was a midwife, but there are so many things to catch up on. She lives in California now. We went to school together in Amarillo, Texas in the 70's. This is one of those neat things that happens in life that is priceless and no amount of money could buy.

A crazy night of Birthing- 3 Babies in one hour!

November 10th and 11th are days I'll never forget. Three babies born- one a week overdue, one a week early, and one right on time all within 30 minutes of each other! I've never had anything like this before and hope it never happens again, but it all turned out fine. Here are how things went from the midwife's perspective.
In the wee hours of Nov. 10th , two of my clients had their water break and wake them up. Neither of them started having strong contractions right away. So we waited. We waited all day long. I talked to both of them throughout the day. Sarah (1st baby)came to the birth center to be checked. Angela (3rd baby) stayed home. I encouraged both of them to rest and suggested things to do to get labor going. I worked at the office all day, but took a nap in the afternoon.
Sarah came back to the birth center about 6 pm. She was going to try several things to get labor going- such as castor oil, herbs, breast pump, walking, etc... Angela was starting to have more contractions but still not really in labor. Then Carmen (2nd baby VBAC) called- she was a week overdue and starting to have contractions. I asked Carmen to come to the birth center. About 9 pm, I checked to see how much dilated Sarah was- 1-2 cm. Not long after that, I checked and found out Carmen was 1 cm. So when Angela called back, to tell me she was having more stronger contractions, I went to her ( She was planning a homebirth). I left Camellia (midwife) and Dena (doula) at the birth center.
Carmen called me on my way to Angela's house and told me she was going back home. I thought that was a good idea and I wasn't even sure if she was in labor. When I got to Angela, she was 4 cm and having strong regular contractions. Around midnight, Camellia called to say she was taking Sarah to the hospital. She was having unbearable, unrelenting pain and she was only 2cm. I had to trust her to do the right thing, so they went to the hospital. I stayed with Angela who was having a slow labor. Diana (midwife) and Connie (student midwife) came to help me. We helped Angela through the night.
About 4 am, Carmen called to say she was really definitely in labor. She was planning a home birth in Sugarland which was about as far from me as she could possibly be and still be in the Houston area. So I called another midwife, Sandra, in Sugarland and she went to Carmen. I also called Dena to help her. When she got there about an hour later, Carmen was 7 cm and doing very well!
I got several text messages through the night from Camellia about Sarah. She was ok- better after getting an epidural. They wouldn't let Camellia stay with Sarah so she went on home about 5 am.
All three women through the night and into the morning. All three had vaginal births! Sarah had her baby at the hospital at 9:11 am, Angela had hers at home at 9:16 am, and Carmen had hers at home at 9:54 am!!!! Praise the Lord!!!! More details on the other blog.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tired tonight

I'm really tired tonight and fixing to go to bed. I was up all night last night, but got to sleep this morning between 8-10 am. It was my privilege to help bring two new baby girls into the world today. I was torn between Katy and Pasadena at 1 am this morning. Luckily, Camellia and Dena were able to stay at the birth center while I went to Katy. (See the other blog for more details).
Even when I'm tired, I am happy to be a midwife and feel lucky to get the work. This Saturday is the annual Birth Fair. I am looking forward to it to see all my midwife and childbirth friends.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Birth Story from 19 years ago

Today is my son, Bonham's 19th birthday. He is my 4th son and my 2nd homebirth Even after all these years, I still remember and relive all the things that happened on the day of his birth. Maybe some of you have seen the birth pictures I have in a framed picture at the office. He is the one that is born in that picture. I don't have it hung up anywhere because I have always been afraid it would be embarrassing to him. They are pretty graphic pictures. Here is a short summary of my birth story with him.
I was 2 weeks overdue (it wasn't such a big deal to be 2 weeks over in 1990). I went to church that morning and felt uncomfortable, but not in labor. That afternoon, about 4 pm, I was laying on the couch taking a nap, and I felt my water start leaking. It gradually flowed out but it was several hours before I started having any contractions. Once contractions started, about 8 pm, it got going strong. My midwife came over about 11pm. I was working for her as an assistant at the time. By the time she got there, I couldn't talk much. I was in deep labor. It was completely normal with no problems. Contractions just got stronger and stronger and then I had an urge to push, and shortly, he was born. I ended up on the floor kneeling up against my bed. He was born at 12:45 am. My husband really thought it was a girl, but it wasn't. I was delighted with him from the moment I saw him. He was my biggest baby (9lb10oz), but the easiest one to get out. That proved to me that the baby being in a good position is the most important thing about how they come out. I had a friend there (MiMi Sellers) who took lots of pictures and then later, I made them into a collage.
So today, 19 years later, he wanted to go to Hermann Park and go walking and he wanted a pumpkin pie. So that is what we did. Thanks to all of you who are close to having your babies for letting me have a good day with my son.

Friday, September 4, 2009

New Birth Videos

You Tube has changed everything. Things are changing so fast, it's hard to keep up with. I've seen so many good birth videos at this conference I am attending.
Here are some links:

ACOG wants failed homebirth stories

I put a link to this out on e-mail and boy did I get a big response!!! A few of my clients who acted quickly and were able to get their story in. But ACOG got bombarded with thousands of stories of good home births and from women all across the United States and they took their request down. Now they made it where only doctors who are members of ACOG can enter bad home birth stories. I'm sad that they want to collect these kind of stories. Midwives could start a website about failed hospital births. I'm glad to see there is so much grassroots support for home birth.

On Vacation

Summer's over, but I am getting one last little vacation before autumn comes. I'm in Savannah, Georgia for a midwife conference, and I'm loving being here. It's a beautiful place and many of you know I love history and architecture, so this is a great place for me. I've never been here before. I think vacations are important for my mental health. It helps me to be with other midwives and birth people to keep my enthusiasm going. I have more time to be on the computer than I usually do. I started a new Facebook page for the birth center. I'm also working on my sick website. I've been doing a lot of reading and walking and tomorrow I'm going to rent a bike and ride around town.
I also got to go on two other short vacations this summer. We went to South Padre Island for a few days. That was where my boys wanted to go in honor of Bonham's high school graduation. We also went to Austin for two days to see my sister. We went swimming at Barton Springs and ate at several good restaurants. Austin is one of my favorite places in the whole world. I love to go to Book People. I love to read.
We have lots of babies due at the birth center and at home in the fall. I will be a much happier midwife because of a little time off.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Summer Happenings

June is almost over and that means 2009 is halfway through. Time passes so quickly!!!!
I got to go see my mom in Amarillo for a short visit this month. It's hard to see her so frail. She used to be so vibrant. I think about her a lot and wonder how she's doing. I'm in that stage of my life where I still have kids to take care of and a mom that needs care, and work that keeps me very busy.
My youngest son is gone camping this week with Scouts. I know this will be the last time he goes. It's been a fun tradition, but he thinks he's too old for that now. I wish I could go to camp for a week in the summer. I guess I still could volunteer at a camp somewhere. My other son is busy with taking some summer classes at San Jacinto College. It's kind of overwhelming for him because he just graduated from high school and didn't have to do much work this past year. My husband is working out of town in Woodward, Oklahoma. That's a booming little town.
We are having a drought here. My garden looks terribly sunburned. Won't have many tomatoes this year. I came home to find my best tomato plant pretty much eaten up by a tomato worm. It's just been too hot and dry to keep things alive when I'm gone for a day or two at a time.
I've been working at the office and reading a lot in between babies since the rest of my family has been gone. Just trying to keep up mostly. I will sleep good tonight since I only got about five hours last night. Overall, I'm very happy with my life.

Happy With What I Do

June has been another busy month. A lot has happened since I last wrote. Five sweet babies so far this month- all born at home or the birth center- all required a lot of time and effort and labor to get born.
One of the most recent ones was born to a very nice couple having their first baby. I felt happy for her towards the end. I was happy that even though she was in pain and working hard, she was getting closer and closer with every contraction. I was happy that she was at the birth center in a safe place where no one would do anything to rush the situation. Even though, it took her a little longer to push than "average", I knew everything was okay. I knew no one would cut on her, or threaten her with taking her to the O.R. I was happy that she and her baby would be kept together and he would not be whisked away. Everything turned out just fine and I must say he is a very cute baby. I feel lucky to get to do something I feel good about.
I love to read and I am always reading several books and magazines simultaneously. One of my favorite things to do relax is go to the library. I just started reading a book today called, "Homebirth in the Hospital". I got it from the Houston library. I was leery of it when I picked it up. I guess I have such a biased view of birth in the hospital that I feel like it is a trick. I don't want to encourage women to go there unless they really have to. But after reading the first chapter, I was impressed that the woman doctor who wrote it is really coming from a sincere desire to make birth in the hospital better. I hope it works for the good of women everywhere. I'll write another review of the book when I finish.

Monday, June 1, 2009

May, 2009, is over and here comes June. What a wonderful, exciting month it was. I've got to write about one of the most amazing things that happened that never happened to me as a midwife before. I helped with two women whose babies came out face first. That is so unusual! One came out at home just fine and one had to come out in the hospital after we did everything we possibly could at home.
One of my sons graduates from high school this week. I am very proud of him. He has done well in school, and he became an Eagle Scout this past year. It's probably because he had a natural birth at home. Just kidding. My birth pictures with him are in a frame at the office in a discreet location if you want to see them.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

My Birthday!

Tomorrow is my birthday. I've always loved my birthday. I liked it when I was a kid because I would usually get out of school. I like it now because I am thankful for every year I have. I indulged myself today because I know I have a busy day tomorrow. Today, I went downtown and ate at one of my favorite little places in Houston- called Stone Mill Bakers on Kirby. I had a turkey-avocado salad with cranberries and a great dressing. Then I went to a nearby park and went for a walk. After that, I went to a little shop called Lucia's Garden. I love to go there. It has all kinds of unusual books and gifts and herbs. When I was there today, it was very cloudy and rainy and it felt good to be inside there. Lucia, the woman that owns the store, said hello to me. I bought two books, and a dishtowel. I feel very lucky that I got to do that. I hope all of you will have a good day on your birthday, too.

Negative Energy at Births

May was a very busy month for me for babies. I am happy to say all the mama's and babies I helped with are doing well. I'm sad that four moms had to go to the hospital- all for completely different reasons. Even though it wasn't exactly what we planned or wanted it was just the way things turned out. There are many times that I am very thankful there are hospitals available to help when there are problems I can't deal with. I often think about what would have happened in those situations 100 years ago. Sometimes, it would not be pretty. I am also very happy when we have a nice normal birth at home or the birth center with no interventions.
One problem that has come up several times in the past month is negative people at births. It seems like some people want the woman to fail at her goal of a natural birth. That makes me sad. They just can't understand why anyone would not want to be in a hospital maxed out on drugs. My own mother thought that. They are often somewhat rude to me as well.
Being a midwife has made me stronger than I ever thought I could be. I just laugh it off when people treat me like that. I think it is a mistake to invite people who are not solidly behind you to your birth. Sometimes, women feel obligated to invite their family to the birth even if they are not in favor of them having a midwife. It becomes more of a problem if some kind of a situation arises that causes us to go to the hospital. I think I will start talking to my clients about this issue more often.
I will be ok. It's just part of being a midwife in the United States at this time in history. I still believe that midwifery care is the way most women should start out and go to a higher level of care if needed. About 10-15% of women will always need more than a midwife can do. I look forward to a time when midwives are more respected. Until then, situations like that keep me humble.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mother's Day

Mother's Day is one of my favorite holidays- not because of gifts- because of memories. Thinking about all the happy times I've helped women to become mothers. I guess yall are thinking about those memories, too because I always receive many messages and calls from former clients on Mother's Day. I wonder if women who have doctors call their doctors on Mother's Day?
I had a very nice Mother's Day. My two youngest sons and I went to church. The speakers at church made me feel very honored to be a Mother by what they said. After church, my sons and husband and I went to Galveston to the historic homes tour. It is kind of a Mother's Day tradition for us to do that. If I wasn't a midwife, I think I would be an architect. I love old houses and especially ones that have been nicely restored. Many of you know I live in a house that is newer but built in a older style. If we stay in Houston, I will eventually talk my husband into moving to Galveston or the Heights.
I heard from all my sons on Mother's Day! The two youngest ones are here at home and I got a card from the one in Springfield, Oregon. I got a call from the one in Eugene, Oregon, and an e-mail from my son in Denver. Being a mother is definitely one of my greatest blessings- right up there with good health and having enough to eat every day.
I get sad when I think of my own mother. She is in a nursing home near Amarillo, Texas. I miss her every day. She does not remember that she ever had any kids. She also doesn't remember how to talk on the phone, so it is difficult for me to call her. I sent her some flowers. When I was on the phone placing the order, I got choked up when the lady asked me what to put on the card. How can you tell someone in a few words thank you for my life and your love? I am thankful for my mother and my life. I hope all who read this had a good day.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Difficulty with Writing

I hesitate to write on this blog sometimes because I know anyone can read it. I know people who think being a midwife is stupid can read it. Doctors who wish I would just go away can read it. Family members of my clients who don't agree with them having their babies outside the hospital can read it. I laid in bed thinking about this for a long time last night and I realized all writers have this problem. On the other hand, I could just write all these things in my journal and then close it up and put it away. I don't want to do that. I want others to know what I am thinking and I am willing to put it out for anyone to read.
Yesterday was a hard day. I still feel upset about. I helped someone with the birth of her first grandchild. We started out at the birth center and ended up taking her daughter-in-law to the hospital for a c-section. I did not want her to go, but she insisted she wanted to go. The doctor told me before we went that he would not do anything else but a c-section because he had some kind of a previous commitment. Despite all the talk to try to change her mind, when things like that happen, I just have to trust that the mother of the baby knows best and trust her intuition for what is best for her and her baby. I wish them all good things.
We have had a lot of transfers (five) to the hospital in the past three months and three of them ended up in c-sections. A transfer is always upsetting and the most stressful part of my work as a midwife. It's upsetting because it usually involves a problem, pain, and is not what we had planned. I'm happy to say that all the transfers have turned out well and all the mothers and babies are well. But every case was a difficult situation and it makes me question if I am doing the right thing with my life. Am I doing the best thing to help the most women and families? That question is why I write. It helps me work things through. Writing has always been therapeutic for me. Unfortunately, I am out of time for therapy now. Jackie

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Cold Front and A Challenging Week

A major cold front came through the Houston area last week and brought many babies with it. Five women in my practice had their babies. All of them had some kind of problem or challenge that gave me a few more gray hairs. However, they and all their babies are doing fine.
The first one to deliver was one of the sweetest women I've ever met having her third baby. She had developed a condition called cholestasis- a liver dysfunction. It was a month before her due date, but she had been admitted to the hospital the day before and induced. We had spent a lot of time in the early part of the week consulting with a GI specialist and then finding an Ob/Gyn to take over her care. The encounter we had with the GI doctor had been very unpleasant. Dr. J at NW Memorial had taken over her care and he took good care of her. She had a vaginal birth and went home the next day. Unfortunately, the baby had to stay in the hospital, but is doing well.
My next client was having her first baby and was a few days overdue. She went into labor after a few starts and stops. I really believe the cold front is what did the trick to get her into labor. She had a relatively quick labor and a normal size baby, but a severe tear. I knew when I saw it, that I could not repair it at the Birth Center. I called Dr. M and made arrangements for him to meet us at the ER of the closest hospital to the Birth Center. He met us there a few hours after the birth. He did a great job. I have to say that he is something of a saint to help me the way he does when I have problems. Good natured and so competent. I can never say enough good words about him. Things are going well with her now.
That same morning, one of my other clients not due until April 2nd called to tell me her water broke (three weeks early). A definite casualty of the cold front. No labor at all. So we waited. I won't go into all we did to get her labor going, but just let me say we did everything (and worried). We had given up and decided to go to the hospital when the sun came up. I laid down for a little while and woke up and she was in labor and three hours later we had a baby!!! Joy to the world. When her baby was born, it did not breathe right away. I had to resuscitate it and we called 911. By the time they got there when she was 12 minutes old, she was fine- pink and breathing normally in her mama's arms. Just a few minutes of high drama.
My next client actually had her baby before the one I just wrote about. She had two due dates and I think because of the cold front, went with the first one. Went into labor and everything went well until she started pushing. It seemed like she was having a much more difficult time pushing than she did with her first baby. She only had to push for about 30 minutes with the first baby, but this one took an hour and a half. We knew this one was bigger, but she had to really work to push this baby out. She tried many different positions and we helped her every way we could think of. Finally the baby came out- face up! No wonder it had been such a challenge. And on top of that, he weighed 10 pounds. Thank goodness she was so young and strong and able to do it.
The next challenge came the next day, and was relatively minor. My client who I had been expecting for quite awhile went into labor. She was 11 days overdue. Had a wonderful, normal labor at her home. Everything went well. She was in a birth tub at her home, and pushing strongly. Her water had not broke and I was wondering if the baby would be born in the bag. Suddenly, her water broke and bright green meconium fanned out into the clear water of the tub. The baby was born about two minutes later. We suctioned him well to get all the meconium out. He was fine and had APGARS of 9 and 10. All well.
On top of all these interesting experiences, we were having a big family reunion for my husband's family at our home this past weekend ( the first one in 25 years). About 70 people showed up. I got to come home and see everyone for a few hours on Saturday afternoon. Thank goodness my three sweet sisters-in-laws and husband did all the cooking and cleaning and organizing. Since the weather was so cool, we all stayed inside (we had planned to be outside).
Another week in the life of a midwife. Jackie

Saturday, February 28, 2009

End of February

Well, February, 2009, is over. I'm getting ready to go to bed and thinking about what I did this month. Helped with 5 sweet babies, and all with no major problems! One of the best things I did was go to see my mom in Amarillo. She is so old and frail-it's hard to see her like that, but I'm so glad I could go and be with her for a few days. She is in a nursing home in a little town called Canyon near Amarillo. I flew up there and drove back. I went through Austin on the way home and went to Lobby Day at the Capitol. That was a good experience- I'll write another post about that.
I started exercising again after a long break. I am starting to feel stronger. I can't always exercise every day, but I try to do something most days. The 3 things I like to do most are an exercise video I do at home, go to the YMCA, or just walk for 30-45 minutes.
I got a new room set up at the Birth Center. That is a big accomplishment! It's good in case we had two babies at the same time there. We got some new carpet in Bonham's room at home. That was one of the casualties of the hurricane. Moved a bunch of furniture around at home.
At the office, I got all the charts from 2008 audited and put away. That is MAJOR! Wrote a letter in response to my inspection from the Department of Health.
Anson is doing well and getting completely over the surgery he had in December. He gained about 5 more pounds this month. I'm happy about that.
I didn't think I did much this month, but now that I write it all down, I got more done than I thought.
One sad thing is that I had to cancel the Annual Reunion I had planned for February 15th. Just have to try again for that.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Life as a Waiting Game

Lately, my life has been about waiting. I have three women who are due most anytime. They are all three expecting their 4th babies. I love each one of these women and am looking forward to their births. I am actually at one of their homes right now. She is in labor, but it is going a little slowly. Sometime today for sure.
This past weekend, I was in waiting mode, but still did a lot of things. On Friday evening, my son and husband and I went to Galveston to a dinner for boys who have earned their Eagle Scout award. Governor Rick Perry was the main speaker. We are very proud of Bonham and I think he is proud of himself. I wish all boys could be in Scouts. It has been a great experience for our boys. On Saturday, I went to three different places looking for carpet for Bonham's room. During Hurricane Ike, his room got flooded and the carpet got ruined. We are just now getting new carpet. We've been trying to get our insurance to pay, but finally gave up on that and are fixing stuff on our own. We are anxious to get his room cleaned up again. On Saturday evening, my husband and I went back to Galveston for a play at the Grand 1894 Opera House. It was Hal Holbrook as Mark Twain. It was good. Yesterday, I went to church and then came home and took a long nap. Last night, I got my kitchen very clean. Now I am ready for these babies to be born.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Inspection at the Birth Center

I'm sitting in my quiet home getting ready to go out for the day. It's cold out there. I see ice on the cars. I'm listening to the radio and disheartened to hear that the bickering between politicians goes on and on.
January has been a slow month for me as far as delivering babies. Only three sweet babies born that I helped with, and they were all early in the month. The past week, I've been consumed with having an inspection by the Department of Health at the birth center. They come once a year to see what goes on there. The woman that comes looks at my charts, looks at my policy books, and asks a lot of questions. Her general attitude toward me is critical and it is stressful. I know she has the power of life and death over my practice of midwifery.
Luckily, I had some warning that she was coming. She showed up last week and I was not there. She called me on my cell phone and asked where I was. I was at a class renewing my Neonatal Resuscitation certification. When she found out where I was, it seemed like she was aggravated, but said she would come back another day. That was a blessing to have some time to get things clean and organized. I felt prepared when she got there on Monday morning. She stayed all day Monday and Tuesday. I don't blame her- I know she is doing what she is hired to do. It just seems like the State is not supportive of something like my birth center where we have generally good outcomes and happy moms and babies.
It is a good thing to get my paperwork cleaned up and organized here at the beginning of the year. Anyone who knows me, knows I tend to be a bit of a pack rat. I have so many things in my life I want to do. It's hard to fit it all in. I went to a seminar recently about giving presentations. I would like to talk to more people about midwifery. I got a lot of good ideas about how to do it. The guy giving the presentation, Edward Tufte, hates power point. I never thought about it much, but he showed how to make something much better.
I am making a quilt. Last year, I saw a beautiful quilt at a shop and took a class to make it. All I did was buy some material and make the first square. So I am taking the class again this year to actually get it made. I have always loved to sew, but sometimes I've gone for years without sewing at all. I am going to try to keep a quilt going from now on. There are so many beautiful patterns to make.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Summary of 2008 Births

We helped with 66 babies at Bay Area Birth Center in 2008!

Home births 33
Birth Center 33
Biggest Baby 10 pounds, 10 ounces
Smallest Baby 5 pounds, 13 ounces
Busiest months- January and October
Busiest day- October 27th- 3 babies born in one day!

Transferred to Hospital Moms-8, Babies-1
C-Sections- 3
Premature- 1 (at 34 weeks)

Oldest Mom- 44
Youngest Mom- 20
Attempted VBAC's-7, Successful VBAC's-7
Breech Births-1
Long term morbidity-0
Miscarraiges-8 (not counted in total)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

8 Resolutions for 2009

- Get my little office cleaned up and usable.
- Get paperwork organized into piles of priority and handled.
- Get active for awhile every single day.
- Get to the office earlier and leave earlier (8-5) unless someone is in labor.
- Eat 7 fruits and vegetables every day.
- Go to the library once a month.
- Take more pictures.
- Get my pictures organized.
- Do something about global warming.

A New Year!

It's the first week of 2009. I am slowly getting back to the rhythm of my life before the recent holidays. Everything was slowed down for the month of December because of Anson's sickness (see previous post). I took my midwife hat off for awhile and just left my mama hat on. It was good to slow down and take care of him and our family. He is doing much better. He went back to school for the first time today, and seemed to do fine. He is terribly skinny, but eating well and looking better.
I went back to work at the Birth Center- not that I haven't been there, but I haven't had my focus there. I have a lot of paperwork to get organized. I guess I will always struggle with paperwork, but I will keep on trying to tame it. It's a requirement for being a good midwife.
I am disappointed in myself when I look back at the previous posts. I only wrote one post on this blog in 2008. When I originally started it, I thought I would write a minimum of once a week. I often lie in bed and think of things to write, but I rarely actually log on and write. I've been reading several midwife books this past year. When I read books like those, I think there is nothing left to write. Many midwives have already written about their lives. On the other hand, no one sees things from my point of view, at this time and place. I witness amazing things in my life as a midwife. I will keep writing because it is comforting to me whether anyone else reads it or not.

2008 in Review

Dear Friends and Family December 31, 2008
Another year has come and gone. They are going too fast. This year took some unexpected twists and turns as they all do. It makes me love and appreciate life even more. I’ve loved all the cards, and letters, and pictures I’ve received this season. It is so wonderful to get updates and see pictures, and hear from friends from all over. The letters always inspire me to write my own, so here it is.
Our main focus at the end of the year and during the holidays has been taking care of Anson. We’ve never had any sick kids before, but we almost lost him from a ruptured appendix. He and George had gone to Dallas for a Cowboys game, and he vomited and had a lot of stomach pain right before the game. After they got back to Houston, he felt bad and didn’t want to eat. I thought he had a stomach virus. I finally realized it was something more. We took him to the Emergency Room and he had surgery the day after Thanksgiving. He was in the hospital for two weeks and had an IV line in for two more weeks at home. He got a stomach virus this past week- just what he didn’t need. He was beginning to think he would never get well. He has lost about 23 pounds- weight he didn’t have to lose. He has finally started to eat normally again and feel better. One silver lining to the whole thing is that he appreciates mom and dad a lot more than he did before, and we appreciate him, too.

One big project this year has been for Bonham to get his Eagle Scout award. It was a lot of work and he was definitely motivated and did most of it on his own. We helped him some, especially with his final project which was to collect medical supplies for a clinic in Africa. We got a lot of stuff and collected it in our dining room for about six weeks. Then we had a lot of helpers come and help box it up. We shipped 26 boxes of supplies! I also helped him with his hiking merit badge. We took five, 10 mile hikes together. I usually only made about six or seven miles, but he kept on going. That was hard work, but a lot of fun. Bonham is a senior in high school this year and Anson is in 10th grade. They both have been making good grades.

Luke and Abbie and Travis and Brenda still live in Eugene, Oregon. We got to go up and see them in March. It is an incredibly beautiful place. And we had a blast being up there with them. They all share a nice house there. They originally went up there to mine for gold, but that didn’t work out, so they got regular jobs. They came home for a 10 day visit in August. We had a birthday party for them while they were here (Luke is 24 and Travis is 21). We also went to Austin for a day and tubing in New Braunsfels. That was a great time. We miss them a lot and are glad they are doing well. I am secretly happy to see the weather so bad in Oregon this winter. Maybe they will start thinking about how much nicer it is in Texas and consider coming back down this way.

In between all these events, I continued working as a midwife and running my birth center, That always provides plenty of activity and excitement. I took off for two weeks in December so that I could stay at the hospital with Anson. I delivered 64 babies this year. You can learn more about the details at my blog- (

George worked hard as ever as an engineer and made several trips for work to Oklahoma, Trinidad, and the Philippines. I am proud of myself for getting on a better diet and losing 25 pounds this year. One of my resolutions is to not gain it back. We built a medium size garden this year. It did well and are looking forward to even better results next year.
We have spent the holidays at home together. I am thankful for my family, my friends, our home, my church, my health, and my work. It is good to be alive. I am looking forward to 2009.
All my love to those this goes out to.

Big Events 2008

January- We built a small garden out of cinder blocks.
February- Bonham working on his Eagle Scout project to collect medical supplies for a clinic in Africa. The supplies took up our whole dining room.
March- Trip to Oregon to see the Luke and Travis. Had a wonderful time. Such a beautiful place. Wish it wasn’t so far from Texas. Watching the election closely. Voted in the primary. Went to the rodeo.
May- I turned 50- I believe I’m starting the second half of my life- George gave me a gift of wicker furniture for the front porch
June- Family Reunion and vacation to Comfort, Texas. Bonham went to Scout Camp at Philmont, New Mexico
July- Went to the Panhandle for the funeral of my cousin, JW. He was quite a character. A real Texas cowboy. He was well loved by his family and friends. The church where the funeral was held was packed.
August- Luke and Travis (and Brenda and Abbie) came home from Oregon for a visit, We went to Austin for fun and tubing in New Braunsfels. They were here for 10 days that flew by.
September 12-13th- Hurricane Ike struck the Houston area. Big mess to clean up- we still have work to do to fix our house. Got rid of about a third of the trees on our property. It was quite a storm. I definitely underestimated the power of a Category II hurricane. We stayed at our home during the hurricane and spent an exciting and somewhat scary night catching water pouring in through two cracks in the ceiling and trying to keep the door in Bonham’s room shut. It amazed me how long it went on- 24 straight hours of wind. Power was off for about 10 days afterwards. That was the biggest inconvenience. Made me appreciate electricity a lot more.

October- Went to Amarillo to see mama. Bonham got his first job at Circuit City. My dog Gracie, turned 10. I’ll be surprised if she makes another year. Makes me realize how fast life passes. Seems like she was just a pup.
November- Anson got sick the week before Thanksgiving, Had surgery for ruptured appendix on Nov. 29th, Voted on November 4th. George’s sister, Rhoda, and her family came for Thansgiving

Anson was in the hospital from Nov. 29- thru Dec. 12. He had an IV when we brought him home and he was still getting antibiotics and running a fever. Gradually, he got better. We spent Christmas at home. Bonham got laid off from his first job at Circuit City because they are going bankrupt