Friday, August 12, 2011


I love my daughter more than life itself. She is my everything!
I can honestly say that in the 19 months that Isla has been "around", (15 months since birth, and 9 months incubation period inside me) last night was the first time I ever wished that I wasn't the mom of a toddler. An infant, who sleeps 90% of the day, older child, who is able to take care of themselves...sure. But I was seriously irritated with the fact that I was the mother of a toddler last night.
Let me explain:

We went to an outdoor concert at a local park, and it was PACKED!!! Seriously, half of Omaha was there. Isla did awesome in the beginning, despite the fact that we did not plan this outing, so her stroller was left at home, in my car. So, she walked with my mom, held her hand the whole way through the parking garage and across the street, and through the park. Rockstar! I was so impressed...UNTIL we found a spot to sit and she decided that she wanted to RUN AWAY every chance she got. I get it, toddlers whole "bane of existence" is to run around like a crazy person and not listen to their parent(s). Normally, I'm all for letting her run around in a park. As long as she stays away from the streets, anything dangerous, and strangers. Well throw all three of those things into this location AND a large/massive crowd of people...and cement. It was just too much for me to handle. Time after time, she kept running away from our compound of lawn chairs, and each time, I (or various other members of our party) would have to go chase after her.

(I am not a fan of those kiddie leashes, but I totally wanted one after the 10th time she ran from us).

After watching one little boy bawl his eyes out because got separated from his mommy, I was becoming more irritated with the fact that she would not sit still. Finally, as we were packing up to leave, she ran up into the grass and down the sidewalk. As I caught up with her, I grabbed her arm and turned her around to face me, and looked her square in the eyes and broke out my "mean mom voice". Naturally, she cried...and I felt extremely bad. I know she doesn't know any better, but I am just trying to protect her and I wish that she was at an age where she could understand that_or an age where she would have passed out the whole time.

At one point, last night, I remember thinking: This would be so much more enjoyable if I didn't have a child. I feel bad for thinking it, and I try to correct that by telling myself, that concert was one night. That's one night out of the 462 days she has been alive. That's not so bad...

Hopefully I am not alone on this topic...I'm praying that other mom's/dad's have had this thought. Please share your stories!! Make me feel better about myself. ;-)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Delievery do over

With all the upcoming births of family members and friends, it got me thinking about my delivery with Isla. Looking back, I feel totally jipped on my delivery experience, and I'm pretty sure that set me up for some newborn failures.
During my Intro. to Childbirth Class at the hospital, my instructor was this amazing lady (and Doula) and she was very persistent on creating a birth plan, and sticking to it as much as possible. So that's what I did. I sat down and created this huge document of what I wanted and did not want during my labor and delivery. I gave a copy to my OB a 5 days before giving birth, and I presented a copy to my nurse when I arrived at the hospital. From there, I'm sure it went straight in the garbage, because I didn't get a single thing that I requested. At the time, in the moment, I could give a flying fuck what music was being played, or who was in the room with me. As far as I was concerned, I was the only person there for the majority of the time, (not true...). When I checked in to the hospital, I specifically asked for a jacuzzi suite because I wanted to labor in the tub. I planned on a natural childbirth and I felt that was a good starting spot. The admission lady informed me that all the tub suites were occupied and they would move me just as soon as one opened up. "Surprisingly", after 24 hours of labor, I was still in the same room, no tub.
The biggest challenge for me was the fact that the nurses could not get a reading on the external fetal monitor. Therefore, after multiple attempts, they had to insert an internal fetal monitor (aka: SUCK FEST). If I had any chance of getting a jacuzzi tub before, it was out the door now. Also, I was unable to walk around or use the big ball to roll around on because every time I tried to do anything, the monitor would fall out and some nurse would rush back in to shove her whole arm up my vagina.
So there I was, stuck in least favorite place to be...and eventually the pain took over and I asked for drugs. Stadol is what was administered, even though in my birth plan, I stated that I did not want any matter what, even if I asked for them. I felt like even though I asked for the drugs, the staff was all too willing to give it out. This is the time that I wish I had hired my Childbirth Instructor/Doula to be my Advocate. I know she wouldn't have let me give in that easily. She also would have stood up for me with the internal monitors.
After 2 doses of Stadol, and 13 hours of labor, with no progression, I asked for an epidural. Within a half an hour, I was completely numb from the waste down and suddenly alarms are going off and within seconds, a half the floors nurses come rushing in. Apparently the epidural caused the baby's heart rate to drop down to 34 bpm and they started prepping me for an emergency C-Section. Part of me had no idea what was going on. The other part was scared shitless and wanted nothing more than for them to get my baby out! In less than 60 seconds, they had me rolled every which way and baby's heart rate jumped back up to a normal pace. It was the scariest minute of my life. The staff reassured me that everything was okay, and encouraged me to relax and get some sleep. I still had a long road ahead of me.
Almost 8 hours later, I was ready to start pushing. No body ever told me that I should concentrate on working my arm muscles for delivery. For some reason, I figured my thigh muscles were the ones that would do all the work. FYI, if you're planning on a vaginal some arm exercises at the gym. They pull out these handle bars from the side of the bed, and you bare down all your weight to push, via these handles and your arm muscles. After an hour of this, my arms were mush! I literally could not hold my daughter with out support from a pillow or a nurse.
On a side note, Isla had some complications coming through the birth canal...basically her shoulders were too wide, and she got a little stuck. Therefore, when she came out, they whisked her away to check her out, make sure she was okay, etc. I also sustained 3rd degree perineal tear, with an episiotomy!!! If you don't know what that is, please Google it. It's nasty. My mom likes to tell the story of how disgusting it was, and how many stitches were used to sew me up.
Eventually, I got to hold my daughter and it was amazing and I forgot about all the horribly painful things that I had to go through in order to get to that point. I also forgot about my lack of a birth plan...that is, until now.

In class, last semester, we watched Ricki Lake's The Business of Being Born and it was actually pretty amazing. I then realized, how much I had missed out on and how pissed I was because of it. The one thing I remember that I specifically asked for, was for Isla to be put on my bare chest immediately after she came out, provided she didn't need any special medical attention (which she did). I also stated, that if she did need medical attention, I wanted her on my chest as soon as possible after that. Did that happen? No! Once they evaluated her, they brought her over to me, and by this time all my family is in the room and every one wanted to hold her. I was so exhausted, I just said fine...whatever. Then she went under the warmer for what seemed like hours, and by that time, my epidural had worn off, and I had a whole list of tasks that I needed to accomplish. Mainly, to go to the bathroom. After all that, I suppose I just forgot about chest time, and then I was moved to a different that NOW had a jacuzzi tub!

With my next baby, I will definitely do things different. I will hire a Doula. Because even though my mother is a great person, and I loved the fact that she was by my side the whole time...I need someone else, who will be my advocate and tell the persistent nursing staff what I do and do not want.
I love my OB, and if I am still in Omaha (which God help me, I will not be) she would definitely deliver my future babies.
Even though I do not agree with hospital politics and the "business" of delivering a baby, hospital style, I would deliver in a hospital again. More likely, I would rather deliver in a Birthing Center, affiliated or attached to a hospital. AND I WILL HAVE THAT DAMN JACUZZI TUB!!!!!
I will insist on not having internal monitors. I will allow myself to be mobile and move around while in labor. I think that is the most important thing in surviving the pain. Our bodies are meant to move with the pain, not lay in bed, surrounding it.
I will not get an epidural. In the end, they had to turn mine off because I could not feel the contractions to push, so basically I did it for nothing.
I will insist that my child be put upon my chest immediately following delivery (pending everything checks out okay, health wise).
I will try my hardest (and harder than I did with Isla) to nurse. Nursing was something that was very important to me and I felt like even with all the support and help I received, I just could not do it. No one ever tells you ahead of time, how hard it is. I mean, I had creams, and nipple shields, and cones to keep nipples erect and from retreating back into my breast. It was horrible! I literally felt like Isla was repulsed by my breast. Neither one of us got any joy out of nursing. Pumping was just as bad...I felt like a dairy cow. Then my milk decided that it was done coming in and just stopped. I took supplements, drank herbal teas, tons of water, and pumped non-stop. Nothing made me produce any more than a couple drops here and there. Finally, after a month, I gave up. The first time Isla was hungry and got a bottle ASAP, I could tell that she was super stoked, and I was too (at first). Then I suddenly felt like I failed at the one thing my boobs were meant to do, nourish my baby. That set me into a whole downward spiral and I am pretty sure I cried non-stop for a while. Every time I looked at Isla, I cried because I felt like a failure. Not only did her dad fail her, but now I was too. Eventually, I got some drugs (aka: happy pills) and they made me feel better...then I started to feel nothing. So I stopped taking them, and am pretty okay without them.

I want nothing more, than to be the best mom I can be...and sometimes, I don't feel like I am at all. This is all new to me. I've never been in this role before. I'm sure the next one will be easier, maybe...??? Maybe Isla is my easy kid, and the ones to follow will be hell on wheels. Who knows...All I know is that I'm living vicariously through my current pregnant family members and friends. I can't wait to hear how everything works for them, and wish them nothing but the best as they get ready to pop!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A chat about Driving while Under the Influence

I just read an article on AOL, about Ryan Dunn's deadly car crash and how he was in fact intoxicated at the time of his death. According to the report, his BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) was .196, well over twice the legal limit. That was also what my BAC was when I was arrested for a DUI on September 6th, 2009. When I was pulled over, it was actually only .16, but by the time we got down to the police station, it had jumped up to .19, and I spent the next 7.5 hours in jail.

I haven't talked much about my DUI, most people know the basics, where/when/how, but I've never really went into detail about my experience, so I figured now would be an okay time to share.

September 5th, 2009 was a particularly bad day. My brother had just moved back home from a failed group home experience, and he had just been arrested for trespassing the day before. We were all really stressed and he ended up sneaking a block of cheese and my mom found out about it. Side note: My brother has a disease called Prader-Willi Syndrome and one of the main characteristics of this disease is an insatiable appetite. He will do whatever it takes to get his hands on food. This includes sneaking, stealing, and digging through the trash. I could write a novel on his disease, but I'll save that for later.
Anyway, back to that brother snuck a block of cheese and my mom found out and tried to get it back from him. He became EXTREMELY aggressive with us and I ended up getting physical with him and made him bleed. I cannot explain how horrible I felt after this. The whole situation was just out of control and I deliberately hurt my little brother in order to get cheese away from him. I was just sick. After this incident and him being arrested, and the really shitty stuff going on in my personal life (aka: Isla's dad), I needed to get away. I needed to step out of reality and just take a time out. I needed a drink, or 10!

Alderman's is a little place in Midtown that my friends and I frequently visited...okay, lets be real, I was easily there every night at this point in time. I have never been a huge bar person, but this was the bar that I met Isla's dad at, and this is where my friends were. A lot of good times were had here, and it was my home away from home for almost 5 months. So, I arrive and my friends are already there, I get up to the bar and order a White Russian. By this time, all of our drinks are served in pint glasses. There is no such thing as a small drink for us, and they are VERY strong, to say the least. As the night goes on, someone order's pizza from Domino's (Cheese w/jalapenos and black olives_our fave!!!) The spicier the pizza, the more I drank to cool down. I remember giving my car keys to Lydia to hold on to, because I knew that I would not be okay to drive. She lived 2 blocks away, and the plan was to walk to her house when it was time to leave.
At this point in time, Isla's dad and I are no longer seeing each other. He is back with his wife and I am trying to pretend that I am okay with that. One of the guys I had my eye on, was Jaime. This very attractive guy who would come up to the bar, and was interested in me. It just so happens that on this night, he was there...and so was Isla's dad (Pete). I wanted desperately to be by Pete's side, he was there with his Step-Brother and I was talking to them when Jaime walked in. But I knew that I needed to back off, and move on with my life, so I left to sit next to Jaime. The more I stayed away from Pete, the more I drank. I do remember getting cut off around midnight, and Pete leaving, and me making out with Jaime in the parking lot, and then texting Pete about 300 times (for real), calling him Jaime by mistake and then fighting via text message with Pete.
It is now after closing, and I am still sitting at the bar with my good friend Sarah (Pete's roommate, Mikey's girlfriend) and we are both drunk and just man hating. Poor Mikey is just trying to ignore as much as he can, and avoid the wrath of our man bashing.
By 3am, I am in my car...somehow my keys got magically returned to me. I am texting Lydia's sister, telling her that I am on my way to their apartment (2 blocks away). I am also texting Pete, trying like hell to get him to invite me over. It wasn't working because he was so pissed about all the drunk text messages and me calling him another man's name.

The next thing I remember, I am stopped on the side of the road, sitting in my car, and flashing lights are in my rearview mirror. The officer comes back to my window, and it is now that I realize I have already talked to him because he is handing me back my registration and asking me to get out of the car. I can vividly recall looking all around me, trying to spot anything that will give me any sort of indication as to where I am. All I can tell is that I am on the side of the interstate, but I have no idea where I am.

The officer leads me through a series of field sobriety tests, and I remember thinking to myself "Don't be drunk, don't be drunk". I was polite, and followed all instructions given to me. The officer was extremely nice given my situation, and he tried to make the whole process as painless as possible. He asked me to take a breathalyzer and I did. It read .16 (Shit). He explained to me that he had to take me downtown, and that he would have to handcuff me. He allowed me to sit in the front seat, and explained everything to me as it was happening. I maintained my composure, although I was freaking the F&#K out on the inside. Once he started driving, I soon realized that we had been on 680 (local interstate here). So I had somehow made it over half way home, and I had no recollection of anything from the time I had left the bar, until I was already pulled over.

Down at Douglas County Corrections, my officer (State Trooper actually) held me in a interview room and had to get some information and gave me another breathalyzer. This time it was up to .19. The officer apologized and said that he was hoping that it would have gone down rather than up. (Like I said, he was WAY TOO NICE). Although, I was not prepared for what was in store for me. He then had to transfer me over to OPD (Omaha Police Dept.) and there they took all of my belongings (wallet, credit cards, cell phone, ID). I was interviewed by medical staff, and allowed to make some phone calls (more than 1) but no body would answer. I really, REALLY did not want to call my parents, since they had just bailed my brother out of jail less than 48 hours earlier. I called friends, Pete, any body who's number I could remember, but at 4am, no one really answers their phone. I finally broke down and called my parents. I was told that I was trying to be funny by saying, 'Guess where I am...??' but it didn't go over well. My parents were told that the computers would be down until later that day (meaning around 11am) so there was not much they could do. This did not really sink in at the time, and I was expecting them to be there immediately...So I waited, and waited, and waited. Sitting in this waiting room-like area, watching T.V. and hoping that this was all just a bad dream. During this time, I was "booked", had my picture taken and everything. They put me in a large "cell-like" room with another lady and we nervously chatted and they brought us breakfast. I couldn't eat anything, I was too nervous, and it looked so gross. So I laid down and fell a sleep for a little bit. I was awoken by a female guard who escorted us to another area where we had to trade in our clothes for jail clothes. The whole time I kept thinking, "Why are they wasting their time and clothes" I'm not going to jail. I'm not even supposed to be here. We were then escorted up a flight of stairs and down a hallway, to a cell block, I suppose. It was a locked room, with a bunch of rooms on the outer walls, which were cells. No bars, only windows and a door, but inside were 2 bunk beds and a sink and toilet. There was already a girl laying down on the bottom bunk in my room. She opened her eyes as I walked in, but then closed them. Trying to make the best of the situation, I climbed up on the top bunk and tried to fall a sleep. It wasn't happening. I curled myself up into a ball and started crying. How did I end up here? This is not who I am. All the while, in the not-so-back-of-my-head I kept thinking "How did I make it as far as I did? I am so grateful I didn't hurt anyone...or myself". The idea of getting behind the wheel and endangering other people's lives made me sick. I had to get up, I couldn't lay there and just do nothing. I walked back out to the main common room, to the telephones, but they wouldn't work. I had no idea where my parents were, or if they were even coming. There was a T.V. with chairs surrounding it, I remember sitting down and pulling my knees up to my face, while trying to hold back the tears. I was so scared.

It seemed like I was there for actuality it was only 7.5 hours, most of which was spent in holding while my alcohol wore off. Not too long after I curled up in the chair, my name was called. I was told to gather up my stuff and clean my bunk. I asked no questions, I grabbed that bottle of sanitizer and hauled ass up those stairs to my cell. I gathered up my sheets that I had taken out and grabbed my bag of "jail goodies" and got my ass back down to the guard's desk. There me and another girl waited until a guard escorted us out and back downstairs. There I was given my clothes back, and finally my belongings. They released me, and pointed me in the direction of the exit. Then it hit me, beyond those double doors, was my father...waiting for me. As soon as I saw him, tears came pouring out. I hugged him and I knew that even though I had disappointed him (beyond belief) he was still there to bail me out_and get my car out of repo. In the light of day, everything seemed different. My dress was vomit stained, I had no idea where my purse was...I had pretty much no memory of what had happened from midnight til 3 am, and that scared the crap out of me.

I have not, nor will not EVER get that drunk again! I thank God constantly for protecting not only me that night, but all the other drivers that I could have encountered along the way. Even to this day, just thinking about what COULD HAVE happened, makes me sick to my stomach. It was a hard lesson learned...and a very expensive one, at that.

PLEASE, pretty please, DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*A little over a week later, I found out that I was pregnant. I was 6 weeks along when I got my DUI and I was on probation up until I was 7.5 months pregnant.

**This is all that I can remember, I'm sure there is much more, but it's also a quarter to 3am and I am ready to go to bed.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I'm still here!!

I am so sorry...I have been really busy with side projects for work and by the time the little one gets into bed, I am too exhausted to be creative. Therefore, this post is over 2 weeks late and I have about a million other idea's that I'd like to post about. For now, this will have to tide you over. ;-)

About 2 weeks ago, the family took a little trip downtown to check out the Missouri River, and see how much the river has risen so far.

First, we had dinner at Rick's Boat Yard, which sits right off the river. It was an amazing view, and little missy had a blast. Here she sits with my mom and entertains everyone sitting around us.

Here I am, with the Bob Kerry Pedestrian Bridge in the background.

Little miss Isla in her stroller by the river.

The Mighty Mo!!

This water was moving SO FAST!! I have never seen anything like it.
View from Lewis & Clark landing on the Nebraska side, looking north.
I have a billion other pictures, and more recent ones to add...stay tuned! I promise it won't be another 2+ weeks before I post again. PROMISE!!!!!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Dry Shampoo!!

I've been talking about my obsession with dry shampoo for a while now, and I finally decided to snap some pictures just now.

I have been a lazy bum, and haven't washed my hair since Saturday. This is what it looked like this morning.

This is the brand of dry shampoo I currently use. It's by TIGI and called Rockaholic. It's the first kind I have purchased, so I haven't branched out to other products yet, but I would like too.

It's basically a spray-powder...I have always used powder to take oil out of my hair, but I like that this doesn't leave the white/powderness (not a word, I know) in my hair. I usually have to wet my hair after using powder, but this just combs right out. I love it!!

The finished product! Definitely okay to head out in public now. ;-)

*what a weird looking shot of my face...not a fan*

"What's in a name..."

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet".
-Romeo & Juliet, Shakespeare

I'm sitting here, reading through my favorite blog, GirlsGoneChild and I noticed that Rebecca (who is pregnant with twin girls, yay!!) posted about baby names. I've followed Rebecca Woolfe, since she was pregnant with her second child, Fable, and I've admired her writing, pictures, and blog ever since.
When I was pregnant with Isla, I had a very hard time trying to decide what to name her. I had been dreaming about potential names for a child for years, but when it actually came down to naming a baby, I was LOST!!
Once I found out I was carrying a girl, I quickly narrowed down my names to a mere 15 or so. The middle name was easy! I knew that I was going to carry on the tradition of using Kay for a middle name, like my mother and I share. These are the top contending names that I had picked out.

Olivia (Liv for short)
Cecilia (Cici for short) *This is actually the name that her dad and I decided on
Eleta or Aleta (Leta for short)
Evelyn (Evie for short)
Marlo (my mom wanted to name me Marla)
Lennon (Lennie for short)
Marley (because I <3 Bob Marley)

Mom's #1 choice was for Sofia, her mom's middle name was Sophie, but in the end, I decided that it was too popular.
Jeff's #1 choice was actually Harlowe. I love that name, but it bothered me that it was Nicole Ritchie's daughter's name.
Dad's #1 choice was Addison...not even on my list, but he was determined to get a "normal" name in there. He actually put his name down for Gia, and Nola, on my list.

When it came to narrowing down a name or a few...I was at a loss. I knew what I wanted, but the fact that my daughter would carry this name with her, the rest of her life, scared the CRAP out of me! When I told people about my top pick, they weren't exactly optimistic about the choice. At one point, I sent a Facebook message to Rebecca of GirlsGoneChild, asking for her advice. **This was her response:

"I ADORE Isla. Adore. Tell everyone to fuck themselves. Isla Kay Rhoads. Is gorgeous perfection. Truly".

Her response made me feel very confident in my decision, a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. Even then, I chose to wait until I met my daughter, before making it official. It's funny, the minute I saw her I knew she was an Isla. In my mind, Isla is strong, and stubborn and that's exactly who she was while making her entrance into the world (I had the stitches to prove it) and from that day forward. Only once, did I question whether or not I made the right choice, but I was still on drugs (pain meds) in the hospital. I cannot image her by any other name, nothing else fits quite like little miss Isla Kay.

That leads me to the point of this post...If you are a parent, how did you pick your child/children's name? Did you ever question your choice? Who, if anyone, influenced your decision?

**I have been reluctant to share Bec's response about Isla's name with the world, only because I felt that it was such an intimate convo between the two of us. It was hard for me to open up about it, even though I may have told other friends about it to begin with. Every body had their own opinions about names, and I always asked for input. Bec was the first person to say what I was trying to say to everyone all along...

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Testing,, two, three

Welcome to my new blog!
I decided it was time to start fresh...
Isla is 1 year, 3 weeks, and 1 day old. Where has the time gone? I wish I would have been better about blogging during the first year. Heck, even the 9 months I was pregnant. But I wasn't. I don't remember firsts, mainly because I missed them...but I do recall all of the seconds. I was there for those!

I'm keeping this short because Isla has been sleeping for well over 3 hours and I should probably wake her up before she decides to throw an all nighter tonight...sans my permission.