Thursday, December 27, 2012

A Family Christmas

I got to spend Christmas with most of my family this year....

Always a risky business when you are a busy midwife.  Last year, the timing didn't go so well.

This year, all but one of my December clients had already delivered and I just had one due Dec 21st.  We decided to schedule our family dinner on December 23.  I tried to plan for the "what ifs" by purchasing an already baked spiral sliced ham and I had both daughters plan to bring a side dish and a dessert.  That way, even if I wasn't there to cook or serve, no one would starve at least.

But the phone didn't ring and dinner and our gift exchange went on without a hitch.  YAY!

Ham, broccoli, brown rice, sweet potato casserole, sweet potato muffins, cream corn, pumpkin pie, apple pie, poke cake and pound cake.  I don't think anyone went away hungry.

I got to enjoy watching the grandchildren open and play with the toys I had picked out for them each.  Daughters, son in laws and son all got to open gifts too.

Lots of joy all around!

The stocking were hung.....OK, on a bookshelf.  We don't have a  chimney.

Table set in anticipation of our gang

Three of the guys, enjoying the evening.

Kate and her new dollhouse

Daughter Erin and her family

Noah digging through his stocking


Lucy and Kate making a joyful noise

No tree this year, unless you count this mylar monstrosity! 
We hardly EVER get all of us together for a picture!  Our family, sans spouses and grandchildren.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Bureaucratic nightmares

So three years ago, before we moved to Atlanta, I was up here visiting with our daughters and staying with Erin in Decatur.  I had been downtown to her office and was headed back to her home.  Erin had written down instructions to get to her house and I had my trusty GPS.  I was on Freedom PARKWAY but between being unfamiliar with the area, and trying to decipher the written instructions and the GPS instructions, I was very distracted and also realized I should have been in the right hand lane but couldn't change lanes due to the flow of traffic.  Also, everyone was throwing on brakes because there was a traffic "sting" going on and one of the officers motioned me to move over to the emergency lane.

Apparently, I was traveling in a 35MPH area and I was going 47.  (Who would have thought on a street called Freedom Parkway?)  My hubby had also forgotten to put our most current insurance card in my car which meant I did not have my current proof of insurance.  So, we paid the speeding fine and our insurance company provided the current proof of insurance.  Case closed.  Right?


THREE YEARS later, I got a notice from the DMV that my license would be suspended this coming Friday if I did not resolve the issue of the ticket for driving without insurance.

So we contacted the insurance company and got paperwork to prove we had coverage during that period of time and I had to show up at traffic court on Tuesday.  I arrive at 7 AM and found a two hour parking spot on the street right across from the courthouse.  Score!  I put in the parking space number in the machine and charged my debit card for two hours of parking ($4) and went to stand in line to see the clerk.  Heavy security and I read a sign about things like mace being confiscated and remember that I have both pepper spray and hollow point bullets in my pocketbook.  Back to the car to unload my dangerous weapons and back inside again.  Make it through security and up to a window and the clerk assigns me to courtroom 6D.  I head upstairs and wait 35 more minutes for that courtroom to open and head in.  Listen to instructions, get my piece of paper to decide if I am pleading innocent, guilty or NOLO.  I have no idea which one to choose.  Yes, I didn't have the proof on me at the time, but I DID have insurance.  Dilemma.

I finally get my turn to appear before the judge and he looks on his little computer screen and says I was assigned to courtroom 6C, not D and rudely sends me on my way.   I scurry off to C and find they are already in full swing.  I sit for 5 hours until after lunch, listening to everything from DUI and reckless driving convictions to absolute silence, to the judge talking to the bailiff about a laundry discussion he has been having with his wife.  Oh joy.  Finally after almost everyone else has cleared the courtroom, the DA asks why I'm there and I show him my papers.  He looks me up in the computer.  They have no record of my paying the speeding fine or providing proof of insurance.  We paid by money order and Tom did not keep the receipt.  He decides I have an honest face and he wipes the board clean and stands up for me in front of the judge.  The judge sends me back downstairs to the clerk to get a release letter so I can take it to the DMV.

In the mean time, around 9 AM I realized my car has been parked in the two hour zone long enough I'm going to be out of time and I ask the bailiff if I can leave and go put more money in the machine.  He says yes, so I run back down and across the street to find a ticket already on my windshield.  I grab it and when I went to renew the funds I realize that I input the wrong parking space number the first time (hey, it was dark people!) so that was probably why I got a ticket.  New two hours paid for and I run back upstairs.  When I'm back in the courtroom I started thinking about the fact that it was a two hour limit and I might be ticketed again for staying longer than two hours.  I wonder if they might even tow my car away.  That would be such a great ending to an already poopy day.

So I call my hubby and he ran into the courtroom and got my keys with the intent of moving my car to one of the all day parking garages downtown.  I have a keyless entry system so didn't need my keys back.  When he went downstairs he talked to a lady at the window who deals with parking tickets and she told him I couldn't be ticketed twice for the same violation and just to leave my car right where it was and for me to bring her my ticket when I departed and she would take care of it.

Best thing I had heard all day.  I brought her my receipts and she wrote off my ticket.  :)

So I head to the DMV.  There is a line wrapped around the inside of the building with about 40 people in it.  There are two waiting rooms full of people who have already been through the line and are waiting their turn to be seen.  This does not bode well.  I waited for TWO SOLID HOURS before finally being called up to a window.  When I handed her my paperwork, she told me they only gave me a release on the speeding ticket but NOT the one I really needed for the proof of insurance charge.


A full day down the drain.  I missed three postpartum momma visits and a dentist appointment.  Very late afternoon I still tried to get at least two of them knocked out.

I didn't get home until after 11 PM that night.

So yesterday, I called the clerk back and she printed out the RIGHT paperwork and Tom picked it up.

So today is round two with the DMV.

Wish me luck.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Holidays are here!

I both love and dread the holidays.  I love the prospect of seeing my family but the ever pending threat of mommas going into labor to interrupt those precious times looms large.  Seems we can never time things just right.

We did get to have some Thanksgiving time this year though.  Missed seeing Erin and her family because they traveled down to Thomasville and spent 6 days down there, but Kayla invited us to her house for a Thanksgiving Eve meal together and that was special.  It was her first time making a turkey and I think she did pretty good!

Olivia and Kate await the good food

Family gathered around the table


Nana and Olivia

Nana, Kayla and Olivia

Micah the youngest grandchild
Gluten free, dairy free pumpkin pie

My sweet potato casserole

Then on actual Thanksgiving Day we got to spend some time with friends from "back home" as they came up to see a few of their children and grandchildren.  Doug and Janine Taylor.  Doug is a physical therapist who was involved in a devastating car accident several months ago.  He almost lost his life but his wife never lost faith in a healing Father!  Doug still has a few miracles left to go but it is amazing he is here among us still!

Doug and Janine at the Marriott lobby, where we went to try and find an open Starbucks only to be disappointed  :(

The beautiful fountain outside, which looks a bit like a spaceship lit up at night.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Cabin Retreat

I got to spend about 24 hours this past weekend at a beautiful mountain home about 2 hours north of me.  I haven't driven in that direction for many years.  Who knew there was such beauty so close by?
Woods beside the house

A relaxing view of the mountains
Lucy, Wesley, Erin and Ian

Three generations

Wesley and Lucy
Don't you just love this smile?

Playing on the screened in porch--sweet Lucy

My bedroom had a folksy cabin theme--loved it!

Living area in patriotic colors-lake cabin theme.

It was a restful time.  No agenda, just rest and enjoying the company of family and beautiful scenery.  The drive up there was gorgeous with winding roads, fall foliage, quaint little towns with lots of antique stores and pumpkin patches.

And no one went into labor!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

They are so grand!

Because I love sharing about my grandchildren!
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Wednesday, September 12, 2012


It's been hard to find good solid friends since moving to the Atlanta area.  It's hard to replace friendships that have endured the test of time and personal growth already.

Maybe it's my age.  I think most women my age who have lived here any length of time have already established friendships and aren't really looking for "new" ones.

My professional doesn't help.  While I do form wonderful bonds with the young mothers under my care, that season of their life passes by and we don't really see each other anymore.  Plus they are just in a different season period.  They are busy raising their young families.  And the fact that I am in a private practice doesn't lend itself to office friendships.  And the fact that midwifery can be all consuming and doesn't leave much time for many other interests?

We also got spoiled by our awesome home church situation in south Georgia.  Hard to replace that with mega churches, home groups that are already "full" and smaller churches with lots of "programs" and routines, both of which make me want to run in the other direction.

Tried to participate in a Beth Moore women's Bible study last year and while the discussion in the group was really good, the women were not warm and fuzzy.  After the class time they would grab pocketbooks and run.  I could  never catch one to invite her to coffee or lunch afterwards.  No one seemed to care about me as a person.  Epic fail.  I have looked for another similar study but haven't found one.

Joined the YMCA hoping I might be able to participate in some exercise classes there and meet people but so far my own attendance has been pretty spotty due to work and family activities.

I have attended several mega church worship services and have loved the excellence in the worship and teaching but I'm well aware that the real life of a church is not in those things but in small groups where you really get to connect and know others well.  I have tried to find home groups meeting in our area only to find they are maxed out and not accepting new members.  No, really.  Foreign concept isn't it?

Our neighborhood has an association that has frequent covered dish dinners and I thought that might provide some opportunities to meet people but I would have to go alone because my husband has absolutely no interest in attending.  I might just do that anyway.

I have one friend up here that I've known for many many years but she doesn't live super close.  We have tried to get together on Saturdays for activities but between her job, my job and grandchildren, we haven't been able to make that happen as often as I would like.

I love my daughters and really enjoy spending time with them.  I enjoy our conversations and they are the kind of people I like hanging with.  Godly young women, interesting, funny, honest, intelligent, etc.  I DO consider them to be friends.  It's one of the reasons I make time to see them frequently.

But I think I may borrow a phrase from Anne of Green Gables.

I'm just looking for one good friend.  OK, maybe two? :)  A kindred spirit.  I'm really hoping that Anne was right when she said, "Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It's splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.” 

Lord, help me to know where to look and to recognize them when they come along.

Friday, September 7, 2012

The grands

I love my seven blessings! They have brought so much joy into my life.

Can you see why?  We do have fun together.  I try to plan special things for us to do to keep them busy and to make memories.

Hoping sometime soon to be able to take Lucy off by herself a little and do special things.  Then late October holds the promise of precious time with Ben down in Tampa.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Struck low

I think I'm a pretty healthy person.  I don't really get sick very often and if I do, it's pretty short-lived.  But something got me recently and sidelined me for quite a few days.

Woke up on a Wednesday with just a low grade temperature and some body aches.  Took some ibuprofen and kept on rolling.  Too much to do to pay much attention to it.  Went to bed rather early that night.  But around 12:30 the next morning I woke and found myself shivering uncontrollably under the covers.  I couldn't get warm and I couldn't stop shaking.  The kind where all your muscles contract painfully and repeatedly.  It was painful.  I got up and realized I was running fever and went into the kitchen to take something for the fever.  Woke my husband to tell him I wasn't well.  Still couldn't stop shaking.

He ran a tub of water for me to get in and still I was shaking all over.  My heart was racing and I realized there might be some type of infection somewhere that needed some attention.  Matt and Tom both wanted me to get help and they called an ambulance.  Tom patted me dry, all the while I am still shaking.  I went to lay down on my bed and asked for a trashcan and threw up once then that passed quickly.  The shaking stopped and the EMTs showed up.  Six of them.

My blood pressure was low and my pulse was high and my temperature wasn't taken because they couldn't find their thermometer.  But they loaded me up in the ambulance and started an IV and put me on O2 and took me to the ER.  Once I got there my temperature was 104.4.  Who knows how high it had gotten before I took something for it?  They drew blood and ruled out anything bacterial but didn't run any test for anything viral (like West Nile).  Sent me home with a high powered antibiotic and told me not to take it on an empty stomach.  However, THEY gave me one on an empty stomach and it made me feel queasy for a while.

So I kept running fever from then until middle of the day Sunday afternoon.  Stayed in bed an extra day but when I tried to take a shower on Monday morning and dry my hair, it took everything out of me and left me drenched in sweat for the effort.  Had a headache the entire time I ran fever.

Who knows what that was.  Probably will never know but for the first time in 17 years I had to turn my phone off and be unavailable for clients and births and I missed one.  Fortunately there were several other midwives who volunteered to cover for me but that was a first for me.

Still rebuilding my strength and energy and back on call again.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Time off?

I find myself in the unusual situation of having only one client in early October.  I normally have 3-4 clients a month now.  My November clients are due late in the month, which buys me some extra security of the possibility of not being "on call" for a possibly a week or more?  Depending on when my early October client delivers, I may have something most of you take for granted.

Time off call.

This is a rarity.  Hasn't happened for a year and a half.

No weekends away at the beach, no trips to south GA to see friends and family, and I haven't seen my grandson Benjamin down in Tampa for.......I can't even remember.  Too long.

So, no matter who calls and how desperate they sound, I will not be taking a single new client due in October this year.  And as soon as my October client delivers, I will be heading south.

Hoping to see friends in Thomasville, family in Valdosta and my sweet grandson Benjamin in Tampa.

Now, let's just be praying every baby will cooperate.  I need this time off.  Need some time where I'm not constantly getting phone calls for every imaginable complication or question.  Time when I can NOT think about mothers and babies.

Except my own mother and my own children and grandchildren.  

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


I decided not to continue to upload any birth stories or pictures any longer.  I might occasionally mention having been busy birthing but for now, there won't be any more.  Sorry.  It just seemed wiser in light of a very litigious world right now.

But you'll still get cute pictures of my grandchildren and life stories.

I babysat for Erin this week while she went to the dentist and got some really sweet pictures of Lucy and Ian.  You bet I'm going to share them here....

Yep, they are cute....there's no denying it!