I am the luckiest guy in the world to have a beautiful, happy and healthy family! This is going to be my most important journey ever!
Here is the birth story as written up by the doula:
Well, Amelia, everyone waited patiently (more or less) for your arrival; especially your mama. You kept everyone in suspense about when you would come until the very last minute!
On October 8th, Janelle agreed to try and entice you to come and went to St. Vincent to begin preparations. You didn’t seem to mind too much and by morning we thought it was likely you would probably make an appearance sometime that day…
October 9th, 6am, mom is feeling the changes that will ultimately bring you. Things are calm, and Matt and Janelle are excited, pensive, hopeful, nervous, wondering how your birthday will unfold. Nancy is our nurse in the early morning and she is helpful and kind. Janelle is leaking fluid by now and it’s clear and baby is doing well. Ctx are a little frequent, so nurse gives more fluids and things quiet down . Janelle is tolerating them fine.
Room is busy all morning. Nurse Robin comes in to begin care. Olivia, a student nurse joins the group and an intern, Dr. Brotherson, stops in as well.
7:15am Janelle up out of bed for a walk around the hall and then back to bed. It’s nice to refresh and stretch. She eats a few animal crackers and Matt goes out for a stretch and a break. The ctx are changing a little, sharper. Janelle is calm and collected and has a great attitude. She is smiling and expectantly waiting and observing what is happening inside and outside.
8:10 Stephanie comes in to check on Janelle and learns she is 1-2 ct. She releases Janelle’s water – still clear and good – and places the balloon to help dilation. She also places a device to measure ctx strength and starts Pitocin.
9:05am – Matt is softly talking with Janelle, rubbing her back and encouraging her. Janelle is still in good humor and shares that pressure is building. She would much rather be upright, but is confined to laying/reclining for a while after last exam and rupture of her waters to make sure baby’s cord stays in a safe place. At this point, she has lots of questions – great! Robin, our nurse, is very good at explaining and trying to answer all questions Janelle might have. (5)
9:40 Janelle is on the floor on hands and knees. Ctx are pretty regular and we resist turning up Pit any further for now.
9:50 Janelle is back to leaning on bed (6)
10:10 Janelle tries leaning on back of raised bed.
10:30 Starting to vomit, ctx are getting stronger and she expresses some worry for the first time. Janelle receives some Nubain to take the edge off and it seems to help for a while. She is able to rest a little more easily between ctx and Matt actually snoozes a bit in the chair. I rub Janelle’s legs for a while and this seems to help her to relax. (6)
1pm Balloon cath is removed and Janelle’s cervix is 4-5 cts. Labor is much harder now and Janelle is needing more support and encouragement from Matt and I. We take turns doing a press to help open her pelvis and this gives her a welcome relief. Even Olivia pitches in to try and help. Janelle is constantly on the move now, trying to find positions that give her relief. The ctx are very frequent at every 2-3 minutes and they require all of her attention and focus. (36)
3:15 Steph finds that Janelle’s cervix is 5-6 cts dilated. By now, Janelle is very, very tired and has coped incredibly well with artificially strengthened contractions that come very frequently. Baby is tolerating the augmented labor, but it’s starting to wear on Janelle. She requests an epidural. Dr. Semple comes up very quickly and places epidural. By 4pm, Janelle is resting comfortably, so everyone else takes a rest too! We get Janelle all tucked in, Matt retires to the recliner and I go to next room to sit awhile.
5:30pm Everyone is still resting, but awake. Samantha is our new nurse and she’s got lots of energy! It’s nice in a way to help infuse the atmosphere with new energy, especially with Janelle being confined to bed now and feeling a little static. (60)
6:00pm Samantha notes that the ctx don’t seem to be registering and she is being asked to increase the Pitocin. Suspicious that ctx are actually very strong and frequent, she palpates the old-fashioned way (yay!) and finds that Janelle is contracting just fine – and strongly! She won’t increase the Pit because of her findings and relays info to Stephanie. Steph comes in and finds that Janelle is now almost complete! Baby is doing fine and tolerating labor well. We help Janelle to change positions from back to side to back to side to help baby’s position. Janelle is still comfortable, but she can feel pressure increasing. Steph suspects that the baby may be posterior and that’s part of reason we keep trying to help Janelle shift position to help move baby to a better place.
7:25 Janelle tests pushing a little. By 7:40 she’s pushing with more confidence. She’s able to hold her own legs easily and push with lots of strength. Now we have Nurse Laura helping.
8:20 Dr. Tseng comes in to evaluate and see if he can turn baby. He asks for epidural to be turned down and Pitocin to go up. He feels that in ½ hour, when Janelle is able to feel more sensation that she will be able to push more effectively. So that’s what we do and then we help Janelle to get on hands and knees on bed. This position will help baby to turn. Janelle can take a break from pushing unless she can’t resist and wait for contractions to bring baby even lower and gather her strength for the pushing efforts that lie ahead.
9:35 Janelle is back to pushing in earnest. She can definitely feel more and it is helping her efforts to move baby. She pushes and pushes. She is so amazingly strong. She likes to get in as many pushes as she can every time she feels pressure to push and her pushes just get better, with her last pushes always being her best! Every ctx, she’s ready to go and asking to push and then pushing for as long as she can before resting. All the while, she is still holding her own legs and supporting herself. We help to guide her by counting, which she likes. It seems to help keep her on track and remember to stop for breath. This is really hard work and Janelle is feeling the strain. It’s exhausting and long and she wonders if she is really making progress. She’s hot, thirsty, hungry, tired and has to keep pulling energy from some mysterious place. She looks at Matt after another effort of pushing and says “You better love me!” to which Matt replies, “I do, hon. I do.”
Janelle continues to work hard. Baby is still tolerating labor and Pitocin. Janelle’s primary effort is to get baby to move under the pubic bone. Steph has to consider whether Janelle has the steam to do that and then still finish bringing baby the rest of the way. She explains that she wants Dr. Tseng to come assess Janelle and the baby and then make a call on how to proceed. Dr. Tseng does so and feels that Janelle is pushing with much more effectiveness and that she can birth the baby on her own if she continues. (!!!!!!) So that’s exactly what Janelle does. She pushes and pushes and pushes. Such effort in another scenario could have birthed multiple babies!! Who is this passenger that Janelle is working so hard to bring?!?! She finally gets the baby past the tough and works for another hour, pushing and pushing. We see more and more of the baby. It won’t be long now and we keep encouraging Janelle who is giving it everything she’s got.
11:55 Dr. Tseng is watching as Janelle has gotten the baby to crowning. Janelle is so, so, so close and Dr. Tseng sees that she is exhausted. He asks her to push and he helps her and baby with a small vacuum to help bring baby the last bit of way. Janelle births the baby’s head!! A pause and then Stephanie helps guide the shoulder. Baby is no longer posterior and has rotated into better position. A longer pause and Stephanie works on guiding the baby’s body while Janelle pushes some more. This is not a tiny baby!! One more push and baby is out. Wow! She’s here! It’s 12:01, October 10th, and she’s here on her own time! Welcome Amelia!
My sister sent me this picture, I’m not going to take any credit for it. She called this the best selfie ever. My brother-in-law is driving this train. He has maybe the coolest job ever, testing trains. He came around the bend, saw the mirror, and took the shot. I’m thinking about buying him an engineer cap for Christmas.
My friend MRS recently wrote a post about her voice. Not her singing voice, although I’m sure it’s lovely. Her voice as a writer. I thought it was a really good idea, and I’m the kinda guy who loves making lists to help organize the brain. So I thought I would try to make a list for myself and my readers to sort out just what is going on in my blog, my brain, and my life.
The Problem (aka Alien Blues)
I immediately ran into a problem. What is this blog about? (Ok, so I’ve said before and I’ll say it again, that I don’t like blogging about blogs.) What is my voice? I really have no idea. Most blogs are about something, and people seem to like to choose a topic. All of the advice on how to run a blog will tell you to choose a topic instead of writing random posts. Even in my own mind, if I wrote to gain readers and to get popular I would pick a niche topic and write about it. The narrower the topic the better, like Space alien musicians that play at blues bars in Seattle. That blog would gain readers.
What I want
That’s not what I want. I do this as an outlet – something that I can pour myself into. This is more of a journal. An interactive journal. I needed something to tie everything in my life together in a neat little package. When someone says “who are you?” I can answer, “go to Matthew Alan Bennett dot com and you’ll get a better picture.”
This is a place to post my thoughts, my art, my music, my magic, my writing. If I think of something funny or smart, my first reaction is often to write a post. I don’t do Facebook, I don’t do Twitter. I do WordPress.
I think my voice comes through – I think that people can get an idea of who I am based on what is here in this blog. And the more you dig (I’ve heard), the more you learn. I think everyone is like that though. If people keep writing down their thoughts for years and you look through them, no matter who is doing the writing you’ll see intelligent thoughts and stupid ones, you’ll see beautiful coherence and blatant contradiction. When people are honest with themselves, that’s what they will end up with. There’s no way around it.
A Catalog of Experiencing Life
I’ve always wondered how to categorize a life. Can you write down the essence of a human being? My answer is no. You just can’t do it. We are too complex, too emotional, too action oriented. I might not be able to categorize my life, but I can try. And I can try hard.
This website has done something different than I thought it would. It has inspired me to move forward. The simple fact that I am posting, and people are reading, gives me the inspiration to keep trying new things. And in the end, I guess that’s what this is all about. That is my voice. I am writing about my taste-testing of life. Experiencing what it has to offer. I write about trying new things and getting better at old things. So you will see some good paintings and some bad ones. And hear some good songs and some bad ones. Because it’s not about impressing people, it’s about doing something, anything, every day to experience life as I want to experience it.
THE SHORT: For those that don’t want to read the long description, here is the short one: The guy who took this picture had one child who was standing next to him at the time of the picture. He had just built the deck, and he took pictures from three angles – this is the only angle in which the figure appeared.
THE LONG: This house is across the street from me. My neighbor is the owner, and he also owns the auto repair garage which is nearly across the street from me. He also plows my driveway. And he helps in the summer with his gigantic excavating tools and 12 foot rototiller. An all around “get’er’done kinda guy. He has always been an awesome, but he’s also that gruff, no-nonsense guy – not the type of guy that would make up ghost stories. He used to live in the house pictured above, and when he moved out of it, he built the porch and was preparing everything so that he could begin renting it out.
I was out in my yard talking to him one sunny day, telling him about an idea I had for a short story. I called it “The girl in the window.” He asked me why I would call it that, and then he proceeded to tell me the story of the picture we are looking at. I had imagined coming home, pulling in the driveway and seeing a girl in my upstairs window, and the similarity was just too much for him to hold back his story.
At the time of this picture, there were, on his word, no kids in the house. There was no one in the house at all. He points out specifically that there were no grandkids yet. They took the picture to a psychic who talked about a ghost. The psychic reading on the picture holds no weight with me. But just because a psychic said it, doesn’t mean it’s not true.
This is the best ghost pic I have ever seen (whether it’s real or not) and the coolest thing is, this came not from an internet search, but from a neighbor. How many pictures are there just floating around in the world, held on to by a culture that doesn’t post things on the net? Thousands? It gives me hope, the great mystery of life.
I got these fortunes tonight with my Chinese dinner. Yes, I ate two cookies. It’s okay, though, because based on the contradicting nature of the fortunes, I think the calories will cancel themselves out.
I also watched THIS MOVIE* – which was kind of awesome, and it kind of seriously sucked! I watched it on Amazon Instant Video, and I guessed it was from the 80’s. I just looked it up for this blog post, it’s from 2010. Which makes the filming, acting, and quality far worse than I thought. I expected better from Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen). On second thought, no I didn’t.**
* If you didn’t click the “This Movie” link, but still want to know what movie it is, hold your cursor over the link, and the name should pop up. I could have just told you the name of the movie here, or there but that just seemed way too easy
** Okay, Okay. I’ll tell you the name of the movie. “Vanishing on 7th Street”
These are from my 2009 paranormal investigation (read: ghost hunt) at the Willard Library in Evansville, IN. The ghost is supposed to be haunted by the “Grey Lady” as they call her. So that’s who we were looking for. It was a fun night and I met a lot of cool people. Every single one of them was tenanted by tangible form*, however. I feel like I may have caught a picture of the ghost, but I hesitate, because I don’t really believe that. I’ll let you decide what to think about the following pictures. I have never shown these to anyone.
*in Poe’s Masque of the Red Death, he uses the phrase “Untenanted by any tangible form” to refer to the entity.
Then, summoning the wild courage of despair, a throng of the revellers at once threw themselves into the black apartment, and, seizing the mummer, whose tall figure stood erect and motionless within the shadow of the ebony clock, gasped in unutterable horror at finding the grave-cerements and corpse-like mask which they handled with so violent a rudeness, untenanted by any tangible form.