Happy Birthday, Jeremy!

Today, Monday, October 27, 2014, my son Jeremy turns twenty-one years old.

When I was pregnant with Jeremy, just as with my daughter, I had severe hyperemesis, and I was constantly in the hospital getting IV’s for my dehydration and shots for my nausea.  Even water made me puke.  I lost nearly twenty-five pounds during the course of this pregnancy.

I worked as a cake decorator part-time and went to college full-time when I got pregnant, but because of all my nausea, I had to quit the job and rearrange my school schedule.

By the time I was eight months pregnant, I was taking classes only two days a week both mornings and nights. My Tuesday and Thursday night class was Business Communications.  When we started that class, the instructor told us that she’d take a letter grade off if we missed one class.  Furthermore, she said she’d never given an A for that class in as long as she taught it, so we could already only count on a B.  At the time, I was on the Dean’s List and was quite proud of my 4.0 average, so I was already upset that I might lose points just because this teacher was a hard nose.

I had Algebra that Tuesday morning, and during class, I felt a few contractions.  However, I’d experienced so many false alarms when I was pregnant with my daughter four years previously, I didn’t want to go to the hospital and be sent home, not to mention waste my day sitting in a hospital.

By that evening’s class, my labor felt like it was quite intense.  But it was still almost a month until my due date, so I wasn’t sure how to proceed.  I told my friend who was in a different class that I might need her to drive me to the hospital.

As I sat in Business Communications, my mind was not on my work.  Finally the teacher stopped speaking and asked me if I was okay.  I told her I thought I was in labor, and she gasped.  “Well, why are you here?  You should be at the hospital!  Go!”

I said, “I don’t want to be marked down to a C for missing a class.”

She chuckled and told me that childbirth was an acceptable exception to her rule.

I got my friend out of her class, and we left for the hospital.  They admitted me and told me I was in full-blown labor.  My contractions were constant without any downtime in between.  They asked me if I wanted an epidural, and I told them not to bother because it didn’t work when I had my daughter.  They told me the epidurals were improved since then, and advised me to have one since my labor was so intense.

After they put me on the waiting list for the epidural man to come around, I got bumped to the top because I dilated so quickly.  But just like before, the epidural didn’t take, and I felt everything.  Also just like before, I had no desire to push, and there was no way they were going to make me push that huge thing out of me for all the money in the world! Also just like before, the doctor had to break my water again, only this time I knew what to expect.  I knew he’d be coming at me with an eleven foot long needle.  So, when he came at me with a sandpaper hand glove instead, I freaked yet again! More than half a day since I was dilated and ready, I finally gathered enough courage to push, and Jeremy was born at 11:41 Wednesday morning.  His umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck three times, and his lungs were underdeveloped, yet for being nearly a month early, he still weighed 6 pounds, 14 ounces and was 20¼ inches long!  He was rushed to the neonatal intensive care unit, and I didn’t even get to hold him.

As I predicted, the epidural didn’t take, and I felt the whole thing.  And just like with my daughter, afterward, I stood and walked to the other bed because my legs were not numb.  However, unlike the previous time, about an hour after I was settled back in my room, the telephone rang.  I tried to reach it from bed, but it was on the far side of the table.  So, when I stood to get the phone, I fell flat on the floor!  Yes, about a half hour after my son entered the world, my epidural finally kicked in!  I had fallen and I couldn’t get up!  I was completely paralyzed and dead from the waist down.  So I took the phone call then waited on the floor for another twenty minutes or so until a nurse found me and lifted me back into bed.  I was so embarrassed!  (But it was freakin’ hilarious, so feel free to laugh.  Hard.)  The nurse said she’d never heard of such a thing as the epidural being delayed like that.

The following day, I got released in time to make it to my evening Business Communications class.  My instructor walked in and started lecturing when she looked at me and furrowed her brow.  “Wait a minute!  You’re not pregnant!  What happened?  Why are you here?”

I told her I had the baby the day before and that I was afraid to miss her class because again, I didn’t want to lose a letter grade.

She laughed and again said that childbirth was an exception to that rule and told me to go home.

I never missed another class after that, and I was quite excited at the end of the term when she announced to the class that I was the first student to whom she had ever given an A.

And Jeremy was released from the hospital, though he would end up being a very sickly baby and be back in the hospital numerous more times due to his underdeveloped lungs.

I named Jeremy after the song “Jeremy” by Pearl Jam.

So, in conclusion, I’d like to wish my son Jeremy a happy twenty-first birthday!  Jeremy, I hope you’ll remember to be responsible and stay safe in whatever you do.  And while you might feel like a man who knows everything now, just know that in a few years, you’ll look back on this day and laugh at how little you really knew.  But that’s okay.  It’s all part of the growing process.  I love you, Smoodgie Bear, bigger than the moon.  I hope you have a wonderful day and a blessed year!  Happy Birthday, Sonny Bird!

xoxo

Love, Mama Bear

Author Interview – Reigh Simuzoshya

Recently, I posted a Call to Writers, asking my fellow author bloggers to allow me to interview them for guest-spots on my blog.  (If you are interested in participating, please contact me.)  I asked everyone thirty-five questions — some were basic, and others were multi-part inquiries — and I asked them to answer only what they wanted to or what was applicable. My friend, Reigh Simuzoshya, PhD, had some very thought-provoking responses which I’m sure will interest you, as well.   After you read her interview, please be sure to hop on over to her Facebook page and Twitter account and follow her for a regular dose of her insight.  And now, I turn the microphone over to Reigh…

*.*.*

ABOUT YOU::

1. Please tell us your name (or pen name) and a little bit about yourself:

My name is Reigh Simuzoshya. I have a Ph.D. in Public Health with a concentration in Epidemiology. I like researching the efficacy of biblical principles to life in general.

2. Please provide the link to your blog (and website, Facebook fan page, Twitter, etc.):

http://www.reighsimuzoshya.com
https://www.facebook.com/PerfectPrescription https://www.facebook.com/reigh.simuzoshya
https://twitter.com/reighsim

3. How many books have you written?

I have written two books so far.

4. Has any of your work been published yet?  If so, please share the link(s) to purchase it:

The first one: The Perfect Prescription: Godly Wisdom on Public Health was published in 2013. The second one, Biblical Principles in Modern Legislation was out this month, August 2014. The first one can be purchased from Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble. Both of them can be purchased from Tate Publishing Enterprises although the second book has just been released. It might not appear on the website as yet.  https://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/book.php?w=978-1-62854-831-0

5. If you have been published, did you self-publish or use traditional publishing?  Why?  If you have not been published yet, what are your plans for the future?

I have used traditional publishing methods because oftentimes traditional publishers offer quality control at every phase of the publishing process. They do high quality cover design, proof reading, marketing and promotion of the book themselves…etc.

6. How old were you when you started writing?  When did you know you wanted to be an author?

I enjoyed writing compositions and essays in high school, but that waned somewhat when I went to higher education. It was not until I was in my mid-fifties that the urge to write came back. I resisted it vehemently but I finally ended up succumbing to it. I was inspired to write again. I fought the urge to write about God and the Bible because I thought that in an increasingly secularized global community no one would be interested to read books about God! But when I started writing I could not stop!

7. What would you say motivates you to keep writing?

My transience, the realization that I am a pilgrim on this earth gives me the impetus to write down what I now know for both contemporary and future generations. It is a desire to leave a legacy behind after my earthly sojourn.

8. Who are some of your favorite authors?  What are you currently reading (or what is the last book you read)?

Philip Yancey, Ravi Zacharias, William Lane Craig, John Lennox, Simone Weil, Norm Geisler… Currently I am reading “Reasonable Faith by William Lane Craig and Why Jesus by Ravi Zacharias.

9. What is your preferred reading method?  (i.e., Kindle, Nook, paperback, hardback, etc.)  Why?

I prefer hardcopy books to electronic books. Hardcopies allow me to make notes while writing. They also allow me to hold the book, tangibly, in my hands…a sense of ownership, I guess. Maybe I am just old fashioned.

10. Do you write in first or third person, past or present tense, and why?

I write about ideas and concepts. This means writing mostly in the third person; both present and past tense. Some of my topics are historical while others are on-going. Hence, the application of both past and present tense.

11. Do you “always read” or do you take breaks between reading books? 

I have got to. I am a voracious reader. Reading is a vital component of the learning continuum, for me.

12. How many books would you say you read in a year?  How many at any one time?

I read a minimum of fourteen books a year. I usually read two books at a time.

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 ABOUT YOUR CURRENT BOOK::

13. What is the title of your current work in progress of the most recent manuscript you’ve completed?

The Perfect Prescription: Godly Wisdom on Public Health was published in 2013. The second one, Biblical Principles in Modern Legislation published in 2014.

14. What is your novel’s genre?  Would you say there is a sub-genre?  What makes yours different than other books in the same genre?

I think that primarily the genre of both my books is the Christian believer who desires to know more about God’s involvement in His creation; particularly His guidelines for our holistic well-being.

15. What inspired the current or most recent story you’ve completed?

My need to know about how God feels about me; whether I really mattered to Him.

16. What is your target audience’s age, gender, etc.?

I would place the age of my target audience at 18 and above.

17. Do you want to tell us a little bit about your story?

The first book, The Perfect Prescription, refutes the supposition that the Bible is an obsolete and archaic book saturated with myths and superstition, and insists that if studied carefully with an open mind, the Bible is a rich repository of time-tested counsel for all facets of life including health and longevity.

The second book, Biblical Principles and Modern Legislation, highlights biblical principles as the foundational pillars of justice and fairness in modern polities.

*.*.*

 ABOUT HOW YOU WRITE::

18. How often do you write?

I write almost every day. It is a full time calling. I would not want to call it a job because I have had very little monetary returns from it so far, but I am glad that I can share what has been revealed to me in Scripture with others.

19. Approximately how many words do you write at each sitting?

A minimum of 1,000 words

20. Do you do your own editing or send it to someone else?

My publishers do the primary editing.

21. What is your method of writing?  (i.e., Do you write the entire manuscript, then go back and make changes?  Do you plan chapters as you go along or write the story then go back and add chapters?  Do you re-read as you go along or after you are done with the first draft?)

I usually have a draft of a table of contents serving as a guideline for my chapters, subject to modification, of course. Then I write the entire manuscript. Finally, I go back and edit it and make changes before submitting it to the publishers who do their own editing, which I must approve.

22. Do you have a muse?  If so, please elaborate. If not, what inspires you?

My inspiration comes from studying the Bible and reading the work from Christian authors.

23. How long does it take you to write a full manuscript?

It takes me a minimum of two and a half years to draft a manuscript.

24. Do you give yourself a word limit for each day or a time limit to finish your novel?  If so, please elaborate.

No, I do not give myself a word limit. Sometimes I write extensively, other times I do not write much.

25. How do you come up with your character names and geographic location / business names?

My work does not require creating characters. Rather, I write about concepts.

26. How long (or how detailed) are the notes you take before you start writing?

My notes are not usually detailed since they serve as prompter. That is, they are reminders of the main idea.

27. Do you have any “must haves” to help you write?  (i.e., a full cup of coffee, a view of the ocean, etc.)

No. I do not have any “must haves.” At least, not yet.

28. Do you only write during a certain time of day or in a certain location?  If so, do you make yourself stop after a certain time?

Mostly, I write in the mornings when my mind is fresh after a night’s rest.

29. Does your real life ever neglected because of your writing?  If so, how do you feel about that?

My writing has really become my real life. My family has graciously surrendered me to it.

*.*.*

 ABOUT YOUR WORK::

30. If you have written more than one novel, which is your favorite and why?

I have written two books. I am not sure I have a favorite since they both tackle different but critical issues.

31. What is the oddest thing you have ever researched for one of your books?

Global waste management strategies.

32. What is the most difficult thing you have ever researched for one your books and why?

Methods used to execute capital punishment. It is about killing human beings, a disconcerting subject even when there might be legitimate reasons for doing so.

*.*.*

 Thank you, Reigh, for allowing me to interview you.  I hope everyone else has enjoyed learning about you and your work as much as I have.

~Rachel

The Cabin in the Woods

A few years ago, one of my good friends Ann* told me that her mother Pam* was moving in with her because the mom’s boyfriend died a few months previously and she was very depressed.  Pam moved from her home in Tennessee that she shared with her boyfriend, Chris*.  I met Pam a couple of times, and while she was very nice, she was rather quiet and reserved, and I really didn’t know anything about her.

One night after not seeing Ann or Pam for a while, I had a dream.  In the dream, a short man named Mark* with dark hair and blue eyes, was sitting in a dentist’s chair in the middle of a rural cabin.  The cabin was large with an open floor plan.  There was a split-level area of the cabin with an open loft with an ornate rail around it, and a big bed with a brass headboard in the middle.  And brightly colored flowers were everywhere.

In the dream, Mark was talking to me, even though I wasn’t actually in the dream.  He wasn’t talking to a “dream me” but rather the real me.  He repeatedly told me to tell Pam that he was fine, that he was in a good place, and that he would always love her but she needed to move on.  He kept repeating it as if he wanted to make sure I didn’t forget a single detail.

The next morning, I woke up with an eerie feeling, and I called Ann and told her about my dream.  Instead of commenting, though, she said, “I’ll call you right back,” and hung up before I could say anything more.  A few minutes later, she called back and said Pam was on the other phone, then asked me to repeat my dream.

As I retold the story, Pam started crying and asked if I could draw the cabin I saw in my dream.  We hung up, and I drew a basic sketch of the cabin, then scanned and emailed it to Ann.

That afternoon, Ann called and asked me to come to her house.  I went there, and Pam was weeping.  She had a photo album on her lap, and she handed me a photo of a man.  I looked at the photo and gasped.  It was Mark!  Next, she handed me a photo of a cabin.  It was the cabin from my dreams, only without all the flowers and no dentist’s chair!

And then she told me: her boyfriend Chris was actually named Mark Christopher.  He died as a result of a tooth infection (hence the dentist’s chair).  She used to be a florist when she lived in Tennessee (which explained all the flowers).  And the day before was Chris’ birthday, and she was particularly depressed without him.  She said my dream message made her feel better than she had since she lost him.

(*Not their actual names)

Let’s talk:  If someone who was practically a stranger had a dream about a lost loved one of yours and passed a message on to you, how would you feel about it?  Would you be creeped out or feel peaceful about it?  Do you ever dream about strangers and later see them somewhere when you’re awake?

Third Time’s a Charm

When I was a young teenager, there was this boy I loved named Leland.  Unfortunately, I don’t have any photos of him to share, but he looked a lot like a younger version of Rob Halford of Judas Priest, and he was actually the sweetest gut I ever dated.

Anyway, Leland and I never “officially” broke up.  (So, I guess technically, we’re still dating.  I hope his wife doesn’t mind.  LOL!)  But as we went our separate ways, I always held a special place in my heart for him.  When I heard he later got into drugs, I knew it was good thing we didn’t end up together, but I still had a soft spot for him and who he used to be.

Over the years, I didn’t particularly go out of my way to think about Leland, but I did notice something:  When I dreamed about him one night, I always dreamed about him the following night.  And when I dreamed about him two nights in a row, I always randomly ran into him sometime during the third day.  And the odd thing was I never ran into him any other time.

This had gone on for a number of years, and I was glad because I always knew that on day three, I should do my hair and makeup extra good because I just knew that would be the day.  (You know how it is when you run into an ex…  You always want to make them regret not choosing you for their one and only.)

Anyway, one day when my son was small, I had the dream both nights, so I knew on day three, I’d see Leland.  I had to take my grandma on several errands that day, and I’d already told her we’d run into him later.  (She’d seen my dreams in action enough to know it would truly happen, so she was looking forward to seeing him as well.)  We drove all over town doing this and that all day and part of the evening, but we never saw him.

By the time I got home and made dinner for my kids, I felt disappointed.  I wasn’t sure if I was more disappointed because I didn’t see Leland that day or because it was the first time my “dream coincidence” failed me.  (And by the way, I don’t believe in coincidences.)

Later that night, my son, Jeremy, had a bad asthma attack.  I got him out of bed and rushed him to the emergency room.  His doctor came and gave him a breathing treatment and some steroids, and after a couple of hours, he sent us back home.  But as we were leaving, guess who was just arriving in the E.R.?  Yes, you guessed it…  It was Leland!  He had a cut on his forehead and needed stitches.  (Technically, I think it was after midnight, so it might’ve been considered day four, but since I’d never been to bed myself, it was still really only day three to me.)  After that, I went back to seeing him during the day of day three every time I had two dreams about him.

Tell me:  Do you listen to your dreams?  Do you think dreams mean anything or are they just psychological dumping grounds?  Do you dream in color?

This One’s for Stefani

It’s no secret that my favorite band of all time is Bon Jovi.  From the time they first started out of the gate in 1984, I was hooked.  A few years later when I was a teenager, I had the awesome opportunity to meet them at a softball game they played against a local radio station.  I was asked by Alec, the bass player at the time, to go back to the hotel and party with the band.  Like an idiot, I was in love with the man that would eventually become my abusive ex-husband, and I didn’t want to risk losing him, so I didn’t go.   (I still kick myself over that stupid choice to this day.)

Bon Jovi’s Autographs

A couple of years after that, I was pregnant with my daughter Stefani.  The lovely boyfriend who was her father, wanted nothing to do with me or our child from about five minutes after I told him I was pregnant.  (Let’s note here that like a fool, I still married him a couple of years later. I still kick myself over that stupid choice to this day as well.)  He left me for a fifteen-year old girl and actually got her pregnant while I was pregnant with his daughter.  (This was not the first nor the last time that he felt it his duty to procreate the earth while he was with me while I stupidly stayed faithful to him for years upon years.  But I digress.)

Anyway, three and a half weeks before Stefani was born, Bon Jovi was coming to my town.  This time, they were the headliner, and their opening act was Skid Row.  I liked Skid Row, but I LOVED Bon Jovi.  A friend worked at the venue where they were to perform and offered me tickets, but I didn’t think that being pregnant, it would be such a good idea to go.

Also, while I was pregnant, as I mentioned in my earlier post, because I was so sick, I had to quit working until two weeks after Stefani was born.  And because her dad left me, I had no choice but to live with my Grandma again.  But Grandma was a very proud and old-fashioned woman, not to mention controlling.  As such, I wasn’t allowed to leave the house during the day so that neighbors wouldn’t see that I was pregnant and know that I was unmarried.  I wasn’t allowed to wear maternity clothes for the same reason.  And she had a ready made story made up about me being married and my husband working out of town or some other such nonsense in case anyone happened to see me and question her.  I’m sure she clearly envisioned the day someone would walk up to her and say, “So, Toby, I hear your granddaughter is a whore who gave birth to a bastard child.  What were you thinking when you raised her to be so horrible?”  (Yes, really.  That was the epitome of my childhood, hence my book What Would the Neighbors Think?)  (Of course, she never had any idea that her rigid rules are what likely caused me to “get out of hand” as well as cling to the first guy who came along and said he loved me despite how badly he treated me, as I was just looking for some freedom.  But again, I digress.)

So, a few days before Bon Jovi came to town, I had a dream that I got to meet Jon Bon Jovi again and that I was in a tour bus partying with him as well as a couple of members of Def Leppard who I used to like before Bon Jovi came out, (but unlike Bon Jovi, I was over Def Leppard).  It was a nice dream, but I didn’t think much more about it.

The day of the concert, two of my friends called me and asked me again if I wanted to go to the concert.  Of course I wanted to, but I just didn’t think it was a good idea, so I told them no.  Then they suggested that we go and hang out behind the venue.  We could still hear the show and perhaps we could see the bands arrive and go in the back.  That sounded like a lot more fun than all the puking I’d been doing for the previous eight months, so that’s what we did.  I wore my black spandex, a black t-shirt, and black boots, and my hair was sufficiently “big.”  (It was the eighties.)  Because I was so sickly during my pregnancy, I was “nothing but baby,” and from the back, one couldn’t even tell I was pregnant.  I was excited!

As we hung around the back door, there were about fifteen other girls and a couple of guys hoping to catch a glimpse of one of the bands.  An hour or so after we got there, a limousine pulled up and drove through the back door.  As it slowly drove past us, I was closest to the door.  The window went down, and Jon Bon Jovi pointed at me out the window and grinned.  (Which I’m sure was only because I was so pregnant , but I didn’t care why — I was thrilled!)

I was on Cloud Nine!  My head turned as I continued to watch the limo drive past.  But the next thing I knew, someone gently grabbed my baby belly and said, “Is this mine?”

I didn’t even think.  I turned and smacked the guy across the face.  Hard.  At that moment, all of the other girls there scowled at ran toward me, and one of the guards had to push them back!  It wasn’t until that moment that I realized that the person I slapped was none other than Sebastian Bach, the lead singer of Skid Row!  (Yes, really!)

Sebastian Bach

My two friends turned to me and simultaneously said, “You just slapped Sebastian Bach!”  Then one said, “He thought you were pregnant with his baby!”  (Yes, I knew he was only kidding, but it was still flattering just the same.) By then, all the members of Skid Row walked past us through the back door, and they stared me down as they passed (I’m sure because any other girl would’ve welcomed the opportunity to interact with Sebastian!)

I felt so stupid!  Once again, that was a kick-myself moment that I wish I could go back in time and do differently!

Def Leppard’s Rick Allen

The other girls kept glaring at me and whispering about me, which made me very uncomfortable.  So, my friends and I went to Skid Row’s bus and talked the bus driver into letting us on.  (I’m sure my being pregnant helped.)  There was a cool sticker in the front just past the driver, that said “Get Bach!” (as in Get Back!)  The driver talked with us for a couple of minutes then we had to get off the bus, but it was fun just being there.  And when we stepped off, we walked over to a different bus only to find none other than Rick Allen, the drummer for Def Leppard!  He was there as a guest.  We got his autograph and talked to him for quite a while, and he was super nice.   (And again, I think my being pregnant helped keep him talking for so long.)

So, though my dream prediction was a bit skewed, it was still a fun time, sans the slapping of Mr. Bach.  It was definitely freaky that Rick Allen was there after I randomly dreamed that I’d party with Def Leppard!  And to this day, since Stefani’s father is such a piece of work, she and I always joke that Sebastian Bach is her “real” father.

Time to talk:  What’s your favorite song by either Bon Jovi, Skid Row, or Def Leppard?  Would you go to a concert while pregnant?  Would you ever worry so much about what your neighbors thought that you’d make your daughter pretend she wasn’t pregnant?

Happy Birthday, Stefani!

Today, October 21, 2014, my daughter Stefani turns twenty-five years old. 

When I was pregnant with her, I had severe hyperemesis, and I was constantly in the hospital getting IV’s for my dehydration and shots for my nausea.  Even water made me puke.  I lost close to thirty pounds during the course of my pregnancy, so I was very happy when she came out weighing a healthy seven pounds.

I had three jobs at the time, one at a fro-yo store, one at a child care center, and one at Busch Gardens driving the monorail.  I eventually had to give up all three jobs because I was so sick all the time.

I also had Braxton-Hicks contractions from nearly the time she was conceived.  Literally.  Actually, all women have them through the course of their pregnancy, but I felt them.  As such, by the time I was about eight months along, I had several occasions of going to the hospital with false labor.

I lived with my grandma, and she didn’t drive.  My birth mom lived about 20 miles across town, and it took about forty-five minutes to pick me up, then another forty-five to get to the hospital.  So after a few times of my going in the hospital and not having a baby, she got aggravated and stopped coming when I called.  Stefani’s dad was already involved with someone else at that point and didn’t want to be bothered with us.

So, on October 21, 1989, I woke up with the worst stomachache ever (though it didn’t yet feel like contractions).  Just the night before, I was walking in the dark and fell off a steep curb that was wet, and I was petrified that something was wrong because of that.

I managed to drive myself to Stefani’s dad’s aunt’s house, and she drove me to the hospital.  The hospital we went to was so small that Stefani was the only baby there!  In fact, the nurses took her with them into the lounge and watched the World Series with her!

I had an epidural, but it turned out that I was one of those rare cases that despite the procedure, the epidural never took.  In fact, the hospital called the guy back out (from his spot at home where he was watching the World Series) to give me another one three different times, but none of them worked.

Ideally, after an epidural, you shouldn’t be able to feel your lower extremities, walk, or even move your legs, and you should only feel pressure.  That was never the case with me.  Immediately after giving birth, I stood and walked to my other bed and never once felt numb.

Not only did I feel everything, but I was apparently also a rare case who goes from being one centimeter dilated to ten centimeters dilated in less than an hour!  Some people think this must be easier because the labor is shorter, but that’s not the case with me.  Not only is it like one long contraction with no break in between, but I’m also the freakishly weird woman who never wants to push.  Ever.

Many women have to be told not to push, but that wasn’t the case with me.  You could’ve given me a million dollars, and the last thing I’d have done would’ve been to push that baby out!  So for having arrived at the hospital shortly after 11:00 that morning, being ready to deliver shortly after noon, my daughter was still not born until 6:35 that night because I just didn’t want to push.

Furthermore, my water never broke, so the doctor had to do it manually.  If you’ve never had this done, it’s done with an instrument that looks like a  plastic, yellow crochet needle with a sharp hook, and it’s about seventeen feet long.  (It’s actually only about twelve inches long, but when he whipped that thing out and came at me with it, it sure looked like it was seventeen feet long!)  So because my water never broke naturally, I got to experience the agony of a dry birth.  Lovely.

(To the other moms out there who are reading this, you have to know I’m laughing as I write.  Yes, it truly was the worst pain I’ve ever felt, but I’d definitely do it all over again.  However, you ladies know that once we give birth, we become part of an exclusive club where it’s not only our privilege but our duty to tell everyone else just how excruciating the experience was.)

Stefani was born with long, curly hair, and in fact, she had so much hair that after the World Series was over, the nurses played “beauty salon” with her and tied a bow in it.  As a matter of fact, during the six hours that her head was crowned, the labor and delivery nurse called everyone she could find throughout the entire hospital (janitors, parking lot attendants, security guards, etc.) to come see how long her hair was.  Seriously.  Of course that’s just what every teenage girl wants… to be spread eagle with a bunch of strangers passing through to look at her privates and comment about what’s sticking out!  I mean, anyone going through childbirth loses all sense of modesty by the time it’s over with, but come on!  I should’ve charged admission!  If nothing else, it did teach me a lesson about birth control.

I named Stefani after the song “Stephanie” by none other than The Partridge Family, though on the show, it was performed by both Bobby Sherman and David Cassidy.

So, in conclusion, today, October 21, 2014, my daughter, Stefani turns twenty-five years old.  Yes, that’s right, Stefani, you have been on this earth for TWENTY-FIVE YEARS.  That’s a QUARTER OF A CENTURY!  You’re TOO OLD to try out for The Real World.  You are TOO OLD to fit into the “18-24” demographic.  So, my darling daughter, do not call me old again, because it’s better than the alternative.  And besides, now you’re finally catching up to me.  Some cool things about being your age?  You’re finally old enough to be elected into the United States House of Representatives.  You can now rent a car.  And the best one?  You’re now twenty-five years wise.  Just think of all the things you thought you knew when you turned eighteen.

I love you, Pookie, with all my heart!  I hope you have an amazing day and a blessed year!  Happy Birthday, Gooberina!

xoxo

Love, Mama Short Stack 😉