I Get Paid to Do This!

Birth is in my blood. It permeates my life. It makes me whole. I feel immense joy in assisting others in the birth of their babies. I got to do that in the wee early hours today. In paradise. I witnessed a family of 4 become a family of 5. A gorgeous, quick, blessed water birth here in St. John, USVI.

Cassie & Ethan about 30 seconds after he was born into his mommy's hands in the water.

Cassie & Ethan about 30 seconds after he was born into his mommy’s hands in the water.

Birth is about intuition. About listening to the mother and listening within you to make the best choices. This birth was all about intuition. Going with the gut. Knowing all was well. And it was. A juicy 7 lb baby boy, a full pound bigger than his sisters!

Me & Ethan after I completed his newborn exam.

Me & Ethan after I completed his newborn exam.

I still have 6 days in paradise… I see some beach time in my immediate future!

Life.Is.Good

Ciao πŸ™‚

 

Mission: HOPE Caring for others with the gift God has given me

I have an amazing opportunity to share my knowledge with others in Kenya. The trip is scheduled for July 2014 and I am going with a group from my church and bringing along one of my senior midwife students, Maya, with me. Maya will have just graduated from her 3-year midwifery program when we go. We are super excited.

I truly believe that I am suppose to share the gift of midwifery knowledge that I have been blessed with. Traveling to Kenya and other countries enables me to do that. If you can help, that would be awesome! I’ve created a page where you can help us if you’d like to: Sandi & Maya Mission: HOPE. Prayers are welcome, too πŸ™‚

I’m still waiting on a baby down here in St. John. I am with a lovely family and really enjoying my time down here.

I hope everyone is having an amazing week!

Ciao!

 

 

Let’s Have A Catch Up!

Well thank you, Mona, for the kick in the butt to write a blog πŸ™‚

Where to start? The radio show I talked about in my last blog was so much fun! I had nausea all day that day, for nothing! The hosts made me feel like we were sitting in a comfy den, chatting over coffee. If you missed it you can click here: Sandi on Maternally Yours radio

The first weekend in September I traveled to our nation’s capital to visit my friend Rana, her husband Mohammed and their son Azooz. They were here visiting from Abu Dhabi. So wonderful seeing Rana. She is like a sister to me and I cherish our friendship!

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I can’t believe how big Azooz has gotten!

On Monday morning my dear friend Danielle came visiting!

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We had a wonderful breakfast with Rana and then she dropped us off…

We visited The Mall, the Lincoln Memorial at one end, and the new Martin Luther King, Jr Memorial. We even saw President Obama when his helicopter flew just above our heads at the MLK Memorial.

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Oh, and this happened first thing Monday morning! I didn’t let it prevent me from walking all over DC!

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I just did this…

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And continued on.

On Tuesday I spent about 5 hours walking around Arlington National Cemetery. What an amazing experience.

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The servicemen and women in this section were born in the 80’s and 90’s very sobering. I found myself whispering, “thank you”, over and over.

Then it was time to fly home. Wednesday morning I drove to work and then went to my chiropractor Ian Schtulman’s office for an X-ray. Diagnosis… Fractured 5th metatarsal. That’s a fancy word for broken foot. So I am now wearing this gorgeous fashion accessory…

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That night was girls night out… Nothing like hanging with the girlies! I met some new friends who are just as awesome as the old gang!

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Friday brought me to the International Institute for Health Care Professionals where I have the honor to teach student midwives. I have to say its the highlight of my week… Here are some of my girls at lunch with me…

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Saturday I was suppose to run the 9/11 Heroes Run, but broken foot wouldn’t allow me. So I got up early to support my friends who were running it and took pics!

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Saturday night was my friend Lorie’s 50th birthday party… It was a wear all white party, which I thought was an awesome concept… Then I found out why…

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Yes, that’s me, all did up!

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I was spared the color fun due to my broken foot πŸ˜€

Sunday morning spent with family at Life Church Jensen Beach… The part of the week I really look forward to! I stopped for a sunrise coffee…

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Sunday afternoon spent having a BBQ with my friends Ed and Elizabeth… Watched my Dolphins win their season opener and the Serena win the US Open… Phone call from midwife colleague Tammy to GO NOW to an address she texted me… She had three births going at the same time! What an honor to assist one of my former assistants and be present at beautiful beginnings…
This is me charting on the electronic medical record on my iPhone (technology rocks!!) and assisting the baby with breastfeeding at the same time πŸ™‚

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At midnight the birth workers, having been present at 5 births total this beautiful Sunday, gathered at the Irish pub for libations and to exchange birth stories… I love these beautiful women!

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Poured down the rain on the 70 mile commute on Monday morning. Cranky from the rain or lack of sleep? Nope… Thankful for the busyness of my life and for the rain to nourish my space here on Earth. I was rewarded with this, just as I pulled into work…

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Busy, busy week working all my jobs… Monday & Wednesday the Birth House, Tuesday & Thursday SLB Billing (my midwife billing service), also did a ton of paperwork to help a sister midwife get caught up. Thursday night, Life Groups (another highlight of my week), Friday teaching in Boca at the midwife college.

Wednesday, September 11 was my baby Tiffany’s 28th birthday. We also buried my Uncle Russell at the So. Florida Veteran’s Memorial Park. Uncle Russ was my mom’s little brother and Tiffany’s Godfather. He will be missed. He was quite the jokester!

And then off on another travel adventure to catch a baby in the Virgin Islands…

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I missed baggage check in by TWO MINUTES, so had to change flight to 8 hours later… Not a big deal. Had a yummy breakfast…

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And hung out in the Admirals Lounge for the day. Even got to watch my Dolphins win the 2nd game of the season! I “checked-in” on Four Square from the Admirals Lounge and American Airlines TWEETED about me on their Twitter account… How cool is that???

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Ill post an update from St. John in a couple of days… Need to make breakfast and get ready for the beach πŸ™‚ Here’s a couple teaser photos…

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Sunset

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View from the flat I’m staying in.

I hope everyone is having an amazing September!

Ciao!

Dukan – Consolidation Day 400 or so

Wow, what a few very busy weeks! I am working 4 part time jobs, so time for breathing, much less blogging, is in short supply!

I’m working at the birth house 2 days a week, teaching midwives to be at the college 1 day a week, running my billing business with my daughter 1.5 days a week and teaching seminars and workshops on the weekends!

4th of July was fun! Fireworks riverside in my home town and a move from my small apartment to a big house to accommodate my daughter Tiffany and her husband and kids.

One of my rooms is being set up with a studio and I plan on offering childbirth education, nutrition and exercise education, yoga, massage and other complimentary therapies from there. I also have a good sized pool and plan on offering aqua natal classes, as well.

12th of July was my middle child Jenni’s 30th birthday. I’m still in my 40’s (49) and have two kids in their 30’s I love it!! We had a wonderful Outback Steakhouse dinner together.

I’m back to running and I’m happy about that. My daughter has a boxer mix named Kapone and he’s my running mate πŸ˜€ I’m doing interval running and building back up my distance. The area I live in is the only hilly area in south Florida! And they are little hills, but hills none the less. I’ve also been doing a lot of bicycle riding. So the really good news is I’m back under my True Weight πŸ˜€ WOO HOO!!! Even though I was eating well, staying gluten free and eating minimal replacement foods, I was struggling with getting my Australia weight off. The problem was I wasn’t getting enough fiber, water OR exercise!! I put all 3 back in and it’s come off. I’m very happy!

I’ve been honored to serve a few women the past month or so at their births and the wonder of it stills overwhelms me. I love that after nearly 20 years in this business I still tear up, get goosebumps and am elated when a baby comes earth side. How fortunate am I to be blessed with such a great task in life?

And finally, a prayer answered, so quickly and clearly I almost missed that it was answered. On Friday night I prayed for clarity on a friendship. I got the answer 8 short hours later when said friend violated one of the moral and ethical codes friends just don’t violate. And even though they wanted to maintain our friendship I couldn’t because of who I am. I’m mourning the loss of that friendship, but I’m grateful that my prayer was answered and I now know that I’ve freed myself up for better things to come and I’m so excited about that! Lesson learned: God does answer prayer, we just need to have our eyes and ears open to hear the answer πŸ™‚

Here’s some pics from the past few weeks:

View during morning walks:

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Bargain on gas using our Winn Dixie grocery store fuel perks card!!

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Best coffee ever, the old fashioned way!

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My new bedroom…

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Kapone and I, out for a ride…

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Sofia using one of our moving boxes for a sofa πŸ™‚

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Love my job!!!

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And Sofia before church this morning… When everyone else was still sleeping, she snuck in the kitchen while I was quietly sipping my first cup of coffee and asked if I would do her hair…

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It’s a Quickie

Just a quickie update… I’m doing well, maintaining my weight. Nick is on the mend after his frightening illness. I’m hoping to be back to regular blogging after next week.
Things that have made blogging difficult:
Having a 9 year live with me Monday-Friday… School ends next Friday so she’s back to her mommy full time then!
Commuting 70 miles ONE WAY to work 3 times a week. I leave home at 655 am and get home after 6 pm.
I know they are excuses, but I’m committing to be back on track June 3. I want to run again… The 9 year old refuses, lol.
Things I have been doing… Eating clean. Walking 3-4 times a week about 5 miles with a friend on the mornings I don’t commute. Lots of family time.
Here’s to a great week!
Ciao!
My mom (GiGi) and granddaughter Sofia. May 17. Mom turned 82 and Sofia turned 5.

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Me and my 3 at the birthday party. Nick did the cooking at his restaurant and I have to say the Sea Bass was AMAZING!

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What a Week and a Half

It’s been 10 days of up and downs, but things are improving!

Last Sunday a bike ride after church and then a drive 70 miles northΒ to Melborne to visit Nick in the hospital. Very sick, my boy 😦  He had surgery for this unknown infection in his left leg at 0700. Ask for prayers for healing… so many responses… THANK YOU!

Monday drive 70 miles south to job at the birth center. Call on my drive home, Nick being rushed back into surgery after spiking at 104.6 temp.

Tuesday drive 70 miles north to see Nick. Things not looking good. Surgeon says he may have to amputate to save Nick’s life. Lots and lots of prayer and healing energy, lots of emails and messages on facebook… my friends are AWESOME! Still no work on what this infection is.

Wednesday. Drive 70 miles south to birth center drive. In the late afternoon we’re told that it’s Group G strep… I’ve never heard of it. Conversation with my friend Julie so positive and full of light. Great suggestions! She also sends texts which I forward to Nick. I go to my Wednesday night bible study and everyone asks how Nick is… prayers said, uplifted by everyone’s spirit and positivity. Go to wifi cafe to read up on this G strep and it doesn’t look good. The first study I read 1 in 5 die. 2 of the 4 that survive have amputation. I decide to meditate on his leg and body being WHOLE. I went home, tucked Sydnie into bed and went for a 45 minute run… forgot to set the RunKeeper, but think it was about 3 miles total.

Thursday… NO IDEA WHAT I DID… LOL Oh wait! Tiffany and I ran the billing business all day… sheesh, I have NO BRAIN! Nick got his PICC line. That is an indwelling catheter in his subclavian artery so they don’t have to keep poking him for blood draws and resticking for IVs every 72 hours. Nick will be receiving long term antibiotics through this port for approximately a month.

Friday… Drive 80 miles to my college teaching job. Had a GREAT class. I really, really love teaching midwifery. LOVE IT. Then 10 miles north to the birth center to hook up with my girls and a 180 mile drive across the state to the west coast to see the mother of US midwifery Ina Mae Gaskin’s film premier and a meet and greet with her. Thank you boss lady, Miriam, for the trip… you’re the best… I still think the highlight of the trip was the stop at the TACO TRUCK in the middle of nowhere (South Bay) on the way over. FYI: I only ate the pork with the onions and cilantro… yum!!! Then 180 miles back to the birth center, where I spent the night, exhausted!

Saturday… Drive 70 miles north to home. Catch up on housework, saw the grandkids, did a nice bike ride. Nick improving. Doc cautiously optomistic. No temp over 100 for 3 days!!! Woo hoo!!!

Sunday… rode my bike to church 4.25 miles. Then rode it home, but took the long way…

Gorgeous day for a long bike ride!

Gorgeous day for a long bike ride!

My butt hurts, LOL. But it was a GORGEOUS ride! Lots of time to think and not think and just enjoy the wind in my hair. Nick update… surgeon says Nick is doing so well, he MIGHT go home this week! Last Tuesday he told him he’d be in hospital for at least 3 weeks! He will keep his PICC line in and continue on the long term antibiotics, but be at home. This is awesome news!

Monday… 70 mile drive to birth center job. It’s EARTH DAY and we’re celebrating. So much fun! Nick is still doing well and is waiting on news whether he gets to go home this week.

On the Dukan front… I’m eating very well, but my weight isn’t budging. I was starting to get VERY discouraged, but had a pep talk with myself. I know the Dukan Diet works… I mean everyone that follows this blog knows that. I also know that stress causes cortisol levels to rise, which makes it difficult to lose weight… I’m thinking my cortisol levels are through the roof this past week and a half πŸ™‚ My weight is 164. I’ll take that, for now. I’m focusing on my boy and that’s what is important. I’ll just keep eating right and it’ll happen.

So that’s the update. Waiting on word on whether he is going home today. My mom and sis are on the way there now. I’ve been skyping him on days I can’t be there. And I am so grateful for the technology that we have!

Skyping with Nick

Skyping with Nick

My bike... a gift for which I'm grateful :)

My bike… a gift for which I’m grateful πŸ™‚

Ina Mae Gaskin at her movie premier.

Ina Mae Gaskin at her movie premier.

So that’s my week… what have you been up to? How is your exercise and food choices going?

Ciao!

Australia Wrap Up & a Dukan Update

So, we’ll start out with my wild adventure down under πŸ™‚

I stayed 3 full days after the baby was born. On Saturday I went snorkeling with a group from MeetUp.com. And had an awesome time. Great way to wrap up 4 weeks in Adelaide.

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I then rented a car and started out on the Great Ocean Road from Adelaide to Melbourne. It was a long, but lovely 700 mile drive.

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Fun things to see…

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Then I got to Melbourne and stayed a few nights with Kay. A Scottish midwife I met in Abu Dhabi. We went for a long walk and lunch down by the water…

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The second night we met Melissa a Kiwi midwife I met in Abu Dhabi and Jax, a friend of a friend for a Thai fusion dinner…

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Then it was off to Malua Bay to see Gen, Dean and Gracie. I met this lovely family in Abu Dhabi, as well…

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We hiked, went to the zoo, BBQd breakfast at the sea, hiked some more, burned a bonfire, FUN!

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Then off to Sydney to meet up with Gail. Gail was my trainer in Abu Dhabi and my neighbor. And she is one of the funniest people I know. She invited me up for “tea” one night and so I ate dinner and went up to her flat only to find that “tea” is dinner. She’s called me Dickie since then… I’m sure it’s derogatory, but she says it with sarcasm and love at the same time πŸ˜€

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We drove from Sydney to The Sunshine Coast, north of Brisbane, in 16 hours… Long ass day, but wonderful company! She lives about 30 minutes from Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo!! We went with Gail’s daughter Olivia and her wee little man, Angus. What a fun day!

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And after cuddles and see ya laters, it was time for my 6 week Australia Adventure to come to a close. I flew out of Brisbane with ZZ Top, no kidding. On my second favorite plane…

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And, no, I didn’t get pics of ZZ Top, I try to think how I’d feel if people were interrupting me for pics.

And now I’m home a week. It’s Easter. I had a lovely day with my mom and Tiff, Joey and ALL the grandkids at church and then a wonderful dinner at Jenni and Chris’ house.

Now my update. I’ve gained 18 pounds since I’ve come back to the States in September. 9 of them in Australia. The first 9 creeped up. I’m freaked out. My clothes still fit, but are snug. I noticed my undies were snug last week and couldn’t imagine what was up. Then I got on the scale. I have stayed gluten free. In Australia I logged more miles on my RunKeeper app than any other 6 weeks in the past year. I hiked almost every single day! i swam and snorkeled. I climbed a freaking mountain!!!

I’ve done a few things that I need to rein in… 1. Too much full fat cheese. 2. Replacement foods (in Australia I splurged on GF pretzels, muffins, crackers… One night I ate GF crackers with organic honey!!!) 3. Wine. I’ve had a couple glasses a week, which is a lot for me. Moscato… Damn you, Cathy Cook! LOL

So, starting tomorrow, I’m doing 4 days of attack and then alternating PP (Pure Protein) and PV (Protein Veggie) days until it’s off. And I’m going to blog EVERY.SINGLE.DAY… To hold myself accountable and to get the support I need from all of you.

So, I’m back… Daily posts. Looking forward to getting back on track!

Ciao!