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!

Whata Week

Crazy week!
Started with a birthday party at a Greek restaurant in Palm Beach last Saturday. Food was yummy, the table dancing FUN!

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The birthday girl is the hot mama in the shorts πŸ™‚

I worked on Sunday, getting admin stuff done at the birth house. Then drove north to Stuart to spend the night.

Monday I picked up Tiffany early in the AM, dropped off Sydnie at school and drove back south for Tiffany to consult with an OB in Fort Lauderdale. My amazing youngest child had been carrying surrogate twins for 36+ weeks. Baby A, aka Jackson, had been flip flopping back and forth from head down to breech (butt down) for 6 weeks. The doc in Fort Lauderdale does vaginal breech deliveries. A BIG hug and shout out for Dr. Tsinker. One of the rare OBs in this country with the balls to deliver breeches and twins normally. Tiffany’s blood pressure has been elevated for a month now and Dr. Tsinker advised us to check in on Monday for monitoring of her B/P. She had some things to get done first and then around 3 pm, Tiff started having contractions on her own. And we headed in to the hospital. Long story short, Tiffany chose a c-section around 1030 pm. I am AMAZINGLY PROUD of her. What a difficult choice after having had 4 normal deliveries at home. Dr. Tsinker was so supportive, in fact asked her 3 times if she was sure she wanted the section. Wonderful doc. The boys were born at 1137 pm (Jackson) and 1139 pm (Colton). I got the ‘daddy bands’ so that I could have access to the nursery, since the parents were traveling from up north and I wanted to get everything on video and pics for them. ADORABLE babies. They are biologically Tiffany’s cousins, and Jackson looks just like her. Here she is with the boys…

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I can’t even begin to tell you how proud and amazed I am by my daughter.
I was up all night with her in recovery and I left the hospital around 1 pm Tuesday and got a short nap at the birth house, before returning to support her.
The next couple of days are a blur….
Wednesday I worked with Allie and Kat at the birth house and spent the evening with Tiffany. Gave her still swollen feet and legs an hour long massage.
Thursday… I FINALLY moved onto my own place! I’m driving my daughter’s 1986 Honda Accord and it rocks! And it has lots of room for boxes!!

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My son’s dad helped me move in, despite it being a holiday, and I’m happy to say that when you nurture relationships with your exes, they are still around 31 years later, willing to help you! Big HUGS and THANK YOU to Joe.. You’re awesome and I’m thankful for our friendship and our mutual love for our son.
Then off for turkey dinner at my friend Tammy’s house. We’ve just renewed our friendship and I’m very THANKFUL for that. I stuck to Dukan friendly foods and was full and happy when I climbed in my brand new bed last night!
Today I checked in on Tiffany and ended up taking 2 of my granddaughters with me for a few hours. Sydnie and Sofia are adorable. We went to the park, my new house, dipped our feet in the pool at my house and shopped at the Dollar Store. Here’s what Sofia picked out…

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And now I’m at my daughter Jenni’s house typing up my post. My son-in-law is harassing me… Wanting to know how long I’m staying! He’s real scary with that pink bandage on his arm (he just got back from giving blood)…

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So with that, I’ll finish this post off! Family Thanksgiving tomorrow at Tiffany’s! She bought a 25 pound turkey… She’s not cooking. We’re pampering her, she deserves it, she’s amazing, I’m one proud Momma πŸ˜€

Ciao!

Dukan – Sunday Celebration and weekly wrap-up!

Consolidation Phase Day 128 of 500!
Weekly Weight: 146-149
Goal Weight: 155
So Consolidation DOES work πŸ™‚ I can’t believe it’s been 128 days since I met my goal weight! This summer has flown by! I am very consistent with my weight, still weighing every morning and still VERY happy with the results!

This past week has been busy! I am moving back to the States on Thursday after living abroad for 4 years. I have been packed for over a month πŸ™‚ I know, a bit OCD, but what to say. I’ve got 2 large suitcases and a large box as checked luggage (things I didn’t want to risk never seeing again if my shipped boxes disappear into the stratosphere or something.) It’ll be worth paying extra for the peace of mind.

Exercise this past week included running 4-5K 3 times. Walking 4-5K the other 4 nights. I also did 30-45 minutes of yoga 4 times the past week. I hiked the mountain 1 time this past week and hope to do it Tuesday morning as one last hurrah πŸ™‚

I met Hanna and Diana and Jacob (next photo) on the street a couple of weeks ago. They are from Sweden and here to attend the University just down the block from my flat. Jacob had on a Miami Dolphins hat, so of course I stopped them πŸ™‚ They’ve been to dinner a few times and I wish I had met them sooner!

Jacob

 

The weather in Hangzhou has been PERFECT this past 4 days. Sunny and a cool breeze. I’ve had the flat windows opened and the whole place is fresh. The summer heat was oppressive! So it’s a nice break.

Let’s see… what did I eat this week. Lots of tea eggs, as per usual. Lunches consisted of leftover roasts (both pork and beef), salad, cheddar cheese and almonds. Dinners were steak stir fry, pork roast, beef roast, shrimp stir fry and my new favorite way to cook veggies; veggies (broccoli, asparagus, carrots and garlic stems) steamed in coconut milk… OH MY you have no idea how good THAT is… a must try! I also had a dinner out with friends at a local sushi restaurant and a hot pot dinner… guests for dinner almost nightly, trying to cook up all the food in the freezer AND say good bye to friends, new and not so new.

Pork roast… Mmm!

Out for sushi with Baby Milva!

hot pot, hangzhou

Out for dinner with Joe, Chiara and baby Nunu!

You throw in the meat and veggies and it cooks in the hot pot… the liquid on the left is spicy, spicy!!! Mmmmmm!

 

 

 

And I did my last water birth lecture in front of a hundred people or so in a nearby town. I hope my message got across to some folks and they have gentler births!

midwife, china water birth

Me and Liang… on our way to my last water birth lecture. She’s the lead midwife supporting water birth at Hangzhou AIMA.

So, that’s my wrap up! How did your week go? Is it cooling down where you live?

Ciao!

Life – Happy Birthday, Baby

My baby turns 27 today… 27! How is that possible? I’m only 48! She is, and always will be, called “The Baby”. And she is the most amazing adult a mom could ask for!

Tiffany was born on September 11, 1985 by planned cesarean section. Early in my pregnancy I was diagnosed with a Class IV pap smear which back then was considered cancer of the cervix in situ (meaning just there). It was recommended at the time that I terminate the pregnancy and receive treatment. I didn’t give that a second thought. I knew in my heart that she was sent to me for a reason. So on with the pregnancy we went.

I was hospitalized several times during the pregnancy, but loved every minute of it. Tiff was due on Friday the 13th and I wouldn’t have minded having her that day, as 13 is my favorite number… but Dr. Holder said he didn’t want me to risk giving birth normally and scheduled me for the 11th. In addition to having Tiffany delivered by c/section I also had a hysterectomy, as that was the only treatment option available at the time. It was a rough recovery period and I am ever so grateful to my mom and to my ex-mother-in-law Pat for their help while I recovered. Pat came to Florida from West Virginia for a couple of weeks and stayed with us… my mom lived next door!

Tiffany has grown into an amazing woman. She’s been married for 8 years and has blessed me with 4 gorgeous grandchildren!

halloween kids

Sydnie (8), Jose (2), Shane (6) and Sofia (4)… this was halloween a couple years ago.

All 4 of her babies were born at home and into my hands. I feel so fortunate that she trusted me with that.

She is now pregnant with surrogate twins. She is amazingly selfless. She works hard assisting teenagers with disabilities and raising her brood. I’m so lucky to be her mom!

Happy Birthday, Baby… I love you and can’t wait to see you in 9 days!

Tiffany and Jenni 1992 West Virginia

Tiff and me after Sofia’s birth.

Tiffany and Sydnie with Sofia who is 1 day old.

Me with Tiffany… 2009, pregnant with Jose

water birth, waterbirth

2009 the moment Jose was born.

Ciao!

 

 

 

 

Self Love Exercise – Part 4

Print out the best email you’ve ever received. Pin it up somewhere so you’ll see it all the time. Use it as a reminder that you are smart, you are magnificent, you are doing the right thing, & you are doing the best you can.

This is absolutely, hands down, the best email I’ve ever received. Dated January 19, 2009, from Max, one of my babies. He’s 13 now. I keep this email in the inbox so I can see it when I need some encouragement.

“Dear Sandi Thankyou for helping my mom give birth to me. Without you I might not be alive. My arm is doing well but Im not growing at all. That is ok because I am happy and healthy.
I am glad to be alive for a whole decade πŸ™‚

from Max”

Is he an awesome kid or what?

Max was a shoulder dystocia, totally unexpected, as they almost all are. It was the longest 3-4 minutes of my life. He ended up with a brachial plexus injury, which is also not uncommon with a shoulder dystocia. I adore his Momma. She’s a midwife now and amazing with women and children.

Who was your best email ever from?

Dukan Update

Been a busy 24 hours and wanted to get a post out before bed.
Weight: 149, bloated and well, more on that later in the post.

I have a wonderful midwifery student with me here in China, Aisha Al Hajjar. Aisha is from the States, but is married to a lovely Saudi man and has 8 kids! I met her in the UAE last year when she came to interview me about water birth at my previous hospital job.

At the end of the day yesterday (433 pm to be precise), my personal assistant came to let us know that there was a lady in labor wanting a normal birth, so upstairs we went to the birth room. First time momma and she had her baby at 533 pm… Nice, quick, fast and an easy delivery. Here’s the little guy a few minutes after I caught him…

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Today was packed with working on skills that Aisha needs to do for school and working on a PowerPoint presentation about International Standards of Care. I started my day out with a yummy breakfast…

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I am in Consolidation and I’m eating more Paleo like. Still low carb, but added fat. This is pork chunks, onion and garlic powder. Two eggs fried with low fat mozzarella. I cooked it in Macadamia oil… Mmmmm!

I’ve only run twice in the past week. It is very difficult to do in a city of 17 million! Too many people milling about, but I’ve made sure I walk 5K every night. I also haven’t had any yogurt with flaxseed meal (I use that instead of oat bran, zero net carbs, 4g fiber per tsp, same as oat bran but has a nice nutty taste). Anyway, I’ve been a bit bitchy grumpy the last few days, as I’ve been gassy (never gassy on Dukan!!!) and the plumbing isn’t working as per usual. You can’t buy yogurt here in China at the shops and I usually get it in Hong Kong, but I haven’t had the time to go down there.

So today I kind of barked at asked Rose, my amazing personal assistant here in Guangzhou to find me a western grocery store!!! So off I went on the subway to find The Corner’s Deli (yes apostrophe s) in the basement of the Citic building. The kind customer service desk girl pointed the way. Through that door, turn right, go downstairs to BM Street… LOL, BM Street?!? I was sure I heard her wrong… Well, actually…

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So off I go, down this quiet stairway and find myself dead end at a Chinese restaurant! I point, I show them the name and address and they take me through the restaurant to an underground shopping mall… It was bizarre! But, tucked around the winding walkway, all the way in the back was a western grocery with FAT FREE GREEK YOGURT!!! And COTTAGE CHEESE!!! AND SALAMI!!!! And MOVIE THEATRE POPCORN, EXTRA BUTTER!!!! Ok, I bought ONE package of that, for my celebration meal on Sunday πŸ™‚ I thought I’d died and gone to heaven… A REAL grocery store!

So I’ve just gotten back from dinner at my favorite Arabic restaurant and dished up a plate of that yogurt with a Splenda and flaxseed… My tummy will be happy again!

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And yes, I eat my yogurt with chopsticks… I’m in china πŸ˜€

Parting shot… This afternoon I shot a commercial for the hospital to promote water birth. They even recruited one of our nearly due patients! What fun. I decided I wanted to get a shot of one of the camera people…

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Exciting life I lead… Ciao!

Dukan – A Good Day – Dukan Consolidation Day 78

11 weeks and 1 day into Dukan Consolidation Phase and doing great!
Today was my once weekly PP day, since I was unable to do it on Thursday.

Today’s Weight: 147 lb/66.8 kgs
Goal Weight: 155 lb/70.5 kgs

Back to work in Hangzhou after a trip yesterday to Shanghai. Got an early start on fine tuning a PowerPoint presentation on water birth for tomorrow (Sunday). I walked to work, as usual.

Breakfast: 2 tea eggs, 3 slices of lean bacon, coffee
Morning Snack: 1 ounce of Pepper Jack cheese
Lunch: 2 tea eggs, 3 slices of lean bacon
Afternoon Snack: 1 tea egg, 1 ounce of Pepper Jack cheese
Dinner: Lomo Saltaldo… oh MY was it good!
After Dinner Snack: Fat Free greek yogurt with Splenda and flax seed meal… I’m eating that now as I write this blog πŸ™‚

Exercise Today:
Walk to work = 1 mile
Walk home for lunch = 1 mile
Walk back to work = 1 mile
Walk home from work = 1 mile
After dinner walk = 2 mile
Total = 6 miles

Water = 3+ liters of water today.

I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!

Ciao!

Parting shot… Baby Moon-Moon this afternoon… I love my babies!