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 north 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 🙂 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 🙂

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!

Dukan – Sunday Celebration and weekly wrap-up!

Consolidation Phase Day 128 of 500!
Weekly Weight: 146-149
Goal Weight: 155
So Consolidation DOES work 🙂 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 🙂 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 🙂

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 🙂 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!

 

 

 

 

Dukan – Consolidation Day 108

Monday was Consolidation Day 108 🙂

Today’s Weight: 146
Goal Weight: 155
Still lovin’ that 🙂

Back to work in Hangzhou. Kind of a frustrating day. Went to the bank to make a deposit and they wouldn’t let me because I didn’t have my passport… to make a deposit… sigh. Then I went to the post office to ship off the last 4 boxes to the States and the guy went through all my stuff to make sure it was packed well enough to not break anything and DROPS the package with my Chinese china!!!! Breathe IN, Breathe OUT… I flew off the handle… I couldn’t help it… I am not perfect, I threw a tantrum. They quickly finished me up, I apologized a million times to my driver, Jerry, who is the most patient person in the world (besides Kitty)… he smoothed things over and got me the hell out of there before, well before I got into trouble!

My granddaughter Sadie represents the 3rd generation of epic tantrum throwers 🙂
My daughter Jenni, however, was the Queen of them!

Then back to work where I managed to upset the apple cart by providing a not so glowing audit about hand washing that had the doctors doing better than the nurses. I was on a roll!

Went home and had me some dinner and felt better 🙂 I also am tutoring a Chinese midwife in Medical English and passing the NCLEX-RN exam. So we worked on that last night.

Sunday I got in a 5K run in under 40 minutes after not running for 9 days due to my bout of food poisoning, but I pushed myself and did it… which makes me feel so good 🙂 I then went up to my flat and did 30 minutes of stretching, yoga and exercise bands. I have SO much energy when I’m done running… it’s amazing!

I also got a few pictures from Rose, my personal assistant in Guangzhou from my multiple stays there this past 5 months. Here’s a couple I want to share:

Water birth training in April 2012. Guangzhou.

Grand Opening of the Water Delivery Center in Guangzhou Elizabeth Women’s Hospital – April 2012

I’ve been saying that I haven’t felt like I accomplished much in the past year. Maybe I set my expectations too high for myself… I’m a perfectionist. But when I look at these pictures I do realize that I’ve accomplished quite a bit. The hospitals keep referring to me as their International Water Birth Expert… and I’ve come to realize, I really am! I mean who better to be called that than someone who has delivered hundreds of babies in the water (all over the world, including on 4 continents!) and has taught water birth all over the world? The 5 hospitals here in China that I’ve done the water birth trainings in have collectively performed over 100 water births in the past year! I am proud of their accomplishments and that the midwives and doctors at these 5 hospitals have accepted water birth as a “normal” way for women to deliver their babies. And delighted for the women and babies who have experienced this amazing way of birthing!

Breakfast: 2 slices of bacon and 2 tea eggs
Snack: FF Greek yogurt with Splenda and flaxseed meal
Lunch: 3 ham slices with 3 slices of Pepper Jack cheddar… Mmmm!!
Dinner: Stir-fry pork with onions and asparagus (cooked in coconut oil).
Snack: Beef jerky… eeek that out a couple little pieces at a time to make it stretch (thanks, Suzanne for bringing me the 3 bags!!) ** Kira… Titters LOVES jerky!

I hope everyone is having a great week! I have 23 days until I fly home… for good… or for now… LOL
What type of exercise or movement did you do on Monday??

Ciao!

 

Letting Go

More wise words from Marc and Angel.

The past can steal your present if you let it. – You can spend hours, days, weeks, months, or even years sitting alone in a dark room, over-analyzing a situation from the past, trying to put the pieces together, justifying what could’ve or should’ve happened.  Or you can just leave the pieces on the floor and walk out the front door into the sunlight to get some fresh air.

Wise words, but OH SO HARD to do. There are many, many things that I have easily let go of… toxic friends, toxic work relationships, toxic people in general, but the one thing I am still having a hard time letting go of is the resentment I have from leaving Abu Dhabi last year due to working with a sociopath. Beating myself up for quitting a perfectly good job at a wonderful hospital (and turning down a promotion!) to try something different, start a maternity unit that was going to offer water birth for the first time in the Middle East. I ended up working with someone who was truly sociopathic in her behavior. Scary at times, to be honest. Many of the upper level management, like myself, have left the job because of her.

So why can’t I get past it… almost a year later? I did some work with my friend Julia Murchison, the most amazing massage therapist in the world. She was doing myofascial massage and we were chatting away. While we were chatting away she began working on an area of my abdomen. I suddenly burst into tears. I was quite confused about all of the emotions that I was having at the moment, for no apparent reason (at least to me). She asked me what I was thinking about right at that moment and I was thinking about how much I missed working in Abu Dhabi… the place she was working on represents resentment and that is exactly how I was feeling at the time.

I don’t know how long I’ll hold on to this anger about leaving. I really loved it there. I loved the culture, the people, the life style and my friends. I learned SO much from the midwives that I worked with at the Corniche Hospital… I was the only American… my mates were from England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, India, the Philippines, Pakistan and more. It was rich with culture, religion and birthing differently than I was use to. I miss it and I miss my friends that became like family.

I am going home, to Florida, in September. I am excited about it. I can’t wait to be back with my family and friends, but I will always have this little side of me that says, “What if”, about Abu Dhabi… my home away from home. I guess Julia has a LOT of work to do on me! 😀

I’m off to put on my “big girl panties” and get on with my day. I don’t regret leaving the pieces on the floor and walking away from the job I switched to. I am working towards being appreciative of the time that I did have there and the 1 year opportunity I’ve had working and living in China.

What do you have a hard time letting go of? If you’ve been successful at letting go, what is your secret?

Off to finish my work day!

Ciao!

Blogging From the Labor Room

Sitting in a labor room here in Guangzhou, China. I’ve realized a few things…
1. I’m glad no one called me until 8 am, as I much prefer my sleep now.
2. As much as I love birth, I am totally ready to handover the torch. I’ve got my fill. I now want to educate about birth and handling the tough births, the business end and my new passion health and fitness!
3. I’m missing home and can’t wait to get there! Come on September!

A glimpse (with permission) into my Chinese world…

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A supportive husband and classical music from the phone… All a woman needs.

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Quietly encouraging poolside. Another thought, can’t wait for Dr. Viggiano to fix my arms. A contrast… Muscular from lifting and yoga, flabby from years of obesity.

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I love the different colors in this picture 🙂

Here’s hoping for a fast, easy water birth!