On My Way, Home Sweet Home

I’m sitting in the airport hotel, dressed, packed, phones charged, coffee in hand excited to be going home.

It’s been a fantastic work trip that included some play time. Two adorable baby boys born 2 weeks apart in China, time spent getting to know 2 more families who I will love and cherish… So blessed to have been welcomed into their homes and be with them while experiencing the beauty of birth. It never gets old for me, no matter how many times I’m present at a birth.

I also traveled to Jinan, China (near Bejing) to teach staff at the hospital there about the importance of water birth and breastfeeding. Beautiful city, lovely people!

I also was part of a month long virtual race in June. Held by fellow blogger Tatjana, the Midsummer Sun Kilomathon was a great way to get in that much needed exercise. It was HOT here in China and Hong Kong, but I did it. In fact I completed 107 kilometers which is 66.5 miles!

I finished off the trip to Asia with a 5 day trip with my friend Lillian “Alice” Sanpere to Ubud, Bali. We stayed with Robin Lim who runs Bumi Sehat, a non-profit birth center where care for the locals is free. What a giving, loving, honorable woman. Doing so much to ensure that babies enter this world gently. Alice and I were invited to be part of a birth there and it was magical.

So, I’ll let the photos do the talking. I’ve got to call for the bell cart to get my stuff over to the airport.

Ciao!

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Dukan Diet – Days 9 & 10 – A baby and an update on Tiff

Eating strict Dukan, feeling groovy! Feeling very good about the diet and the exercise. I set a goal to do 25 miles by July 1st, I surpassed that this afternoon! It’s the 11th! Woot!!!

The support I’ve had for Tiffany from family and friends, local and afar, has been amazing. I feel so blessed. Tiffany is feeling overwhelmed by the generosity. A reply yesterday from her had me in tears… My love, Tiffany, you DO deserve the love and support of all these people. TIFF had her heel set and she’s now in a cast up to her knee, no weight bearing for 6 weeks. Hard with four kids, but she’ll be able to do it with continued support. She had pain relief initially we the cast, but now that her swelling is going down, she’s actually having pain again. The doc will put on a smaller cast Monday, to support it more.

And…. A baby. A lovely wee boy slipped into my hands yesterday afternoon. This is my 2nd of the two babies I came to China to assist earthside. I’ve said it a few thousand times and will continue saying, I am so blessed to be present and in service to families at their births. I came home, had dinner and did 5K, faster than I had in a long time (which is slow for most, but fast for me… At least I’m out there, lol). A birth high… Feels so good!

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During this run I also restarted C25K because Jenni and Sadie are doing it (my oldest daughter and my granddaughter). They started yesterday, too. So when I get home, we’ll be up to speed with each other and can run together. We’re doing the virtual kilomathon together this month and a 5K near home together in September. Three generations running together… How cool is that?!?!

BUSY WEEK!

Wow! So, Merry Christmas! It’s been a few weeks. I really miss blogging!!! I have so little time to do it, but I must get better at posting.

I have 3 jobs… yes THREE! So I have very little time to do much else but work and squeeze in some exercise!

I’ve fun two 5Ks this month and begun doing Galloway Half-marathon training. This week we ran 6.34 miles so 10K +!!! I actually did it. I’m definitely feeling it today, lol, but the joy of actually finishing surpasses all of that!!!

6.37 miles which is a little more than 10 kms!

6.37 miles which is a little more than 10 kms!

This morning at church, my friend Natalie took photos of the families… this is the one she took of my clan…

Front: Jose, Sofia, Shane & Sadie Back: Joey, Tiffany, Sydnie, Me & Nick

Front: Jose, Sofia, Shane & Sadie
Back: Joey, Tiffany, Sydnie, Me & Nick

After church my son and I decided to take a bike ride to breakfast….

On the way to breakfast!

On the way to breakfast!

And then a different route home…

Bike ride home from breakfast.

Bike ride home from breakfast.

And a few pics to round things out…

Color Vibe earlier this month!

Color Vibe earlier this month! Elizabeth, Linnea, Me and Michele!

 

My new bike!

My new bike!

Saw 50 Shades the Musical (which was HYSTERICAL!!!!) with my girlies!

Saw 50 Shades the Musical (which was HYSTERICAL!!!!) with my girlies!

And a night out with friends that turned out to be quite profitable for Sadie and her rubberband bracelet sales!!!

And a night out with friends that turned out to be quite profitable for Sadie and her rubberband bracelet sales!!!

We had Christmas dinner at GOLDEN CORRAL! Can I tell you how much fun it was not having to cook and clean?!?!? And it was WAY cheaper than Thanksgiving! We had a fantastic waitress named Natasha who took very good care of us and we got to eat all we wanted to!!

I also had 2 out of town business trips this month! One to San Antonio, TX and one to Tallahassee, FL (which even though it’s in my state, it’s a 7 hour drive!) And assisted on a couple births, one a water birth 🙂

 

So that’s my December wrap up! It’ll probably be next year before I get another blog post in! LOL

Ciao!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

50 to 50

Wow… today marks 50 days until I reach 50 years of age. I am SUPER excited about this milestone. I know, you’re rolling your eyes, but I really am!

I am in better physical, emotional and spiritual health than I’ve ever been. And I feel great!

And I get to travel to catch really cute babies!

And I get to travel to catch really cute babies!

So join me on my count down! Tonights special… my first run since I broke my foot! WOO HOO!!!

 

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 🙂

 

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!

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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!

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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!

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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

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2009 the moment Jose was born.

Ciao!