Sunday, October 30, 2011

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Should's and Shouldn'ts of Labor and Delivery

I have put off blogging this.. basically because i dont know what to say or how to best explain the situations i've seen over the past few weeks.. but i'll do my best.
(note: the only reason i'm referring to these babies as 'its' is to keep confidientiality. babies are not 'its' to me :) )

A few weeks ago, i experienced the first 'fetal demise' in my internship. a 'fetal demise' is where a baby dies, either in utero, is born dead, or dies shortly after birth. as social workers, we are responsible for counseling the family, offering the family a memorium of their lost baby, dressing the baby to take its picture (if requested), calling the mortuary, making arrangements, etc so the pain of the loss isn't so hard on the family. WELL.. luckily, most of that had already been taken care of, and i came into the situation on the tail end of this experience. we had met in care coordination for our daily meeting, and were informed that a baby had been born with a certain genetic disorder last night and had died a few short hours after birth. we had been informed of this days ahead and were expecting this mother and baby to come sometime soon. After most of the arrangements were made, my supervisor and i went to go visit this family. the family was still with the baby when we had knocked on their door, 16 hours after the baby had died. apparaently the mortuary had just arrived and the family was saying their final goodbyes, so my supervisor and i stepped out, out of respect, and waited.

     After the goodbyes were said, we walked the man from the mortuary with the deceased baby out into the staff hallways so he could successfully reach the hearse without being stopped along the way. it was so strange to me...waiting in the elevator with this man, holding this bundled up tiny little child in a blue blanket, my supervisor pulled back the front corner of the blanket and we looked at this darling baby's face. the baby had a white headband on with a flower almost bigger than its own head! but it was darling. since the baby had been gone for 16 hours, i was expecting the face and coloring to look worse... but it looked really good, considering how much time had passed. the baby was full term...and my thought was... this baby should be alive. the baby looked like it should be breathing..but it wasnt. the baby should be moving and cooing and yawning and fidgeting...but it wasnt. i was so used to seeing babies in their newborn cradles in the hospital moving around and looking every which way and sucking on their binky and screaming their heads off....all i could think was, 'this baby should be moving'. but it wasnt. it was still...and it didn't feel like a baby. it felt like a body. waiting in this elevator with this sweet baby...made me feel like it wasnt a baby at all. it was sort of just an object...(and i do not say that out of heartlessness or coldness).....but it was strange to me to feel that and conciously say that in my head...and i didn't realize until afterwards that of course it didn't feel like a baby. it was a baby...but that sweet spirit left the night before, shortly after it made its debut here on earth. that spirit was not present when i looked into that little babys face. it had left, and spiritually, i could feel it. i did not appreciate the tiny signs of life present in a newborn baby until i saw this particular baby. i now take note of every head turn, every blink, every breath that these tiny humans take, whenever i get the chance.

Another baby was born about a week after that one, that particularly pulled at my heart. this baby was only at 24 weeks gestation. anyone who is a mom or knows their baby stuff, knows that babies cannot survive outside of the womb that young. it is nearly impossible to keep a baby alive and healthy when it is not done growing. This baby decided to come suddenly, and the birth could not be stopped. the baby was breech and quickly pulled out, feet first. immediately rushed to the NICU, our team started working on the baby. Later that of my supervisors pulled me aside to go see 'the 24 weeker'. i was shocked. i have never seen something that tiny, living and breathing. its skin was loose and wrinkled, it was bruised and red and spotted from the rough delivery and uncomplete gestation period. its hands and feet seemed much too big for its body, and the diaper placed on this baby was about the size of my abnormally small hand, and even it was too big. the ventilator the baby was on was shaking its entire body, which normally wouldnt affect a full term baby. this baby was on life support, occasionally moving on its own and breathing big puffs of air into its tiny little chest. it was so tiny, and new, and not right. this baby shouldn't be alive. it was too tiny to survive in this big world! i was in awe just watching it move. my supervisor told me the baby had severe complications and would most likely not live, but it had a few more days left of fight in it before we were able to assess the situation further and figure out how much brain damage was done (it was extensive, this child would most likely have little to no brain function at all). The family of the baby was very positive and we felt like they would eventually decide to take the baby off the ventilator and let nature take its course. I have not been back to the hospital since my last shift, and can only hope this baby is where it is supposed to be right at this very  moment.

I have learned that things often dont always go like we plan... especially when God's hand plays a part and His agenda and will is much, much bigger than our own.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

daddy long legs, who did name you?

shout out to my sister kristin for introducing me to this hilarious foreign wizard who is new to the americas. bless his heart. i dont know if i'm rofling cuz its late or cuz this is legitely hilarious. you pick.

if you are now currently in a ridiculous giggly mood...i also recommend by this djflula dude: 'rock paper scissors, your logik is not right' and 'the proof is in the pudding'

thank you and goodnight

quote of the day

"Apologizing does not always mean that you're wrong and the other person is right. It just means that you value your relationship more than your ego."

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


i was tagged over @ this cute blog to do this little bloggy thing.... and i have homework so its totally a perfect time to do here we goooo! 7 random things about MOI...

1. I prefer to eat icecream with a fork. its much less...cold or something, i dont know. Try it first, then judge me.

2. I know every single word in the song 'Gangsters Paradise' and have since the age of 5. when dangerous minds came out and my sister was so obsessed, she taped coolio's song off the radio. HA. (those of you who know me, already know this fact about me.)

3. Corndogs make my teeth sqeaky and otter pops make me choke.

4. Sometimes..when i'm home alone at my parents house...i get in my parents bed and i watch episodes of Arthur on PBS. It seriously brings back such wonderful elementary memories i can't help it. A-A-R-D....V-A-R-K

5. I've found that the majority of the times i sing along to a song, its in a fake/real hysterical crying voice. (such as adele...IIII WONNNNNT...LET YOUUU..CLOSE ENOUGH TO HURT MEEE...) people think its funny, but i'm being mostly serious.

6. I prefer to date skinny boys. Muscles are gross to me for some reason....mind you, i want a man who is able to lift me, but meat-heads who spend more time flexing than flossing, are not my thing. put those creatine shakes down, boys!

7. I applied for graduation last week and am terrified of whats to come. Ive been deciding what to do with  my life once i'm done with college, and its come down to:
   -get a lame job in utah and live by myself..possibly recruit my dog lady to come live with me.
   -volunteer in a country my parents would probably never let me go to
   -....go on a scenic trip to ireland, get lost in a state park, meet an irish man on the road, follow him to a pub and marry him

(i'm thinking the 3rd option is the best at this point. Please...tell me your thoughts. i beg of you. im desperate to find a life.)

wasting time on the interwebz like me? fill out this chain-blog-post yourself, snitches!

tagging:christy, summer,olivia, brittany, and ALL my seesters.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

bitter better.

i....often become bitter...because:

1. i am just plain lonely and dont have a boyfriend to snuggle up to
2. i constantly stalk fb and see that the few girls i wasnt terribly fond of in highschool seem to be getting the dream life i always planned out for myself
3. ...weirdos from my higschool are already BREEDING and i'm still single.

and then my big sister jackie, (who is a superfox and didn't find her dreamboat till slightly later on in life but completely at the normal time compared to outside-of-utah-standards) shows me this article and it makes my selfish suffering a little bit better. thanksssss jack. (if you are a girl who is in my boat, slightly in my boat, or are denying that you are in my boat, please take 5 minutes to read this.)

 Sometimes, It's Not You


ON my first date with Mark, he asked how long it had been since my last relationship.

I looked at the table, cupping my hand around my beer. I had always hated this question. It seemed so brazenly evaluative — an employment counselor inquiring about a gap in your résumé, a dental hygienist asking how often you flossed.

I knew he wasn't appraising me. We had worked together for two months, and in this crowded bar we spoke with the easiness and candor of good friends — he told me about the pain of his divorce, the financial strain, the loneliness. He had been hanging around my office, sending flirty e-mails and — most adorable to me and mortifying to him — blushing whenever I spoke to him. He was kind of in the bag.

But still I didn't answer. I didn't want him to know the truth: that I was 39 and hadn't had a serious boyfriend in eight years. I had seen men balk at this information before — even when the numbers were lower. They would look at me in a cool and curious way, as if I were a restaurant with too few customers, a house that had been listed for too long. One man actually said it: "What's wrong with you?"

"I don't know," I had answered.

"But you're attractive?" he said, as if he wasn't sure anymore.

"I don't know what to tell you," I said. "I don't know why."

Now, faced with Mark's innocent question, I hedged. "A long time," I said quickly.

Mark didn't seem to notice the evasion. He sipped his beer, and we moved on to other topics — our co-workers, Douglas Coupland novels, Seattle — and then, on a street corner outside the bar, to our first kiss. I knew I would eventually have to tell him. But not yet.

When my long-ago date asked that question — "What's wrong with you?" — I was, of course, outraged. I finished my drink, said I had to get up early. But honestly, his question was no worse than the one I asked myself nearly every day. It wasn't full-blown self-loathing, more a hollowness that hit me in the chest at certain times — a long subway ride home from a mediocre date, a phone conversation with a married friend who suddenly said she has to go, her husband just took the roast out of the oven.

My solace came from the place where single women usually find it: my other single friends. We would gather on weekend nights, swapping funny and tragic stories of our dismal dating lives, reassuring one another of our collective beauty, intelligence and kindness, marveling at the idiocy of men who failed to see this in our friends.

Mostly, we would try to make sense of it all. Were our married friends really so much more desirable than we were? Once in a while someone would declare that married women were actually miserable, that it was they who envied us. But this theory never got too far — we knew our married friends wouldn't switch places with us, no matter how much they complained about their husbands.

Of course, there are many popular books and television shows that detail the lives of such women, but in those stories adorable men constantly approach the heroines in parks and bus stops and ask them to dinner. The sitcom single woman is never alone for long. She skips from one man to the next, changing boyfriends as frequently as she does purses. My friends and I had various dates and mini-relationships, but mostly we were alone.

While many of us watched and enjoyed these shows — and didn't entirely mind when people remarked that our lives were "just like" the protagonists' — the stereotype they created of the over-30, man-hunting singleton cast a shadow over us. Being an unattached woman who would rather not be somehow meant you were a nitwit, a bubblehead who had few concerns beyond shopping, pedicures and "Will he call?" My friends and I had no interest in shopping or pedicures, but that didn't stop us from feeling wildly embarrassed that we longed for love.

Admitting that you wanted a husband — much less that you were distraught you didn't have one — seemed like a betrayal of feminism. We were supposed to be better than this. (Not that any actual feminists said it was so awful to want a relationship. The e-mails we received from NOW and Planned Parenthood focused on reproductive rights and equal pay, not dating and marriage.)

Professing a need for love could also be taken as evidence that you weren't ready for it. One December night when I was having drinks with a married male friend, he grew exasperated with my (admittedly annoying) complaints about having to spend yet another holiday season without a partner. "Sara, in almost every way you have it together," he said, "but on this one topic you turn into this ridiculous girl!"

Like single women everywhere, I had bought into the idea that the problem must be me, that there was some essential flaw — arrogance, low self-esteem, fear of commitment — that needed to be fixed. I needed to be fixed.

As a freelance writer, I couldn't afford a good therapist, but my job did give me access to some of the country's best mental-health professionals. As I wrote articles on first dates and break-ups, I interviewed psychology professors and therapists, shamelessly peppering the conversation with anecdotes from my own life. I was trying to get at the root of the problem — for the benefit of womankind, and for myself.

I also talked to a lot of self-help authors. There was the Tough-Love Married Lady who declared the key to finding a soul mate was to grow up, quit whining and do something about your hair. There was the Magical Soul-Mate Finder who prescribed keeping a journal, long hikes, candle-lighted bubble baths and other hocus-pocus. And there was The Man — i.e., a moderately cute guy who wrote a book — who gave insider tips on how to hook up with him, which involved not being critical and having long hair.

So I grew my hair out. I took bubble baths. And, of course, I started examining my issues. Was my failure a result of my latent commitment-phobia (cleverly masked as really wanting commitment), as one helmet-haired expert implied? Did I feel inherently unworthy and broadcast that low self-assessment to every man I met? (Another gentle suggestion.) Did my failure to "love myself" mean I was unable to love another?

Or was I not positive enough? The experts agreed that a positive attitude was very important for attracting men. I could see it — sure. But this is not my strength. I believe global warming is real and heaven is a fantasy. I believe people who think "everything happens for a reason" must have never opened a newspaper. Some may call it negative. I call it realistic.

A lot of good things happened during my period of constructing Sara 2.0. I went to artists' colonies, taught storytelling to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, adopted a rescue dog, learned to do a handstand — all under the banner of "Learning to Love My Single Life." And I made sure everyone knew my life was super-duper awesome with or without a man — my adorable apartment! my fulfilling career! my amazing friends! But I also knew I couldn't play that card too often, lest the Greek chorus conclude that my well-oiled life left no room for love. As a male friend once told me, "Sometimes you see a woman who has her act together so well that you think, What does she need me for?"

My efforts yielded many friends and filled my calendar with fulfilling activities. I went on Internet dates, speed dates and blind dates. I had great hair and a confident smile. But I was still alone. And in the dark of Saturday night, I still asked myself, "What's wrong with me?"

Mark and I dated for a month before I revealed my shoddy relationship résumé. When I did, he shrugged. "Lucky for me," he said, "all those other guys were idiots."

And that was it. To Mark, I was not a problem to solve, a puzzle that needed working out. I was the girl he was falling in love with, just as I was falling in love with him.

Six years later, this past June, he and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary. My close friends — the ones with whom I had shared many impromptu therapy sessions — had come to the wedding in a small Brooklyn park. And so had their husbands.

Did we find love because we grew up, got real and worked through our issues? No. We just found the right guys. We found men who love us even though we're still cranky and neurotic, haven't got our careers together, and sometimes talk too loudly, drink too much and swear at the television news. We have gray hairs and unfashionable clothes and bad attitudes. They love us, anyway.

What's wrong with me? Plenty. But that was never the point.

(Written by Sara Eckel, who lives in Brooklyn, is working on a book about women who marry after 35. )

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

cart-poker and spideys

today was quite the eventful day.

i woke up with a spider bite on my ankle.
literally 3 minutes later, i almost stepped on a HOBO spider that was chillin on my floor. (hey ps, HOBO spiders are killers. they are venemous and hideous. i dare you to google them. i'd post a picture of them on here, but wouldnt want to post such an ugly thing on my pretty little blurg. they are THAT ugly.)
this spider was....big. like...its butt alone was the size of a penny. :/
(and mind you, insects freak me out, but im not a huge sissy when it comes to them. like, i would kill cockroaches all the time with my super-freezing hairspray in hawaii, and it was NBD. i'd even pick them up when they were in a hair-spray coma and flush them down the toilet.... but killer spiders!? NOT OKAY.)
i froze in fear, and then speedily ran across my room to grab the RAID.

i then zinged that sucker with spider spray. it took way too long for my liking, so i promptly went to walmart to get some heavy duty stuff. all i found was weak crappy spray and i wasnt about to spend 6 bucks on another can of mediocre RAID that pissed me off in the first place.

picking up a few lunchables and some chocolate soymilk, i made my way to the cash register. the line was OOBER i picked up some chips right next to the about princess kate over a lady's shoulder in OK mag...and then paroozed through a discount cart that just seemed to sneak up behind me. you  know, those huge discount bins they put by the checkout stand..holding delicious french bread for 98 cents...candy for 50 cents.. discounted this and that for 10 cents....

well...i thought it a bit funny that they would have a cart full of FROZEN food...but man, some of that stuff looked so yummy! i picked up the occasional package of frozen burritos to read the label, and meandered around it, poked here and there, and turned back around. i decided to not put anything in my cart, but almost did.

about 2 minutes later, i turned back out of boredom, only to see A LADY HOLDING ONTO THE 'DISCOUNT CART' giving me the meanest white-girl look i've ever seen.
wait a minute............... fml. fml. fml.
she literally gave me a look as if i killed her firstborn. How was i to know that the cart belonged to someone!?! she must have been RIGHT next to it looking at a magazine or something and i must not have noticed her. OF COURSE WALMART WOULDNT HAVE FILLED A CART WITH FROZEN FOOD. CMON NICOLE, WHAT WHERE YOU THINKING!?!?...i quickly turned around, blushed, and thought about how awkawrd it would be to say, 'sorry i just poked through your cart.' i turned back around towards her to assess the situation and possibly apologize, but she just looked up from her magazine and death-glared me for the second time. awkward, party of me.

After my social failure at walmart, i headed to LOWES and got some heavy duty 'ortho home invasion insect spray' (thank you, amylee nicoll for this awesome recommendation) and made my way home. Yes, i felt like  an exterminator lugging around a huge insecticide thing spraying every nook and corner of my home with this spray... but i was not about to wake up one more morning and have a hobo spider on my pillow or camoflauging its ugly self against my carpet, too close to my feetsies. I was on a mission to kill every effing thing that had more than 2 legs.

After playing 'exterminator' for about an hour and soaking my house in chemicals, i headed to Friends of the Elderly. It was talent night..and was a hit. the best part of the night i must say, is when little 97 year old Joanna yelled out during one of the performances, 'IS THIS A MORMON CHURCH?!?' bless her and the fact that she's misplaced her hearing aide 2 weeks in a row.

and so it is now, that i ended up at the library, after being too scared to sit in my spider-infested home. I've spent the majority of the time sipping hot coco, people watching, pinteresting, facebooking, a wee bit of homework, and blogging.

today was a long day on the farm, but got lots of shiz done. i invaded a woman's personal space by paroozing through her items in her own shopping cart as well as hopefully killed many-a-spidey at my old, ugly, disgusting casa.

(and mom, i'll monitor that venomous bite. if i dont contact you within a few days, you'll know i fell victim to the venomous bugggg.)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

there is nothing better than....

a man in a fitted suit.

two proven points:

you wanna argue?
you lose.