Friday, October 7, 2011


For my human growth and development class we had a choice of different topics that we could write about.  One of those topics was to write about your labor and delivery story, if you have had a child.  That is what I chose to write about and wanted to share it here.  Enjoy!

     I found out that I was pregnant with my first daughter on July 10, 2009.  We soon discovered that her due date was March 20, 2010, however my husband and I would have to wait a little bit past that date.  I scheduled and attended all of my prenatal appointments from day one, as I understood the importance of prenatal care with my previous experience as a LPN.  The pregnancy was about as smooth as I could ask for, until the last week arrived.
            On March 26, 2010, I still had not given birth to my daughter and was beginning to become worried.  I had scheduled an appointment to have a NST done as well as an ultrasound and some blood work to ensure that things were progressing positively.  When the nurse weighed me, she discovered that I had gained 12 pounds in 7 days which pointed to potential health problems for me and my baby.  I was retaining a lot of water which was evidenced by my swelling legs, hands, feet, and face.  My blood pressure was slightly elevated, although it was not too high and this could also affect the baby’s health.  The CNM decided that I was going to be induced the following morning (March 27, 2010). 
            My husband and I drove to the hospital at 5:00am the next day, eager to meet our little girl.  When we arrived at the hospital I was 1 cm dilated and the induction began!  At 10:00 a.m., we had all been checked in and I had been placed in a room and had to put up with an invasive catheter insertion into my cervix.  This was done to get my cervix to continue to dilate and by 2:00pm I was at 6cm and in quite a bit of pain.  Soon it became unbearable, so I requested to have an epidural placed to relieve the pain.  The anesthesiologist placed the epidural at 3:00pm and I instantly felt some relief from the excruciating contractions. Later at 6:00pm the CNM decided to start Pitocin, which is a drug that quickens contractions and increases dilation because I had not progressed as quickly as I should have given the treatments that had begun.  For the six hours following the epidural placement I was pain free and was able to relax while my body worked to deliver my daughter, but by 9:00pm I had not dilated further.
            At this time, my CNM was checking my dilation and I began to feel the contractions again and they had returned with a vengeance.  I asked to speak with the anesthesiologist who said that sometimes the epidural only lasts for a few hours so she removed the one previously placed and inserted a new one in an attempt to give me relief.  This second attempt gave me pain relief for only two more hours, and by midnight every contraction was excruciating and I was having horrible back labor.  At one point I screamed at the nurse to “cut her out of me” so that I would be out of pain.  At 3:00am I was dilated to 10cm but my daughter had not dropped all the way into the birth canal.  I spent about an hour trying to push, making little progress with no pain relief either despite numerous attempts.  During this time I became like a drug addict begging for any amount of pain relief.  The anesthesiologist did give me a dose of Fentanyl around 4:00am which allowed me to rest for about 30 minutes after I had been pushing.
            For the next two hours I was in the worst pain of my life.  At 6:00am the CNM came in and said that it was time to start to push.  She brought the team in and I pushed.  I pushed and pushed and finally my daughter began to emerge.  I heard the CNM say “nuchal cord x 1” and I knew exactly what that meant; my daughter’s umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck which could threaten her life.  I gave one last push and my daughter came out.  My husband said she just kind of plopped out and fell onto the table with a big whoosh. 
            Reagan Mackenzie Hudson was born at 6:28am on March 28, 2010.  She did have the cord wrapped around her neck once, and gave us quite a scare when she did not respond right away, but in the end she was born a healthy little girl.  After 20 hours of labor I swore that I would never go through that ordeal again.  Fast forward a year and a half later and my husband and I are expecting our second little girl, due on November 15, 2011.  We couldn’t be happier and I am prepared to do it all over again if need be.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Trust.  What an amazing word.  It truly can take years to build and only seconds to destroy it.  I used to be a very trusting person, to the point that I would basically set myself up to be hurt.  Circumstance, as it often does, forever changed how I would go about trusting people and in particular, men.  When I was 21 years old I entered into my first real relationship with a man who I will call Colorado.  It was the first time that I fell in love, the first time that I was intimate with anyone (sorry if that is TMI, but I really do have a good message to go with this little trip down memory lane).  For a year and a half I dated a man who I never really knew.  I gave my everything to him, and then my world crashed down on me when I found out that he had been married the entire time that we had been together.  Then, to add insult to injury, I looked back at the year and a half and with the perfect hindsight 20/20 vision that we often have and realized that there had been so many signs.  At one point he had actually called me by his wife's name and I brushed it off as just some stupid slip of the tongue.  I also never met any of his family and only very few of his friends.  I later learned that I had been the laughing stock of their conversations. 

After learning that Colorado was married I confronted him about it.  He did not deny any of it but just cried like the little boy that he was and told me how sorry he was (sorry for being caught, I am sure).  I told his wife and also made sure that she understood that I had no idea about her and that I ended the relationship immediately.  I later found out that despite all of Colorado's lies, his wife still stayed with him.  This is something that I have never been able to understand.

My relationship with Colorado began when I was 21 years old and ended when I was 22.  Fast forward to 2009 when I would have been 24 years old and also when I met the man who would become my husband.  I really did not even realize how much my heart had been damaged by Colorado.  Unfortunately, my husband is now paying for the mistakes that Colorado made. 

I am not going to use this blog to discuss details of my marriage as I do not think that is fair to my husband and family.  I will say that I have struggled with being able to trust my husband unconditionally.  Not because he has ever done something so terrible to have destroyed the trust in our relationship, but more because I never want to be hurt the way I was only a few years ago.  At almost 27 years old, I am finding myself in a position where I have to learn how to trust all over again.  Not all people are as deceitful as Colorado is and not everyone will make me the butt of their jokes.

For all of the women out there who have been scorned by a man, there is a prince charming out there for you.  Not all men will treat you badly, not even the majority of them.  There are men out there who will open doors, and their heart, to you.  There are men who will protect you, cuddle with you, and tell you that they love you every single day.  No relationship is a fairy tale; they all take work.  But, you can live happily ever after; I know that I am :) 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

What a Burden We Carry

A couple of days ago Reagan and I were driving somewhere and I spotted a man in the median holding up one of those signs.  I am sure that it said something to the effect of him needing money.  Normally I would give him some money but I have gotten into the habit of not carrying any cash (thanks to Debit cards, who needs cash anymore?).  As I was driving past him I started to have this overwhelming feeling come over me.  I could not quite pin point what that feeling was, but it felt like guilt.  Not guilt for being unable to help him out, but a different kind.  As I drove on with my day I continued to think about that moment, and then it hit me.  How dare I bring children into this world?  That is seriously what I was thinking.  I continued to go over in my mind all the evils and injustices that go on.  I thought about all the times that my daughters would inevitably be hurt.  I thought about how pure and innocent Reagan is right now and how she has no idea that there are people out there who would wish to do horrible things to her.  I thought about the daunting task of raising children in the society that we live in.  Then I began to question whether or not I really wanted to have more than the two children that we have.  Ryan and I have always wanted a big family, but isn’t this world just way to crazy? 

I am not sure why I had these thoughts.  Maybe it was the pregnancy hormones, or just a Mother’s desire to protect her children. I look around at all of the chaos sometimes and wonder why people just don’t see that life is so much more rewarding if you look beyond yourself and work to help other people, instead of causing pain.  I mean, there are people out there who kill each other for no other reason than the color of their skin.  Seriously???  This just blows my mind.  How many people have been killed because of this reason?  We have predators at our playgrounds now and it’s sometimes not even safe to allow our children to play in our own front yards.  Public schools are becoming nothing more than breeding grounds for gangs and violence.  Parents are hurting their own children without thinking twice.  Our brothers and sisters are being killed in a war protecting a country that sometimes acts like it has forgotten them.  Divorce rates are through the roof and it seems like politicians make a different attack on traditional families every day. 

I could go on with my list of ills of this world, but I will stop.  I understand that I have to carry the burden of raising my children to be the best adults that they can be.  I have to love them unconditionally, never punish out of anger, teach them manners that society has lost, be proactive and not reactive, I have to act the way I want them to act and not ask them to ignore my actions, I have to get them involved in a church, and most importantly, I have to be their Mother, not just their friend. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I am that Mom

As a young adult and seeing friends have children, I always told myself that I would never be "that mom".  You know the one that I am talking about.  She is the one who is worried about anything and everything that could happen to her child.  Well, I am that Mom!  These are just a few of the ridiculous, and some practical, things that I have done to protect my daughter.
  • When Reagan was a newborn I would not let her sleep in the crib because I thought that she might get her little arm caught in the rail so she slept in her bassinet until she learned to sit up.  
  • I would not allow bumpers in the crib because it increases the risk of SIDS (it is recommended that bumpers are not put in the crib for this reason, so this one was practical).  
  • The main toilet has to have a latch on it because the baby might crawl in and drown.  The door has to be securely shut EVERY TIME because she might still get in there and figure out that latch and drown.
  • Every door has to be checked several times to make sure that it is locked because I don't want the Reagan crawling out of her crib at night and then finding her way to the door and then getting trapped outside (she has never climbed out of her crib).  
  • Nothing except for a blanket can be in the crib because anything else could be used as a stool to climb out of the crib.
  • Every outlet has to have a plastic cover on it.
  • A carbon monoxide detector has to be in the babies room (practical because we had a carbon monoxide leak at our old house and almost died)
So, those are just a few.  I know that I go overboard sometimes, but I really do not think that most of those are out of control.  I get really frustrated when a family member told me "well, I never baby proofed with my daughter, I just told her no.  That's all you have to do, just tell her no."  Really?  Just tell my 18-month old little girl "no" and then trust her enough to leave the knives out, guns in full view, breakables on low shelves, cleaning cabinet unlocked, and doors wide open?  Maybe that is going a little too far, but come on.  You have to baby proof your home if you want to be able to sleep without worrying all night!  In my mind, the world is a scary place that I would love to protect my little girl from forever, but I know that is not possible.  Eventually she will go out into the world, and she will get hurt, even as a little girl.  My job is to control all of the variables that I can at this age.  I am not insane.  I do take her to the park and let her run around on equipment that may be aged for older kids (I am always right behind her), I take her to the zoo and let her pet the goats and chase the chickens, and I don't mind if she gets dirty.  I don't freak out when I catch her walking on the couch (even though I kindly tell her we don't walk on couches and then place her on the carpet).

My main point is that we have to protect our little ones.  At this age, they depend on us for everything.  I could not live with myself if something happened to my daughter because of my negligence. 

Monday, September 5, 2011

Finding Confidence in the Age of Plastic Surgery

Ever since I went through puberty I found things about my body that I hated.  My hair was always too frizzy and poofy, my head was too big, my backside was out of control, my upper arms were too floppy, etc.  My biggest complaint about my body (besides my fluctuating weight) has always been my breasts being too small.  I do not think that I actually noticed a big difference until I went to Army basic training when I was 19 years old and came to the conclusion that God must have forgotten to give me boobs!  About that same time I decided that sometime in the future I would have breast augmentation surgery.  After all, people would love me more if I looked more like what society considered "pretty", right? 

I went through a few relationships during my 5 years in the Army and they all culminated with meeting the most wonderful man in the world who is now my husband.  From day one Ryan made me feel as though I was the most beautiful woman on the face of the planet.  In the almost two years that we have been married, and the almost 3 years that we have been together, never once has he made a comment about another woman looking "pretty", "hot", "sexy", or any other word that I have heard men that I have been with use to refer to other women.  At the beginning of our relationship this seemed very odd to me.  In all of the other relationships that I had been in, the man would, at some point, make some offhand comment about the attractiveness of another woman.  I figured that men were just visual creatures and this is just how it was.  After I figured out that the reason Ryan did not say those things was because of his deep respect for me, I fell in love with him even more.  I do not believe that I had ever really felt unconditional love from a man that I was with prior to being with Ryan.  My husband has never said that anything on my body was "wrong" or should be changed.  He would support my decision to have plastic surgery, but he is 100% happy with the way that I am.  Even after I gained 62 pounds while pregnant with Reagan, he never cut me down or made me feel bad about myself.

So here I am today, stuck with the question of whether or not to have breast augmentation surgery.  Another part of this equation is that I have one daughter now and we are expecting our second little girl sometime in November.  How can I look at them and tell them that their bodies are perfect just the way they are if I surgically change mine?  How can I tell them that God made them perfect, in His image, and then explain to them my reasoning for not being happy with God's creation?  How can I teach my daughters to love and respect themselves if I do not love and respect myself? 

I struggle with self-image and I tend to cut myself down on almost a daily basis.  Today I was having a conversation with Ryan about his very subject and once again came to the realization that my daughter, even though she is only 18-months old, listens to every word that comes out of my mouth.  I never want to hear her say, after looking in the mirror, that she hates the way she looks.  To show how much she is watching and listening to me, I offer you this story.  Every morning when I get up I go in the bathroom and step on the scale.  I then step off and more times than not, I sigh and sometimes even cry.  Because my husband works the night shift I get up with Reagan and she is usually in the bathroom when I am getting ready.  A couple of weeks ago while I was putting on my make-up I saw Reagan step up on the scale with her little toddler legs, look down expectantly, step off, and sigh.  This broke my heart!  What am I teaching her? 

Through all of this, even though at times I fall into societies trap and wish that my body looked different, I remind myself that I was made in the image of my Creator and that He thinks I am beautiful.  Not only do I have a loving Heavenly Father, but my husband thinks I am beautiful.  I owe it to my daughters to love myself so that they have a strong and confident role model to look up to and strive to be like.  In the age of quick fix plastic surgery it is easy to get lost in all of the hype; however, wouldn't it be horrible if we all looked alike?  God did not intend for this to be so.  Today I am choosing to find my confidence in who God made me.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

You are not Supermom

Four words made me decide to start this blog.  Those four words are the title of this post; words spoken by a stranger that pulled at my heart.  Let me begin with how I ended up sitting behind this computer, writing to people I do not know, for reasons I am not quite sure of yet.  Yesterday my husband (Ryan) and I went to a local Christian bookstore on a whim.  As we walked around it was obvious that our 18-month old daughter (Reagan) had no desire to be a good little girl.  She wanted to pull books off of shelves and run around as though this store was her own personal playground.  As most young toddlers do she became very upset when her Dad and I would tell her no when her behavior was getting out of control.  I eventually walked to another area of the store as Ryan chased after our little one.  At one point I realized that I no longer heard Reagan screaming so I started to look for my two most favorite people (because obviously something must be wrong).  I found Ryan holding a very quiet and well-behaved Reagan at the back of the store talking to one of the women who worked there.  I walked up and gave Reagan a big kiss and introduced myself to the woman.  Since I am almost eight months pregnant it is understandable that she would comment on the fact that I am pregnant.  She then mentioned that she is also pregnant (due in February) with her third child.  As we continued to talk about children and life she said that her two older children are two years old and 15-months old.  Ryan asked her what it was like to have them all so close together and she expressed how it was difficult at first, but she eventually got into a routine.  As the minutes went on we decided that we should let this nice woman get back to work so we continued to wander throughout the store.  A minute or two later I heard the woman's voice say "you are not supermom".  I turned around to realize that she was talking to me.  I was kind of caught off guard and I said something ridiculous about how I would try.  She then said that my husband and I needed to make sure that we made time for date nights. 

It was not until we got back home that night that I realized why that woman had offered me that bit of advice.  Normally I do not take advice well.  I am not sure why this is, maybe it is because I think I can be supermom, super wife, super student, super, well, everything to everyone.  I really got to thinking about what she said to me and had to come to terms with the fact that I cannot be supermom.  I have to understand that I will make mistakes when it comes to raising my children and that I cannot tear myself down to nothing every time that I do.  I have to take time for myself and not feel guilty about this.  I have to make time for my husband and make our marriage a priority, as it is, it is our love that brought us our children and without it, we would not have them.  I have to make a relationship with God a priority and let go of past mistakes and pain.  Most importantly, I realized that if I do not love and respect myself, I will never be able to teach my daughters how to love and respect themselves, as well as how to expect that from other people.  I am not sure how I got all of this out of four simple words, but I know that the woman at that bookstore crossed my path for a reason.  Her words were words that I needed to hear at that moment. 

As I finish up this inaugural post, I have no idea where I am going to take this blog.  I want to share with anyone who wishes to read the struggles and triumphs that I have gone through to get me to where I am in my life.  I have had to go through dark times to get to the light and I continue to struggle with faith and accepting grace.  If you only read this one post, I hope that it has touched your heart in some way.  If you are a mom remember that you cannot be supermom.