Thursday, May 5, 2016
Tuesday, March 8, 2016
Thursday, March 3, 2016
Monday, February 22, 2016
But what do you do as war, hatred, poverty, greed, and negatively creep under your doorstep? For me, I try to recognize that this is just part of life's challenges and accept that the change is part of the lesson to be learned.
Taking into account, the things we miss the most - it's become obvious that it is time to return to our home state of Pennsylvania. This decision was hard, but the one thing we have missed in our lives the most, has been the presence of family.
Thursday, July 16, 2015
I was scheduled to be induced on Sunday, July 12th at 11pm at night due to health issues.
I came to the hospital, was dialated to 2cm but no contractions. I was given pitocin and around 2:30am had only progressed to 3cm.
Shortly thereafter, my dr decided to break my water to try to get things moving along. Having had 2 prior daughters' born in 4 hours or less labor time (unmedicated births) one can imagine by 4:30am, I was absolutely exhausted and gave in to receiving the epidural.
I was checked and still had only progressed to 6cm by 8am. After receiving the epidural, things were really different - I did not feel the pain of contractions at all.
At 8:30am I was overcome with the pressure that I needed to push. The nurse thought I was joking, so she checked me and I had gone from 6 cm to 10 cm in minutes.
The one nurse raced to get my dr and the other prepared the room and placed me in the stir-ups. My dr came in and in 2 pushes she was out.
Fiona T Williams was born at 8:39am, weighing 7lbs 1oz on July 13th, 2015. My longest pregnancy, largest baby and she completes our family.
Thursday, April 3, 2014
However, my parents spent over a decade as next door neighbors to the Meekers'. But let me say, even when the Meekers' weren't our next door neighbors, they were close to our hearts. I remember visiting Gayle Pratt & her family when they lived in Florida.
I remember my mom crying when she found out they weren't going to be our next door neighbors and were moving to Colorado. But that didn't mean they didn't spend years together as neighbors and friends. Tonight, Jim and Mildred shared with me memories I had heard, some old stories I hadn't and reminded me how simple life once was. When sitting out back on my deck with my mom happened.
Mildred told me about her last phone call with my mom, "My mom told her, Mildred, I don't regret not ever getting to Hawaii. Honestly, I can't think of living my life any differently than I have. I have enjoyed every meal, every moment, and I've learned something new everyday. My only regret is to not get to see Jennifer finished her Masters degree." My mom never once said this to me.
The thing is, when my mom got diagnosed with only 3 months to live. I had just finished my first Masters level course which I took in the summer of 2004. I remember coming home that Friday, my mom had gone to the doctor on Thursday because she thought her sciatic nerve was bothering her. They got a call in the afternoon Thursday (after my mom's early morning appointment) and the doctor requested my mom to return to her office. She needed to order additional tests right away. According to my dad, my mom just said to the nurse, "just tell me the diagnosis, my nerves can't wait until tomorrow." The nurse said she couldn't say for sure. My mom insisted to speak to the doctor on the phone, the doctor did actually come to the phone (knowing my mom's anxious personality) and said, "I'm sorry its terminal cancer Nancy, but we can talk about options." My mom returned to her office that Friday, to learn she only had three months. My parents decided not to tell me on Thursday because they knew I had the final and they didn't want to affect my grades.
When I came home Friday to say I got an A, they met me in the living room with this life altering news. My mom said she didn't expect me to attend school (first time ever in my life had she said that) but I was so stunted I didn't know what else to do but to continue as planned. So I did, I took on full-time school and work as I always had. But I never knew my mom thought I would make it. I mean, I realize that is what she hoped for but from the moment of diagnosis, she treated me as though - I didn't have to earn her love in any way. But what she had always taught me was school should come first. I don't regret getting my masters degree, I can't say I even regret not being by my mom's side every moment of that 3 1/2 months she had. What I regret is not having her here now to share in these moments, not being able to really explain what an amazing person she really was.
I've been crying for a little while now, trying to work things out in my head. How my mom could've just known I would finish my masters degree or how you never really know when its the last time you may see someone. What I am grateful for is every moment I get to share and I am going to be more grateful moving forward. I'm reminded why I love the words carpe diem (seize the day) because life really is what happens while you are planning for the future.
Monday, December 30, 2013
Friday, October 11, 2013
Birth story: I had been in early labor since Saturday, October 5th at around 8pm at night when the hospital sent me home and tried giving me a shot of morphine and ambien (glad I declined otherwise this story would have not ended the same).
I woke up Monday, October 7th early morning and I was groaning and rolling around on...
I get in the tub because it was so intense, I look down and five huge blood clots float by, I get out of the tub and I'm panicking (Zach was awoke by me yelling) he tells me to call the doctor, he didn't want to go back to the hospital over a little blood. So to prove to the hospital they should care, I put on one of the adult diapers. (Good thing for my carpet...)
I wait for the on call doctor to call me back, I tell him contractions are two minutes or less apart, but with the low lying placenta I'm worried because I'm bleeding like a period. He suggests to go to the hospital or his office. Zach and I discuss going to the hospital, me missing work, all to be sent home again. Zach proceeds to take the dogs outside and within 5 minutes everything went from tolerable to intolerable fast.
I tell Zach that he needs drive me to the college so I can direct my students for my 9am class. He says to me, "you are yelling... How are you going to teach a class? We are going to the hospital, try calling Sally to come get Nina."
I call my friend, Sally, she answers with "are you in labor? I haven't slept all night and I've been dreaming about you in labor, at one point I delivered the baby?!?!" I'm having trouble formulating sentences (without yelling at this point) so I say I'm bleeding, so yes I'm going to the hospital.
I wasn't off the phone 3 seconds and I have this massive contraction (I'm screaming bloody murder, takes me from standing to my knees and it’s followed by two coughs while simultaneously two gushes)... My water had broke… labor was already going on very fast now.
Zach comes in and I'm screaming "we need to go my waters gone... It wasn’t a little either, it was a huge gush of water and blood. If we aren't at the hospital ASAP you will be delivering a baby in the car." (Thankful for that diaper.) So he's on the move, we make it outside Sally arrives running into the house and we go.
Frankly the 20-min drive felt like eternity... I was screaming bloody murder the whole way. Zach keeps telling me to breathe. (He did like 100 the whole way, shared that after... Even commented I knew you weren't cohesive or you would have been pissed. But I did not want that baby coming out in the car.)
Arrive at the hospital
So they force me into this dinky children's wheelchair (no adult size?) and are wheeling me up stat. I'm screaming the whole way and Zach says to the nurse, "yeah you want to take the short cut... She isn't a screamer, normally..." By this point my legs are buckling and I'm crying for an epidural.
Nurse says she has to check my cervix and I'm still demanding an epidural... Nurse says I'm 9cm and she says the epidural specialist is in an ER c-section ... So there’s no I'm almost done anyway. I was so mad. They run to call my midwife.
I'm screaming I want an epidural, my midwife rushes in and checks me "girl you are already at 10cm you are having a baby there is NO time... YOU can do this!"
She's saying it’s time to push, you can do this and I'm still screaming I can't do this. I hesitated twice but finally in a chanting fury I gave everything I had and she says, ok her head is right there... One big one you got this...
Zhenna Lee Williams was born at 9:02am on 10/7/13... The midwife let us do delayed cord clamping (hooray!)
Unfortunately, I lost about 1/2+ liter of blood. Zach said it was messy; my prior doctor would have sectioned me for sure.
She was born weighing 5lbs 15oz, 19 1/2 inches, she's beautiful. I will say I would have never thought I was strong enough to do it without medicine. We are elated with our family of four. J
Saturday, May 25, 2013
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
What I've learned is to appreciate the things I lost while working 80 hours a week. I have family time, I have a wonderful family that I desperately needed to spend more time with. I was lucky to have the opportunity to remain at home with just enough temporary but part-time opportunities to make ends meet. Amongst help from family, I still own a home, have transportation and spend much of my time with my family expecting an addition in October. I still have bad days, I still struggle to make ends meet but I'm so much happier to just be teaching online and on ground. I feel like I do make a difference and the lowered stress has helped me to remain healthier this pregnancy. Now reaching 4 months, I'm really getting excited about having a baby for my daughter. I always wanted a sibling and I'm so happy my daughter will have one.
I'm very appreciative that I'm still surviving and we are happily together. I'm excited to join dance again and be a stronger part of the practice. I love watching my husband be a dad. Life can always be better, but its the perfect moments in between that get you through the tough times. <3
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
With every journey you encounter, you can only make judgment based on the knowledge you have gained up until that point in time.
Sometimes we choose the wrong road for the right reasons, even when we know it is wrong. Walking down that same road... coming from an increased self-awareness, can lead you down a dark path from the past. One you might have thought... you had overcome. However, that is not always the case.
I retitled my blog to "Forget-Me-Not" not merely based on a beautiful flower, but more because of several other quotes and my new understanding of their application to my life.
I know my increased self-awareness will someday, indeed forget these deep journeys.
Forget-Me-Not: (def) My conscious effort to remember who I was, who I am and whom I aspire to be.
Words of Wisdom
"The mystery of human existence lies not just in staying alive, but in finding something to live for." -Fyodor Dostoyevsky
"Be the Change You Wish to See in the World." -Mahatma Gandhi [However, more accurately translated: "If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. ... We need not wait to see what others do."]
In closing, my own words: My writing is my way of becoming a forget-me-not.
Saturday, October 20, 2012
My job classification within my department got a band-aid, “if your new (unknown) manager or Dean allows telecommuting, you can get one-day of telecommuting as compensation if you continue your employment with them after 90 days. If you decide to stay with IDD, you will also receive the same opportunity.”
However, there was no mention of where the mysterious 32 laptops for those “non-senior employees” would come from. I am 1 of only 12 people who have a laptop and I’m not handing it over like it’s a piece of bread. I became a senior employee over two years ago by earning it through countless hours of giving 300% and I’ve maintained the top being in the top 25% for over two years… you are going to pry this piece of plastic from my lifeless fingers. In fact, you can only have it, if you hand me something better.
Next, was the instruction to fill out a preference sheet #1-11. You have to decide your “preference” based on which college division you thought would pick you or if you really wanted to stay with our department. It’s hard to consider doing this without knowing which college division values your work enough to pick you for as their preferred #1 or #2 new positions allocated to their teams (and they could only pick 2-3 people out of 44… without contacting you directly.)
I should have called my dad on Wednesday when I first got the information, but it coincided with my mom’s death, I was overly emotional and I just didn’t want to make his day even more of a burden. At least I had Zach’s birthday to be happy about, right? Well, except I was so demolished by the day, I didn’t sleep that night and just worked through the night because I need to not obsess about impeding doom.
I won’t lie… Thursday morning, I went into strategist mode like it was survivalist mode. I qualitatively surveyed random samplings of my competitors/non-threats, just to figure out that the advice my dad gave me at 6am that morning was the best strategy. Sigh, I wasted four hours determining I just needed to be straightforward. I have tip-toed around Deans and Executive Management for 4 years and that was not who I am. I know who I want to work with and they are the best, or it’s not worth the risk of losing what I already have. Should’ve done what dad suggested that morning, because 35+ years at General Electric playing the politics of being a smart and experienced man, without a piece of paper, makes you a darn good strategist.
So sent an email, met with the director, met associate director and said the truth. I got truth back, they already had a list from the college divisions who their 2-3 picks were and their placement is based on when the numbers are a match. With the email already sent, the play was in motion.
Then wait, anxiously.
I got an email at 7:51am Friday morning confirming a match in numbers. So, all I can say right now is if it’s true: my life, my daughter’s life and my husband’s life, got a whole lot better overnight. I will still contribute the same, spend the time, and even work harder... but be in an environment, where I will be respected and trusted based on my performance. I won’t actually say anything officially until Wednesday when it is announced because… I am sort of in disbelief and feel like it’s too good to be true.
My Brookline class felt a little more secure that they would still see their Professor every Friday, same time, same place.
So being high on life, chanting for it to be true,
I get a brick to the face out of the blue.
A former student calls my phone, I answer knowing the number and he is screaming in the phone at me (now I haven’t seen him or talked to him months) and only continued to answer his calls because I was trying to be pay forward the favor, similarly as one Professor did by just believing in me, when I hit rock bottom. So I know he has several severe “emotional disorders” and at first, I was more worried about what he might do to himself… so I tried to talk to him.
He goes off on a rant, saying he is going to blackmail me… but couldn’t answer the question – what is it I did? or exactly how blackmail would work? (When you know you haven't done anything wrong it's kind of impossible to get blackmailed and more impossible for someone to logically answer the question.) He was seriously talking crazy and in circles (without me even able to speak) then hangs up.
So I call him back, calmingly asking him, please talk to me, tell me what’s going on. Then he says, he is going to call the cops and tell them I sell drugs. At this point, I was so confused and alarmed because the law enforcement in Arizona is intimidating even when you know you are innocent… because I was speechless, he hangs up.
So again, I call him back and proceed to try to get the screaming, raging, lunatic to stop and ask him to please just tell me what’s going on. He starts bawling over the phone, saying that I needed to call his girlfriend and make her let him in her house. So I persuaded his to disclose his location, he is apparently outside of his girlfriend's house, found her with some other guy, and she won’t let him in and somehow this is all “my fault… not hers, not his. Mine.”
At this point, he threatens to hurt me and my family and... hangs up on me again. So, I relocate myself and my daughter to our “safe room” because the student does knows where I live. Then, I start searching online to find out what the official policy is for Maricopa Community Colleges if the professor receives a threat. At one point, before class a year ago, I had to talk him down because of the emotional disorders, so I didn't call 911 because I believed that I could do it again. However, I went into accountability mode - I didn't want this lunatic showing up or hurting anyone, so I try to contact Maricopa Community College Safety.
I called six different numbers including Maricopa Emotional Safety’s number……… over twelve times. No one ever answered. Glad I am so safe as a faculty member. (Sarcasm.)
Zach is aware of the situation and decides to go buy smokes. (He is seriously never alarmed by anything, with I was that confident.)
My phone rings again, it is the student again. Now I am directly pissed because he's affected my evening with my family (after obviously a long emotional week). So he got an unexpected verbal whiplashed, I proceed to tell him how he has two choices to make on how the rest of his night is going to go. 1) He’s going to stop acting like a crazy person, leave that location immediately, shut up listen to me and apologize to my daughter for ruining her night or 2) I’m call 911, the cops are coming for you, not me, and your going to jail for threatening me. Concluding with, choose what you do next wisely, because a Professor with no criminal record is a lot more reliable than a person who is screaming crazy talk in the middle of the damn street.
I say, “well…” He says ok I will go home.
So I say, “I will call you in 15 minutes and you better be ready to listen and fucking apologize for this shit.” I hang up.
10 minutes later….
He calls me, says he’s home, and proceeds to bawl and apologize a million times… he had biked to his girlfriend’s house, where he found her not alone, she wouldn’t let him in because there was another guy there and he thought if he could get me to call her I could persuade her to let him in her house.
He bawls some more. I am silent.
I tell him what he needs to hear “If you ever do this shit unprofessional again, I will call the cops on your crazy ass because I have only ever tried to help you with kindness and respect. If you need to talk because shit happens, you manage your damn rage and make a civil phone call because I am not your enemy... but pulling another stunt like this, will make me your enemy.
The only reason, I continue to give you guidance, is to help you through your problems in a positive way. You do not want me as your enemy. You get what you give, your actions are mirrored, when you involve others. Negative actions will only ever get you a negativity response.
I will not tolerate you bringing me or my family, into your personal matter. I will not tolerate threats of violence or whatever you lie you rationalize during your emotional rage, in an effort to blackmail me because you think I can convince someone to take action. I also will never take action on anyone over anything on your behalf, especially when I know you are emotionally enraged and unstable.”
He apologizes to the room while on speaker and says he knew it was wrong. (This lasted for 30+ minutes, while I listened with bleeding ears.)
So after the craziness, Zach went to bed, Nina and I watched tv… I decide to vent through writing until 2:30am because I’ve dealt with a bit too many surprises this week and I am a little shaken.
I just hope that everything next week goes better than this week, because I'm not sure how many more bricks to the face I can take, without having to take a time out for sanity.