Monday, December 30, 2013

To Gina, my Best Friend

(To crowd) I’d like to thank everyone in attendance tonight. I am the matron of honor and my name is Jennifer. I’ve known Gina since she was 16. We both worked at Serafini’s restaurant and started our first week together. Even though we had different jobs, we clicked as friends right away.  Gina is crazy awesome and we have always shared spontaneous fun together. 

(To Gina) In fact, you are the only person I can carry on multiple simultaneous conversations with.

(To crowd) I cannot say there is one particular funny story or heartfelt moment - I could share with you that would accurately depict how much I love Gina as my best friend. She is more than my best friend.

(To Gina) You are the sister I never had. I remember the vow we made one night while working late at Serafini’s… that if we weren’t married by the time you turned 30, we were just both going to move to Ft Myers Florida, buy a condo and become cougars. I am sort of glad we didn’t have to do that.

(Face crowd) I tried to think of one event that has defined our friendship and I just couldn’t. It’s far beyond a friend who answers the phone in the middle of the night.  Gina is the only friend I could ever rely on, even if it meant her explaining to her mom why there was an extra car door in their garage, which resembles Jen’s car.  There hasn’t been a moment that Gina hasn’t had my best interests in mind. (Pause, give Gina love sign)

(Face crowd) She voluntarily attended my lengthy graduate thesis presentation to support my attaining a master’s degree.  I feel blessed to call her the Godmother of my two daughters’ including Nina who was the flower girl this special evening. 

(To the Cooks) I feel blessed to know her parents, Leslie and George.  Gina is the only friend I shared a vacation with during my youth. Her parents graciously invited me to join them on their vacation in Fort Meyers one year.  I fondly remember us renting small scooters and getting stuck because we tried to drive through sand. 

(To Gina) I also fondly remember when we rented the 4-wheel pedal driven cart because I wanted to take Lara, my ten pound Shih-Tzu puppy, for a ride around the peninsula.

(To crowd) Gina is the only genuine friend I have had through what I would call the most challenging years of my life including losing my mom to cancer.  Gina accompanied me to my daughter Nina’s first Christmas Eve mass in 2007.

(To Gina) Gina, We have both laughed together, cried together and spent countless sleepless nights doing so.  I am beyond grateful to be part of your life and your wedding party tonight. I would travel to another country just to share this beautiful moment with you.

(To Steve) Steve, I’ve known you since you both met and you are both just the perfect match for each other with all of the crazy awesome spontaneous fun.  There is really no one more perfect for Gina.

(To crowd) I want to wish the bride and groom a long happy marriage, let us all raise our glasses to them both because tonight has truly been a wonderful New Year’s eve that I know most of us won’t forget anytime soon. Best wishes to you both.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Zhenna Lee Williams is born <3

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

Gender Reveal Experience

I paid a private licensed ultrasound tech come to my home to do an in-home ultrasound while my family in Pennsylvania logged in via Skype. Today, May 25, 2013, James arrived to make the official gender determination.

At the beginning of our appointment, our television was set up, so our family could watch. My daughter insisted on holding my hand and as he begins the sonogram. He says: for fun, that he usually checks to heart rate to see if the old wive's tale about a baby's bpm holds accurate. 

He mentioned, in his experience, its 95% accurate. He continues to say that a boy's heart beats per minute is most always under 150 bpm and a girl is most always above. He says that only in about five out of a hundred, is it usually off.

The bpm was 137. Note: I've been saying that the site always tells me boy... After he says this and shows the heart rate, our family on the webcam gets louder with excitement.

My daughter gives me this terrified, sad and confused look. She was positive it was a girl.

At the start, the baby is straddling the umbilical cord and he says he has to get the baby to move. Baby was literally hugging the placenta like pillow. (So cute.)

While doing so, he explains that typically girl's show three lines (he explains the logic) and while trying to get baby to move he says, "We'll I think I know what it is but I want to be sure before I say. I just want to get her to move to be certain."

Everyone on the webcam caught it too. "Did we just hear 'her'?"

I spoke up and said, "I heard 'her'."
My daughter flashes me a look of excitement and relief.

James laughs and says, "we'll let's just watch her then and here you will notice  there is no penis, its definitely a girl..."
My 5-year old niece, Riley and her younger brother, Gracin, (who are presently watching/listening on the webcam) hear the word "penis" and all the children in the room squeal with giggles

James then says, slightly embarrassed says, "Oh kids, that is just the technical term for berries and a stick." 

We were all laughing hysterically at this point. While we are giggling, the baby is acting funny on the screen. She even scratched her butt, which we caught a 3D photo of. I'll remind her I still have that photo when she's fifteen.

My daughter Nina gives me a high five that its for sure a girl.

The entire experience was so positive and exciting for all. I am so blessed to have to shared it with my (grandma) Craft, (mom) Tina and (other dad) Pat, (sisters) Tessa and Kali and (my extended family) Nate and (niece) Riley and (nephew) Gracin. 

It was just a wonderful experience, definitely worth it. ~

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Life's Unexpected Turns for the Best

It's been months since I've added to my blog. I went through a dark time in my life. Losing a job that I worked my heart and soul in, all of it was unnoticed again. It reminded me much of past experiences where I've put everything into something and it didn't work out. As this was not the 1st time I got burnt by a job, I luckily had account assurance for many of my bills, college loans, credit cards amongst other securities. At first, I wanted to run away from my problems and moved 1000 miles north, only to encounter an unanticipated situation which brought us back to Phoenix. 
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

Forget-Me-Not: October, November, December 2012 and January 2013

I will explain soon, the deep darkness I have lived in over the past few months...  Almost a Prelude of Leading a Double-Life...

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: "I
f 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.