hump day nuggets: recover

hump day nuggets: little bits of the season in photos and (few) words about the last week

So this last week has been trying. Of my endurance, my patience, my time, my person. Andy’s recovery was difficult but manageable, largely thanks to our friends and his mom’s timely visit. Thank you for all of the well wishes. And then, one week in, on Monday, way too much blood and clot the size of Margot’s fist were in our kitchen sink when I woke. Long story way short, all is well, after a nutty day and some emergency surgery.

And, you know, I was sad and scared and overwhelmed by all of it. But, then there was the hour in the dim, sterile recovery room with my beat up, drugged up husband where I just felt so much gratitude. So grateful for my community and this facility that swiftly fixed my man. I held his pale hand, plucked by an IV and I was grateful for our health. Big picture, this is nothing. We have a lot to look forward to.

I have been thinking a lot about recovery, how one responds to what the universe lays before them. Recovery is a regularly induced state, really. Whether one is recovering from surgery or recovering from the horse’s ass who cut one off on Orange Street and caused one to spill coffee all over their person.

The importance isn’t the action that pushes a person into recovery. The importance, the lesson is in how the person recovers.


:: My ma in law came over last week and we had great fun amidst all that soup and jello and soup and popsicles and soup. Dressed Margot up in her chicken costume and went to the Halloween party at the Children’s Museum, ambled about the neighborhood, sat around and helped Andy heal.

:: Very last harvest. I unearthed the last of the carrots. We, of course, made soup.

:: Margot continues to impress us with her sudden toilet training and constant Alice-loving. Elmo panties help greatly (with the diaper-freeness, not the Alice adoring). Recent things she says that are funny: oh tay (ok), excellent (she doesn’t get context yet but it is her longest word and she is pleased with herself when she speaks it), nice! (only when she is thoroughly impressed), good job Margot (after peeing), oh hhhaaaarrrrd (when attempting #2), where’d papa go? whah happened? (whenever Andy isn’t immediately visible).

:: In one week, I am at term (37 weeks). Three weeks until my last day at work. Four weeks until the due date. I had my meeting with Dr. Weisul, the CMO at Community, last week (click here to catch up on this story). He brought the Director of Women and Infant Health with him. They were corporate and measured, as I expected. But I felt proud of my approach and presentation of my concerns. They were annoyingly repetitive with the should you need hospital care, we would welcome you with open arms and give you the best care blah blah blah. They wouldn’t go into any details of Jeanne’s ‘pending investigation’ and said it was up to her. I asked what they recommended I do and Dr. Weisul replied, I think y0u should have your baby at Community. So while they were supportive of pregnant women, I ultimately felt they were mostly supportive of pregnant women who choose their services. I left feeling cynical but hopeful because they did say they want a compromise. Jeanne received a letter from Dr. Weisul yesterday saying he would be in touch this week to get together.

I told them I was impressed by their patient-centric senior leadership vision statement proudly displayed on the wall outside of their offices. I thanked them for their time. I told them I wouldn’t be patronizing their hospital or affiliated businesses on campus until this rule changed. And, I had an opportunity to prove it on Monday when Andy needed emergency services and we drove to St. Pat’s even though his doc was at Community. I presented them with a moving and powerful stack of letters from Missoula women who represented the broad spectrum of labor and delivery choice–home births, Birth Center births, hospital births, with and without Jeanne, with and with midwives, emergency transfers to the hospital and so on.

The thing is this: Women who choose Jeanne Hebl as their practitioner make that choice because they want her steady, gentle, knowing and strong presence from one centimeter of cervical dilation to holding a slippery baby in their arms. To ban her from accompanying patients who need to be transferred to the only labor and delivery hospital in town is unsafe and counter-intuitive to everything we know about creating a trusting and supportive environment for a laboring woman under her care.

The next steps, should a compromise not be reached, involve grassroots activism and I’ll keep updates coming. Want to get involved? E mail me at digthischick at gmail dot com.

:: I took a bath last night. It was the first 30 minutes completely to myself in over a week. And, it was pure, rejuvenating bliss. My midwife recommended it because I was having some back pain and wild, uncomfortable pressure down, like the kid wanted out all day yesterday. Not yet little nameless bean (not even close to a name decision).

See that sharp rise on the right? Baby’s back.

23 Responses to hump day nuggets: recover

  1. Melissa says:

    I have the chills everywhere from reading this post.

    Dude. So glad Andy is okay and good for you for not taking him to Community!

    While I have much respect for the medical teams I work with, and western medicine in general, mostly I find they feel quite threatend by “alternative” approaches and become defensive. It’s too bad, because we all want the same thing when it comes to labor and delivery: healthy baby, healthy mama.

    Take more baths!

    How is it possible Margot gets cuter all the time?

  2. Jean says:

    You’re handling the hospital conflict perfectly, IMHO. Thank you for taking a stand, Nici. It’s the only way to instigate the change you and your community wants and needs. Refusing to patronize the hospital is excellent. I hope you can draw others into your circle this way. Publicized boycotts are even more effective.

    Nice belly, woman.

    Wish I could have been there this weekend, too.

  3. TRB Holt says:

    What a week Sweetie…..too, too much. Thank goodness for your ma in law!…baths are a good thing!

    Bummer about Andy’s set back. I hope now he will heal by leaps and bounds each day…xo to you Andy.

    Margot, nothing like a dog for a BFF! You two make quite a pair, Elmo undies and all. YOU are one cute chicken too!!

    37 weeks and counting AND here’s to November 24!!! I can hardly wait to see our new little peanut.

    I love & miss you honey, please take good care of yourself.

    xo Mom/Gram

    ps…not sure what I can do to help support Jeanne. If I can you know I’m there.

  4. Sage says:

    Oh Nici, sounds like a lot! Also, sounds like you are doing exactly what you need to do… relax, soak and get centered. Recover. Wish I could be there to help you out. Can’t believe you are so close to #2….I had annica at 35 weeks when my water broke. I think partially because of too much stress. But maybe it was something else, I will never know. Anyhow. Take care of yourself, and I am glad you made it through your stressful week and now have the time to get mentally prepared for this wonderful new arrival. xoxo to you and yours.

  5. Sage says:

    Also… I love how you don’t sweat the small stuff. You get it and it is pretty inspiring that you have such a broad perspective. You rock little lady.

  6. Britta says:

    I am glad your husband is doing better and that you spoke out at the hospital!

    In Nebraska, there are no birth centers and it’s basically illegal to give birth at home with a CNM. I had my little girl with my CNM and husband (and doula) at the hospital this summer. I hope you get to have the birth you’d prefer.

    Have a safe and healthy delivery!

    (I haven’t commented much before, but wanted to wish you well. I love your blog).

  7. FinnyKnits says:

    You are ever so dedicated – good for you. You had the opportunity to support your convictions with actions and you did. So proud. You’re really setting a good example for Margot and women everywhere. Hell, *people* everywhere.

    And that shot of your belly in the tub is outstanding. Love those toes way down there and getting this perspective that I won’t have otherwise.

    Good health to you, Andy (yay! He’s better!), Margot and the nameless peanut.

  8. Elke says:

    Good god, I am so impressed with you. Your guts. Your belly. Your voice. I can’t wait to have a weekly dose of dig on mamalode. If it is OK with you I will put a side bar in your article about you joining our web team.

  9. jen says:

    whew. time for a breather.
    what a week!
    good to see that a bathtub can still cure most stresses.
    so absolutely crazy belly watching baby moving all around. isn’t it?
    i love when you can finally pinpoint a butt or a back or a foot from outside. my midwife today had to keep moving the heart listener thingy around as our little blue caboose apparently did NOT want to be listened to. wiggle central.
    keep strong mama! and wishing much healing and strength and love to your family during these next few weeks.
    oh … by the way … silly question and not at all related to the blog post … but … does your mom ever quilt for others? i have fabric and supplies for my new baby quilt … and no time. and i’m looking for someone with talent. i want simple blocks … but just wondering. ask her if you get a chance. or have her email me … thanks so much.

  10. Joan says:

    It was a busy weekend for sure. I had to go back to work just to rest!!

    Nici forgot to mention the 1 1/2 hours we spent in line outside in the cold for an H1N1 shot for Margot Bea. We gave up the fight after the 1.5 hours, quite a bit short of the 4 hours it would have taken to be successful. That system was a mess.

    Its good to see you in the tub getting some quiet time of your own. All this has been hard on you and I am happy to know that you have a great network of support out there in Missoula.

    Who’s that in the chicken costume, chicken costume, chicken costume…


  11. Lurky Mommy says:

    Glad you’re recovering! I truly hope this CMC midwife thing works out for you in time. It seems like they went through something similar about 15 years ago. It’s preposterous! I fully support having your baby your way and hope the redtape and BS is kept to a minimum. That said, I have a recommendation for you if it comes down to it. Like you, I had a great support system and a natural birthing plan during my first pregnancy only to find out that my cervix doesn’t dialate. I had to have an emergency cesarian and it wasn’t something I could have ever known until that very minute that my baby’s heart stopped beating. Thankfully, he is alive and well and turning 8 next week! Anyhoo, the Dr. who got me through all that was Mark Garnaas, who I have come to trust with my life and the lives of my children. It wasn’t what I planned and I wouldn’t have chosen to go with a man, but he was/is wonderful and has always supported my decisions and taken all the time and explanation I need with me. He’s even great to my husband. So, I sincerely hope you get to “have it your way” with Jeanne(I’ve never heard anything but great stuff about her), but if you’re running out of time and you’re not planning on a home birth (something that I wanted but could never be)I think Mark is a great guy to have a baby with:) I can’t wait to hear how it all works out! I’m also excited to find out how Margot likes being a big sis! So much joy awaits your little family! Thanks for your blog. I love it!

  12. Kelle says:

    the little back grooved into your tummy made me smile big. just a small layer of skin and a few short weeks separate you from touching, kissing, inhaling that little bean, and it’s been on my mind a lot lately that this is all about to happen for you…and so much fun that you are just a bit ahead. so sorry the shit hit the fan so soon before this time when things should be smooth and solid. the way things tend to happen, eh? you are a good mama. and a good wife. and i am consistently amazed at how you blend this little smoothie of work and home and wifehood and mamahood and communityhood all together to reap so much goodness. your chicken? delightful. her hair is getting long and blondish. xoxo

  13. Jean, I had to google ‘imho’. ha.

    Sage, my midwife keeps telling me that stress leads to preterm labor…so I am doing my best to keep it in check! AND THANK YOU for the mittens! They are amazing and you are so kind and generous!

    Britta, That is nuts…that it is illegal?! I didn’t know that was possible.

    Lurky, I have heard great great things about Dr. Garnaas! I am still planning on my home birth with Jeanne and hope I won’t need anything else but thanks for the recommendation.

    Kelle, yes, a smoothie. I think I need some protein powder and maybe a shot of bee pollen.

  14. Sage says:

    xoxo Nici! Glad you got them and liked them… just a little perk from having a husband at BD. Hope I can pass on more in the future..maybe even something for your Andy.

  15. Katie says:

    Oh, love the belly pics! So soon…so excied for you. xoxo

  16. Katie says:

    oh, and I meant to add another thought…

    Theo’s unexpected birth by c-section was only beauitful because I had my amazing team there, in a wonderfully progressive hospital for L&D. If I didn’t have them and had to meet Theo that way with an entirely different team assisting, I would’ve been terrified. Keep fighting! What you’re doing is proud of you!

  17. Kelly says:

    LOVE the one of her walking with gma in her costume! classic! Frame that for her for Christmas! Love that bug!

  18. Dakota says:


    Thanks so much for taking the lead (from what I’ve seen) on protesting CMC’s decision. And here’s hoping for the best labor you can possibly have and no CMC involvement! I love the picture of baby’s back… Guess the Bump and the reality show Belly Watch 2009 are favorites at my house. :)

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