I can honestly say, my kids almost killed me.

Commemorating my children’s milestones has always included taking tons of photographs. I have boxes of them in the basement waiting to be assembled in albums. When they went to college, I framed and hung their first day of school pictures in our upstairs hall. I always smile when I see their eager young faces.

Back to school 4

To me, my children are a miracle and I am grateful. Not just because they are amazing, but because I was hospitalized with both of them.

Kelly was positioned face up and I went through horrible back labor. My body fought hard against giving birth to him. It was eighteen hours before I reached four centimeters effaced which is the golden measurement for receiving an epidural anesthetic. Once I could finally relax, I progressed quickly. When he crowned, I had nothing left, no energy at all. My doctor said I wasn’t pushing hard enough and he threatened to perform a Cesarean section. I begged him to give me another chance. I asked Danny to play the cassette tape I brought. Minutes later, Kelly was born to the sounds of Oingo Boingo. Danny filmed the birth. The mirror reflected the overhead fluorescents onto my hooha and the doctor pulled Kelly out of a heavenly white light.

back to school 5

Hours later, I awoke to a crazy strong heart palpitation. Doctors and nurses rushed me to the cardiac care unit thinking I’d had a heart attack. Many tests and days later, they determined I had a Paroxysmal Supraventricular Tachycardia or PVST. They sent me home with some kind of beta blocker and instructions not to drink coffee or eat chocolate. I already had low blood pressure. No wonder I was tired all the time!

Back to school 3

While pregnant with Courtney, Danny and I went to an ultrasound appointment. The nurse knew we didn’t want to know the sex, but we saw a suspicious third leg. “It has to be the umbilical cord,” I said. I had many dreams that Kelly played with his little sister. The baby had to be a girl.

Two months before Courtney’s due date, I stooped to leash the dog and felt a rush of blood. Danny drove me to the hospital. After a thorough examination, the doctor informed us of my Placenta Previa. That occurs when the egg attaches very low in the womb. When the cervix begins to efface or thin, it tears and causes bleeding. If I continued to tear, I could bleed out, lose the baby, and die. The intern in the emergency room related a graphic story of a woman who bleed out on the table and soaked him and the floor. Too Much Information or what???? I was admitted into the hospital. My doctor hoped I was right about the sex of my baby since girl’s lungs develop earlier than boys. Insert joke here.

back to school 2

 

My mother flew out from Wisconsin to take care of Kelly. They visited every day. I played queen with my feet up and worked on counted cross stitch projects. They gave so much iron, my fingers turned the needles black. Six weeks before my due date, they released me.

Back to school 1

Two weeks later, while giving Kelly a bath, I felt the familiar rush of blood. We drove to the hospital. I felt no pain and was surprised to hear I was already at the golden measurement. I had no hope for a natural child-birth since I could bleed out during labor. The first time the needle was inserted, it fell out. Oh boy did I feel natural labor! The second time was the charm. Six hours later, the nurse woke me and said it was time. I made Danny take a shower while I applied makeup and brushed my hair. Ridiculous. I know! While Danny recorded this more natural footage of the birth, the doctor yelled, “It’s a GIRL!”

back to school 06

I call Courtney my Fingernail Baby since she hung on by her fingernails until her due date!

This weekend, Courtney’s graduation from CU coincided with Mother’s Day. I reflected on my children’s precarious births and am thankful we are all healthy and happy. They both have already attained amazing goals.

CC and family 1

Congratulations Courtney!

CC thumbs up

After a celebratory brunch on Friday, I had an idea. Kelly graduated from Northern Colorado in December. I had both kids pose at the front door. I snapped a picture to commemorate their last day of school.

last day of school

I’m looking forward to a long life filled with milestones!

 

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98 Comments

Filed under Humor, Life

98 responses to “I can honestly say, my kids almost killed me.

  1. I take lots of pictures and other family members get annoyed but, hey, it’s always worth it to look back on them years later. I sure loved looking at your photos of the kids growing up.

    So sorry you had such a difficult time with both births. Whew! So glad both babies and you were fine. So scary to go through things like that. And the idiot intern telling a mother at risk about his previous awful experience. How did he get so far in med school? Sheesh!

    It was wonderful meeting up with you last night. And Courtney, what a gem of a young woman. She’ll go far, so bright and very confident. You and Danny done good! Cheers to all of you!

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    • Thanks Lynn!
      I take pictures everywhere I go. In my book, my protagonist is a photographer. One editor thought it was weird that she took a lot of pictures!!! I have never seen more people taking photos than on this trip. Every phone is an excellent camera!

      Yep! I made it through the pregnancies and childbirth, but when my own Catholic mother said, “Enough already!” I knew I was done having any more!

      I LOVED meeting up with you too! It always feels like getting together with old friends! Thanks so much for coming out. I will post about it n a few days!

      Like

  2. i don’t think that’s fair that girls lungs develop faster. that’s just being stingy with oxygen.

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  3. I am an avid photographer and I can’t wait to add to my collection some of those shown here in your blog of my own twosome. Not just yet though, but one day!

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    • Enjoy every minute! It goes so fast. I have so many boxes of photos to go through. I thought we would look at the hours and hours of video, but that hasn’t happened yet either! We do enjoy the framed photos. Now I have to switch out the high school grad photos with college!!!!

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  4. Whew. What stories you just shared. Moms go through so much, I cannot even begin to know.

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  5. Oh, your kids! They are so beautiful! I love how you took pictures of them in front of the door. The whole thing speaks volumes about you. That you enjoy and create beauty and memories. Right down to the decor around your door! I always feel proud when I sweep away the cobwebs hanging over the vestibule in front of the door so the spiders I fling out there after discovering them in the tub don’t fall on our guests.

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    • Thanks so much Nia!
      The early photos were all taken in August, so the flowers were always abundant. Early May? I had to fake it out! I bought two baskets and brought them inside when it snowed last weekend!
      Are you in the Los Angeles area?

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  6. Love the ‘before and after’ pics.

    I hear that stories about hard births are prerequisite when being introduced to potential children-in-law!

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  7. Congrats to Your Daughter – Great Accomplishment – love the captures too!!! I love photographing milestones, but I am usually not in them because I am the one with the camera – ha! Happy Mother’s Day Sweetie :)

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  8. What a harrowing experience it was to bring both of those kids into the world. Love your photographs of them in front of the door. I do take photos of my son as he leaves for his first day of school, but not in the same place each year. Happy Mother’s Day, belated! (My son’s birth was quite an experience, although my life was never in jeopardy, his was.)

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  9. Well you are just a medical mess. Fodder for good blogs, but enough already. Haven’t you put yourself through enough medical procedures to last an entire lifetime?

    Awesome photos – terrific kids – congratulations to them both and to you and Danny for being such amazing parents!

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

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  10. Congratulations to you and your family! We did the first day of school photos on the porch too. Last year I compiled my daughter’s pics from kindergarten to senior year for a graduation post, and am getting ready to do the same for my son’s high school graduation next month. It’s so cool to see the year by year changes. It goes so fast!

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    • That is so cool!
      When my kids graduated from high school, I made each of them a huge collage of photos. I placed all their school pictures in a row on the top and the bottom. I love looking at the transformation!!!
      Thanks so much Coleen!

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  11. Congratulations to your great kids on having such a wonderful mom! My baby graduates on Saturday from U of Illinois. Where did the time go???

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  12. Love this post and the accompanying heart throb with every photo insert. L’Chaim!

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  13. Yowsers it’s crazy enough when the babies have issues but the moms as well yikes! Glad it turned out fine. What a beautiful family you have, Susie. Congrats to Courtney!

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  14. Felicidades to Courtney! Great milestone! I love these pics, Susie. I did the exact same thing every fall. It’s so sad that there won’t be any more pics to be taken so I love your idea of having them pose post school. Your kids are very good looking and Courtney looks just like you. :)

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  15. I hope you were spoiled rotten this Mother’s Day!

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  16. Great stories and wonderful progression of photos! Thanks for sharing. Hope your Mother’s Day was spent with your babies and more great stories.

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    • Thanks Gwen! I threw this post together yesterday morning! It was a Mother’s Day treat to myself just going through all the photos.I am very grateful!
      Happy Mother’s Day to you, one day late!

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  17. Your kids are GORGEOUS, Susie! Not that I expected anything less, but wowzers. I understand the Wild Baby Ride perfectly. So glad, it all turned out great. And I get to see you soon (squeeee!!!!). :-)

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    • Thanks Jenny! Looking back, it’s always been pretty WILD!!!
      I can’t wait to see you too. It will be a blast! It will be a pretty big change from the winter wonderland we’re experiencing here in Colorado!

      Like

  18. Gorgeous kids – thank God you survived!

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  19. Susie – what beautiful kids. Happy Mother’s Day. This year I gave my wife a photo album of a series of pictures we take every year at the Arboretum when the daffodils bloom. We began taking them in 2004 and we’ve missed only two years – 2009 and 2012… each year the kids have grown. The pictures show smiling kids, but I remember when we were taking the photos – there were the giggles, the sibling fights, the refusal to smile, the grumpy kid, and an occasional impatient parent.. But, the photos are priceless. B takes the ‘off to school’ photos and I am sure if I looked, I’d find them. but I wanted to chronicle our spring photos… we have our summer, fall, and especially our Halloween photos. There was more for Mother’s day than the photo album… have great week!

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    • Thanks Clay!
      That is so great that you have chronicled them AND put them in albums. I keep thinking, I’ll have time one of these days. It’s funny how at the time, we want the perfect family photo, but the ones that aren’t end up being the best!
      Have a great week too! We are playing in May snow today!

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  20. Susie, I enjoyed your Mother’s Day memories so much, and the pictures are wonderful! Thanks for sharing it. :-)

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  21. You have two BEAUTIFUL miracles! It was fun being able to see them progress in front of your front door. Congratulations on a job well done raising these amazing miracles.

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  22. Wow. I think you definitely deserve to celebrate today. You are a Mom, with a capital “M.”

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  23. Happy Mother’s Day Susie! Looks like all that pain was worth it raising two very bright kids.

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  24. Forever Buffs! (pleased to say that network of Buff grads will be amazing any where you find yourself in the future)
    Congrats Courtney and Kelly. (Thanks for indulging mom with the doorway pose – it completes the cycle. Noticed that ballerina foot position )
    Snow Susie? Just for you – one last bit of winter magic? Enjoy your chick in the nest a bit and Happy Mother’s Day!
    (We’ll hold the mom stories – but when they are at risk even before birth, they get held a bit tighter once they do arrive. Who knew something so tiny would stretch out and become so wonderful?)
    Go MOM!

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    • You just gave me shivers Phil! Congrats and Happy Mother’s Day to you!
      You nailed it. Courtney was a ballerina!
      You’re right about holding them tighter. I’ve always felt like life is precarious and precious!
      Thanks so much! *muah*

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  25. At least it’s been worth every life-threatening moment, right, Susie?

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  26. Congratulations mother of two grads! I think your children are close in age to ours — our daughter graduating next month, our son in 2012. Boo yaw to us! Both of mine are far away, and it makes me sad, and glad for them, and sad again.

    Great birth-story yarns! Glad your kids made it safely into the world, and you were allowed to stick around too. Really? No chocolate or coffee all this time?

    Happy Mother’s Day!

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    • I may lose Courtney to California. She’s interviewing out there this week. :(
      I’m glad we all made it too! I’ve told this story so many times, it made sense to write it out for Mother’s Day!
      About four years later, I had another PVST and the cardiac doc told me that alcohol was good for my heart. I began to drink a half a cup of coffee in the morning too. I had an ablation three years ago to correct the PVST, so I drink high octane coffee every day now! That’s supposed to be good for us too in moderation. I can’t believe I was on that drug with no coffee when the kids were little. *yawn*
      Happy Mother’s Day to you, a day late!

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  27. They are miracles and so are you! What a great idea to take a last day of school photo Susie. You’re hanging it beside the other one, right?
    Diana xo

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  28. marcymckay

    Wow, Susie. You were thrown through the birthing ringer my kids. I’m just hoping to survive the teen years (she’s 16 and he’s 13). Happy Mother’s Day.

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  29. Happy Mother’s Day Susie! You’ve sure earned it. What a great weekend spent celebrating all that your kids accomplished and knowing everything you went through was worth it.

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    • Thanks Jess! This weekend was an exhausting blast!
      We got a call from Courtney yesterday. She subleased her apartment and the guy wanted to move in Monday. Danny rented the last truck in town and in four hours, she was home! What a great Mother’s Day present even it it’s temporary. :) There’s a blizzard today, so good thing for spontaneity!

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  30. I can swap birth stories but I wont. I love your family, I love you
    HAPPY MOTHERS DAY

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  31. What a beautiful family (not to mention the flowers…lookin’ at you, Black-Eyed Susans…Happy Mother’s Day!

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  32. Dear lord as if raising them wasn’t enough…whew! I’ glad all ended with these 2 beautiful, talented gems you call your children. I absolutely LOVE the photos and hope you share many more. Happy Mothers Day Susie! and a big congrats to Kelly & Courtney!

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  33. Beautiful photos of your babies growing up, I like how the house stays the same but they grow – cool! Great family, mom. :)

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  34. I’m glad you survived the pain and suffering of childbirth to produce such pretty and handsome spawn Susie. From reading you all this time, it sounds like you hatched two good eggs who appreciate their mom.

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  35. Happy Mother’s Day from another placenta previa alum. I spent much of the third trimester on an oversized ironing board propped against the bed so my feet were in the air and my head down. Must have worked, because she’s finishing up her third year at University. We didn’t know it was PP until I went into labor though. And since my soccermom vehicle at the time was a Nissan Previa (I couldn’t make this stuff up) and the doctor had a thick accent, I kept thinking they were blaming my car for the hemorrhaging. Love the pictures!

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    • Oh My God! I wanted to include the Nissan in the story because it was so confusing when I told people about my condition too! Hahaha!
      I am so glad you made it through! Good thing for modern medicine! Congrats and Happy Mom’s Day to you!

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  36. I’m sure you are being well celebrated today, Susie ~ Happy Mother’s Day!
    (I have a special photo for you from the Chuck Wendig workshop I attended yesterday in Toronto. He does get around! I’ll post it as soon as I can find a minute to download it from my phone in our pre-trip chaotic last few days.)

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  37. Hi Susie, Happy Mother’s day. Um, not wanting to be a wet blanket but keep this post in a special place in the unlikely chance one of your kids should decide to put you in a home or something like that. Loved my parents, but there were times, And remember, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Or prouder, or happier….

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  38. Daya

    Oh, Suz, I LOVE the idea of the last day of school! I hope you have the very first day of school and the very last of college side-by-side. What an amazing piece that would be for your home!

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  39. Happy Mother’s Day, Susie. What a wonderful post and such cute photos. I hope your kiddos are treating you well today to make up for all that pain and trouble they caused you! :)

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  40. Well, after all that, I hope they appreciate being here. ;-)

    Like

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