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!


Do you photograph life’s big moments?

99 thoughts on “I can honestly say, my kids almost killed me.

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  1. 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! 🙂


  2. 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!


  3. 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….


    1. Hahaha! Tom! You crack me up. I will keep it stored like you suggested….. It has made me, ME!!!
      Thanks for stopping by to read! We’re having a snowstorm!


  4. 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.)


    1. That is soooo cool! I can’t wait to see what you and Chuck came up with. 😀 I really enjoyed meeting him. I can’t wait to meet you some day!
      Thanks so much Pat!


  5. 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!


    1. 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!


  6. 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.


  7. 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!


    1. Thanks so much Lisa! It’s so great to “see” you! I really was pretty unaware of the magnitude of my condition at the time which was a very good thing!


    1. I just noticed the Black-eyed Me’s! That was our first house where I constantly worked in the garden. I think I went a little Martha with the pots though. One year I even bought bougainvillea topiaries! Sheesh!
      Thanks so much Karen! It’s great to “see” you!


  8. 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.


    1. 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!


  9. 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.


      1. I know, Susie. I feel like I blinked and they became teenager. When I blink again, they’ll be gone to college. Happy week…


  10. 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!


    1. 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!


  11. 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!


    1. 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*


    1. Thanks Phil! It was and is worth every minute! I love being a mom and I got lucky with the two of them. My third might have been a rebellious disrespectful hell on wheels!


  12. Susie, I enjoyed your Mother’s Day memories so much, and the pictures are wonderful! Thanks for sharing it. 🙂


  13. 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!


    1. 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!


  14. 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!!!!). 🙂


    1. 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!


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


    1. 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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