6.11.2018 ~ Darcie Turns 23!

Next on our summer checklist…..

  • Moving
  • New School for Nichole
  • Cassie’s 18th Birthday
  • Cassie’s Graduation
  • Darcie’s 23rd Birthday
  • Nichole’s 15th Birthday
  • Robbie’s 20th Birthday
  • Nichole starts HIGH SCHOOL!
  • Cassie starts COLLEGE!

 

Darcie is officially 23 years old! Per her request, we went canoeing again this year. We had a lot of fun, until I fell out of the canoe. Lost a few towels and my ex husband lost his glasses (whoops!), and my cell phone is trashed now. Otherwise, a good time was had by all! If you’ve never been canoeing, I highly suggest it. It’s a drunken good time, and judging by the numerous times we floated through a cloud of smoke, plenty of people take weed on their journeys as well! Admittedly, it was a great way to deal with 95 degree temperatures. We took the 4 hour trip, and each canoe cost us $50.

I highly recommend the Loudenville Canoe Livery, in Loudenville, Ohio.

Anyway, I’d like to wish my oldest daughter a wonderful birthday, and a fantastic coming year! Love ya!

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Cassandra Chayne Stewart ~ Adulthood

  • Moving
  • New School for Nichole
  • Cassie’s 18th Birthday
  • Cassie’s Graduation
  • Darcie’s 23rd Birthday
  • Nichole’s 15th Birthday
  • Robbie’s 20th Birthday
  • Nichole starts HIGH SCHOOL!
  • Cassie starts COLLEGE!

 

Miss Cassandra has officially passed her 18th birthday. We’re getting down to just days 32191157_10155301682615925_6073332323481288704_nbefore she graduates. This thing called parenting really does hurt your heart sometimes. I can’t believe she’s

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graduating high school and becoming a productive member of society. She passed her state boards for cosmetology. She won a Kiwanis award for being an outstanding student in cosmetology. She has already gotten her first and second tattoo! She’s 32788805_10155318096800925_2392529382120882176_njumping into adulthood as fast as she can, and I can’t seem to hold her back. It sucks.

She’s also gotten another set of senior pictures done. I’ll post those separate.

So join me in my parental distress over losing another kiddo to adulthood….32894691_10155318099300925_9105878559318081536_n32923343_10155318099385925_4102857433234276352_n.png

September 30, 1971

I want to wish my ex-husband, Rob, a happy 46th birthday. We’ve been divorced for 14 years, but I still consider him one of my best friends. He’s a good dad, a good man, and a good friend and I wish him all the happiness in the world.

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8.10.1998 ~ the Fourth

Labor and delivery for my second baby was easier than the first, for the most part. I remember at one point my labor just slowed to a stop. The doctors finally came in and told me that I had two choices. I could stay at the hospital and they could break my water, which would kick start labor back into gear. Or I could go home and wait for labor to restart on my own. This choice was given to me at about 8am.

Rob and I discussed the options and decided that since we were already there, and we already had Darcie firmly with a babysitter, we might as well just stay put. So, the doctor broke my water at 8:45am on August 10, 1998.

That definitely worked. Labor returned with a vengeance. My son was born at 9:17am….32 minutes after they broke my water. My sweet baby boy was the only child I had that was born in the morning. Gorgeous baby boy. Robert Scott Stewart IV.

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Nineteen years later, my son isn’t nearly what I expected when I dreamed of what he’d be like as a grown up. But who is?

Happy Birthday, Robbie!

July 2, 2003 ~ Enter Miss Nichole

Nichole was the fourth baby. I was in the middle of a divorce when she was born, and I was semi-dating a guy who was more of a friend to me than anything. When I went into labor and got to the hospital, I was pretty determined to do the entire thing by myself. (What’s that saying about making plans and God laughing?)

I’m the first to admit that I’m a big baby when it comes to pain. When I was in the delivery room, in labor, I was emotional and terrified so eventually asked David to join me and hold my hand, when he happily did.

One of the nurses, an RN named Whitney, just happened to have gone to high school with me, so I was semi-embarrassed (not quite the reunion you want being in stirrups and pushing life out of your vagina) and semi-grateful because she was one of those sweet natured girls in high school and truly a wonderful nurse. The doctor, on the other hand, was ridiculous. At one point, he came in asking me if I was ready to push. I wasn’t. So he got angry and left. I never saw him again until after Nichole was born. (What a douche-bag!) I was having my fourth child. I think that entitles me to the experience of knowing when I’m ready to push and when I’m not.

When Nichole entered the world, Whitney delivered her with the assistance of two other nurses in the room. Frankly, I was pretty glad the douche-bag doctor hadn’t returned if he was going to have an attitude like that. Do you really want to anger a woman in labor? You’re likely to get kicked in the jaw!

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Nichole was such a sweet little baby girl, but she did need some assistance breathing when she was born. They kept her in her incubator for 24 hours, using the oxygen hood bili-blanket-use(see photo). She was allowed to go home the following day. She came home with a bilirubin blanket (see photo), as she was also somewhat jaundiced. She had birthmarks all over her sweet face, when she was born. One on each eye lid, one above her nose, one above each ear, one on the crown of her head and one on the back of her neck. Poor baby looked like she’d been in a bar fight.

About a week or two after she was born, the doctors found her hydrocephalus, which I’ve previously posted about, feel free to search my posts for that story.

It’s a Mario Kind of World

On July 2nd, Miss Nichole turned 14 years old. Wow, 14! So….since she’s still deep into her Mario obsession, I decided to take her (and Cassie, Ryan, and my ex-husband, Rob) on a Mario inspired adventure at The Infield in Lexington, Ohio. First, we tackled mini-golf (inspired by Mario Golf, no less). Now we 2515598-mariogolf_wt_1920_042314haven’t taken Nickie mini-golfing since she was around 3 or 19601515_10154544348870925_8313605813444906953_n4 years old. She was far more impressed back then, than she was now. Still cheats though!

After we finished around 15 out of the 18 holes of golf, we waited for a few minutes until Darcie, Jason and Tessa arrived. We headed for the go-karts! Whychar_mario have a Mario inspired birthday without a little Mario Kart? All the kiddos raced first, so I managed to get a lot of pictures. Poor Nickie had never been go-karting (me either, for that matter), so she drove her car slowly, taking the scenic 19601101_10154544428655925_4704771385241263456_nroute apparently. She loved it though.

After the first race, the kids all watched while Rob and I had our turn. I lost, by the way….badly. Then some of the kids took another turn. Nickie wasn’t terribly fond of the loud noises, even after we warned her that it would be noisy. You’ll have that with Asperger’s though. She was okay pretty quickly, tolerating the noise for the sake of the day.

We finished out our adventure with a Mario (pizza) Party! A good time was had by all, and she actually told me when we pulled into the driveway at the end of the day, “I had a really great day! Thank you!” and that is something I don’t think I’ve ever heard from her.

Enjoy the photos!

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May 12, 2000 ~ Cassandra

I started this blog after Cassie’s birthday, so I want to revisit that day.

I will never, ever forget the day she was born. Rob was working in Columbus. He used to be a concrete finisher, once upon a time ago. On May 1, 2000, Rob and his father quit their jobs at a concrete company, and began their own company. Thankfully, Rob’s health insurance held out for the rest of that month. On May 12, 2000, I had taken Robbie (2) and Darcie (5) into town to visit with a friend of mine. At that point in time, we lived in Sparta, Ohio. I took the kids to Mount Vernon for the day. Now, before I get ahead of myself, the baby was due on Darcie’s birthday – June 11th.

Well, for the past couple of days, I had been having pains off and on in my abdominal area. Rob and I would time them, but they weren’t consistent at all. They weren’t getting any stronger either. They were uncomfortable, but completely bearable. Well, Rob didn’t really want me to stay home by myself with the kids, just in case things escalated while he was at work. So I made arrangements with my friend, Tammy, to spend the day at her house. Darcie and her daughter, Samantha, were good friends.

So Tammy and I decided to pack all three kids into my van and take them to McDonald’s for lunch. I was driving because…well, it was my van, and Tammy wasn’t allowed to drive, medically. When we got to McDonald’s, we decided to just go through the drive-thru and take the food home. Neither of us had any desire to fight with the 20 other kids in the playland area. Once the order was placed, I pulled up to the drive thru window and was suddenly gripped with whatever these darn pains were. I lost my ability to talk momentarily, and the poor McDonald’s worker started panicking, throwing around “Oh my God! Are you alright??!!” Tammy just laughed and leaned over to explain that I was in active labor, but give me a minute and I’d pay her. This really freaked out the poor girl, but I was ok a minute or so later, and happily paid her. After we got our food, Tammy told me that I really should go up to the hospital and at least get checked out.

I told her that I couldn’t. I still needed a baby book. So she handed the kids their Happy Meals, and told them to go ahead and start eating. I drove up to the Hallmark store and went in to find a baby book. Unfortunately, when I got to the counter to ask where they were, another pain hit me. Boy, when you’re 9 month pregnant and in pain, people jump to help you! I tried to explain that I was on my way to the hospital, but I still needed a baby book for a boy (Two ultrasounds through my pregnancy, and both of them showed how the baby was clearly a boy. See the penis?), and the poor women went running to the rear of the store and brought me back two different baby books to choose from. I’m thinking they really didn’t want me to give birth there.

I picked one, paid for it, and was on my way. When I got to the van, I told Tammy about it, and she thought it was hilarious. She jokingly wondered where else we could stop and get such fast service while I was in “labor” but I merely took everyone back to Tammy’s house. I dropped her and the kids off their, and headed to the hospital. I called my grandmother who met me there.

Unfortunately, upon examination, the hospital staff concluded that the pains I was getting were indeed NOT labor pains. I wasn’t dilated at all. Everything was perfect with the baby. I had a severe kidney infection. Well, son of a bitch! Then, they said something that completely terrified me. They told me that they were going to put an IV into my arm, run the medicine to treat the infection through the IV and then I was free to go home. I HAD NEVER HAD AN IV BEFORE, AND I WAS TERRIFIED OF NEEDLES! I had already had two babies without any IV’s or drugs or anything.

Well, needless to say, I panicked. And I mean, I PANICKED! I started crying and practically screaming and ended up having a full-on panic attack. My grandmother, a woman of very little patience, told me to calm the hell down and it would be over in a minute. Nothing I could do. I had to let them stick that damn needle into my arm. Realistically, it wasn’t JUST about the needle. They were gonna stick something into my arm….AND LEAVE IT THERE! What kind of barbaric ritual bullshit is that?

Well, guess what? The panic attack threw my unhappy ass into labor, full speed ahead. They put that IV into my arm at 6pm. My grandmother decided since I wasn’t in labor, and Rob was on his way anyway, she’d just head home. She kissed me on the forehead and told me to call her when I got home. I nodded, still kind of crying about this IV business. And, dammit, why were the pains in my belly getting worse from this medicine and not better?

The nurse, confused by the panic attack and my new complaints of stronger pain, finally called the doctor back. He begrudgingly came back and checked me again. I was now crying from the pain. He looked up at me, completely dumbfounded. I had gone from 0-10 in a matter of minutes. MINUTES! He started barking orders and I was taken to delivery immediately.

Rob barely got there in time to go into delivery with me. The baby was born at 6:48pm. Within 48 minutes, I had gone into active labor, and progressed into delivery, and gave birth. I remember hearing a nurse say that since I already had an IV in my arm, I could actually have drugs this time. So they gave me something for pain, but the baby came within two minutes of her putting that med into the IV. So, really….that pain med only helped with the after effects of giving birth.

Holy shit! That’s not a boy! OMG! Rob and I were dumbfounded! We had gotten rid of all of Darcie’s baby clothes, and kept all of Robbie’s. We had everything set up for a boy! We didn’t even have a name picked out for a girl! We didn’t even have a girl “home from the hospital” outfit.

So, when we called family to let them know, we asked that they bring girl clothes! I’ll never forget my grandmother’s reaction to the news that I had the baby. Her exact words were, “You were SUPPOSED to go home! That’s why I left!”

Rob left that night. Tammy had been called and agreed to keep the kids overnight. Rob had to run out to Sparta, pick up stuff for both kids, bring it back to town before turning around and going home. He called me when he got home, and we talked for an hour or so….finally agreeing on a first name for the baby: Cassandra.

He had to work the next day, but had made arrangements to pick the baby and I up after work. The hospital personnel was pressuring me to pick a middle name, but I was at a loss. Rob told me to pick whatever I wanted, just please no weird names (his niece’s names were very “creative”).

I liked the “creative” names though, so I gave my baby the name Cassandra Chayne (pronounced Shane). When Rob picked us up, I told him the name I picked (already on the birth certificate) and he wasn’t happy. I explained (dishonestly) that Chayne was how you spell Shane for a girl, and he grudgingly accepted that explanation. I flat lied, and I don’t regret it. I will always love Cassie’s name.

 

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June 11, 1995 ~ Happy Birthday, Darcie

On June 10th, 1995, I began having labor pains, or at least I had thought so. Maybe they were Braxton Hicks? Anyway, my husband (at the time), Rob, and his cousin Devon (who was 14 at the time and loved hanging out with us on her summer break) and I headed from Cardington, Ohio to Mt Vernon, Ohio to Knox Community Hospital. Morrow County Hospital was closer to us, but everyone in my family was born in Mt Vernon, and I wanted my daughter born there as well. Besides, my OB/GYN was located in Mt Vernon.

We arrived around 9:00 pm, and after being examined I was told that the baby hadn’t dropped into position, or turned in the correct direction. I probably still had at least a week to go. They asked me if my back was hurting and I said yes. They informed me that it was normal, so we were sent home. By the time we got home, it was well after midnight. I went to bed and I don’t think I slept a wink. My back was absolutely killing me! And the pain would come and go. It was enough to bring me to my knees, and make me vomit. The heat that summer was horrendous, and I couldn’t seem to cool off at all, in between my bouts of pain. When morning arrived, Rob got up and asked if I was alright. I told him my back was hurting badly, but we remembered that KCH had told us that it was normal. I had no pain in my abdominal area. So he asked me if I wanted to go to the hospital again. No, I didn’t. It seemed pointless just for them to send me home again? No thanks!

Rob and Devon had breakfast, and continued to check on me while I lay writhing in pain, on my bed. Around 2:00 pm, I had enough of sweating and crawled out of my bedroom and into the bathroom across the hall. I just wanted to crawl into the bathtub and pour cold water over my head. Rob found me on the bathroom floor. I hadn’t thought of how difficult it would be to get my pregnant belly over the side of the tub. He was not happy with me. He was mad that I refused to go to the hospital. It wasn’t really that I refused, though. I just kept remembering the KCH nurses telling me that the back pain was normal, and I had at least another week.

Rob finally had enough and called an ambulance. When the paramedics arrived, I was still on the bathroom floor. They took me to Morrow County Hospital around 4:00 pm. I remember the nurses scrambling around, telling me that had I waited another five minutes, my baby would’ve been born at home. I didn’t understand. I wasn’t in labor! My back hurt! I also remember hearing the nurses talking to each other, wondering who was going to deliver the baby since the “new” doctor had only just arrived to the area, and hadn’t officially started yet. Eventually, a man in jeans and a t-shirt arrived and asked the nurses where he could “scrub up”. I looked at Rob and said, “Dear God, they found somebody off the street!” The nurses and the man laughed at me, and explained that he was the new doctor, but hadn’t yet begun. His name was Dr. Louis Ling.

Darcie was born at 4:49 pm. Labor and delivery truly is terrifying if you hadn’t done it before, but I urge any OB/GYN to PLEASE PLEASE explain to your pregnant patients what BACK LABOR is! I’d never heard this term and had no idea what was going on.

I had a beautiful baby girl with a head full of dark hair. And today, twenty-two years later, we celebrate that day with…..

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……a trip down the river in canoes!!

I love you, Darcie. You were worth every minute of pain I had that day, and I thank God for you every single day!