Monday, October 31, 2011

The Peanut Butter Paradigm

My food processor came today. Thanks, Amazon!

First on the agenda? Peanut butter.

I bought a 3 pound bag of salted peanuts. My first mistake. The peanut butter is way too salty, but I can deal with that.

My second mistake was buying un-shucked peanuts. Shucking half the bag took an hour and now my fingers are dry and sore.

In to the processor went the peanuts. As well as some canola oil and honey. You don't have to use honey, but I prefer my peanut butter to be a little less au naturale.

After processing for 20 seconds I add the oil and honey. If it's too gritty, process for more time, if it's not spreadable enough, add more oil.

And there you are. Organic peanut butter you can make yourself for about $2 per 8oz jar.

Goes great on toasted blueberry bagels.

Another great thing about making the peanut butter today was 1. I got to do something I've never done before and I'll learn from my mistakes mentioned above and 2. Micah now knows you can make your own peanut butter with peanuts and oil. He finds it fascinating. I don't think we'll ever go back to store bought.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Keeping Your Child Healthy

Micah is the healthiest and happiest child I know. He doesn't get ear infections, colds, fevers, coughs, etc. I think the last time he was sick it was because he got food poisoning a year ago.

Want to know the secret? There isn't one.

But here are some tips for a healthy child:
  • Eat well while you are pregnant, exercise and get sun. You may also want to take some suppliments if you feel your diet is lacking.
  • Breastfeed. Even if you work, PUMP. Breastmilk is the only real nutrition for babies. You are giving your child your antibodies to protect them from infections and disease. (You'll also burn an extra 500 colories or so a day producing the stuff.) If you can't breastfeed you can purchase (or get donated to you) another woman's healthy breast milk. Suppliers can (and do) blood tests on the woman so you know your baby is getting quality nutrition.
  • Do not start your baby on white rice cereal. It has almost zero real nutrition. Get a baby food mill ($10) and grind veggies, fruit, meat (or not, if you have a vegitarian family) or whatever you and your family are having for dinner that night. Start off with veggies. NOT white rice cereal. It's like feeding your child a spoonful of sugar and can lead to childhood obesity. If you must give them some sort of mush, give them unsweetened oatmeal.
  • Set an example with your food choices.
  • Let your child cook with you. Teach them about nutrition and where food comes from.
  • Let your child explore and get dirty. Too little germ exposure inhibits healthy immune development and promotes disease. Don't slather on the antibacterial soap. Antibacterial soaps, as well as vaccinations and antibiotics, may inhibit healthy immune development. For example, children who contract diseases such as chicken pox or measles develop lifetime immunity to those diseases, whereas children who receive vaccinations require booster shots for continued immunity.
  • Worry less about what your child shouldn’t be eating and more about what they should be eating.The foods with the highest micronutrient density as follows: Greens to be highest! (Mustard greens, collard greens, turnip greens, kale, watercress, brussels sprouts, spinach, etc.) Berries and fruits to be the second highest in nutrients. Beans and nuts to be third.
  • Take them food shopping with you, sticking to the outer walls of the supermarket and avoiding the center. (Or better yet, visit your local Farmer's Market and get to know a farmer.) The sections of the supermarket around the outer walls hold the nutrient-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish, and low-fat dairy. The inner aisles contain processed and snack foods.
  • Remember that you CAN eat healthier on a small budget. A bag of snack chips may cost a dollar, but so does a pound of broccoli.
  • If your child attends public school, make them a nutritious breakfast in the morning and send them with a bagged lunch to school. A healthy breakfast would include fat/protien (such as eggs/meat), then fruits or veggies, with side notes of grains. (One reason protein and fat are so essential for breakfast is that they are critical for overall brain chemistry balance.) Avoid processed/packadged foods loaded with flour and sugar.For packed lunches, try dinner leftovers, meat and veg rolled in pita, tortillas or multi-grain bread. Avoid starchy, heavy flour breads. Add in some fruit/veg and some water or a juice box with no added sugar. 
  • Provide vitamins and suppliments if needed. I give Micah a vitamin C daily. Sometimes he also needs extra iron or vitamin B12 or D as well. It all depends on if he's been outside and has been eating right. Children need a daily intake of Vitamin C because it is important for maintaining a healthy immune system. Among the many benefits of Vitamin C for children is that it acts as a powerful anti-oxidant as well as an anti-inflammatory agent that prevents oxygen-based damage to the cells.
  • Get outside. Sunlight and exercise is essential. Avoid dousing your child in sunscreen laden with chemicals which can cause irritation/rashes/acne and some scientists beleive it can cause skin cancer or at least enable it. Sunscreen blocks the creation of all-essential vitamin D your child desperately needs to prevent as many as 25 chronic diseases. Notably: prostatecancer, breast cancer, osteoporosis, schizophrenia and heartdisease. Try a homemade sunscreen instead.(
  • Read to your child(ren) daily. Reading to your child is one of the most effective ways of building the “language” neural connections in their growing brain. Reading to your child makes you bond with them and this gives your child a sense of intimacy and well-being. It calms your child, especially when they are fretful and restless. It promotes increased communication between you and your child. It promotes longer attention span, which is an important skill for your child to be able to concentrate. It builds listening skills and imagination.
  • Assisted streching and massage techniques. Do streching excersises with your child. If you aren't that flexible, have your child lay flat and move their limbs to get some good streches. Good flexibility helps kids perform better in some activities, helps balance, concentration, circulation and helps them avoid injuries. With massage, start when your baby is newborn. Premature infants who were massaged, particularly with kinesthetic stimulation (body stroking and passive movement of the limbs), gained more weight than premature infants without massage. Massage helps manage stress, axiety, asthma, helps enhance the immune system, stimulates motor development and bonding, and even increases IQ. You don't have to take classed to massage your child. Touch is as important to infants and children as eating and sleeping.
  • Avoid using harsh cleaning chemicals. Not only would you have to call poison control if your child got into your cleaning closet, but they could develop rashes, chemical burns or permanent neural damage. Most household cleaning can be done with simple, cheap vinegar and baking soda (Not at the same time, except in your toilet. Remember making volcanoes in middle school?). Avoid antibacterial cleaners. Antibacterial products target good bacteria as well as bad, but our bodies need those good bacteria. Labels lie. Companies do not have to disclose all their ingredients. Vinegar naturally cleans like an all-purpose cleaner and the smell dissapates when it dries. Mix a solution of 1 part water to 1 part vinegar in a new store bought spray bottle and you have a solution that will clean most areas of your home. Vinegar is a great natural cleaning product as well as a disinfectant and deodorizer.Baking soda can be used to scrub surfaces in much the same way as commercial abrasive cleansers.
  • Make time for your child's health and wellbeing. Your child's physical and mental health comes before anyone elses (and your schedule). Don't find the time. Make the time. Listen to your children. Look at them when they talk to you. They need to feel they are the most important part of your life. If your child is acting out, there is a reason. Find it. But remember that children also thrive on stability and dicipline (not on neglect).

If you're a parent then you know your child better than anyone else and know how to care for them. Please feel free to leave comments or your own tips in the comments!

(Reading material: )

Sunday, August 14, 2011

DIY Plarn Water Bottle Holder

Being the nerd I am, I wanted to attend the South Park Fan Experience this year in downtown San Diego. My SO and I would be taking the trolley there; parking is a nightmare come Comic-con.

I knew I'd be taking water. A BIG bottle of water. But I didn't want to have to hold it the whole time. I knew I'd need to come up with something crafty to solve my dilema.

Enter the plarn water bottle holder.

Large enough for my water bottle, plarn crocheted thick enough to insulate the bottle; keeping it cold and me dry (from the bottle's condensation).

There was no rhyme or reason, I didn't have a pattern. I just made a circle by crocheting in the round, making the circle the same diameter as my bottle's bottom, then not adding more, just going around and around. For the strap I used sturdy, black plarn.

My mother, The Gardening Soup Queen is my lovely model. She thinks I should make more and sell them (with others like my reusable totes) at our community farmer's market. What do you think?

If you need a pattern, there's a good one over at My Recycled Bags.

South Park Fan Experience? Huge success.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Muffin Tin Pot Pies

Since my muffin tin apple pies were such a huge success I thought I'd try something equally epic. Pies. With. Chicken.

I used the same crust from the apple pies. (I love "no chill crust".)

Here we go!

Make the dough.

  • 2 1/2 cup Flour
  • 1 cup Shortening
  • 1 tsp. Baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1 egg + 1/2 cup cold water

Pre-heat your oven to 345°F (173°C). Fork shortening into the flour, baking powder and salt. Beat egg and cold water together, then fork into the dough. Knead until you're satisfied with its consistency.

Roll 11 - 12 small pieces of dough into balls.

Now you can roll out the dough with your rolling pin or a glass. It is a good
idea to dust each ball with a little flour just before you roll them out. Lay the rolling pin
in the center of the dough ball and roll up, center and roll down. It is good to lift the
dough and turn it. Again, rolling pin in the center and roll. Roll them out fairly thin.

Place into your muffin tin.

Now for the filling. It's really up to you. If you want to go all out you can follow this:

  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 3/4 C onion, chopped
  • 3/4 C celery, chopped
  • 3/4 C carrots, chopped
  • 3/4 C cremini mushroom, chopped
  • 3/4 C potatoes, chopped
  • 3/4 Tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 C white wine
  • 1 1/2 C chicken broth
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • 3 C poached chicken, chopped
  • 3/4 C frozen peas
  • 1/3 C whole milk
  • 3 Tbsp parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper

Heat butter over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, onion, celery, carrots and potatoes. Saute until the vegetables start to soften. Add thyme and garlic and continue to stir 2 or 3 minutes.

Pour in wine; let boil and cook off. Add chicken broth; reduce heat and bring mixture to a simmer. Add flour and stir until sauce thickens; about 6-7 minutes.

Add in chicken, peas, milk and parsley. Bring mixture to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper.

Or, if you're like me and don't own a restaurant to house all these ingredients you can use whatever you have on hand. I had onions, chives, carrots, potatoes and spinach. I achieved celery flavor with some celery seed spice. I also added some garlic powder and salt/pepper. Then I added a can of chicken breast. The whole can, including the juice. Let it simmer and add a little milk. Let it simmer again and add a bit of flour to make a light gravy.

Spoon into the dough cups. (Cheese is optional.) And pinch four sides of the dough closed.

Bake on 345°F (173°C) for 35 minutes.

Enjoy with some nice salad topped with homemade ranch dressing.

Robert said "Wow, they actually taste like pot pie!" (He ate three with his hands.)

Why so surprised; who do you think you're talkin' to here!?

Micah-ism: "Don't be hostile to me!"

Monday, July 11, 2011

Not Your Grandma's Apple Pie

When I want to bake, I want to bake NOW. Pity the fool who gets in my way on a baking day.

Today I don't know if it was family being in town, or just the fact that I hadn't baked in a while... But the urge hit me hard at my mom's house. GET OUT DA KITCHEN!

I decided I would make some muffin tin mini apple pies. You can make any kind of pie in a muffin tin. Mini cheesecake, mini key lime pie and even mini chicken pot pie. (I really don't know which one to do next... Suggestions?) Since I don't like letting things "rest" when I bake, I needed a "no chill crust" recipe (see recipe below).

Mini Apple Pie Recipe


  • 2 large apples, chopped
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • as much cinnamon and nutmeg you like


  • 2 1/2 cup Flour
  • 1 cup Shortening
  • 1 tsp. Baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1 egg + 1/2 cup cold water

1) Pre-heat your oven to 345°F (173°C). Fork shortening into the flour, baking powder and salt. Beat egg and cold water together, then fork into the dough. Knead until you're satisfied with its consistency. Set aside.

2) Chop your apples into small cubes or rectangles if you haven't already and leave the skins on (lots of fiber and contains half the vitamin C the whole apple offers). Add the butter and let cover the apple pieces. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix it up! (Using your hands is fun, this is the part Micah loves.)

3) Roll out your dough and cut into circles using a cup, bowl or knife. Place the circles in your ungreased muffin pan. Spoon copious amounts of your filling into the dough cups. For the dough lattice that goes on top, just roll out the extra dough, cut into small strips with a pizza cutter and place them on top. Only interweave them if you have the time... I didn't.

Bake for about 35 minutes, or until your crust is brown.

Let them cool for 10 minutes, then serve with fresh whipped cream and/or french vanilla ice cream.


"Fireworks make me want to hug someone."

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The New Blog Look and a Surprise!

Tired of the ho-hum-drum Blogger template, I decided to take a page from the Dan Pierce, who Will Work for 4 Followers book of blog know-how. I got my CSS on big time.

I added a Favicon:

Then I made a new banner in Photoshop, streamlined my networking links, added some nifty tabs at the top and removed the right nav bar, which was crowding the whole thing up.

I also did an image map in Fireworks. (Those nifty buttons on the upper left is actually one image.)

Say hello to the new MiaU (Mom is an Understatement), pronounced like "meow" (not mandatory).

Hello gorgeous.

Of course, there's always room for improvement. We'll see how much easier readers are able to navigate, then I'll do some more tweaking.

And now; for the surprise!

A list of Micah-isms:

*Micah went to the doctor yesterday and got a shot. Grandpa asked him, Micah, did they shoot you? He said No no no no (rolling eyes). They don't SHOOT people!

*Right when Micah and I got home he takes his shoes off and says "We had a great day." matter-of-factly.

*Micah is with his dad for the next three or so days. When he was leaving he said "I love you! Buy! Don't die!"

*Micah says some of the funniest things when he's in deep trouble. Sometimes it's hard to keep a straight face. "Ask me again, I'll tell the truth this time, because I love you!"

**wail* "I'm so tired of this world!"

‎*"Micah, why are you playing Portal 2?"
"Because I rock and this game rocks."

*“Don't be hostile to me!”

*Micah pulled me into the bathroom so I could take a look at his giant #2. I said "Whoa! What happened?" He said "Its because I ate a lot of cereal."

*Micah-ism: Shouting "GERMOMMY-O" while jumping off the couch. ♥
(I keep telling him it's 'Geronimo'.)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Squid Eyes and Fruit Pops

Fooled you a bit with the title.

The new rag rug I made with recycled t-shirts is finished. It looks like a squid's eye...

Available now on Etsy.

Seems my kitty really likes it. Sorry kitty! I'll make you a new one.

In other news, my son has been saving his allowance for a new wooden train toy. Today was hard, however as the ice cream truck came around blasting the jingle from hell. He was torn. Spend $2 on an ice cream or save it for a toy. While he was deciding the ice cream truck drove off and he crumpled into a heap. So sad.

So after he calmed down I asked him if he wanted to help me make some fruit pops. We cut up one orange, took a handful of frozen strawberries out of the freezer and blended them in the blender. Into the ice pop trays they went. One hour later we were enjoying our homemade (and healthy) fruit pops.

Monday, June 27, 2011

DIY Hanging Upcycled Strawberry Planter

Drawing inspiration from a strawberry topsy turvy I decided to craft one of my own. Its basically a plastic bag cylinder. Besides... Its $10 + shipping. And I'm rather fond of my money.

And upcycling.

So I ironed about 8 plastic bags together (how to iron together plastic bags)and sewed it all up on my sewing machine. My mom saved 3 strawberry plants for me from her surplus, so I cut 3 asterisk shapes in the front (evenly spaced).

Then I popped the plants in the holes and filled it with (my mom's) dirt.

I hung it on my car's laundry hook and took it home.

Doesn't it look happy on my front porch? My neighbors across the way paid for theirs. If only they knew how to fuse plastic.


Notice how on every strawberry topsy turvy you see the strawberry plants at the bottom are runty? The plants on the top (where the fertilizer and water are deposited) are hoggin' all the food!

My solution? Cut two small snips in the back, poking a funnel in there for water and pushing in fertilizer from time to time.

Opps, there's my neighbor... Another tip: don't water your neighbors.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Easy Seedlings on a Balcony

Container gardening on your porch or balcony doesn't have to be a chore, or a seemingly daunting task. You and your little one(s) can do what I did and take it slowly at first.

Starting your plants off as seeds is the more economical (and educational) way to go about doing it.

Here's how we did it:

Get some plastic wrap, scissors, seed starter, seeds, and a used cardboard egg carton.

Cut the top off the egg carton and save it.

Cover the top in plastic wrap and place the bottom on top of it.

Put in the seed starter.

Put your seeds in and label them.

Keep them moist for the next 24 hours. Water from the bottom up. Take a water bottle and water in between the egg carton layers, making sure only the top layer gets wet. The bottom layer is protected from the water by the plastic wrap.

Your seeds should sprout after a 3 - 7 days. When they're ready to move to a bigger container, just tear off the individual portion and plant. Your plant will grow its roots through the wet paper.

When ours sprout I'll post more pictures of that, as well as when I transplant them.

Happy gardening!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Dinosaur Appliques!

Last year I got these great dinosaur appliques.

I couldn't quite decide what to do with them, so when I finished my latest rag rug adding a dino applique to the baby blue fabric just seemed... right.

My son really loves it.

But alas! Twas not to be. This rug is going on Etsy.

I love rag rugging. It's a great form of upcycling.

And the backs are just as pretty as the front!

You can see this listed on Etsy here.

My sister has asked me for a companion cube pot holder made from crochet fabric... Stay tuned.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Etsy, Here I Come!

I've recently been getting in touch with my crafty side.

As a strong supporter of upcycling I'm loving Etsy. FULL of items made with love from repurposed goods.

Time to test the waters with my latest creations:

^ A cupcake pot holder / hotpad. (Available here.)

^ And a lemon slice hotpad. (Available here.)

Don't hold back, tell me what you think! Are these something that would sell? Will my toe dip into the Etsy crafter's world give me frostbite?

Come visit me at my shop!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Doctors, Dentists and Farewells... Oh My!

Today was a day fraught with emotional exertion.

It all started yesterday as I was packing Micah's suitcase for one of his quarterly visit with his father. Hours of laundry duty had worn me down and packing the last of his little socks filled me with relief.

We went into the office to finish up the day's schoolwork. After feeling particularly proud of himself for completing a math question, he smiled at me.

A dental cap was gone! The internal moaning set in as I thought about what I had to do next. He had to leave the next day at 12pm and had a doctor's appointment at 11am. How were we going to get this fixed in time?

Panic subsided enough to allow me to pick up the phone and call his dentist. I left a message. They were closed. "Who was that on the phone? he asked. "Your dentist, we need to fix your tooth, buddy." Anxiety spread over his face. "But... but I just want to look like Grandpa!" (His Grandpa has a gap in his two front teeth.) I laughed for about 5 minutes.

We finished the schoolwork, brushed our teeth and went to bed; however my night was filled with nervous tossing and turning. (As only a parent's night can be.)

I kept it together in the morning. Kids pick up on stress. Thankfully the dentist called me back. They had an opening! At 11am. I had to call the doctor to reschedule, call Micah's dad to let him know we might be late (he understood), then call around for an emergency ride to the dentist later.

After a small breakfast I got him in the bath, picked out his clothes, picked out MY clothes, dried him off, got him dressed, took a 2 minute shower, got dressed, putting my Zumba clothes and tennis shoes in my bag with the library books I had to return, made sure I wasn't forgetting anything and left the house.

The dentist went well. They have a policy there; you can't go back with your child after the first time. Their reasoning for this is that the child listens better without their parents around. It works. So I sat idly flipping through an old issue of "O" while the damage was repaired. He's such a big boy.

After getting a prize (and an organic, sugar free strawberry smoothie from Grandma), we left the dentist and returned the library books before grabbing lunch at Grandma's and waited for his dad to come get him. I always have to hold back the tears. Letting your child go for two weeks just doesn't feel natural. But I am calm until they leave. Tears only starting to show after his blonde hair in the backseat turns the corner. The day feels unusual and empty.

My mom cheers me with coffee and conversation. I look forward to the phone calls I'll have with him.

I leave you with a recent Micah-ism; "Don't be hostile to me!"

Monday, April 11, 2011

Upcycled Reusable Tote

Upcycling is one of my favorite hobbies. And if you're like me, then you have reusable grocery bags. But never remember to take them to the store. And now you have hundreds of plastic bags under your sink and in the plastic bag dispenser on the wall...

I've found great uses for these after you learn how to iron plastic.

Just iron (on the rayon setting) 8 sheets of plastic (one bag is two sheets) together, between to pieces of wax/parchment paper. Printer paper works, too. Iron continuously for about 15 seconds on each side. Make sure there are no bubbles. When you peel it away... Plastic fabric! You can sew it in your machine easily!

I've made an apron for my son to use while painting, a plastic bag dispenser (made out of plastic bags!) and my favorite... The upcycled reusable tote bag.

They're easy to make and get rid of bags quick. Family members will line up for these; making them great gifts.

Be sure to recycle any plastic scraps you have leftover the next time you go to the grocery store. Just drop it in the recycled bag bin. Every store usually has one by the exit.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Hospital Birthing Experience

I knew months before I gave birth that I would want to deliver naturally. I knew I would probably wuss out and scream for an epidural, but I would be happy as long as I know I tried.

My mother had four babies, my little sister she had right at home on our pull out couch!

As the time approached my OBGYN informed me that if I was 2 weeks overdue he would induce me. And that's ALL he said. There was a lack of information on his part and a lack of asking on mine. I didn't think I would have to be induced, so I didn't look into it. I really wish I had.

The night of my induction I had already been having small contractions. The nurse told me that if I hadn't come in I still would have gone into labor that night, or the next morning. I almost left when she said that! But I knew I wouldn't be able to do it on my own. At least, that's what all the doctors and nurses tell you. I had packed a bag of everything I'd need, even soothing music and an exercise ball. I had it all planned out.

The thing was; my doctor had it planned out, too. He planned when I would arrive, when I would birth my baby and when I would leave. If I took to long pushing a nine pound baby out of my vagina, then he would TAKE him out. (C-Section).

Let me just say this: hospitals are not a place of birth or healing. They are a place of sickness and death. I did not want to have my baby in a hospital. It's cold, huge and smells. It's uncomfortable. It's unfamiliar. Hospitals are in it for the MONEY. They have business plans, they have quotas, they have STOCK. They are there to get you in and get you out.

How do they get you in? The OBGYNS who you go to see are on the hospital's payroll. They are paid to get you in. To make sure you think giving birth in a hospital is the only safe option. That you NEED to be there because of all the things that could and might go wrong.

However... Being on a health plan that does not cover birthing centers or midwives gave me no other choice. Looking back, I would have gladly paid the $3k - $4k price of a caring, knowledgeable midwife than suffer through a hospital, which operates as a business.

I put on the hospital nightgown and felt a chill... I felt like something was wrong. People only wear hospital gowns when they're sick or need surgery, right? I sat down on my exercise ball, as I was already feeling contractions, even though they had not started induction.

The nurse came in and told me I couldn't sit on the ball, I had to lay on the bed. I pouted. Rolling my hips on the ball felt nice.

I resigned myself to the bed and she strapped electronics to my belly that monitored my son's heart rate. Then she put an IV in my wrist. (After trying to put it in my thumb joint? WTH?)

Lying there, feeling useless, having things done to me, instead of being in charge of my own birthing process, I twiddled my thumbs in boredom.

Several nurses whom I had never met, or seen were frequenting the inner parts of my cervix.

"Only 3 centimeters." They said to each other. And started the induction.

Where was my doctor? What are you doing? Where are my ANSWERS!?

They put pitocin in my IV and inserted half a pill of prostaglandin in my cervix. What were these drugs? What are the side effects? Why aren't you people explaining things to me or ASKING my permission to do things to me and my baby!?

Questions were racing through my mind as all this happened so fast. But what kind of know-it-all first time mom would question a professional?

Finally my doctor came in. He broke my water and left.

It was all so business-like I wanted to cry! What happened to my beautiful, intimate moments of birth? I felt like I was being robbed of an experience.

And then the contractions started. Long, hard contractions. I barely had time in between them to breathlessly demand an epidural before I passed out. And I am not a sissy! Turns out, being induced causes harder, longer, more painful contractions which, if prolonged can send your baby into distress, which in turn sends you to the operating table for a C-Section.

No wonder women who are sent in for emergency C-Sections are being diagnosed with symptoms of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). It's almost like you're a cow, sent to the slaughter house. Just waiting in line for the hospital to cut you, and get you out, so they can fill the empty bed with new cows, needing to be cut.

I begged the nurses to let me up out of that bed. I needed to walk, I needed to move, I wanted my exercise ball! She said since I was induced, they had to constantly monitor my son and that I couldn't move, since it would move the electronics strapped to my belly. I felt like a prisoner. I started to resent everyone and everything. Especially that damn bed.

For those who say I had a choice; I didn't know I did. When a doctor or nurse (a "professional") says "This is what is best for you and your baby", you don't question them. And if you DO you get third degree burns from the scorn. "Don't you WANT to have a healthy baby?" You think the doctor that you trust would tell you what all the options are. What your choices are, their outcomes and their complications. You assume they have you and your baby's best interests in mind, only to realize during the heat of labor that you're just a number on a white board in the hallway.

The epidural kicked in and I fell asleep for 45 minutes. My sleep was interrupted by the most primitive urge to push. I knew I HAD to push. I WANTED to push. I called for the nurse. She checked my cervix again and said I was at 9 centimeters. From 4 to 9 centimeters in 45 minutes! I told her I had to push. She said no. "Hold it."

WHAT!? How can I possibly hold in a baby? I wanted to punch this lady in the face. She wouldn't tell me why I couldn't push. Finally, after speaking to my doctor over the phone, she informed me I could push. Now, I know that lying on your back to push isn't the best way to push out a baby. Avoid Giving Birth on the Back and Follow the Body’s Urges to Push. Doctors make you lay on your back which causes your pelvis to tilt the wrong way, making your uterus have to push that baby uphill while birthing, making it more painful and uncomfortable, also squeezing the baby more than necessary. All this so the DOCTOR is comfortable sitting in his little stool with your vagina in his face, waiting for you to drop a baby in his lap.

I pushed for 2 painful hours as my epidural had worn off. I was glad to be able to feel the urge to push and I felt like I was once again in control. At least somewhat. Making me push while laying down and making me push for ten seconds at a time pushed my son out so hard my perineum tore all the way back to my anus. A third-degree laceration is a tear in the vaginal tissue, perineal skin, and perineal muscles that extends into the anal sphincter (the muscle that surrounds your anus). For weeks to come I suffered horrible constipation and pain when I was eventually able to go.

Because it had taken so long to birth my son, and because the contractions on him were so strong, he had his first bowel movement in me and had inhaled some of it.

So right when he came out, they left me bleeding on the bed and took him away to the other side of the room where they poked and prodded him; sticking hoses down his throat. He still had an apgar score of 9.

My doctor came over, informed my of my third degree perineal tear and started sewing it up. With no anesthetic. I felt every stitch.

I was finally allowed to hold my son in my arms. I resented the nurse who took him away from me and robbed me of being the first person to hold that little human I made and carried for over 9 months. But he was perfect. I cried. He just looked at me. And I looked at him.

I gave him his first breastmilk when we were sent upstairs to a recovery room. Soon, he was taken from me again. The pitocin used in delivery lowered his bilirubin count. He went under the lights for jaundice.

The nurses wanted me to stay in my room while they took him three floors down to be put under the lights. They said I had edema that could worsen if I got out of bed. I couldn't get up to take a shower (I stank like sweat and blood), or pee (I got an infection from the catheter).

But when it was time to feed him (every two hours) I painfully walked down to nurse him, and hold him, then walked back. Even at night. So now I have permanent edema in my left ankle. But it was worth it. He needed that colostrum and I needed him.

When we were able to leave the hospital I couldn't carry him out myself. A nurse had to carry him out. They took him from me so often I would get panic attacks every time someone touched him.

With my recovery came questions.

Why, if I had already been in the first stages of labor had my doctor went through with the induction? Why not send me home until I needed to come to the hospital? It would have been less painful and less traumatic. Because my doctor and the hospital had a schedule to keep. Because without me there to fill a bed, I would have been costing them precious money.

I will NEVER birth in a hospital again. I am grateful that if something goes wrong during birth, a hospital is around the corner.

Now that I know my next birthing experience (who knows when that will be) will be something of my own design, I don't feel like breaking out in a nervous sweat whenever my period is a few days late.