The Youngest Child

My youngest child turns 16 years old tomorrow. I feel as though time totally slipped away from me with her and just went so so fast. I remember my pregnancy and her birth crystal clear. Samantha is actually my rainbow baby, I had 2 losses before her. As my husband said, 3rd time’s a charm, and she was the one who stayed with me. I don’t know why I wanted a 4th child. Even when Thomas was at his worst people would say jokingly, “So you’re done right?” Haha…. And I would truthfully answer No, I’d have another. And the weird side glance looks would ensue. But whatever, I had my life to lead and I wasn’t living for “them”.

Samantha’s due date was July 31. And all my kids before were born on exactly their due date; go figure. So that day, 16 years ago I was impatient. My sister figured that she wanted her own month since Alyssa, Tommy and Thomas all have July birthdays. Well she was right. Samantha entered the world August 1st at 11:37pm.

Sam, as she likes to be called, is absolutely her own person, marches to the best of her own drum, or whatever other cliche that’s said to describe someone who breaks the traditional mould. She never was a girly girl and still isn’t. When high school opened to in person learning Sam jumped at the chance to play sports. First volleyball then wrestling. I was like wrestling? Ok. Whatever makes you happy. She ended up placing 2nd in the city her first year. Pretty great.

Samantha talks to me. I’m honored actually that all my girls talk to me. But being that Sam is so different than her sisters I’m really glad she trusts me and feels comfortable enough to let her guard down and be open and honest with me. I don’t judge but I will give my opinion solicited or not.

Sam did not want a big party. It’s her birthday and we never pressured our girls to do what we thought was “right” when they had other plans. Right now she’s enjoying her friends in our backyard after celebrating fairly quietly with close family yesterday afternoon.

Happy birthday to my last baby, the one who teaches me to accept people for who they are, not who I want them to be. The one who God blessed me with. Actually I truly believe God granted me my wish for a fourth child and He said, “ You want a fourth? Oh I’ll give you a fourth…”. And here she is now 16 years old. We traveled a different road of parenting with this girl than our older girls. It hasn’t been a terrible road, just a road that has a different terrain. And Samantha led the way.

Taking a Day/Man or Woman?

I had a doctors appointment this morning. Nothing serious, more of a check up. But trying to schedule an appointment when your working hours for the summer are 7:30am to 6pm was a little difficult. First I thought I would go in to work late with my appointment early in the morning but the more I thought about it the more I leaned towards just taking the whole day off and so I did. Here are my thought while I sit on the beach on my day off:

When I gave birth to my first 3 children I used a midwife practice for my prenatal care and deliveries. The midwives were wonderful and very low intervention/low risk pregnancies. I chose to have the epidural with Thomas and hated the after effects of it so when I was approaching labor with my next 2 children I kept an open mind and told myself I would try to deliver without pain meds but it was an option should I change my mind. I didn’t change my mind, I didn’t use pain meds and Alyssa and Lelly were wonderful births. I was up and about right after I had them, no waiting for anything to wear off and no side effects. That was my experience. With Samantha I was pregnant after 2 miscarriages and chose to go to a male obstetrician who was the midwives back up doctor. I adored him and I can’t imagine me getting better care from anyone else. I gave birth to Samantha without medication or interventions as well.

Presently, being at a time in my life where I still requirement care for issues that woman have to deal with I’ve had experiences with both men and woman practitioners. And personally at this stage of life I prefer a woman doctor. The doctor I saw this morning was a woman and absolutely incredible. She explained every little detail of my visit and had a very gentle touch. She cared about what was going on and the procedures she needed to do.

I’ve heard conflicting experiences from close friends. Some who say woman doctors are cold and uncaring and also those that say the same about male doctors practicing within a woman’s specialty field. I feel as though I’ve experienced the best of both worlds. I’m not a male doctor hater, far from it. I used to love to have a health visit with nurse practitioners. They were usually kind, extremely thorough and gentle both in touch and mannerism. However the last 3 times I’ve used an NP for either myself or one of my children I was highly disappointed in the care we received. Talk about cold and condescending. I was so so surprised. I’m not painting all doctors male or female with the same brush nor do I feel all NP’s are cold practitioners. These have just been my recent experiences and mo one was more surprised than me. I am very open minded.

Sometimes I Wonder/And Thomas

There are many times I post in my blog and I really wonder if anyone’s reading it. I suppose that could be thought of by anyone who writes something for the world to see. Thank you all to those who responded to my last post and thank you also for the “congratulations” I received for passing the certification exam. I really appreciate every single one.

It’s mid morning Sunday as I write this. My week days are so long with working the after school program I’m happy to do nothing or just catch up with laundry on the weekends. Yesterday Samantha and I hit the thrift and did well so that was really nice. I vacuumed yesterday, it was glorious if you can believe it. One of our dogs is half golden retriever/ half golden lab and she’s a blonde so you can only imagine the shedding we try to keep up with. She’s an amazing, sweet girl so she’s worth it.

Since it’s Sunday Thomas will be coming over. He only wants to visit on Sunday. I would say that it is odd but it’s soooo Thomas. I have no idea if Lelly or Samantha will be home for dinner so it looks like it could be just him and I. And that’s ok. 2 weeks ago it was Thomas’ birthday, he turned 26 years old. I seriously wonder when that happened. His childhood into adolescence; as his parents, was one great, not so pleasant roller coaster. It’s only in the past say 8 years aside from him being a baby that I really enjoy him. And even then there are some Sundays where he’s so high maintenance I’m done after those few hours. I love him, he’s “mine” as I’ve declared so many times but he’s Thomas. It’s funny because I’ve been told by many different people how polite he is, great manners, that he is really a nice person, that he’s not mean. I appreciate all that. And of course grateful to get feedback that he isn’t “mean.” However as his mother I didn’t get to experience what a nice person he is until fairly recently. All the violence he displayed to me was due to him being mentally ill and primarily brain damaged. In other words it wasn’t his fault. I know that logically but living through what I’ve experienced from him caused harm that took a long time to heal from.

So today I’ll pick up my son and we’ll hit up TJ Maxx so he can spend gift cards Thomas received for his birthday. At first he blatantly said he didn’t want the gift cards; Thomas is well aware what a gift card is (thanks kid…) but I think it sunk in that he could go shopping with his own money and he eventually changed his mind. He now wants me to take him to TJ maxx today. Thomas likes to shop. And if he’s not doing the shopping he will be more than happy to enable and encourage you to buy whatever it is you are on the fence about purchasing. It’s actually fun to go shopping with him. He picks out his own clothes and he chooses nice things (thank God). He has no issue with trying clothes on either. It’s sweet that I get to spend time with this nice guy I raised.

After School Program In The Summer

I’m working at my school this summer as I’ve mentioned before. I was hoping for an after school program to open up for extra hours. Unexpectedly an opportunity fell in my lap, I couldn’t believe it. I work at my school from 8 am to 2:30, travel 10 minutes to another school that is participating in an after school program and there are D75 students attending. I’m at the after school program from 3pm to 6pm. However due to parents who do not pick up their children on time, I stay late. I’m not to leave until the last student is picked up and that has been anywhere from 6:30 to 6:45. Annoying, to say the least and totally rude in my opinion. Last evening we waited 2 hours. You can’t make this shit up.

Aside from the pick up issue it’s a good side gig. I’m responsible to provide nursing care if any of the D75 students have any health issues. Most of my time is taken up with one student who requires care and nursing procedures and that’s ok. That’s why I’m there. Besides it makes the time go faster. I’d rather be busy or have a schedule to follow than do nothing.

This past Saturday I sat for the National Certification of School Nurses exam. I scheduled it months ago and have been studying off and on. Mostly taking practice tests. I’m proud to say I passed!! 200 questions. It wasn’t the most difficult test I’ve taken but it wasn’t the easiest either. A lot of growth and development questions, first aid nursing interventions for various situations, and many other scenarios. Studying and taking those practice tests was definitely the way to go. I am proud of myself for this certification.