i did all the labor though

Cooking Time!

Wherever you go on earth you will find “local cuisine.” Local cuisine is often made up of local food, things that are grown or produced only in specific areas, and at the most minute level there is home cooking, recipes and specific alterations to common recipes that only exist in your family. This is the core idea of my next story. (My first story is about fetishes that i brought over from my other blog)

    One day the Human crew decided to make special dishes for the rest of the crew. This idea scared most of the ship. What was acceptable Death Planet meals? Many assumed it would be bloody and gruesome, which for some of this dishes was the start, or poisonous, which the humans made sure to check food restrictions for their crew mates. Some of the humans brought on livestock, killed and cooked it in front of the crew. They claimed that the “fresher the meat is, the better it tastes.” Others brought pre-cut meats with leafy things. Some brought on weird squares that jiggled but retained their shape when it didn’t seem like it should to be able to. Lots of liquids, powder things, fruits, and leafs were brought and shared by most. Lastly, One human named Ernest, brought on a few cans. He did not labor over the flames, smoking oils, hot ovens, or boiling waters. Ernest just watched others work while he sat there with his cans.

The first was a human to make her dish was named Sophia from a country known as I-tall-ee. She made Pee-za. All the other humans seemed very excited by this, most agreed Pee-za was their favorite food. Though the crew learned rather quickly that it was very hard to decide on the makings of a Pee-za or where on the Death Planet it came from. Some argued the Pee-za from Nu Yurk was better, other said Boss-tan and Sophia said the Amerikans didn’t know what real Pee-za was. The only thing most of the humans could agree on was that it was a crime to put pineapple on Pee-za. A few of the bravest crew tried the Pee-za and enjoyed the finished item. Others of the crew were afraid to try it due to the humans arguing and joking about fighting if they liked one pee-za more than another.

After Sophia was Otgonbayar or Bay as most called them. He was from Mongo-lia. They brought mutt-on, which was butchared while the Pee-zas were made. Bay cooked chunks of meat with many liquids and spicys on a flat cooking plate. The crew was worried about the plate being so hot but were reassured that a cooking plate and an eating plate were different and they would not be getting food off the searing cooking plate. The humans all complemented Bay on the smells of the food which did seem rather good. Most of the crew was happy to sample the mutt-on.

The next Human was Suki from Ja-Pan. She prepared several meals. First was a hot liquid called Me-so soop. Many were confused that the Toe-fool in the soop did not contain the Toes of a fool, but found the soop to be tasty despite the confusing name. What bewildered most of the crew is when she made Fry Rise. It was a combination of so many things; small narrow rise grains, egs, ste-ak, vegtables, and lots of seasonings. Many of the crew enjoyed it but could not understand why anyone would traditionally eat such small food with 2 sticks.

Now came one named Robert from Arc-en-saw. He made a meal that made others wince in pain at it. It was a Cheez Borg Er wrap in Bake On. The crew who enjoyed meat loved it dearly. The other Humans warned against eating too many due to Heart attacks. That did not worry the Foorgorian crew members as they had 3 hearts.

Next came Mary from Me-he-co. She made a meal called Talko’s. Some of the crew theorized these Talko’s is what made Mary talk so much. It was served in a few ways she explained depending where in Me-he-co you live. Some cook the Shell, some leave it soft. Some roll the meats and sauces in the soft shell while others piled it on the hard shell. She had one sauce called Picko-D-Guy-o. She warned some people it was full of spices that make some men on earth cry. This scared away most of the other crew but the Bilnafs ate the sauce and literally breathed fire. They were checked into medical bay shortly after and was later cleared as ok and healthy to eat. The gooakomolaye was much better for most of the crew to eat.

Next to last came a man from Aus-tray-lee-ah named by the other humans as Auzzy. He made a Sand-Mitch, with a jelly called Vegi-might. Many of the crew were hopeful at the nutritional value of the meal as it sounded like a vitamin and that is where humans gained their strength. That was until the other humans did not wish to eat it. A few of the crew would taste it and many did not like the taste. This did not offend Auzzy, “More for Me,” he said.

Last came Earnest from a place called North-way. He held one of the cans up and a few of the other humans began to cover there face or leave the room even though the can was still closed. He explained this was a can of Pick-old Hearings, a small aquatic creature that has been preserved for months during the frozen time of year. The Crew looked on with half horror, half curiosity, as he opened the can. Some of the other humans began to gag at the simple smell of this food. It was later explained by the other humans that the Hearings are caught and put in the can with minerals that allow the creature to undergo a type of fermentation that basically is on the edge of decay and rot. It is checked by the local government agency to make sure that it is safe for human consumption, assuming that you wanted to consume it. Most of the crew was confused by this dish the most out of all the foods. Why did the other humans run out of all the foods that were presented this was the crews favorite.

For once it was the humans who were confused and a little scared as the rest of the crew hungrily attacked the remaining cans of Pick-old Hearings

Through It All

This ficlet is part of the Claire returns early with Bree AU which begins with A Ringing Phone and a Folder.

This ficlet is a direct continuation from Strength for What Lies Ahead

My Fanfiction Master List

Available on AO3 as The Nature of Choice.

This is an Outlander canon divergence AU.

As always, let me know what you think.

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Accusations || Jungkook

Request - hi! can i request a jungkook angst where jungkook keep accusing the reader is cheating when she’s not and later he regretted it? thankyou 😊    

Pairing - Jeon Jungkook x Reader

Genre - Fluff, Angst

Summary - You’re met your best friend after years of separation, and you continue to meet him. This particularly pisses Jungkook off.


Jungkook came over to you on the couch as you smiled up at him. With the bowl of popcorn in his hand the movie ready to watch, he settled down next to you as you snuggled up to him, wrapping your arms around his waist as he placed the popcorn on his lap.

Both of you were munching on the popcorn, intent gazes on the screen as his hand absent mindedly ran the length of your arm in a comforting motion, when you heard your phone ring. You immediately reached out for it and you didn’t have to see the caller ID to know it was your best friend.

‘Taehyung, hi!’ You squealed, Jungkook’s hand stopping mid way on your arm. You didn’t notice this and simply took his hand off yours and placed it on his lap before leaving the room and going into the bedroom, to talk to him.

Jungkook huffed as the movie went on, the scene being a steamy kiss being exchanged between the two actors.
‘And I thought I’d make out with her,’ He rolled his eyes. It was the umpteenth time this week that you would always - outside and inside the house - answer the call some place where Jungkook wasn’t there.

He heard you laugh really loud, and he felt a pang of jealousy heavily coursing through his blood. Were you even paying attention to him? Did he even matter to you?

He had had enough and was ready, standing up front the couch, making his way to the door of the bedroom, when you opened it. You jumped a little at the sudden appearance of him.

'Oh, you scared me there,’ You giggled before walking past him.

'Fucking unbelievable.’ Jungkook mumbled under his breath as you sat down on the couch. You looked over to him and sent a smile to his direction, 'Not watching?’

He literally stormed through, thundering steps taken as he made his way in front of the T.V before switching it off and turning to face you. You sat up, very alarmed by his actions.

'You okay, Jung-’

'No. I’m not fucking okay.’ He said through clenched teeth. You stood up and attempted to make your way through to him.

'Jungkook why are you-’ He stopped you in your tracks with a hand in the air. He glared at you, like he wanted you dropping dead right then.

'Are you going to meet that guy later?’ He asked, his voice low but very firm. Your eyebrows furrowed slightly as you answered him.

'Jungkook, really, is that-’

'ARE YOU, OR ARE YOU NOT MEETING THAT DOUCHEBAG?’ He yelled, making you flinch. In the entirety of your relationship with him, he had never let his anger take over him. This was new, and it scared the utter hell out of you. You stayed at your place, but Jungkook could tell you wanted to run away from him.

'I am,’ You said and his expression changed in a flash, like that which resembled a strangely victorious look.

'So, you’re seeing him behind my back aren’t you?’ He smirked, and for a mere second, you thought he was crazy.

'What? No, Jungkook. He’s just my best friend.’ You tried to reason, but he began laughing.

'Best friend, my ass. How many times have you gone out with him already, Y/N? Enough to start dating him? Enough to break up with me?’ He asked, but he didn’t have the smirk on. He just simply looked at you.

You shook your head vigorously, desperate to get him to listen to you.

'No, no, no, Jungkookie. I’m not cheating on you, trust me!’ Your eyes at the brink of tears as you knew your relationship was literally hanging on the edge of a cliff at the moment.

'Being an Idol, is hard, Y/N. I’m dating you during the peak of my career. And to top it all off, the fans are either celebrating that fact, or creating a ruckus. Right now, I can’t help but really believe the fact that you’re with me because of the fame-’

'JEON JUNGKOOK!’ You yelled, the tears breaking free from the confinement of your eyes. He didn’t flinch, but he knew you were mad. You never used his full name unless so.

You glared at him while he stared daggers at you.

'I have stayed up late into the nights waiting for you to return, praying that you are still healthy and not injured. I have let you hang out in clubs, trusting you that you will still come back to me. And you fucking accuse me of using you for your fame? You’re fucking cheap, Jungkook.’ You snapped, and immediately turned around to leave.

Jungkook stood there, his face still curved into a frown. He refused to listen to what you just said, as his consciousness drowned in thoughts of you leaving him. He heard the door close with a loud bang, before he dropped to the floor.

He groaned as he rubbed his head with his hands, unable to think straight.


You weren’t home yet, by the time he had woken up from the nap he ended up taking as he cried on the couch earlier that afternoon. He was beginning to feel the unfamiliar feeling of regret and guilt claw at his stomach as he anticipated your return.

By midnight, you weren’t back, and this worried Jungkook beyond all thoughts. Just as he decided to get out and search for you, his phone began ringing in his pocket.

The moment he saw the caller ID, he answered it, 'Y/N, oh my god, I’m so sorry for saying all those things to you, I though something happened to you, where are you baby?’

'Um..’ A male voice responded, getting Jungkook confused than ever. He checked the caller ID to make sure it was you and when he did, he heard the person speak again.

'Yeah, my name is Taehyung,’ Jungkook heard labored breaths coming from the other end and the worst thoughts slipped themselves into his mind. He stayed quiet and let your friend speak.

'Dude, I’m really sorry but- Y/N.. Y/N is in the hospital. She was in an accident.’


A/N

Hope you liked it :))))))

P.S - There will be NO second part for this.

Originally posted by baebsaes

Today I admitted a patient in labor, did all her cervical checks, wrote all her orders, AROM’ed her, caught her baby and repaired the little first-degree lacerations that she sustained during delivery (all under the supervision of our amazing family medicine attending with L&D priveledges).

I felt like a doctor today. (Even though the new mama really did all the hard work.)

Imagine waking up from a coma and seeing your boyfriend, Sonny, and your family, the Reagans, again

(A/N: For @samanthaofanarchy . I hope you and everyone else enjoys this and that it meets your expectations! Sorry if it’s a bit too long. I had a lot of fun with it. And fair warning. The continuity may be off because I wrote the first two so long ago and I’m not a medical expert and despite the reserach I did some of the details may be off and I apolgise for that!) 

Unofficial part three to these imagines. 

Part One HERE

Part Two HERE 

Imagine waking up from a coma and seeing your boyfriend, Sonny, and you family, the Reagans again

As soon as Sonny left your doctor returned to check up on you. He’d only given you a brief examination while Sonny was there so not to intrude on your reunion. He gave you a proper once over this time. Talking you through all your injuries and your expected recovery time.

As you continued to talk you began to find it harder and harder to do so. He explained it was because of your collapsed lung and that you would need to try and limit talking and continue to wear the oxygen mask. He motioned to your skin which was tinged blue due to your lack of oxygen. He explained that you would probably have to stay in the hospital for at least a week. Which usually you would have hated, you hated being inactive, idle but you were so glad to be alive that you didn’t even care.

Your doctor propped your bed up slightly but cautious not to do bring it up too much as he didn’t want the sudden motion of when you put it back to sleep to tear your stitches. You being you asked if you could eat. He explained that you couldn’t go straight to eating normally straight away for a while because of your lack of eating for so long. You would need to be gradually introduced back to food and then you should be able to eat normally again.

He left you after reattaching your mask to your face, handing you a remote and warning you not to move too much before he left. You couldn’t move much anyway due to all the bandages, pain and injuries. From your new position however you could see the room much better.

You looked around the empty room. There was a seat beside you where Sonny had been sitting before he left and where your Father had been stationed for the days beforehand. The other side of you was a side table covered in flowers and get well soon gifts. From all the people you heard come and visit you while you were in a coma. You glanced around the rest of room and it looked used. Your family and Sonny had been basically been living in this room. Waiting for you to wake up and of course, you being you decided to wake up at the only time they had left you completely alone.

You could practically hear Danny saying ‘typical Y/N’.

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Crutchie, Cursed: Chapter 1

So, here’s the first chapter of an Ella Enchanted AU that I accidentally fell in love with. A couple people seemed interested, so here’s the start of it. Basically, what happened is I started rewatching that movie last night and kept thinking how Newsies characters could fit in here. And then I texted my roommate and she just said, “Go for it, Ostrich.” I went for it. 

Also, as a side note, I have read the book, but back when I was in elementary school or junior high, so I have no memory of it. In other words, this will mostly be based around the movie. Which, also means that there will be some movie quotes in here because some of that dialogue is just too perfect to neglect. Plus, I have changed a couple of the scenes, settings, etc. It will all make sense, trust me. Do tell me how you like it, though! Reblogs and comments will encourage me to finish the next chapter sooner!


It wasn’t as if Crutchie hated his life. No, that wouldn’t be fair to say. There were lots of aspects of his life that he absolutely loved. His godmother, Medda, for one. His best friend, Katherine, of course. The fact that he was passing all his community college classes and had even managed to be recognized in his speech and debate class—although that was probably due to all of Katherine’s help—were definite pluses. Really, everything made his life just fine, all added together.

“Hey, crip! Get down here!”

Except, no, his life was not all that great, despite the smiles he faked. Years ago, Crutchie’s father died and his mother, a rather forgetful, hapless woman, never seemed to truly understand the impact of his death on her son. Sure, she had held him close and promised that everything would be okay. Crutchie wondered if she ever meant the promise, or if it had just been something nice to say to her hurting son. Only a couple months ago, she had remarried to a small, shriveled man by the name of Wiesel. She had explained that he had the money that their family needed, and, as much as Crutchie appreciated the full cupboards and the warm, plentiful meals, he almost wished they could go back to the time when he had gone to bed hungry, but had been happy. When it was just the two of them. Or, rather, when it was the three of them, and Crutchie had never foreseen the dark storms and heavy grief ahead of him.

“Move slower, ya stupid crip, I dare you!”

Wiesel had brought his two sons along with him: Oscar and Morris. While Morris tended to be quiet and brood in the corner of the room, a small black book in hand—Crutchie suspected it to be a collection of Poe’s poems, after he heard Morris mutter something about a sepulchre by the sea—and a quick frown for Crutchie whenever he entered the room, Oscar was more vocal with his dislike towards his new stepbrother. Both stepbrothers looked remarkably similar. They had dark brown hair and sported twin sneers, especially whenever Crutchie was present.

“I’m coming,” Crutchie said, trying to force his suddenly leaden limbs to move faster.

That was the other problem. Upon his birth, a benevolent—though, Crutchie wasn’t sure he quite agreed with that terminology—fairy granted him the gift of obedience. Which meant that Crutchie was stuck obeying every small command uttered around him. It had led to all sorts of unfortunate experiences, including, but not limited to, the time he punched a bully, the time he ate a worm, and the time he couldn’t tell anyone about the mean kids that teased and bullied Katherine for her big books and owlish glasses.

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Whispering: Tommen Baratheon (Lyrics Belong To Ducan Sheik)

Warnings: Pregnancy. Possible sex joke, depending on how you take it. Heartbreak. Labor. Angst. Lots of Angst. Fluff. Happiness. Sadness. Mentions of breastfeeding. Near death experience. Knifes. Blood. Liquids.Though the shortest imagine ever it is somehow also the most emotional. AKA I need to be stopped.

Originally posted by ohdaenerys

“Whispering. Hear the ghosts in the moonlight. Sorrow doing a new dance. Through their bones. Though their skin.”

It was a mistake, yes, but a beautiful one.

It all started one night at a moonlight ball, which was not un-often in the everlasting summer of King’s Landing. We were both fourteen at the time and because this one was a masquerade ball, we both drew matching mask pairing us up for the night and I couldn’t help but fall for my partner’s smooth skin and gentle dancing. His words as well were elegant and I tried not to focus on looks but his eyes drew me. Before I knew it he was kissing me… And kissing me and kissing me. His lips never being said. It was all moving so fast, too fast. And that is when he took off his mask. I tried to run, when the face of Tommen Baratheon was reveled but I could go no where as he held me tight and, no surprise, pressed his sweet lips tasting of wine and lemon-cakes on my in a urgent matter.

That being said, I never expected him to be the person to lay with someone after knowing them for a few short hours. Nor did I expect me to be that girl, yet there we were. Skin to skin. Lips on lips. Me and the King.

“Listening to the souls in the fools night. Fumbling mutely with their rude hands. And there’s heartache, without end.”

Tommen and I were fine. He had loved me deeply and I him. Bliss was all you felt as you spent your days and nights around the boy. For weeks we lived in happiness and joy, though nothing pure about our love anymore, we were children and adults in love alike.

 Then his sister died.

Driven by grief, Tommen had changed.

His days he spent on the kingdom, his nights with me only in the later hours as he held me, kissing my back and refusing to meet my eyes. It was in one of these nights when he spoke to me.

“I am to marry Maragery Tyrell. You must leave by first-light.” He stood and didn’t bother to even look at you, “Forget me. You need to forget.”

It was my turn to cry as he stood as the t in light left his tongue and closed the door.

You didn’t wait.

You stole a horse and left as soon as you could stop crying.

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long post about my AT thru hike

for those of you who don’t know, I hiked the Appalachian Trail from June 3rd to November 10th, crossing though 14 states Maine to Georgia and over 2,000 miles. I’m coming to terms with what it did to me mentally, and it did a lot. the trail changed me, living in the woods for 5 months and one week is a life changing experience that i can’t describe but i will say it was the most wonderful thing i have ever done. it was hard and painful and i learned that not everything has to be fun to be worth doing. i met the most amazing people, who let me stay in their homes even though i was a complete stranger, the trail maintainers who do grueling labor to make what i did possible, the trail angels who left water when there wasn’t a water source for miles and miles, but most importantly i made amazing friends i never thought i would. these friends knew me better then anyone else, they knew my rawest form, a person who was tired (i mean a person who hiked 25 miles up and down massive mountains all day, all WEEK!) and so mentally drained they couldn’t even hold a conversation. becoming aware that there are still great people on the world is truly a gift, i feel as though i have a more positive outlook on life. i feel as though i have a deeper understanding of myself and i have grown more than i ever though possible in a 5 month span. i’m not sure how the trail changes you, but it does. i’ve realized that i truly enjoy pushing myself to my breaking point and want to continue to push that threshold. i feel as though i’m a machine and unstoppable. i know the vast majority of you all can’t relate to any of this but i felt the need to share some of this experience. the feeling of being a total badass, and doing whatever the fuck you want. i was making my own decisions, waking up and 3:30am to hike in the pitch back darkness in the smokie mountains to watch the sunrise on halloween, to see if i can do a 26 mile day, the thrill of hitchhiking for the first time, staying up to stare at the beautiful stars in the Vermont wilderness, carrying two boxes of wine to get drunk at a campsite only to wake up and hike 18 miles in the pouring rain, seeing your first bear in the wild, summiting a mountain in a lighting storm not knowing wether or not you’re going to get struck by lighting and die. it was all wonderful. some of it was painful and scary. but it was all worth it, and i want to continue to do it. i have discovered that i want to live for experience and nothing else. i don’t want to be tied down by some stupid boy who makes me sad. i want to see the world and embrace ever given opportunity. i’m going too.

Marriage~part2~Calum Hood

Going through a divorce was nasty. You honestly thought that Calum was going to change his mind but he didn’t. He was dead set on getting a divorce. He allowed you to live in the house with the kids so they wouldn’t need to move but because he was paying for the house, he wasn’t going to pay child support. You were so thankful that your old job was allowed you to come back even though you were so heavily pregnant. 

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Snake who Smiles: Ch 1. Zemalocke, Baron of Hyrule.

The whole court grumbled to itself, aristocrats, nobles, council members, lawyers, and even a few governors. King Covarog along with Prince Ralnor was in negotiations over new laws to be established and workflow with the tribes assisting Hyrule. The court however was concerned with another matter. Most were afraid, too old or scared of the Gerudo brothers, but not one man. A man powerful enough and bold enough that his words could land him in no trouble.

Wearing a purple suit with gold buckles and a fur collar, a man with piercing blue eyes and blonde hair cleared his throat. Victor Von Zemalocke, the recently appointed Baron of his family line in a long line of Baron’s was not afraid of the Gerudo, in fact, they were disgusting mammals to him. Vermin, insects far beneath him. “Tell me, Covarog, when are we going to get to the matters that really matter to this kingdom. You waste our time with talks of, oh what was it? Oh yes, wage increases for Lorleidian? Bah.”

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I’ll Be There - Part 8

|Part 1| |Part 2| |Part 3| |Part 4| |Part 5| |Part 6| |Part 7| |Part 9| |Part 10| |Part 11| |Part 12| |Part 13| |Part 14| |Part 15| |Epilogue|

Member: Hoseok

Genre: Angst/Fluff

Word Count: 3964 

Summary: You and Hoseok are best friends and just like any story that starts like this, nothing good ever happens. One night when Hoseok is in his drunken state, he says some things that make you reconsider how much worth you actually have in his life.

A/N: Wooo it’s a pretty long update this time, almost 4k words! Enjoy~ Xx 

Originally posted by sweaterpawsjimin

You woke up. Heart beating fast. Mind filled with so many thoughts, but you could only focus on the one. You don’t know when it happened or how. It just did. It’s almost as if someone snapped their fingers and made it happen. There wasn’t a single moment in time where you questioned any of those. You did think that it would be possible.

You like Hoseok.

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Harry Styles - Helps You Through Childbirth Imagine


[All the love!!]

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9

Two days ago, via the truly horrible facebook “memory” function, I was reminded of a client who stiffed me $250 for work I had done for him. This was four years ago. In those days, we were very broke, chronically underemployed, and I had lost one of my better paying gigs to an unpaid intern. We were teetering on the brink of disaster, and I was trying to make money by hustling with my art for the first time. 

I found a craigslist ad looking for someone to design a family crest. How exciting, I thought, a chance to design something that also interests me personally. I contacted the original poster, and over the course of several emails settled on a price, and I proceeded to work out a draft, get approval from the client, and execute the final design. I was stupid back then, and inexperienced, so I sent him a file of the final design with no watermark (albeit smaller than the 600dpi file he requested - I thought I was being savvy, that he’d surely pay me to get the full size file. Ha.) and awaited his response.

Days passed. No word. Ten days later I sent him an email, cautiously probing but optimistic that it was nothing more than a standard delay. Ten more days pass. At this point our bills are coming due, our groceries are running out and we had budgeted for that $250 to get us through to the next (meagre) paycheck. I send another email. Nothing.

Instead of having $250 to use for food and electricity, we had nothing. It was a horrible feeling, desperately searching at the last possible minute for ANY extra funds we could throw at the sisyphus-like hill that was our financial situation in those days. I’ll never forget the sting, the slow realization that I had been scammed for my hard work and would see nothing in return for my labor, and on top of that, we had to quickly figure out a way to keep the lights on because the $250 was meant for that.

In time, I moved on. I became smarter and learned how to ask for what I was worth and require security before embarking on new jobs for new clients. I met wonderful clients who really respected the value of an artist’s labor and paid me fairly for the work I did for them. I’m grateful for these clients, because they showed me that not everyone wants to exploit creative labor.

But I never forgot that client, never really let go of the anger, the helpless rage and desperation of needing, NEEDING SO BADLY to be paid for the work I did, and simply being dropped and given no answer whatsoever. 

I stayed silent, though, as so many wronged artists do. So often we do work for free, or for horribly reduced fees because the perception of the world is that simply because we love art, it is not “work.” When we are exploited, straight up ROBBED by people who decide our creative output is free for them to take, we diminish ourselves as artists, craftspeople, LABORERS. When I saw that post come up, all the feelings I had back in 2012 came back to me. I’m grateful that now $250 does not make or break me, but nevertheless I was moved to speak out because of the realization that four years’ worth of artists may have been screwed over by this guy and I won’t stand for it anymore.

Let me tell you something: ART IS LABOR. No matter how you parse it - creating a WORK of art TAKES WORK and anyone who believes you don’t deserve fair compensation for your labor is exploitative and should be exposed to the creative community as such. Sean Ironstag stole from me, and refuses to acknowledge this fact. I believe the record shows I completed my end of the agreement, and it falls to him to correct this.

Don’t let your work be undervalued, discounted, or stolen by people who don’t respect the work it takes to become a competent artist. Stand up for yourself, and for the artists around you who KNOW what the struggle is like. Please share this!


👊ART IS LABOR👊


Prom with Lucky Part 3

part 1

part 2

Background: After a chance encounter with Lucky, he takes you to prom at the beach.  But when he gets distracted with his friends, you get fed up and walk to the shoreline.

I almost felt bad for leaving Lucky behind.  Almost.

But the feeling of the ocean water rushing up to meet my waiting feet was a feeling I’d been longing for for too long, and I couldn’t refuse the call of the ocean.

My feet had run out of dry sand to walk on, and I stopped, the damp sand and rushing tide just a few more paces away.  I could feel the anticipation building within me, and I closed my eyes, taking in the sea breeze as the moonlight danced its dance upon my face, the same one it so gracefully did on the water.  Lucky’s footsteps were quick across the sand and I felt him stop beside me, though I didn’t open my eyes to check.

“Why’d you leave me?”

His breathing sounded a little labored from all his running to catch up, and I felt his stare behind closed eyes.  Instead of answering his question I countered with another, “Isn’t it beautiful?” Immediately, I cringed.  “And that wasn’t an invitation to say something cheesy.” I peeked a look at Lucky and he was even more beautiful in the moonlight than he had been under the glow of warm fire, if that was even possible.  He seemed more in his element by the water.  Perhaps it was his icy blue eyes, or his long lanky build, or maybe it was his bleached hair, but he looked like he’d swam up to shore from some underwater castle.  The Prince of the Sea.  He was already looking at me when I’d glanced at him, just as I’d suspected, with a smile that looked like he was confused, entertained, yet utterly captivated.

“Don’t most girls like to hear that?”

“I thought we already established I’m not like most girls.  I’m rather offended.” My hand raised to my chest with a mock hurt expression, and he rolled his eyes playfully.

“You’re right… You are beautiful though.”  

My nose crinkled at his serious tone, and, not used to accepting compliments, a blush colored my cheeks.  I only hoped he wouldn’t notice under the cool light of the moon.  I tried to lighten the mood, anything to take some of the attention off me.

“Sure, I bet you say that to all your model friends, yeah?”  I didn’t know why but I suddenly felt so embarrassed.  I’d been wanting to be alone with Lucky, but it was as if as soon as I got alone with him I lost all nerve and became this fumbling version of myself.  And I was already clumsy so this version was just plain hazardous.  

“No,” his mouth went up in a half-smile.  “Haven’t said that in a while actually.”

“Oh really?  Who’s the last girl you said that to?”

“My mom.” He shrugged his shoulders and let out a laugh.  Instead of meeting my eyes he looked out to the water, and from this angle I saw…could it be?  A blush?

“Lucky, are you blushing?”

“What?  No!”  His eyebrows scrunched up in the most adorable sign of protest, but I laughed as I saw him blush deeper.  His pale skin wasn’t doing him any favors tonight.

“Okay, sure I’ll let it slide.”

Clearly embarrassed, he ran his hands down his face with a groan.  “What are you doing to me Y/N.”

“I couldn’t tell you.”  I felt power from his statement and I gave a sly smirk, nodding my head down the beach. If I made Lucky nervous I must be doing something right.  “Come on.” I started walking along the shoreline, feeling quite proud in myself that I’d left him dumbfounded twice in one night, but I didn’t get very far until he wrapped my hand up in his. Immediately my heart started racing twice as fast at the contact, his large hands making mine feel like a doll’s, his grip warm and firm against the cool ocean breeze.

“I’m not losing you again.”

I dared to look up at him, but he was casually looking out towards the water as we strolled along, as if this was completely normal and we were just an average couple who took walks on the beach, all the time, hand in hand.  My heart warmed at the thought, maybe we could be that one day.  That’s what we probably looked like to onlookers anyhow, though right now I couldn’t see anyone else close by.  

We walked in comfortable silence, but I soon let out a little cry of delight, my body dropping down to a crouch, not even caring that the bottom of my dress was now not only sandy, but wet too.  His hand squeezed mine when he asked,

“What is it?”  

“It’s a sand dollar!” With one hand I scooped up the fragile thing, and brushed aside the grainy sand before the tide could carry it out again.  “It’s good luck to find one of these you know.”

“Really?”  He tugged me closer, so close I had to strain my neck to look up, our hips almost touching for the second time that night. His smirk turned a little mischievous and if I didn’t know better I’d say there was a glow behind his eyes. The tension began to build, his free hand gently wrapping around the back of my neck, and my breathing started to shallow as I saw a movement so small, but so so telling.  His head leant down slowly, but stopped about halfway, feeling me out and wondering if I’d close the gap by raising on my tiptoes.  His hand was in the position to gently pull me there, but he was waiting for the okay.  When I was paralyzed, frozen, the tension unbearable, even the loud crashing of the waves was deafened by the blood pumping in my ears.  His lips were parted and I saw him jut his head down the smallest amount, before retracting it, his instinctual want overcoming his manners for a just a moment.  But for some reason I panicked.  

“Want to go for a night swim?” I blurted out.  

The spell was broken, and the tension was quickly disappearing, getting swept away in the chilling wind.

“W-what?” Lucky was practically speechless, struck off guard by my random suggestion.

“Can you swim.” I clarified.

“Uh, yeah.  Why-”

I disentangled myself from his grasp and just said “Turn around.”

“What?”

“You already said that.” I had a smile that was starting to become a smirk as I unzipped my dress. He stood wide-eyed before I repeated myself and he quickly spun around.

With Lucky’s back to me, I stripped to my underwear and slowly waded into the water that felt warm compared to the cool air nipping at our skin.  

“You okay?!” He called out cautiously.  I could tell he was starting to get nervous, and he wanted to turn around, but Lucky was truly a gentleman, a flustered gentleman at that.  Once I got to a safe distance, past the crash of the waves, I yelled back, “You’re clear!”

He quickly turned around, his gaze rising from my discarded dress at his feet to this strange girl swimming in the moonlit ocean.  “You really went in!”  

“Well I wasn’t lying! The water’s gorgeous!”

Lucky laughed nervously, and started to take off his shoes.  “I seriously can’t believe I’m doing this.”  When he got to his pants, his hands hovering over the zipper, he stopped.

“Aren’t you going to turn around?”  

Even from this distance I could see the cheeky look on his face, and my cheeks felt hot as I did as I was told.  Just imagining Lucky loosening his tie and unbuttoning his dress shirt with ease made me nervous and for a brief moment I wondered if he’d take everything off.  

Crap.

I wasn’t prepared for this.

But then again, when had I ever thought something through with Lucky.

When I heard him dive under the crashing wave, I turned and waited only several seconds before his head popped up a couple feet away.

“Hi,” he said, a silly boyish smile lighting up his face.  He swam closer to me, but I pulled back a bit, not sure how naked he actually was at this point.  Sensing my worry, he said, “I kept my boxers on.”

“I wasn’t worried about that,” I lied.  

“Okay, I’ll let that one slide,” he said, mimicking my response earlier.  All I could do was roll my eyes, and hope he didn’t notice my blush, but of course, he did.  Suddenly, he was in front of me, a hand brushing gently across my cheek as the other one kept him afloat.

“You’re cute when you blush,” he said.  His voice was quiet, and soft, a gentle lull like the receding tide.

I leaned into it, not sure if I was trying to hide my face or trying to get closer, or maybe it was both.

When I looked up at him, his eyes were alive, sparkling from the reflection of the moon and something else. Despite everything those eyes told me, his hand dropped just as gingerly as it had caressed my cheek.  We were both floating in this silence now and I felt like I needed to do something, and maybe look sexy doing it.  I dunked my head underwater and flung my hair back in the best Ariel impersonation I could, but when I looked at him with faux shy eyes, the kind of eyes that said I know I’m cute and I definitely know what I’m doing eyes, he just laughed, the type of laugh where his eyes screwed shut because he was laughing so hard laugh.  My eyes drew together and I couldn’t think of a logical response. When he looked at my expression, he toned down the laughter enough to say, “You look-You look like you’re wearing an 18th century man wig.”

“What?!”  My hands immediately flew to my hair and I was horrified when I felt that my hair had curled in a loop at the top like the George Washington impersonations I’d do in the pool with my friends when I was eight.  “Oh my gosh,” I groaned.

“Oh it’s so hot,” he said, his teasing tone almost unbearable for my dignity.

Before I could undo it, he’d already swam over, fighting laughter as he cradled my head with one hand.  His other hand pooled some water in its palm and brought it up to my roots.

“Sh, trust me, I’m the professional here.”  With one hand gently tipping my head back, he poured the water over my hair dilemma, washing it clean and with it, returning a semblance of my pride.

I noticed his smile then. It was so brilliant it almost hurt to look at him, but it slowly faded to something more serious, his eyes falling to my parted lips.  My hair had been fixed of previous embarrassment now, he didn’t need to be holding me this close, but he did.  His hand still held my head, keeping it just the slightest bit tilted.  A kiss would be easy.

His platinum hair was sticking in vicarious directions after running his hand through it, and the moonlight was making his skin dewy, drops of the ocean highlighting his skin ridden of imperfection.  His blue eyes watched me under dark lashes, running over my features, but lingering on my eyes, and then, my lips.  We were two teenagers, specks in the universe beneath a full moon and swimming in an ocean lit silver.

“Y/N can I kiss you?”

Without another thought, I closed the gap.  I felt him smile into the kiss, the salt from his lips making me crave more, and soon my arms were around his neck, using him as a buoy in the vast spread of water. Soft, sweet, the kiss deepened, his tongue asking for permission, and I gladly granted it to him.  Warmth spread through my body ridden with goosebumps and we remained interlocked in the ocean, with the crash of the waves as our soundtrack, the moon as our stage light, and the ocean our dancefloor.

Although we weren’t with the rest of our classmates and we didn’t get the chance to dance with our friends that night, I didn’t mind all that much.  And neither did Lucky.  As he finally pulled away from the kiss, we both caught our breath.

When he pressed a gentle kiss to my forehead, all I could think was, Thank God I had gotten that bad grade.

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Avia's Birth Story (with pictures!)

To bring a child into this world has to be one of the most amazing experiences there is; at least in my opinion anyway. I was extremely fearful going into my induction and labor of Avia but actually going through it and reflecting back on delivering her - I have to say it was the most incredible thing I have ever done.

At 3pm on February 4th, I went in to my midwife’s office to start the induction process to bring Avia into this world. For those of you who don’t know, my daughter had been measuring three weeks behind gestationally and my midwife along with two other consulting physicians had felt it was in her best interest to bring her into this world as it would be easier to boost her up outside the womb. The plan was for her to place a Foley bulb in me, and then for me to go to my hospital for overnight. The Foley was supposed to further prep my body for labor, with the slight possibility of sending me into labor. It was to fall out at 4cm at which point, I would be administered pitocin. However, if I had not reached 4cm by 5 am the next day, it would be removed anyway and pitocin would begin.

My midwife placed the Foley in me, and it was not a pleasant experience. I felt an insane amount of terrible pain in my pelvic area as she was doing so, that felt like the worst period cramps imaginable. After she had placed it in me, that pain subsided and I was left with slight cramps that really were more uncomfortable than painful. I was 2 cm and 90% effaced at this time.

My mother in law and I drove to the hospital to get settled into our room and on the drive over, I noticed the slight cramps starting to get more painful and having slight rises and falls of pain. I dismissed it as just plain ole cramping as my midwife had said that was to be expected. However, when we pulled into the parking lot of the hospital, it became very apparent to me that it was not plain ole cramping as the pain got pretty bad, and I could literally feel the fall of it after it hit its peak. We registered at the hospital and the pain intensified even more, and they wheeled me up to L&D. What was SO COOL though, was the room I got was the same exact room that my birthing class had explored during my tour of the hospital a few weeks prior. Here are some pictures:

As soon as I got into my room and got settled a little bit, I was hooked up to the monitors to check Avia’s heartrate and to see if I was contracting. At this point, I was really starting to get bothered by the pain I was having. However, I smiled through it and took this picture (that I had posted for you guys!)

It was found that I was indeed having contractions less than a minute apart from one another. I didn’t know whether or not to consider myself in active labor at that point. About a half hour after being initially hooked up, the pain got.. so. freaking. terrible. I was having the utmost difficulty not holding my breath and Joey’s mother kept coaching me through different breathing techniques. The pain got so bad that I found myself going between wanting to sit, wanting to stand, and wanting to walk to try to find ways to subside it - and being unsuccessful with each way I tried. I Skype called Joey at this point (it was free time for him) and couldn’t continue on a conversation as when a contraction hit, it really hit.

My midwife visited me that evening and said how it seemed I was indeed in active labor and that if I wanted, she could have some pain medication administered to me to help take the edge off the contractions called Nubane (probably spelled that wrong). It wouldn’t hurt the baby at all, and it wouldn’t have any bad effects on me, so I gratefully took it. I nearly lost my crap though when I got it however. They put it through my IV and I started laughing for about five minutes after once they did, as the relief was immediate and I was so shocked. Apparently however, I got REALLY loopy from it. Both Joey’s mother, and Joey (who I continued to Skype that evening until he had lights out) told me later that I got extremely goofy and extremely loopy from it. To be perfectly honest, I do not remember much after I got it as I felt just super drowsy from it.

That night was not fun though. The Nubane wore off around midnight and although I got another dosage around midnight, it seemed that wore off faster too. The pain from the contractions intensified even more than they had been before and started to last longer around 2am. I tried sleeping and didn’t manage it until really late/really early in the morning. Even then, it was about two or three hours of broken up sleep. The pain was too much.

Around 6:30 am, a nurse came in and said how they were going to take out my Foley, check my cervix for dilation, and then were going to call my midwife with their findings so as to know if she wanted to administer the pitocin right away, or what she wanted to do. To EVERYBODY’S surprise, I was found to be 6-7 cm dilated! We all were so shocked that the Foley hadn’t fallen out, honestly. I was still in a hell of a lot of pain though, so at that point - while waiting for word from my midwife on what we were going to do next - I asked for the epidural. AND HOLY CRAP GUYS IT WAS AMAZING

After I got it and it kicked in - I was on cloud nine. Seriously, I felt nothing waist down - and nothing contraction wise. I was still having strong contractions less than a minute apart from each other - but I didn’t feel a single thing; not even pressure. My moods were instantly lifted high and I was happy and joking with all the staff and Joey’s mother in law. My midwife came soon after I got the epidural and said how they weren’t looking at pitocin anymore and they were going to let me labor on my own. She rechecked me for dilation, and found I was progressing quite quickly and was at 7-8cm dilation after about a hour and half since being checked the last time (WHICH LET ME TELL YOU, I felt absolutely nothing. She was checking that cervix and I couldn’t even tell you that she was doing anything. It was fantasticcccccccccccccc.) I snapped this picture shortly after:

One hour later, I was checked and found to be at a solid 8cm, and I still wasn’t feeling anything physically. Instead, I found myself growing more and more excited about the fact that I was progressing so well and that my little girl would be there soon. She said to expect to deliver by noon, and that’s when Joey’s mom and I desperately started trying to get ahold of Joey.

The night before, we contacted the Red Cross who contacted the superiors of Joey’s base that I was in labor. He was told that he could Skype with me during the birth of our daughter, ONLY IF he finished the tests in class that he had to take the following day. If it happened during it, he could not stop to answer his phone or anything. 

He of course, did not answer us when we called (twas in the middle of his testing). See here, me checking my phone for what had to be the millionth time to see if he was there yet:

My midwife decided to help try to spur things along even faster, she would turn me onto my side and have my legs spread with the assistance of the peanut ball. It proved quite effective as about a hour later - I was a solid 9cm. Admittingly, I did start freaking out slightly at that point. I couldn’t get ahold of Joey and the way things were going at that time - I knew she was going to be making her appearance quite soon. I took a very small, very short nap (about twenty minutes) and was woken up by my midwife, who broke my water. Then, I started feeling intense pain despite the epidural - yet only in a very very small pocket in my lower right side. I didn’t mention to anyone at that time that I was feeling it. Here’s a picture of me around this time:

One hour later, I was found to not have progressed at all, so my midwife decided to give me the lowest dosage of pitocin to just speed things up. The pain I was feeling intensified like crazy, and I started clicking the button furiously everytime I could on my epidural as it was the most extreme pain I had felt the entire labor; that small little pocket. I was really having a difficult time with it, and got my midwife to try to see if she knew what it was and found that I was actually feeling Avia’s shoulder in position, ready to go; and it was rubbing against me. 

Right before my midwife said she was going to check me for cervix change, I let loose a giant sigh of relief as my phone FINALLY lit up with a Skype call from Joey. I started bawling while talking to him before I got checked; mainly out of happiness that we were actually getting our wish and he was going to kind of be there for Avia’s birth. I was struggling very badly with the pain but I kept saying over and over again to Joey that I loved him as I was an emotional blah at that point, haha.

I got checked and was found to be at 10 cm, and holy moly, all of a sudden it was time. IT WAS PUSHING TIME. Two nurses assisted in holding my legs up for me, and I held my hands behind my knees as I prepped for everything. Joey’s mom had the phone with Joey in Skype in one hand, and her camera in the other. Like I mentioned before, I didn’t feel the contractions - at all. I felt no pressure from pushing, no nothing except for that shoulder of Avia’s. As a result of this, I had my midwife tell me when to push. The best way I can describe pushing, is holding your breath and bearing down. It didn’t feel like pooping, and it didn’t feel like.. anything for me. I didn’t think I was doing anything though and after my second contraction, I ended up frustratingly screaming, “AM I EVEN DOING ANYTHING HERE?” which got me a few chuckles and all affirmative responses. Pushing was quite.. exhausting though. Holding my breath as I was, made me feel as if I was going to suffocate admittingly and I kept having to stop pushing to take gulps of air. After my third contraction, I started crying and repeating over and over ‘I love you’ to Joey, as the weight of what I was doing kind of SMASHED into me at that point. He and his mother (along with my midwife and the nurses) were coaching me and pushing me through the pushes, and so he kept telling me he loved me too. After my fourth contraction, my midwife grabbed my hand and led me to wear Avia’s head was poking out. And then I GAVE IT MY ALL MAN. During that fifth and final contraction, I pushed and pushed and pushed.. and then I felt a giant sensation of relief, and a little tiny being - my little tiny daughter - was placed on my abdomen, pink and covered in vernix.

Then, the most beautiful sound filled the room, as Avia started to feebly cry.

I kept saying over and over again, “Oh my god, oh my god” through tears of extreme happiness, and all you could hear from the Skype call from Joey was the sound of him bawling. I kept thinking about how tiny she was, even though she was bigger than I had expected her to be. Joey and I through our tears told each other we loved one another and Avia was taken over to get measured, weighed, and cleaned up. Joey’s mother followed with the phone and the camera as I birthed the placenta.

While all of this was going on, I witnessed the most adorable thing happen between Joey and Avia - and trust me when I say that the nurses were all talking about it up to my discharge. I was across the room doing all that lovely after birth stuff, watching Avia get cleaned up. She was wailing at that point, and all of a sudden I heard Joey start talking to her. “Don’t cry sweetheart, you’re okay. It’s okay Avia. You’re such a brave girl, it’s alright sweetheart.” INSTANTLY SHE FREAKING QUIETED. I’M NOT EVEN JOKING LIKE THEY CHECKED FOR EVERYTHING AND WERE LIFTING HER AND POKING AND PRODDING AND HIS VOICE CALMED HER DOWN and I started bawling from across the room watching it unfold.

Shortly after that, Joey and I found out the reason why Avia was so small. The way it was explained to us by my midwife, is that the umbilical cord was not attached to the placenta correctly. Normally, it is supposed to be attached in the middle of it whereas hers was attached at the very very bottom which caused her growth and weight to be as it was. 

I got two hours of skin to skin after that Joey was unfortunately unable to share in through Skype as he was only allowed to Skype during the birth and then immediately had to go back to class. However, we were so unbelievably blessed and grateful to have gotten what we did.

Avia Jacqueline was born at 37 weeks and 2 days gestation on 2/5/15 at 1:08pm after five contractions worth of pushing (and no tearing or anything for me!!), weighing 5lbs 9oz and measuring at 18 inches long. Precious baby girl, Momma and Daddy love you SO very very much.

They’re going to give me a shot to relax my uterus. I’ve had 8 or 9 contractions since I’ve been here and it hasn’t even been a full hour I don’t think. They did some swabbing to check for infections that can be linked with preterm labor. Charlie is super active though. They’re going to draw some blood and may or may not take a swab for proteins that indicate preterm labor. I think they’re going to do an ultrasound to determine the length of my cervix and all that jazz.

Fun times.

A Labor Story: Fuck This Shit

I generally believe that it is impossible to find a woman that hated being pregnant more than me. From start to finish, I found it insufferable. There was the hyperemesis gravidarum and ten pound weight loss. Oh, and the bleeding episodes that sent me racing to the doctor in tears, only to find my baby dancing like Mary J Blige on ultrasound–

Originally posted by everythingyntk

completely and totally fucking unbothered while the world around me burned. Did I mention a huge ovarian cyst with torsion that almost sent me into emergency surgery? THIS WAS JUST THE FIRST TRIMESTER. 

I got sciatica that started in week seven and progressively worsened, coupled with SPD that made walking all but impossible towards the end. I wanted to get around like this: 

Originally posted by mtv

So, yeah. Being pregnant sucked and I looked so very forward to labor and delivery from very early on in my fecund period. Because I have a previous uterine incision (hello, trash ass fibroids), I was originally told that I could only deliver a baby via c-section. Well. I did my research and determined that my risk of uterine rupture was lower than that of complications from a c-section and set about finding a doctor to actually look at my medical records instead of practicing ‘one size fits all’ medicine. After a three-year search in which I took the latest studies, my medical records and surgical reports complete with pictures and an, ‘I’m not an idiot willing to be blindly lead’ attitude into the offices of several doctors, I found my obstetrical soul mate. She evaluated everything I brought in and agreed that there was no reason I couldn’t at least do a trial of labor. She didn’t even think I needed to be monitored like a VBAC patient, based on the fact that my uterine cavity wasn’t breached during my myomectomy. So when I did get pregnant (the very first month in which we tried—SWAG), I was excited to approach labor and delivery with the knowledge that I had a chance at pushing my baby out and avoiding another surgery. 

BUT. The more medical interventions that take place during your delivery, the more likely you are to end up with a c-section (in general). I really, really wanted to avoid a c-section, so I wanted to deliver sans medication. That included the epidural. It is here that you’re probably beginning to think I’m crazy. Bitch, I might be. 

So. Natural labor in a hospital setting. Trust in my body. I am woman, hear me roar. With these decisions made, I spent my pregnancy prepping for facing the challenge of labor. I hired a doula (because studies show they’re associated with positive outcomes in labor and delivery, especially for women opting not to use pain medication). I read up on pain coping techniques (The Big Book of Birth by Erica Lyon is an AMAZING book and I cannot recommend it enough for ALL expectant moms, whether you’re planning an unmedicated or medicated delivery). I sat on my birthing ball until my ass cheeks were numb. I drank red raspberry leaf tea. I stuck evening primrose capsules in areas they weren’t manufactured for. I walked. I did pelvic rocking and tucking. I did these things with fuck ass sciatica and SPD. I went for weekly chiropractic care to treat those things and loosen the pelvic ligaments and outlet. I kegeled so much I can shoot inanimate objects out of my vagina. Well, wait. I did that before getting pregnant because… NOTHING LIKE WALLS THAT GRIP THE D LIKE A FIRM HANDSHAKE AND STAVING OFF EVENTUAL URINARY INCONTINENCE. Don’t fucking judge me. 

As I approached my ninth month, I felt ready. Partially because ALL women feel ready at the end of pregnancy because it sucks and Mother Nature is a ho; but also because I was genuinely excited about labor and the chance to see just what my body is capable of. I’m not a particularly crunchy type of person, but I felt as though my body was built for this and I trusted it completely to see my son and I through it. 

I’ll spare you the details of the misery of my ninth month. Just know that there were days that I woke up and cried simply because I couldn’t bear the idea of facing yet another day pregnant. So it was with much anxiety that I approached my weekly doctor’s visits, HOPING AND WISHING for a sign that labor was imminent. 

Week 36: NO FUCKING DICE. TEARS. 

Week 37: NO SOUP FOR YOU. CERVIX STILL CLOSED UP TIGHTER THAN VIVICA FOX’S FACE IMMEDIATELY AFTER COSMETIC SURGERY. TEARS.

Week 38: 1.5 cm dilated. 50-60% effaced. SWAG ME THE FUCK OUT. 

My visits fell late in my gestational weeks. So my week 38 visit was at damn near 39 weeks. I WAS DESPERATE. Which lead me to make a very bad decision (for me)… I asked my doctor to sweep my membranes instead of just waiting for labor to begin on its own. My doula and I had discussed this prior and I’d researched it. I knew it would either work or it wouldn’t, and if it did, I could expect to go into labor within 48 hours. I was ready, because seriously, fuck this shit. It went somewhat against my mantra of allowing things to take place when my body and son felt it was time, but since it was a very low-tech intervention, I figured it wouldn’t hurt. PLUS, I WAS TIRED AS THE WIGS IN TYLER PERRY MOVIES, OK? 

My doctor conducted the sweep as gently as she could and commended me on my high tolerance for pain as I didn’t hit the ceiling or yelp. Don’t get me wrong. It hurt. But it wasn’t as bad as I’d imagined. The, “Holy shit, what was that?!?!?” contraction my uterus immediately spasmed into was worse, yet still not unbearable. 

Membranes swept, I left my appointment and went to brunch. Heavy cramping started almost immediately, accompanied by light bleeding that my doctor had warned me to expect. I began feeling mentally foggy and was beset by a distracted feeling I can only describe as an impending heaviness. It was like my body was telling me something big was coming and that I needed to conserve my energy to be ready. People would speak to me and I was like, “I’m sorry. I didn’t hear anything you said,” because I was unable to focus. After brunch, I took a nap and awoke to more bleeding and chunks of mucous. TMI, but you will deal. Plenty of y’all ASKED for this shit. I began to truly believe the sweep had worked and that my baby would be born that weekend. 

Following my nap, I went for a mani/pedi so as to be fly from head to toe upon admission to the hospital, because vain (see: continued Brazilian waxes throughout pregnancy—ouch). When I got home, my lower back ached and the cramps continued at a regular pace. I was pretty grumpy and continued to feel very foggy and distracted. I ate and went to bed early that FRIDAY (this will be important later) evening on the advice of my doula. She wanted me well rested for the big show. I’ll tell you what happened next through texts to my doula:

Saturday: 

7:58 am: “Morning. Just giving you a quick update. Last night I went to bed crampy at 9. Fell asleep by 10:45. Woke up at 3 am to the first contraction strong enough to wake me. Slept between and had five or six between then and six. Had a few between six and seven. Started timing at 7. Had one at 7:11, 7:35, 7:44 and 7:52. Still irregular and not too painful. Just enough that I cannot sleep through one. They last about 20 or 30 seconds. Going to keep trying to sleep between them for now.” 

8:27 am: “Still timing and I just had two more at 8:07 and 8:22. Going to stay in bed and rest until I feel like that is futile. Will check in with you then.” 

11:11 am: “Contractions stopped completely at 9:30. I had breakfast and then mopped the basement stairs. I came back to bed to read and/or nap, but am wondering should I do something like go shopping to get some walking in, or is resting the better idea.” 

I set about going to walk the aisles and spend money at my favorite baby and home stores, per my doula’s advice. 

4:51 pm: “I just got back home from running errands two minutes ago. Contractions have restarted, but are sporadic and light. Putting away all the stuff I bought and trying to decide if I will walk more around the house or rest for a bit. I am thinking walking and tinkering around the house is a good idea.” 

8:08 pm: “Did three hours on the ball. Contractions have picked back up. They hurt but aren’t unbearable. I am tired, grumpy and find myself rocking and swaying when I stand up. Thinking I should probably try resting again in case things are about to pick up overnight or in the morning.” 

8:23 pm: “Just lost quite a bit of bloody mucous and clots in the toilet. Not sure how much that means, but going to take a bath and get into the bed.” 

My doula assured me that this was a good sign my cervix had been dilating. I went to bed frustrated that the day hadn’t ended with a hospital admission, but hopeful Sunday would be the day. 

Sunday: 

9:08 am: “Morning! Last night was OK. Fell asleep at about 9:30. Slept solidly until 12. Had painful (not the worst, but much stronger than yesterday) contractions that involved my back fairly regularly until 3:30 with lots of bloody show when I’d go pee. Slept in between those. They tapered off by 4 and I was able to go back to sleep. They are still coming, just irregularly. Still in bed, but been trying to switch positions a lot because the contractions seem to pick up when I do.” 

My doula instructed me to spend the day walking, sitting on the ball, and pelvic rocking on my hands and knees. 

1:08 pm: “Made breakfast, cleaned the basement from top to bottom and went to the store to walk the aisles. Contractions are back. Sitting on the ball now and will walk some more.” 

By ‘top to bottom,’ I meant that shit. I was scrubbing baseboards by hand in an attempt to work the baby out. I sent my husband off to work, excitedly telling him to keep his phone nearby because today was probably the day. I was wrong. As fuck. 

My doula then asked me to do one activity for an hour and time the contractions. I chose to sit on the ball. 

2:59 pm: “They were about five minutes apart (ranging 8 to 20 minutes) and 25 seconds long until 2:30. None since. Not painful like they were last night. I’m still sitting on the ball. Passing lots of bloody show. Have to wear a pad. I guess I will get up and walk.” 

After expressing hope that this was the beginning of a good pattern, my doula encouraged me to keep moving. 

6:12 pm: “Walked around the house for three hours. Nothing other than irregular contractions that aren’t painful. I am pretty exhausted now and my back is killing me. Think I am going to shower and rest. Still lots of bloody show. Trying not to get frustrated, but I am failing at that.” 

“I am so thankful that I haven’t been in terrible pain this whole time. But that is making me think these contractions have been ineffective. I will work on centering and breathing.” 

My doula assured me that the bloody show was a sign that I was actually dilating and all of this activity wasn’t for naught. She reminded me that active labor could kick in at any time and told me I could do it. I was all, “Girl. Ok.”

Monday (FUCKING MONDAY): 

My doula sent a text to check on me at 10:30 am. 

11:19 am: “Good morning! I slept well last night. No contractions that I could feel and I am well rested. Just had a couple of contractions after breakfast, but they were quick. More pressure than pain. Still losing lots of brown/pink gunk, but otherwise? Nothing to report. About to sit on the ball for awhile, but otherwise gonna take it easy. Sciatica is killing me from all the walking and swaying this weekend.” 

7:19 pm: “Today has been uneventful. I sat on the ball for five hours and just finished doing some rocking and pelvic tilts. No real contractions to speak of and the bloody show has almost completely tapered off. It started back up again after hands and knees pelvic tilts. The baby has been very active.” 

She inquired whether I felt any more pelvic pressure or like the baby had dropped. 

7:26 pm: “Not really. His butt lowered a bit from where I normally feel it over the weekend, but no change today. No increase in pelvic pressure. I am worried that maybe a fibroid (I have several) is in his way and keeping him from engaging.” 

She asked whether my OB mentioned this as a possible problem. 

7:31 pm: “No, but I’ve read it in most of my books as something that can prevent babies from getting head down or engaging. It just occurred to me today. My OB was mainly worried about the fibroids possibly causing premature labor. She hasn’t mentioned them since my last U/S at 32 weeks.” 

“I had no less than ten scans and they never ID’d one as being in the way of him eventually engaging or delivery. But on every scan they’d find more. I think I have 5 or 6 now, with a few fairly sizable. I’m wondering if one got bigger or shifted in a way that’s keeping him from dropping in the last two months. I will ask about it on Friday. DAMN IT. I could cry right now because I was really hoping last Friday would be my last appointment.” 

My doula told me not to get discouraged, reminded me that either the sweep worked or it didn’t, that all the contractions over the weekend were great for my cervix and that she thought I probably wouldn’t make it to Friday’s appointment.

I clung to her words like a B’Day era lacefront to Beyonce on tour and tried to remain positive. 

That night, my contractions took on what was becoming a regular pattern. Between 12 and 3 am, they’d start, gradually increasing in intensity, duration and frequency. They’d work up to a level that was juuuuust painful and frequent enough that I couldn’t sleep between them. They’d continue unabated until roughly 8 or 9 am, at which time they’d either stop or taper off dramatically. 

Are we clear on this? I’m in my ninth month of pregnancy. EXHAUSTED. AND I AM UNABLE TO SLEEP EVEN MORE THAN YOU’RE NORMALLY UNABLE TO SLEEP WHEN YOU’RE NINE MONTHS PREGNANT. 

When I’d finally say, “Fuck it,” and get up for the day, I wasn’t napping, either. I was so emotionally wound up over trying to figure out if this would be the day my child arrived and then being inconsolable when it turned out not to be. I was fried. I couldn’t shut my brain off. NOR COULD I STOP ENGAGING IN VIGOROUS PHYSICAL ACTIVITY IN AN ATTEMPT TO MOVE THINGS ALONG. I walked. I squatted. I lunged. I walked up and down my steps for hours at a time. I contorted my body in ridiculous ways reminiscent of yoga poses. I moved boxes. I swept. I mopped. I dusted. I cleaned the baseboards by hand. AGAIN. My house has honestly never been cleaner. I did all of this while “in labor,” but never quite working up to an active pattern that would support an admission to the hospital. 

Two major snowstorms walloped us during the week. Each time, I’d think my baby would decide to make his grand entrance when my doula would be unable to get to me and we’d be unable to reach the hospital. Of course, this didn’t happen, but I certainly worked myself into a tizzy thinking about it on top of everything else. 

Know what else I did during this time? I LIED. I LIED MY FUCKING FACE OFF. Every time a concerned relative would call, I’d tell them we had no news to report and that my cervix was still closed tighter than the guest list to a Presidential fundraising dinner. I saw no point in riling people up, only to have them continuing to wait like in the financial aid office at an HBCU. 

This went on for days. Each night, the contractions showed up earlier and became progressively more painful. This, of course, meant even less sleep for me. I’ll just tell you now that by the time I delivered my son, I hadn’t slept more than 20 minutes in over 72 hours. 

By Tuesday, I began to dread nightfall, knowing that pain and frustration awaited. I’d also become convinced that I was never going to go into active labor on my own and that I’d end up with the induction and c-section I’d spent years trying to avoid. I kept in touch with my doula during this time via text and a few phone calls. 

Looking back, I was clearly moving in the right direction. Contractions were coming earlier each evening, lasting longer, becoming more painful and tapering off later each day. The bloody show continued. My labor was progressing, albeit slooooowwwllly. But at the time, I couldn’t see the forest for the trees. 

So there I am each evening: EXHAUSTED from the lack of sleep the night before, PHYSICALLY SPENT from cumulative days of constantly moving around to try to kick myself from early into active labor, falling into bed… to… stare into the darkness and wait for some bullshit with clenched teeth (and booty cheeks, if we’re being honest). It was physical and mental torture. There’s really no other way to describe it. 

I’d spend the pre-dawn hours halfheartedly timing contractions and praying for things to move along, while staring homicidally at my husband while he slept blissfully if I didn’t move around too much. Also, I cried. I cried a lot. I cried more when well-meaning people would ask if I’d had the baby (I’m looking at YOU, Twitter), not knowing that I was in the midst of the purgatory of a stalled early labor. 

I spent all day Wednesday (yes, WEDNESDAY. THIS BULLSHIT STARTED ON FRIDAY) having mildly painful contractions every 30 to 40 minutes. My maternity leave had begun the prior Friday, so I’d spent each day alone with my thoughts, these fuck ass infrequent contractions, the ball and HGTV. 

That evening, I went to bed tired, dejected and anxious. But at 11:30, I felt a contraction that I believed meant business. Was this finally it? 

Maybe. These relatively painful contractions (maybe a 6 on a 10 point scale) continued all night, peaking in frequency and duration at about 5 am. By then, they were about 30 seconds long and anywhere from two to four minutes apart. I wanted to be in TRULY active labor before going to the hospital, so I was looking for a pattern of three minutes apart, one minute long for one hour. So we played the waiting game some more. My husband timed. Neither of us slept. I changed positions in bed frequently and advised him confidently that today was probably going to be the day, because I’m stupid. 

At 7 am, THURSDAY morning (FUCKING THURSDAY) I called my doula. I explained what had been happening all night and she said it sounded encouraging. She told me to get up, shower and have a light breakfast. If the contractions continued after that, she’d be on her way to help until it was time to go to the hospital. I envisioned being admitted to the hospital by 2 pm and having a baby in my tired arms by 9 pm, again, because I’m stupid. 

I showered, and the contractions slowed to 10 minutes apart. My doula assured me that this was normal and encouraged me to get on the ball. I did and the contractions picked back up to 4-5 minutes apart. I had a light breakfast while sitting on the ball. As I nervously chewed my sausage, I was hit with a contraction that said, “Girl. Batten down the hatches of your wig.” It was probably a 7 on the pain scale. I smiled through it because, “YES. BUST THAT CERVIX OPEN IN THE ISLANDS OF WAIKIKIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII.” 

I stayed glued to the ball for three hours. Contractions were frequent, but manageable. I sent my husband to call off work and take a nap so that one of us would be worth a damn as the day progressed. Finally, I felt confident that this was truly it. I asked my doula to come at 10 am. While I waited for her to arrive, I watched an old school video block on VH1 Soul and danced around the living room, stopping only to brace myself against the wall or a piece of furniture during more intense contractions. I felt very confident. I was coping with the (relatively minor) pain really well and I was looking forward to the process of labor and delivery. It felt like a really good fucking day to have a baby. 

At 11 am, my doula arrived. She brought with her tools for pain management, her comforting demeanor and a patience and determination that matched mine. We were going to need it, because… 

AS SOON AS SHE ARRIVED, MY CONTRACTIONS STOPPED. Not slowed. Not lightened. THEY STOPPED. 

She felt this was probably a normal lull in labor and nothing that we couldn’t manage or restart. I wasn’t so sure. 

To kick my labor back into active gear, she kept me moving. I walked. I rocked. I lunged (have you ever seen a nine-month pregnant woman lunge?) around the entire first floor of the house. I walked up and down the steps until I was sweaty and breathless. I spent countless minutes sitting on the toilet, because sitting there would always guarantee at least one strong contraction. I sat on the ball. I lied on the ball. I used pillows to keep my pelvis open during the rare moments where I rested. She continued timing and logging the contractions. 

My husband nervously tinkered around the house, but otherwise stayed out of the way. My dogs stayed close, aware, I’m sure, that something important was afoot. 

Contractions eventually restarted with some consistency, but they were brief. They didn’t seem to be increasing in duration and it became clear labor had stalled out again. To her credit, my doula didn’t say this to me. She stayed positive and tried every trick she knew. She even reached out to other doulas on the doula batline to try to see if there was more we could do. 

I stayed hydrated and ate a lunch of Jimmy John’s. My husband applied counter pressure during the rare contraction strong enough to require it. My doula marveled at my pain tolerance and told me that it wouldn’t be much longer. 

Of course, the contractions stopped again. By this time, it was 5 pm and we were all desperate. As a last ditch Hail Mary, the doula suggested that I get in the soaking tub in the master bathroom. Once in the soothing water, she had me contort myself weirdly to see if the weightlessness of the water helped the baby move down to bring his head into contact with my cervix and bring on some stronger, more regular contractions. This helped some and I had about five contractions in that bath. God bless that bath. She sat on the floor next to me and talked to me about any and everything other than labor. 

After an hour, she helped me out of the tub and into some new pajamas. She then sent me to the couch to try and rest because I was spent. I physically could not do anything more. I’d spent the entire day doing cardio, basically. There, she positioned my pelvis with pillows and paced while waiting to see what my contractions did. They stopped again. OF COURSE THEY FUCKING DID. 

By this time it was 7 pm, twelve hours after I’d originally called her to say, “This might be it.” We discussed prodromal labor (this torture has a name) and I told her to go home. I wanted her to be rested for when things did actually pick up. She told me that she was worried about my stamina because I hadn’t really rested in days and wanted me to promise to try REALLY hard to get some sleep because she felt active labor was imminent. I promised that I would and she said, “I have a feeling I’ll be back tonight.” I was like, “Girl, whatever. This baby is never going to come. I’m going to go to my 39 week appointment tomorrow, they’re going to tell me my cervix hasn’t changed and I’m going to kill myself.” What I was REALLY going to do was ask if they could give me a sleeping aid that would help me sleep through each night of torture before I went into active labor, because I was so desperate to get some sleep. She agreed that would be a good idea, but said again, very gently, “I don’t think you’re going to need to do that. I think I’ll be back tonight.” I was too tired to understand that she was telling me, in her professional wisdom, that shit was about to get real. I said wistfully that I hoped they’d find I was at least 3 to 4 cm tomorrow morning, and that would give me the resolve I needed to keep going. I had to know that all of this hadn’t been for naught. 

My husband said, rather forcefully, “WE’RE NOT COMING BACK HOME AFTER THAT APPOINTMENT TOMORROW. I DON’T CARE. I DON’T CARE. GET YOUR MEMBRANES SWEPT AGAIN. GET INDUCED. YOU’RE SUFFERING AND I DON’T LIKE IT.” 

I told him that he was crazy if he thought I was exercising either of those options and walked the doula to the door. 

I then went to bed without another word and cried. After I cried… I dozed off. I slept for five blissful minutes. Like, a HEAVY sleep. But then, I was awakened by a contraction. And not a pansy ass one. This was a… CONTRACTION. It felt like a horse had kicked me from the inside. I thought, “GREAT. They’re starting already. I’m not gonna get ANY sleep tonight. I thought I at least had until 12 or 1 am.” I was so tired and discouraged that I didn’t realize that this was the opening salvo of active labor. 

Realizing trying to sleep would be futile, I ambled downstairs and decided to eat. While trying to eat some buffalo wings and sautéed Brussels sprouts, I had two more of those contractions. I told my husband I was sure it was nothing other than the natural progression of the week’s torture and I went back to bed. I MISSED SCANDAL, BITCH. 

These painful (8 or 9 on the scale) contractions started off at about 30 minutes apart, gradually increasing in length, duration and frequency all night. TEXTBOOK BUILD UP. ACTIVE LABOR. Do you think I realized this is what was happening? NOPE. 

They eventually began to take all of my resources to cope and I’d dread the start of each one. I’d feel a tightening in my back that would wrap around to my front with an intense HOT pain that had a build up, peak and tail. I climbed out of bed and began walking. I moaned. I crawled. I took blankets into the bathroom and parked on the toilet for awhile. All I kept thinking is, “I just have to make it to my appointment at 9:50 am. They’ll give me something for pain and I’ll be able to sleep until active labor starts.” I… wasn’t… all… there. 

At 4 am FRIDAY MORNING (FUCKING FRIDAY—A FULL SEVEN DAYS AFTER I HAD MY MEMBRANES SWEPT), I got back in the bed and positioned myself the way my doula had me in the tub. It was pretty unbearable, so I got back up. I shook my husband and said, “I need help. I need you to help me with these contractions. Rub my back.” He did and said, “Babe. I think we should time these.” I snapped back, “YOU DO IT! I CAN’T FOCUS ON THAT RIGHT NOW.” 

I. Still. Did. Not. Understand. That. I. Was. In. Active. Labor. Telling you this now, I realize how utterly ridiculous that is. But at the time, it was like I couldn’t allow myself to get my hopes up, only to have them crushed again when daylight broke. This explains why I was in a ton of pain, but didn’t bother calling my doula back to help. I didn’t want her to waste her time again. 

My husband timed contractions for one hour and we figured out that they were 60-90 seconds long and between two and four minutes apart. MY IDIOT ASS STILL DIDN’T KNOW I WAS IN ACTIVE LABOR. I was still focused on that doctor’s appointment and some sleeping pills. 

By 6 am, we’d made our way downstairs, realizing that trying to rest was futile. We sat (well, I laid) on the couch watching infomercials as I moaned my way through contractions. I ate half of a bagel and stared at the clock, WILLING my appointment time to arrive. 

Just after 7, my husband suggested I reach out to the doula, “just in case.” His ass didn’t realize I was in active labor, either. Dumb and Dumber. 

I sent her a text. 

7:25 am: “Contractions started back up at 20-30 minute intervals at 8 pm. They are 8 or 9 on my pain scale. They kept getting closer/longer until peaking at 60-90 seconds and two to four minutes apart at 5 am. I tried to doze between them, but they hurt so badly that sleeping between even the 20 minute ones was impossible. I was rocking, walking and trying to keep my pelvis open. Came downstairs at 6 am and they are still coming, but back at 15 to 20 minutes.”

“Still very painful. I’m just trying to make it to my appointment to find out what, if anything, they can give for pain/sleep until this turns into active labor. I need help because I am completely depleted and overwhelmed. I don’t know if I can do another day or night of this.” 

She responded that 60-90 seconds was much better than what we’d seen previously, asked if they were still 20 minutes apart, and told me to take a bath and see if I could get an earlier appointment. 

7:30 am: “They spread out to 20 minutes as soon as we came downstairs. Upstairs, I was sitting in the bed like you had me in the tub, sitting on the toilet or walking. Downstairs, I wanted to walk, but I was so exhausted I sat on the ball and then laid on my left side because I can hardly sit up anymore through this fatigue. I will try a bath and see about an earlier appointment.” 

She told me to have breakfast if I hadn’t and try to relax instead of doing things to push labor along. She realized at this point that I didn’t need to, as it was humming along on its own. I STILL DIDN’T UNDERSTAND THAT. This really is the most absurd thing. 

I took a shower because waiting for a bath to run was honestly more than I had to give to life at that point. My husband called the doctor’s office and they said I couldn’t get in any earlier. They might have gotten me in soon IF WE’D ONLY TOLD THEM I WAS IN ACTIVE LABOR, BUT ALAS, WE DIDN’T KNOW I WAS AND SO COULDN’T PLAY THAT CARD. 

I let my doula know and she said she’d meet us at the office for my appointment. She then said, “Take your hospital bag. I don’t think you’re going back home.” I dutifully obliged, all while thinking I was still going to be coming back home. She told me to keep deep breathing and moaning and try to stay relaxed. I did try. But it was hard when my whole abdomen felt like it was being tightened in a fiery vise. The pain wasn’t a level that I felt I absolutely couldn’t manage, but it was pretty shitty. The thing about contractions and labor is that they’re HARD. They’re really taxing. They require effort to get through them. And effort? REQUIRES ENERGY. ENERGY THAT I DIDN’T HAVE BECAUSE I’D NOT HAD ANY SLEEP IN THREE DAYS. 

At 9, my doula checked in with me. I let her know that the contractions were about 10 minutes apart and still very intense. I was dressed in clean pajamas (because fuck everything), a headscarf, Chuck Taylor sneakers and an aura of desperation. We loaded my bags into the car and then headed for the doctor’s office after a delay because three back-to-back contractions immobilized me. Still no clue I’m in active labor, by the way. 

Because those contractions were going to make us late for my appointment, I called ahead to the office and let them know we were running about ten minutes late. I explained that I was having contractions and the receptionist assured me they’d get me in an exam room as soon as I arrived. 

I had three trash ass contractions during the drive. 

My doula was waiting in the lobby when we got there. I had two contractions from the lobby to the office. She supported my weight through each and whispered encouragement in my ear. She, and everyone in the doctor’s office (receptionist, nurses, ultrasound tech) all took one look at me and knew I was in active labor. My dumb ass still did not. 

In the exam room, contractions made undressing from the waist down pretty difficult. My husband and the doula helped and we waited for my doctor for about two minutes. 

She came in and said, “I heard you’re having some contractions!” 

I said, “YES. THIS WEEK HAS BEEN AWFUL,” and launched into a miserable litany of everything that had happened since she’d swept my membranes. 

She lamented, “Ai-yi-yi. Prodromal labor. I’m sorry. It sucks. It happened to me.” 

I asked, “WHY DIDN’T YOU WARN ME?” 

She laughed and said, “You hated everything about pregnancy. I didn’t need to scare you with more. Plus, there was no way of knowing this would happen to you. I really hoped last Friday would be your last appointment.” 

I told her that I really, really needed something to help me sleep because I hadn’t slept in days. 

She told me that some women are stuck in this pattern for weeks and I just about passed out, because I thought that was going to be me. Then she said, “We have a couple of options. I can write you a prescription for some sleeping pills that are safe for pregnancy. Or we can admit you to the hospital for a few hours with an IV drip of a pain medication that will make it so you can sleep through the contractions for awhile. We call that therapeutic sleep. Or… we could induce you. But first, how about we take a look at your cervix and see where things stand?” 

I endured a pretty painful cervical check. She popped her head back up with a bright smile and said, “You’re four centimeters! Let’s go have a baby.” 

I burst into tears of joy and relief. I wasn’t going home after all. All the work hadn’t been for naught. I WAS ACTUALLY GOING TO HAVE A BABY. While I processed that, she continued poking around my cervix and I just about hit the ceiling. She’d swept my membranes again to be DOUBLY sure that my labor didn’t stall out again. Grrr. She talked to my doula for a bit and asked her some questions about whether my contractions had been “coupling” all week and they talked shop talk for a moment. 

Through my tears, we then talked about the hospital admission and how things would go from this point forward. She said she’d be kept abreast throughout the day and hopefully she’d see me later that afternoon to deliver my son. She then left to call the hospital. 

It was close to 11 am. I was still exhausted, but I had a brief burst of energy and renewed confidence. We drove down the street to the hospital and made our way to the L&D floor. I refused a wheelchair at the hospital’s front admissions desk, even though that sweep had unleashed hell. I was having strong, hard contractions, back-to-back with nearly no breaks in between them. I wanted to walk because I was still determined to have my natural labor and I needed to help things along. The staff couldn’t believe I refused the wheelchair. I requested a room with a tub and was given one. 

Once inside, I put on the hospital gowns. Yes, gowns. I wasn’t gonna be assed out. I then sat still for fetal and contraction monitoring while we went over my medical history, the events of the last week, and our birth plan with the nurse. They were completely supportive of an unmedicated delivery with no routine IV fluid and intermittent monitoring. I’d be allowed to hydrate to comfort by mouth with water, Gatorade, ice and frozen treats. I had a hep-lock installed just in case. This would come back to bite me later, but for now was in line with my birth plan. They also drew a vial of blood and did another cervical check to make sure I was really 4 cm. They agreed with my doctor’s assessment. Four centimeters out this bitch, and a station that said the baby was still floating pretty high in my pelvis. 

Once they’d established that my contractions were in a good pattern and the baby was doing well, they turned me loose. I’d be allowed to walk and do whatever I wanted for 45 minutes out of every hour. Then, I’d have to return for 15 minutes of monitoring. So we got moving. My husband, my doula and I walked the corridors of the L&D floor. Well, walk is an overstatement. It took really long to get anywhere because we kept having to stop for contractions. I simply could not believe how frequently they were coming. My doula said they seemed to be in a pattern similar to transition, which meant my labor might not be long (MIGHT NOT BE LONG AFTER SIX DAYS). I was griping about how quickly they were coming and she assured me that this is what we wanted. My husband would support my weight while she applied counter pressure. The pain. Oh, sweet Jesus, the pain. It wasn’t completely unmanageable. But it was hard and it definitely required some fight. The issue was I was just so tired. I needed to rest. After one hour of walking and lunging, we returned to the room. I was hopeful that I’d progressed to 6 cm so that I could use the tub. They’d told me I couldn’t until then because they didn’t want labor to stall out. I just needed to rest and take the edge off. 

So it was with bated breath that I endured yet another painful cervical check… only to be told I was still 4 cm. Womp. So I got on the ball. I used heat pads and counter pressure and massage and visualization and I tried really hard to battle through over the next hour. But I was so tired it was hard for me to sit up unsupported anymore. I said that I wasn’t sure I could do this and my husband, the nurse and my doula said, “Oh, but girl. You ARE doing it.” The nurse marveled at my ability to cope with the pain, because I wasn’t completely losing my shit. I was moaning softly through each contraction and trying my best to surrender to each wave. 

All of a sudden, I started being unable to focus my eyes. Like, I was so tired, I could not fix my eyes on a single point. I knew then that I HAD to get some rest. But there was no way I’d be able to sleep through the contractions. So I asked about temporary pain relief that would allow me a quick nap. The nurse reminded me of my birth plan and asked if I was really sure and I said that I was. She talked to us about analgesics and I briefly considered them. The side effects, particularly those for the baby, frightened me and gave my husband INCREDIBLE pause. But I didn’t want that goddamned epidural. I didn’t want the increased monitoring, the lack of movement, the potential for fever, blood pressure drops, etc. I. DID. NOT. 

So I tabled the discussion and went back to lunging around the room for thirty more minutes. Then I hit my wall. I was simply physically incapable of doing anything more. I had no reserves left with which to do this. Labor is physical work. Physical work requires energy. Energy requires rest. I AIN’T HAVE NONE OF THAT SHIT. I was delirious. 

I locked eyes with my doula and said, “I want the epidural.” She said, “I think that’s a great choice for you right now. You absolutely need to rest.” 

We summoned the nurse and told her. She said, “Let me tell you something. I do this for a living. I see lots of women go through this process. You can tell when someone is going to be able to manage the pain. You were rocking it. I have no doubt in my mind that if you’d have had a textbook labor and some sleep in the past few days? You’d have done this without the epidural. But right now? You DEFINITELY need to rest. We’re going to make it so that you can.” And with that, she started making the calls to get the nurse anesthetist. 

Remember how I said I only had a hep-lock and no IV fluid? Well… To get an epidural, you have to be pre-loaded with one or two bags of saline solution to prevent a catastrophic drop in blood pressure. That takes about an hour. Fuck everything. Seriously. 

Once you make the decision to get an epidural, you want it placed and you want relief NOW. That wasn’t to be for me. Not only did I have to wait for the fluids to come, be hooked into my hep-lock and slooooowwwllly drip into me, I had to have my blood drawn AGAIN and rushed to the lab because they lost my first sample and they couldn’t give me the epidural without analyzing it first. MY NIGGA, ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I actually moaned, “This is some bullshit. I can’t.” My wonderful nurse (seriously, she was awesome) apologized profusely and told me how well I was doing. I had to endure all of this while sitting perfectly still on the bed, because the IV had restricted my movement. So I couldn’t even move around to use pain management techniques. My doula massaged my extremities and lower back as best she could, while my husband held my hand and whispered encouragement into my ears. 

The nurse anesthetist FINALLY arrived at 1:30, only to find that her preferred sterile scrub for my back wasn’t available. THIS BITCH simply couldn’t do without it, so she had the nursing staff calling all over looking for this specific thing that no one seemed to be familiar with and I’m thinking, “USE WHAT THEY HAVE ON THE TRAY, HO.” 

They’d kicked my husband and doula out to maintain a sterile field at this point, so I’m sitting there with just the nurse, enduring contraction after contraction. The nurse was very encouraging and told me how great I was doing, but I didn’t give a shit about her superlatives. I wanted my epidural, my doula and my husband, in that motherfucking order. 

After THIRTY MINUTES, Picky Patty’s preferred scrub is procured and we’re able to get to the process of placing the epidural. It took a very long time. And I spent it hunched over, having massive contractions (seriously, the stupid nurse anesthetist looked at the monitor and ACTUALLY SAID they were some of the strongest she’d ever seen—fuck her) trying to stay completely still. The nurse was supporting me and talking me through each. “You’re going to get through this contraction. You’re going to stay perfectly still. The epidural will be placed and you will sleep. Good job,” and so on. Her soothing voice and reassuring touch are the only reason I wasn’t in tears at this point. Thirty more minutes, FOURTEEN CONTRACTIONS (I counted), two rushed emergency appearances from the resident on call when the monitors lost my baby’s heartbeat because of how I was contorted, and three placement attempts later (I apparently have very narrow spaces between my vertebra), the epidural was in. There were a few spots where it didn’t initially take, so I had to flop around like a fish until the medicine was fully distributed. Twenty minutes after that, it had fully kicked in, and it was off to sleep for me. 

Except that it wasn’t. They immediately came to do another cervical check and to break my water, so that the epidural wouldn’t slow my labor down. Don’t you know I’d dilated to 6 cm while WAITING for the goddamned epidural? 

Then it was off to sleep… Or not. The epidural made me shake so violently that it was impossible to sleep through it. So I laid there. I laid there with a sleep mask on, wishing desperately to sleep… and not sleeping. My doula tried some massage techniques and pressure points to try to make the shaking stop, all to no avail. So she went back to work positioning me to keep my pelvis open to support continued dilation and help the baby move down. She used a peanut ball and flopped my legs around. I maintained good control over my pelvis, hips and right leg (I could lift and move all of them), but my left leg was dead to the world. The pain had stopped, but I could still feel the tightening of the contractions and could tell when they would start, peak and end. 

And so, we waited. We waited for me to dilate and for my son to descend. As it turned out, we didn’t wait long. At 3:30, the nurse came back to do a cervical check. I was 10 cm. I’d gone from 6 to 10 cm in approximately an hour and a half. I found it incredibly infuriating that after a full week of slow early labor things were now progressing so quickly, but I was thankful nonetheless. My son still wasn’t with the idea of being born, because he was still floating up a little high. As both of our vitals were stable (minus a fever I’d developed from the epidural), they were happy to let me continue to rest and allow him to work himself down, rather than have me try to push him down. My doula went back to work on positioning me to help (I looked a fool with my dead leg) and I allowed myself to finally really get excited over the prospect of seeing my son. 

For the next two hours, they monitored my rising fever, but otherwise left me alone. At nearly six, they came back for another check and my son was at whatever station he needed to be in order to be born. They called my doctor and she wasn’t on call for that evening. She tried really hard to find someone to take her kids so she could come deliver me. While that happened, I rested and my fever grew even higher. They started me on prophylactic antibiotics (see why I didn’t want that damned epidural originally?), but remained chill about it. They mentioned the prospect of possibly having to do the same for my son, but assured me I’d still get my hour of skin-to-skin time immediately after birth. 

It turned out that my doctor wasn’t going to be able to attend me, so they called the doctor on call. While we waited for her, I watched as they wheeled in the tray with everything she’d need to deliver my son. It is at this moment that it REALLY hit me that I was going to have a baby. Like, a whole ass human being that I’d carried and made was going to luge out of my vagina with my assistance. HOLY SHIT. 

I’d never met the doctor on call, and that made me nervous. As it turned out, my fears were unfounded. She was an amazing woman who made my delivery hilarious and fun. She arrived at about 7:30—breezed in actually—introduced herself and immediately put me at ease with her warm bedside manner and some pretty funny jokes. She instructed me on how pushing would go and said it would probably take about an hour. Then, she asked me to do a test push with the next contraction to see if I had the hang of it. I did, and she said, “Yeah, no. Pushing isn’t going to take you an hour. In fact, let me get ready now.” ALL THOSE MOTHERFUCKING KEGELS CAME IN HANDY. She quickly changed, donned the splash guard and assembled her tools. 

My husband took a leg and the nurse took another. It was go time.

They asked if I wanted the mirror down. I said yes, but quickly realized I couldn’t push and look into it at the same time. Between contractions, I’d steal peeks and I saw my son’s head and hair… hair that the doctor lovingly sculpted into a Mohawk as it peeked out of my vagina (seriously—LOL), so he’d be “photo ready” upon birth. 

At 8:02 pm, seven days after my membrane sweep, six days of early labor, 24 hours of active labor, five contractions and fifteen minutes after I started pushing, my son was born. The doctor, nurses and doula couldn’t believe how quickly and easily I’d pushed him out as a first time mom. I was grateful that there was SOMETHING about my labor and birth that went more quickly than expected. They placed my 6 lb,13 oz and 20 inch long boy on my chest, where he promptly took a shit to let me know how he felt about being born, and I fell in love. The end. 

Well, not quite. I had a postpartum hemorrhage, courtesy my fibroids. The doctor handled it quickly and calmly, but I watched in the mirror with alarm as she ordered, and then shoved Cytotec into my ass. Literally. SHE SHOVED CYTOTEC PILLS INTO MY ASS. My son and I both ended up on antibiotics and I had a preeclampsia blood pressure spike that earned us an extra night in the hospital, but other than that we did well. 

You should also know that I didn’t shit on the delivery table.

I didn’t tear and my postpartum nurse checked me on day two and said, “Good grief. It doesn’t even look like you had a baby!” I knew then that me and my vagina were gonna be alright. GLORAY. PAY HOMAGE TO MY PERINEUM AND ITS INCREDIBLE ELASTICITY. No. Seriously. Pay homage. 

FUCKIN FINALLY I FINISHED THIS GODDAMN

so this is a kind of thank you piece for the 200 followers!! man. i just. i can’t even believe it you know?? i love u guys so much and thank you for supporting my creative endavors lmao

i started this before i hit 200 tho, and it’s basically from a poorly thought out au idea of mine that i’ve probably seen somewhere else: what if the freelancers were actually freelancers? mercenaries like felix and locus? mercenaries who maybe end up working WITH felix and locus? very uh. intimately, if you want to look at it that way. which i do.

the real story is that i found this cool set of armor, venator armor in halo 4, and i wanted to draw someone with it. so i chose wash and gave him a shit eating grin and BAM. i forgot how much i hate halo 4 armor though so. this was a struggle. but you know. i love u guys. labor of love and all that.

anonymous asked:

Sorry to hear about your meeting. Unfortunately in out jobs we do have to do what RBJ says: Listen, smile, agree, and then do whatever the fuck you were gonna do anyway. It does help. People are never gonna be satisfied with your job, bosses want you to do your 200% when you're just paid for the 100%, and the fact that the people who are paid like if they did their 500% do less than 100%. I hope you feel better, sending good vibes from here! *hugs*

You are exactly right. I’m the lowest paid person in my office by far, yet I feel like I’m expected to do far more emotional labor than anyone else. I can’t change that, though. I can only try to mitigate it as best I can. This week was very difficult though; I basically felt off-kilter all week and second-guessed myself every time I talked to someone (”was that sarcastic?” “I shouldn’t have said that” “Oh god what if she took that the wrong way?”). It’s been awful.

#356: ‘Throw Out The Birth Plan’ (PART 2)

How Long Will I Love You: Throw Out The Birth Plan (PART 2)- One Shot #356
+past one shots
No visuals/song.
*PART 1 HERE*
Note: A missing scene from: #254. Another Little Bird 

“We’re not going back to sleep tonight, are we?” Harry padded into the lounge carrying two steaming mugs of coffee in his hands. The boys wouldn’t be up for a couple more hours, and there was no way you’d be getting to sleep at this rate. The sun hadn’t even rose yet, and wouldn’t for a while in this  

You shrugged, with a grin. “I don’t think I could if I tried. Look what I found. I thought Darcy had it, but we must’ve ended up with it when she moved back from university.” You pulled Darcy’s baby blanket up onto your lap. It was faded and fraying, but the slightly crooked stitching of her name in the corner. “Can you believe she used to be that small?” You rubbed the fabric between your fingers. “Can you believe all of our babies used to be that small?”

Harry put his arm around your shoulder and kissed your temple. “We’ve got two grandbabies coming here pretty soon.” He shook his head in slight disbelief.

You dropped your cheek to his shoulder. “Do you think I think I did something wrong, Harry?”

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