04 December 2016

Ah, so here we are

8 months out from leaving Korea and I've barely updated y'all on what's been going on. I had a relapse in my chronic fatigue, which has been re-named but it's hard to remember. So, like I said, relapsed which means, a lot of exhaustion and sickness happening here and so most of my good days are spent doing school or out exploring. I need to make a post of nothing but Korea pictures to share.

Thanks for sticking around, I'm considering getting a Facebook page for my many posts since I'm on there more often. Maybe. We will see.

14 October 2015

Our first (and only) internationally born child

Moving to Korea was an adventure.  We had to move early because I ended up pregnant earlier than we had been planning.  Being due just a few days before my husband's report date, we had to move our moving up by 2 months at least.  Which we did.  We got to Korea on August 17th. 

I was 33 weeks pregnant and unsure about where I'd end up delivering.  I started prenatal care with the military hospital up at Yongson and to be honest I was pretty surprised at the care there.  It wasn't as bad as I was expecting considering the stories.  They are obviously heading in the right direction as far as care.

I still was not okay giving birth in a hospital.  We found out that I couldn't stay at lodging up at Yongson for half price unless I gave birth at 121 and I was not comfortable with the idea of driving anywhere while in labor at all so around 36 weeks we started looking into or homebirth options.  I was still not comfortable with the idea of unassisted birth although Michael and I did put a lot of discussion into it.  I just preferred the idea of having someone there to assist for those "just in cases."

So we contacted a homebirth midwife.  She was completely hands off in some ways, and hands on in ways I wasn't expecting.  But, all in all I'm glad we called her.  She was really only there for a short part of my birth, but I LOVED her assistant Jasmine.

So, my birth story:

On October 10, 2015, around 10am I had some bloody show.  I have a history of short labors so we called the midwife and let her know.  She sent her husband and assistant out because she was teaching a class.  My labor was very slow to start.  Early labor lasted a very long time.  All day in fact.  Contractions were slow to establish, but they were pretty intense when they were showing up.  It wasn't until around 5pm, after doing some sprints around the building for about half an hour, that my contractions finally picked up.  That's when I'd say active labor started.  The birth pool was set up, and I swayed and moved, and walked around, and leaned, during contractions.  It was very different from my other labors in that I felt the need to move between contractions during this one.  I was also able to breathe, instead of moan through them for the most part for the first part of active labor.

I was in and out of the birth tub a few times, until I think it was closer (to be honest at this point I was fairly exhausted so details are pretty fuzzy)  Kids were in and out of the room, Michael was in and our of the room, and at some point I just lost track of who was there.  Jasmine was awesome at helping me relax during and between contractions.  We had to live and press in on my stomach to get Isaac to engage and drop down because of how relaxed my muscles are.  I do remember hoping that I'd still give birth on the 10th but it was looking less likely.  The contractions kept coming and I was slightly excited when my thoughts turned irrational (thinking drugs would be nice) because I knew he'd be here soon.  At some point Rosa showed up....but I honestly don't remember when.

And then like always the fact that I was pushing kind of snuck up on me and surprised me.  Wasn't as easy as Katara, Isaac's water wasn't breaking while I was pushing and I think that scared me, although I'm not sure why.  Obviously it made pushing harder, but I think it would have been cool if he'd been born in caul but I kind of freaked out at the fact that it wasn't breaking.  At that point I know there was a flurry of activity, and Rosa helped guide him out as I pushed.  He came out all in one push though, head, body and everything.

And he was born. 

Isaac Lee came on October 11, 2015 at 12:49am weighing 8lbs 1oz and 21" long.  He came out crying, and with a short cord like his sister Willow.

Oh So Many Things to update!

We made it to Korea!  I'll have to save some pictures and share them later.  Too much to update now.

So, we went through the easy process of EFMP which was just a meeting confirming any medical or educational care we may need and then we got the green light for that.

We had a little snag with CS when we didn't have a paper filled out that we needed, stating that I was not a sex offender, but after we got that in I'm pretty sure we got the green light on CS within a week.  We were excited!

Then it was time to set everything up to actually move and boy was that stressful!  A LOT of rearranging times, dates, and movers who threw tantrums.  But we made it out only wasting a little over a week of Michael's leave time.

We went to FL and NC to visit family, and took a trip to Sea World.

Then it was time to go.  We drove up to Fort Gordon for a night, then Atlanta to drop off our van.  Another snag, because we didn't actually turn our van in, Michael's cousin awesomely did, and then we flew off to Seattle!  The kids were pretty excited about their first plane ride.  We were all exhausted by the time we go there though, and from there it kind of just got worse.  lol 

We pretty much stayed up all night to get through security, check ins, and then finally, around 8am we actually boarded our flight.  All 7 of us in one row.  We flew from Seattle to Japan where we stayed while the plane refueled, and then from there to Suwon, South Korea.  It was afternoon of the next day, and we were all very tired, from travelling, being on a plane for almost 12 hours, and from the time differences.  We'd lost half a day (13 hours) in the flight.  We got bussed to Osan to go through customs, and get one of our pets and then we were finally on our way to Yongson!

We had to do a very late night briefing (I say late night but I think it was only 9pm) and then we could go to bed.  We checked into the Dragon Hill Lodge (or DHL) and we all kind of crashed.  The hotel is very big and pretty.  I wish I would have explored more.  But, we went to Humphrey's the very next day after Michael had arranged with the pet center to pick up our 2nd cat from the airport, and we rode the bus with one cat to Humphrey's and our 2nd was brought to the gate here.

We arrived late evening and our sponsor helped get us checked into the lodging here on post.  From there my husband started in-processing! 

All in all, even with all the stress, it ended up being an easier process than I was expecting and now we are settled in our on post house (which will be another post) and we have our vehicle, and.....we have a new baby!  Our first international born bundle of joy! :)

16 June 2015

Moving to Korea

Command sponsorship has been pretty painless so far.  My husband went to his levi brief and filled out a bunch of paperwork.  I had to sign a few and then turn it in.  The passports were pretty easy, we filled out the application online and then just printed them out for our no-fee passport.  We needed our birth certificates, SS cards and the form.  We got them back in 4 weeks.

Then EFMP was an online questionnaire for each child, asking developmental questions and a quick interview to verify all medical and education needs, and done!

Then after a little complications on our side needing a paper signed we finally got a confirmation number that we had been put in for command sponsorship, got our tracking number and the website to track it on, and all in all we knew we were approved a week after everything was submitted!  Easy Peasy!

Next on the schedule, my husband put in for early report, so he had to fill out his leave form for PCSing to reflect us leaving at the earliest point possible.  His orders say that he can report up to 60 days beforehand and since I'm pregnant, the earlier the better for my flying.  His leave form was approved and now we're just waiting on orders!

I'll update more about Korea once we move. :)

26 January 2015

New Adventure

So, my husband has orders to South Korea.  Again, I know.  3rd times a charm though right?  So this time we're going to attempt to get command sponsorship and the kids and I will hopefully be going with him to Korea in October.

Fingers crossed anyways.

So I figured I'll post in here what we do, and when and how I go through this process because I know I'm totally lost and there's got to be others who are too.  This process seems extremely overwhelming and documenting our journey to Korea will help to keep me from going too crazy.

So far my husband was scheduled a levi brief and I was informed to get all my kids medical records for when we go to the screening since we're seen off post, and to bring Steven and Willow's IEP for speech (which I've already gotten from their speech therapist at the school)

So, fingers crossed and hoping things go well.

03 September 2014

So where do you go if facebook doesn't work?

To complain that facebook is not working?  Your blog.

Sigh, more time to lesson plan I guess. :)

03 August 2014

My Mom

I was 18 in this picture.  Long before my Mom's accident.  I have a lot of guilt over what happened with my Mom.  I had just gone back to work after having my son, and my husband and I had worked out that he'd work days, and I would work nights, except on weekends, where I would work mornings when needed, but I'd only work 6 hours tops, so that we didn't have to leave our son with a sitter, and my husband would bring my son to me halfway through my shift for me to nurse him.  Well, on October 25, 2004 I was at work, without a pump, or a baby, and when my husband called me to tell me that the baby was hungry we realized that my Mom had our 2nd car seat and my husband had no way to bring our son to me.  I had no way to pump, and I would have leaked like crazy if I didn't either nurse or pump, although we did have frozen milk in the fridge for James.

So I called my Mom, and I asked her if she could bring the car seat to my husband so that Michel could bring James to me to nurse.  It was about 9ish and she said sure.  Michael showed up not 30 min later, we only live about 15-20 min from my Mom, and work.  I nursed the baby and then walked them out to their car before I went back to work and I can remember vividly the car accident on Industry Road.  There were so many flashing lights, and a semi truck and everyone, the cashiers and baggers, everyone was captivated by it.  We saw the helicopter come in to flight lift the wounded, and I remember I made a comment that obviously it was really bad if they were flight lifting rather than just using an ambulance.  I said a quick prayer for the family and the person affected by this accident and shooed everyone back inside to get back to work.

Little did I know that this would change my life in so many ways.

I usually got off a little after midnight.  I got the call, sometime as I was wrapping things up in the office.  Bill called me and said Mom had been in a very serious accident, and that they weren't sure if she'd make it.  It was really bad.  At that moment I realized I'd prayed for myself.  I just knew that accident was my Mom. I asked Bill where the accident had happened, and he said somewhere on the way home.  I told him I saw the aftermath.  I was so scared and I kind of just lost it.  Thank God Chris knew how to finish everything in the office because I'm not sure I would have been able to finish.  I called Michael to come get me, I knew I'd not be able to drive home, and then I called my sister and my best friend Amanda.

I don't remember much else.  I knew I wanted to rush over there immediately but Bill told me not to.  I went early the next morning though, and my Mom, she was, I'd never seen her so frail looking.  I prayed, so hard those next few weeks.  My work, God Bless them gave me more time off, and I took another month off waiting for my Mom to heal.  It was touch and go for the first few weeks, and we learned that she could no longer feel her legs.  Her spinal cord was swollen, and she was paralyzed.

My Mom had forgotten that she had taken her sleeping pills.  She only wanted to help her grandchild and I feel so guilty about it, even now.  If I'd had a back up plan then I'd never have had to call her to go to my house, and the accident would not have happened.

I then watched my Mom fade away over the next ten years.  It was hard, and I miss her every day now.  My Mom was my best friend.  She had so much hope right after the accident, that maybe she'd be able to walk, at least with assistance, but as the years went on she lost hope, and with the loss of hope she lost her motivation to stay healthy.  In the past five years especially she was in and out of the hospital a lot, there were several close calls, and honestly, I thought that's what this last time would have been also, but it wasn't.  And as much as I miss my Mommy, it was time.  She was such an amazing Mom and friend.  She always supported me, even when she maybe didn't agree or understand and she never judged me.  I don't think I could have asked for a better Mom.

I love you Mom.

30 July 2014

Juggling children is hard! :)

  It's hard to do school when you have an almost 17 month old who constantly wants your undivided attention.  Like right now, where I came in the room, sat down to blog and immediately I'm demanded to nurse her.  Right now.  No exceptions.

This isn't going to be my main blog post today, but as I'm limited at the moment with my hands, this is the best I can do right now.

I've got two students still in the 13-14 school year, and I've started my middle two in the 14-15 school year already at their request, and entire week early.  Which is okay since we're heading to FL in less than two weeks.  So far it's going okay, but I don't have a lot I need to do with the bigs, but my almost 17 month old is not a fan of my being distracted from her.  At least not when she wants attention, and that's about any time I'm not paying attention to her.

But, back to topic, I plan on writing about my Mom soon, which is still a hard subject for me.

22 July 2014

I'm trying... think of my next blog post.  Not sure what I'm going to write about but I have some ideas.  I really would love it if I had the time and patience to write about all the things I'd like to write about.  And the ability to stay on task.  Gotta love chronic fatigue.

But, as it's almost time for a new school year I think my next full length blog post will feature something about our new school year that I'm setting up for.  But, for now I have two young children begging to go to the park.

It's my birthday today too, and I'm exhausted, I think pizza may be in order for tonight.

06 July 2014

March was a hard month for me.  My Mom was in a car accident in October of 2004.  She suffered severe injuries and became a paraplegic.  She was optimistic at first, but slowly, what was optimistic that she may eventually walk again became resignation that she never would, and finally slipping into depression as she realized she never would, and that many of the things that she used to love to do and wanted to do with her grandchildren could never happen.  And unfortunately in all of this she also missed out on a lot with them.  I watched as my vibrant and passionate mother faded away in front of me, and finally, in March this year she left this earth.  I still can't think about her without crying.  My Mom was my best friend, my rock.  After my Daddy died in 1992 I only had her and although we had a rough start, she was my person to cling to.  We had a lot in common and enjoyed those things together.  My Mom was a really awesome person who I miss talking to every day since she died.

It was sudden, and yet not so sudden, and it's hard not to think back and see all the regrets, all the times I could spend with her and now can't.

Mommy, I know you're looking after me now, and my kids.  I love you and I know you knew that.  It hurts, you being gone, but I'll be okay, but only for you, because I know that's what you'd want, but I miss you.  So much.