Payback

If you follow the blog at all, are friends with me on FB or in real life, or post on COTH I’m sure that you’re all up to date on the saga that has been mine and Willow (Willow and I’s?) adjustment to life in KY. For being the horse capital of the world, I’ve found it seriously lacking… in everything. If it weren’t for the help of a wonderful friend (I owe you, Linda) I don’t think that I would have found the team that so wonderfully rehabbed Willow from her hock injury.

Since our move here, we’ve been through 3 barns, 2 vets, and 4 farriers before (finally) finding a pretty good situation for Willow. Talk about frustration on my part! Willow just kind of went along with everything, but has had her fair share of injuries. I’ve been really hard on myself throughout the saga, thinking that maybe it was my poor management of her. In reality I was doing the best I could and really they were a result of poor luck. When it came to treating them, I did what ever horse owner would do (including thanking my pony club background for my wrapping skillz) and helped her to the best of my ability. If I couldn’t handle it, I called a vet who could. Willow remained her usual grumpy, snarly self throughout the processes. She’s not an in your pocket, overly show affection type of horse.

In the boarding situation that Willow lives in right now, I get to go out at 7 at night, in the pitch dark (sometimes dragging an infant and a toddler along) and the freezing cold, to hike up a rather large hill in order to take care of Wills and her pasture buddy, Bella at night. I love it.

quiet

Willow is the very very very bottom of the pecking order, and it took almost a week for the other horses to even let her think about coming up to be part of the group. She still gets pushed around, but we’re in the process of building her her own run in and she really enjoys having 24/7 access to grass (hog). Feeding time is the worst still, as the two other mares (who have their own space, but share a fence line. It’s complicated) get fed at different times, so they snark at Willow over the fence constantly. Feed time usually consists of me standing next to Willow, growling at everybody to just back off. I also get mobbed since I have to go through their dry lot to get to Bella and Willow. I pretty much have put the fear of god into them though, so nobody tries to kick me anymore. ๐Ÿ˜‰

happygirls

Last night, though, I was doing my usual thing when my stupid knee went kaput! on me. It’s tricky like that, from an old injury, and will just randomly give out if I step wrong (usually when I’m out of shape). It takes some coaxing to go back to normal. The super fun part was that it did it when I was half way through the gate between dry lots, with an arm full of full feed buckets. The three horses were on me like white on rice. It’s really not a fun feeling sitting on your butt in the dark, in the middle of a ย three way mare food fight, and knowing you won’t be able to jump up and boogey out of there. Or even really hit any of them. I was fairly sure that I was about to get my brain kicked in.

Then comes Willow. All 17.2 hands of chicken shit that she is, waded right into the middle of the whole shebang to stand almost on top of me. She pinned her ears, squealed, did some tail swishing, and took the hits. In the meantime, there is her totally useless mother, underneath her feet, trying to scramble to the gate so I could slam it shut on the two worst offenders. Bella had the sense to back off into her run in and stare at the whole mess.

I finally managed to make it to the gate, which I managed to wing shut in their faces, but I still wasn’t really into the whole standing thing. I couldn’t reach the latch to secure the gate, and it has a tendency to open on it’s own. So I did some praying, put all my trust in my girl, and grabbed her hind leg to try to use as a cane to get myself standing. This is not a really standard horsemanship practice. Don’t try it at home, y’all. She stood like a rock, still making faces at the two mares who were rushing the gate to get to the feed on the ground, while I pulled and yanked on her leg and tail. I managed to get myself standing, used her ample bottom to drag myself around and latched the stupid gate.

I got my knee back working after a few minutes of massaging, bending, and flexing (still using Willow as a crutch). I refilled grain bins, beat the mares back a second time, and managed to get Bella and Willow fed without incident.ย 

Willow is missing a few substantial patches of her winter fuzz and some skin off a foreleg, but is none the worse for wear. She will for sure be getting her favorite warm peppermint bran mash tonight.

Maybe she does like me a little bit after all? Either that or she figured if Mom was dead, nobody would be feeding her at night. Either way, I can honestly say that it makes the fact that I’ll be eating noodles for the next twelve years in order to afford her vet bills a little bit easier to stomach. ๐Ÿ™‚

She really is my heart.

safety horse

 

!!!

Y’ALL… sing it with me now…

I got to ride my pooooony, I got to ride my pooooooony!!!

firstride

ride1

And she was really pretty good. It was a bit like stumbling around on a cooked, rather drunken spaghetti noodle that had a mind of it’s own and a rather large hump in it’s back, but I didn’t come off and we even got some reasonable trot work in the round pen. As soon as I swung my leg over I was home sweet home! Granted, as soon as I swung my leg over Charlotte woke up and demanded to be fed RIGHT THIS INSTANT, so my ride was about 5 milliseconds long. Mike was doing to rock and bounce and glare at me, so we kept it short… but GUYS I GOT TO RIDE MY HORSE!!!

Yes. In the top picture I am sniffling a little bit. Being a Mom makes you an emotional wreck when it comes to happy stuff like this, but honestly for a while there I was hoping that maybe she would be pasture sound. Keeping the faith really pays off. ๐Ÿ˜‰

And yes. I am riding bareback, because you know, I haven’t ridden in 6 months and mare hasn’t been in her new home for a week yet, but hey, I have a helmet on. And I don’t fit into my breeches yet. Since Jack ate my paddock boots/half chaps and I can’t wear tall boots with my jeans, bareback it was. We practice White Trash Dressage, y’all. There’s a thread on COTH about the whole thing, so it’s legit. I actually get better work bareback, since I’m almost forced to sit deep and push her into the bridle. If only her trot weren’t so huge and I weren’t so out of shape so that we could actually sustain it for more than 30 seconds. Oh my first world problems.

Anyways. I just had to share the awesome news with everybody, because I’m walkin’ on suuuuunshine… whooooaa!

I’ll stop. You’re welcome.

๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

b.w

I instagrammed this… #fuzzywuzzywasadanishwarmblood

#TEAMWILLOW y’all!

Now I have to go drag my dogs in by their ears since they won’t stop barking at the mail man (we are so a sterotype here in suburbia). Here are some cute pictures of my kids as a reward for actually READING my insanely senseless post.

yelling

supervisor

Oh. It also “snowed” this morning. I thought that it was adorable.

snow

*snork*

 

Okay. I’m really, actually done now. Have a great Tuesday!

Charlotte’s Birth Story

I was re-reading Shannon’s story this morning, and realized that I posted it three days after she was born. Totally dropped the ball this time. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Charlotte’s birth story is actually pretty boring. The months leading up to her arrival had me begging my midwife to please, PLEASE just get her OUT. I had a really hard pregnancy with her, from extreme morning sickness that went undiagnosed ย for months and ended up being hyperemisis to crippling ligament pain to three due date changes this go ’round was NOTHING like what I went through with Shannon.

pills

My daily pill line up.

To add to the stress, we weren’t quite sure who was going to be taking care of Shannon when I went into labor. My mom had been scheduled to fly down about two weeks before my due date, since my midwife was talking about inducing me early, given all the problems that I’d been having. We ended up finding the right combination of medications to allow Charlotte to bake as long as possible. Since my mom had already bought her ticket based on the fact that they HAD wanted to deliver Char early, we didn’t think that she would be able to be here. The plan was for Mike to drop me off at the hospital when I went into labor and stay at the post hotel with Shannon until I had her. A delivery room is, in my opinion, no place for a curious toddler. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I explained all my concerns with my midwife at a weigh in appointment, and she was able to schedule an induction for me at 39 weeks and 1 day. Mom was then able to extend her ticket. I think I cried once everything fell into place, honestly.

Mike and I were up at 430 on that Wednesday morning, so that I could shower and we could get to the hospital by 6 to get the ball rolling with Char’s eviction. It was really nice to be able to take a shower, pack our bags, and not forget anything! I know that inductions are somewhat controversial, but given the history of this pregnancy and our situation with childcare, this was the best option for us. I’m 100% happy with how things worked out. I was a bit nervous, though!

We got to the hospital and got settled into our room. I got the pleasure of doing twelve thousand pages of paperwork. I was the only induction scheduled for that day, so things went pretty quickly. After an hour of paperwork, my midwife walked in and checked me, then we discussed the plan.

I had been sitting at between 4-5 cm for two weeks, and having regular contractions, so my midwife wanted to give me my epidural ( I knew the second the stick turned blue that I wanted one) and then break my water. When I had Shannon, breaking my water was the trick to getting me to a 10, so she wanted to do that first this time, and hopefully avoid having to add pitocin into the mix.

The nurse started my IV and the anesthesiologist showed up by 9. Let me tell you, the whole epidural experience is a little bit different when you aren’t in screaming pain. I may or may not have nailed Mike right in the man bits (sorry babe!) when he was making sure that I didn’t fling myself off the bed. I may have peeked at the needle. Ladies, don’t peek at the needle.

In hindsight, it was very much worth it, but at the time I wasn’t so sure. ๐Ÿ˜‰

After that was all over with, my midwife broke my water and we waited. For a long time.

My goal was to be all done by lunch time. I hadn’t had breakfast, and I was planning on using the promise ofย  lunchย meeting my baby to motivate my pushing attempts.

So we waited. And waited. And waited some more.

fatface

My face became extremely puffy from the amount of fluid that was getting pumped into me. Birthing human beings is so dang attractive!

My midwife came back for another check, and alas… nothing had changed. So she gave my nurse (who was totally kick ass, by the way) the thumbs up to start the pitocin at 11.

And then we waited some more. They came back at 1… and yay! 8! Almost there.

Mike and I went back to watching American Pickers (hello History Channel marathon!) and teasing me about my fat face.

updating

Watching contractions on the monitor… “did you feel that one?” and “oh that was a BIG one!”… kept homeboy entertained for HOURS!

At 2 my midwife came back and said that we had just a litttttle bit left to go, and then we could start pushing. She decided to get geared up, and by 2:20 we were test pushing.

Miss Charlotte showed up at 2:47! I pushed about a dozen times and she was FINALLY freakin’ outta there! Mike and I fist bumped and he did a little butt wiggle around the room while I loved on my new girl!

potato!

yellin'

We had a pretty quick hospital stay, and we were on our way home by 4 the next afternoon! I had exactly no tearing, which made the whole recovery thing a breeze, unlike Shannon where I was blessed with an almost 3rd degree tear and some serious soreness. I’m 100% back to normal and ready to go!

After such a PITA pregnancy, I’m SO thankful that this delivery was so easy and uneventful. I’m so grateful for my whole support team, Mike, my midwife, nurse, and midwifey (the student that accompanied the midwife) at the hospital and my kick ass Mom at home. It wouldn’t have gone so smoothly without them! No way!

Shannon is adjusting pretty well to having a new sister, and we’re loving being a family of 4! ๐Ÿ™‚

awake

sillyshannon

lmao