Monday, December 21, 2009

My son

We are having a son. His name is Joshua Robert, and for the most part, we don't ever call him the baby anymore--we refer to him as Joshua. We had originally discussed whether or not to find out the gender, but in the end, decided we wanted to. For me, at least, it's easier to bond with a baby that I can call by name.

I have no idea about little boys, and I have no idea how to raise one to be a man.

But what I want, baby Joshua, is for you to grow up strong, and brave, and compassionate. I want courage, and sacrifice, and honor, and loyalty, and duty to be far more than just words to you; I want them to be concepts that define you. I want you to help little old ladies get safely across the street. I want you to never start a fight, but to know that some things are worth fighting for. For those things, for those fights, I don't want you to start them, but I always want you to step in and finish them. I want you to know when to be tough, and I want you to know when you to be gentle. And I want you to know that real men are loving, kind, and do not feel that they need to belittle or harm others in order to be strong. And you should also know that, as your mother, I will never tolerate you hurting someone else. I want you to know that there are still heroes in this world, there are still those who serve others selflessly. I want you to grow up to be a hero.

I want you to be someone who runs in when the whole world is running out.
I want you to be someone who is kind when it is easier to be mean.
I want you to be someone who is compassionate and loving towards those who don't deserve it.
I want you to work hard, even when you are tired, and it is cold and uncomfortable.
I want you to always finish what you start, and always be truthful, and do what you say you will do.

You are fortunate. Not all little boys have what you have. You have a strong, brave, loving and gentle father to look up too. You have a daddy who does not just speak of courage, and honor, and selflessness, but lives them every day. And more than anything else, little Joshua, your mommy and your daddy already love you so very much.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Letter to my baby

My dear, sweet little baby...

You've been around for eleven weeks now, which makes me fourteen weeks pregnant. You've managed to do some amazing things in those eleven weeks, like grow big enough that your daddy and I know you're there. Last night you curled up into a ball on my left side, and there was just enough of you that we could see you sticking out. And then the fire tones went off, and like you usually do, you flipped and flopped and rolled over till you were all stretched out. Your daddy can feel you, just barely, since you're still so small, and he thinks poking my belly to feel you move away is the greatest thing, ever. We can't feel you, exactly, just the hard spots you make, but we can feel that hard spot as it moves from side to side.

Your daddy just got a new job that pays almost $20,000 a year more than what he was making, and he only works two 24/hour shifts a week. This is wonderful, because your mommy right now is still too sick, and always exhausted, to think about working more than on call when she can. There's enough paperwork to keep me busy for a year, but somedays, I can barely get off the couch. This job has better benefits, too, and you and I can go spend afternoons with your daddy when he's at work and have dinner with him. Your daddy and I have decided that for the first year of your life, I will probably not work much. I will take one class a semester towards my RN degree, but for your first year, little one, it's going to be you and me. While I had never expected to be anything close to a stay-at-home mom, I suspect I will need lots of naps for a while, and not needing to worry about work. I can still pick up shifts when I want, especially when your daddy's home, but mostly, it's just not something I have to worry about for a while. We are very thankful for your daddy's new job.

Well, little Joshua or Olivia, it is late, and the only reason your mommy is still awake is because someone had chest pains, and she and your daddy went on the call. You bounced up and down when the tones went off, like you usually do, and then quieted as we talked to the patient. But now your mommy is very, very tired, and she has a paper due, and needs to go crawl in bed next to your daddy and fall asleep. And he will kiss you goodnight and tell you that he loves you, and, hopefully, you will fall asleep quickly inside me, nice and warm and safe, and know, in your tiny unborn baby way, that you are so very much loved.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Baby update

We saw the baby this week. It looks like a baby now, instead of a blobby mass. We watched as it twisted and turned, rolled end over end. The doctor had a hard time catching the baby still enough for long enough to measure. My baby has two arms, and two legs, and a little head, and we watched as it sucked its thumb, which we have captured on the ultrasound pictures.

And we started making the decisions regarding prenatal testing; being me, I want everything under the sun, and early, so that if something were to be wrong, we would still be early enough in the pregnancy that appropriate decisions could be made. But in the end, we picked and chose through the prenatal testing(nothing invasive, unless a marker shows up regarding some form of birth defect), and made an appointment for December, and walked out with the doctor's confidence that this pregnancy will end in a healthy, beautiful baby.

My due date did change, though, to June 3rd, which is a little more in line with my dates. So I am 12 weeks pregnant, almost done with the first trimester. The nausea has lifted somewhat, though occasionally at night I still throw up if I haven't gotten a nap in. The tiredness and soreness is gone, too, so I'm getting back to exercising and school and keeping my house clean. And, of course, back to work...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

What we do for fun

November 4, 2009

MONTEREY -- An underwater diver was rescued from a full water tower at the Monterey Correctional Facility early this afternoon.

He was working for a private contractor brought in to address problems with rust inside the tank.

Few details were immediately available this afternoon but the prison superintendent said the man got tangled in a series of lines and cables being used inside the tank.

The entire ordeal lasted over two hours, with the man trapped beneath the surface for about 75 minutes.

He was airlifted to Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse with unspecified injuries, although hypothermia from the length of time spent in the cold water was one of the concerns officials mentioned.

You can see the video here:

Yes, that IS Rob and I bringing the ambulance in and then loading the patient into the helicopter.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


This is how we rock,
This is how we roll

The best part? When you get on scene after flying twenty miles, and walk up to someone and ask if anyone has seen your husband, and the reply is, "Yeah, he's inside." And at that moment, over the radio, command starts yelling for everyone out, because it's about to flashover.
Yeah. Wonderful moment in the life of a firefighter's wife.
(A year from now, as long as I don't get pregnant again, I will be interior again. And then he can follow ME in)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Love and sacrifice

So apparently pregnancy makes one go crazy.

Besides the general pregnancy aching/nausea/insomnia, I have also developed a nasty head cold that I can't take anything for, because I am allergic to Tylenol, and all cold medicines approved for pregnant women include Tylenol.
And then three days ago I lost my anti-nausea pills and spent the next 72 hours hovering over the toilet and lying in bed. Fortunately, we got a rare mid-October snow storm here in upstate New York. I don't believe that there is a God-Who-Changes-Weather-Patterns-for-Me, but if there was, it could not have come at a better time. It snowed, I went to work up at the racetrack, and they cancelled the whole day since they couldn't put cars on a snowy track.
I told my husband this was the best thing that has ever happened to me, except for him, of course. I went home, took a bath, put my pajamas on, and went to bed for the rest of the day.
And then when I woke up(after my husband had gone on 2 EMS calls), it was late, and I was craving melons in the worst way, so my wonderful, dear, sweet husband went out in the cold and the night, bought me watermelon, cantalope, and honeydew. He then came home and cut them all up into biteable chunks for me to eat some and take some to work today.
Clearly, my husband is awesome.

He worked up at South Seneca Ambulance today(8am-midnight), and I was back at the track, so he got up, put my lunch together(just the melons), and we went to work. I have still been feeling like crap, and was hoping today was cancelled--no luck there. So I felt worse and worse all day, until finally we were done, I came home--and discovered the cat had thrown up or had diarrhea ALL OVER MY HOUSE.

Pre-pregnancy self would have yelled at the cat, grumbled about it and cleaned it up.
Pregnant self texted husband twice, called him once, and left him a message yelling that he shouldn't go on calls when I need to talk to him, (Irrational, yes, but that's the way I was feeling) since pretty much the only reason he won't answer my calls is he's either at a fire or with a patient.
And then I cleaned it up.

I think it's just the combination of being sick and pregnant and just plainly being worn down, but it's starting to feel like Rob is never home when I need him. He's home enough when I don't need him, but when everything is falling apart, he's at work. And, yes, he does work three jobs, and fire/EMS is not an especially family-friendly career.
And my suspicion is that if I asked, he would go do a 9-5 job somewhere--and hate it. And why would I want that? I was the one who pushed him to paramedic class, knowing full well the cost, since I was already a medic by then. I was the one who wrote the line in our wedding vows...
I promise to love you when love is easy, and when love is hard. When I need you, but you need to leave because someone else needs your help even more.

I knew, a hundred times over, what I was doing when I married a firefighter-paramedic.
And I love him so much, no matter how sick I get, no matter what I have to clean up when I get home from work. I see the sacrifices he makes for me(even, maybe picking up a few hours of my work shift tomorrow because I'm so sick, but don't want to call in), and I see how he treats his patients. We worked together on the ambulance long before we married, and I think that's what made me fall in love him--Rob's gentle, caring, compassionate ways towards his patients(the drunks at 2 am, maybe not so much).

So he'll be home tonight, and we have THREE DAYS OFF next week together...and we found my anti-nausea medicine. So now I'm going to take a warm bath, and put my pajamas on, and go to bed early.
He'll be home soon.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

All will be well

So we are buying a house. At least, we put an offer in, but as there are no other offers, and we actually offered just below the selling price, and it's a short sale, we'll probably be home owners in a few months.
It's a nice house, small and needs some work. 2 bedrooms, with a bonus room with low ceilings that we will quickly turn into a bedroom; 1 full bath and 1 half bath, which will also quickly be changed, and a large, new kitchen. It has a den, living room and dining room, as well as a large yard and wrap around deck. I have plans for that wrap around deck--it involves a hot tub. Upstairs there is a porch off of the master bedroom, as well as a small porch downstairs in the front of the house. It's in a better school district, which makes me feel better about the prospects of kindergarten in a few years.

It's not super big, but it's just right for us right now, and with a quick bit of work, could last us many years if we wanted--or we'll be able to sell it at a good profit a few years down the road.
It's a good thing.

We saw the baby's heartbeat the other day. This drops my miscarriage chance to 4% now that the baby has a detectable heartbeat on ultrasound. It is so strange to think of another person growing inside me; I haven't quite wrapped my head around it yet. The baby just looks like a little string bean on the ultrasound, it will be several more weeks before it starts to look like a baby. And I know it's not even a fetus yet, really, and has no real shape to it, and just kind of resembles a blob--but it's going to be my baby.

So that's life right now; Rob's off to work tonight for a 24, then I'm into work for pretty much a 72 with a few hour breaks here and there on Friday. And school is becoming more and more difficult to keep up with, between house buying and work and nausea and doctor's appointments and sheer exhaustion. Fortunately next semester I will only be taking one class--if I had known I was going to be pregnant this semester, I wouldn't be taking three right now as it is.

But all will be well.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Unsurprisingly, pregnancy apparently does not come easily to me. I should have guessed, being that I needed fertility treatments to even get the process started. But even before I knew I was pregnant, I was gripped with nightly waves of nausea, which has now progressed to almost-constant sickness, weight loss, dehydration and needing to spend hours in the ER hooked up to IVs pumping fluids in.
And my progesterone continued to drop, so I am now on progesterone supplements. I have now missed a day and a half of work, and am still dragging.
I had this week off from school, but I start back on Tuesday. I have no idea how I'm going to survive.

This has furthered my desire to only have one child. I cannot imagine going through this if I had other children to take care of, and a husband who works such long hours(fortunately, though, we are both paramedics at the same agency, so he has been able to fill in for me on the days I couldn't work).

So for now my house is a mess, at least until I can scrape together some time and energy to clean it. I work 7am to 11pm tomorrow, and will spend most of Monday sleeping...then Tuesday is school--maybe Wednesday I can actually get things done?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Organ donation

Somewhere, in this country right now, is a person--young or old, male or female; I don't know. All I know is that he or she is alive, and loving and laughing and enjoying life. And I know that someday, probably within the next two years, this person will die. Probably tragically, accidentally, unexpectedly. And his or her parents or spouse or children will have to make the unthinkable decision to donate the organs. This person, brain dead and hooked up to machines, will be taken to the operating room and organs will be removed. Time of death will be called. The organs will be packed into containers of ice and readied for immediate and rapid shipment to places all across the United States. One of those places will be Rochester, and one of the recipients will be me.
I have a condition called keratoconus. It is, basically, the deterioration of the cornea, resulting is loss of sight. It cannot be corrected by soft contact lenses or glasses, and the only definitive treatment is a corneal transplant when the cornea has collapsed completely into a cone shape. Many people with mild keratoconus find they have much better vision with gas-permeable contact lenses that reshape the corneal structure; I am not one of them. I have gone from 20/20 corrected vision in my left eye to less than 20/200, which meets the definition of legal blindness. I am one of the fortunate ones; my right eye is still correctable to 20/20 vision.

We are to the point now where we no longer treat my left eye at all; I wear a contact lense in it only in case something happens to the lense in my right eye while I am not home. My right eye compensates completely for the left, though I have very limited peripheral vision(NOT GOOD when you have to back up an ambulane into a bay---thank God for spotters and coworkers who understand and offer to do it for you!) and my night vision is worsening. My optometrist promises that should something happen to my right eye, I will be rushed to the top of the transplant list. Someday, soon, my right eye may stop compensating, or develop worsening vision, and I will then start the process to receive a transplant. This isn't really a question of if this will happen, but when.

So I am a huge fan of organ transplants. I am an organ donor(well, all except my corneas), and I want everything--organs, skin, tissues--to be taken. Establish brain death, I told my husband, and then tell them to go for it. I have seen a lot of tragic deaths this summer. I don't know if they were organ donors or not, but if they were, I know there are ten or eleven people who got to live, to see, to feel again because of that sacrifice.

So wherever you are today, thank you. It may seem macabre, but I do think of you and your family often. Someday, I will get to see again through your eyes, and I pray that I will make what I see and what I do worth your loss.

If you are not an organ donor and would like to become one, talk to your family and make your wishes known, then go to, and print out and sign a card.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Just the other night
the baby was crying
So i got out of bed and rocked her awhile
And my mind went back to a few years ago
When we tried so long we almost gave up hope
And i remember you comin' in and tellin' me the news
Oh man,
we were livin'
Goin' crazy in the kitchen
We danced and we screamed and we held each other tight

We laughed until we cried...
(Jason Aldean)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


So, about that last post...

Sometimes, things just happen when you least expect them....

Monday, September 21, 2009

Baby thoughts

Recently, everyone has been asking me if I'm pregnant. I think because I'm almost 28 and have been married for six months, everyone seems to think I should get onto it. As I've mentioned before, I'm infertile, but most people are either unaware of it or exactly what it means. And, no, it wasn't a surprise; we knew before we were married that children weren't going to come the normal way. Yes, it is something that can be taken care of with fertility treatments, but our insurance doesn't cover them, and my husband is not interested in anything further than the ovulation stimulant I took for two months, with no success. So for us, fertility treatments, while they would give us a biological child(or two), are not an option. There is an almost certainty that I could get pregnant and carry a child if we used in vitro, but that is very expensive, and requires a great deal of tests and medical appointments and doctors to get to that point. Those things are just not something we want to pursue.
Adoption, of course, is an option; but more for my husband than for me. I have no doubt that I could love a non-biological child, but, again, the $40,000 and home studies and general hassel of an adoption just doesn't interest me. To be honest, I don't want to be a mother bad enough to go through all of that, trying to explain to a social worker that my husband and I are never, ever home, and probably never will be.
This leaves us pretty sure we will remain childless. Clomid, the drug I've been taking, generally is going to work in three months, or it doesn't work at all. I've taken it for two, no pregnancies that stuck, and I'm not interested in taking it a third month. I gained eleven pounds on it, and to be honest, a potential pregnancy isn't really worth eleven pounds in six weeks for me. My husband agrees with me, and so we're not continuing that.
And the thing is, we're happy. Our lives are busy, and hectic, and I honestly cannot imagine putting a child in them. Our work schedules are conflicting and abnormal, and so often we work on call from home, making a baby difficult. I can't imagine being up all night with a baby, only to fall asleep for two hours before I have to be at work for another 12. I hate the idea of losing the spontaneity we have--if we want to fly to Kentucky for a weekend, we can do that. If we want to sleep in all day, we can do that, too(I did that today, but then, I was at work till 3 am). There is very little we can't do, and I like that.
Sometimes I wish people would stop asking, but I usually just say no, and when they ask why not, I just tell them I don't want kids. Which I think, honestly, is the bottom line--I could have a baby if I really wanted it, either adoption or more fertility treatments. But I have no desire to pursue either of those, and I think what that's telling me is that, deep down, I really don't want to have kids right now. This isn't to say that won't change in ten years, but, for right now, I'm perfectly content kneeling beside a patient with a serious head injury in the cool night air, intubating while my husband slides an IV into the patient's arm. We love each other, and we love our life, and, someday, people will stop asking us when we plan to make it different.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


My house is clean, with a few things here and there. My homework is about done, done enough for tomorrow. Dinner--whole wheat penne with a cheese and ground turkey mixture in between--is in the oven. Rob is fast asleep, after having worked 7a-7p at Schuyler Ambulance yesterday, 12a-12p overnight at North Seneca, and then I called him at 12:30 pm for a transport...all this to say he has almost 36 hours without sleep, and he works overnight tonight. I ran three miles today, walked two, did grocery shopping, worked for 6 hours when I got called in, and almost feel like I'm on top of my life again.

I am someone who hates being disorganized. I hate dirt, clutter, and cats that scratch my furniture. I hate feeling behind and overwhelmed. I like cozy, clutter-free living rooms, and bookshelves with books in alphabetical order. And for the first time in I-don't-know-how-many-years(ten?) I almost feel like I am there.

Almost. My bookshelves need to be cleaned and organized. I sold six or seven more books online and need to wrap them and ship them. I still need to submit my marriage license and social security form to change my last name, though I don't expect anyone to use it. I am seeing popcorn kernels hiding underneath my desk from where I type, and I need to sweep those. The bathroom needs a quick wipe down and there's a small pile of clothes in the bedroom to be put away.

I could go on. But I won't.

Things will never be perfect. I will never be perfect. My husband, my house, and my marriage will never be perfect, and sometimes we fall far short of these things. I have no need to pretend that I in any way attain perfection, or ever will.

This is what I fear in many of the blogs I read. I talked about this before, but accidentally deleted the post. I have a fascination with fundamentalist Christian blogs, the type where they have 12 kids, all in perfectly matching, home-sewed outfits and arranged by age, homeschool and all their kids get all their schoolwork done every day and then graduate at 16, prepare a full five course dinner every night with vegetables from their own garden and meat they butchered themselves that afternoon, and still find time to clean the house to immaculate perfection, sew slipcovers for all the furniture, exercise and nurse the six-month-old while fighting morning sickness with the next one....and they are still running their home business.
This is such a freaking lie.

Please don't think I'm knocking sewing, homeschooling, gardening or large families. I think I've made it clear that my husband and I have not and will not use any form of birth control(though I wonder if we would rethink that if I woke up tomorrow incredibly fertile). I understand this leads to the possibility that we could have fifteen kids, but considering that I'm 27, have been married six months, and no babies on the horizon yet, I'm not too worried about that possibility.

What I am knocking is people who set themselves up for perfection. No one seriously, at the age of 32, has a multitude of children and homeschools and cooks and gardens and sews and cans and runs a home business all at the same time. It's perfectly possible that you can do these things one at a time, gardening and homeschooling and raising kids in one decade, running a home business and sewing the next decade. No one can do all things at once and do them well...and I'm afraid that, in these cases, it's the children who suffer.
And not just the children--I can only imagine what it would be to be a 28-year-old young mother with several children under the age of 9, and a husband who works long hours and makes $27,000 a year, and she thinks she has to homeschool and keep a neat house and survive on her husband's budget and take her children flower picking and lamb-shearing and can and sew...and guess what, she can't. She's set up for failure by reading these images of perfection. She wakes up late and her kids don't want to do their schoolwork and don't want to do chores and refuse to wear clean clothes, and getting dinner on the table by the time her husband comes home just really doesn't happen, and she feels like a failure as a mother, when, really, she's just plainly normal. But I can only imagine what it must feel like to think you're a failure as a mother, and then read other people's images of perfection.

So I am not perfect. If you are looking for a blog of perfection, this is not it. We work long hours here in this house, and often we are tired and grouchy with each other. Sometimes I spend more time on facebook than talking with my husband. Sometimes I let things slide that I shouldn't, like dishes, and sweeping, and scrubbing the bathroom, just because I hate doing them. Sometimes I get annoyed and upset when everyone else but me is having babies, and I am still chasing around my kittens.

But if you are looking for something where we can be unperfect, but real, this would be the place.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

You know you're married to a firefighter when...

You know you're married to a firefighter-paramedic when:

You can unplug the toilet, fix the refrigerator leak, and handle the cat being run over by a car, all by yourself--since your husband is halfway through a 36 hour shift.

You hide the candles, lighters and matches a half hour before your husband is supposed to get home from work.

You're used to eating meatloaf while watching someone get a chest tube on Trauma 911.

You have more portable radios and scanners in your house than shoes.

You text your husband to see if frozen pizzas are okay for dinner, and he texts back, 10-4.

You have a smoke detector in every room, including the bathroom, and two in the kitchen.

You don't dare eat out when your husband is working, because you have severe allergic reactions to seafood, and really don't want your husband being the paramedic showing up to treat you.

You can wash, dry, and iron a uniform in twenty minutes.

Your husband greets the waiter with, "Nice veins. I bet I could get a 16 in there."

Monday, August 31, 2009

Each other

I saw the movie Julie and Julia last night with my sister-in-law, Melissa. I loved it...I kept poking her all the way through, whenever Julie's husband Eric would say something, and whisper, "That's just what Rob would say..."

And it was true. This movie reminded me a great deal of my own marriage. The husbands of both Julie Powell and Julia Child were supportive, encouraging, and incredibly loving of their wives. They were each others' best friends. Both on-screen couples clearly adored each other, loved spending their time together, and were madly, crazily in love--even in the case of Julia and Paul Child, who clearly had been married quite some time.

And, sometimes, the wives acted like they didn't have the time to be married, and ignored their husbands and said things that hurt them. Sometimes the husbands forgot that they promised to support their wives even when it was hard. Sometimes their marriages, like everyone else's, wasn't perfect...but they loved each other, and came back, and worked through it, even when it was hard.

I really liked this movie.

We're entering another of those never-seeing-each-other weeks. Fortunately though, most of our work schedules are the same, though we're at different agencies this week. Rob's at North Seneca tomorrow at midnight to noon Wednesday, and I'm at Schuyler midnight tomorrow till 7pm Wednesday night. Tonight, Robbie came home after having not slept for over twenty-four hours(people need ambulances at ridiculous times of the night, usually for something like ear pain or an abscessed tooth), so I sent him to bed after dinner(he didn't complain much). I'm heading there myself...I had a long workday myself and an early morning, and who knows if I'll sleep tomorrow night.

So I get to go crawl into bed next to my best friend--and sharing a night together is not something we can ever take for granted, because it happens so rarely--and know that, even if sometimes we aren't perfect, I will always be his wife, and he will always be my husband. Even when we're tired, even when we have only a few waking hours together, even when the nights are long, the days are grueling, and the pager is never quiet--at the end of all that, at some point, we will always come home to each other.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

This week's fun

To do list for this week:


Work 0800-1630
Mail books
Use strawberries for dinner before they go bad
Clean out refrigerator
Gather garbage

Make sure garbage gets set out for trash collection
School 0730-1500
Remember to get parking sticker
Scrub bathroom
Fold laundry in bedroom

Work midnight to 7pm
Meeting at work, 7:30pm
Sweep floors

School, 0730-1230
Mop floors
Meeting at fire department, 7:30pm


Mail books
Straighten book shelves
Make grocery list and go grocery shopping
Fold laundry and put away
School, 1200-1450

Not sure yet. I'm sure it will get filled. In fact, I think I have something, I just don't remember what it was

Work 0800-1630

So that is my fun week. In between this, Rob starts another job per diem as a paramedic at an agency about thirty miles away. He is now working his full time job as well as two per diem jobs. But as he said, while I'm in nursing school, he might as well pick up a second and third job, as I'm not home, and he hates to sit home alone.

Homework is ridiculous. Only in paramedic school did I have this much homework before; and I wasn't trying to deal with a million hour a week plus on call job, husband, house, and two ADHD kittens on top of it. But I'm glad I'm doing this; the more I work around the hospitals the more I truly want to get my RN. Maybe it would have been easier ten years ago, but I now have a wealth of other knowledge and experience that can only serve to help me. And, honestly, I probably never would have gotten my EMT-P if I had been a nurse for the last however many years. I might have gotten my basic, but I doubt I ever would have gone on for my medic.

So my husband sleeps, gearing up to go into work at night till midnight, and I have to go find my uniform and make sure I didn't mess it up too badly yesterday, since I haven't had a chance to do uniform washing in a while. And then I think I'm just going to go to bed...morning comes soon enough.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


This entry is sort of personal. If you don't want to read it for that reason, I understand. It's not something I'd normally share, but it's what's going on in my life, and most of the people who read this are people who know me in real life, anyway. I am someone who believes that most humans share the same feelings, struggles, and joys; that my joys and sorrows are little different than most other peoples. I also have a real issue with blogs that do nothing but present a little picture of perfection. I am not perfect, and I think that setting oneself up that way does nothing more than discourage others. I don't cook very often, sometimes my husband leaves his empty glasses of milk and dirty socks lying around and I let that irritate the crap out of me, I am not nearly as disciplined when it comes to exercise and cleaning as I should be.

So the truth is that Rob and I want a baby. It would probably not be so urgent in our minds, as I am trying to go to nursing school and he is getting settled into a paramedic career, and time for both of us is short. But time is short in more ways than one, and my gynecologist believes, based on bloodwork, that I am rapidly hurtling towards an early menopause. We're talking menopause before the age of thirty if his and my reproductive endocrinologist opinions are correct. Because of this, and a long history of other things, my gyn agreed to fertility drugs without waiting the usual year-of-trying waiting period. The first month of Clomid produced three embryos, but none of them were able to implant. I'm in the middle of the second month now, but after next month, we will probably stop the drugs for a variety of reasons. I don't think we'll pursue further fertility treatments, at least not for a while.

I may never have a biological child, I may never have any sort of child, but we decided that we would rather try and fail, than choose to not try and wonder later on. And it has been pointed out by several people that, had I chosen to marry earlier and start popping out kids, I probably could have had some. And my doctors agree with that; I waited too long. My response, of course, is that I cannot believe what some people think is their business.

But I had to think about this. Perhaps I did wait too long; putting education and career ahead of family...but I truly feel that I would have missed out on a great deal if I had married young and starting popping babies out. I would have missed friends, and travel, and education, and a whole host of things that contribute to me being well-rounded as a person. If we have children now, we will be able to support them, financially and emotionally. We are both older and have enough life experience to have patience and love for our children, and not feel like we missed out on anything in life. Granted, a baby now would mean that I would be mostly absent for the first four years of it's life due to finishing my degrees, but the end result would be worth the short-term sacrifice. A baby in our lives right now would not be the best of plans, but we have decided it would be better than looking back and wishing we had had a child.

So I don't think it is a waste. I think nothing in my life has been a waste. If we are meant to have children(and it will be only one; I have no real desire for any more than that), then we will. If not, and it is too late, then we are so very happy alone, in our busy and hectic lives right now where we seem like ships passing in the night, and none of that will have to change. But for now we will try, for another few months at least, and whatever happens, happens.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Some more wedding pictures

We are flying to Atlanta tomorrow, and where is my husband? Out running ambulance calls.

Oh well...I am packed, at least, and I will take this opportunity to give you even more wedding photos. :-)

For those reading my blog who are a bit confused, Robbie and I married in a private ceremony at home on March 7th with only immediate family present. I always wanted to be married at home, and circumstances just arose that made it not only possible, but prudent(no, not pregnancy). We still had the date booked at Hill Top Inn for July 25th, though, and couldn't get our money back, so we decided to have a large renewal of the vows on that day.

So here are some more pictures from July. The professional ones are up, we're just waiting for the CD containing them so I can upload. They're beautiful, I promise. I think it's the Hokey Pokey.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

going back to school

I went up to the college today. My plans for a master's degree were scrapped after spending a lot of time thinking and talking to people about it. The truth is that my husband and I would like to stay in our hometown where we live now, and an M.A. in emergency management isn't going to do much good here. I have been looking at nursing school for about three years, and this year we decided it was time to go for it. Every year before just hasn't felt right to me, but this year I researched my options, scheduled the necessary pre-requisites, worked a lot of overtime, and saved up for tuition. We decided that attending the community college for my A.S. in nursing was the best option, and I can do an RN-to-BSN program down the road. It will still take me three years to do this, and that's if life doesn't throw me any curves along the way.

I went up to purchase my books and try to get into another class. I've chosen to go full time this semester to get as many prerequisites done, so I can go light next semester if I want. I felt old as I walked around campus, and I found myself realizing that, this year, it will be 10 years since I started there the first time. I now have a number of college degrees, a paramedic certification, a husband and apartment and two cats. I also am thirty pounds heavier, have an overwhelming amount of student loans(hence all the overtime worked to pay for college this trip around), and am working four days a week while trying to go to school. I was noticing all the other students buying their books; girls who are thin, with long hair and not-tired eyes, clutching hands with saggy-pant wearing boyfriends. Seventeen, eighteen years old; they all seem to be majoring in criminal justice. Many of them will never finish college; that's just the way it is at a community college such as this one. Others will go one, use it as a starting point to leap off to bigger and better places and things.

But what about me? I remember the older students in my classes; we hated them, they wrecked the grading curve and had the understanding that experience is worth more than knowledge in many areas. I figured, quite honestly, that they were failures of their own making; single mothers trying to make their way through, people who had chosen not to go to college in the first place because they were dumb. I was seventeen and I wonder how many simply looked at this world and realized they were not in their proper niche.

This time around, there won't be clubs and activities, and I'm not particularly interested in socializing. I need a degree, and I'm going to get one, and hopefully discover Dean's List along the way. Ten years later I have a wealth of knowledge and experience, a man who adores me, and a job that makes school and study possible. This time around, I look forward to the adventure.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

wedding photos

Today, I marry my best friend...

97-year-old Great-grandma gettin' it down

Rob and I at the sweetheart table

All 7 of my sisters holding up Rob. Yes, they really ARE all my biological sisters.
Sara with the groomsmen...too many firemen in one place!


outside patio

Rob and I during the ceremony

Rob and the minister before the ceremony

Thursday, July 9, 2009

I do

So wedding planning continues. I have my readings picked out; unusual, non traditional readings that say exactly what I want about love. About how it is hard. About how it is work, and about how being in love and true love are different things. Readings about what is left when the being in love part dissolves into learning to live with someone who leaves glasses of milk sitting around and doesn't pick up his socks. About how you cease to be the girlfriend your husband fell for and instead become someone who refuses to clean out the cat litter box and gets mad when he doesn't let you know he'll be late coming home from work.

I think, though, this is the part of marriage that I like. The summer nights that last forever when Rob knows I want ice cream without me even saying it. Waking up and feeling his foot on mine. The inside jokes no one else gets; when Robbie and Jason harass me all the way back from Rochester. How he knows which vein on my arms is perfect for IV access and exactly how I want my sub made. I like the part where my coworkers can call my husband and tell him I just ran a bad call, and when I get home, he is there.

I never believed in soul mates, I never believed in halves of a whole, but without Rob, I am truly only half of what I can be with him.

Last night in the quiet
when our day was through
I listened to you sleeping
and stayed awake by you
and softly, through the evening,
there I spoke your name
And told you all the feelings
I've had

I sometimes see you sitting
by the window
Or laughing with the children
At the little things you saw
And lately I've been wondering
If it's all I can do
To hold you and show you
I do

My promise is forever
With you

And lately I've been wondering
If it's all I can do
My promise is forever
I do

Monday, July 6, 2009


I ran a call this morning. A 2 car MVC with multiple injuries.
I can't give details. I wouldn't do that, anyway. I can say it was the hardest call I have ever been on, and I have been on suicides, fatal motorcycle accidents, overdoses and abused children. This, by far, for a variety of reasons, was the hardest one ever.

I came home and called Robbie. Told him how much I love him. How I promise to always kiss him goodbye(his alarm didn't go off this morning, and he ran out without kissing me). And to never take him or our life together for granted. Apologized for sometimes doing that.
Told him, again, how very much I love him.
And to please come home safe tonight.

I finished the vows. I wanted to change them a little, but until today, wasn't sure exactly how I wanted them.

What do you think?

I, Sara, still choose you, Robert, as my best friend, my love, my partner in all things. I am delighted today, in the presence of these witnesses, to again promise you my faithfulness, my devotion, and my care. I promise to love you in good times and in bad, when love is easy and when love is hard; when I need you, but you have to leave because someone else needs your help even more. I promise to always kiss you goodbye, and never let a day end without telling you how much I love you, knowing that tomorrow is promised to no one. I pledge you all these things, my friendship, my support, and my love, until death alone parts us.

Monday, June 29, 2009

See you again

i fell for you knowing
i would have to let you go
knowing some things,
like duty, and loyalty, and service
require sacrifice, even when that
giving is each other.

i knew all along that the
vows we have made to serve and protect
are as sacred
as the vows we have made to each other.

and everyone talks about sacrifice
like they know what it is
meanwhile i miss
the scent of your skin on the pillow
fingertips brushing my lips
your hands encircling mine

many waters cannot quench love
neither can flames overtake it
it does not drown in the ocean
and miles and miles do not
tear it apart

all this i know, and
i still believe the greatest gift we
can give to community and country
is ourselves,
but even so,

i cannot wait to see you again.

Monday, June 15, 2009


Here are after pictures of what can be accomplished on a day off from work.

The living room and bookshelves still need to be done, but that will happen tomorrow, and everything will be sorted through.
But my biggest achievement of the day is picking up the two new additions to our tiny family.

Saturday, June 6, 2009


Today was my day off.
I went into work at 1700 anyway. Not that I minded; I offered to pick up some of my sister's hours so she could go home and spend time with her husband and baby. My husband was playing softball, so I figured I could address wedding invitations up while at work as well as I could do it at the house.

This week I work Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
It is very lonely sometimes. My husband puts in more hours than I do between work and school, but our schedules are often opposite. It's an occasion in this house when we actually get to spend a night together. I have been trying to see Night at The Museum 2 for three weeks now, but every time I try to make plans with either Rob or someone else, I wind up at work. Rob keeps telling me I can say no, but I can't. We need the money. The wedding is I-won't-tell-you-how-much over budget, but it's a lot. And my car failed inspection, with a six hundred dollar price tag to fix it. On the way home today, something burned up in it. Rob says we're not going to bother fixing it; we'll just buy a truck. And that means spending more money.
And that means I need to work 70 hours.

I'm tired. Medical bills have piled up. Things that should have been covered by insurance have been denied, and trying to find the time to deal with that is impossible. I forgot to pay my two credit cards last month(time just goes so quickly), and now they keep calling me. I'll pay them Thursday, but for now I just ignore the phone calls. And a wedding. And a new car. Fortunately, we both have decent jobs. Two incomes goes a long way, and everything gets paid.

But I am still lonely. Work has invaded every part of my life, I think sometimes. I keep saying I should take up hobbies, but it's hard to find something that interests me. Rob keeps telling me to write down a list of things I would like to do, but all I come back to is work.

I think work is an addiction for me. And I think more sleep would be beneficial...but not this week, or month, or summer.
And the cycle begins again.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Wedding plans

Nobody ever told me that getting married was such a ridiculous amount of work. I thought I had cut down on the work by:
a) getting married privately beforehand
b) not having attendants,

c) having a wedding planner/consultant/whatever they are do everything.

No, I still have to figure out favors and wedding programs(at this point, I will pay whatever price necessary to not have to do them myself) and then review and finalize the wedding guest list, then print, address, and mail invitations. Good God. Apparently people who get married don't have jobs and a house and a kitten coming in the weeks leading up to the wedding.

On top of all this, I have been on SoluMedrol and Prednisone almost non stop the last few months, and this has resulted in a very stubborn 10 pound weight gain since Rob and I were married. I am dreading trying on my wedding dress, because I have a strong suspicion it's not going to fit. Then, guess what, if Mom can't alter it, I get to go buy another wedding dress to fit my ridiculous 5'4", 140-pound frame.
So I am trying to google wedding favors. Someone had suggested making CDs and giving them out; but that has started to seem like more time and energy than I have. I am thinking of buying and printing monogrammed labels for candy bars and giving them away. Chocolate can never be a bad thing, and it seems like something fairly easy to do. However, most monograms seem to be the couples' last name initial in large letters with their names on either side. Since Rob and I don't have the same last name, I can't figure out how to develop a monogram.
As far as wedding programs, I like the idea of fans. The only problem here is I don't have time to assemble them, and it's almost $300 to buy them already assembled.
Also, I need to figure out how to address the invitations in such a way that it's clear no children are invited. It's not that I don't like children, but I am planning a very adult reception that would not be appropriate. Nursing infants are one thing, but children under 18 are not. But I don't know how to politely word the invitation that way. Sigh...more googling.
But as far as the rest of it, it's pretty simple. We'll be remarried at Hill Top Inn in Elmira on July 25th. The wedding itself will be outside, and the reception immediately following. We have the photogrpaher, videographer, and DJ all booked and ready to go. The colors are black and red, the cake is cheesecake and brownies arranged artistically by the Hill Top staff. I do no decorating, arranging, styling, or other trivial reception things that I don't have time for. Our wedding is crammed between two very busy weeks in Schuyler County, weeks that are going to bring me a lot of overtime, but leave me little wedding planning time.
My mom is going to sing a song, Sharon and Julia will do readings. There is no unity candle, as I hate the symbolism. I love Rob and love being married to him, but we lead seperate lives. Also, my mother and my father will walk me down the aisle, and the usual "Who gives this bride away?" question will be eliminated. No one is giving me away. I chose to marry Robbie of my own free will, and I had the blessing of my parents, my siblings, my boss, and all of Schuyler County emergency services.
Other than that, I can guarantee you I will never marry again. This wedding business is too hard.

Friday, May 22, 2009


Photography Pictures, Images and Photos

One of us is gone tonight.

We sit, numb. Wondering. Trying to imagine what would cause a friend to take his own life.

Trying not to imagine the scene, impossible for one who knows what happens when someone takes his life in such a violent way. Refusing to think of the smells, and the sounds, and the sights, even though we have seen it before, other people, other days. We know what it looks like.

Talking to each other. A coworker offered to cover the last two hours of my track shift if I wanted to go home.
I stayed.
IMing on Facebook.

Can you believe it?
God, no.

WTF. Why??? I would have listened if he needed to talk.

We talk to each other. Wondering. Stumbling blindly.
Reaching out to someone else for hope.

We all know that moment, even if we don't admit it to each other or even ourselves. Where we, too, might have made that decision.

But we didn't.

We walked on.

We believed life would get better, even when faced with all evidence to the contrary.
But it leaves us unable to judge someone who would make a different choice.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


I love my husband.
Which may have something to do with why I married him, but anyway. Sometimes I don't like him. Sometimes, the last few weeks, I have wondered why we got married. Rob and I have very different belief systems and values. It is sometimes hard to see how the two can ever be reconciled, but they can, and they will.

Last night I realized again why I fell in love with him, somewhere dark under a cloudless sky, twenty-seven firefighters and a number of chiefs and a bunch of EMTs and two paramedics and a car down an embankment and four patients, I remembered why I fell in love with him. Because no one else has ever understood me so well. No one else is going to know what compells me to run out the door on my day off, six hours before I have to be back at work, to answer a call for a second paramedic to the scene. No one else is going to know why I can work 72 hours a week and be so happy; why I can be content with no hobbies, and so few friends(none of which I ever see), and everything else I have given up in order to be a firefighter-paramedic. He knows how lonely I get sometimes, and he understands. In the back of an ambulance on a rough call, he doesn't have to ask what I need, Rob just knows. He is starting an IV while I am holding pressure on a head wound; I spike the bag without him saying a word. He knows when I want two IVs in, or when I am thinking the patient is having a stroke even though the patient has no complaints or weakness or usual stroke signs. Rob was such a good BLS partner, I tell him, that I wanted to keep him around once he becomes ALS this June, so I married him.

EMS is not what we do. It is not a hobby, and it is not a job. It is what I was designed to do, even though I often cast longing looks at law school. There is much in life Rob and I do not share...but what we do share is in our blood now, buried deep within our bone marrow, and is part of who we are. It is what makes him my other half, the other half I spent 26 years of my life missing, without even knowing what I was looking for. And, yeah, there are a lot of differences in the way we approach life. The way we think about things, the way we want our children raised, the values we hold dear and want to instill in them--we have totally opposing views. And yet that's okay, that's what makes us human, and that's what makes life interesting. I cannot imagine my life without my husband.

We had a love so strong.. that is just seemed like we were one. I would get ready to tell him something and he would open his mouth and say the very thing, that I was fixing to tell him. And then. there were those moments when I would lay my head on his chest just to listen to his heart beat. And then one night. I realized that his heart beat, matched mine. I have had an opportunity that few people ever get on this earth. God has blessed me to share time and space with a man that he designed himself just for me. I’ve not only been blessed… I have been divinely favored. (Tyler Perry)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The paramedic

The Paramedic

The medic stood and faced God.
Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his uniform was clean,
He'd gotten dressed kinda fast.

"Step forward now, paramedic.
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To my church have you been true?"

The medic squared his shoulders and said,
"No Lord I guess I ain't,
cause those of us who wade in blood,
can't always be a saint.
I've had to work most Sundays,
and at times my talk was tough.
And at times I've been violent,
cause the streets are awful rough.

But I never took a penny
that wasn't mine to keep...
although I worked alot of overtime,
when the bills got far too steep.

And I never passed a cry for help,
though at times I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God forgive me,
I wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place
among the people here.
They never wanted me around,
except to calm their fears.
If you have a place for me, Lord,
It needn't be so grand.
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don't I undestand."

There was silence all around the throne,
where saints had often trod.
As there medic waited quietlyfor the judgement of his God.

"Step forward now, paramedic.
You've borne your burdens well.
Walk peacefully on heavens streets.
You've done your time in hell."

Saturday, April 11, 2009

hard to write

I wrote thank you notes today from the wedding.
I had to call my mom to see what I should write. How do you put the sending address? I didn't change my name upon marriage, though I use his socially(like, on my facebook), it isn't legally changed and I have not used it. My theory was that I have had a wonderful 27 years as myself, and I saw no need to change anything upon marriage.

I eventually compromised with Rob G---- and Sara M----. It was just long and cumbersome, and I am not entirely certain most of the people I sent these thank yous to know that I didn't change my name. I am also not sure what some of them would think of it, and then I remembered that I don't care. I hold 3 degrees and two professional licenses under my name, and if all goes well, in another year, a master's degree as well. What other people think has no bearing on the way I live my life.

Tomorrow is Easter. My family stopped celebrating it years ago; my mother opting for the Jewish passover celebration instead. I never really celebrated either; Jewish traditions hold little meaning for me, Christian holidays even less.(Jewish holidays at least have their basis in something historical, Christian holiday roots lie in myths) I plan to sleep in and do dishes and get ready for a 6-day 12 hour shifts workweek. And laundry. I need to do laundry.

So...this is my life. I work two jobs. Miss having friends. My husband just got a new job and his shifts are opposite mine, so I won't see him(but I love having time alone, so it doesn't matter). And it's hard to write. Even for someone with a degree in writing, it's hard to write.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

In Geneva today, working all weekend. After all these years I find myself blogging; still spilling words onto a screen, but everything else is so different now. After all those years of college and all that money I am paying back, I became a paramedic. It is a good job, and I like it, but it doesn't pay enough money for that $82,000 in student loans I took out.
They told me that spending money on an education is an investment. Turns out it wasn't.

There are those who like to tell me I wasted my education. That those six years were, somehow, tossed like garbage on the side of the highway. I don't think so, really. I have an associate's degree in liberal arts, a bachelor's degree in writing and theater, a bachelor's degree in philosophy, a paramedic certification. More than that, I discovered who I was, I made good friends along the way, I traveled, I studied great authors and thinkers, I argued for what I believed in and fought against those who wanted me to believe something else. I lived in large dorms and tiny apartments, a townhouse, a basement. I met people who thought completely differently than I did and who challeged my way of life, I wrote thirty-page papers arguing why propoganda in a republic is a necessary tool. I took dance classes, wrote a book of poetry, acted in plays. I wrote arguments on the nature of reality and Russian history and the nature of loyalty. I am a better person for how I spent those six years. It makes me a better friend, a better medic, a better wife. It is hard to see any education as a waste.