29 November, 2011

Rocket Man!

During Thanksgiving week we were blessed to spend lots of time over at my parents house.  All my siblings were in town for the long weekend, and all three baby cousins got to play together, well, as much as a three year old, four month old, and three week old can play together.

Eric and I have made every effort to go on a walk every day, even if it's just down the street and back.  While we were at my parents, we'd bundle Evie up and walk around the neighborhood's pond. Saturday was no exception.  This time, our three year old nephew wanted to come with us.

He decided he was going to be a "duper here-row" with fire that makes him run really fast. Naturally.

And then Connor asked Uncle Eric if he wanted to be a "duper here-row" too.  Of course, you can't say no to a three year old.  Connor taught Eric how to "get gas" and "make the fire come out of his arms" and then they were off and running.

Should I mention that later that night we taught him how to play LCR (Left, Center, Right), a dice game with money?  It was purely to work on his fine motor skills of dice rolling, and his counting skills.  Of course we wouldn't teach a three year old how to gamble....

We don't know who taught him this....

28 November, 2011

Hear Ye, Hear Ye: Evie's Birth Announcement

Here's a little preview of Evie's birth announcement.

Sweet Pinstripes Girl Birth Announcement
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View the entire collection of cards.

23 November, 2011

Evie's Birth Story - Part 2

Incase you missed it, here's the back story...

Once we arrived at the hospital, time seemed to move at it’s own fascinatingly fast pace, even though nothing felt rushed or quick. Check-in was easy, and they even approved me to labor in the tub if things went well with the Pitocin. Thank You, Jesus!

The nurses came in and immediately started with the poking and prodding.  It was still so surreal.  I was in the hospital to have a baby.  Our baby.  Our sweet baby girl.  She was coming soon whether we liked it or not.  This was it.

At 6:30 on the dot a nurse came to insert the Cervidil, not a pleasant process, mind you.  And hooked me up to the fetal heartbeat monitor and contraction monitor.  She explained that I had to stay monitored because Cervidil can induce labor all on it’s own.  Later, another nurse came in and told us to settle in for the long haul because Cervidil “almost never works...making the labor with Pitocin even longer and worse”  She even told us we could be there for several days. Gasp!

My parents and sister came by with dinner and Eric’s family stopped in for a few minutes too.  It was great to visit with everyone before settling in for the night.  

I ate my last few bites of salad before the nurses came in and told me I wasn’t allowed to eat on Cervidil but had to wait until morning for breakfast.  Um, no. You can’t give me drugs and tell me not to eat.  That equals a cranky E.  I snuck a few more bites.

By 10pm our visitors had left, we’d watched some TV and I was ready for bed.  When I stood up to go take out my contacts and brush my teeth I noticed I’d started experiencing some pretty strong cramps.  The nurses had told me some cramping was to be expected, but this seemed a little more than she described.

I called the nurse to explain how I was feeling and she said they could get me some sleeping pills to help me sleep through the pain.  Sure!  Sounded like a great idea.  I knew that labor in the morning was going to be exhausting and long so I was willing to trade a good night’s sleep for the side effects of a sleeping pill.

What I didn’t know was the sleeping pill was actually Ambien. I had to quickly decide if it was worth it to me. I’d heard about the crazy side effects of Ambien, including amnesia, sleep talking, and hallucinating, but the strength of the cramps reminded me of just how badly I wanted a good night’s sleep.  So, I agreed.  The decision was probably the biggest blessing and curse of what was about to come.

Eric readied his pull out couch and we prayed for a healthy delivery of our sweet baby girl.  We both snuggled into our beds.  And he fell asleep.

I, however, was up for a good two hours.  Or at least I thought I was up for two hours.  I still don’t know exactly.  I do know that the cramps had started moving from just the front, like menstrual cramps, which was a good response to the Cervidil, to the back, which I knew meant labor cramps.

And this is where the night gets fuzzy for me.  I know I woke up Eric to ask the nurse if I was having contractions, to which she replied, “It looks like it could be”....

I think I fell asleep for a while after that.  Around 2:30 I woke up to a “pop” feeling in my abdomen.  One that I can only describe as the internal equivalent of someone popping a water balloon with a needle. And yes, it was just that.  Fluid started rushing out of me.  In my delusional state I had no idea if I was peeing or if my water had broken.

I woke up Eric and had him rush to find the nurse.  She came in and confirmed that it “Sure did look like your water could have broken”   Why was she being so vague?

I explained that my cramps were getting worse.  I asked her what I could do for the pain.  They knew I didn’t want an Epidural, so she offered a dose of Fentanyl but warned that it only lasts 45 minutes to an hour and that I could only receive it three times during the entire labor and delivery.  Since I knew I’d probably want some during the actual labor I decided against it.  So she suggested that Eric get in bed with me and help rub my back.  What a champ!

For the next two-ish hours the contractions came and went at what seemed like a really odd pattern.  I remember having like three in a row and wanting to cry but at the same time being so asleep I didn’t care.  Yet, at the same time I thought I was totally awake for the whole thing.  I also remember having dreams, though at the time I thought I was actually doing those things...like writing blog posts, doing a puzzle, etc.  I also got up to use the bathroom and remember reporting to Eric and the nurse that I felt drunk.  Ah, yes, thank you Ambien for making my night extremely hazy.

Eric told me the next day that I was actually sleeping/snoring through every few contractions (and making funny faces in my sleep!), which is why I felt like they were so irregular.

At 3:30ish (or so Eric tells me), I called the nurse in because I felt like my stomach was “going up and down” on it’s own.  I don’t have a clear enough memory to describe it any more accurately than that.  She wanted to know how long this had been going on...and I don’t even remember what I replied or what happened next.  Apparently they checked my cervix and I was 9 cm dilated, ordered my antibiotics (I was GBS positive), fluids, and the Fentanyl.

At 4:00ish the drugs arrived.  I have no recollection of this.  In fact, I didn’t even know this happened until Eric told me hours after the delivery.  The Fentanyl was enough to take the edge off the pain and it allowed me to get another hour of actual sleep.

I do remember waking up around 4:45 or 5, about the time the Fentanyl wore off and felt like crap. I don’t know if this triggered the call to Diane (the midwife) or if she’d already been called, either way the nurses had started the hustle and bustle of getting the room ready for delivery.  What was going on?  I had no idea how or why things were moving so fast.

Shortly after I was very thankful that Diane was on her way and that the room was ready for delivery.  I had to poop.  Which really means, that baby was ready to come out.  Okay, maybe I did poop a few times, too. (aren’t you glad you asked?) The nurse told me to breathe through the contractions and start gently pushing, that Diane would be there soon.

That didn’t last long.  I had to get that baby out.  She was coming and nothing was going to stop her.  

Until....The nurses called Diane with a status update and she told them to hold me off as long as possible / until she could get there.  They had me breathe through the strong contractions and the urges to push.  Eric held my hand and sat on the edge of the bed.  Every time I woke up for a big contraction I focused on his eyes and we’d take a long, deep breath together.  When I managed to obey his orders the pain was manageable and we worked through the contractions without pushing (or pooping!).  When I didn’t focus, I started to push.  

Where was Diane?

Around 6 am they said she was pulling in to the hospital so I could start pushing.  We did a few light pushes and Diane flew in.  It was like a scene from a movie.  They had her gown and gloves ready for her.

I don’t remember much dialog or a whole lot of details. I remember Diane showing me the laboring position she wanted me in and telling me how we were going to breathe through the contractions.  

After a few hard pushes, the baby was crowning.  At this point I felt my stomach rumble and I remember asking for breakfast.  Of course, would be in the middle of labor and be thinking about food.  Diane asked the last time I had eaten and gave me permission to take a break for a snack.

Eric dug out the cantaloupe and fed me a few pieces.  It was just the break I needed to relax and regain energy to push the baby out.  

I got in position again, and within a few short pushes I heard Eric exclaim that he could she the baby’shair (She had hair!) and I could see him tearing up!

I wanted to take a break so badly, but Diane said two or three big pushes and she would be out.  That was enough motivation for me to keep going.  I pushed with all my might and took the deepest breaths of my life and with in seconds our baby girl was laying on my stomach.

I didn’t even notice her because I could feel the umbilical cord tugging, and I was still so in-and-out of sleep.  I remember Eric asked to wait to cut the cord, but apparently the placenta was so high up in my uterus that it made the cord too short to reach the baby without tugging on the placenta.  We had to cut it right away.

Diane instructed Eric on how to cut the cord.  Two tries later her had it!   The nurse wrapped the baby up a little bit and Diane asked Eric to lead us in a prayer of thanksgiving for our perfect little angel.

They moved the baby up to my chest.  All I wanted to do was hold her and look at her, but Diane told me the placenta was quickly on it’s way out.  She said I needed to focus on that and then I could have the rest of the day to play with the baby.  

Two or three more pushes and out it came.  And for some reason, I asked to look at it.  Yeah, gross.  I started bleeding a bit and they pushed all the gunk out of my uterus.  Diane said I was going to need a few stitches. I was still so out of it, but the pain of the stitches is burned in my memory.

Finally, it was time!  Time to focus on our sweet baby girl! The nurses sat me up in the bed and let her lay on my chest skin-to-skin.  It was then that we announced for the first time, our daughter’s name was Genevieve Marie. 

Eric immediately called our families.  They were shocked that Evie was born so soon!  They were waiting for the post-Cervidil / pre-Pitocin phone call so they could come in for another visit, but our little blessing was already here!

After visiting with family for a matter of minutes, they wheeled Evie and I off to the recovery room where we slept for several hours. 

It wasn’t until lunch time that the three of us woke up and that it finally sank in that I’d just had a baby.  It had all been such a weird dream until the Ambien wore off. Thankfully, Eric and the nurse, who ended up being my recovery room nurse the next two nights, remembered enough of the story to help me piece it all together.

The rest of the hospital stay was fine.  Evie was a hit - the nurses all commented on how beautiful she was.  Word got out to the nursing staff that I had a rock star delivery.  

Even though we couldn’t follow our original birth plan, we were able to do the most important things 1) Ask Questions and 2) Be Flexible.  And those two things landed us an incredibly healthy birth, and a beautiful baby girl.

We love you Evie!

22 November, 2011

Evie's Birth Story - Part 1

Halloween morning I went to my regular thirty-seven week midwife appointment.  Before I left, she demanded I go on bed rest and even called my husband to enforce it! The good news, however, was that I was already 1cm dilated and 50% effaced.

I had to go back the next day for follow up tests, and by tests I mean that I had to collect all my urine in a giant thermos for the next 24 hours.  Fun, right? The urine tests came back stable enough to let me go a few more days, but the reality of being induced was looming. We had to check in again on Thursday.

Thursday’s check up was quick and easy. Bed rest was keeping my blood pressure stable and I’d even lost two pounds of water weight.  The doctor decided I was good to go through the weekend. There was hope for us to follow through with our natural, un-medicated, water birth after all!

That Saturday night I didn’t follow the strict bed rest orders, and went out to dinner with my parents and in-laws.  The quick dinner turned into a three hour affair and I could rapidly feel the puffiness returning.  

Sunday morning I woke up and knew I couldn’t/shouldn’t leave the couch.  The parish sent an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion to my house to bring me Jesus; the Gift I needed to make it through the upcoming days.

Despite my best efforts to recover from Saturday’s “wild night out”, Monday morning I woke up and my feet were so swollen my flip flops left strap intents on my feet.  My BP was up and there was still protein in my urine. The doctor (the midwife was out at a delivery) checked and I was 2cm dilated, 50% effaced and the ultrasound confirmed the baby was in the ready position.

After the tests were done he called us into his office.  We knew this meant only one thing.
Sure enough, what I had avoided for a full week was now a reality.  It was time to induce me and get the baby out.  My body was ready enough, and there was too much risk of my blood pressure really spiking into the dangerous zone within the week, thus putting me more at risk for needing a c-section. The pros outweighed the cons.  We agreed to the induction.

I kissed my Plan A for delivery good-bye.  It was time to trust the doctor and mid-wife.

The doctor called the hospital to “reserve us a room”.  We had to report at 4pm that same day.  The plan was to arrive at 4 and at 6:30 begin the 12 hour dose of Cervidil to ripen the cervix.  After that I could eat, shower and get ready for Pitocin at 8:00 am.

After taking Bradley classes, we knew the side-effects of Pitocin is very painful contractions that often leads to wanting an Epidural.  And Epidurals can slow labor often leading to c-sections. Knowing this, Eric and I mentally started preparing for the long road ahead.  I was going to need every bit of mental endurance and physical energy to make it through laboring on Pitocin without an Epidural.

We left the doctor’s office and went for smoothies to fuel up for the coming events.  We drove to my parents house to discuss the plans with my mom and to let her know our intentions for visitors and our expectations for our hospital stay.

I was a bit emotional knowing our plans for a natural, water birth were over.  But I didn’t have time to wallow.  It was time to wrap my brain around the new plan. Thankfully, I knew that being induced was likely back on that Halloween day.  It gave me a full week to let go of “my” birth plan and prepare for whatever journey was ahead of us.

Talking things through with my mom really helped calm me down.  And she kept reminding me, no mater what happens, the baby will be here soon - and we were doing what’s best for her health and my health.

After her pep talk, Eric and I quickly ran through Whole Foods and grabbed a few healthy snacks for the hospital: melon, banana chips, granola bars, apples, and peanut butter.  Who knew how long we’d be in the hospital? Girl’s gotta eat!

We got home around 2pm and watched a little TV to relax and then it was go-time.  We double checked our hospital bags, changed the bed sheets, vacuumed, and took out the trash.  At 3pm we called the hospital and they said our room wouldn’t be ready until a little after 4, but to come on over so they could get us started on paperwork and my blood work.  

I remember driving over to the hospital thinking, “I need to remember this moment...the moment we quietly drove together to the hospital to have our first baby girl”  It was a perfect Fall day and we couldn’t wait to meet our precious daughter.

to be continued... [Part II]

16 November, 2011

Her Name

While I am working on her birth story, I thought I'd throw you a little bone and write about her name and how we came up with it.

Genevieve "Evie" Marie

Remember our seemingly short list of criteria that said we wanted something not too trendy, not too weird, not too dated, has religious significance and a hint of family meaning.  This proved to be a tall order.

After working through a list of family names and trying to make them work (fail!), we decided to download an iPad baby naming app for inspiration and to help us think outside the box.  We would stay up and night and just read, letter by letter, the names.  Anything we both didn't hate was added to the list of potential names.  After about a week, we had a working list of 30 names.

After that we didn't talk baby names for a long time, but each spent time thinking through our personal favorites. With about six or so weeks to go, we stayed up really late one night talking through out list of 30 and narrowed them down to four.  We paired them each with a middle name: all of them religious in nature, all of them having something to do with a family member, none of them generationally trendy, and none of them too weird.

Knowing that two of the names were probably not going to make a big come back any time soon, meaning, we could save them for future children, we decided to hold on to those, leaving us with just two names.

One name I loved A LOT, but it didn't do anything for Eric.  Eric loved Genevieve and we realized that two other names we liked, Jenna and Evie, were nicknames for Genevieve.

To help solidify the choice, I was looking through some old mail containing a birth announcement for Eric's cousin's daughter and "DUH!"  They just named their baby with my first choice name...not that the two babies would spend a whole lot of time together, I just think it's weird to name the kids the same thing within two months of each other.  That was enough to tip the scale for me.

We started calling her Evie and Genevieve around the house and it started to grow on me. And I loved how Eric would light up calling her by name when talking to my belly.

Genevieve and Evie were not exactly names I grew up thinking I would name a child, so it was hard for me to get on board, but he loved them so much I was willing to compromise. With in a week they stuck and I knew our sweet baby girl would be named Genevieve.

How does Genevieve Marie measure up to our criteria?

St. Genevieve is the patron saint of Paris, France.  Not real significance to either of us, but I think it's fun that Notre Dame is in Paris, and Eric went to the University of Notre Dame. Saint Genevieve was a leader and a fighter for her faith. I LOVE that!

We are not French but gave our baby girl a French name. It worked out perfectly that my middle name and my mom's middle name is Marie, which is French for Mary, the Mother of God.  I so desperately wanted to work a form of Mary into all the girls names (which we did, even if they are in disguise!).  Done.  And now my first born baby girl shares a middle name with her momma and grandma, who are also both first born girls.

And a really dorky religious connection: Evie is a variation on Eve, which paired with Marie = the ultimate Marian typology (for you non theology majors here's a good article)
All first borns: My grandmother, Me, Evie, My Mother

Genevieve is in the top 300 names, so people are familiar with it, but she won't go to school being one of three Genevieve's in her class.  Evie is in the top 800, but those are girls born with that name. It doesn't include nicknames.  Regardless, I think we're okay. :)

Everyone who has commented on her name has said something like, "It's familiar without being popular" or "It's unique but not weird"  And that's exactly what we were going for!

I must say that it's a heavy responsibility giving someone a name.  But after our hard work, I am in love!

13 November, 2011

I'm coming out! I want the world to know!


Genevieve "Evie" Marie

Tuesday, November 8, 2011 
6:55 am

7 lb 9.6 oz
20 inches

Eric and I are so in love with our precious baby girl.  
We can't wait to share her birth story and all about her first week at home!  But first, we need a little more sleep and a lot more coffee :)

07 November, 2011

Almost here!!! Pregnancy Update {Weeks 37 & 38}

I didn't get a picture of me these last two weeks, so here's Sofie the Giraffe.  She's ready for baby girl!

How far along? 38 weeks

How big is baby? Internet estimates about 6.5 pounds and 20 inches.  At my ultrasound on Tuesday the baby was down too far to measure, so it's just a guessing game!  My mom said my brother and I were about 7.5 at 2 weeks early.  Alex was 8.5 at 3 weeks early and Katie was 6.5 at a few days early.  I am suspecting that will be my range.  My guess is around 7.5-8 for baby girl.

Total weight gain: I've fluctuated a lot the last two weeks due to water retention and hypertention, hence the bed rest. I'm around 40-45 pounds gained.  We suspect a lot of it it water.

Maternity Clothes?  My sister bought me a nice nursing pajama top and bathrobe for the hospital so I can wear something a little nicer than the hospital gown :)  Fact: I've never owned or worn a bath robe.
Stretch Marks? I had all but forgotten about them until the baby dropped, and now my skin is stretching and itchy in new places.  Silly baby.

Exercise: These days, exercise is rolling over in bed, going to the bathroom (again), and getting off the sofa. Thanks, bed rest!

Sleep: Week 37 was a hell-ish nightmare. I maybe slept 3-4 hours a night.  I was so stressed about getting everything wrapped up for work that I just couldn't sleep, even though I did every trick in the book to "relax before bed."  My subconscious knew better.  My guess is the lack of sleep only propelled the hypertension, thus leaving me on the couch.  This second week has been remarkable.  Somehow I lay on the couch from 7am - 11pm and still get a solid night's sleep.  Knowing this made me realize it wasn't the baby/pregnancy keeping me up at night, but in deed the stress.

Movement: Today is the first day my wild ninja has been quiet.  She has been rocking and rolling so hard that people across the room laugh. She kicked the monitors off my belly on Tuesday.  The nurse, ultrasound tech, and OB couldn't keep her still to get accurate readings of her heartbeat. At least they laughed about it!  The other day she curled up so far on my right side that my stomach looked like a ski slope.  I'd show you the pictures, but I don't want the whole wide web to see my stretch marked belly.  Sorry.

Food cravings: Chocolate. And nothing satisfies it.  I had a flourless chocolate lava cake last night and I wanted to take a bath in it.  And, doughy pizza...which I am not really supposed to be eating, but I had some from a local pizzeria. I savored every. single. bit.  mmmmm

What I miss: Outside. People. Not laying on my side. Doing things for myself. People not talking about my body like it's a science project.

What I am looking forward to: Having this beautiful baby!!!!

Milestones: Making it to 38 weeks! Feeling distinct body parts roll around or poke out of my belly. Having to ask someone else to cut my toe nails because I can't reach mine!

Say What?
E: Are you ready to meet your new baby cousin? She's going to be born soon.
Connor: Is she going to be big like you?

Sweet moments:
The other night I was hanging out with my nephew, Connor, and he was giving his goodbyes before going home.  I asked him to give my baby belly a kiss goodbye and he said, "How about a hug?" and wrapped his scrawny little 3 year old arms around my belly and said, "I love you baby"

We have two other couples from our group of friends at church who are due in November.  Neither of the two couples found out if they were having a boy or a girl. Many of our friends who have recently had kids or found out they are pregnant all have boys, so we were rooting for these two couples to have girls.  L&M had their baby and it was a boy.  Eric's response was, "B&A better have a girl....Baby Girl has too many boyfriends already and I am going to get tired of beating them up"

Make room for baby: 
I had so many cute little pictures to share, but our Internet is being dumb, so you just get one sneak peak photo of the baby's room :)

01 November, 2011

Will you still call me Superman?

Last Fall I knew Eric and I were planning to get pregnant so I started eating better and exercising. I knew I would want to feel my best going in to the pregnancy.

Well, one day while doing aerobics, I twisted my ankle.  I took a few weeks off from working out; I was super busy with work anyway.  Then the holidays came. The pounds packed on and the work outs stopped completely.

Come January it was time to get serious about my Disney Princess Half-Marathon training, but every run left my ankle more and more swollen.  Off to the doctor.  It was sprained pretty bad.  I was forbidden to exercise, or walk more than a mile or so a day for 8-10 weeks.

That got me to the end of February.  I was cleared the Monday before our Sunday half-marathon.  I pushed through and finished the 13.1 by walked very slow and very carefully.

Little did I know I was already pregnant.  (I should have known by the crazy hormones I had while at Disney World!) And within days of returning from Disney extreme exhaustion set in.  Coupled with severe food aversions, my health quickly deteriorated.  I went from attempting a half-marathon to an ice cream eating couch potato in all of five days.

My food aversions left and my energy crept back, until I spent a week in 90+ degree weather chaperoning summer camp.  I left with a viral infection. When was I ever going to work out again?

I probably had a good two weeks of exercise before I had a pain in my back that pinched so badly I could barely walk, thus bringing my exercise routine to a screeching halt. Again.

I tried the pregnancy belt, but no luck.  No sooner did I find a chiropractor who fixed the pain did I slip on my kitchen rug and sprain my groin and butt.  Oy.  For real?

By the time I recovered from that, the end-of-the-third-trimester exhaustion set in, and the work stress piled and piled.

The mid-wife and chiropractor warned me to slow down, take naps, keep my feet up, take breaks.... but can I sit still when there is a nursery to prepare, a Confirmation program to run, a house to keep, parties to attend? No.

So I pushed. And I pushed. And I pushed.  And on Friday I nearly collapsed from exhaustion.  But could I sleep?  Nope!  I was up for 4 hours in the middle of the night worried about the baby and the next bit of work I had to catch up on.

Sunday I finally slept a little but not enough to recover from the extremely stressful week at work and the dozen errands I ran over the weekend.

Monday morning I walked in to the midwife's office.  They ran the usual tests and walked me back to the exam room.  I could hear the midwife and the OB consulting in the hallway about a poor girl who had high blood pressure, looked terrible, and was going to have go on bed rest.  I laughed at who ever that person was, as I didn't have time for bed rest.

Ha! The midwife came in, poked around at my hands and feet and said, "Honey, you're not going back to work...today, or until after this baby comes. I am writing you a note and demanding you go on medical leave.  You're at risk for a stroke."

I literally burst into tears in the office. Excuse me?  I don't have time for bed rest and stroke risks.  I have two Masses for 180 teens to be Confirmed to finish planning.  But the dizziness and pounding headache were enough to make me oblige.

The midwife took me to her office, laid me in the recliner and fed me cookies until I stopped crying. Seriously.  And then she called Eric and gave him all the instructions I needed for the week.  She made me pinky promise I wouldn't step foot in my office again until 6-8 weeks post partum.

Yikes!  I called a co-worker and dictated six pages of notes and delegations for her and the staff to work on to get the Confirmation program wrapped up.  And with that I could almost feel the headaches going away.  The rest of the day was spent, as directed, laying down on my side to help drain the fluids from my body.

Today I had to return a 24 hour urine test (it's as gross as it sounds!) and have more blood work done.  Eric came with me.  My face and ankles are less puffy already, but my pressure was up.  We did an ultrasound to check on the baby.  Her heart rate is up just a little, but the fluid and measurements are good.  Even though this combination wasn't great, it was enough that the midwife decided to let me go a few more days on bedrest and not induce me right then and there.

We get the test results back tomorrow at lunch.  If all goes well then I go back on Friday for another round.  The better the test results, the longer we can wait to have the baby.  Every day means a better developed baby.  She still has three weeks to cook, yo.

So here I sit, reflecting on how badly I wanted to be in "good shape" to help this pregnancy run as smoothly as possible... yet a series of unfortunate events got in the way.

It's been a huge lesson in humility.  There is a lot I wanted to control in this pregnancy, but sometimes we have to stop and listen to our body.  I think God was sending me warning messages with the sprained ankle, the flu, the back ache, the sprained groin....to SLOW DOWN.  But did I?  NOPE.  

I was trying to be Superman and fight through instead of listen to the warnings.

Look where it landed me!  Lesson learned.