Miss Tesla’s Birth Story

What began in a state of panic has turned to a feeling of overwhelming love. On Monday, December 5th, I was rushed to the hospital at St. Mary’s in Madison by my husband due to an alarming loss of blood. At 33.5 weeks pregnant that is never a good thing. After a bit of testing, the doctors had determined that my placenta had partially detached from the uterine wall. Our baby girl inside seemed fine and the bleeding stopped but they wanted to keep me in the hospital for an undetermined amount of time. My blood pressure had skyrocketed the week before which lead to the partial placenta abruption. Blood pressure checks happened daily during my days in the ante-partum unit in the hospital and continued to be high. No matter how much I tried to relax and be “zen” the blood pressure kept creeping up. Such is how preeclampsia works it seems. Like it or not. Preeclampsia has run in my family as well with a mom and sister who have experienced it. Not fun!

On the morning of Wednesday, December 14, the doctors came in to tell me that they recommended the baby be delivered due to some higher blood pressure readings taken the day before. They knew I wanted to avoid cesarean section so they offered to try and invert her from her breech position and induce me for labor. I agreed with giving it a try. As the day went on I began to feel unsure about that decision as the statistical rates of inversions being successful were slim. 5 minutes before they were going to perform the inversion I started shaking and knew I couldn’t put this baby girl through that stress. I decided to go through with a cesarean section. In a matter of minutes I was in the operating room with my husband at my side and one hour later I was in recovery after delivering our baby girl! She was delivered at 34.5 weeks gestation and came out at 5lbs 6oz and nearly 18″ long. It turns out that was the best decision I could’ve made as the placenta was 1/3 of they way abrupted and there was blood in the amniotic fluid. So things could’ve gone south in a hurry with option 1. I felt a huge sense of peace with my decision. It was definitely my maternal instincts in action.

She was sent to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for care  and I didn’t get to see her until the next night because I was in recovery on anti-seizure medicine due to my high blood pressure the day after delivery. It was hard to see her in an incubator for the first time and not get to hold her but I understood that she is getting great care with the nurses and doctors here. She has now stayed in the NICU for one week for monitoring of her breathing, eating and light therapy for jaundice.

Today is the day we go home! One week after her birth she is checking out fine and was called, “Impressive” by the occupational therapist that checked on her. What great news!

As a person who normally avoids doctors visits and just tries to use healthy eating and exercise as my health insurance plan, being in the hospital for most of the month of December has been challenging.

Here is what I have learned:

1. St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison is one of the best baby hospitals around. I have been so impressed by the care I received by the nurses and doctors and also the nurses and doctors in the NICU who took care of my baby girl and also gave me many tips and tricks of how to care for a preemie.

2. Know when to accept help. As much as I try to figure out things on my own and have my own remedies, I had to accept my condition and allow others to help me through it. That is hard to do.

3. Find gratitude in every situation. This may not have been in my plans but that’s ok. I’m grateful for a healthy baby girl, for an amazing husband who stayed with me every night and brought supplies and snacks from home, for supportive family and friends and for the expert care received.

Christmas will certainly be extra special for us this year. For this child, we have prayed for, planned for and worked so hard for. We are so excited to start our family and begin the journey of parenthood. Thank you to everyone who helped us along the way!

Daddy snuggle time

Happy Mama


Hustle Up!

Being an entrepreneur is proving to be quite interesting! Our home building and realty business is gearing up! We are excited about that! The hard part is playing catch up from two weeks traveling abroad with Leadership Wisconsin. Traveling is so important to help broaden horizons, broaden insights and increase professional development which ultimately makes us better at our jobs and businesses as well as better leaders in our communities. The downside is the catch up afterward. Not having access to my phone or email for two weeks and catching up feels a little like treading water in whitewater rapids. I wonder how people travel regularly for work! My hat is off to those folks! 

As serial entrepreneurs, my husband and I love trying new things and love being busy! Some days we wish we could just clone ourselves to get more done. We are excited to help more people build homes, find homes and fix up old homes. We love it all. Spring is a crazy and great time of year. We are grateful to be busy and excited to see where it leads! Time to get back to the grind!

Happy trails! 


International Travel-  5 Lessons Learned

 Here are some lessons learned on my trip to Kazakhstan with Leadership Wisconsin Group 16:

1. Take the risk- Assumptions will be broken. 

I had so many fears about going to Kazakhstan. It is a ‘Stan’ country after all so it must be the enemy, right? It’s not. I met an amazing Kazakh-Russian host, Ann. I was so nervous and it was the best experience possible. I now have a new friend across the world. 

2. Dress with pride. 

The people are very friendly and I have noticed that no matter their income level they dress with class. No one walks outside in their sweats. I have learned even more the importance if having pride in the way you dress and look. It might be the only nice clothes they have and they will make sure they are looking nice. 

3. Pride in the USA

I am proud to be an American. I am even more proud to be from a free country and have unlimited opportunities available to me to pick the life I choose! We are blessed! Use these opportunities! Be grateful!

4. Humanity comes first- Never repeat past tragedies. 

Make the world a better place. The #1 thing I want to do is take what I’ve learned and use to to make the world better. What can I do, what can we do? Have you helped someone in need? We saw some very sad things that happened in Kazakh and past soviet history that should never be repeated. My hope is that we instill the value of humanity into the people around us. 

5. Pride in what you have. 

Be proud of what you have. Love what you have and stop brooding over what you don’t have. We take so many luxuries for granted. A car, a bed, electricity and running water. Many parts of the world do not have these available to them. Remember that!

I’m grateful for this experience and feel moved by it.I want to create positive change and help others. I want to see how we can all make the world a little better for those around us. 

While I couldn’t make a life living abroad because I love Wisconsin and the Midwest USA too much, I definitely feel like I’ve been bitten by the travel bug after going on this trip to Kazakhstan. I want to see other places. It is interesting to learn more about the world around us!

Happy Trails!


Happy Nauryz!

  Nauryz is a very important holiday for Kazakhs, which marks the beginning of a new year. It is celebrated several days starting from 21st of March, the day of the spring equinox. Nauryz means ‘new day’, it is celebrated in the Great Steppes from ancient times. (visitkazakhstan.kz)

Leadership Wisconsin purposely planned our international trip during this time of year so we could be in Kazakhstan during their countries biggest holiday. It was great fun. As Americans we stuck out very easily as the locals kept asking to take pictures with us. Not many Americans travel to Kazakhstan apparently so we are an oddity! We enjoyed great music and cultural learning. We enjoyed a meal in a Yurt which is a place where native Kazakhs used to live. Similar to the Native American teepee. It was a lot of fun.  We also went to a school in a very rural village that looks like it is in the early 1900s where we listened to musical performances from locals playing Kazakh instruments made of wood and horse hair.


Very beautiful costumes and great cultural experience! 

Happy Trails!



Aggies in Kazakhstan

Leadership Wisconsin Group 16 has gotten a unique experience to visit a horse dairy farm in Kazakhstan! It was pretty unique to see a 75 horse barn with a pipeline overhead! We got to try horse meat and milk as a result. Meat tastes like roast beef and the milk tastes like fermented buttermilk. Very interesting. We also got to enjoy Caviar and handmade pastries. Wheat and horse meat/milk is what Kazakhstan is known for. Lots of firsts! 

Glad to have gotten to bring out my Aggie side and learn about agriculture in Kazakhstan!


Foodies in Kazakhstan

I have found foodies in Kazakhstan! I am so lucky to have such an amazing host, Ann. She has been so gracious to take me into her home and make me the most amazing food ever. The first night we made Borsh together.  

 It is a Russian dish with fresh chicken and chicken stock, grated beet root, sliced potato, sliced boiled egg and some sour cream on top. It is amazing. 

She also makes this excellent tea from dried fruit, fresh herbs and tea leaves.  

 Tonight, some of her friends came over and we all made Sushi. I have never made sushi before so this was a great experience! We also made fresh salads, a cake and coffee with ice cream. Everything was amazing! 

During the day today, Ann took me all around Pavlodar to see the sights. We first went to the cathedral that she attends, then walked by the Ertish River, stopped for coffee and cheesecake and ended with some shopping at the local mall area. I found out she loves taking pictures. We are so much alike we even wear the same size clothes and shoes as she wanted me to wear an entire outfit from her wardrobe today! Complete with cute clutch. We had a fabulous day! 


Glad to have found foodies and a great friend in Kazakhstan!

 St. Patty’s day in Kazakhstan! Celebrated my Irish-by-marriage history by seeing some great countryside in Kazakhstan today. Simply GORGEOUS. Snow capped mountains leading to an internationally renowned winery “Arba Winery in the Assa Vally”. We were treated to a delicious meal for lunch with all local foods. So good!! We also got to see small rural villages that remind me of a time long ago. Horses and horned cattle roaming free, donkeys pulling carts of vegetables and stucco huts with tin roofs. Back in Almaty a few of us ventured out to a famous bath house. Amazing! Best massage ever! Something that cost $40 here would cost $500 at home. Seriously amazing. Ok gotta go! Stay tuned for more later!




Back country and bath houses!

  Kazak National Agrarian University

Leadership Wisconsin Group 16 made it to Kazakhstan! The flight was an endurance test, for sure. We are glad to have made it. We have toured a few beautiful parks with beautiful arches and trees. We also got the chance to see a Russian Orthodox Cathedral with very ornate paintings and while visiting the Kazakhstan Museum of Folk Instruments we enjoyed our own personal concert to hear folk instruments like the dombra! Very neat. We also heard from University leaders at the University of International Business as well as the Kazakh National Agrarian University. The main agriculture crop in Kazakhstan is wheat. One of my favorite parts so far was the 20-30 minute gondola ride through the Tien Shan mountains the border Kazakshan and China. People from all over the world come there to ski and snowboard. It was beautiful!  Looking forward to more adventures!

We made it to Kazakhstan

Leadership Wisconsin goes to Kazakhstan!

Kazakhstan Map

Today, our Leadership Wisconsin group is blasting off into the unknown and heading for the country of Kazakhstan for 2 weeks! I have included a map so you can see where this country is. Not many have heard of it other than through the movie Borat. It is the 9th largest country in the world and part of central Asia. It used to be part of the Soviet Union until the early 90s. We will be learning of local and national issues, economics, agriculture, energy and sustainability. We will be learning about how this relatively new country has developed over the last 20 years and how people are starting to branch out and start businesses as entrepreneurs for the first time in Kazakh history! I’m personally looking forward to learning about that aspect as an entrepreneur myself! We will be touring many sites and famous places. It should be a once in a lifetime experience! Wish us well and stay tuned for more!

Happy Trails!