Wednesday, 23 March 2016

My First Jump - First Time Skydiving Tips

If you are considering skydiving and are deliberating on whether or not you should take the plunge then perhaps reading my experience may help you decide.

Tandem Skydive. PSST... this is how they do it now - with a babysitter! By Skydiving Parachutisme: Jef132 derivative work: Ximonic (Skydiving Parachutisme) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], Wikimedia Commons

How I Came To Jump Out Of An Aeroplane


You know how it goes. Your flatmate comes home one night with a great idea and the next thing you know you're jumping out of an aeroplane!

It seemed like a good idea at the time. I mean, who doesn't love a bit of excitement, right? Back then, in the early eighties, it was done as a solo static line jump which means your chute pull is attached to a wire that automatically pulls your chute open as you exit the plane. None of this namby pamby tandem jump stuff where you are strapped to an instructor who does everything for you while talking calming thoughts to you for us.

We were the tough. We were the brave. Well, you can see for yourself just how brave I was....

My First Jump - The Idea. How it came about

 

It was during my early flat-sharing days. I was co-habiting with two men and a lady in a large house in one of Sydney’s leafy Northern Beaches suburbs. One of the young men, Pete was also a work colleague. I was to discover while sharing the bills with these three that they were into extreme sports and trying out new things.

Pete and Chris were already certified Scuba divers and would flit off from time to time to throw themselves into the deep. They skied and rode horses, they abseiled and grass-skied. One evening, Chris came home from work and suggested we all go take parachuting lessons.

Wha….. ??????

Hold on. Run that by me again. Parachute lessons. You know, skydiving. Actually, I preferred it when you called it parachuting. You really can’t avoid the literal when you call it skydiving.
"No, really, it’s easy. We just go into the city a couple of times and practice landing."

First Time Skydiving Tips: Capture Every Amazing Moment!


With one-step recording these easy to use hands-free cameras are waterproof and super tough so even if you crash land in a pond your footage will be safe!

First Time Skydiving Tips: Practice Your Landing Rolls 

Actually, if you are making a tandem jump you won't need to do this. In fact your jump buddy probably won't thank you if you do attempt to roll on landing with him attached. But back when I made my first jump knowing how to land was essential.

I still don’t know how they convinced me. A few weeks later here we all were, assembled in a small room on the third floor of an office building in the centre of Sydney; a more unlikely place I could not imagine. The instructor took us through the theory first which consisted of statistical information like how fast you plummet, how long it takes for you to reach planet earth, what happens if you hit power lines, stuff like that. Then we donned our suits and chutes so we would know which buckle went where and what handle was for what.

The climax of the evening was climbing up onto desks and jumping into practice rolls. That’s the part where all the gigglling started because you could briefly forget that you were actually in rehearsal to hurl yourself out of an airplane at 2,000 feet all by yourself relying solely on a metal thread to open your single link with life for you. We all looked quite ridiculous.

The session concluded with our date set for our first jump and several alcoholic beverages in a nearby establishment.

Skydiving Photographic Print

My First Jump - The Jump. The day had arrived!

Mil-Tec Commando Goggles Para SmokeMil-Tec Commando Goggles Para Smoke
It was a glorious pre-dawn the day we set out to throw ourselves into nothing from a fast-moving object 2,000 feet above the earth.



It was one of those crisp cool autumn mornings. We had an hour’s travel to reach the airfield at a place called Wilton to the south-west of Sydney.



By the time we reached the small shed where we were to assemble there was a heavy dew and an early morning mist as the sun started to brighten the tree tops.


It was a glorious pre-dawn the day we set out to throw ourselves into nothing from a fast-moving object 2,000 feet above the earth.

It was one of those crisp cool autumn mornings. We had an hour’s travel to reach the airfield at a place called Wilton to the south-west of Sydney.

By the time we reached the small shed where we were to assemble there was a heavy dew and an early morning mist as the sun started to brighten the tree tops.

I admit I remember very little of the pre-jump instruction I was given as I was climbing into my jump-suit. I can tell you nothing about packing my chute, putting it on, putting on my helmet or closing and clasping buckles and ties although I must have done all those things. I also admit that I remember nothing about walking out onto the airstrip to climb into the tiny aircraft that would take me on this insane journey. I remember exiting the plane. I remember counting – one thousand, two thousand, three thousand, four thousand, then being yanked upward as I felt the tug of the opening chute. I remember looking around at the incredible sight below me. Tiny little buildings and toy cars. The dots I suppose were people.

Somehow, I managed to do all the right things and make an almost perfect landing.

THAT WAS INCREDIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

My First Jump - Afterwards: The Epilogue


Men's If At First You Don't Succeed, Sky Diving IsMen's If At First You Don't Succeed, Sky Diving Is
LET’S GO AGAIN! LET’S DO IT AGAIN! That wasn’t me, that was Chris.



We knew that if we took our second jump today it would only be an extra $17.



I knew that this is the only time ever I would be enticed to do a second jump. I still had the adrenalin pumping through my body. I was still shaking. My legs were still wobbly even after the 200 metre hike back from where I had landed to the aerodrome shed.



Yes! That was exhilarating! Yes, that was the most incredible thing I had ever done but somehow I already knew that this was not going to become my passion.

LET’S GO AGAIN! LET’S DO IT AGAIN! That wasn’t me, that was Chris.

We knew that if we took our second jump today it would only be an extra $17.

I knew that this is the only time ever I would be enticed to do a second jump. I still had the adrenalin pumping through my body. I was still shaking. My legs were still wobbly even after the 200 metre hike back from where I had landed to the aerodrome shed.

Yes! That was exhilarating! Yes, that was the most incredible thing I had ever done but somehow I already knew that this was not going to become my passion.


My Second Jump 

They convinced me to go up again. I think the impressions of my fingers clinging to the open doorway of the plane are probably still there. The instructor ended up having to push me out of the plane.

I forgot to count. I piloted badly. I ended up in the bushes about a kilometre from the shed. It wasn’t pretty. I think during my second jump I found my fear.

I can honestly say that this is the most exhilarating and the most frightening thing I have ever done.

One Time Experience or A New Interest? 


For me, once was enough. Exhilirating? Yes! Memorable? Absolutely! Would I take it up as a hobby? No, never. But you may feel completely different. For a small number of people, skydiving won't be simply an experience. It will become a passion. If this is you then at some point you want to get your own Skydiving Rig.

 

What's The Most Extreme Thing You've Done? Did this inspire you to take your first jump?

Loretta L profile image
Loretta L 18 months ago from Chilterns, UK.
Yow! Not for me. But I'm glad you enjoyed it. I might enjoy paragliding, but not jumping out of planes. My husband did it once and thoroughly enjoyed it though

Elle-Dee-Esse profile image
Elle-Dee-Esse 18 months ago from Blue Mountains Australia Author
Thanks billybuc, brave or stupid? Not sure which

billybuc profile image
billybuc 18 months ago from Olympia, WA Level 8 Commenter
Bravo to you. I have had the chance and wouldn't do it, and I've climbed mountains before...so well done!

Elle-Dee-Esse profile image
Elle-Dee-Esse 18 months ago from Blue Mountains Australia Author
My age at the time explains a lot

Elle-Dee-Esse profile image
Elle-Dee-Esse 18 months ago from Blue Mountains Australia Author
It was definitely awesome! And I definitely won't be doing it again!

beliza 18 months ago
Amazing story. I would be so afraid to do this.

MelRootsNWrites profile image
MelRootsNWrites 18 months ago from California Level 1 Commenter
I'm guessing there won't be a third jump? LOL You are incredibly brave! I don't think you'd be able to get me to do it once let alone twice. Must have been an awesome experience though.

Elle-Dee-Esse profile image
Elle-Dee-Esse 18 months ago from Blue Mountains Australia Author
It's one of these things - glad I gave it a go and I'll never do it again but I'm also much older now

Pawpawwrites profile image
Pawpawwrites 18 months ago from Kansas
I want to, but I just can't make myself jump out of a perfectly good airplane. Kudos to you though. Very cool.

Elle-Dee-Esse profile image
Elle-Dee-Esse 18 months ago from Blue Mountains Australia Author
You're welcome and thank you. I'm so glad you enjoyed it

RonElFran profile image
RonElFran 18 months ago from Mechanicsburg, PA Level 5 Commenter
You are performing a great public service, here. For all of us who crave the excitement of skydiving, but are too chicken to actually do it, thanks for allowing us to experience it vicariously.

pkmcruk profile image
pkmcruk 19 months ago from Cheshire UK
Brilliant that you did it Lynne but not one me!

Elsie Hagley profile image
Elsie Hagley 19 months ago from New Zealand Level 4 Commenter
I for one will never do this, but I admire you for doing it and writing about your experience, I can understand if you never do it again. Happy times writing.

Glorymiller profile image
Glorymiller 19 months ago from USA
I'm not going to be rushing out to do this anytime soon. Thanks for sharing your experience.

favored profile image
favored 19 months ago from USA
I don't know whether to cheer you on or scold you for letting them talk you into a second jump. No way would I ever do this, but think you're pretty cool for it. Does that make sense?

SusannaDuffy profile image
SusannaDuffy 19 months ago from Melbourne Australia
I think the parachuting lessons would kill any desire in me for skydiving. As soon as "how fast you plummet" hit the conversation, I'd be out the door

LNAngel profile image
LNAngel 19 months ago from Florida
I don't know if I could ever bring myself to pull the trigger, but good for you! :)

lawineaux profile image
lawineaux 19 months ago
My most extreme thing was horseback riding. One time our horses took off and started galloping across a meadow. My friends and I hung on for dear life. It was pretty exhilarating. The group behind us wasn't so lucky. One woman fell off her horse. I'm not sure I could jump out of a plane. Gliding is more my style.

Heather426 profile image
Heather426 19 months ago from Wexford, Ireland
not going to try this but yay for you!

mumsgather 19 months ago
I think I might have been able to do it when I was younger. now, I think my heart will probably jump right out if I were to do it. Haha. kudos to you!

groovyfind profile image
groovyfind 19 months ago from Columbia Mo
The first jump is always the scariest!

Elle-Dee-Esse profile image
Elle-Dee-Esse 19 months ago from Blue Mountains Australia Author
I think I was young and (almost) fearless! I don't see myself ever doing it again

CrossCreations profile image
CrossCreations 19 months ago from St. Louis, MO
You are one brave lady! Cannot image ever parachuting, sky diving either.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Mothering Twins

Having Twins - My Story


Twins Playing On The Floor
"What's a yolk?" I asked the radiographer. Well I know what a yolk is but hadn't really thought about it in the context of having an ultrasound. I had been watching the fuzzy grey shapes as she diligently created labels for the different images as they whizzed around on the screen. She was being very quiet. Not a very chatty one this one. So I continued to watch as she labelled "Yolk A", "Yolk B". "Oh you're supposed to have one of those", she casually replied. "Are you supposed to have two of those?" I asked. You see, I had been paying attention. And then the penny dropped. At almost exactly the same time as she said, "You are if you're having twins".

If you know someone who is pregnant with twins, then I don't think this page is going to help her much unless she needs a bit of a giggle, but Raising Twins: From Pregnancy to Preschool might!


What do I have in common with these celebrities? We are all mothers of twins!



My Reaction To The News On Discovering I was Having Twins


Girl Twins! stamp for sale by jsoh on Zazzle

 Buy Now
What was being labelled were the yolk sacs which are still present during the first trimester. I was having the ultrasound examination to establish dates because at my age it was recommended that I have a CVS or Amniocentesis pre-natal diagnostic test. I was 39 at the time with two small boys.

I believed I was 9 weeks gestation but the ultrasound showed I was 11 weeks. This apparently ruled out the CVS as an option. CVS is an abbreviation for Chorionic Villus Sampling which is a test in which a sample of the tissue which will become the placenta is tested for chromosome abnormality.

There is only a small window of opportunity during which this test can be carried out. Beyond that period the test used is amniocentesis which is sampling of the amniotic fluid.


What I wasn’t expecting that day was to learn that there was more than one life growing inside me. I have often joked that my reaction that day was something like a wail of “my life is over”. In truth, that wasn’t my reaction. Stunned yes. A sudden feeling of “what are we going to do about (house, car, money and various other items – insert relevant noun here)?” Largely I felt a bit lost. Like “where do we go from here?”


My First Scare Fear Of A Threat To My Twins


It's Twin's Stamps stamp
It’s Twin’s Stamps by Designdivaad
View other Twins Postage
The next day – I mean literally, the very next day – I bled. I took myself off to the Emergency Room only to be told that I would not be able to get a scan til the next morning and that I should go home to which I replied “I’m not going anywhere”. I must have looked like I meant it – they gave me a bed. My scan the next day showed that all was well – apparently it was something to do with a fibroid growth and I’m still not exactly sure what that is. The main thing was that everything was fine.

A week or so later I had my amniocentesis exam during which I discovered that due to the biology of the sacs and the membrane they could tell me with absolute certainty that my twins were identical. This meant I only needed one puncture instead of two. Bonus!







The Everything Twins, Triplets, And More Book: From Seeing The First Sonogram To Coordinating Nap Times And Feedings -- All You Need To Enjoy Your Multiples

The Everything Twins, Triplets, And More Book

I'm not sure how useful this book would be for those seeing their first ultrasound because as far as I am aware this is usually when you first find out you are expecting a multiple birth. The other topics covered in this book, however are everything an expectant multiple birth parent will want to know answers to.
Includes information on:

  • What to expect during each trimester
  • Physical changes your body endures
  • Budgeting for extra expenses
  • Setting up your household for the big arrivals
  • The first few months of life with your multiples
The Everything Twins, Triplets, and More Book is your all-in-one resource for preparing your home, and your life, for all your little bundles of joy!


The Result Diagnosing The Health Of My Twins


About a week later (one thing you suffer when you’re having twins is memory loss, I know most women suffer that to some extent with every pregnancy, but I seemed to forget everything! Ooh, ooh that reminds me – note to self – keeping a journal is a really, really good idea. Yes, I wish I’d done that. Read on.) About a week later we received a phone call from the genetic counselling clinic. The results were in. All clear. Did we want to know the gender? Well of course they’d know that. The test involves looking at the chromosomes after all. Um. Did we want to know the sex? We have two boys. We’re having twins. We’re going to need a whole heap of stuff. Do we want to know the gender? I hesitated for maybe a nano second. Then said “Yes!”

I might also point out that “Thank God”, the results were all clear because we hadn’t even considered our options or potential decisions had they not been.



The Belly Book: A Nine-Month Journal for You and Your Growing Belly (Potter Style)

Keep A Pregnancy Journal

You won't remember. Believe me you think you will but you won't remember a thing!

Before you get to meet your baby, you spend a swell (so to speak) nine months getting acquainted with your growing belly. The first pregnancy journal devoted 100% to you and your belly, The Belly Book is organized by trimester and includes pages for "time-lapse" belly photos and ultrasound images, as well as prompts for writing about morning sickness, food cravings, maternity clothes you never want to see again, and much more.







The Pregnancy Carrying My Twins


So I settled into the next four months variously gathering stuff around me, joining the local multiple birth group, attending ante-natal check-ups and classes getting my eldest son ready to start school in the new year, celebrating my 40th birthday and getting bigger by the day. One of my acquaintances remarked when I was around five months that I was “the most pregnant person” she’d ever seen! Why, thank you. Those who asked we shared the secret of the babies’ gender with, those who didn’t want to know we respected as well. That was mainly my mother.

People were fantastic. I received a mountain of used baby clothes. Not expecting to have any more babies I had given almost everything from my previous two away and had to start over again. If this is you, I think the best advice I can offer you is don’t refuse anything! Never be too proud to receive second-hand items and definitely don’t decline offers of help.




Essential Item - Twin Stroller If You Are Having Twins You Will Need One of These


When your friends and family ask you what you would like as a gift, why not consider asking for an Amazon.com Gift Card so you can choose the items you want.





Baby Shower Invitations Perfect If You Are Having Twins


A wonderful selection of Baby Shower invitations just for expecting twin moms




The Delivery - Bringing My Twins Into The World


By around 32 weeks it was decided that I should have another scan. I may have looked huge at 20 weeks but by 32 my Obstetrician was concerned about my measurements. My scan revealed my babies were small for dates and so started a regime of weekly scans. At my checkup at 36 weeks he admitted that I had been the topic of conversation over dinner with his wife who convinced him I should be delivered early. I’m not sure if I should have been reassured by that or not. In any case I was admitted the following day for a delivery by Cesarean Section. This was pretty scary as my previous two deliveries had been by natural birth and only the gas to assist me. I was about to have totally the opposite in terms of intervention starting with an Epidural.

To cut a very, very long story short:-

After my blood pressure plummeted, apparently an adverse reaction to the anaesthesia, I was administered something to bring it back up which seems to have resulted in pulmonary oedema. While my doctor was attempting to stitch me up my lungs filled with fluid and I was having coughing spasms. Not ideal while someone is attempting to be very precise with a sharp implement. My babies were whisked off to Neonatal Intensive Care and I was whisked off to the Coronary Care Unit. The babies spent four weeks in the NIC unit. They were indeed small for dates at 2016 grams and 1600 grams which is 4.5 and 3.5 pounds. I went home after a week and spent hours expressing milk with a breast pump and taking little chiller box deliveries to the hospital with me until I could take my babies home.



Carry Your Babies Home Safely





The Girls Today











Do You Have A Similar Story or know someone who does?


Share your experience here

  • jmsp206 Jul 23, 2013 @ 5:45 am
    No,I don't off hand by yours sounds lovely. What a great gift, two daughters at the same time.

  • gottaloveit Dec 18, 2012 @ 7:47 am
    I'm happy to say that I'm completely childless - a decision I made early on and was the absolute right decision for me. But, I have the utmost respect for mothers of twins - and yours are beautiful.

  • Serenia Sep 09, 2012 @ 6:06 pm
    My sister had twin daughters. I was told they were fraternal but they certainly look identical to me.

  • sbellis Aug 17, 2012 @ 7:44 pm
    Yes, I do! My twin girls are 17 now, how the time flies!

  • grannysage Jun 03, 2012 @ 2:37 am
    What a lovely story and lovely girls.

  • KReneeC Apr 01, 2012 @ 9:49 pm
    I had fraternal twins! Such a joy!

  • TheGourmetCoffeeGuy Jan 03, 2012 @ 1:09 am
    Great story. Don't have twins but have a close friend with triplets and appreciate the immense work and dedication it takes to raise 3 active boys all at once!

One Month In Italy

Pinterest