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Incredibly stupid things we have done

 
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Ellendra Nauriel wrote:

S Greyzoll wrote:My biggest one was this year. I over-ordered plants. By a ton. Over 500 trees and nearly 300 shrubs. I dang near killed myself getting them in (many never met dirt) and many had a very rough beginning waiting to be planted longer than they should. I had help lined up before the pandemic, but even so looking back I know this was grade A dumb. I just got a notification my giant garlic order is shipping, with no beds prepped yet. I’m crying tears of tired, and I did it all to myself. Lesson learned to know my limitations and be more patient.




I've made that same mistake many times. Not quite to that scale, but I definitely ordered more than I could possibly plant.

I've started limiting myself to a maximum of 12 live plants per year. If life happens and I'm not able to plant them, it's not too hard to scrounge up 12 large containers to use as planting pots.

Seeds don't have that limit, so I still tend to over-order seeds. But losing live plants because of my own lack of foresight was just too heartbreaking.



Yes. I feel so wasteful. Next year I promised my partner no new plants. I can divide and transfer what I have, plant seeds/seed balls, but no things coming in live that depend on my immediate availability to plant them. I have a beautiful abundance of seeds.
 
pollinator
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John F Dean wrote:Hi Judith,

I have done enough foolishness in my younger years as well. Like getting on a second story metal roof on Christmas eve to repair a leak with the nearest other warm body being over a mile away.    Actually, getting on the roof was not the issue.  It was when I rather rapidly got off of it that things got splendly exciting.  

Note to new homesteaders: It very difficult to get a good grip on a metal roof when there is a thin coat of ice on it ... even if your boots do have Vibram soles.



I did the roof thing. We were getting it replaced and we had a blizzard come in. Metal roof. One side started to come up because they weren't done yet. So being 8 months pregnant and incredibly mad at my husband I climbed up on the roof with a sand bag to weigh the roof down. Course the sandbag slid right off the roof and I was left sitting up there wondering how on Earth I was going to get down without following the sandbag. I was fine, but it was dumb.
 
elle sagenev
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I was cutting wood in our sun room using a ladder and step stool to hold the wood in place. Sawed into the step stool which kicked the board out like a rocket right into the glass door of the sun room, shattering it.



Removed a roof alone, while underneath it. Smacked me in the head but I live!!!


In fact my husband is incredibly used to getting calls that start, "I am alive, but...." then follows something I've broken.


Stuck my finger in a piglets mouth once. That hurt!

Tried to reform a mean turkey Tom and nearly died. He tried to make it look like suicide by slitting my wrist.


Installing the horse fence to keep the stupid dog in the yard I bent over and smacked my head on it. I had a line burnt into my forehead for ages.



Like an idiot I didn't secure my bee suit all the way and while I was installing my nucs the bees were marching a straight path up into my hat and stinging me in the neck.



I ran the tractor out of gas, thought I blew up the engine and my husband had to do all this stuff to get the air out of the hoses so it would run. I think he sometimes wonders why he's married to me. ;) It's cuz I'm super cute. :P



If something is level in the house it's because my husband was there with a level making sure it was. Left to my own devices everything is eyeballed.
 
elle sagenev
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I ripped all of the stickers off every breaker in the breaker box because quite a few of them were "wrong". We still can't figure out what a few of those breakers are attached to. Husband was FURIOUS!


The first time I ever did plumbing was to put a new faucet on the bath tub. I had no idea how to take the old faucet off and used force. Flooded the basement and had to get some new pipes.
 
elle sagenev
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I honestly feel like I have probably done far more than the normal share of stupid. I'm impulsive. It's a problem.

I've had to be pulled out of more snow drifts than I'd like to remember. Husband always asks, "How did you think you'd get through that?" I just always think if I go fast enough.........
 
master gardener
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I suppose it wouldn't hurt to share some of the lessons I learned from hiking in the woods and leaning over a cliff and having my "trusty" support tree just whisk itself away as though it were made of feather.

Years later I was hiking in the woods (cue ominous music) and I came across a cliff. Only this time I was at the bottom.  (lesson one: always be at the bottom of the cliff instead of the top.) A beautiful granite face that curved away up into the air with blue sky and clouds peeking through.  See, this cliff was more like a rift.  While it curved upward, it also had a matching cliff from where the crack had formed millions of years ago.  

I scrambled up the foot of the rift until I got to where the crevice began.  I measured me, and I measured it, and saw that I could brace my back against one cliff face and brace my feet and hands against the other, and thereby reliably and safely scramble all the way up the cliff to check out that sweet, sweet daylight.  (lesson two: granite is more reliable than a swaying tree trunk.)

I did the back pressing thing and started my ascent.  It was going pretty well.  Although there weren't many handholds or footholds, there was that trusty, millions-year-old granite at my back.

Until there wasn't.  See, I had gotten into a rhythm.  Haul my back up, press against the cliff, scoot, find a foothold, haul my back up, press against the.... hey! Where's the cliff?

My stomach lurched and I scrambled for a fingerhold.  I barely found a couple of cracks and one protrusion to rest my toe on, and then I waited for my nerves to calm down.  I looked around.  This was bad.  Upwards, the cliff had turned inward so there was no way I, with my puny finger strength, was going to haul my body up that cliff face. I turned my head around as far as I could and indeed my trusty granite no longer had my back.  I looked down.  Oh no, did I look down.  What had seemed so reasonable from the bottom had just become unreasonable.

I was going to die.  No stopping it.  I must have been sixty, seventy feet up, with teensy rocks at the bottom. Alone, a mile from any trail, and no way to guess where the footholds were. My limbs were starting to tremble from the effort of clinging on.

I had just decided to drop, sticking my butt out as far as I could to catch the rift, and hopefully wedge myself somewhere before I'd fallen 20 feet. Those were decent odds, but if I missed....

Just then I heard "You look like you could use a hand."  Two hikers with rock climbing gear had just showed up.  I nodded gratefully.  "There's a left toehold about a foot down and 18 inches to the left.  Ok now move your right hand down two feet.  Move a foot to the right ...." He talked me down to where my back was safely pressed against the traitorous granite.  I got to the bottom, collapsed onto the ground, breathing hard, limbs twitching, crazy brain chemicals spasming.  

They looked down at me, laughing, and headed off into the woods.  
 
pollinator
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elle sagenev wrote:I ripped all of the stickers off every breaker in the breaker box because quite a few of them were "wrong".......

I just always think if I go fast enough.........

I had no idea how to take the old faucet off and used force.....  




.....and yet the number of times I've seen 'professionals' resort to just these tactics! :-)    I recall agonizing over the kitchen sink repair since our water is harder than hexagonal diamond and the idea of unscrewing all of the connectors was giving me a migraine.   With a glint in his eye, random guy on YouTube demonstrated taking a Sawzall to the whole she-bang and cutting the pipe stubs just under the faucet plate.  Doing the same was easy peasy and the new faucet we hope will have the same 20-25 year lifespan as the last one.
 
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I had skunks living under my barn. I also had a wheelbarrow full of 4 day old ashes. I thought I could fill their entrance hole with the ashes and it would keep them from getting under the barn. Instead... Lol. I got the fire put out and saved the barn. The skunks eventually moved on.
 
master gardener
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Hi Julie,

I lived for 4 years in northern MN.  My wife and I developed 2 perverse habits.  The first was guessing who and how many people were going to put their truck up in flames by putting hot coals under their oil pans to start their cars in the winter.

The second was to guess who and how many people would ignore the access closed signs and drive their trucks onto the lakes to ice fish only to have their truck sink to the bottom of the lake because the ice was too thin.
 
John F Dean
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Hi Julie,

Welcome to the Permie site.
 
pollinator
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I rate my screw ups in blood/hospital visits.

Best dumb move, installing a shelf that needed "just a tiny corner" trimmed off; as I was day one in new place, saw was WHO knew where, so heck, it's just tiny, why not use the bread knife...held the board as you would using a saw, very carefully got the groove started (SOOO proud of my clever solution!) and am happily sawing away when the blade jumped...sliced my finger to the bone! Flushed the heck out of it under the tap, then with disinfectant, grabbed the tube gauze and a telfa pad, bandaged it up (tube gauze does a wicked job as a compression bandage) and headed to the hospital. Took three tries to get them to understand WHY I needed medical assistance I my bandage job was so good they thought it had already been dealt with! After they cleaned and stitched the wound they re-applied a tube gauze bandage, I took one look at their attempt and knew why they couldn't believe MY bandage job, theirs was dreadful! Went home, removed their attempt, and replaced it with my "professional" version. Guess being dumb DOES pay off, in bandaging skills!

I have a tendency to NOT take the time to grab a step stool or ladder...a handy bucket, or in this case a stump is just as good, right? NOT!

***WARNING: next story MAY be considered X-Rated by some***

I live where we rarely get snow...this was a rare snow event and the chain link roof on one of the animal pens was collecting snow on the tarp laid over the mesh, weighing it down in a frightening manner.  

Ran out in nightshirt and slippers with shovel to drag off snow, but alas, I was too short. No problem, grab that stump, it will give me the extra height needed! Climbed up, perfect, belly now even with top of enclosure, shovel away - until stump tips or slippers slid (never could figure THAT out) and I fell forward, as I slid down, right on to the pointy ends of the chainlink.

One point grazed my belly, nicking the edge of the belly button, sliding upwards, as I started to fall more backwards, but not quite so lucky as it reached my female chest which has this pair of protruding units, tipped with nipples! Damn thing dug into the underside, and tore up and through, for a good inch and a half, laying me open, completely bifurcating said nipple, and tagged me just on the tip of my chin for good measure!

How I didn't eviscerate myself or slit my throat, I will never know. But I sure shocked the crap out of the staff at the hospital when I showed up at 2am seeking assistance, perfectly calm, hand clamped to dressed wound that had bleed through, saturating my shirt...sadly the Doc on that night was baffled and refused to do anything but redress it and script out antibiotics. So I went home, hauled out the Steri strips, and went about the reconstruction.

I aproximated the wound edges as close as possible, on the under side and topside with Steri strips and paper tape; then ran a ring of Steri strips around the nipple, to hold the two sides together; took a stack of those cotton make up remover pads, cut out the center so I could redress the wound without smashing the nipple flat, slathered on the antibiotic ointment, and called it a day.

My family Doc was most impressed, three days later, said I saved myself from needing plastic surgery to correct what would have been a nasty mess of open wound/incorrectly healed wound had I left it alone as the first Doc advised.

Note to newbies, oldies and the accident prone: a well stocked first Aid kit, drawer and closet is critical; steri strips (tape closures in lieu of stitches), and tube gauze are your best friends. Make sure you know how to use them, and regularly practice using them, when not injured - I find I generally have about ten minutes before the pain REALLY kicks in.
 
Lorinne Anderson
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Learning Experience: when dumb move translates into "will never do THAT again!"

Mistake: when you skip or forget the experience you were SUPPOSED to learn from...

Try not to EVER make mistakes...life only gives you so many kicks to LEARN from your experiences before a MISTAKE costs you dearly!
 
John F Dean
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Hi Lorinne,

In my RN training I was never taught how to apply a bandage.   Fortunately, earlier in my life I had an old army nurse show me (do not interpret this to mean I was in the military).  

You are correct, in various manifestations humans have an amazing capacity for denial. A good friend of mine with a pharmacy degree is dead because he decided his pain was not that serious.

And, yes, the more remote you are, the better stocked your first aid kit needs to be.  For that matter, I am a firm believer in having fire extinguishers as well... lots of them.
 
steward
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Luckily I've never done anything incredibly stupid...  But my dad was struggling to get his furnace running after the pilot light went out.  I crawled down into the crawl space with him.  He was reading the directions off the label inside the removable furnace door and following them with increasing exasperation.  The last two were:  Reinstall door and turn it on.  He couldn't figure out why it wouldn't turn on.  So I reinstalled the door (which closed the safety switch) and then it started.  
 
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Where would I begin?!   Buying way to many meat chickens at once. The 100 pan fryers special! " But They were only 25¢ each". They were awful! 100 roosters ready to be butchered all at once.  They were fighting, they clogged the plucker, they were good only for soup and wings and legs.  Then there was buying100 broilers.  Even with them in pasture , do you know how much it costs to feed them? And  Two long days to butcher them for a couple of amateur.
Now we buy 50 broiler at a time several times a year.  We help neighbors butcher theirs and they help us.  
 
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What's a PTO??? Lol...
 
John F Dean
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Hi Andy,

Power Take Off

In its simplest form, think of the means to power to a lawn mower deck on a riding lawn mower.

In terms of homesteading, tractors often have more than one pto.  Mine has a drive shaft to run the belly mount mower deck. It also has a rear facing one to run add on machinery such as a roto tiller or a chipper.  Because injuries are often associated with the PTO, tractors have a safety mechanism to prevent starting the tractor while the PTO is engaged. Anyone routinely starting a tractor will reflexively put on the break, turn off the PTO, and put the transmission in neutral.  To have problems starting tractor because the PTO is engaged is sort of like not being able to open a door because you forgot to turn the knob.
 
Rob Lineberger
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Andy John wrote:What's a PTO??? Lol...



It's Paid Time Off.  On the farm, if you don't give your equipment its PTO, it revolts and stops working.

I don't know where they go but they come back with sunburns and those drinks with the little umbrellas in them.
 
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Picture this. I live in the desert. Getting ready to go rafting, the utility trailer is full. I had the trailer dolly still hooked up....Its 115 degrees and I am not a happy camper and I am tired from having to pack everything in one day, as well as get the farm ready for my leaving.  The truck is waiting for the hitch on the trailer.  I forget to jack down the wheel assembly on the hitch........I push on the dolly handle to release the hitch - The handle flies back and hits me square in the temple. I hear the "crack" of my head, then pass out.  Now I live very rural...it was the time before cell phones.  I wake up some time later, bleeding, and I know I am seriously hurt. And yeah, I have no phone, being deaf.  But I am not scared......as many who have read a lot of my posts.....I live my life, knowing something bigger than I am is the boss.  I am used to getting bailed out when doing something not quite smart.

I limped back into the house - just sat on the bed and did some Inner work. At this point, can't really see, and I have a really giant headache.  I just sat there for about 2 hours, doing the Inner work.  At some point, I just felt everything was going to be fine, and I laid down.  Three days later I was fine.  These things work out when you know who the real boss is.
 
Purity Lopez
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Thought this might be the time to mention some things people like us should always keep on hand........zipstich bandaids. Hard to find right now with the COVID situation, but could save your life.  They are sutures that can take the place of having to go to the hospital.  Basically bandaid on both sides, with little screw compressions between the two sides of bandaid.  3M Vetbond or Dermabond - vets use it to close wounds. Disposable skin stapler.  Steristrips for small lacerations.  Samsplints and roller bandages (for bone breaks).  Israeli bandage - Compression bandages for major traumatic injury. Quikclot.  Fish Flox - this antibiotic is made for fish so no prescription necessary - it is made in the same factory as the prescription stuff.  Iodine. Eyecup and sterile wash.  
 
John Weiland
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The wild plums are past their prime now, but a few good ones remain in the trees along the fence line. Can’t find a bowl to bring with...everything filled with tomatoes and peppers this time of year...so I grabbed the wire-mesh colander as I headed out the door. I was merrily picking plums from either side of the fence when the basket touched the very well-functioning electric fence wire!  Would have been a hoot to witness...the jolt caused my arm to fly upward sending my plums in all directions!

On hands and knees, half laughing and half swearing, I was able to recover most of them. Maybe they’re already half cooked on the way to jam...? 😎
 
John F Dean
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Hi Purity,

How much do the zip stitch cost?  I just keep regular sutures on hand. But, I can see a situation  where putting sutures in oneself might not be possible.
 
Purity Lopez
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@ John Dean.  You can't find them on Amazon anymore - they were pretty cheap before.  The only place you can find them now is on Ebay - 4 for $26.  But its one of those things I know you are familiar with, being a far urbanish person - and this goes under some of the stupid things I've done at times - thinking "oh, that is so much" then down the line having to spend a whole lot more to fix the situation I could have fixed a lot cheaper......if I hadn't been so cheap - LOL.  I am trying to get better at that - just biting the bullet, then I know I am covered. I tend to be rather bad about spending money on just me.  If its for a goat, a chicken, or a duck....I don't bat an eyelash....but buying something for me, and something I "might" use.....(laughs). So now I am trying to look at buying medical supplies as a "do I really want to wait 6 hours at a local hospital, waiting for someone to do something I can do myself" kind of thing?.  That makes it a little less of a guilt trip for me.

Yeah, I have a suture kit but what if something happens to my right hand and I need to sew it with my left (crosses eyes)?  I would look like Frankenstein by the time I got done.  The scuttlebutt is that the Zipstich works better than actual sutures - it leaves less of a scar.
 
John F Dean
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Hi purity,

I suspect many of us are not too good at spending money on ourselves.  I just put on a new pair of economy store boots only to have the soles drop off in a week.  I glued them back on.  Four days later they are coming off again.  

Yes, your view regarding the sutures are the same as mine.  They will be great ... as long as I can effectively reach the spot. That is why the product you mentioned interested me. Maybe 6  months ago someone on this site mentioned them, but I seem to remember a higher price.
 
pollinator
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I have lots, but I'll skip the bloody ones and go to one that merely makes you shake your head.  I decided I would like to try growing orange trees.  I didn't want to spend the money to buy a couple oranges (probably a dollar), and I knew where some orange trees were growing.  It was only about 45 minutes away.  So, off I go.  45 minutes there, grab a couple oranges, 45 minutes back.  Get my pots filled with planting soil and ready to go... Yep, seedless oranges of course.
 
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I'll just leave this here.
IMG_20200902_075752__01.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG_20200902_075752__01.jpg]
 
Rob Lineberger
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It's been awhile since I've posted something stupid.  Not counting the "Peen and sharpen a scythe" BB of course.  

Anyway I was considering an Appalachian Trail solo hike so I was doing a lot of backpacking and ultralight gear tweaks.  I got deep into alcohol stoves.  Back then there wasn't a wealth of information on these.  Aside from two tried and true designs (the SuperCat and the Penny Alcohol Stove) you pretty much had to experiment and see what combination of stove/pot/stand/windscreen worked for you.

The SuperCat is a catfood can with holes punched in it.  How barbaric!  But the Penny Alcohol Stove... thing of beauty.  Three sections pf pop can friction fit together, a pressurized ring of blue flame jets, a copper penny as a pressure regulator.... This thing was like a gas stove burner in your pocket.  An engineering marvel.  I was all in.  So much so that I'm credited in the official stove instructions.

I took it on several camping trips and hikes, making coffee and oatmeal and what have you.  But I grew restless. I started to experiment.

Part of designing alcohol stoves is side by side testing.  You have to set up a few stoves, light them, and see how long they take to boil water.  So I went onto my back porch and set up a few.  Primed them each with 3/4 ounce of alcohol and  timed the boil. But it started to rain.  Strike those results.

The house I was in at the time had a huge, ancient, white enameled stove with a huge expanse of bare stovetop to the side. A perfect place to resume the experiment.  

I took my trusty penny stove back out and primed it with 3/4 ounce of alcohol, and lit it.

There was a silent pop and a whoosh.  A nanosecond later the walls resounded with thunder.  A perfect arc of blue fire was burning from my kitchen floor, up the wall, across the ceiling, along the stovetop, and then.... huh.  My hand's on fire. I lifted my hand up to my eyes and watched in fascination as my hand burned with blue flame.  Dimly I was aware that my ears were ringing, and that I smelled singed hair.  

That's when my brain caught up. I doused my hand under the faucet.  I batted at my smouldering eyebrows and the line of blue flame across my chest, which was starting to eat charred holes through my fleece.  I wetted a dishcloth and smothered the flames on the walls and ceiling.

Then I noticed the crumpled pieces of the stove, and the nasty red welts on my hand, and realized that I'd been inside of my first explosion!  I felt kind of proud.

It turns out that the penny stove is a pressurized design.  Everything is fine unless you light it twice in a row.  There might still be pressurized gasses in the chamber, and relighting it instantly combusts and expands the new alcohol, which has nowhere to go.  

My SuperCat stove has been serving me well for years.

 
John F Dean
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My wife always orders more plants than I can put in the ground.
 
pollinator
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Chad Kovac wrote:I'll just leave this here.



Wait, that's the tire from the other thread!  :>)
 
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So if your adult son is visiting from Minneapolis or other place that they ride bicycles regularly all year long, and he says, "C'mon down here"...you should not assume he means you can do this.  At the time I had a bike with coaster brakes, got really scared and put my feet down which effectively meant I had no brakes.  I ran into a short rock wall and broke my elbow.  My son days, "I meant get off your bike and walk down here."
 
John F Dean
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Hi Chris,

Not to start anything, but have you checked your life insurance policies and is your son mentioned?
 
John F Dean
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Hi Phil,

Thanks for making sense of Chad's picture.
 
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Gotta say, the dumbest thing I’ve done to date is to get day old chicks in the winter. Very cute in a box in my kitchen at first, then less cute in a large bin in my basement, then an absolute nightmare breaking out of the box and pooping all over the basement. Thank God for the warm snap which allowed me to transition them all outdoors. Never again, there’s a reason most places only sell them spring to fall.
 
John F Dean
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Hi Andrea,

I must admit I get a great visual image.  
 
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John F Dean wrote: You are correct, in various manifestations humans have an amazing capacity for denial. A good friend of mine with a pharmacy degree is dead because he decided his pain was not that serious.



I'm so sorry to hear about your friend... if it weren't for great ol' modern technology I could very well have lost my first born due to downplaying pain.

She was most definitely born prematurely because I thought the labor pains were nothing.

Midwife: "Does it hurt to where you feel like you can't go about your daily activities?"
Me: "No, I barely notice it at all!"
Midwife: "Okay, it's probably Braxton Hicks contractions."

Lo and behold... they were legit contractions! Oops!

Note: It helps to have a general idea of your pain tolerance before having a kid... I had no idea I had a high pain tolerance, in fact, I always thought I was a weakling due to some silly childhood traumas of being called a sissy.
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