Friday, January 28, 2011

Oh the Anticipation!!!!

I'm already getting anxious and I'm only 24 weeks!!!! No matter how many babies I have, it's still soooo exciting!!! Especially since I'm looking forward to a homebirth this time. I downloaded 3 different playlist from iTunes. One is for early labor. It has a couple of Allison Krause songs... One of which is mine and Scotts song... When You say Nothing at All and one called I Will. I also found a track of her singing Baby Mine, from the Dumbo movie. The others are from a group called Celtic Woman... They are very angelic. I found a track of them singing You'll be in my Heart, from Tarzan. That was Joshuas favorite movie when he was a toddler. We bought that movie on VHS three time because he kept wearing it out. I can't count the number of times he would curl up in my lap when that song was on. It still brings tears to my eyes. I want the early part of my labor to be an intimate time for me and Scott.

My birth playlist I chose for the time I'm in the tub has more of an earthy, tribal feel to it. Ironically, one of the albums I bought is called water birth. The artist calls herself a tunnel singer. She uses acoustics along with her voice to create beautiful music. There are no words though. This album was recorded at a place called the Cistern... Not Sistine... Chapel. It's a two-million-gallon underground, water tank--at Fort Worden, near Port Townsend in Washington state. http://www.tunnelsinger.com/ptstory.htm  Pretty cool stuff. I also got the soundtrack to a documentary called Orgasmic Birth. Again the tracks I chose have no word... Just music accompanied by womens voices. 

My third playlist is for after the baby is born. It's mostly instrumentals of classic lullabies and Disney songs. My favorites are from Fred Molin. He uses a lot of different instruments. I have a couple that are guitar only and Amazing Grace on piano. Lastly, I have Louis Armstrong singing It's a Wonderful World and Iz's version of Somewhere over the Rainbow.

I play my first list when Scott gives me massages. I practice relaxation and visualize myself in labor. I've never really used a breathing "technique"... Just deep breathing, whatever feels right and relaxes me at the time. I mostly just go inside myself during a wave. At this point it's not as much about escaping from any pain. I don't relate pain to childbirth. It's  relaxing to allow my body to open up so that I can meet by new baby.

Everytime I take a bath I listen to my birth music. At this time the waves will be more intense when I'm actually in labor. It's labor land time! When I think back on past labors the only way I describe it is, other worldly, completely in the zone. Nothing else exists at this time. The water let's me be at one with my baby. Each wave swells then recedes like the ocean. In between I am relaxed but I don't quite come back completely to this world like in early/active labor. Then the most anticipated moment arrives. In the past my bliss has always been interrupted. As soon as I felt the least bit of pressure I was forced out of my own internal womb, into the cold. Where I was put in the least comfortable position to be checked DURING a wave by a nurse, then confirmed by my dr and my membranes ruptured. This time I get to just continue listening to my body. There is no question when it's time to push nor is it a decision. The overwhelming urge is incredible. Women are conditioned to fear this moment but I welcome it. It's such a relief getting to actually DO something rather than simply letting it happen. Did you know that when you actually feel the baby come down and begin to stretch your perineum, it is THE biggest surge of oxytocin, the love hormone, you will ever be able to experience in your whole entire life. This same hormone is what gives breastfeeding mom such a relaxed, good feeling when they nurse, further increasing their bond. AND it's the hormone responsible for the big "O"! That's why women who give birth naturally report such a euphoric state afterwards. Endorphines also come into play here. Scoring the winning touchdown in the superbowl can't compare to the high a woman receives from natural childbirth

Wow... The rest of my post is going to seem boring after that... I may need to go take a cold shower! Lol

Anyway, where was I... Oh yeah... Playlists. I listen to my baby one at night when I winding down to go to sleep. I hold my phone close to my belly so she/he can hear too.  I picture holding and nursing my new baby in my own bed in those first precious moments while I'm still filled with all those wonderful hormones!

I can't wait!! I've already gotten most of the stuff I need for the birth. All the diapers, tee shirts, and blankets are washed. Since we don't know the sex of this baby yet, I got a pack of little girly hats and ordered some newborn bows from eBay... 12 for 1.89. The rest is unisex. Plain white tshirts. I went through Ronan and Raidens stuff and picked out all the yellow and green outfits.  I bought an in bed co-sleeper. I didn't buy anything new for the main floor nursery. I wanted to fix it up though. I took some extra stuff from Summers room and decorated it girly. It'll be easy to switch back if it ends up being a boy.  


 I don't know what I'm going to do for the next three months or so! I think after being SOOO sick for the first 20 weeks, it's just now really sinking in. I feel great, feeling the baby kick and squirm. Not so big that I'm uncomfortable, but big enough to be cute! I guess I need to just sit back and enjoy it. With my history of going early I plan to put myself on a modified bed rest from about 32-34 weeks until 37 weeks any way. It'll be good that I got prepared early. The next milestone to look forward to is the begin of my third trimester. It's going to be a LONG 4 weeks!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Let's go Couponing!!!

Thx to Misti's motivation, I picked up a Sunday paper today and went online and found a bunch of coupons. Between ads and coupons I've got a list together for our local grocery store Martins. I'll prob spend about $65 w/$45 in savings... 40% off groceries! Not bad for a beginner. 

My best find is Raisin Bran Cereal for $.60!!!! The store has it 2/$4 and i was able to print 2 $.70 off coupons from Kelloggs website which the store will double. 

Next would be 8 boxes of Poptarts and 6 boxes of cereal for $17... Roughly $1.22 a pc. The store has kelloggs crunchy nut cereal 2/$5 and the redplum insert in the paper had $1 off. I'm getting a second coupon from Scotts grandma, then the store also has kashi cereal 2/$5... Which Scott loves and our Walmart has stopped carrying for some reason so I'm getting 4 boxes, then... The store has poptarts 2/$4 and I printed 2 $1 off 3... The store also has a deal where if you buy 7 of these products, you get $5 off your purchase... Since I'm doing everything twice for a total of 14 items... I get $10 off! 

Other stackables are $1 off coupon for meatballs they have on sale and $.50 off 2 fruit rollups they have 2/$4.  

They also have B1G1 on dole salad blends, Tyson nuggets, bread, and chips that we use all the time anyway. 

Just on sale they have Ragu and Texas toast to round out a couple of spegetti dinners that will end up costing about $8 per meal for spegetti with meatballs, salad, and Texas toast! And we will have leftovers! How great is that for a family of 7!!!!! 

I'm also getting 5 12pks of coke products for $10. $20 worth of Eucerin products for $10. And crest pro health rinse for free, All at CVS using their extra bucks program. 

I subscribed to the Sunday paper and follow pennypinchinmom to find online coupons and I signed up for a free trial of All You Magazine from Walmart that is suppose to have a lot of coupon in it. I will print/clip all the coupons I'll use, but file them until they are on sale somewhere or about to expire. Since we have came up with such an awesome chore schedule, I'll have time every Sunday... Our day of rest.... To coupon. Here's to saving money!!!!!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Adventures in Babywearing

Once again I am using excerpts from an old post... This one was on Myspace about a busy week I wanted to share... I left out some parts. I decided to leave in the part about Babymoon because it did lead to a sling purchase and I just loved the place. Mother Nurture also has played a roll in my life... It's more than just a shop. It's a support place. I learned more about homebirth, extended breastfeeding, and cloth diapering there too. I once stopped in there just to hang out with all my kids and nurse Ronan while waiting to get everybodies hair cut down the road!  I'm getting off tract aren't I? Oh yeah... Babywearing.... The start...

Monday I decided to buy a sling carrier because Ronan has hit that 6 week peak fussy time and I can't seem to get anything done! So I went online to buy a peanut shell from Target.com but thought I would try to find one locally so I didn't have to wait for it to be shipped... I found that I could get it at 2 shops in Lexington.  I got everybody ready...fed them....fed and changed Ronan.... then got out the door.  Unfortunately by the time I got to Lexington both shops had closed!  We went to Barnes and Noble and got some books so it wouldn't be a completely wasted trip then went home and put everybody to bed.

Tuesday while the big kids were at school me and Ronan went back to Lexington... we went to a little shop called Mother Nurture... they had all kinds of slings, wraps and carriers that you could try out before you bought.  I always thought that the wraps looked too complicated with all that fabric to be worth it... but after trying it on and seeing how cozy and secure Ronan was in it and how comfortable it was for me... I decided to buy a Mobywrap.

I noticed there was a place next door called Baby Moon... during my pregnancy I had come across this place online... they hold all kinds of classes for pregnant and postnatal moms... I would have liked to have done the prenatal yoga or belly dancing classes but I had the other three kids home during the summer while I was pregnant... I had forgotten all about the place until I saw it.  I When I got home I went online and took a look at their class schedule and decided I would try out ther mama and baby yoga class that they hold every Wednesday.

So Wednesday me and Ronan went to yoga... it was awesome.... there where probably 10 or 12 mommies and babies there ranging from six weeks to six months.... it wa so laid back... the instructor kept a slow pace and you just chimed in and out as your baby permitted... everybody was either participating in the yoga... nursing... bouncing their baby on an exercise ball.... or whatever they needed to.  The first part of the class the focus was more towards the moms and you just laid your baby in front of you... then we did a lttle baby yoga with some infant massage.. then the last part of the class integrated mommy and baby.  After class one of the moms stood up and said "Does anyone want to go to lunch".... I was like heck yeah!  About eight of us went to Peneras... we sat outside and ate and talked... it was wonderful.... real adult conversation... and there was no need to feel self conscious about BIP... there's strength in numbers!  One of the moms was using a New Native sling.. I decided as I ate with one hand, that it would be nice to have one of those for quick trips and unexpected times... so I stopped and got one on my way home. I can't wait until next week... I'm definitely going to sign up for more classes... I'll keep everybody posted!
Raiden

Friday we went on a walking field trip with Summer's class to the fire department and Dairy Queen... this is actually Ronan's 2nd field trip... we went to the pumkin patch when he was 3 weeks.  I decided to go ahead and take the stroller and throw the sling in the diaper bag... but I wish I had just put the Moby Wrap on before I left the house and just used it... having the stoller was a pain in the butt... thank goodness I did have the sling because if I hadn't I would have had to push the stroller one handed on the way from the station to Dairy Queen and then back to school.  I was able to nurse using the sling with no problem... although I did feel the need to support his head a little with my arm to keep him at the right level.

Yesterday we took the whole family to a pumkin patch in Georgetown... they have a play ground with huge slides, a castle made of hay, rat races, a big wheel figure eight, and a corn maze.  I used the Moby wrap this time... I think I could've nursed in it just fine but he had pooped so I was going to have to take him out anyway... since I had Scott with me I went to the car and nursed in the A/C... he was knocked out afterwards so I decided to lay him in his carseat/carrier and use the stroller.. I knew Scott could push it if I needed him to and I had the sling with me if I wanted to be able to just throw it on real quick.

I bought a Gypsy Mama water wrap for our Hawaii trip when Ronan was 7 months. I also made my own out of sarongs I bought.












I ended up using my wrap the most. I used it everytime we went to Walmart. The sling was good for quickies or nursing discretely. Like when we would go to the dr or a ball game or practice... When I didn't have to do a lot of standing or walking. When he was real little sometimes I would "wear him down" in it.  Meaning put him in it at home when he was fussy and walk around or do housework until he fell asleep.  Then with it, it is very easy to slip out of, leaving baby in, a lay him down without disturbing him.  As he got bigger the Moby was too stretchy to be comfortable for me and it's not supportive enough for back carries. I went back to Mother Nurture of course and got a Mei Tei.. It's an Asian style carrier.  
 
Then I got pregnant and needed something I could do a hip carry in that didn't tie across my waist. This time I got a ring sling. Unlike the pouch new native sling you can adjust the back support in it. I ended up using it the most with Raiden.  It does hurt my shoulder after a while though
.













I've decided to get a Gypsy Mama Gauze wrap for this baby. They aren't as stretchy, are lighter weight for the summer, and can be bought in shorter lengths. I've been watching a lot of YouTube videos and they are quite versatile. Happy babywearing

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

To Spank or Not to Spank

This is were i get kicked out of the attachment parenting club. I find that style helpful with babies but not defiant children. I have really struggled with writing this post. The first part is a post I made myself on Cafemom right after Ronan was born. It was hard for me to put it on here without editing it because I actually don't agree with myself on some of it. I had just had an awesome natural birth, on which I was criticized about on Cafemom for allowing my dr to strip my membranes and breaking my water. I was just learning about AP, had read Dr. Sears book. I think I was trying very hard to "fit in" in this online community. I ended up abandoning Cafemom. It turned out to be full of to many extremes for me. With all the Lactavist, intactavist, hardcore APers. Yes, I'm a breastfeeding advocate, but I'm not going to tell another mom she's feeding her baby poison if she chooses formula.  Three of my boys are circ'd and one isn't, so I'm definitely not going to accuse someone else of butchering their son! Point is as parents we all do our best with the information we have at the time. This isn't a test, there aren't right and wrong answers. As long as you are loving, and making the choice you feel is best for your family, you can't fail. We should encourage and help one another, not judge and criticize. I was also high on oxytocin when I wrote the original post. I hate to say I'm more nurturing when I'm breastfeeding... But I am.  So here it is....

I'm on the fence with this subject... I agree that kids today seem to be much less respectful but it also seems like there are a LOT more parents that still believe in spanking than not... Don't misunderstand me... I am NOT advocating the extreme spanking most of our parents and grandparents used but I think in order for any disipline to work it has to be full on.  Back in the day parents didn't worry about having a relationship with their children... this is not to say that those kids didn't develop a respect for their parents later on and form a close relationships.  When you did something wrong you knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that you were gunna get your butt busted... so you didn't do it... and they didn't just use a liitle tap on the butt... it HURT. There were no one, two, three chances. So I don't think spanking is an effective form of disipline when used arbitrarily... either use it all the time... or reserve it for EXTREME meassures, or don't use it at all.  I think... HOPE... that other form of disipline are effective for most behavior problems if used consistantly.  IMO that is our biggest down fall as parents today... we are not consistant.I agree that not all kids can handle this type of punishment... and that some have and do suffer from it.  I also agree with the part of the article that says parents sometimes spank as a way to release their own frustrations. I also agree that spanking can lead to violent behavior.   I am not making lay statements... I am a mother of four who is struggling to find the right method for my family... I have spanked all of my older three children and I'll have to admit that it has not worked for us... plus I am constantly dealing with the issue now of my kids hitting each other.  I try to explain to them that it is not their place to disipline each other but when one does something the other does like their first reaction is to hit the other.  My husband and I say to each other all the time that we don't understand... we would have never behaved the way our children have at times.  I'm not saying that I gave birth to a bunch of hellians... they can be really good kids.. but we do have our issues.. I won't go into all that right now though.  I am currantly looking for something that will work for our family that I can use consistantly... but I can't let that thing be spanking... I want my kids to repect me without fear of me inflicting pain on them... and I can't take the constant fighting in my house anymore... this has to be a hit free zone. I can't promise that I will Never spank Ronan(my youngest) for EXTREME things.. but I hope not... I hope that I can find something else that works... my relationship with my kids is very important to me... I know you can't be your kids best friend all the time but theres GOT to be something else that TRUELY works... cuz I've got news for you ladies that only have one... or haven't been through it all yet... an occasionall spanking doesn't work!

When I decided to revisit the subject I got online and tried to research. There are plenty of "studies" that show adverse effects of spanking. The problem is none of them are scientific. The people looked at come from an era when it's hard to find ANYbody who has never been spanked. Sure, ask a mass murderer if he was spanked as a child... I'm sure he will say yes. But how many well adjusted citizens, or even Nobel peace prize winner were spanked as well. I was.  Maybe the murderer was spanked more often but chances are he wasn't a very good kid!  Remember we are just talking about spanking, not abuse. In January 2010 a study was released claiming to be more scientic than any previous study. http://www.network54.com/Forum/198833/thread/1262937031/1263592600/Pro-Spanking+Studies+May+Have+Global+Effect
So is spanking actually beneficial when used correctly. But what is correct... 

I so many times in the past, when my kids were misbehaving wondered where I went wrong. The only thing I think I did wrong was not turn to God sooner for guidance. All of the character qualities I want my children to have are outlined in the Bible. It's my job to teach them. I don't think my kids hit each other because of an occasional spanking. I think they hit because the majority of them are aggressive boys, and I failed to teach them self-control.
So what exactly does the Bible say about spanking. 

Prov 13:24: "He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes (diligently)."
Prov 19:18: "Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying."
Prov 22:15: "Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him."
Prov 23:13: "Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die."
Prov 23:14: "Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell (Shoel)."
Prov 29:15: "The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame."

Some people argue that King Solomon who wrote proverbs was a tyrant and look how his son turned out but the Bible tells us God gave him great wisdom. 

Solomon prays:

"Give Thy servant an understanding heart to judge Thy people and to know good and evil."1 Kings 3:9 [9]

"So God said to him, 'Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, I will do what you have asked...'" (1 Kings 3:11-12)[9] The Hebrew Bible also states that: "The whole world sought audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom God had put in his heart." (1 Kings 10:24) [10]

The old testament also advises a lot of stoning though... So you decide. 

Anyway, this is what we have come up with for our family. We have Bible study every evening to learn how to apply the fruits of the spirit to our lives. In our chore packs specific consequences are given. If morning pack isn't completed, that person has to do everyones bathroom chore in the afternoon. If the afternoon pack isn't completed, that person has to do everyones kitchen chore in the evening. If evening pack isn't completed, no bedtime snack! Timeouts are given for indirect disobedience... Or doing what you know you are not suppose to do. Grounding and loss of priveleges results after a third timeout in day. Direct defiances gets a count to 3, then a spanking. There I said it. I spank my kids. Or at least I would. They don't usually let me get to 3. I used redirection with Ronan, as I am doing now with Raiden until about 3. When I was sure he understood my direction, but started telling me no. Am I bad mom, I don't think so. Although, my kids do sometimes tell me I'm the worst mom in the world, when they don't get their way.  I figure they will have plenty of friends in their lifetimes, but only one mom.  My firmness is balanced with, love, gentleness and affection. My 12 year old son still likes to cuddle with me, as do all my kids. I don't yell and scream anymore, it's not necessary. Hopefully as my kids and I learn more from the Bible, discipline will become less and less. It seems like it has already and we are only two weeks in. 

Monday, January 17, 2011

My journey to attachment parenting

This post in itself has been an evolution. I originally wrote it after Ronan was born, then updated it after Raiden was born.  Now, Over a year later, I'm updating again! Sleeping arrangements have, and will always be, evolving at our house. As well as other aspects of my parenting. 

I've always leaned a little towards AP but I guess found it easier to follow mainstream. I don't think you can "spoil" a newnorn. Most are carried for 9 months in the womb so a few more months isn't going to ruin them... Just give them security. I was 21 when I had my first and only nursed for 3 months. I was working and going to school full time... I put myself before my baby. He slept in a bassinet next to our bed for his first 2 months and then moved to his own room in his own bed.  Luckily for the most part Joshua wasn't a cryer he started sleeping through the night at 9 weeks and if he did wake up I could give him a pacifier and he would drift right back to sleep.  Unfortunately, I did let him CIO a few times because I was too lazy to walk to his room in the middle of the night.  Now that I look back I see that it would have been much easier and better for him to have left him in our room. We moved when he was 18 months.  My SIL wanted her crib back so we bought a toddler bed... that worked for about a week then we decided to wecome him back to our bed.  He stayed there until he turned 5. 

Jacob was born when Joshua was 3. He had belly problems.  He couldn't lie flat so he slept in his carseat/carrier until he was 4 months at which time I stopped nursing. I later found out that he had been suffering from lactose overload.  He was an emotionally taxing baby... because of his belly problems that my pedatrician just coined "colic." He cried ALL the time. I put the poor baby in his own room and let him CIO because nothing I did seemed to work.  If only I had been more educated. He cries a lot to this day and I blame myself. When he was 6 months old I found out I was pregnant with Summer. We then moved Jacob to the bigger room in preparation for him and Joshua to eventually share a room. He was 2 1/2 when that happened. We moved him out of his crib when he was 3.  They slept together on a futon at first.  We got them twin beds shortly after, then bunk beds right before Ronan was born. 

Summer too, went to her own room when she was 2 months. I had created a beautiful nursery for her and darnit she was gunna use it. I got a lot less sleep than I could have had I not been being bull headed. I stopped nursing her at 6 months partially because we were starting to plan #4, partially for selfish reasons. Once she was out of her crib she slept on a little toddler couch bed in the boys room for a while and slept in our room in a recliner until she was 5 when she got a "big girl princess canopy bed." She had a special spot in our room that she liked to revisit up until we moved when she was 7.

I wrote this next part right after Ronan was born. I wanted to leave it but I'll update too. 

Now my older kids are in school and I have a brand new baby and am a lot more educated but am still learning. Ronans crib is in our room bumped up against our bed. I was an idiot for not co-sleeping with all of them. I love him being right there next to me and I even sometimes enjoy those late night feedings. I hope that I am able to nurse until he is ready to stop... stay in my room until he is ready to leave... never has to know what it is like to CIO... is worn unless he prefers otherwise until I'm not physically able... and is never spanked. I'm am going to write a separate blog on my experience with spanking and babywearing. I believe that I will be able to acheive these thing through the help and support of other moms like me.

My view on spanking is still on the fence. I have still resorted to it for discipline. I'll get to that post next. 
At 9 months Ronan was still not sleeping thru the night and nursing every 3hrs around the clock. So we started experimenting with other sleeping arrangements. Summertime had just started so we let Summer either sleep on the couch or in our room and put him in her room. He finally slept thru the night but wouldnt settle in good until it got dark and would wake up as soon as the sun came up. So we hung blankets on the window and that did the trick he started sleeping from 8 to 8. It was wonderful. When school started back we had to figure out something different so Summer could have her room back. We took the shelves down on one side in our walk-in closet and put his crib in there. That's where he stayed until we moved. 

One of the things that makes this house perfect for us is that it has a nursery off the master suite that doesn't have any windows! 

Ronan got only breastmilk until he was six months old. I ended up in the hospital with a kidney stone right before our trip to Hawaii. But that's a whole other story. He continued to nurse til he was 11 months and then just gave it up on his own. I started giving him solids at between 6&7 months. I bought a little purator and made my own bb food. Not because I think there is anything wrong with store bought but because I thought it was convenient and cheap. I invested a lot in good slings and wraps and think they are the greatest. I would see other moms in Walmart with their carriers in their buggies, holding their babies trying to console them and push the buggy at the same time. While I had mine snuggled up to my chest snoozing hands free. I even wore him in a ringsling when I was pregnant at the aquarium and zoo. 

Raiden of course sleeps next to us and nurses when he wants. I have had to supplement with formula a little because I haven't had the time to pump like I did with Ronan. Another big decision we made different with him is that we decided not to circumcise. Not anything major but we had problems with all of our other boys. After Ronans I had went online to see if his was healing right (he had the bell) and ended up coming across some things I had never even thought about. We just did it to our others because we thought that's what everybody did and that it was necassary. Not for any religious or personal convictions. I won't go into it all, it was not an easy decision but we decided that we weren't going to do it this time. I didn't have reservation with the others because I wasn't educated.  Having reservations, if something bad would have happened, although the chances are slim, I wouldn't have been able to forgive myself. It's kinda funny because he ended up being born with something called a tied tongue where the piece of skin under the tongue (frenulum) is short. Since he was gaining weight fine we decided not to have it clipped either. Scott joked that if he decides when he's older to have either one done, maybe he can get a two for one special. Lol

I said earlier that I began supplementing with Raiden. I did this so Scott could do a night time feed on the weekend and I could get a longer stretch of sleep. At six months Raiden decided he could wait for mommy. He flat out started refusing a bottle, even if it had breastmilk in it. No biggy, he was giving me longer stretches at night anyway. He started taking sippy cups with whole milk at 11 1/2 months. He stopped nursing on his own at 12 1/2 months. A week before I found out I was pregnant. 

Okay, now for the 2010-2011 update on sleeping arrangements. When we first moved in Joshua wanted his room in the basement. That didn't last long... He ended up at first sleeping on a mattress in the floor in Jacobs room. Then just in the bed with Jacob... Shhh! Don't tell anybody! 

When Raiden started sitting up on his own, which was at about 8 months. We had to move him out of the bassinet. I know it was long over due! I just wasnt ready to move Ronan out of the nursery off our room yet. We tried at first moving Ronan to the basement because it doesn't have windows. We turned the main floor nursery into a bedroom for Joshua but he still ended up sleeping with Jacob. For some reason Ronan refused to use the ceiling fan down there and since the AC isn't ran to the basement he would sweat really bad at naptime. Since Joshua wasn't using his room we moved Ronan in there and I put a blackout shade on the window. 

When I found out I was pregnant again, we again decided we needed to reassess. We moved Summer to the basement... She'll use the ceiling fan. Joshua and Jacob moved to Summers room. It's bigger and had more closet space. We put a queen size bed in there for them. Ronan doesn't nap anymore for the most part. We moved him to the boys old room... No blackout shade. And turned the little room back into a day nursery. We kept a twin bed in there though. 

My mom asked the other day where the new baby is going to sleep at night. Well, that will change a lot over the first year. We've never been real comfortable with a newborn actually IN the bed with us. I could've bought another full size crib to put next to the bed... Our last one got recalled, but I decided to buy an in bed co-sleeper this time. That a way i can put the baby between us up high and not have to worry about Scott rolling or covering him/her with our blankets. I'm not sure how long we will use it. I'm guessing 1-3 months then we will transition to the bassinet next to our bed. I like being able to place my hand on them comfortably in the early days. It helps both of us sleep. I'll push that as long as I can, 6-8 months. Then Raiden will have to move to the main floor with the rest of the boys. He'll be 26-28 months by then. He'll stay in his baby bed until he's 3 hopefully. Ronan was 2 1/2 because of the recall. I haven't decided yet if I'll move him in with Ronan or into the day nursery. It depends on whether I still want to use it for naps for the baby.... We'll see!

All in all, I think the best sleeping arrangement varies for every family. It depends on where everybody is getting the best sleep.  I don't think there is anything wrong with co sleeping long term... It's just not for us. I like transitioning mine to their own space when they start moving around so I don't have to worry about them getting up during naptime with me unaware. With so many kids I don't have the luxury of being able to nap with them. I have to use that time wisely!  We like gently teaching our babies... After 6-8 months... To fall asleep on their own. I begin by lying them down for naps and bedtime, awake but drowsy. I go back to them and give a binky, or pat them briefly as soon as they make a peep. Soon they learn that I didn't really leave them and would be there immediately if they need me. Sleep becomes a peaceful, restful state that they enjoy and do not fear. After they get used to being in a separate room every now and then they may protest going to bed by fussing a minute or two. As long as it doesn't last or escalate I leave them alone. Also at night once they are skipping the nighttime feeds, if they wake up, at first again I go to them immediately. Then after they are going to sleep initially on their own, I'll let them fuss a minute or two to give them a chance to put themselves back to sleep. This has worked like a charm for both Ronan and Raiden. I'll keep my finger crossed for this one!

The 7 baby b's

1. Birth bonding
2. Breastfeeding 
3. Bedding close by
4. Babywearing 
5. Being sensitive to babys cry
6. Beware of baby trainers (schedules)
7. Balance

I also like the 5 S's

1. Swaddling
2. Sucking
3. Swinging/swaying
4. Shhhhing sound
4. Side/stomach..... When you are monitoring

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Natural Childbirth - Part 2

After Summer God gave us a 5 year baby break. During this time is when I lent out my library. When I finally got pregnant with Ronan I went out and got a couple of new books. Most notably... Ina May's Guide to Natural Childbirth and Birthing from Within. I decided this time I was going to have a birthing plan.  Here's a copy...

Birth Plan
Clark Regional Medical Center
August/September 2009

    We realize that birth offers many surprises.  We are more than willing to work with the staff should circumstances arise.  These are our preferences if everything is going smoothly.  We hope that you are willing to work with us.  Thank you.

Labor:

Attendants:  Dad and/or babysitter are the  only ones permitted in the delivery room.
Setting:  Please dim the lights and be as quiet as possible.  Only ask me questions that others cannot answer.
Pain Relief:  Please do not even mention pain medication, we will let you know if it becomes necessary.
IV:  I prefer a heparin  lock.
Position:  I would like to be free to move about as I wish.
Cervical checks:  Kept to a minimum and performed in a position other than flat on my back if in intense labor.
Monitoring:  Continuous monitoring for a short time upon  admission  only please.  A portable Doppler may be used if necessary thereafter.

Birth:

Position:  I would like to try squatting/kneeling in the bed or whatever feels natural at the time.
Pushing:  I would prefer to push spontaneously with contractions.  Please no loud coaching , although  quiet encouragement is welcomed.
Delivery:  I would like to catch my own baby unless dad is present and wishes to.
Monitoring:  Handheld Doppler only if pushing becomes prolonged please.

After Birth:

Suctioning:  In my arms as necessary.
Drying:  Please hand me a blanket and I will dry and stimulate my baby.
Cord cutting:  Dad or I will cut the cord after it stops pulsing.
Placenta:  Bed can be taken apart for delivery of placenta.
Bleeding:  Please allow me to try breastfeeding before pitocin is administered.

Baby Care:

Newborn Assessment, ect.:  Please do not take my baby from me unless necessary until after I have breastfed to help minimize  my bleeding.  Perform all assessments possible in my arms.
Eye Ointment:  I would like to forgo the administration of eye prophylactics but if deemed necessary I would like to delay at least one hour.
Rooming:  I would prefer my baby not be taken to the nursery unless absolutely necessary.
Warming:  Skin to skin with a warm blanket covering both of us.  I would be willing to take the baby’s temperature periodically and if it drops to low, allow him to be taken to the nursery for warming.
Weighing:  I would like to accompany my baby when taken to be weighed.
Bathing:  I would prefer to bath my baby in my room.  Again, I will do temperature monitoring.
Visitors:  Only allowed in mother-baby room once we are settled.

Discharge:

After PKU screening, about 24 hours after birth.
   
Please discuss with us any of our request that you are unable to accommodate.

Thank You,


It was edited slightly between Ronan and Raiden but not much. I took out the part where I wanted to give the first bath. I really wanted to, but it was just something I ended up compromising. I considered a homebirth but I had been through so much with my dr at that point I thought I'd present him with my plan and see how he reacted.... He didn't bat an eye. He did ask that I bring in some research on catching my own baby. I printed some material from this website http://www.unassistedchildbirth.com/
And another I can't recall. I'm sure he wanted his butt covered "just in case".

Saturday, August 25th I started having a lot of braxton hicks contractions.  They weren't very stong or consistant, and then they just stopped. The same thing happend on Sunday night and all day Monday. I had a doctors appointment Tuesday... he checked me and I was 4cm dilated, 80 % effaced, and the baby was almost at 0 station. He went ahead and stripped my membranes and sent me home. After I got home I walked, and walked, and walked some more. At about 8 o'clock my contractions were coming pretty steady.  They still weren't intensifying and were only lasting about 30 seconds though. At midnight they started getting a little stronger so I started debating on calling my mom to come watch the kids.... I waited about an hour and then they started slowing down and I fell asleep. I really think that my anxiety over not having child care when it was time was causing my labor to stall.  My mom was at least an hour and a half away. In hindsight we could have taken the kids to the hospital until she got there but that would have left me alone so I didn't consider it.  I woke up at 6:15 to get the kids ready for school... I was still contracting but again nothing strong and nothing consistant. I told Scott not to go to work because I was afraid of my labor hitting hard and fast and him not making it home in time. At 11:00 I decided to call my doctor to see what he thought. He told me to come into the office so he could check me and see what, if anything was going on. We went straight over and found that I was now 5cm and the baby was at 0 station.  He sent me over to the hospital to be monitored. I had to go back by the house to get my bags then we got checked in at 12:30. My doctor came in at 12:45 and said he didn't think it would be wise to let me go home so he suggested we break my water to get things moving along... I agreed. Scott and I then started walking around the hospital. At 1:45 my doctor checked me and I was 6cm... my contraction still weren't painful at all so we walked some more. It was really nice.  We went to the cafeteria to get Scott some lunch.   At 3 my contractions started getting more uncomfortable.  We called to make sure my mom got the kids got off of the bus okay then headed back to the room. At 3:15 I got in the whirlpool. I was half afraid not walking would slow my labor down but I really wanted the opportunity to use the bath this time... with Jacob and Summer I didn't have time.

While in the tub it got to where I couldn't talk or listen though a contraction.  At about 4 I had two really painful ones. I started to feel a little nausious and told Scott to call for my nurse. I had two more before I could get to the bed. I could handle them okay while I was standing but when I had one lying down, when she was getting ready to check me, I thought I was going to DIE! I was thinking I was probably just now hitting transitions and I was going to be about 8cm... I was complete with a little anterior lip. The nurses all rushed out to call my doctor.  When the next contraction hit I told Scott to tell them I was pushing and I couldn't stop! He hesitated for a second not wanting to leave me then ran out told them and ran back. As he came back in the baby started to crown... I had rolled over onto my left side and was birting my baby all by myself!  I reached down with the next contraction and supported his head as I pushed.  The nurses came in when the head was about half out. Once I delivered the head one of the nurses reached in to do something... I'm not quite sure what but then the next contraction came and she back off as I pushed him the rest of the way out... as soon as I started pushing that time we noticed the cord was wrapped loosely around his neck so as he came out I held his head and shoulders in my left hand, let his body slip onto the bed and removed the cord with my right.

Ronan was born on August 29th at 4:18 into his mommy's loving hands... how awesome is that! He was 3 weeks and 2 days early, weighed 5lbs 14.5 oz and was 19 inches long! It was absolutely amazing!

The nurses just handed me blankets to dry and stimulate him with... he cryed right away.  They offered for me to suction him but I was afraid of being to timid to get him cleared out good and he sounded a little gooky.. so the nurse did it while I held him. We waited a good 5 minutes or so for the cord to stop pulsing before they clamped it and Scott cut it.

My doctor arrived at a little after 4:30.

They still ended up taking him for a few minutes before giving him back to nurse. My original plan wasn't specific on this... I didn't ask then for the delay in eye drops either.  While I ate dinner they took him to the nursery, got him clean up, weighed, and measured then brought him right back. Then it went downhill a little. They were packed that night so they said I would be staying in my labor room instead of a recovery room. At about 3 in the morning they came in and said they needed my room. I would be moving to a semiprivate room and Scott would not be allowed to stay with me. I was heart broken. I didn't want to stay alone so Scott went back to our house with the big kids and my mom came up to the hospital. He came back at about 8.  Our pediatrician ended up delaying our departure a little but we were home for dinner!

My pregnancy with Raiden was very stressful. The economy went in the toilet. They took away Scotts OT and we started getting nervous about him getting laid off. He ended up getting a job in WV... The town he grew up in. We put the house up for sale. He started July 13th... I wasn't due until September 13th. We decided the kids and I would stay in KY until the house sold or the baby was born which ever came first. Scott stayed at his Grandmas house in town that no one lived in. July 23rd after my drs appointment the kids and I went to visit. We got a call that day that we got and offer on our house. We went house hunting when we got there and found one perfect for our family. God is good.  Our closings were set tentatively for August 24th and 30th. School was starting in WV on the 24th so they would miss the first day or two. Now where was I going to give birth????!!! I NEEDED to have this baby by the 22nd. I prayed.  I desperately tried to convince my doctor, if my cervix was favorable to break my water, if I hadn't gone on my own by then! At my appointment on the 17th I was 3cm and 50% effaced. He scheduled me to come back in on Friday, he would strip my membranes but it was too early to break my water. I prayed some more.

Tuesday was pretty hectic. The kids had dentist appts at 8am then I had to take them to the health department to get TB test for school in WV. Ronan wasn't feeling good so I packed him around the whole time.

Wednesday was delivery day. As soon as I got up I ran to Sav A Lot for a few neccesities. The closing on our house had gotten moved up so I thought I might be in Winchester another week.

When Ronan went down for his nap I let Joshua sit with him while I took Jacob and Summer to Walmart for some things for the house.

After Ronan woke up we all went to The Childrens Place to get new jackets and a few new school clothes. Ronan still wasn't feeling good so eventhough I brought the stroller in, I still had to pack him. We also ran to Old Navy, and we had to stop back by Walmart for something I had forgotten earlier.

When we were leaving there I got a call from my realtor that I needed to stop by and sign the new contract. I signed it at 4:55pm. The office is next to a health foods store so I stopped in to pick up a couple of things that might help get things going. I needed a substitute since Scott wasn't in town and I couldn't take advantage of his prostaglandins!! Lol. Evening primrose is suppose to do the same thing and Red Raspberry Leaf Tea is suppose to help strengthen Braxton Hicks. I was talking to Scott on the way home and told him that maybe it was a good thing the closing got postponed because I didn't think I was going to go into labor by Sat and at least I'd still have a house to stay in. I said "I'm just not feeling it". But God always has his own plan, maybe I just needed to stop stressing about it.

When we got home I laid on the couch and Ronan was wallering all over me whining. It felt like he was running a fever so I gave him some Tylenol. Then he cuddled up on my belly. I was on the phone with Scott and I had a contraction. It was stronger than any of the others I had had thus far and I felt it "lower". I couldn't even follow the conversation we were having. This was at about 5:45. It seemed I bought those herbs for nothing!

I let Scott go and told him I was going to take a bath. I had another contraction then my stomach just started feeling taught and my lower back was aching. I called my sis at 6:24. She was going into work and I just wanted to let her know that I thought I might be going into labor. Called Scott at 6:36.

I updated FB at around 6:40 then got in the tub. It did help my back and let my uterus relax, then I started having regular contractions. At 6:53 I txt'd my babysitter and asked her if she could come stay the night with me just in case. She said she was eating dinner with her fam and then she would be over. I txt'd my sis at 7 and told her I had had 3 contractions since I had been in the tub and that I was going to try going for a walk. Usually if you're in false labor walking will make the contraction stop. If it's real labor it will intensify them. I called Scott back at 7:19. I had a couple of more in the tub then got out.

I got dressed in my labor clothes I had bought. It consisted of a black cotton skirt and a black nursing, sleep bra with a turquoise tank over it. I hate it that I didn't get a pic:( I put some make up on just in case. I think at this point I knew but wasn't admitting it to myself yet. I txt'd my sis again at 7:24.  I told her I was going for my walk and not to worry about me, my babysitter was on her way. Called Scott at 7:29 told him I was going to let my phone charge while I walked. As I walked the contractions just kept coming.

I called my babysitter at around 8 from the kids phone to see what was keeping her and to tell her I thought tonight was going to be the night. She proceeded to tell me that she was STILL eating and that her car had been overheating. I'm thinking to myself "so grab a gallon of water and come on!". Or find some other way to get here. I told her that she knew my labors didn't take long so she needed to let me know if she wasn't coming! I walked a bit more, stopped and talked to a neighbor, then decided I needed to make other arrangements.

My neighbor across the street is a nurse at the hospital I was going to be delivering at(not a labor nurse but a nurse). Summer plays with her little girl. She's lived there for years. We've always been neighborly and I thought maybe I could count on her in a pinch. At almost 8:30 I knocked on her door and asked if her teenage daughter could come stay the night with my kids. She asked how I planned to get to the hospital and I said I guess I'll drive myself or call a cab. She pretty much said over her dead body. That she would take me and stay with me. I said Thank you!

At 8:35 I txt'd my sis and told her these contractions weren't going away. That I was going to try and sit for an hour and time them. I tried but I couldn't sit. They were coming pretty much one right after another. At 8:46 she told me I should call the dr. I was like, not yet, I don't want to get there too soon!

At 8:52 My babysitter txt'd me to tell me she couldn't make it!!

At 9:01 I told my sis I was going to call the dr because they were coming so fast. Ironically I called my neighbor at 9:11. Scott called at 9:15 I told him we were about to leave. At 9:17 we left for the hospital. It's less than a 10 minute drive and I had 4 or 5 contractions on the way. The admitting lady asked how close together they were and I said about two minutes and my friend said "If that!!!"

I opted to not wear a hospital gown and stayed in my labor clothes. The nurse checked me and put the monitors on me just long enough to record a couple of contractions and Raidens heart rate through them. I was 4-5cm and 100% effaced. This was at about 10. I updated Scott and my sis. Then she gave me a hep lock just in case I needed pitocin afterwards.

My dr wanted to be called when I was 7-8 since he missed it last time. We ran me a bath in the whirlpool tub. I asked the nurse to check me before I got in. I was 7cm. I had been drinking apple juice and got sick. This was at almost 10:30. I got in the tub and it was heaven. Any tension that I had between contractions melted away. I updated Scott, my sis and FB!

I'm not sure how long it took for Dr. P to get there but he and the nurses waited outside the room for me to get out of the tub when I was ready. I started feeling a little bit of pressure so I got out. The nurse chk'd me and listened to Raiden through a contraction just by holding the lead to my belly. No belts. I was 9cm. Dr. P broke my water. Then everyone left me to labor and push at my own pace. Except my friend of course.

It was 10:53 at this point. I called Scott and put him on speaker phone. With each contraction I would bear down just a little to try and get him to come down. I tried kneeling in the bed through a few but it was too uncomfortable and not working for me. I decided to get back out of the bed.

After a few contraction standing I began to feel a great deal more pressure and got back in the bed. I sat semi reclined resting on my left elbow. With the next contraction I grabbed my right ankle and the urge to GET THIS BABY OUT came over me! I told Scott he was almost here. My friend asked if she should get the dr and I shook my head yes as the next contraction overwhelmed any control that I had and I pushed Raidens head out. At that moment Dr. P and the nurses entered the room. One more push and Happy Birthday Raiden!!! Unfortunately they felt the needed to check him out quickly so I didn't get to cut the cord. Turns out there were no complications. Apparently the sight of poop really freaked my doctor out though! You'd think he'd be use to it!

I nursed him, then my friend went with him to the nursery for a few. We met back in my recovery room. She stayed until 1 or 2, then she needed to get some rest before her 7am shift. I didn't really like it but I was more prepared to be by myself this time and dealt with it. Raiden roomed in of course. Scott had to go into work so he didn't get to leave for his 8 hour drive until 3 or 4. His dad was driving him.  I wasn't happy he wouldn't call in but he was worried about being a new employee. My mom and dad got to my house fairly early to relieve my friends daughter. They all came up to the hosp for a bit then my mom took the younger three home. My dad stayed until after dinner then he left and Joshua stay with me. Scott finally got there at about midnight. Our pediatrician was adamant that we had to stay at least 24 hours and since they wouldn't discharge me at night I had to stay a 2nd night. At a little after midnight they came and got him and said they needed to get his vitals. I dosed off after a bit... hours later he still wasn't back. I was very upset. I sent Scott to find out what was going on. They said they were waiting to get his hearing test. I was experiencing separation anxiety all over again and was sobbing. In the morning we had to wait on our pediatrician once again so we didn't get out of there until noon.

When I first got pregnant this time, I thought I would try a CNM in a hospital. I thought we would have these nice long appointments where we would get to know each other on a more personal level. This was not the case. I felt like I was just going to a female ob. I started getting nervous about what my experience would be like at this hospital. Afterall, I was at a VERY supportive hospital before and still had to deal with things not going my way. I asked Scott what he thought about doing a homebirth this time. He said he thought I was crazy. Then I had him watch Ricki Lake's documentary, The Business of Being Born. It completely changed his view. I think he'd be more afraid of taking me to the hospital at this point! I have found a wonderful midwife that spent 3 hours with me at our initial consultation. I am so exited to have an intimate labor with Scott in the comfort of our own home. To not have to get out of my nice warm tub to birth my baby. The only real pain I felt when in labor with Raiden was when I was being checked and when they were breaking my water. I may not have my midwife check me at all this time and we plan to let my water break on it's own.  Hopefully I can achieve a true pain free birth! The waves of labor are not painful if you give in to them and do not fear them. Gods design is perfect if it is respected!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Natural Childbirth - Part 1

When I had my first I didn't even consider a drug free birth. I didn't want to feel anything... I was terrified. We took a Lamaze class because I knew labor would start at home and I wanted to be prepared for the time before I got my epidural. 

I was due July 2nd but I really wanted a June birthday so I decided on the night of the 29th to try mineral oil to get things going. BIG mistake!!! I woke up at around 2:30 am with horrible intestinal cramps and back pain. I took a bath, then the contractions started. 

I got to the hospital at 4:30. I was only 2cm and completely effaced. I had been 2cm and 80% at 38 weeks! They gave me stadol(sp?) as soon as I got there because I was in so much pain. I was breathing through the contractions like I had learned in Lamaze but I did not feel in control. My Dr came in at 7:30 and immediately broke my water. I was 3-4 cm. I was really in pain then, so they gave me more stadol. The  anesthesiologist came in at 8:30 and gave me my epidural. He told me to be sure and tell him if I had any tingling. I told him I felt a tingle shoot down my left leg but he didn't say or do anything about it. My family came in but I was so out of it, I didn't know what was going on. They checked me again at 10:30 and of course I was still 4 so they put me on pitocin. They came in and increased it every 30 minutes. By noon they had it up to 48. Checked me at 12:30, I was 5cm. I guess that still wasn't fast enough for them. Maybe they were afraid I wouldn't go in time for the dr to get home in time for dinner.  They had me lie on my side and cranked it up to 60 then to 72. They checked me again at 1:30, I was 8. Then by 2 I was complete and started to push. I remembered what my Lamaze instructor said and pushed with my abs like I was trying to pop a seatbelt off. It worked. I only pushed for 25 minutes. Two hours later I finally got to hold and nurse him. He did good despite the separation and delay. 

By the time they moved me to my recovery room I had begun to get the feeling back in my right leg but not my left.. The one with the tingle. I didn't see him again until 7:50. I don't recall what time... And didn't write it down.. He went back to the nursery. They brought him to me every few hours to nurse. I was exhausted and hung over so I slept. Scott had to carry me to the bathroom because I didnt regain feeling in my leg completely until 7 the next morning! The second night was horrible. I was more coherent. I had started getting severe separation anxiety.  The nursery was on a separate floor but I still went to check on him. He was lying in his little bed alone... Squalling! I went back to my room sobbing and made Scott go get him!  

All in all it wasn't a bad experience... I brought home a healthy 7lb 12oz baby boy. It just wasn't great. 

I'm using the term natural childbirth loosely. A better term would probably be drug free birth. It's nearly impossible to go to an ob and hospital and not receive any interventions. Stripping the membrane and artificially rupturing the membrane being the hardest to resist. 

When I got pregnant with Jacob I was staying home taking care of Joshua. I had more time to research. Scott and I loved going to Barnes and Noble to hang out, browse and buy books. I lent out my library... And didn't get it back. So I don't remember what books I had that swayed me. But I knew I didn't want a repeat of last time. I wanted to be present. I didn't want my water broke early and I didn't want pitocin. Above all, I did NOT want an epidural! I kept a little bit of an open mind because I didn't want to feel like a failure if I didn't make it. I told Scott not to ask me if I was OK... Which he had a habit of doing... Because it might make me doubt myself. And for no one to offer or even mention pain medication. If I decided I needed it I would ask for it! I also decided if I were less than 5cm when I got to the hospital, I wasn't staying. 

I went over and over it in my mind... I read that 2nd labors are typically half what your first was. 12 hr average for 1st so 6 hrs for 2nd. I wrote down, and still have what I might be dilated at each hour of labor. I started having complete faith in my body... Gods design. 

Joshua and I weren't early risers but when we did get up I started feeling like I was having some pre labor contractions. It was 3 weeks before my due date but I just had that feeling.  I thought, "If I'm going to have a baby today... I need some groceries!" So off to Walmart we went. Everytime I would pick up something heavy I would have a contraction. Not painful, but enough to make me pause. In the parking lot while I was loading into my car the guy getting the carts noticed me and I asked if I need help. Normally I would politely decline but this time I accepted. He even got Joshua out of the buggy for me! I had to drive past my doctors office on the way home so I pulled into the parking lot. I thought maybe I'd just run in and see if he would check me to see if I was in labor. The lot was empty, I remembered they didn't do office visits on that day. So I drove on home. I got all the groceries in, put away the cold stuff, and left the rest on the kitchen floor. Joshua had fell asleep on the way home. I laid back in the recliner where I had done all my visualizing. I dozed off for a bit. I woke up at 1:11 and timed my first real contraction. It still wasn't painful it just felt more intense.  I relaxed as much as I could. When Joshua woke up I called my neighbor and she came over and got him. I called Scott then I called my dr at about 3:30. My contractions had started coming every 2-3 minutes. Scott pulled in the drive way at 4:15 and I hopped in. I started feeling a little pain when I got in the car but I was on top of it. 

It was 4:45 by the time I got registered and they checked me. I was 5cm!!!! Yay!!! I found out when I got there my GBS had came back positive so they had to hook me up to an IV. They almost gave me penicillin... Which it clearly stated in my chart I am allergic to. Luckily I was with it this time and caught it before she hooked it up.  At least I could still get up an go pee! At 5:30 I threw up... Then I thought my water had broken. At my 20wk ultrasound I had a low lying placenta. They checked again at 28wks and said it had moved up but I guess not quite high enough because it was blood not water. A nurse checked me at 6 and said I was 6cm but 15 minutes later my dr came in and checked and said I was 8. He broke my water.... He said he wanted to make sure there wasn't blood in the amniotic fluid. There wasn't. At this point i was think to myself that I was crazy for not getting an epidural! I then reminded myself that this was transition and it was almost over.  Checked again at 6:30... I was 9. They started "prepping" me. I was up in stirrups and started pushing at 6:39. He was born at 6:43! They did take him to the warmer to do a few things but I got to nurse him by 7. The labor was a little chaotic. But I was on the high of my life! Elation! I had pain but it was manageable and for a short amount of time. 

They took him to the nursery. I cleaned myself up and walked over and watched him for a bit then went to my recovery room and ate. I went back to the nursery just as he was getting ready to get his first bath. The nurse let me come in and video it. It was a good experience. I thought it was great at the time with all the oxytocin and endorphins coursing through my body!

Summers birth was remarkably similar to Jacobs. A little better. 3 checks in 2hrs verses 5. Scott left for work at about 6:15. I was trying to go back to sleep when I had a contraction that felt a little different than a Braxton Hicks. I got up and went to the bathroom and had a little bloody show. Nothing like with Jacob. I called Scott just as he was walking in the office and told him to come on back home. I stood and swayed through my contractions. I had more that way but they weren't as uncomfortable. At 8:15 I had a little more bloody show. We decided to head for the hospital. 

I was 5-6cm when I got there. It was 4 weeks before my due date this time so my GBS results hadn't came back yet. Luckily, since I went so quickly last time, they didn't bother with the antibiotics. They did however give me a heplock. At 11 I started to get VERY uncomfortable and decided to labor stand up again. I got sick, the nurse came in and checked me. I was 8. About 10-15 minutes later my dr came in. I was 9 and "stretchy" so he broke my water and I started pushing. Five minutes later at 11:44 she was born. She was laid immediately on my chest but then taken to the warmer to be assessed. Meanwhile the placenta was delivered. The dr pressed on my belly and blood squirted out so they gave me some pitocin. THEN they gave her back to me to nurse. The afterpains were horrible. I'm not so sure he didn't tug on the cord a little to hasten things. 

Again they took her to the nursery for a few hours. She roomed in the remainder of our stay with the exception of a few short trips to the nursery for hearing tests and whatnot. 

I did even more research before my next two births and came in armed with a birthing plan. Although I still succumbed to some interventions. I'll cover them in my next post. 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

You got to have Faith

I've touched a little on my struggles with faith but I thought I'd go into a little more detail. I grew up going to a United Baptist church. They are very old fashion... I was baptized in a creek and once a year they do foot washings. We went every Wednesday, twice on Sunday, and once a month on Saturday. 

When Scott and I first got married and were both working and going to college... I quit going to church. It wasn't until long after we moved to Winchester that I even considered going back. It was 2004, I was at a good friend of mines house when there was a knock at the door. It was a pastor from a nearby Independent Baptist church. My friend invited him in and he began to talk to us about being saved. I told him that I had been saved when I was young and he didn't question it. My friend on the other hand had not. They knelt and prayed right there in her livingroom floor and I felt the spirit just as much there as I had ever in church. She was saved that day. We started going to church there the following Sunday. 

Scott was christened Catholic when he was a baby but never went to a Catholic Church really. He grew up going to a Methodist Church. He wasn't saved though. Him and I had had an "issue" in our marriage since the beginning. The first service that we went to at Landmark was about this topic. Scott felt like God was talking directly to him through this man at the podium. He vowed that day to the Lord and me that it would never be an issue again. With His help it hasn't been to this day! Shortly after, he was saved and baptized. We went regularly for a while then winter rolled around. With three kids it seemed like somebody was always sick so we started slacking. 

Then in January of 2005, our family was struck with a horrible tragedy that I won't go into detail about. We had already faced the death of a child in our family. My 2 1/2 year old niece fell into a backyard swimming pool and drowned in 1996. She was in the hospital in a coma for seven long days before my brother and SIL had to make the heart wrenching decision to take her off life support. I was mad at God and didn't understand how He could let such horrible things happen. We quit going to church again all together. 

In October of 2008, my 6 year old niece... Who was just 3 weeks older than my only daughter... Was diagnosed with Leukemia. This time I wasn't mad at God... I began to question his very existence. I could no longer recall the feeling of His spirit. I couldn't even pray. 

She went into remission after some intense chemo. Unfortunately, while still in treatment she relapsed in Jan 2010. My SIL had started regularly posting on a caring bridge website to keep everyone updated. Her faith and strength were so great. Little by little I was inspired by her continued love for the Lord. I started to feel that love creep back into my own heart. In June they realized there was nothing more that could be done. My brother baptized her in their pool... She died a week later on July 17th. 

My Aunt had had brain surgery to remove a softball size tumor years ago. In 2009 she started having symptoms again and was found to have multiple tumors this time. She had a stroke and they called in hospice and gave her 6 months to live. 6 months came and went yet she still hung on. The day we buried my niece my mom got a call from the nursing home that my aunt had taken a turn for the worse. The next day my mom called and said she was hanging on by a thread. I asked her if she had told her that our niece had passed.. She said no that she wasn't coherent. A few hours went by and she decided to go ahead and tell her. She died within the hour. 

Everyone is probably thinking, "how horrible, two funerals in one week". Yes it was emotionally hard. But my Aunt hadn't had any quality of life for a long time. It was in the summer time so my kids were out of school. We had to drive 8 hours to Louisville. Scott ended up having just enough vacation time to cover the time we ended up having to be gone. So in a way it was a blessing that my aunt passed when she did. 

On our way home the kids were watching a movie in the van. Scott and I were talking about God. I was remarking about how troubled times were bound to come again. I wanted to be prepared for whatever comes our way the way my SIL was. Our DVD players sound comes through our radio. At that moment, as clear as could be, a Christian music channel started playing instead of the movie. The song that was on was about gaining strength through God during difficult times. We didn't speak. We just sat silently with tears in our eyes as we listened to His Word come through the airwaves. I felt the spirit fill our van and my heart greater than I had ever experienced in my whole life. No one can ever tell me God doesn't like contemporary Christian music!

I made my own vow that day, to never again doubt the Lord!  I realized that when bad people do bad things, we shouldn't be mad at God. We should be mad along with Him! After all, they are sinning against Him. Also, We aren't always going to like or understand Gods plan. We just have to trust in him. There is a movie called "Letters to God" http://www.letterstogodthemovie.com/ It is a true story about a little boy who had brain cancer. He ends up dying but helps bring a lot of people closer to God through letters he wrote to Him while he was sick. It was release to DVD a month after my nieces death. Kids like her and Tyler had a greater purpose. Sometimes Gods work takes suffering... Look at Jesus!

When we got home I started reading the Bible and looking for a church. I really struggled with finding a church that I felt suits me. I had prayed about it a lot. Then while reading the bible one night I came across this passage..

1 Corinthians 1:12-13 (NIV)
What I mean is this: One of you says, "I follow Paul"; another, "I follow Apollos"; another, "I follow Cephas "; still another, "I follow Christ." [13] Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul?

This tells me it doesn't matter what kind of church you go to as long as you accept Jesus and live your life by following Christs example. Doing Gods work and spreading His word. 

We decided since we are living in the town Scott is from, we would try the church he grew up going to.  For various reasons, going to church there didn't end up working out. 

I was determined even without a home church God was still going to be a central part of our lives. We were going to strive everyday to be better Christians.. Become more Christ-like. I searched online and found a Character Building for Families lesson book, http://www.characterbuildingforfamilies.com/ that focuses on enhancing the fruits of the spirit in your life. I also read the Duggars book, http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/141658563X/ref=mp_s_a_6?qid=1294947693&sr=8-6 which was very encouraging and inspirational. I decided to try something they recommended... Chore packs,  http://www.titus2.com/ecommerce/products/prod_listing.php/1150 It gives the kids a chance to practice and apply our lessons to their lives daily. We had chores before, but now they have more purpose and meaning than just getting the house clean. I've always heard people say, "Kids should come with an instruction manual."  They do.... It's called the Bible!!

I learned another valuable lesson from the Duggars. The best way to increase your own faith and the faith of others, is to look for ways God has worked in your life and share it. You'll be surprised how many things there are, no matter how small, when you really look. Just remember, there are no such things as coincidences or luck. Only Gods hand and blessings. For instance, we were suppose to leave for Louisville the day after Christmas. The weather report was bad so we decided to wait. Very disappointed, Summer came to me and asked, "Why does God have to make bad weather?". I told her I guess He doesn't want somebody on the the road. We just have to trust Him. A couple of hours later Scott ended up having diarrhea. I said to Summer, "See! I told you He knows what He's doing!"

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Thank goodness I'm not fertile!

I've always had irregular periods. When I was 18 I went to the dr because I had been experiencing some pain. They did an ultrasound and some blood work. I came back in for my follow up and was told I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).  I would probably be infertile. We weren't really ready to have kids yet but, being a young newlywed this news devastated me. We had only been married 6 months.  I decided to go off of birth control and put it in fates(Gods) hands. If I was going to have trouble getting pregnant, I didn't want to miss any opportunities. I wanted to be a mom someday more than anything. Two years went by. I maybe had 5 periods in that time. Scott and I started talking about other options for starting a family. I had been feeling like I was going to start for a couple of weeks.  My sister suggested I take a pregnancy test. I did and it was positive!

After Joshua was born, we again decided not to use any birth control. When his 2nd birthday started getting close, I began to think that getting pregnant the 1st time was a fluke.  Maybe I was going to need help this time. I made an appointment with an ob/gyn to discuss trying clomid. Again, I started feeling like I was having  prolonged PMS.  I decided to take a test... POSITIVE!!!
I had to call the drs office and change it from a consult to a prenatal visit.  I don't know what happened with Summer. I nursed Jacob for 4 months, then BAM! I was pregnant again!
No period or anything. In November of 2004 when Summer was 2 we decided to really start trying again. Unfortunately in January we had some major family issues so we pushed off going to the dr. Although we still weren't doing anything to prevent getting pregnant. January of 2006 I took my first round of clomid. We did 3 rounds with no luck. My dr then sent me to a fertility specialist. We did 3 more rounds. The dosage on the last one really messed with me. I had visual disturbances and all kinds of weird side effects. Not to mention the mood swings and hot flashes. Between the stress of it all and the meds me and Scott almost didn't make it. I felt like no one understood. That because I already had 3 kids, I should be happy and it shouldn't bother me if I couldn't have another. After all there were people out there who didn't, couldn't have any. I felt a little selfish in a way. But at the same time there was this drive in me that said I wasn't done yet. If a pro sports player gets injured and can't play anymore, should he be any less devastated because he got to play for a while? But he wasn't ready to retire! That's the best way I can describe it. In August Scott and I really started having problems. But lucky for me my hubby loves me very much and did everything to make it work. I'll have to admit I had thrown in the towel. There were other factors other than my fertility issues. I think that just made things worse. Made me emotionally unstable. It ended up being a good thing. We laid everything out on the table and have been closer every since. By the end of the year we had ironed out all the wrinkles... More on that later.  I went to the dr in January. He decided to do a laparoscopy to see if there were any physical reasons I wasn't getting pregnant. I had a blood pregnancy test on Tuesday and surgery on Friday. Everything looked fine. In February I found out I was pregnant again!

God knew when we were ready... When we had just started this new chapter in our marriage.  I was actually about 4 weeks when i had the surgery. The egg must have implanted between Tuesday and Friday. God is good. I nursed Ronan for eleven months. I still didn't feel like I was done. There are 5 years between him and Summer and I wanted just one more so that he could have a sibling close in age. Or at least that's the excuse I tell myself. In October I started feeling like maybe I was getting another kidney stone so I went to my urologist and got a CT scan. He said it looked like my uterus might be a little enlarged and that I may have an ovarian cyst. So I went to my gyno and got an ultrasound. Other than my polycystic ovaries that we already knew about everything looked fine once again. I still hadn't had a period since Ronan was born so he went ahead and gave me something to make me start. We also talked about me getting pregnant again. He said that if i wanted to we could try clomid again. I was torn because if we were going to have another i wanted it to happen soon before the age gap got too big. It was November 12th when I finally started. I was suppose to go back to the dr in December for my annual but couldn't make up my mind about the clomid so I canceled. I didn't think I could go through that again. Clomid is hell! New years eve I had some cramping on my left side and then on new years day I had some spotting. I thought I was starting but when there was nothing the next day I thought maybe I had ovulated and of course Scott and I had rang in the new year! I went to Bunco Friday night and had a couple of beers( oops)! That night I had a dream about taking a test but the stick didn't work. I didn't think too much about it and went to Louisville Saturday. On the way home Sunday I was cramping a little and rubbed my belly. I was pretty sure I could feel a little bump. (I found out the same way with Summer) I came home and went straight to the bathroom. I always have tests around. Scott was giving Ronan a bath in our bathroom so I grabbed a test off the shelf and told Scott I was going to take it. It immediately came up positive!

Raiden was born 10 days before Ronans 2nd birthday.  He nursed for 12 1/2 months. We thought at first he'd be our last but had started thinking about another. My niece had relapsed with Leukemia in January so it really didn't seem like a good time. Of course we still weren't preventing.  Between losing one niece in 96, the events of 05, and her illness, I had seriously started doubting God. My SILs  faith remained strong though. Through her caring bridge posts and conversations, my own faith was restored. My niece passed in July but I did not question His wisdom.  Three days later, my aunt passed.. I still didn't waiver.  I was having some cramping on August 27th. I took a test but it was negative.  Raiden quit nursing on his own September 1st.  On labor day Joshua made a comment about me looking poochy... I thought either I'm about to start.... Which I hadn't since Raidens birth, or I am pregnant. That evening, after we got home from a cookout, I took another test. Our sixth blessing is on it's way! I'm due May 18.



Mark 10:27 (NIV)
Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God."