I moved!

…Figuratively

After a year of spotty blogging here I decided, rather than try and bring this page back from the dead, why not start fresh on a new page all together.  New page, new attitude, NEW BABY!!  That’s right..Baby #2 (Levi Haddon) has arrived and you can hear more about it HERE!

Thanks for stickin’ with me guys!

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Birthing from Within

I have learned a lot from this pregnancy, not only in the experiences of the day to day physical and spiritual growth through it, but I have spent a ton of time doing research this time around.  My research has been based in learning from what I experienced in my first birth experience, healing from birth trauma in areas I could tell were still a little raw from last time, and then also preparing and learning about new information in preparation for this upcoming birth.

During my pregnancy with Mirabelle I purchased a copy of “Birthing from Within” on the recommendation from a friend.  I started reading through it from cover to cover.  I tried reading it with an open mind but to be perfectly honest, 1/3 of the way in I decided I was done with “that new age garbage”.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I found a lot of value in much of the information I had read.  I think birth art is a great way to express pending thoughts and fears and release those, as well as connect you with your child.  I also love the Motherblessing ceremony/Blessingway.  We practice these at my church and one (my 2nd)will be hosted in my honor this coming Saturday.

It was during this pregnancy that I was reading another mom’s blog when I was inspired to pull back out my copy of “Birthing From Within”.  So, I dusted of the cover, skipped past to sections undiscovered and found a world unknown by me.  I learned there was invaluable information in this book, and had I given it a chance last pregnancy, I could have learned so much that could have helped in ways beyond my imagination now.

During my last pregnancy I was so avoidant of the possibility that a cescersan could happen to me that I skipped any reading or research on it.  I was ill prepared for both the surgery and the emotional scaring that would incur from that experience.  Not to mention, had I more thourghly read a book such as this one, I would have been more prepared for how I would have been treated in the hospital and the policies that are in place, as well as my options there.

In reading “Birthing From Within” these last couple months, I have especially concentrated on the chapters focuses on birthing through pain, positions in birth, and helping to better define my husbands role in labor.  Within these sections I have learned tons about how to write a more thurough birth plan as well as prepare for the possibility of a repeat ceserean birth.  In the case of another c-section however, they discuss how to make that a birth experience in itself rather than just another surgery (or loss of self and a loss of a birth experience which it often feels like instead).

In writing my birth plan, I added elements such as laboring in my own clothing, using upright positions to push in, not being timed for labor, immediate skin to skin contact, having DH or myself help catch baby, having APGAR testing be performed while baby is skin to skin, and several other non-standard practices.  I was much more “go-with-the-flow” at my last hospital birth which resulted in me having to fight for the immediate rooming-in we were promised in the first place!  So, this time, I’ve left no room for them to even remove him from my presence!  I have also attempted to try and add several elements to my labor that I would enjoy/benefit from in a home birth.

I am 38 weeks along today and growing more anxious each and every day to meet him.  Mirabelle told me the other day she was tired of waiting for her brother, she wants him to come NOW!  I concur..  Just as I felt last time, I am truly anxious and looking forward to the birthing experience, and can honestly say I am ready for just about ANYTHING and will take it as it comes.  The Lord has been good to us in blessing us with this 2nd child and however he must come into the world, I am ready for!

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9 months.

Side Note: Just a quick little rant that has nothing to do with my following post..I can’t believe how lame my blog posting frequency has been over the course of the last 6-12 months has been.  I remember a time (definitely pre-babies, but even since) when I used to make blogging a daily priority and now I can hardly scrounge up the time, energy, or thought to post on a monthly basis it seems.  I will occasionally come up with a brilliant topic in my head and think to post later, then talk myself out of it for controversy sake, or I am just simply too tired to complete a coherent thought!

With all that said, I really would like to start posting with MUCH greater frequency as I have said many many other times here before, I just don’t know when I can promise that will be.  I want boldness to be “controversal” in my posts and feel I don’t need to apologize for saying what I want to say.  And I feel that I have grown a lot in the last 9 months in many areas..particularly in the arenas such as birth advocacy and spiritually as a Christian as well.

*************

My 36 week baby bump!

I can’t believe I am quite literally in the “home-stretch” as some call it!  Our little baby boy is moving and growing like crazy.  I can’t wait to meet him.  I’ve mentioned it before but, since my first birth resulted in an unforseen cesarean, I will be attempting a VBAC this time around.  After much prayer and talk, my husband and I together chose to use an OB who was VBAC-friendly and birth in a hospital.  The truth of the matter is, I would be much more comfortable in the care of a midwife and I think I would be more relaxed and at peace laboring in my home.  However, considering this was my first VBAC, I have never spontaneously labored before (they induced me at 41.2 wks. last preg. because my fluid levels were too low),  and I was diagnosed with Epilepsy since my last pregnancy and have gone through med. changes during the pregnancy, we felt it would be best to have a hospital birth this go around just in case.

I chose my doctor after receiving a glorious recommendation from a friend who was a current patient of hers, who was to deliver her 4th baby with her (3rd VBAC).  In the first several months I thought she was great!  She was upbeat and seemed very positive and encouraging about going forward with the VBAC.  Nearing the end of my 2nd trimester I realized I had forgot to ask some questions of her that I should have probably asked initially (such as, will I be required to have constant or intermittent monitoring, can I labor at home before coming in, and a few others I am forgetting right now).  She then proceeded to act confused and asked if I was even doing a “trial of labor”?  To which I gasped a resounding “YES!…I’m a VBAC.”  She turned around to her screen to double-check her chart and said, “Oh, I guess you are marked down to do a Trial of Labor.”.  I hate that phraseology by the way!!!  I wanted to cry right then and there…I couldn’t believe I had been on this journey for so long with this care provider thinking she knew me, was pro-VBAC, and here she was wanting me to rush into the hospital at the slightest hint of labor, sit there on monitors and hope for the best!  It was that day for the first time I felt she was no longer my partner and care provider in this, but yet another hurdle in this challenging pregnancy/birth that lies ahead.

Yesterday, things got much worse and I left her office in tears and I don’t believe I stopped crying for a good 4+ hours.  Yesterday was my 36 week appointment.  I woke up excited and encouraged!  I woke up thinking, only 1-6 weeks left!  I had a appointment with my doula the following day and was prepared with a few questions for the OB from that meeting.  (Meeting with my doula had me excited about preparing for labor…considering the dream scenario for labor is fun!  Even if you don’t get EVERYTHING you want, its fun to dream and begin to visualize the act of true natural labor.  I am really hoping and praying for an experience more closely matched to what I expected last time and what we discussed this week! ) I knew she would be performing the Beta Strep test that morning so after the routine weight, B/P, fetal HR check, they had me get undressed for the test.  When my OB performed the strep test she decided without warning OR CONSENT to also perform a vaginal exam to check progression and positioning!!  Needless to say, I was NOT happy!  Had she asked, I would have told her NO to performing an exam that early on.  However I would have loved for her to check positioning but obviously that’s not the best way to do that!  And, she has NEVER checked his positioning where as, my midwives last pregnancy were often checking Mirabelle’s positioning by poking and feeling around on my belly.  They could tell me where her legs and butt and head were. The only check my OB seems to ever do is the dumb tape measurement test I believe to be grossly inaccurate (which has nothing to do with positioning) for determining baby’s size..especially since I am a heavier woman.

After she performs these tests on me, she then sits me up and says,

“I need to tell you I am having concerns that your baby might be pretty big.”

I don’t really respond at this point other than a casual nod and maybe a smirk because all I can think is..”ah, the typical line you guys feed women to scare them into C-sections and I’m not buying it..”.

She then says, “I’m not saying we’re looking at a 10 pounder here, but if your pregnancy were to go much further, we could be.”  To which I responded, “You know, they told me a similar thing with Mirabelle. Well, they were saying she was going to be a healthy sized baby 8-9 pounds, and she wasn’t close!”.

Dr. “And how big was she?”

Me: “6 pounds 13 oz., and that was at 41.2 weeks.”

Dr. ” Oh well I can promise you, this baby has already well surpassed that and your only 36 weeks!”

At this point I am pretty sure I have not been shy about rolling my eyes!  To which she tries to make a cutesy joke of saying that I am free to go home and start contracting like crazy and have this baby, the sooner the better for my sake!  I then asked her, “uh, so how long are you going to allow this pregnancy to go?”  She responds with, “Well, normally I let me VBAC patients go to the 41st week but in your case and given the size of your baby, I can’t in good conscious let you go past 40 weeks!”.

This is when I lost it (on the inside that is).  One thing to know about me, I am entirely too quite when it comes to how I feel and when it comes to standing up for myself!  I usually clam up in the moment when I feel attacked or when I should be expressing my feelings or defending my opinions, basically because I go into shock I believe and/or I don’t have the right words or questions to ask until the moment is gone.

This week I am going to write those feelings and questions down and hopefully drag my husband along to my next appointment so I can get all that out with her.  I feel she made a bad assessment about the size of my baby based on a measurement that is going to be inaccurate on a person like myself, and I think she is trying to assert power over me because she doesn’t appreciate the fact that I have been managing my care as much as I have been.  I have refused several tests that most women blindly submit to because they are simply offered to them and pitched as basic prenatal care and I think that bothers her.  There was also an incident where she was listening to baby’s heartbeat on the doppler around 30 weeks and said she could hear hiccups.  After a few minutes she changed her mind and decided it could be a heart murmur and wanted me to submit to an expensive ultrasound to decipher the murmur from hiccups!  She said it wouldn’t change anything about the pregnancy, but I think she was looking for one more thing to write up on my chart to bully me into a planned c-section!

So, with all that hashed out….I now have to find a way to relax enough over the next 4 weeks to actually GO into labor.  I am so tense right now I wouldn’t know how that could happen.  Lots of walks for us and loving my daughter while its just the two of us!  I love being pregnant and I love being a mom…but I will be glad when I am no longer a VBAC advocate from this side of the spectrum.  And, if all goes well, I will definitely be HBAC’ing next time!!

My baby boy @36wks.

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Good Morning 3rd Trimester!

Today marked the beginning of my 3rd trimester.  I started the day excited and stunned at how quickly this pregnancy has flown by, despite some of the odd health blunders I had in the 1st trimester (which were not pregnancy related btw).  I am in a desperate search for a Doula right now which is becoming a little frustrating and frightening because I really do not want to go into this birth without one.  Before we even left the hospital after my c-section with Mirabelle, my husband and I discussed details about our next birth experience and how we would definitely plan for a VBAC and to hire a Doula.   I have put 4 calls into some recommended assistants that have not panned out for one reason or another, and I have two more to call and then I am out of options at this time.  EEK!

As today progress, I found myself growing more and more depressed.  My mind was churning with terrible thoughts about myself, my capabilities or lack thereof, fears about this upcoming birth, and my shortcomings as a woman (including the roles I fill day in and day out).  Tonight I have summed it up to, I am under a deep spiritual attack that will very likely carry on throughout the rest of my pregnancy until I give birth.  How I get through this time though is entirely up to me!  It doesn’t necessarily mean this has to be a dark season for me…but I have A LOT of pray and work to do in letting go of the past and giving this pending labor over to God to guide me through or everything that I fear that is burdening me today will in fact come to pass.

I am spending more time now reading about birth, I am going to being spending a lot more time praying and meditating on what God wants to teach me and is asking of me and of my body during this season, as well as doing the things to prime my body physically that I have been concerned could be stumbling blocks during my physical labor.  In this revelation I have felt a heavy sense of peace and I feel that if I truly move forward in the next few months as a trusting child of God, I will successfully birth as He intends me to.  And if I end up in surgery again, I will not be heavy-laden with grief as I fear today.  I will have already allowed myself the grace I need, and He will guide my soul to a place of immediate peace and healing.

Now..completely off topic, I realized I haven’t posted any recent pictures of Mirabelle (I think its been a good 6 months!!).  So here are a few:

Headed out to play in the snow..it actually snowed in Houston!!

I asked her to smile..THIS is what I got!!

Our family Advent worship..Mirabelle loved singing "O Come, O Come Emmanuel"

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Looking back..and changing the future.

The 2009 Goals List

FAIL! 1. Lose weight

  • follow the Weight Watchers plan (which I am currently on) or begin meeting with a nutritionist and follow a personalized plan
  • no more sodas (including diet)
  • exercise- use gym membership, run every day, meet with a trainer for 10 sessions to jump start wellness plan
  • train for my first mini-marathon (to be accomplished first of 2010)
  • eat out only 2 meals a week and cook only fresh, unprocessed foods

60% COMPLETE 2.  Switch to safe, organic household cleaners (all toxic cleaners will be thrown out on New Years day)

IMPLEMENTED BUT GOT LAZY ON THIS ONE! 3.  Create a flexible daily routine for me and my daughter so that I am maximizing on time spent with her while also getting household chores done.

FAIL! 4.  Finish Wedding Scrapbook

FAIL! 5.  Start my Etsy shop

ACCOMPLISHED! 6.  Learn to knit

ACCOMPLISHED! 7.  Get pregnant with baby #2

FAIL! 8.  Take a digital photography course (refresher and so I can better use my Nikon)

and…more to come!

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So it’s a new year and I have been reflecting a lot on this past year.  Being a natural pessimist, its easy for me to look back on last year and consider it a big fat failure full of disappointments and missed opportunities.  This is very honestly how I began my year-in-review when it hit me what my ONE goal was for this year.  In 2010 I will focus on being positive and content.

I’m tired of finding myself disappointed with life, unsatisfied, and in search of something better, rather than relishing in the blessings that are here and now.  I have spent so much time essentially saying to God, “What you have given me, it’s just not enough; nothing is good in my life.” and yet I wonder why he hasn’t entrusted me with more!  This year I will say, YOU LORD are enough.  My marriage is enough, my family is enough, my body is enough, my home is enough, my gifts are enough, my shortcomings are enough.

While I don’t want to stay stagnant, I do want to grow as an individual, I will not spend anymore time with my head hung because I don’t measure up to “Supermom A and B”.  I will not use them as a measuring stick either!  Rather, I will draw ideas and gain wisdom from others who I admire and become the wife/mom that I NEED TO BE!


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Babies!

I thought this trailer looked awesome!

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Enjoying the Classics..

While we have not prohibited the television from our daughter, we are fiercely discriminate about what she is allowed to watch and how much/how often.  Lately Mirabelle has become a huge fan of some classics from our childhood which we love because, in my opinion, entertainment was just better back then!  Her to current favorites are “Muppets Take Manhattan” and the Sesame Street movie “Follow That Bird”.  Both are from the early 80′s and if you haven’t seen them before they are definitely worth checking out!  Mirabelle sings the songs from them constantly.

We also have been listening to a lot of classic music lately.  Ever since the death of Michael Jackson, and then since seeing the movie “This Is It” (which was awesome btw!!!) we have been listening to his music a lot more.  Every time we get in the car Mirabelle will shout “I wanna hear Michael Jackson!” shortly followed by “Play Smooth Criminal Momma.”.  She can sing along to a lot of his stuff (though when she started singing “I’m Bad, I’m bad, you know it..” we stopped listening to that one!!) including some Jackson 5 songs.

Needless to say, its been fun sharing my youth with her!

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