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An award for lil’ old me?

Travelnole who blogs over at Natural Birth nominated me for a Liebster Blog Award. This is an award for bloggers with less than 200 followers and is designed to recognize small-time bloggers and encourage them to keep up the good work. A big thank you to her! To be honest, I hadn’t even known she was following me, but now I’ve been checking out her blog and it’s lost of fun. She’s approaching the end of her pregnancy and nesting like mad (something I know absolutely nothing about…*cough*) and, while I was in the same place a few short months ago it already feels like a whole different life! Go check her out and stay tuned in for some great baby pictures which I’m sure will be arriving soon!

The Liebster Blog Award rules are:

1) Answer the 11 questions written by your nominator.
2) Nominate 11 other bloggers who have less than 200 followers.
3) Write 11 of your own questions for each nominee to answer.

Here are the questions I’m answering:

Of all the posts on your blog, which is your favorite?

Boy, it’s hard to say! One of my favorites has to be Bubbles and Goldfish, written when I was still pregnant with my sweet baby love. Though I must say, I also love my most recent post, The moments we’re given, because I love love love how baby girl has changed the way I live my life.

What’s your biggest pet peeve?

Not being self-aware. I’m OK with people having annoying habits, but what KILLS me is when someone has an annoying habit and isn’t even aware they’re being extremely annoying!

What do you waste the most time on?

Eep..probably Facebook. I spend a stupid amount of time surfing the net. I’m trying to cut back and be more present with my baby love.

What inspired you to begin a blog in the first place?

It seemed cheaper than therapy. I was very frustrated at my job, overwhelmed by my invisible illnesses, and needed an outlet.

What’s your morning routine?

Go get the baby, change her, let her go potty, feed her if she needs, bring her back to my room where I get dressed and take care of myself, then go downstairs and pray she gives me time to pump before she demands being fed. It’s pretty chill right now!

What one thing, besides the people you love, are you most passionate about in life?

Literacy for DHH kids! I am appalled by the ceiling of a third grade reading level the median deaf HS senior has, and am passionate about looking for ways to change that at the school I volunteer in now and in my own classroom I’ll hopefully have before long.

Describe the kindest act you have ever witnessed.

It is sad how nothing leaps to mind. That really says something about the way my mind works and the things I remember :-( Recently must be a mom in a moms group I’m a part of who was sharing how she was so frustrated and exhausted because she never got a break from her needy baby and hadn’t been able to sleep well, and another mom who lived nearby offered, and pushed to make sure it was understood she meant it, to come by and watch her daughter for a few hours so she could get some sleep and get a break. It almost brought the first mom to tears. Sometimes it’s the little things.

What is your earliest childhood memory?

Getting attacked by my neighbor’s dog and having to go to the hospital for a plastic surgeon to stitch my lip back together.

What is the strangest thing about you?

Just one? It’s so hard to choose… How about this one, suggested by my darling hubby: Despite being an uber-nerd and a very talented engineer with degrees in mechanical engineering and mathematics, I am largely technology-illiterate beyond very basic levels and things I’ve learned by rote.

At the end of the day, what makes you feel like it was a success?

If I got at least one thing accomplished. I learned to set my bar low after the baby.

Describe your favorite pair of shoes.

I have worn the same type of tennis shoes since high school ‘most every day. They are Sketchers, full tennis shoes, and they have no laces but elastic instead. Comfortable AND lazy-supportive!

—–

Alright, now that that’s done, on to the bloggers I nominate! These are all ladies I love to read, so go check them out! I apologize profusely in advance if I nominated you and you have more than 200 readers. If that happens I don’t mean to offend, I’m just an idiot. Promise. I’m going mostly by comments, which is horribly inaccurate, but I’m not sure how to do better :-/

All Work and No Play Make Mommy Go Something Something

A beautiful mommy with a beautiful son who has been battling PPD but refuses to let it define her.

And Then There Were Seven

I love reading updates on Cheeky, her adopted Chinese daughter, and the rest of her family!

Bad Words

Possibly the most badass deaf kid mommy ever. Her posts alternate between hilarious and moving, with periodic double-dips.

Broken Condoms

This mommy had her baby at roughly the same time I had mine, and it’s fun checking in to see how hers is doing! She also just got married, so big congrats to her!!

For The Love Of Each Other

A family with several wonderful adopted kiddos with special needs. Great to watch them thrive!

Is There Any Mommy Out There?

Some of the most beautiful posts I have ever read have come from Stacey, she is a truly talented writer.

Journey to Luke

Another great deaf kid mommy! This interpreter and her Deaf husband adopted Luke, their deaf son, and are in process to adopt Elias, their second deaf son.

Mommy Nani Boo Boo

A powerful woman with a powerful voice who I love to read.

Naptime Writing

Her writing is truly enjoyable as she sneaks it in while her kids give her a break.

Our Little Tongginator

Another adoptive momma of two little Chinese girls. She shares great views on parenting and adoptions.

We Are Fambly

A family with two little kiddos, her posts to her kids are heart-melting.

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And finally, the questions for my nominees:

  1. What is your favorite post you have written?
  2. Why did you begin blogging?
  3. Why do you blog now?
  4. What is your favorite date night activity?
  5. You have an entire day to yourself – what do you do with it?
  6. If you could give one piece of advice to other moms, what would it be?
  7. Imagine you went back in time to talk to your 18-year-old self. What would you tell her?
  8. What Christmas tradition have you established in your family that you love?
  9. Any pets?
  10. What is your favorite thing about yourself?
  11. What did you study in school?

If you decide to participate, leave a link to your post in the comments so others can go check it out. (I’ll, of course, already see it, since you’re all in my reader!)

Thanks again to my nominator at Natural Birth!

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Priorities

Things I should be doing right now:
-Showering
-Homework assignment #1
-Homework assignment #2
-Homework assignment #3
-Going to get diapers before we run out
-Folding and putting away laundry
-Getting dinner ready

What I am doing:
Snuggling my sleeping four week old

Yup, definitely the right choice.

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Baby girl is here! (Almost four weeks ago…)

I have moved! I am now blogging at The Energizer Mommy. Please come join me there!

She’s here! Baby girl was born May 30, 2012 at 8:28 AM. She was 42w0d gestation at that point, so she really waited until the last minute! She’s beautiful and healthy and perfect. She weight 8lb 3oz at birth and was 19.25 inches.

I’m sorry I’ve been a bad blogger as of late. Getting used to a newborn is tiring! I’ve also been processing my birth story, which I will share later. In many ways I don’t feel like I did a good job with baby girl’s birth, and that’s been hard. I had killer back labor which totally kicked my butt. But I did manage to have the out of hospital birth I wanted, and I’ve been focusing on reasons I am so grateful for that. It may not have been completely ideal, but it was so much better than the alternative. Some ways in which baby girl’s birth and first weeks would have been different if we had been in a hospital:

  • I would have almost certainly been induced medically 1-2 weeks before I ended up giving birth. Most OBs don’t want you to go past 41 weeks, and if you count from my last period instead of my conception date, as many doctors want to, I may well have been pushed to induce at 40 weeks actual gestation (since going by my period that would have been 41 weeks). This means
    • I would have had to stay in bed. Being in bed was the most excruciating thing I could do in labor.
    • I would have had to be continuously monitored. Baby girl HATES those monitors and squirms every time you put one on her, which was very uncomfortable during labor
  • I would likely have ended up with a c-section. The morning I went into labor I was not dilated AT. ALL. A week or two prior my cervix and body would have been in no way ready for labor. There’s a good chance the induction would not have “taken”. And since induction roughly doubles your chance of c-section anyway, and the national average c-section rate is 1/3 women anyway, I’m thinking my c-section odds were pretty dang high.
  • I may also have had to fight a c-section for “big baby.” At my biophysical profile at 41.5 weeks the ultrasound estimated baby girl as being 9-10 pounds. They settled on 9lb9oz. Clearly that was off (by a pound and a half). But I’m short and that’s big and in the OB model it may have been determined she wouldn’t fit.
  • I would have gotten an epidural. There is no way I wouldn’t have. My back labor was HARD. If I had had an epidural available and right there I would have taken it. No doubt. And then I would have wondered how it affected everything else.
  • Baby girl would be on formula. Baby girl lost about 13% of her body weight in the days after birth. The hospital cutoff is 10%, at that point they put the baby on formula, end of story. My midwives decided to give my milk a chance to come in because baby girl’s color was good, she was extremely active and healthy by all measures except the scale. She nursed like crazy for days, and when my milk came in it came in full force. I’m not sure if it would have done that if she hadn’t been wanting to nurse so much because she was getting formula. I’m not sure I would have kept up with breastfeeding if I was in the formula routine.
  • My placenta would have been manually extracted. Even my midwife was about to manually extract my placenta when she saw something that made her have me try to push it out one more time and, thank god, it came. It really needed to come out and didn’t want to. No way a doctor would have waited the 45 minutes my midwife did. (If you don’t know what manual extraction is…be grateful.)
  • The moments after baby girl’s birth would have been full of stress and anxiety. I bled a lot after her birth. A LOT. I got loopy. But my midwife took care of it extremely competently while still staying calm and in control so I didn’t realize how serious things were until after and I got to enjoy those first minutes.
  • I may not have gotten to hold my baby until she was a burrito. There was meconium in her water so there would have been a whole extra team of people panicking and likely whisking her away for unnecessary deep suctioning before I could even see her once she was born.
  • I may well have had vacuum or forceps delivery if I’d gotten that far. I pushed for an hour and a half to get baby girl out, and I was exhausted. She was doing fantastic through the whole thing, but it was a slow process.  Someone who isn’t used to a tired mom whose been working the whole time and doesn’t have the patience and trust to let the process happen may well have declared me too tired to get her out on my own. This would have led to much harder healing from an episiotomy, since I barely had a tear at all.

My birth was hard. I remember thinking I didn’t know if I’d go natural again. But when I compare it to the alternative, for me, I think out of hospital was the right decision.

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Getting stressed

I hate arbitrary mandates. In this case, my state has laws which basically come down to this: if I hit 42 weeks and am still pregnant, I have to transfer care to an OB/hospital. If I am with an OB at 42 weeks I don’t know of one who will do anything but be annoyed I was “allowed” to go so long and will try to induce me immediately. If an induction is truly needed, I am completely fine with that, and I am so glad we have modern medicine for those times it is needed. But I have a hard time with being induced (more than doubling my risk for a c-section along with other increased risks) because of a blanket deadline applied to all women. Increased monitoring? Great. But a cut-off date for all women and all babies with no regard to individual circumstances? Not so easy for me to swallow.

And 42 weeks is getting close. Baby girl has seven more days to come out on her own.

I realize seven days is a long time. But when four weeks have already passed of waiting, it doesn’t feel like much time left. Especially when the most likely time to go into labor has passed.

I see my midwives tomorrow. I’ll ask them to do a membrane sweep. I’ll talk to them about castor oil and acupuncture. We’ll try to get things moving. And I really, really hope it works.

Even better, I really, really hope I never get to that appointment because I’m in labor!

I am SO GLAD I was charting when I was trying to get pregnant. Most pregnancies are dated by LMP (last menstrual period), and a due date is set 40 weeks from LMP. Now obviously when you have your period doesn’t matter since baby doesn’t exist at that point, what matters is when conception happens and baby starts growing. LMP is typically used because it is much easier to note and remember than ovulation, so almost all women can give it. An LMP calculation assumes ovulation happens at 2 weeks after your period, which is a fairly typical ovulation timeframe for most women. I, however, ovulate 3 weeks later. And since I knew my ovulation date precisely, we used that to calculate my due date (it being more accurate). This means that I am only 41 weeks pregnant tomorrow. Going by LMP, I would be 42 weeks pregnant on Thursday. In fact, if I had not learned about natural birth, learned to chart, and chosen midwives to deliver my baby, I almost certainly would have been induced last week on the assumption that I was 41 weeks along, since most OBs don’t like you going past then. I am so grateful I educated myself enough to allow myself and baby girl more time to let things happen as they will.

I still love being pregnant. LOVE being pregnant. Sitting here and feeling baby girl wriggle is the most incredible feeling on the planet. If I knew for a certainty that she would be out before 42 weeks, I would not be stressing in the slightest. I am not “ready to be done” in the traditional sense. But I do want to have this baby now, only so that I don’t have to have her in a hospital hooked up to drugs and monitors. And I am a little sad that the stress of this looming deadline is causing me to spend less time cherishing these last days with baby girl inside of me.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to try and zumba this baby out.

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“Due”

Happy due date to me!

Still no baby. Which isn’t a big surprise. A due date is an average. That means half of all women will give birth before it, and half will give birth after. I guess I’m in the second half!

After all, the E in EDD stands for estimated, not expiration.

I will say, however, it is very fun to watch strangers’ expressions when they ask when I’m due and I say, “Today.” One poor high school girl yesterday jumped when I told her, “Tomorrow,” and got very cautious. She clearly thought that meant I WAS having the baby the next day, and was waiting for my water to break in a dramatic gush and me to start hollering in pain and needing someone to  catch the baby right then. Oh, Hollywood. I think tomorrow is going to be even more fun!

Keep enjoying your stay in there, baby girl. You’ll be coming out to play before too long!

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Present

I am 39.5 weeks pregnant, and I have to say: I still love it. I love carrying and growing and nurturing this tiny life within me.

Sure, it’s painful. And awkward. And limiting. And uncomfortable. There are a lot of negatives.

And in many ways, I can’t wait for the next stage. When I was in first trimester I wanted to hit second so I would be less likely to lose her. Then I wanted to show more. And to feel her move. And to see her for the first time and learn she was a she. And to see how big my belly could get. And now to meet her. There’s always another next step right around the corner I’m looking forward to.

And yet, despite all of this, I was so aware that this pregnancy was temporary, and I cherished it and was present in each day of it.

I acknowledged the negatives, but didn’t let them drive away the joy of the positives (even if those positives were hard to find at the moment).

I looked forward to the next stage, but didn’t let that keep me from loving and living fully the present stage.

This is how I want to live my life. Conscious of the bad but focused on the good. Planning for the future while living in the present.

I don’t know why that balance is so much harder to find in life than in pregnancy. Maybe because I’m less aware of how temporary this life is.

But I do know I have lived this pregnancy the fullest I could. And as it comes to an end, while I will miss it greatly, I can also look back and say, I wouldn’t change how I lived any of it.

I hope that, at the end of my life, I can look back over my time on earth and say the same.

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Flipping

Baby girl is most definitely head down, which is a very, very good thing! I’m pretty sure she has done all her flipping at night, because I have never noticed it. When laying down my massive hips kind of tip my torso, encouraging baby girl to slide out of my pelvis and have space to move, so I guess it makes sense.

The downside to this is that I can no longer go to bed without worrying she’ll flip while I’m there. I sleep propped up on pillows now, but still every time I lay down she wakes up and gets super active. I’m almost scared to go to bed.

I love feeling her move, and I’m trying to focus on that love instead of nervousness that her movements betoken flipping. I have so little time left where I can feel and enjoy her this way!

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