Monday, April 23, 2012

The change of the seasons

Gosh I can't believe I haven't blogged since August of last year!  So much has happened!  It's like life finally decided to get up and take off!  We have been so busy and have had so much going on, it's almost unbelievable!  Being back in the city has really made a positive impact on our family.  I love being close to everything and I LOVE being a part of the Doula community again!  I've been going on births and making alot of new Doula friends and it has been great!  I also started the progran at the Institute for integrative nutrition.  I am about half way through and when I am done I will be on the Board of Drugless Practitioners!  I am also working at a wellness center here in Houston as a Colon Therapist.  I had wanted to do the Colon Therapy program for many years.  I finally got the oppurtunity to go and I am really enjoying that part of my job.  Alex is finishing up his degree and he is also about to start a personal training certification.  He is still working hard at Baylor every day.  I am lucky to have such an awesome person standing by my side. 

I am also adopting a new business from a very dear friend and a mentor to me.  Marcie Macari is passing her creation, Bloomin' Belly Soaps to me.  The transition is still currently in progress as we are working out the last bit of financial arrangements and hopefully, by the end of this week, it will all be done, and set in place, and I will start planning the Relaunch of BBS  here in Houston! I have been in love with these little mamas since I was pregnant with Cyrus!  I am so excited to be the new Mama of this business. 

I am still working on all the promo materials, logos, websites, etc but soon I am hoping to have all of my websites integrated together.

The kids have been going a little stir crazy.  The only thing that has been a big blow to our family lately is that we haven't had a running vehicle since 2 days after christmas.  it's been 4 full months of getting rides from friends (which isn't easy when you are a family of 6)  and using the public transportation system.  The bus is a Pain in the booty but we have learned the system well and we are thankful it has been available.  I would never have thought that I would have survived 4 months without a car but we have made it.  (painstakingly so lol)

SO needless to say the kids are ready to get back to our regular routines (especially since I am working evenings now after working daytimes and paying for a nanny for 6 months) and start visiting some of our buddies more frequently.  They have really been little troopers though, and have been positive about the experience (most of the time).

I am wanting to stay more active on my blogs.  I am keeping this one more as a personal memoir and I am happy for people to read it, but it doesn't hurt my feelings that I don't have alot of followers.  I will however be keeping my business related posts on my website.  This whole Social media thing is finally sinking in and I have realized that I have to really kick ass if I want to make a difference in the sea of small businesses. 

so my intention is to create at least 1 personal blog a week, wether it is about my family, or my job, or just a pissed off personal rant, I don't care, I am just committed to writing SOMETHING!  It's been 9 months since I blogged last!  I could have gone through a whole pregnancy in that amount of time (though thankfully I am done.....  at least for awhile *though if you ask my hubby he says forever*)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Fall is just around the corner

Just wanted to drop in and do a quick update.

Jaxen is 11 months old. he is cruising and climbing like nobody's business. He loves blues clues, bananas, and is still a boobman. He says "mama, dad, and NO!" he knows what "gimme some lovin" and "give your mama kisses" means. Right now he is on day 4 of hardly sleeping, I am suspecting a tooth to make an appearance any day now and for our lives to go back to normal.

Cyrus is 2.5 years, has an extensive vocabulary and is very Macho, just like his daddy. He is totally into anything that is slimy, gross, or smells weird. His favorite outfit is his green frog face rainboots, a pillowcase cape and his batman mask with nothing else!! He is pretty much potty trained and has been for a couple months now. We still use diapers when we are out of the house, but he rarely has an accident when we are at home.

Lexi is still an aspiring hairdresser as she has chopped her bangs yet again. I gave her a hairut the other day and evened up the back. She looks really cute. She is starting to do some basic academic work, like sight words, counting, shapes, and coloring.... lots of coloring..... and glueing. oh the oogads of glue that get wasted in the house. The other day I found a sea shell glued to the inside of my closet that no doubtedly came from Lexi.

Skylar is 9 and is still a huge help as always. She now always has a phone glued to her ear if she isn't doing schoolwork. This week we are actually finishing up a large section of work we did over the summer and we are planning to take our break in the fall and focus more on field trips and things like that for a couple of weeks. She is really interested in the welfare of animals. She has sent a few protest pictures that she colored to different companies that she believes is cruel to animals. She recently watched Food Inc. and was horrified at the animal cruelty that goes on in convential and commercial food production facilities. Seeing that sometimes meat gets contaminated with feces in commercial meat butchering plants, was enough to make her a locavore for life and only eat meat that is from local and family owned farms. She is really growing up.

Alex is still finishing his bachelors and working at Baylor. He is currently trying to decide if he is going to go into the chiropractic program or an Accupuncture program. Both options are slightly overwhelming for different reasons and he is weighing the pros and cons of each. He has been working so hard these last 2 and a half years and he is really ready to be done with his degree. Anyone that thinks that taking online classes to get a degree is easy, is completely out of their mind. I am so proud f how hard he has been working as well as mainting his 40 hour a week job at Baylor.

I have a few new things in the works for myself. I am starting my own internet classes in September at the Institute for Integrative nutrition in New york. I will finish the program as a certified holistic health coach. Right now I am also going oncall at North Houston birth Center in Houston as well as taking my own private clients. I have 1 private doula client lined up for every month until March. I am really proud of myself for that. I have recently lost 3 pants sizes and I am back into my jeans that I wore before I got pregnant with Cyrus! I feel really good about that and plan to shed much more weight in the near future. My body is changing again and it is finally for the better. I feel like I have watched my belly round out more than I have watched it flatten. I am not one of those lucky gals who drop ALL their babyweight 2 weeks after birth. This has been a really challenge and struggle for me, but it has been worth it because I really am feeling so much better than before.

Well I think that's the lowdown on all of us. I am really looking forward to cooler weather and for winter veggies to be in season. We are coming up on my FAVORITE time of year and I am starting to get a wee bit antsy!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Jaxen's Birth 9-26-10

Well this post has been a long time coming. My beautiful baby boy Jaxen, is already growing into a curious big boy. He got his first teeth at 4 months, he was 23 pounds at 6 months old, and he crawled shortly thereafter. He had his first solid food at 8 months old, given to him by his big brother. His first food was.... duh duh duh.... an "Enjoy Life" allergen- free chocholate chip lol. Not by my choice of course. He absolutely loved it though. We of course followed that up with avocados, sweet potatoes, and carrots (although I think that was to Jaxen's dismay after his first food.) He took his first steps 2 weeks ago, and he turned 9 months old a few days ago. Why am I just now blogging all of this? why didn't I ever post his birth story?

Many reasons really. Partly because I have been so overwhelmed with 4 kids that the idea of sitting down to blog and getting consistently interrupted just isn't appealing to me. I've been really busy as well, we moved twice in the last 6 months, I've been finishing coursework for "She Births" (which was way easier when I didn't have 2 babies under 2, I should have finished it then.... lesson learned), I've also been focusing on Doula work and Childbirth Education which is very time consuming. The main reason though- Jaxen's birth was not the ecstatic birth I expected.

I spend time with moms overcoming birth trauma, moving beyond the fear of childbirth so that they can have an amazing experience. I am the one who is always telling my clients that "your body knows exactly what to do, you have to just surrender to the process and let it all unfold" . I am always reassuring women that it is a good thing to trust birth, trust our bodies, and that what is meant to be, will be, as long as we don't intervene. But to be honest I lost faith in myself through the whole thing. I'm sure that sounds crazy to some after I had 2 amazing homebirth experiences, 1 of which was unassisted by medical professionals. This will be a long story as I labored on and off for several days, but there is also some "heavy" information that goes along with this story that is essential to be explained.

After I had Cyrus Unassisted, my neighbor verbally attacked my girls while they were outside because she said they were too close to her car. I told my girls not to talk to her anymore and asked her not to speak to us anymore. Well she was a very sad person and because she was angry at me, she called Child Protective Services and reported us for Birthing without a medical professional present, for not vaccinating, she said my oldest just didn't go to school (we homeschool)... these things were all somewhat variations of the truth. We did have an unassisted birth, we don't vaccinate, and technically the kids don't go to a school. None of these things are illegal, and do not even present a reason to remove the kids from the home. It was the lies the were told that really raised suspicion.

You see, CPS is set up in such a way, that ANYONE can call in and report ANYTHING wether it is true or not. There is no punishment for people who call CPS and lie. So it is very common for people to use CPS as a way to get back at someone, often for petty reasons. Once CPS is in your life, even if they decide quickly that it isn't a reasonable case, you are in their system. You are many times guilty until proven innocent. Children are often removed from homes before there is even a confirmed risk identified. Sadly, once children are removed from thier homes, it is difficult for parents to get them back, even if the claim was proved false. Thankfully our children were never removed, BUT my husband was coerced to sign a piece of paper agreeing to a "safety plan". At the time, he didn't really know he had a choice, and once he had signed it, our attorney suggested we just finish the program and be done with it. Our Plan consisted of parenting classes, monthly visits, random drug tests, and a psychological evaulation. It seemed harmless enough, and honestly it was. One we moved to Splendora and had our case moved to Montgomery Cty, it really wasn't bad. My case worker was really nice and she worked with me and even tried to get the parenting classes waived due to the nature of my business. Our case was closed in February 2010. I was 8 weeks pregnant but didn't tell my caseworker because of the pregnancy policy and at 8 wks, I could have easily claimed ignorance. (If you have an active case with CPS, and fall pregnant, your case will remain open until the birth of the next child, and the safety plan will be extended)

I really wanted to birth unassisted again, but after dealing with CPS for 8 months, I was afraid. So I hired a midwife that lived close to me. I really liked her, and she was willing to let me do my own thing and basically offer assistance as I deemed necessary. It was nice to escape from the house for an hour every month and focus on just me and the new baby. I didn't have much time aside from that to think about it much. I actually looked forward to my appointments, but the funny thing was, that I never felt at peace with the pregnancy. I often cried during my midwife appointments because I was so scared of having 2 babies back to back. I was always stressed out, and due to the previous cps stuff, I was in a constant state of paranoia. I look back on that time now, and it was a dark time for me. If someone knocked on the door, my stomach would automatically drop from fear of who was on the other side of it.... My intuition rarely fails me I guess...

When I was 8 months pregnant, there was a knock at my door. She had a clipboard, a camera, and a laptop.... I knew. She was from Cps. She told me that, my previous caseworker had quit her job without properly filing my paperwork, and she was just there to do my closing interview, BUT I was visibly pregnant...which meant back to the safety plan until the baby was born. Thankfully she was very nice and supportive of homeschooling, as she had HS'd her own kids, and was surprisingly supportive of home birth (attended by a midwife and within the perameters of the Texas state law of course).

The further my pregnancy progressed, the more I retreated. I didn't feel like a beautiful round pregnant woman that was preparing to bring LIFE into this world. I felt many things, few of which could be classified as "beautiful". I didn't have to energy to "prepare" the way I had with my other births. I did try to build my "birthing nest" but apart from that, I wasn't very connected to the Earthy Birthy Mom that I usually am. 38 weeks hit and I had a good spout of prodromal labor. I thought it might actually turn into something. I thought "FOR SURE I WON"T GO OVERDUE THIS TIME!" Finally something to be happy about! This baby would come earlier than I originally thought. there was no way I would go that much longer after I had the kind of laborish stuff going on. (side note* don't ever tell yourself this! it's never a good idea to convince yourself that you will go into labor earlier than 40 or 41 weeks- because it's very depressing when your due date passes you up)

39 weeks rolled around.... 40 wks... I finally had more early labor. ALL day, I was 2ish cm.... but then things stopped. I hit 41 weeks and we had a HUGE storm. the next day I had contractions all day. I sent the kids away. I was up all night. nice long contractions about a minute long, 4-7 minutes apart. This was it! the real thing! I was going to see my baby soon. Eventually, I literally passed out from exhaustion. i sat on the bed for a minute and woke up at 4 am to pee and wasn't in labor. I couldn't believe it. I had HARD contractions for a full day. how could I not be in labor? How could I mistake labor? I had already done this 3 times!!! what the hell was wrong with me? I was seriously cracking up now! I was convinced that pregnancy had officially altered my brain to not have any clue WTH was going on with my own body. I was convinced my midwife thought I was stupid and childish. (it's funny the things we believe when our hormones are raging). The saddest thing is, that somewhere in there I had convinced myself that my body wouldn't work. I asked my midwife to do so many things I would normally have never done.
After I hit 42 weeks I really tried to induce labor. I got a Biophyscal profile that told us that the baby fine but was definitely "macrosomic". That sounded so scary. Even to a Birthy person like me. my baby was so big that it was classified as "macrosomic" and that just terrified me. I started thinking I wouldn't be capable of pushing out such a big baby. Cyrus was 9 lbs and THAT was hard work!!! so I started on the road of natural induction.

Alot of women don't think natural induction will really do anything to you if your body isn't ready. That is false. I have LITERALLY tried everything to naturally induce labor. over the last 2 weeks of my 43 week pregnancy, I got 4 colonics, 2 masssages, chiropractic care, 5 or 6 reflexology treatments, I took blue and black cohosh, cottonroot bark, homeopathics, I gave myself 4 enemas, we had sex like crazy (which is seriously not fun when you are doing it to try to induce labor... just sayin), I asked my midwife to strip my membranes twice. Nothing was working. Everything we tried would give me good strong hard contractions for many hours, and completely wear me out, made me feel like crap until I would just pass out from exhaustion and wake up rested and contraction free! UGH! I was so angry. Part of the problem was that the baby's head was not very well applied, and I was 4-5ish cm, but had a VERY bulgy bag of water. we had suspicions for quite some time that the head might be Asynclitic. I had done many things to try to get his head to turn and come down but nothing really worked. Every other day my case worker would call me and ask if I had had the baby yet. She was starting to get concerned because she knew I was overdue. I had another BPP at 42w5days. Baby still seemed fine, but you could tell that everyone in the U/S office was shocked I was there again. This time I let alex stay behind in the room after I left to find out the sex of the baby. BUT he had to promise not to tell me or anyone else.

My midwife and I made a deal at that point. Saturday morning, I would take castor oil and she would strip my membranes (yet again) to try and get things moving and if I hadn't had the baby by monday morning, I would agree to go see Dr. Guilliams at west houston hospital and get induced. So saturday morning I woke up and had my castor oil cocktail. I now understand why women should not do this to induce labor. not only did it give me the most painful diarrhea I've ever had, but I got hemmorrhoids before my labor even started and it hurt to sit, walk, pee, poo, squat. It just EFFING hurt!!! the upside to all the colonics, enemas, and castor oil...... I had the cleanest Butt in houston! seriously. (needless to say, I never got the urge to poop during this labor lol.... TMI I know, but am the Queen of TMI- all those close to me know that).

The contractions had started to set in again, not that it really meant anything to me though... I had already done this 15 times in the last week! My midwife came to manipulate my cervix. It had been as soft as pudding for 2 weeks and was 5ish cm when she got there. There wasn't really anything even to strip. her fingers into my cervix up to her knuckles with no problem. We hoped it would do Something though. I was desperate by this point. I DID NOT want to have this baby in a hospital. My last baby HAD to be born at home. I hadn't even considered any other option. a few minutes later my water broke.
"Clear Fluid!" ah we all felt so much better. I was really concerned about there being meconium because I was so far overdue and I had done so many things to try and induce labor.
Well now, my midwife and I had a new agreement. I had to be active by a certain time period for me to stay home. "No problem" I thought. my water had broken, baby's head was finally sitting on my cervix. Contractions were getting pretty regular. I was already 5! all I needed was a good regular pattern to get things going. I started making breakfast for everyone but I felt really scatterbrained. between the contractions and the excitement, I kept forgetting to check the belgian waffles and I had to make Alex take over the eggs and sausage. Things were really happening.. I started having to dance through them. from the wall, to the ball, to the floor. That was my dance. I played my relaxing playlist and we all sat around and visited in between contractions..... Then it hit me. I was enjoying hanging out way too much to really be in labor. I started to cry because I knew it wasn't working. In fact when they asked me what was wrong I remember saying "I just need something to work!!!" and then broke down crying and sobbing. I know everyone in the room could feel my frustration at that point. so Diana (our midwife) suggested that everyone leave so Alex and I could be alone. They all (midwife, assistant, and photographer) left to go run little errands and stuff and Diana planned to come back around 8 to see what was going on. Alex and I retreated into a dark room and spent some "quality" time together hoping that the darkness and the love hormones would get my body moving again. It did somewhat but not enough to call it labor. Diana came back later that night and we all decided to go to bed in hopes that I would have to wake her up in the middle of the night to have a baby. I woke at 5 am, still with no contractions. I drew a warm bath and got in to relax. I knew that the hour was upon us. I had slept soundly all night, and the agree upon time to transfer was quickly approaching. while I was in the bath, alone, with my thoughts, and my baby, I knew that emotionally I was done. Legally, Diana was done. There really wasn't more she could do for me without stepping outside her scope of practice. So I got out of the bath, got dressed and sat on the edge of the bed and cried. I cried hard. I cried tears of sadness, anger, fear, but strangely relief. I was 43 weeks pregnant. I was ready for this show to be on the road. I called around to the hospitals to see what dr's were on call. The charge nurse at St. Lukes was wonderful on the phone. I told her what was going on and she was very sweet and urged me to come in. Assured me that I would be treated respectfully and that they would try to appease me in any way they could. So Alex and i stopped at Central Market to get snacks, meals, juices, waters. We finally got to the hospital at about 10 AM. They hooked me up to a monitor and asked me all the admittance questions. Checked my cervix, I was about 5-6, but super soft, like before. The Dr came in. I told her all of my requests expecting to have to argue and fight. She just said "ok, I think i can try to do all that".... it was eerie how easy it was lol. I was expecting to be punished for attempting homebirth. I've heard some horror stories. but they were really wonderful

They started the pit and gave me a dose of antibiotics at 11:30. by 12:30 I was finally establishing a labor pattern. at 2:30 I was checked and I was 7 cm. The pit was hitting me hard by now. The contractions were like this monster that grabbed hold of me and squeezed until my eyes were about to pop out. I remember the nurse asking me all these questions about natural birth and home birth in between contractions, and I remember answering but I have no idea what I said. Alex was holding me, doing counter pressure like mad, and getting me everything I needed. He was the best Doula ever. I remember grabbing his hands and rubbing them all over my face like I was a cat or something. I am sure I was a sight lol. The nurse came in and asked me if I wanted "just a little bit of drugs" to take the edge off. I will admit that for a few seconds I considered it. I was on pit, it would be justified. but then I looked at Diana's face, and even though she remained unchanged, it was like I read her mind. I didn't need it. I wouldn't be judged if I took it, but I didn't need it.
The nurse asked me at one point if I was ok. I said "I' just trying to remind myself that I'm not dying!"
Alex told me once when I was grabbing at him and apologizing, he told me I could do whatever I needed to. and I said (while grabbing his shoulders) "that means that I would have to shake you like this (shaking violently) OH MY GOD AAAAAHHH THIS IS SO INTENSE! I CAN DO THIS! AH AH AH AH SQUEEZE ME NO DON"T TOUCH ME, HOLD ME!"
The nurse came in a few minutes later to check me again. still at 7. she wanted to turn up the pit. The idea of turning it up actually made me start to lose it a little. I felt the pressure of KNOWING I had the right to say no, and KNOWING that I had way more pit than I needed, but feeling like I was going to end up in csection if I didn't have this baby soon. I let them turn it up to 8 and took the 2nd dose of antibiotics. now my head was spinning. I was growling at this point. the rushes came back to back by now. the Doc came in...
"Well why didn't you tell me it was like this? I didn't know she was moving along this quickly when I told you to turn up the pit"

in my head I was cursing that nurse. but all I could really do was close my eyes and make noise. the dr. checked me at a few minutes after 4 pm. "she's 8". the scrub tech came in. "she is all over that bed! where is her epidural?? she doesn't have an epidural???" again, explicit curse words were flying through my head. she's lucky that the only thing I could say was "ahhhhhhhhhhhh". The Doc had walked out by that point. I knew she had just said I was 8 about 5 minutes prior to that, but I also knew that I was about to push the baby out wether or not they were ready for it.
I had a quick moment where I growled out "you better call the doc cuz I'm about to crown this baby hhhuuurrrrggggggggggggggaaaaaaahhhhhhhhoooooooo"! It felt so chaotic up to that point. but then there was a sudden shift of energy. Dr. collins came in and told me I could push. she never laid her hands on me. I was lying on my side so I just grabbed my leg and started pushing. It was completely silent. noone said a word, everything was still it seemed. I could feel them all watching me, but I didn't care. I just had to PUSH and I pushed and I pushed. I started wondering if anything was even happening because noone said anything. i'm used to someone at least saying something along the lines of "we can see the head, you're doing great" something... I finally yelled "CAN YOU SEE ANYTHING??????!!!!!" and it was like a simultaneous "yes keep going" came from everyone in the room. Very odd, very strange, but I was thankful, so I kept pushing. I could feel the burn and then felt his head come out. I looked down and could tell he was FATTT and I couldn't even really see his face well. At that point, heart tones stopped and the chaos ensued. It was strange because the Dr still seemed calm, it was the nurses that were freaking out. "Grab her leg, I need help, she's too strong, get the baby out! NICU NEEDS TO GET IN HERE STAT" and then I don't really know what happened. Suddenly I was on my back and they were restraining my legs and pushed on my belly to get him out. It was like I went from an active participant to a bystander in 2 seconds. I felt his shoulder unlodge from behind my hip bone and then felt a huge POP in my tailbone followed by an INTENSE shooting pain and FLOP the baby was out. Blue. Lying there on the bed. the cord was already cut. how did that happen so fast? why would you do that? I felt like everything was in slow motion. The nurses grabbed the baby and started working, rescusitating, pumping. This was so unreal, surreal.. I'm not really sure which.... I heard Alex say "come on Son! Come on!" That's when I knew it was a boy. and then the most beautiful thing happened. After what felt like forever, I heard my son's tiny voice for the first time. I heard him cry out to me. wanting me, and I wanted him so bad! I heard the nurses say he was going to the Nicu. " dont I even get to hold him?" "for a minute mama." he was already wrapped up, I could hardly recognize him. I kissed him and I cried, not from joy but because I felt I had let him down. Alex had never been to a hospital birth before and when I looked at him I could tell he was swallowed in fear, and shock. we both kissed and held onto our baby before he had to go. I told Alex to go and not leave his side.

I said I was going to the nicu. the nurse said I couldnt. I said "I dont have an epidural, I'm going." she said it would be at least an hour before I could go. "I"M GOING TO MY SON!" then the dr told me that if I could get up and change my gown and get into a wheelchair she would take me herself. she and diana helped me change got me in a wheelchair and got me to my son in less than 15 minutes. When I got there my amazing husband was shirtless and had already unwrapped Jaxen and had him skin to skin. It was a beautiful moment for me. Everything I had told Alex in the past about how important immediate skin to skin was.... he listened. He knew exactly what to do without me there. he protected our son from eye ointment, told the nurses they would NOT be doing that before our son had a chance to see me, he didn't let them do the hepb or the vit k or give him formula. he was my perfect mate right at that moment. I knew we were on the same team then.

shortly after that I started having some heavy bleeding while I was in the NICU so they had to take me back to my room to get it under control. The nurse almost acted like she was punishing me for going to the NICU before she had a chance to "fix me". like I had been a bad girl or something. it makes me laugh now but then I wanted to stick my finger in her eye lol. They finally let me nurse when he was 2 hours old, I was afraid he wouldn't take it but he did! like a champ! he got out of the +NICU 4 hours later. The neonatologist came to see us and told us that he was doing remarkably well for the kind of start he had. When he came in he said "man he is a TALL drink of water!!! I never get big babies in the NICU!" and he is just that! a BIG boy! a Smiley boy! A light in our lives....

Jaxen Everette Yunker
9/26/10 4:22pm.
9lbs 10 oz 22.5 inches long

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Waiting Game 40 weeks 3 days

I feel a sense of many different emotions right now. I of course feel the excitement that naturally comes with a new baby, but I feel many others along with that. It's a strange dynamic that the end of pregnancy causes in my brain. I am easily aggravated. I feel like the littlest thing can set me off. Which in turn causes a feeling of anxiety, partly because I ultimately don't know what's going to happen after this baby comes (or during this baby's entry into our world) but also because I don't know what my boiling point is. I sometimes feel like maybe my pot might boil over and I might just completely freak out on the person nearest to me (which is sadly, usually my husband), and I even find myself truly having to verbally remind myself not to freak out on the kids in the middle of their screaming rampages against eachother, that could usually be avoided if they all weren't trying to boss each other around and take things from eachother, but I guess this is something we all learn in time and I can't expect them to completely grasp it when I am still learning to come to terms with that myself (the bossing part- I'm not one to take things from people).

The end of a pregnancy can be really hard. It's always hard for me. I want to just take that next step. I want to feel normal. I want to not be pregant anymore. and MY GOD there is so much pressure! Everyone wants to know when the baby is coming as if I have some sort of psychic ability to know when it will happen. Really? I mean if I really knew when this baby was going to come I wouldn't have been giving people a 2-3 wk range of possible arrival dates. I wouldn't be sitting here feeling like it's never going to happen. when people call to ask "are you still pregnant?" or "haven't you had that baby yet?" I seriously contemplate just hanging up for a second. I mean seriously, if I haven't called to say "hey it's a boy/or it's a girl" then there is a pretty good chance I haven't had the baby yet. and believe me, I am more anxious for this to be done than you are!

Usually when days go by for most pregnant women, they feel one day closer to having their baby, but I really just feel one day further away. I am definitely not myself right now. I don't think the people around me truly understand that. I can completely understand why induction seems like "the answer" for alot of women, because it sucks to be this freakin pregnant!!! If I wasn't completely educated about how bad inductions can be, I would probably have done it again and again because I am not one to enjoy being pregnant.

BUT the truth is, I am educated about those risks and I made the educated choice to have another natural, unmedicated home birth. Along with these choices comes the responsibility of waiting until my body and this baby are truly ready. And I know that when the time does come, it will be the right time and that all these feelings I am experiencing now will melt away when I see my baby for the first time. I know and I do trust, even beyond my fears, that my body is completely capable of birthing this baby the way that it should without high technology and augmentation. I know it will be soon and it will be perfect, I just hate waiting for the perfect stuff!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sometimes Less is more

okay so I found something that really irks me. I feel a rant coming on.

I LOVE Facebook. I think its so great to keep in touch with people and keep up with their lives. I have made alot of "friends" on there through my interests and I am so thankful for that because there are some really wonderful ladies that are so wise.

But I also HATE Facebook because sometimes I read things that is such CRAP and so many people lending BS advice to people they don't even know!!!

The big one for me right now is breastfeeding. I love the fact that there is so much support for breastfeeding moms on there, but I also hate when I am reading advice telling women to go to such extremes to increase their milk when they may not truly have a problem.

I have recently seen one person post suggesting the use of Domperidone. Like really pushing the issue and telling women that it is the best option to increase their milk supply when it is low without even posting anything about any risks. Domperidone was actually first prescribed as an anti-emetic drug (for nausea and vomiting) and was found to increase the levels of prolactin therefore causing lactation. In 2004 the FDA sent letters to pharmacies warning them of the dangers of "offlabel use" including cardiac arrest and arrythmia and said that all offlabel prescriptions should be seized.
Now, that said, I do know women who have used it to breastfeed their adopted babies- ok, am not judging, but I think it would be just as well to use donor milk and a SNS system but whatever. I have also known women who truly could not make milk that have used it and it worked for them- again I am not judging. BUT for someone to use it when they absolutely DO make milk just because their supply is low and then suggesting it to other moms saying "theres no risk" is just flat out uneducated and ridiculous. Why would you go to such extreme before trying things less aggressive?

I also see so many mom's advising new moms to pump their breasts to see how much milk they are getting and to pump for 20 minutes after baby eats and so on and so forth. I am so thankful pumps are available. I wouldn't have been able to nurse my 2nd daughter without one because I had to go back to school at 3 weeks postpartum or lose all my student loans. BUT there is risk with pumps too! For new moms breastfeeding can be hard and tiresome and even painful. Using a pump puts alot of "wear and tear" on your breasts and for someone who is dealing with soreness, a pump is not going to help!!!! Part of the problem that new mom's have is relaxing enough to let their milk let down, when you add sore nipples to the equation, how are they supposed to relax?? To me, it just seems like adding insult to injury and making the problem worse. Why is it so important to know how many ounces our babies are getting? One mom may have the same nutritional value in 2 oz that another mom may get in 6 oz!!! You really can't gage "how much milk" you are getting by using a pump because they don't empty your breast the way a baby does, so I really feel like it can either cause false security, or unneeded uproar in a household, therefore causing more stress and feelings of inadequecy, which spirals down to cause MORE LOW MILK ISSUES!!!!
Besides that, it is stressful to schedule pumping sessions in between nursing. How are you supposed to nurse your baby, change diapers, pump for 20 minutes, nurse your baby, pump for 20 minutes, possibly be taking care of other children, nurse, pump, change....... and still have time to eat and keep yourself hydrated and not get stressed out? Don't any of these moms make the connection between stress and milk supply??? add to that sore nipples, and HELL!! I WOULD QUIT TOO!!!

I also see alot of women say that "you NEED to take fenugreek". Why? Why do you need to take fenugreek as a first option? yes Fenugreek is safe but it is adding something else to worry about. Also, what alot of women don't know or don't tell, is that using herbal remedies takes time. You don't just take one dose and VOILA! You make tons o' milk! It just doesn't work that way, so I have seen some moms take the herbs and then go "well I guess this isn't working either.. I guess I just can't make milk" I think there is a time and place for all medications including herbs. Nothing goes without warning or repercussion.

Want my advice?? well I could care less if you WANT it or not, if you chose to read this blog, you are getting it.

Before advising or resorting to such measures listed above, start with caring for yourself!! There is alot to say about the connection of self care, nutrition values in your diet, and DRINKING ENOUGH WATER!!!! and when I say that, I don't mean taking in enough fluid because fluid could be anything from coffee to soda,liquor or whatever. Unfortunately, the way that "special drinks" are so marketed and consumed, alot of people are unaware that it really does put more stress on our bodies to process these caffeinated and sugary drinks which gives our body something else to focus on rather than focusing on making milk.

Start with making sure you are getting enough calories. If you don't take in enough calories, you will not make milk. I believe that when you are dealing with a milk supply issue, you need to be taking in anywhere from 2800- 3100 calories per day, depending on what your normal caloric intake is. stop worrying about losing the baby weight. It will come off eventually, right now it is more important to nourish your baby than to lose weight. SO GET OVER IT!!!
You can also add foods to your diet that increase milk, like Garlic and oats. You can google "Galactagogue Foods" and find out which foods will naturally help increase your milk.

Back to the water- DRINK MORE WATER!!! To maintain your current health status, you need to be taking in at least half of your body weight in ounces of water- for example: if you weigh 150 pounds, you should be getting 75 oz a day of water. FOR NON BREASTFEEDING PEOPLE> when you are nursing, you need more than that. So if you aren't even getting what your body requires daily function at an optimal level, you definitely aren't getting enough to make more milk. Find ways that you will drink more. I got a huge thermal cup that I keep ice cold water in and I try to drink 2-3 of those a day. I don't like room temp water and I won't drink enough if I don't have ice. It may irritate my hubby to have to make midnight runs to the gas station for a bag of ice, but if it helps me drink more, then he will do it for me because he knows how important it is.

MOST IMPORTANT!!! NURSE ON DEMAND!!! throw schedules out the window. Let the house go to hell in a handbasket if you have to. If your baby wants to nurse, then sit down and feed that baby! You make milk on what is demanded by your breasts and baby. If you supplement with formula, that takes the demand off your body and you will be in the same situation you were in to start with. It should only take about 24 hours for your body to catch up with your baby. It takes afew months to really get to a regulated point because your baby is rapidly growing those first 3 months, therefore creating more and more demand with every day that passes. It may seem like your baby wants to nurse every 45 minutes, and they probably do sometimes. So what, that's what you are there for. Just because you are not pregnant anymore, does not necessarily mean that you "get your body back" right away. Let that notion go or you will be irritated and disappointed

Nurture yourself when you can. Get lots of sleep with your baby, take hot baths when you can and relax, call on friends and family to help around the house and with meals, I promise, If you ask- they will come, because what you didn't know is that they are all secretly waiting for you to call so they can feel useful and helpful to you. People actually need to be needed and will usually do SOMETHING to help with much love and gratification.

Now, with all that said- I do believe there are times for more agressive measures such as pumping and herbs and even domperidone, BUT WHY START WITH THAT??? It doesn't have to be that hard all the time! Our bodies were made to do this, and yes sometimes our bodies fail, but usually they don't! we are a master design and truly incredible beings. Take a step back and relax, it's not as confusing as you think! There are Lactation consultants out there to help you if you really have a problem. Listen to them when you have a problem- because alot of women have truly made themselves suffer in their own quest to increase their milk in so many unneccessary ways and I hate to see other women do the same upon "advice".

Sometimes less is more!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I got the...... baby waiting bluuuueesss!

Time is slipping away from me. So many things to do. I am spending my days getting more and more impatient with the world around me. I try to be happy and upbeat and ummm.... that other word... on the tip of my tongue...oh yeah! positive... that's the one. It's hard sometimes. I don't want to go anywhere, but my kids want to go everywhere. I do want to spend time with friends and family before this bebe gets here but gosh I just know so many people (yeah I'm the popular chick now lol) but it is so hard to make it all happen and coordinate schedules, because the reality of it is... if you have kids, and goals you wish to accomplish.... it's hard to get everything done and still have time for a social life.

I've got roughly 6 weeks left before I am due. I started from the beginning of this pregnancy saying that my due date was 2 weeks later than it is so that I would be mentally prepared to go overdue. Yeah that flew out the window as soon as the heat from the summer set in. Yeah this heat. it's like living inside an oven all the time. I'm so over being pregnant in the summer. It truly is a cruel torture that we summer mamas endure. so now here I am 6 weeks away from my REAL due date feeling as if I might cry if I go too far past that. Exactly what I wanted to avoid. It makes me so thankful for my other spring babies, and also makes me feel like an idiot complaining about the temperature with the other pregnancies, because nothing compares to this july-august crap!! Oh Father Sun! please go the EFF away!!! Find a nice comfy spot, go to sleep and come back to visit us when I am not 3 times the size I normally am. Yes I am bitching, but it's my blog so screw it I can say anything I want.

I am hoping to be able to arrange some sort of blessing ritual again with this pregnancy, but the calendar has more and more X's on it every time I look at it.

I am looking forward to giving birth, catching my own baby, seeing his or her face for the first time, feeling to see if we have a daughter or son, breastfeeding a wee one, and putting my slings and carriers back to work... The cloth diapering... yes I enjoy it, I am truly passionate about it, but HOLY GEEZ I change so many poo poo diapers already, I don't see where I will have time for anything else!!! I am actually trying out some new cloth diapers right now from Daddys Diaper Service. I am in the beginning phases of finding out what works best for us, so no review yet.

Today was a very lazy day. I took a 3 hour nap today since my hubby was home to take care of me (my back is in serious condition right now). I am lucky to have him. Even when he makes me nuts. It truly is a contest between him and the kids right now to see who can make me pull out more hair.

I am just so ready to be myself again. I have been pregnant for so long (like seriously almost 2 years) and I really lose sight of who I am during this hormonal time. I am normally a pretty tough chick and can handle most situations with elegance and grace... LOL who I am kidding. It's more like I can handle most situations with attitude and a little bit of force, but right now I am like a damsel in distress ALL THE TIME which is so not like me as most of you know!!!

Sometimes ladies, the thing that most people don't tell you is.. that even though pregnancy is an amazing time in our lives and we experience the most incredible feelings and changes in our bodies, sometimes it can be a bit depressing here at the end. It's like You are so close- but so far away. The conflictions about wanting your baby here, and wanting to stay pregnant are so great sometimes, that you make no sense from one sentence to the next. I think I can consider myself a veteran at this point, and I truly love pregnancy and childbirth and all the Earthy Birthy things that go with them, but to be TOTALLY honest- right now I would kill for an Ice cold Margarita or 4!!!! haha- that won't be an option for me even once I am not pregnant.... at least not for awhile... but hey! a girl can dream!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

what day is this??

Oh I think it's sunday. I can tell by the weekend mess around the house.

How many weeks pregnant am I? 30 or 31 or something like that. I don't know the time passes so quickly and I am so busy with the other kiddos, I just don't have much time to focus on it. When I notice this baby wiggling around, it is a nice moment. I feel like I want to talk to him or her, cuddle, and I do feel a sense of "aww I want my baby!" but usually I'm like "hey! don't think about comin early or you won't have a name!" The summer is getting hotter making it so hard to get through each day. My kids wear jackets around the house right now. I am so looking forward to the winter months. Even some fall weather would be nice. But who am I kidding. It is almost july right?

I have been doing pretty well with keeping up my other commitments. UCHOUSTON is going to have our first meeting in almost a year next week, I am taking on a low cost/free client and hoping to open up the truth about birth for her, and we have been doing at least one water activity every week. My tan is lookin pretty good these days, as long as you don't look at my legs. my belly blocks the sun from those. But from the chest up I look like a bronzed babe! I am also committing to finishing up all of my coursework for "She Births". I have decided to step back from Facebook until this is finished. I spend so much time looking at the Links people post and chatting and answering updates and stuff, I could be spending that time doing my internet research and putting together my resource list. I have to read "Women of a Thousand Generations" again and compare it to a mainstream book which I will have to read again as well because I haven't read a crappy mainstream pregnancy book in.... well over 8 years!! So I have quite the work lined up for me over these next couple months. I decided that I am officially a Facebook addict and that needs to change because there is serious word to spread out there, and even though its a great place to share information, there is more I need to be doing.

I learned to crochet as well! (like I don't have enough crap to be doing). I needed something to escape to sometimes. to destress with. I also want to make things for this baby because I don't want to pay for a wool coccoon or wool longies and shorties (and skirties if this is a girl). There are also so many things I can make for people, and yes it takes time, but it's enjoyable time and it will save bookoo bucks! I am still mastering the technique, and actually only know how to single crochet right now, but I will learn more once I get really good at that. I am also looking forward to teaching Skylar how. She did really well at knitting so I think she will pick it right up. My great grandmother was a crocheting wizard and I never was interested in learning while she was alive. I so wish I had, it would have been so much easier when I was a kid than it is now.

This upcoming birth seems so close but so far away!!! I have really been entertaining the idea of a squatting land birth instead of a water birth this time. A friend of mine went to a seminar at The Trust Birth Conference where water birth was discussed. The midwife who taught the seminar said that water birth washes away all those post birth smells that help mom and baby bond. It was interesting to me. So I decided that I want to try it. It's always a very messy clean up with the water birth too (I know I have cleaned up after many a waterbirth at the birth center I worked at) , so I feel like it would be easier to deliver over some disposable pads and just throw them away and then have a nice peaceful herbal Leboyer bath with my little one a few hours later. I guess a Leboyer bath is technically immediately after birth, but I want to wait awhile. I really want to relish everything during this birth since it will be my last time. Birthing is something I truly enoy (crazily enough- much more than pregnancy) and I want to remember every memory.

But who know- when those contractions hit, I may say screw it and get in the tub!!! we will just have to wait and see!