Thursday, December 29, 2011

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Our Birth Plan: The Second Time Around

When thinking through a birth plan when I was pregnant with Asher, it was more of a non-plan birth plan. I wanted Asher here safely and I didn't have much of a preference of how it went down. I was totally open to pain medication and induction was fine by me, too.

Well, after a whirlwind of a birth and a long recovery from a c-section, I put a lot of thought into what we'd like this time around. Keeping in mind what truly matters is a safe, healthy baby and delivery.

First things first, I changed OBGYNs. I wasn't thrilled with 90% of my experience with my first OBGYN practice and swapped over when I found out we were expecting this time. So far, so good.

At my first visit, they began discussing my options and they have continued to discuss them and answer my questions at each visit. Today, at my 32 week appointment, I officially told them my plan is to attempt a VBAC. Sure, the idea of scheduling a c-section at 39 weeks sounds appealing (think: plan in place, date known, no being overdue, etc.).

But, recovering from a c-section again sounds appalling. And, my OB said that after two c-sections they wouldn't encourage a VBAC - so this is my chance to have a vaginal birth, which I really want to experience. And, they also said they wouldn't recommend more than three c-sections (nor would some of them even agree to perform one at that point).

Now, I'm not family planning four children over here (not yet anyway), but I don't like the idea of a c-section being the reason I cannot have more kids, or as many kids as we may decide we'd like to have. I also don't like the idea of each surgery carrying more risk. I have enough to stress about over here.

So, I asked around. Talked things over with Rusty. Did some reading. Weighed the pros and cons. Talked with all of the doctors in my new practice. And, today, they wrote in my chart: VBAC.

I feel good about this. I have a good feeling we'll be successful with a VBAC. (I also have a good feeling I'll be running to them at 39 weeks begging to schedule a c-section to get this baby out of me. But, writing this should help hold me accountable.)

Here's our current plan:

  • Allow my body to go into labor naturally. (Pray my body goes into labor naturally.)
  • Have a home birth. JUST KIDDING. I think the idea of a home birth is beautiful for some, but just not for me. Really, I am open to an epidural and pain control and plan to use as needed.
  • Continue my chiropractic adjustments weekly. My chiropractor has experience with VBAC mommas and has seen correct alignment prove to be helpful with VBAC deliveries. Given the fact that my pubic bone was separating so early and my pelvis was out of line, I'm hoping that having her adjust me will put me in a better place for contractions that are productive this time around.
  • Keep active. Try to prevent the swelling nightmare from the first time around. Walk walk walk, which will help with previous item, too. Well, and chasing Asher and climbing stairs daily will help.
  • Do not schedule a c-section until 41 weeks, and then only if I feel like that's the appropriate route. My OBGYN will not induce me since I had a c-section with Asher. So, I'm not interested in being forever overdue, miserable and end up in an emergency c-section situation.
  • Research doula support as a supplement to our labor experience. I actually began this process officially today and realized that I'm very late to the ballgame. I don't think I'll be able to find a qualified, experienced doula at such late notice. In the cost department, Rusty was not so thrilled, but I've had several friends mention the positive experience that the doula was able to provide them during their labor and deliveries. It'd be great to maybe even find a new doula in the area that's looking for clients or visibility and work out a blog/doula swap off. Either way, though, I may have missed the boat on this one. 
  • Have a plan in place for Asher and Rusty. Come to peace with the fact that if there is some crazy flu outbreak at the time of delivery, I may not be able to see Asher while at the birth center. Use this as fuel for my VBAC fire (less time at hospital).
  • Remind myself to take my Zoloft to delivery and pop that pill ASAP following birth. Also, remind myself that my body may have a much better time recovering and dealing with delivery and postpartum hormones if I can manage a VBAC. We've even talked about placenta encapsulation over here as a means to help me in my postpartum recovery. The idea kind of makes me gag to myself, but in reading about the benefits and the research behind it all, there does seem to be something to it. I don't think Rusty will ever officially agree to it, but it is something we are researching. 
  • Realize that this is not all in my control. I can pray about it. I can prepare for whatever may happen. And I can be proud of growing this baby thus far and even more proud when I see his sweet face for the first time - no matter how we get to that meeting. 
So that, my friends, is our plan this time around. Please pray for a safe delivery and a healthy baby. And pray that God's will be done along the way. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Losing his lap


Slowly, my lap is running out of room for the Asher man. He will back his way up and plop down and squeeze in. And then, bless him, he will try to lean back and relax. It's like leaning back around an exercise ball and calling it cozy - not likely.

It makes me sad. Does he understand what's going on? Is he missing the way it used to be? So many changes ahead for him. I just hope we all handle it well and Asher just feels the expansion of love when his brother arrives.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Random Ramblings

And, I mean random. But here are some things that keep popping into my head.

  • Christmas decorations are fantastic. I heard people griping that they were up around Halloween, but  honestly, I didn't mind at all. I love Christmas and all things Christmas and I think such an important and beautiful holiday deserves more than just 30 days of decorating. Granted, I know a lot of places are trying to 'make money' off the holiday, but I enjoy seeing trees and sparkly wintry things hanging from the ceiling at Target even when I'm shopping for bleach in the first of November. I like the wreaths on the light poles and the bows on the railings. Bring it on, I say!
  • I'm so tired of hearing about the Elf on the Shelf. I get it, and yes I think it's pretty neat. But, I'm going to try not to give into that. First of all, it's everywhere. Movies and books and this and that. I think more focus on Christmas belongs on baby Jesus and the true meaning of the holiday. Not an elf on a shelf trying to make kids behave. Of course, when my kid continues his tantrums and terrible two-ness next year I could revisit this stance. But, mostly, I want the focus in our family to remain on the birth of Jesus, as much as possible. That is all.
  • Santa diapers are awesome.
  • I slacked on our Advent calendaring this year. I know, this kind of goes against random thought #2. But, I'm pregnant and that entitles me to being a little too tired. My mom and I gathered Christmas and holiday books - one for each day of the month. The plan was to wrap each of them, open one every night and read it together as family. Next year, we'd do the same with the same book collection. And the tradition would repeat itself over the years. Except, December 1st came really fast and the only presents (four of them) wrapped in this entire house are the ones my sweet mom wrapped for me weeks ago. So, to sit down and wrap 25 books just wasn't happening. Instead, I have the adorable wooden sled that Rusty's Granddad made overflowing with our Christmas books and we read them when we can. Sometimes, over and over and over when Asher finds one he likes. We'll regroup on this next year.
  • I feel large. And I get winded so easily. The stairs are a pain in my hind parts and bending over to pick up toys is not pleasant. But, I do believe said activities are helping keep the swelling down. Knock on wood.
  • Hmm, what else did I want to ramble about? 
  • I'm hungry again. 
  • Have I expressed how the humidifier is my child's favorite toy ever? Or gadget, since we don't advocate it as a toy. We use it most every night because my kid can snort and snore like an adult. And the thrill of his night every night is filling it up and turning it on. I'm serious, ya'll. 
  • Currently, my favorite thing that Asher says is: "Ere-it-is". Read: There it is. And he says it in context. And it's fantastic.
  • Currently what he says too much and in repetition and in repetition and in repetition and in repetition that drives me crazy: Uh oh uh oh uh oh uh oh uh oh. Loon loon loon loon loon loon. Pasay pasay pasay pasay pasay. Uh oh uh oh uh oh uh oh uh oh.  No no no no no no no no no no no no no.
  • Today, we were listening to the Trans Siberian Orchestra. Asher was eating his fruit calmly and one of the songs crescendo'ed to a loud, active, rocking part. Asher threw his hands up like he was conducting the orchestra and started dancing. Just when I thought my kid couldn't get any cooler, he went and did that.
  • I'm going to stop rambling now, take my Ambien and go to bed. Night night!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Baby Dos Experience @ 27 & 28 weeks



Yes, a 28 week wagon photoshoot. Cuz we're cool like that.

Playing catch up here a tad.

When I was pregnant with Asher, I remember telling people I was hobbling because I felt like I had been kicked in the crotch by a horse. Just a bruised feeling.

In the last few weeks, that feeling has returned. And in the last week - WHEW - it's gotten a lot worse. Putting on my shoes, pants, getting in and out of the car, turning over in bed, walking. All of those hurt in a really bad way. I called my OB and they had me come in before Thanksgiving just to be sure all was ok. And it was, in that Dos is chilling and doing great. But, it seems my pubic bone is separating.

This is normal at the very end of pregnancy, when your hormones tell your ligaments to loosen up to prepare for birth. Not so normal now where the left side of my pubic bone is heading on outta there. There's no harm to Dos. Just painful as hell for me.

There's a medical term for it. I just call it my separated pubic bone and some obscenities sprinkled along in there, too. The OB says she's seen a patient in a wheelchair until delivery because hers separated so horribly she couldn't walk. My options were to buy a support band that goes from my crotch to my neck (um, no thanks) or go see a chiropractor. Yes, please.

My mom went to a chiropractor when she was pregnant with me and Joni. She went from bed rest early in her pregnancy with me (per her orthopedic doctor) to teaching up until she delivered me (with the help of her chiropractor). Back then, they were really seen as a far out approach to medicine or healing. Now, they are definitely more widely accepted.

My OB referred me to a practice that specializes in pediatric and pregnancy care. I went on Monday of this week and I go again tomorrow morning. She did an exam and adjusted me. Turns out, my entire pelvis is out of line which is likely causing a lot of my pain. My pubic bone is, in fact, separating and there are some things she can try to do to help with that. But, the reality is it may just keep right on happening. She can however help align my pelvis, which could help with the pubic bone along the way.

She showed me a pelvis skeleton thingie and everything made so much sense. She said a lot of women that are hoping for VBACs can find a lot of help from chiropractic care. The uterus needs to be aligned, pelvis, spine and all in order for contractions to do exactly what they are meant to do. Makes sense to me. We shall see. But that whole VBAC is another post for another day.

I am hoping for some relief in the pubic pelvic department tomorrow after my adjustment. (Rusty just said it sounds like I'm writing a porno. No, no, nope. Just talking about pregnancy pains.) Overall though, still feeling good. Energy is up. Weight gain is under control. Excited to meet Dos!

Oh! And in other news. I'm coming off my meds gradually. I can definitely feel the OCD and anxiety heightening, but I'm trying to stick with no meds for the third trimester. We'll see how that goes. I'm not going to drive myself and everyone around me crazy if it just is more than I can handle. I'll just stick with the lowest dose possible if I need to.

Ok. Done updating now. Goodnight!


My boy. And his girl.







Sunday, November 27, 2011

The toddler Christmas tree.


It's not the most beautiful tree in the world, but at the same time it is the most beautiful tree in the world.

We have a tree in our family room that's specifically for Asher to decorate. I wanted something we could all enjoy without my anxiety about hooks and glass and small parts sending me through the roof every day.

So, I took the toddler-safe ornaments and used pipe cleaners to fashion toddler-friendly 'hooks'. In this case, hooks are really just big loops. Asher can walk up to the tree and hang them himself.

The ones that I want him to steer away from I will make smaller loops and put them higher up on the tree. Or, you know, if giant pipe cleaner loops aren't quite your style, you can make them less obvious with smaller loops.

So far, he's loved taking the ornaments off and on and looping them on his arm like bracelets. He organizes and reorganizes them almost daily. It's pretty adorable. And I'm not stressing out the entire time, which is pretty fantastic.

Joni and Asher also made paper garland to wrap around the tree (and practice colors). We have a few more homemade items that will adorn his tree over the next few weeks - scrap fabric, snowflakes, paper airplanes, etc. Makes for a pretty good time and a pretty cute tree, too.


Monday, November 21, 2011

First Christmas Parade

This is so fun; all of these firsts.



I had high hopes for our parade outing, and while it was a fun first adventure, the parade wasn't so spectacular itself. We were near the beginning of the route and I think that they just didn't have the timing right. There would be minutes of no action between each group. Which, with a toddler and an antsy husband, isn't so desirable.


Joni and I, though, could have sat back and watched all day happily (well, if we had found a bathroom nearby). So, we didn't last the whole parade. But Asher did have a lot of 'whoooaa' and 'wow' and 'balloon' action. And a lot of irritable-don't-make-me-sit-here-another-minute action.


 
He cleared his own little path from our seats three rows back to the curb. It made for a lot of up and down action for us, chasing him. He's certainly not shy.



Here are a few pics. Camera battery was dying, so I didn't get as many as I'd like. But, still the cuteness of this kid shines through.







Friday, November 18, 2011

Joseph's Lullaby

This quiet tune just came on my Pandora Christmas station (which was otherwise rockin!). It caught my attention. And, wow, what a gorgeous song. How have I not heard this before?

Telling such a beautiful story. I can just picture sweet Baby Jesus and his sweet daddy. Christmas is such a magical time, and pretty amazing to picture Jesus as a tiny, helpless little newborn. This song helps to remind you. Happy (almost) Birthday, Baby Jesus.

Joseph's Lullaby by Mercy Me
Go to sleep my Son
This manger for your bed
You have a long road before You
Rest Your little head

Can You feel the weight of Your glory?
Do You understand the price?
Or does the Father guard Your heart for now
So You can sleep tonight?

Go to sleep my Son
Go and chase Your dreams
This world can wait for one more moment
Go and sleep in peace

I believe the glory of Heaven
Is lying in my arms tonight
But Lord, I ask that He for just this moment
Simply be my child

Go to sleep my Son
Baby, close Your eyes
Soon enough You'll save the day
But for now, dear Child of mine
Oh my Jesus, Sleep tight

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Baby Dos Experience @ 25+ weeks


Well, here we are. 25 weeks and 5 days with the Dos Man. My belly has been rocking and rolling lately. Asher also likes to rock and roll ON my belly, so that's been fun to maneuver around. 

I am feeling fabulous. For reals. Sleeping pretty well, thanks to Benadryl. Mentally feeling good. Loving on some Asher and Rusty. Staying active. Working really hard and staying busy.

Sometimes I think, 'oh I can't wait!' and other times I think, 'no, no, don't rush it.' I rest when I can. I sleep in when Asher lets me. We still have lots of preparation to do. But we are taking it easy. We are enjoying our family of three, and looking forward to becoming four.



p.s. The point of these images was to show '2' and '5' for 25 weeks. Joni seems to think 52 weeks is more appropriate. Ha! LYBUTT, Belle.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

My toddler watches TV.

Asher is a TV fan. He has been since he was little bitty.

I kid you not; when he was screaming with colic and nothing would calm him - all you had to do was cuddle him in front of the Wonderpets and the kid would settle down. Seriously. I hated that damn intro tune because I heard it so much, but it was a lifeline for our sanity.

And when he was a few months older, he would smile ear to ear every time Mickey Mouse's ears would come over the hill at the beginning of every Clubhouse episode. And, once again, I hated that damn 'hot dog hot dog hot diggity dog' closing song. (For real, what happened to the good 'ole Mickey Mouse Clubhouse theme song from back in my day? Loved that one.)

These days, I keep him from watching shows I don't like so much. Like Spongebob and Phineas and Ferb and anything else that annoys my hormones at the moment, or just seems plain inappropriate or bratty or meaningless. But, we do watch Sesame Street, Signing Time and Mickey and Disney movies and yes, The Young and the Restless in our house. (The kid stops what he is doing when the theme song starts playing. He's done that since he was tiny. Oopsie.)

I think it's pretty fantastic to watch him interact with these programs. He talks to the characters, counts along with the shows, signs 'bird' when a bird appears on the screen, says 'Bye' when Blue turns in for the night. (I can't stand this show, but it's Rusty and Asher's bedtime ritual.) He starts saying 'mine, mine, mine' in the moments before the seagulls try to eat Dori and Marlin. He giggles and dances and sings along with Choo Choo Soul. He points out Elmo when we pass him in stores.

And we are totally ok with it. We like it, even. I grew up watching Sesame Street every day at Miss Pat's house. And the episode of Mr. Ed from the night before when I woke up each morning. And I think I'm pretty smart. So, watch on Asher. Watch on and learn and blossom and grow. We won't listen to the American Academy of Pedia-whoevers on this one.

That is all.

And this is what I made!


Pinterest is addictive, is it not? But I've gotten some great inspiration (while cutting into my work productivity, mind you) on easy-to-do home decorations.

I love the holidays! And I wanted to do something unique to decorate for Thanksgiving. I found a few ideas, pinned them and voila! I actually completed a few of my projects last week. And so, I'm excited to share them.


First up, a rag tag fireplace garland. I used old strips of fabric that my mom brought by for me to dig through. If that didn't give me what I needed, I planned to go through Rusty's old plaid, flannel shirts and use them instead. Either way - cheap! I started with $1 ribbon from Michael's, but had the backup plan of old rope from the garage. Again - cheap! I like how it turned out. This would be a fun kid's project, too, with fabric to match whatever holiday is coming up. But, expecting Asher to tie knots around ribbon wasn't in the cards this time around.


Also, I collected old liquor and wine bottles from Joni and friends for the next project. I took acrylic paint (old, leftover from old painting projects) and squirted them into each bottle. After drying overnight, I took more of my $1 Michael's clearnace ribbon and glued letters to the bottles. I am pleased with how they turned out. I have plans of hoarding more bottles and making other versions of this one. J-O-Y or S-P-R-I-N-G. It could be cute with tiny baby food jars, too.

We have a lot to be thankful for this year, and I'm reminded of that every time I pass through our front room.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Handmade adorableness


My friend Christal is getting a little biz going in her home. She's making these adorable handmade applique shirts for little ones. Well, and bags and burp cloths and pillow cases and the like. Here I'm sharing some items she's made recently.


My Asher will be the proud model (owner) for the aviator, turkey and Christmas tree shirts. And my boys (plural) will be the proud models for the Big Bro/Lil Bro duo set when Dos Man joins us in February. The stitching you see (look close!) is all done by hand and you can customize to your heart's delight. Pick fabric, thread colors, designs, etc.









These shirts are $15/each. She's taking orders now for Thanksgiving and Christmas. If you like what you see, let me know and I can connect you two. Thanks for supporting my lovely, dear, sweet, awesome friend, fellow working mom and 'shopping' local!





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