Friday, July 31, 2009

Visits Some More

Brenda and Karin came to do a week check up. They got to weigh him in the sling thing. I was happy because that is an image I often see during home birth photos. Link peed in it. Brenda asked me questions to address my feelings and let me cry. She cried with me and cried about how beautiful my birth was. She also wanted to assure me that the reason they suggested the hospital was because my uterus, which worked so beautifully to open up the first day (She said I was actually an 8 when she first checked me) decided that it was done working with me during contractions after so long. That made me feel a whole lot better.

In a somewhat nesting like way we bought a lawn mower and an upright freezer as well. Amber came to help move the freezer, though it was taken care of when she got here. My mom came later to drop off the lawn mower that I ordered in Waterloo. She also got a kidopatomaus swaddle thing that Link loves and a breast feeding bra that fit me perfectly. She made me so happy, but I think she left disappointed in me. She really wanted to hold Link and he was nursing the whole time. I think he is going through a growth spurt already because he literally does not take more than a 30 min nap in between and he will nurse for like 2 hours. I wasn't willing to take him off for her. She also was upset we got a freezer because she was planning on getting us that for Christmas. Unfortunately, we need one now with this little one here (plus I didn't know it). And then to make matters even better she had to ask me when we were getting him baptized, which I think my answer was a little to late in her time frame.

Trish and Richard brought Sam over to see Link yesterday. Today the Banses came with Jonathan. They also made all these onsies for us that are so fun, tie die and puffy paint. Joleen visited yesterday as well. Lincoln's umbilical cord fell off today. I'm glad, that thing freaked me out the whole time it was attached. I don't know why, but I have always been skittish around umbilical cord stumps. Probably because it is scab like.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Larry and Andrea and Coraline

Yesterday was a pretty quiet day. I watched Coraline while Bryce was at a meeting. Very good flick. Then Larry and Andrea came over and Larry gave me a massage which was phenominal. I didn't know I hurt so many places. After the massage I released so many toxins that I started shivering and then went into a hot sweat. Super interesting fact that I had no idea about, they were going to name my oldest cousin Lincoln if it was a boy, but Amanda was a girl. They were inspired by the mod squad character (who I did not know was named Lincoln either).

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

One Week Link

One Week Link, originally uploaded by Shannon Marye.

Lincoln is one week old. He is a beautiful little boy who looks a lot like his dad. He has also been compared to a turtle and a little old man. His lower lip is sucked in so that it meets his top gum line. He has a lot of brown, blond, and even a little red hair. He has very dark blue eyes. He loves making sweeping movements with his arms and grabbing at things, especially when nursing. He likes to open his eyes and show just the whites to freak people out.

Lincoln nurses well although sometimes it takes him a while to settle down, stop squirming or pushing himself away. He grunts like a pig when trying to find his source of nourishment and squeals high when he pulls away.

Lincoln sleeps all night long and only really wants three large meals a day (even though I still try to get him to take lots of snacks).

He has lots of bowel movements, usually just after being changed, just to tease his daddy. Bryce and Link enjoy working together (Link in the sling or moby). Bryce is really good at moving him up and down, creating white noise, swaddling him and is often able to make Link stop crying immediately. Link also enjoys sucking on my pinky finger and bouncing upright on my lap.

We are so in love with this little guy. He is way too cute to be a bother and a rather mellow child anyway. He is so new though sometimes we even forgot his name. I don't think either of us have said anything but Link or Lincoln, but lots of other names will pop into my head.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

First Cries

first cry, originally uploaded by Shannon Marye.

By most standard births, my experience was exceptional. I was able to labor in the comfort of my own home for as long as my body needed to with an amazing support team and no desire or mention of drugs. I was transferred to an exceptional hospital in a calming relaxing way that did not involve any emergency transfer. I was able to relax in a birth tub both at home and in the hospital and use a birth stool both places. I was able to labor still as long as my body needed with the same support team and without mention of epidural. My husband was able to catch our child and leave the cord on as long as needed. I ripped just ever so slightly that I was able to opt out of any stitches and six days later (today) am almost completely healed. I was able to take home the placenta and was treated in such an exceptionally loving way with a holistic approach by all who talked to me. Really, the birth of Lincoln was amazing.
Unfortunately, I still cry each day with Lincoln as we mourn the one thing we really wanted. To birth in the comfort of our own home. I still don't remember how things progressed to the point I left. I don't remember how I forgot about all the focus points I set up and activities to do to keep me focused. All I remember was wanting to be finished, but now I just want to go back and do it again.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Our little piggy

Today Julie Grau came over and did our first session with infant massage. Link really enjoyed it and was really calm the whole way through. While I was massaging his ankles (the reflexology points for genitalia) Link peed all over me. We had placed a washcloth lightly over and under him, but the force was to strong. He also soiled the cloth when Bryce did the other ankle. Julie also did some cranial sacral work on Link's poor head, which is so great because it is definitely the area of most pain for him, even though it looks great for all it went through.

Breastfeeding is going really well. I woke up with engorged breasts, but only because Link is a fabulous sleeper. He slept a full seven hours last night. Although he has a fabulous latch and I am just streaming with milk our biggest problem is just getting him to suck continually. He has to be swaddled tightly or he pushes back with his arms. He also grunts like a pig when he puts his head in to drink and after about three pulls he pulls his head back and squeals really loud. The first night we were in bed together he was making these noises and I woke up to feed him in the middle of the night half asleep. I was half dreaming, I think because of the animal sounds that we were both continually changing into other animals (like the wizards duel on The Sword in the Stone) and I had to figure out how to nurse him being a different animal (like a horse) while he was a different animal (like a chicken).

Link has stopped gagging and throwing up amniotic fluid, which makes us all feel better. He is going through the stage of his pours opening up so I keep thinking he is getting bitten by insects, but he just has little white dots with red around them for little periods of time and then they disappear.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

First weekend

Lincoln Squeeks
Originally uploaded by Shannon Marye
Our first weekend together was also Sweet Corn Days. Bryce covered for me at the "Paint the Keystone Bridge" event which didn't have many attenders and he also had to cook at the restaurant that night.

On Saturday morning Great Grandma Koch showed up to visit Lincoln. He was really good for her and she brought over lunch of garden fresh casseroles, breads, and pie. We all ate at the dinner table. My mom was still there from that night. I sat on the birthing ball and it helped me out a lot. Everything went really well, until right before my grandma left I overheard her whisper to my mom that she had prayed and prayed that I would go to the hospital for the birth. In my mind all I could think was "You jerk, how about pray that my labor went smoothly and beautifully so I would have a great experience rather than having to do something that seriously punctured my soul." But, as Bryce always reminds me, take it with a grain of salt. I mean she was already spouting not sleeping with the kid or he would never go in his own bed and that eating comfrey would make his stool really loose (um, he won't be pooping solid for a long time Grams).

Following grandma's visit Dani and Liz came over. My mom left to walk in the parade. Dani and Liz made an awesome dinner of bbq beef and pasta salad with cucumber and carrots. I feel like I have eaten from everyone's garden this week and it rocks. They helped us give Link his first bath which he really liked. They stayed while Bryce was at work and my mom went to church and stuff. They also rented a couple of movies for me and brought over some great gifts (including some shared Jasmine, Thanks sweetie). We talked about all sorts of things including breastfeeding, placenta, etc. I think they are weirded out by the philosophies I adhere to, but they were very welcoming of the new ideas to. They didn't realize you could take your placenta home for instance and they were interested in seeing mine, but it was frozen and I didn't feel like getting it out. When they left we watched PS I love you.

On Sunday we were pretty much on our own. My mom decided she wasn't going to spend the night with us any longer unless we needed her to. I was nervous, but we have been good ever since. She is still just a phone call away and I can walk and get up a whole lot better now. Brian and Frederique came over that night with a casserole they made which was so delicious. Everyone thought so including Lincoln, who got to taste it on his eye when I spilled some on him while I was nursing. I looked down and there was this cheesy smear over his eyelid, fortunately he was pretty much asleep. Bryce and I watched Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist, which I really enjoyed.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The first three nights

We have had so many great visitors and friends come during our first week after the birth.

Our first night (Wednesday) was at the hospital which allowed some good rest after a hard labor, but was full of nurses trying to encourage us to do this and that which was fine, but when we got home we realized that everything could be swept under the rug. I don't need nipple shields or have flat nipples like they were telling me I did. I also am slightly worried about what was done to my child while I was not present, but I don't think anything too bad as we only had him in the nursery for about 2-3 hours.

Our second night (Thursday) consisted of going home (we briefly stopped by Beth and Steve's in Monona for a peak) and bringing the guest bed downstairs. Leslie Schiller came over in the role as our personal breast feeding consultant and helped me get started nursing naturally. She gave me excellent advice and excellent emotional uplift. It is to her I owe all my gratitude for continued success and a positive outlook. My mom came over and stayed on the couch. Bryce and I tried to sleep together with the baby between us and we did, but I hardly slept as Link would often gag in the night or I would just be worried about his breathing.

On Friday Leslie came over again in the morning and evening to make sure I was doing well with feeding. She also brought an abundance of food. Trish and Richard came to stay with my while Bryce was at work. Trish overlapped with meeting Leslie (both I wanted to have meet for a long time) and with Moira and Karin who came for a first home visit. Karin Martin was my doula during the labor and she was great comfort throughout the whole birth. Moira checked me out and the baby and suggested comfrey for my swelling (which she brought in tea and compress format) and cranial sacral work for Lincoln. It was really great to see them again. During their visit the sky went totally green, the tornado sirens went off, the wind started blowing, so we got on the computer and there was a tornado sighting and a path laid out for where it was going to hit. Elkader had about 10 minutes. I slowly made my way to the wet basement with a pillow to sit on and Karin brought Link down, but it was only a few minutes before everything cleared up again and everything was fine. Trish and Richard bought a bunch of food for us and served me coco pebbles and strawberry and spinach salad and helped me talk about the birth experience while Bryce was at work. They said such encouraging things that made my heart ache with joy. One of my favorites was that Trish (who had a home birth) had always told people it is safe and not necessary to be next door to a hospital to have the child, but people often discredit her. She said my birth was an excellent example of how home birth transfers are rarely emergencies and are done with such great guidance of midwives. During this time Trish and Richard also did the dishes and litter box and such. People keep taking care of us in such great ways I don't know who is doing what or when. My mom and dad came over that night and stayed. Dad up in our bed, my mom on the couch, Bryce in the chair, Link and I got the whole bed.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Photos up on Flickr

LIncoln in all his cuteness, originally uploaded by Shannon Marye.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Let's Start Again

I keep waking up more and more. So I am taking the birth story off for a second as I continue to remember bits and pieces and form a complete story. My whole world feels like I have been reborn and I have to start all over again.

Link is my favorite thing in the whole world. We are off to a good start with breastfeeding. Bryce is doing a great job with "output", diapering. We are going to wait until the umbilical cord is off until we do the cloth diapering.

I will post photos on flickr now.

Lincoln’s Birth Story

3:00 am I woke up, went to the bathroom and there was blood. I went to bed for an hour and contractions began. I woke up Bryce and had him count with me. At around 5 am, maybe, I called Brenda to tell her. She was excited and said “It’s your baby’s birthday!” I got excited as well. As the contractions continued to intensify Bryce hid easter eggs around the house with messages of hope in them from moms written during my blessingway ceremony. I also took a shower, tried to eat some breakfast, barfed, and done a lot of walking and prepping the space. At about noon my friend Trish came over. I was planning on doing all these cool things with friends (as they were available for labor projects, like cooking, knitting, singing, etc) but instead it was more like calm talking interrupted every five minutes or so by my intense breathing and counting my way through contractions. I remembered to breath slow and make low noises but I forgot about my horse lips and such to relax me. The counting became so mantra like that I would sometimes just start counting randomly. The counting was good to help me realize each contraction was almost done. At about 4:00 my mom came over with my sister, Amber. I had not invited my sister to the birth, but she just showed up and I although I was concerned at first, it ended up being a godsend. While I intended my mom to be this great support, I think she actually was a little traumatized by reliving the whole ordeal and was not as comfortable with my midwives, while my sister was just like I wanted my mom to be. The "you are almost there" and providing the great strength to lean on. Trish and I talked about birth and she left shortly before Brenda got here at around 5 pm or so for an event she had to attend. She said she would be back if we wanted her to come.
Brenda came when I asked her to come check my dilation. We had just been talking on the phone up until then. When she came it was drizzly with rain. She said she saw the biggest rainbow in the sky and Tirsh also said it was an eclipse night. I was very excited about the world outside and was hoping to see the eclipse that night. I was guessing after so many hours of rather patterned labor I was doing well, but I didn't want to upset myself so I guessed I was dilated to about a 4. When Brenda checked she said I was a 7-8. I only had 2 cm before I was fully dilated. I thought wow, this is going to be a great day to labor. Cat Steven's birthday, eclipse, uterus opening beautifully.
After the check I got naked and in the birth tub and tried relaxing and fully dilating. Moira and Karin (the other part of the home birth team) got here and started setting up. I was in the tub for a pretty long time. I thought I would like hands and knees and squatting and all these gravitational positions, but everything went out the door when I was in pain and all I wanted to do was sit on my butt. Lying down however was the most intense contractions and I did not like those. Before it got dark I was full dilated and ready to go, but tired. I pushed and pushed for a long time, on the birthing stool, standing, squatting, etc. Amber was the one holding my hands and reminding me to breath low. Bryce and Karin did the counting and the counter pressure on my back. Moira had me drink wheat grass for energy. After each contraction from the beginning I would burp. After the wheatgrass that is what I burped every time. It was awful.
All night long I kept pushing as midwives and family members took small breaks. I heard my midwife Moira (who was due 5 days later was having some contractions along with me). I was encouraged to sleep but I couldn't do that any better than I could keep any food down. When 3 o'clock in the morning came again I had been fully dilated for a long time. My midwives asked if they could break my water. They did with some difficulty. My placenta was super thick and mature. I was discouraged by the time. I started to go into this world where I forgot everything and could just see people moving around me (which I didn't realize until just looking at the pictures later and seeing how different the world actually looked that I was in it). It lasted until the end of my labor. I tried almost everything again, the tub, the stool, etc., but forgot my cds, my power figures, books, my quotes, etc. My whole body had been muscle shaking (shock) since about midway through labor and continued until I was done. The rippling water because of the shakes made me laugh. When the sun came up I had been pushing and fully dilated for over 12 hours so my midwives gave me some options 1. black and blue cohosh to intensify contractions or 2. pitocin to help my worn out uterus and fluid iv (thus hospital). We went with number one. Until 7 am and the contractions were absolutely killing me and Brenda informed me that my uterus, which had done an amazing job at opening so quickly had begun to stop contracting with me. I was pushing but uterus muscle was not. Then we had to go to option number two.
I was really mad at myself, but ready to be done so I just got in the van and rode. I pretty much was totally asleep in between contractions and pushing so hard during contractions, even with my pants on. When we got to the hospital Moira (with her big belly) quickly pushed me in a too small wheel chair down to our tiny room. I got to the hospital room and I stripped and got in the birthing tub. They put this floaty thing under my arms I could lean back into. My mom said I pretty much tipped my head back and snored really loud for about 3 min and then would sit up in pain and push. I had to get out to give some blood and start the pitocin. I didn’t notice but Bryce said the woman who came to take my blood was not comfortable with my nudity and was looking at everything but me the whole time.
Dr. Schwartz, an excellent back up doctor, pretty much let my midwives control everything, from the medicine to working with me. I was put on pitocin (only level 10 if that means anything to anyone, later when I was done they put it on 100 when I finished birth to help shrink my uterus.) We tried the birthing stool again and lying on my side with my leg in the air. The baby came down a little and was just inches away but would not crown. It was incredibly hard to have pushed so hard and then have breath so deeply in between pushes to help the babies heart rate stay great. He was doing so well for being in the canal so long. The doctors, nurses, family members all played various rolls in which all seemed like a blur. It was not until 5 pm at night, 39 hours after my first contraction that I had to make one more big decision that I hated. Vacumn extractor. Dr. Schwartz explained to me the device (which I thought would be electric or something, not a little hand squeezed suction cup) how he would still need me to push hard, how he still wouldn't use any pain medication, how it would hurt. I thought he used it all the way until the baby was out but Bryce said it was just twice to bring the head to crowning. I found this out when I asked Bryce "How was Dr. Schwartz able to hold my leg up at the same time he was pulling on the vacumn at the end." Bryce was like "He didn't, you pushed him out yourself." So after the crowning and the announcement of hair my midwives and such wanted to encourage me with touching the baby's head, but I was so angry inside that I didn't want to do anything of the sort. I just kept holding on to Amber and waiting for the next time to push. Bryce was moved down to my legs to catch the baby and in a couple more pushes out came a baby boy. He was immediately thrown on my chest and rubbed for breathing and circulation and started crying. Everyone was saying he so I asked if it was a boy and Karin, who was beside me, said yes.
Everything continued to be a frenzy. People clapped, my family suddenly disappeared to go out to eat (no one had eaten in a long time), the nurses tried to do their regular procedures (having me sign this waiver and that waiver for not getting all these tests done) while the midwives did theirs, Bryce was in tears beside me, I was still trying to decide if I was happy or not with a bloody crying baby on my chest. Brenda sang me a song. I just kept holding the baby who kept crying.
It was fun to see the medical staff and midwife staff interact with each other. Moira and Brenda were helping me deliver the placenta and protecting my umblical cord connection. Finally I saw Bryce cut the cord with one of their help and I realized I needed to give another big push so I did to deliver the placenta. I saw Brenda and Dr. Schwartz examining my placenta to show me the home of what the baby was in. I felt how thick the walls were that made the breaking of the water so hard. I also saw the calcium deposits from the placenta staying overdue in my uterus so long. They put it in the fridge for me to take home. The other two nurses were rubbing down my belly, which really hurt to get the uterus to contract. The nurses were Jane and later I found out her mother, whose name I can’t remember.
The midwives made there departure, Dr. Schwartz did as well, and Bryce went home with my parents to get clothes and stuff for the night and a car with a car seat in it. I was suddenly all alone in the room with the baby, still unweighed, still crying, still bloody. I think that was when I finally woke up and realized I was a done and a mom. Bryce seemed to take forever getting back tot he hospital but he came back with a car and a car seat and we spent the night there recovering. I was very weak, low iron and very faint. I was in so much pain vaginally I can hardly walk. They put in some videos on taking care of a baby and gave me food. I was starving but couldn’t eat much all at once. Link was really quiet. They finally took him to be weighed and he was 10 lbs 1.5 ounces, 22 inches long, and 15 cm diameter head. Later looking through paper work I also see they did his footprints and gave him a bath. Jane’s mom was the breastfeeding educator. She had me try all sorts of things including shields, sugar water feeding tube by the breast, etc and told me I had flat nipples. When I got home and Leslie came over she was able to throw all those things in the trash and have me start again. I am so happy I have Leslie.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

It started

3:00 am I woke up, went to the bathroom and there was blood. I called Brenda and soon after started contractions. I am in the middle of the first stage of labor right now. It is ok. Bryce hid easter eggs around the house with messages of hope in them from moms written during my blessingway ceremony. I have also taken a shower, tried to eat some breakfast, barfed, and done a lot of walking. I am really tired and am falling asleep as I write this. It is really uncomfortable to lie down though. Contractions have hurt the least when I am standing in the shower.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Swallowing and Turning Colors

This post may be a little too much for some people so I'm warning you ahead of time.

What a weird day. It started with my midwife telling me to give head. This is the oddest thing any medical professional has ever said to me. I guess the prostoglandens in semen are what help start labor and lots of people have told us to have sex, but Brenda was the first person to tell us that the prostoglandens are better absorbed into the uterus from the gut rather than the vagina.

Bryce and I ate at the Magpie Cafe, which is always a great little place for coffee and sandwiches. I started the black and blue cohosh there. When I got home I started the castor oil, which I am just taking straight. It is gross to swallow oil, but better than an oily drink that lasts a while. Before it could work it's way through my system Bryce and I went to the Buttery and bought the corner curio cabinet I had my eye on for 6 months. It is really gorgeous and now in our dinning room with all our dishes in it.
My parents helped us bring it home and we feed them some Fennelly's cheeseburgers (being that all other restaurants with take out are closed on Mondays). I needed to stay home so I could be close to the toilet.

Around 8:00, Brenda called with a check up and had me stop with all herbs and focus on relaxation. I took a sitz bath to help with my sore bottom from all the castor oil. While in the tub I noticed I have a patch of brown spotty brown discoloration on the center of my thigh. Lots of people get the brown trail from the pubic bone to the breast bone. (I heard it is an evolutionary way for newborns to scoot themselves up to the boobs, which is what they do if you let them.) I have the bottom of it and the top of it but it doesn't connect and it is freckly, which will leave any baby confused and probably searching in the newly darkened well of my belly button for milk. Then besides the darkening of my areolas, I have these dark circles around them, which again I think is a helpful target for the breastfeeding. The weird part is finding the same light brown freckles on my thigh. What is that there for and how did I get it? I also have the same discoloration in my armpits now too. They are all freckly brown and look like I haven't washed them in years. I'm on the hunt for more discolorations, I hope they go away sometime. Doing a full body exam I also noticed the darkening of my crack. When I see photos of people from the back giving birth with the head out, there bum is usually all stretched out and I see the dark discoloration, but I assumed these women were just always like that. While I haven't checked out my ass all that often, I definitely was not as dark there as I am now. I have become just like them. What is up with this?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

our new niece

Erika on Twitpic
Erika sleeping like our last baby didn't on Twitpic

Just got a call from Phil that his and Teresa's second daughter, Erika Josephine, was born. Phil described her as "cool".

With any luck, Erika's cousin will be here any day now.

induction ceremony

Bah-humbug. I need induction. It figures that with my body not reading my hormones at the beginning to conceive a child without the aid of drugs, my body is also not reading my hormones to get the child out without the aid of drugs. Fortunately I get to start (and hopefully end) with natural induction. My midwives, concerned with what they consider almost three weeks past due and only one centimeter, are ready to push me with black and blue cohosh and once again (ekk) castor oil. If that doesn't work I am going to be so completely sad as they are most likely, for their own legal sakes, going to send me to the hospital. Fortunately, we have a great doctor who will do water birth there and limited drugs. I so want to have a homebirth though. Fortunately I can still have my midwives and doulas around. Anyway, I've got about 1-3 days before I am a mama. Ahhhh!


Since I am mentally done with being pregnant my mind is constantly wandering to parenting. Thus the vaccine post. I am excited to start breast feeding as it to will be a new experience. I have heard everything from how it feels like shooting nails out of your boobs the first few days to how it is the deepest connection you will ever have with your child besides labor. Again "mothering" magazine had an excellent article written by a woman who lived in Mongolia during her young ones breast feeding days. The article besides being so hilarious was also about different cultural norms and how blessed she felt to live in the country for that reason.
Here is an excerpt:
"Testsgee had a different aproach. At the first murmur of discord, she would lift her shirt and start waving her boobs around enthusiastically, calling out, "Come here, baby, look what mama's got for you!" Not to be outdone, I adopted the same strategy. There we were, two mothers flapping our breasts like competing strippers trying to entice a client. If the grandparents were around, they'd get in on the act. The poor kids wouldn't know where to look- the reassuring fullness of their own mothers' breasts, granny's withered pancakes boasting its long experience, or the strange mound of flesh granddad was squeezing up in breast envy. Try as I might, I can't picture a similar scene at a La Leche League meeting."
I am so fortunate to have made a friend names Leslie in the last year who is a wonderful breastfeeding advocate. She started an entire section in the library devoted to breastfeeding and is a certified instructor. She is the town's Le Leche League as there is no actual group I know of. Today I was showing her the article and she was able to let me in of the fact that she nursed her younger until she was four. This made me ever so joyful as my sweet little niece was off the breast after about 2 weeks and my mom claims Vahida, just like herself just dried up (which usually just means something is up and you need to call your breast support specialist). The article had talked about nursing her son until he was done, which was about age 4 and how she could never have done that in her Canada home. I of course don't know how long I want to nurse, but I don't want to feel like I have to follow the cultural norm and if Leslie nursed until her babe was 4, which is not the norm around here, I feel I can too if it happens. She said it wasn't all the time, just before bed and random needed times and not out and about, but "As you have more kids and get older, you get bolder about what you want to do."

In addition to nursing I also listened to a podcast of Speaking of Faith where the subject was play. The interview was fantastic. One thing I really enjoyed was the speakers comments on how rough and tumble play teaches empathy and trust, because you learn what will hurt people and what won't and you use your judgement if you want to continue to play. He said people in jails for brutal crimes rarely had these experiences as a child. Here is a cool set of photographs in a small slide show with the speaker talking about play.

I realize I have been talking to my baby in my head for some time now, even though the child is not me. I guess because we are sharing one body I think it can hear my thoughts. Maybe I will think the same thing when we are nursing, but I am sure I will probably start talking out loud as soon as my sunshine arrives.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Not complaining

I'm not complaining (even though I still have a pretty impatient attitude). The thought running through my head now though is whether I am carrying a little cancer water crab or a fiery little leo lion(ness). I'm about four days away from making the jump. I think our little one just wanted to get in the Durbin line of birthday action. On Bryce's side next week is ripe with birthing action.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Vaccine debate

I received my "mothering" magazine today which had a great article on vaccine. However, this is another thing that I am now torn on. My midwives are anti-vaccine although they do give them if requested and they do inform me of all things that the baby could be vaccinated for. My pediatrician seems to be pro-vaccine, although we have only met him the one time. However, I think he is one of those people that would work with us and give us honest opinions. I mean the fact that he is a champion of home-birth in an illegal state shows some guts. Anyway, I don't know what to do. I see that blogger Jen is having her little guy vaccinated and she is someone I have agreed with on just about everything. One thing I am positive about is getting the Rhogam shot if the baby's blood doesn't match mine. My mother and father did because of their opposite blood types (as do Bryce and I). However, the funny thing is, I was the first child and I think I have my mother's blood type which actually means her shot was not even needed. If baby and I are opposite though I am not hesitating. Not getting the shot has pluses, but I think I said it before, I would automatically put myself at high risk for the next pregnancy and if I don't want the stress or want to home-birth again I am going to need it.
I also am following my mother and me pattern of being so damn late. My mom always says I was a month overdue. I am having no indications that I will be laboring soon and I am 8 days late. I'm not sure if I will be allowed to go a whole month these days. I really don't want a hospital birth. I hope my midwives don't send me there if I go past 14 days.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Gloves, Check

We were worried about the sterilized, individual packaged gloves. We couldn't find them anywhere. Today we got them at the Guttenberg Pharmacy. Brenda said baby was probably just waiting until we were all ready. Ok, little one, we are ready.

I read you can be at 1 cm for 4 weeks, how much would that suck to be pregnant for 4 more weeks. I don't think it is quite possible that I will be delivering on August 8. That would be crazy. Even though I said earlier I wish I could be pregnant longer, you can tell I am no longer in that mode. I would like to switch from being an elephant gestationally to being a mosquito.

Monday, July 13, 2009

1 cm

Brenda wanted to take a look at me since I thought that yesterday I may have had some water breakage (if I did it was just the first layer and not the second). She tested all sorts of things from things that could indicate pre-eclampsia to diabetes. I am as healthy as an ox. As is baby whose non-stress test showed great heartbeats.
I had my first vaginal check with her, which indicated that I was still in tack, but she said good things on the horizon. I am 1 cm dialated. Yes, I know that is so little, but it is so exciting. My cervix is also off to the left so she gave me some positions to stretch in for 15 - 30 min. One is really kind of hard. She also told me to drink more as women make up about 50% of the amniotic fluid and the longer the baby is in the stomach and fluid escapes the less boyancey there is for the cord to float around. I definitely want to avoid any cord problems being that it is so common and a big fear of people when I tell them about home birth. Even though the midwives do the same things doctors do with cord problems, undo them.
Brenda said she want us to come back next Monday, if she doesn't see us sooner, so there is a possibility that I will not be birthing this week either, but not for sure. I am ok with that, even though I am impatient.


Yesterday was a prep day. We double checked our supplies and did our bed up for the delivery. We also cleaned a bit and did some laundry. I put on my labor bracelet and away we go.
To get out of the house we went to Guttenberg again (everything is open there on Sunday, unlike Elkader). We went to Bender’s grocery and to China One. After a great meal we got our fortune cookies. Mine read “An unexpected event will soon make lyour life more exciting. Bryce’s read “Your talents will prove to be especially useful this week.”
When we got home it was about 7:30 PM. I was reading in an herbal book some things that can induce labor. I am a little back and forth about this because I don’t want to pressure the little one, but I want the babe to come soon so I don’t have to get my mom out of work or have to worry about the plans I am making, like the midnight showing of Harry Potter.
Anyway, the one I tried was basically a screwdriver with castor oil. It didn’t taste too bad, just oily. I followed it with a hot shower/bath. After that I started to get some labor pains. I had about three that were regular, then they stopped again. I was suppose to take another dosage an hour later, but before that could happen I was on the toilet and could not get off. Over the course of the night I pretty much birthed my entire large intestine. It sucked. I could hardly sleep because if I felt any gas I knew I had to make a run for it. So I am thinking I probably shouldn’t repeat the procedure, but I am in between. It probably is a good thing to be cleaned out for the birth, but I also feel like I am cheating and I want to hide the castor oil from my midwives, just like my anti-acid tablets.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Placenta: The Gift of Life

I saw this book on the table at the midwifes on Thursday so I picked it up and I love it. Basically because it is so hard to talk about placenta with people, it reaches to many people's discomfort zones, even from my friends who have used midwives.
The book has so many options and stories about how different cultures use placenta that I am unsure what I want to do. When I met Trish for the first time she still had Sam's placenta in the freezer. They planted it a few years later and I think maybe planted a tree on it, not sure exactly. That is a very common thing to do and I like the idea, especially the apple tree for a girl and a nut tree for a boy like they do in Switzerland (since I am trying to grasp my Swiss roots that I for so long believed were German).
Other things I liked were the sacredness people felt toward this organ they grew, believing it was the brother or sister to the child and not to just be chucked. It appears that in all other countries the use of placenta is still big, except in the US, where FDA puts the smack down for medical uses and such, but makeup companies can still use them. It is the hormones in the placenta that give the medicine its power and makeup it's "revitalizing"ness. The book even warns about not using placenta with teens because of the estrogen levels. Other good medicine uses are for breast milk production (adopted moms can get milk in by taking placenta) and people with things like alopecia and hair problems. I think if I want to do anything medically my midwife would probably help me. She made her own kombucha and is often talking tinctures and stuff.
I never really thought about the placenta and such until I was at the Buffalo Bill Museum in Wyoming and saw a Native American Rattle which used the umbilical cord in the rattle as a way to connect the child to its original home. I feel in love with the piece.
Anyway, I am only half way through the book and not decided, but I am excited about it. I was recipes in the back of the book and was joking with Brian and Frederique about putting a delicacy on the menu for one night only. They were pretty grossed out. I also told them that I would supply the milk for breast milk pancakes on Sundays. People will be flocking in. I also was doing research lately on breast milk and found adults are drinking it with cancer, because it is known to kill cancer cells in lab tests. I guess in a weird way having a baby is not only opening yourself up to producing life, you are also taking on the process of being consumed. Even if you did everything "normal" your milk would still be consumed by your baby and your placenta has got to be consumed by something, be it the landfill or the earth. I think not knowing where my placenta went after birth would unnerve me as much as the remains of a lost loved one.

Friday, July 10, 2009


Ahh, the agony, the anticipation. I traded spots with Bryce at the gallery at 2:00. I was about halfway down the block when the UPS truck pulled up to our house with the packages from Lorri, Ted and Mason. I ran back to help put them in the house, but now I know that there are 4 big boxes just sitting there and I can't open them until 5:00. It feels like Christmas eve.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Feeling patriotic

I went and got WIC checks the other day. It made me feel very patriotic. It is nice to see the government in action, helping those when they need it. It's the socialist part of democracy that I love the most. It made me want to go out and steal an American flag. What? They were all over the place with the fourth of July taking place. Who would have missed one. ;p
One pregnant lady at the clinic complimented me saying I looked really cute pregnant. She said she always makes herself look like a frump when she is pregnant. She didn't look frumpy but I knew what she meant. I wear things that make my belly big and noticeable and she had on a giant hooded sweatshirt.
WIC took a lot longer than I thought. They go over all sorts of health things with you including taking your blood for hemoglobin, checking your teeth and putting floride on them and all sorts of things.
We already used one check. It was basically $30 worth of groceries, which really helps with our budget. I will get a job sometime soon, but for a year now we get some assistance in the grocery department which is really nice.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Due Date

So, it is due date. I have gas, uterus grumblings, and the ability to feel all the bones of the baby when I lie down (I feel like I am lying on a skeleton at night) but nothing else. Bryce and I watched orgasmic birth again tonight and I feel a lot better. No bed protest. Now that the midwifes theory that I would go early is wrong I am going back to my theory that I will be two weeks late or so. Baby will come when ready and I am ok with that. Baby probably knows better when I will be ready too. I have been on this kick for a month of secretly thinking that baby is a girl, but I am back to having no idea. I am so excited to find out the gender, to see if the baby has a ton of hair, and to find out what race it is.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

More preggo photos

We'll call him Jeffrey

Sorry it's cut off. Click to see the whole thing.

A change will do me good

My babe is so big now that when I lie down I can feel its bones under me. I'm no princess and the pea, but baby bones is a little off putting to sleep on.
Tomorrow is the due date. With the midwives telling me I would go early I am so ready to have this baby. Prior to this I was enjoying being pregnant and was counting on a few weeks after my due date. Now if babe doesn't come tomorrow I plan on putting myself on bed rest and staging a Lennon-like protest.
Today I am seriously considering going to by some castor oil.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Seven ate Nine

I just realized how cool the original due date of our child is. 7-8-9.
Emmally had Issac on the 5th. There are so many July baby poppins going on.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Bryce and Diana in the Moby

Bryce and Diana in the Moby, originally uploaded by Shannon Marye.

Firecracker Baby Dismissed

8:30 AM
So if my prediction is correct, it will be a girl, because there will be nothing happening today. My baby is going to have to wait a full year before any fireworks are seen. Instead I am spending the day with Diana. Hopefully, like Lorri said, being with a baby makes you more fertile (I was with Mason the week before I found out I was pregnant) the same will be true of going into labor. Mommy hormones kicking in? Anyway, I hope that Diana is pleasant all day, but I secretly wish to try out some of out things with her (like the stroller, moby, cloth diapers, etc). Don't tell my brother I want to use his child as a guinea pig.
Bryce is still asleep while I am writing this. I went in to talk to him this morning and he talked to me in his sleep. This was the conversation
B- I just met three very dangerous people
S- What made them dangerous?
B- They were all from the US
S- Oh. That is scary. But, how were they dangerous?
B- Nothing more than the average things

5:30 PM
Diana was great today. Full of smiles and flapping about. Bryce tried out the moby with her and she loved it. I put her in the boppy since I have little lap left and she was very pleased. When mom came to pick her up she needed her diaper changed so I did, but before putting on her disposable I tried out a prefold. I think I might be doing it wrong. It seems odd to fold in when poop would then smear in three different places. Anyway, I mastered the snappi and the bumpkins plastic outside thing. Then I took the diaper right off only to find she had already peed in the prefold. So we get to do out first load with a wet diaper. I showed my mom the g-diapers and she was very impressed. After Diana left Bryce and I went to the flea market under the bridge in Marquette (which happens quite often in throughout the year). It was our first and probably last time. In the end we bought some toothpicks. I don't think I have an appreciation for those creepy stands.

10:00 ish

We had a grand old time with the Bruxvoort Colligans in Monona, watching the fireworks from Fisk parking lot. Trish said they had never been so close before it was almost scary. Sam loved it. They made kettle corn and we ate donuts. Beautiful night.

Friday, July 3, 2009

How low can you go

Conversations about birth are funny. You can say things that gross people out and stuff that is totally fine and it could be too much for one person and not for another. My family had a hay day talking about my brother's baby being welcomed into the world with her mother's bowel movements on her and her frozen wash clothes to put on her butt, but could only go so far with vaginal massage to help with stretching. Odd and funny.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

sleep deprivation

I know we have nothing to complain about yet, but when I watched Bryce go to the freezer for an icy and then leave the kitchen with the freezer door wide open I realized there was some serious sleep deprivation going on. I think I am already on a baby schedule. I can't get to sleep until like 2 or later and then I get up around 5 or 6 and then need to nap during the day. We have tried many a solution, but now Bryce and I are just sleeping in different beds. I am sleeping in the guest room, which is actually fine with me because the bed is firmer. This will probably be baby's bedroom later on so I'll just chalk it up to him/her wanting to sleep there already.

We got an awesome co-sleeper, stroller, diaper bag, and a bunch of cloth diaper prefolds from Leslie today. Mom brought over an old school bassinet that we will probably use downstairs. I love getting duplications of some things because it makes it seem like a lot less work. Example: Stroller in the house for walks, 2nd stroller in the trunk for traveling.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


I love the artwork of Paula Modersohn Becker. Today I decided to create my own versions. Of course I have a little more boobage and belly than this model, but it was still fun to do.