Friday, May 29, 2009

Cloth Diapers and Baby Wearing

Baby class was very interesting last night. A new couple and their little one joined us. Melissa, Peter, and daughter Windsor. They were very fun. Brenda and Valarie left about 5 minutes in to our session to attend a birth. They called about 2 hours later with reports of a healthy little boy. It was super exciting to experience the midwife process even though there was no knowledge of the birth itself.
A woman from Wisconsin who had Brenda deliver her 5 month old, gave a presentation on cloth diapers and baby wearing. Being able to hear peoples opinions and actually see adn touch everything makes everything seem a lot easier. I tried out my new Moby (thanks Debbie) and put my list of things needed for cloth diapering together (thanks Katy and Sara).
Once again, the food was SOOO good, I pigged out. The scale tipped a 10 lbs increase from pre-pregnancy but this morning it was back at just 6.
I have been slightly worried about my health lately. A few times I have had the early pregnancy lightheaded-ness when I need to eat. But I'm pretty sure it is just because of my poor nutrition lately. In addition my blood pressure was higher. It is not in a bad bracket but I always have low blood pressure so I was surprised. It could because it was midwife #2 who I am not as comfortable with. Also in my urine anylasis I have higher lukocytes and a trace of blood. Brenda says baby gel coming, Moira says not yet. I don't think there is anything to worry about as I only have 6 more weeks or so, but I do need to stop eating so much sugar and get some non man created food into my diet again.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tid Bits

I recently found out by looking at flickr photos that Karin Martin (former high school friend) is working with my midwifes to learn to be a doula.

I was feeling sort of sorry for Bryce not getting to know our child as much as I do from the kicking and such. A couple of nights ago we were laying down and baby started aerobics which made my belly jiggle and Bryce tear up as he could really tell where the baby was. He put his hands in different spots and the baby reacted to all of them. All emotional he said "Our baby is so smart already."

My mom commented to Bryce that I looked really good pregnant (a very rare thing for her to say about me ever) and that she was impressed by me not complaining. I actually really enjoy being pregnant, but I think it is so funny how many people say "in your condition." When they do that I reply with "Yes, my ailment is..." or "My illness." I have been feeling great, although I am getting a little peaked without nourishment at times and of course it is hard to get up easily. I am in a very good spot.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Belly Dancing for Birthing

(Melanie, the instructor is in the bottom right hand of this photo. She is from Southeast Iowa and teaches belly dancing as well as being a midwife and mom. Her website is She was not decked out like this tonight.)
I had the BEST day today.
After a panic attack about being late and not being able to find the F-ing road because map quest left out one turn, I finally made it to Liz Rog's home. The house was a really awesome home in the woods, looked a lot like a commune home. The home belonged to Liz Rog who is a super cool lady who I first heard about in a "Save Liz Rog" campaign earlier this year when she was let go from the Oneata Co-Op which she had been at for 15 years and was instrumental in it's becoming what it is today. (Sound familiar?) Liz and I had a lot of the same energies of work happening and we both seem to have a positive outlook on the transitions happening. Later as I was looking at a family photo I saw Liz was the mother of Ida, one of my midwife apprentices. Later on that night Ida joined us and then hung out with one of the belly dancers sons, Rowen. "I think they are the same age" said the belly dance instructor and I disagreed. I was for sure that Ida was in her 20s. Nope, she is newly 16. Holy crap! She is a very mature and old soul, yet beautiful and young looking, as she is young. I am pretty sure the family is somewhat off the grid, although I couldn't be sure as there was electricity and running water but there were also lots of solar paneling, large buckets of water, and mentions of conservative use. As you can see I was enthralled with the family, but on to the belly dancing.
Melanie our instructor was so fun and beautiful. She is also a midwife and also pregnant. I pegged her as being about 30 years old, but she has a 20 year old so I must be wrong. She also have 6 other children from 2-20 years in age. Melanie was awesome and taught some super great moves. Belly Dancing for Birthing was the name of the class and she had us all practicing dancing in birthing positions as well. Besides Melanie, Sadie, and I no one else was pregnant, but we all had a great time. Mellisa joined us because she loved belly dancing and wanted to learn more. She is thinking about having a baby though so she said ti was very timely. Melissa had seen all of us at the co-op prior to the dancing, all at different times. She was doing massage there. I think we were all attracted to her with her kick ass boots and her cool bang cut hair. She was very cool.

We also learned moves to bring our babies into the correct positions, watched some more birth videos (a women giving birth to twins unassisted), learned about vaginal massage, and all that stuff. Also along with Rowen, Melanie had brought her 2 year old Wolfe who was very entertaining. Melanie's tips for belly dancing were to alwys use your hands to emphasize what body part you are moving saying "Hey, did you see this" and the more seductive the move the more angelic the face should be.
After dancing we ate the most AMAZING food. Brenda made pesto bruchetta that i think I ate 9 slices of. There was also amazing pasta, greens, oranges, and tiramisu. Saide had brought along her mother-in-law, Becky, who I know from reporting (she works for the Guttenberg Press). It was Becky's 60th birthday and they were taking her all over that day to experience new stuff. She was thrilled to do belly dancing. She said she wanted to be born again so she could experience birth again in a totally new way.
Melanie gave me a henna tattoo on my belly which I will post pictures of soon. We were all having fun with baby as she is very reactive to all touch. Baby followed the henna wherever it went and even threw in some big kicks to make me belly dance without even trying. I didn't want to leave, but I am home now, so eventually I did.
On of my favorite parts of the day was talking about Elkader. Brenda, my midwife, said the sweetest thing to me. "Shannon, I know Elkader needs you, but Decorah really wants you." It is nice to be wanted.
Having your belly henna-ed is a great thing as it makes you less body conscious about the stretch marks and the flabby skin and the hairy. When I got home I went straight to Schera's to show off my tummy to the whole place.

body movin

body movin
Originally uploaded by Shannon Marye
I have been trying forever to get baby moving on camera, but the movement always stops when I turn the camera on. This time I finally got some, but it is slight. It is not big kicks, just slides in the belly. Watch the upper right hand side of the video for movement that isn't me breathing. Sorry about the cheesy song in the back, I was watching 30 rock at the same time.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sinking In

So it is finally sinking in that baby could come at any time now. I am more aware of my body and more aware of my environment. It could be 60 some days yet or it could be 3, no one knows.

My friend Jasmine is throwing me an on-line baby shower, which is such a great idea and so kind. I have been absolutely overjoyed with each gift, and I think some of you know how excited I am just to get the mail everyday so it is a blast. Thus far my friend Camilla gave me a gift certificate to Amazon which I quickly used to acquire all the boring stuff that I need for the home delivery that no one really wants to buy for someone. I mean how fun can it be to look at a registry and say "I think I will purchase the sterile gauze and vomit bucket for this baby shower."

Next came a cute little cloth diaper and a gift certificate for more from Sarah and Katy. I'm excited because I know diapers is going to be one of the biggest expenses and we are really looking into doing cloth, which is even more expensive upfront, but not in the long run. Fortunately at our next birthing pow-wow we will be having a speaker on cloth diapering so I will find out what is essential. (This doesn't mean I won't use the 400 year before it biodegrades diaper from time to time).

Yesterday it was a Moby wrap from Debbie. I am a big supporter of baby wearing and I am excited to own my first Moby. Of course I am overwhelmed with how to use it, but we will be having a session on that too, so I am not too worried. The brochure actually looks really fun, except for the backpack wrap. I think that might be a three person job.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The bump and I

Today the bump and I spent most of the day readying the studio space for our senior show. Then we went to a woman's fellowship meeting and spoke about my spiritual direction. I am not sure I will gain any photo clients or spiritual direction clients from these goings forth, but I am praying I do. I could be a very successful self-employed person if the universe wanted me to be. Like Denny said at photo club last night "I can make $2,000 on one photo, but it might take me 5 years to collect it."
The bump and I also met up with Bryce and friends after the Dish-n-Tunes event tonight. They were all in great spirits. Beth Diers won the contest for most tickets. I spoke with Randy of Dish-n-Tunes about recruiting band members to use the site and how. This is another gig I could get, again if the universe has my back.
Come of great universe.


Keeping super busy with Spirations, the photo show, looking for work, etc. Baby is keeping super busy growing. 50 more days! I can feel baby's little feet on my ribcage almost constantly. I am really thinking I need to go to the doctor to have this torn groan muscle looked at, it is killing me.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Up front and honest

I am on early maternity leave because my workplace was sending me into very negative fits of depression. I was going to quit, but I hope after the baby is born there may be some new people in place and I will return to a better environment, so I made this decision instead.
Now my inner and physical health is doing much better, except for fear about money. If you want to help out during my unpaid maternity leave, I am going to swallow some pride and just put it out there what I need. I am finding ways to make some money here and there, but if anyone feels drawn to helping I guess I should just be up front and honest.
Once a month I need:
$70 for my credit card payment
$90 for my college loan
$155 for my training to be a spiritual director
Once a day I need:
Prayer or Positive Energy that I will find an uplifting job that meets my basic needs while still allowing me to care for my unborn/newborn child.
One time payments I need are:
$400 for unpaid phone bill
$1,500 for reminder of my midwife bill

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Here it comes

Here comes the pounds. Since the last time I reported having gained nothing I am now 5 lbs heavier. I am often calling Bryce to help me up. Our friends in Decorah who have two young children talked to us a little bit about immobility. Richard said the best thing to do is get rid of all the furniture and replace it all with bean bag chairs, that way your wife can't come after you.
Oh yeah, you might notice my dreads are getting wavier. It is funny to think if you have wavy hair that dreads would do that, but since it is my hair, I guess I can't really blame it.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Powerful, Beautiful, Birthing Forth Great Love

For my birthday this year I asked Bryce for a Blessingway. It is a Native American Tradition of supporting women before they birth. It was an amazing day. Trish was the MC. She also created a beautiful song for me on the special day.
We started the day singing. Then we all added a bead to a bracelet that I will wear during birth to remind myself of each woman's support. The bracelet is beautiful (and still growing, if you want to be with me in spirit you can still send a bead). We introduced ourselves as daughters of _____.
Following the intro circle we did stations of arts and crafts according to traditional Native American directions. In our North room (the kitchen) we celebrated Earth by planting seeds that we will plant at our home. So many people brought beautiful flowers to decorate the home. In the East room (dining room) we celebrated Air and Spring by writing Tibetan Pray Flags and words of wisdom in Easter Eggs. The eggs will be hidden during labor so that I can go on an egg hunt and find the voices of those who attended the ceremony. The flag already is blowing in our backyard. In the South Room (our office) we celebrated Fire by created ancient clay power symbols to be fired. The figurines will be placed around the house. In the West room (living room) we celebrated water with watercolor paintings of a book about birthing in encouraging ways.
We also joined together with food and then came back to the circle for more singing. In closing we took red yarn and created a web between mothers, this time saying our names and who we are the mother of. It was such an honor to join the circle as a future mother. During sharing Trish made me aware that some people may get emotional as they are reminded of their own birthing experiences. My cousin Liz was the one who lost it. I was very surprised, but it was great to have her show so much emotion and love.
I was so blessed to have such great women there to celebrate. I gave all the women candles to light during the time of my birthing.
It was one of the greatest gifts I could ever have.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Infant Baptism

Diana was baptized on Saturday. I was kind of surprised that she was baptized as Vahida is a Muslim and Dustin non practicing. Although I have been surprised on Bryce's side too. It is a beautiful ceremony, except with Father Peters who seems to be on E and doesn't slow down for people to make the responses, but I kind of feel like it is a joke to most people. You are committing to raise your child in a particular way that you are not living and are not going to be living, so you are basically lying in a house of worship. To add to the lie my mom kept calling Vahida "Dustin's wife" to the priest, which is not true by Catholic standards. I mean, sure in some countries and faiths having a kid together means you are married, but in traditional American Catholic you need some rings and such. I think all religious vows are sacred. I love being the Godparent to Justin Giunta and I try to always celebrate the day of his baptism and let him know I am here for any questions he has in his faith. I am not a great Catholic example, as I do not attend the Catholic Church, but I am well versed in it and feel I have a strong spiritual connection to the same God they serve. I think Amber will probably do a pretty good job with Diana too.
I am undecided if we should baptize our child as an infant. I think baptism is an amazing thing, but I like the faiths that allow the person decide to do it for themselves. It is then a personal decision to be God's child and not the parents. Once someone is baptized a lot of faiths don't think you should be re-baptized. I kind of feel cheated out of choosing my own baptism because of my infant baptism and I don't want to take away from my child's faith process. Plus, can't the parents make a commitment to raise the child without the act of baptism. In addition, I am not planning on raising our child any particular religion. I want our child to be aware of the amazing Creator and the power of Love, but our child may experience that is so many different ways and I don't want to think they have to be one way because I chose for them before they could make up their own mind.
It is another Catholic battle we may have to face, much like our wedding. On the Durbin side I think we have a little space, but on my mother's side our child may be the first unbaptized in the line. Oddly enough, despite the vow, our child may be the one who attend the Catholic church more times than all the other grand children and are taught Catholic values. All I know is my mom is saving the stuff from Diana's christening for reuse in about 5 months and at that time I might not have it in me to fight. So little baby, if you ever are baptized as an infant and then get mad at me for it as an adult or young adult, please know that this was my stance before it happened.
If we do baptize our child, I think I might follow it up with a blessing ceremony at our home with our friends of different faith traditions also giving their blessings and commitments of support if the child chooses their faith path. We have Muslims, Jewish, Buddhists and Spiritualists who would all be willing to share (Do I have any Hindu friends that I know of?)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Negative location

Would you like to know the worse thing about living next door to the school?
Our kid is going to know how to curse like a teenager before he/she can form full sentences.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Garage Sailing

I went to Strawberry Point Garage Sales today. Since I have never really done too much garage sale shopping (there was always too much baby stuff;p) I decide to shop like I was gambling. I took a set amount of money ($25) and once it was gone I was done. So I had to make the right moves. This is what I got:

From left to right:
My favorite find at any garage sale- old hanging glass lamp (only 25¢!), infant swing, basket, baby clothing (finding gender neutral clothing is really hard, I tried to stay on the boy side of things this time since I have a lot of gender nuetral, slightly female clothing already), car seat, baby tub, rubber ducky (temperature reader), baby hats, shoes, socks, glass loaf pan and server, small crock pot and crib sheet. The only thing I wasn't real happy about was the crib sheet which didn't have a price tag on it but it was near all the 25¢ things but the lady ended up charging me $1 and I wasn't in the mood to argue. Most expensive purchase was the car seat ($5).

Yesterday I went to Waterloo to pick up my computer from the shop and I went to purchase some things for the Mother's Day Blessingway. I totally got baby brain. My brain reverted to the time before debit cards. I wrote a check for the computer, then I went next door to the bead store, then I saw that I only had one check left and I thought "Crap, I can only go one more place, I should probably go to department store so I can get everything else at one place." It wasn't until I realized that I had a Walmart gift card did I realize right beside it lay this new fangled thing called a debit card.

A side not story. When debit cards were real new I was buying a couple of groceries and the lady behind me in the line saw me get out my card. She turned to the person behind her and in a voice where she could be heard she said "Kids these days just don't realize all the fees that go into using credit cards, they just whip them out for anything." I laughed inside.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Just another day in paradise

On Wednesday I quit the job I loved but was slowly killing me emotionally. Yesterday, I had a great day. Met with friends to talk about two musician ideas. One is a local database and the other is cover art for a remastered cd of theirs. Then I worked on photo editing for a photographers. Followed by a baby class. We carpooled with Sadie and Jason this time. With the weight of my job off my shoulders I have so much more energy. At our meeting we did the usual check up. My fundul height is at 35 centimeters (I think). We also did birth art about the beginning of labor and talked about our what we might expect. Circumsion was talked about and we also did some Bach Flower remedies.