Showing posts with label Bradley Experience. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bradley Experience. Show all posts

Sunday, 1 June 2008

New Parent Anxiety

New Parent Anxiety.

A problem condition fed by well meaning relatives, hospital staff, and parenting books. When applied in small doses, learning may occur. When triggered by a small piece of paper sent home from the hospital, it can lead to tears, feelings of inadequacy, and sleepless nights.

Case in point:
I knew we needed to work on breastfeeding skills. That is why I went and got the silicon nipple covers. I knew Blueberry wasn't feeding enough and was sleeping too much, at least more than Lil'Bug ever did. I was reassured that some newborns actually do sleep through the night and that most newborns sleep, eat, and poop all day and all night and sometimes all three at the same time.

When we started to unpack stuff from our hospital stay I found the breastfeeding/poop log. On the top was a guide to how much and what kind of poop we should see.

Yeah. No. She was still pooping like a day old newborn instead of a week old. ????? She was slightly jaundice when we checked out of the hospital, so not pooping is really bad news. She's peeing enough, so not dehydrated, but still. So then I felt all twisted inside, my heart hurt- I had let the poor feedings go on too long! I had relished the 6 hours of sleeping instead of questioning how hard it was to wake her up to eat. I am the worst mom in the whole world. My poor baby.

Really, I had already addressed the problem and her feeding is WAY better, even more than recommended (as in every 2 hours) and she is now pooping A LOT of the right color poop. But still, last night was really rough. Lots of tears. Dearest was great support, but I know he was/is feeling the anxiety too.

Tomorrow's well baby visit cannot come fast enough.

Saturday, 31 May 2008

Breastfeeding, Magic Milk

Warning to relatives: this post will contain human anatomy details you may not want to know about me!


Breastfeeding isn't easy, at least for me. It may have seemed like that with Lil"bug, but the first six weeks were really hard. We saw the lactation consultant more than friends and family during that time. I tried every gadget known to Medela. Ultimately some things worked and some just drained my confidence. Some of those gadgets are so dehumanizing.

This time, Blueberry has a voracious latch BUT my nipples are still inverted (which means they pop in instead of out). She can't really get a mouth full. Luckily when the engorgement of milk coming in came- I'd just squirt her mouth full over and over, use the breast pump to keep high production, and called it good. That got us out of the hospital with minimum concern from the nurses. Still she was frustrated at every feeding and that is not good.

The thing is, I knew that when that phase calmed down we'd both be in trouble and she would not have learned to latch properly. I have a postpartum doula coming soon, but not soon enough. So in a quiet moment in the middle of the night I decided to get another set of silicon breast shields. I remembered that Lil'Bug learned how to latch using these and at 6 weeks old she had the hang of it, how much she was supposed to suck and how hard, and it was a good 3 years more after that.

I was right. I just fed Blueberry the best, longest feeding she has ever done. No crying, no head nodding trying to get a mouthful, no arching back. 30 minutes of continuous, productive latch with good suction.

I hate using plastic, but really, this is working. I wonder how many moms have given up either not knowing about the aid or intimidation from hospital staff about starving their babies. With Lil'Bug that last factor contributed to the start of my postpartum depression. This time, I actually rolled my eyes at one of the nurses. When they warned me about how I'd have to supplement, I responded, "Or I could pump breast milk and feed the measurable amounts to her, right?" Yes. So why exactly, in my situation, would formula be even mentioned. Gah.

That said, my babes are lucky I am so stubborn.

Sunday, 25 May 2008


Still having contractions, very painful. I slept/rested most of the day while Dearest and Lil'Bug did the grocery shopping and went to the zoo.

Sometimes I was grateful for the alone time and sometimes I really wished that they would come home soon and hug me. Those urges were about 5 minutes apart. :)

There have been moments of reflection today where I was just about ready to throw in the towel and just schedule surgery. The pain is worse that my last recovery and at least I could take pain meds then. Then I focus, breathe, scream a little, and remember that at least I am dealing with this now and not while trying to nurse a newborn. I remember how much is sucks to not drive, but better now than a whole additional six weeks. I remember that I am not alone; though prodromal labour is rare, many women have come through it.

I was strong enough to go home from the hospital. I am glad my water did not break, even though it was a bit embarrassing to be told by the nurse it was likely that I wet myself (or it was the mucus plug dissolving plus fluid). Water breaking so early would not be a good thing for a VBAC attempt.

Messages of comfort and prayer keep flowing in just when I need them. Thank you, thank you.

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Progress? Sigh.

Progress is an interesting word. We made progress today, but not in the usual use of the word when referring to labor.

My water did not, in fact, break. It was a gushy fluid but not amniotic. We finally called the Dr. in the afternoon and she wanted us to come in and get checked, I bristled because she didn't even ask about contractions and simply wanted me to labor NOT at home since I am VBAC.

So we met with our Doula first and then went in. My plug is gone, possible that was part of the fluid that trickled, and my cervix is not dilated but starting to get ready to. The exam was painful. I am tired. The Dr. wanted to observe my contractions but ultimately let us go home.

Did I mention I am tired? Prodromal labour sucks. On the other hand, it is a blessing that my water did not actually break or I'd be under the knife right now.

That said, I am going to rest now.

Friday, 23 May 2008

Baby Update 38 Weeks, Fake Out Labour

Dr. appointment went well this week BUT here are some things I have learned about myself this past week.

I am a putterer when it comes to labor. Seriously. I have had regular contractions for almost a week now. A notch up from Braxton Hicks, longer periods each day, stronger each day. There is a name for this kind of labor: Prodromal Labour.

It is described as torture. It is described as confusing, discouraging, and degrading (people don't believe you and you stop believing it too). Then someone wrote that simply knowing that it is progression, though slow, is encouraging. That every contraction and pain now is one I won't face on the big day.

That was a turning point for me. I am a putterer. My labour will be slow because I need it to be, to get ready. There are theories that it helps prepare for big babies and mine might certainly be since Lil'Bug was 9 lbs 6oz when she was born. I also had this painful pre-labour time that sent us to the hospital early with her. It was not quite as intense as this time, but still there. It is not faking me out, since I know it is just part of the whole process.

Also, in researching I found that the contractions are so painful because of the positions I shift to. So, today I've tried others and I feel much better.

The Dr. appointment: all is the same, good stats, healthy babe. Ultrasound next week to double check some things. That's about it. It is a waiting game now.

Monday, 19 May 2008

Day in the Sunshine (Belly Pic)

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Baby Update, 37 Weeks

I tested Strep +. Other than that everything was uneventful. No exam, all stats good. Dr. Pointy Shoes still optimistic about VBAC. Really optimistic. This is so different from what the online VBAC mother local community has been chatting about, I half expected to be putting up a fight by now and looking for a different provider- but so far so good!

So now we wait. In the meantime......

I don't feel ready. I don't feel put together. My laundry is undone again. I don't have all the diapers yet. The clothes pulled from the closet are not yet bagged up to go to donation. My class isn't released to students.

It is as if all my weekend anxiety over my Lil'Bug has transformed into an full blown raging tearful pregnancy mess of OMG I am not ready yet! I am also about ready to burst.

Part of it is cabin fever. Part of it is real. Part of it is hormones. Part of it is just everything being overwhelming.

And I know we are not using a nursery, but I totally see how that helped me prepare for Lil'Bug emotionally in a way that I have not done with June Bug. There is no way I am going out and purchasing a room suite to satisfy this either. That would be stupid. I have everything I need, really (except the last 1/2 of the diapers and a washable pail liner). I even bought a Moby Wrap on clearance so I have a 3rd baby carrier option.

But still panic, panic, panic.

Through it all Dearest Husband has been wonderful. He stopped and bought onsies, socks, hats and a diaper pail (a step pedal kitchen can really) on his way home from work. We moved the dresser we use as a changing table into the bathroom and strapped the changing pad to it. He planted the tomatoes, I planted the beans. Those little things have helped me feel more ready, but still.

We still need a name.

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

The Last Class and Then......

Monday night was the last class in the Bradley Method series. It was actually 2 classes packed into one since we had class canceled last week.

It was an important class. We went over possible emergencies and emergency procedures. There were several that I did not know about and a couple I wanted to add, but I think that those are all pretty unlikely and it is never good to start listing off possible tragic scenarios in a room full of pregnant ladies (some of whom are due in the next week or so......) so I held my tongue. Whew.

I also remembered things that I had not thought about in a while: the evil nurse who removed my staples not at all gently. She was also the one who came in and gave me the 3rd degree about our no guest, privacy request. She wanted details and pressed me for more when I gave her a simple answer. She also did this when I was alone, no doubt I was most vulnerable.

I felt myself getting tensed up at that memory so I practiced meditation techniques and just as it was kicking in and I was de-tensing, the instructor mentioned post birth shaking. Yes. That was scary, BUT suddenly I remembered the only other time in my life that I shook like that: the first time Dearest Husband and I kissed. So as I think about this this morning over a cup of tea in the quiet hours, I think that the shaking, while having physiological base, is also a spiritual shift. Both moments my life changed so immensely. Dearest Husband's unconditional love and encouragement lifted me out of a life of abuse and led me to shine as the person I was meant to be and the first time I held Lil'Bug in my arms (though the shaking made me afraid I would drop her) was the moment I started the journey of motherhood in earnest, a journey continues to take me places I'd never been able to imagine myself. Both moments were blessed and deepened my faith in ways hard to explain.

We also talked about in hospital vaccines. Dearest and I went through the checklist as each was explained and made our decisions. I won't share each one here, but trust me when I was that our baby will not being injected with things that are unnecessary. We are leaning towards selective and delayed vaccination, now we have to find a pediatrician who will support that. With Lil'Bug we had concerns and reservations but we went along with what was recommended and one time she even got a vaccine that we didn't want her to have.

Our birth plan will be completed this evening. I think I am ready to finish it up. It is one thing to know the facts and figures and another to be ready in other ways.

Then we made bracelets with beads we brought to share, a bead for each family in the class. This way we remember the strength of that circle and community. We are all about to give birth (one family already has, easily too). We can do it too. I can do it too. Since the beginning of humans woman has done this task, as our bodies are designed to do. And as Dearest has a special, expensive IT training session in the middle of May, my money is on that week for the arrival of baby. I'll start a blog pool. ;)

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Basketball Belly

Funny. I always turn pictures of me Black and White. This is not my Photo Challenge entry, Dearest Husband took it at the park. :)

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Tuesday, There Was So Much to Do.....

Bradley class was canceled Monday night. Nothing to write about there, except that one of the 6 couples in our class had their baby Monday morning! Yay! They were due first, so while it was a little early, not unexpected. I am so happy for them.

We had a Dr. visit today in which Lil'Bug learned that our practitioner is not really a "doctor" and boy was she mad about it. We tried to explain why a Midwife is better for mama and new sister, but Lil'Bug wanted no part of it. She wanted a doctor.

The visit itself went really well. BP good, blood sugar good, no anemia, measuring right at 30 weeks (this means no fibroid growth as well as healthy baby), and good heart beat. We'll see them again in two weeks.

Then we rushed home to get ready for a baby shower. Not my own. Our pregnant homeschooling mom friend might have her baby early and after reading this post about how her family is "supporting" her a bunch of us decided to throw her a baby shower.....with one day's notice. It worked out fine. The kids were stressed out a bit, but that is to be expected I think. Lil'Bug did not handle the chaos well and there was a lot of crying and such on her part. BUT I think H. had a good time and that is what matters.

I've also been busy with my online job. Something went wonky over Spring break on one of my class sites and I am trying to figure it out. THEN firefox decided not to be compatible so for now I am grading out of Safari and I hate it. I'll get over it, it is just driving me up a wall right now and consuming more time than I'd like.

So then I also found out something that upset me. I post a lot of stuff we do here on the blog, but always after we have done it. On a local homeschool board, I often post events that we plan on attending, even issue invitations to others. That part of the forum is closed to the public and only available to local families BUT somehow people I do not want to have contact with, that have nothing to do with homeschooling, know about our activities and whereabouts. Yuck. I canceled my account with the group and since I usually plan the events I attend anyway, as most others plan things with age restrictions that exclude us anyway, I don't think it will impact us too much. If the yuckiness invades my blog, I can block their ISP (I think, I've heard others talk about doing that), but I can't do that on the other forums. Maybe I am being paranoid? I'm just not willing to risk it.

In Photo Challenge news, I am working on setting up a Flicker pool. I got so busy with things that I forgot to post this week's challenge. Well, it is now Thursday so I won't post it this week, BUT I will have everything up and ready by Saturday I hope! Thank you for the great idea Evie!

That's a lot of random stuff, but that's our week. Now, I must get back to work!

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Breastfeeding Review

Last night's Bradley class was all about breastfeeding and co-sleeping.


In case anyone didn't know already, we co-sleep. Not as much anymore now that Lil'Bug wanted her own room, but she still needs to be snuggled when she has nightmares. Co-sleeping is highly controversial in the US. Why? My gut reaction is Pottery Barn. Places like that try and sell you an ideal nursery with all the things you NEED, including an expensive slatted side bed ......the crib. You also need a glider and a changing table and and and.......cha ching. People are made to feel bad if they can't afford the best, safest, trendiest devices and furniture for their bundle of joy. Worried about your baby closed up in a crib in a room down the hall? Buy a baby monitor. Still worried? Buy a heartbeat sensor monitor. For heavens sake, don't just run down there and cuddle the baby, that has no corporate profit.

What we discovered we really needed? A baby. Sometimes a blanket. Love. None of which get safety recalls.

Any flat surface can be used to change a diaper. Any dresser will hold clothes. We used the crib once for a nap and Lil'Bug woke up terrified and alone. I don't like sleeping alone. Most people don't. Most humans spend their late youth and adulthood searching for someone to share their sleep with. Babies don't understand the world, why would we wrap them up and leave them isolated and alone for hours at a time? Don't get me wrong, I bought or was gifted every single baby thing on the market. New. Sometimes two. I had the decked out nursery and a second changing station downstairs for convenience.

This time I have registered for cloth diapers and some diaper station type things (like a pail and liner). That's it. I know the clothes will come rolling in as gifts, I also know that most of the other plastic devices don't fit in our lifestyle anymore.

And breastfeeding. I forget sometimes exactly how hard it was for us in the beginning. It was really hard. Everywhere we turned for support people would tell us, "You know, formula isn't poison." ???? What kind of response is that? My milk came in REALLY late (and corresponded with an ER visit for heavy post surgery bleeding) and Lil'Bug had a hard time latching and we were given just about every single plastic device known to the industry to get it to work. Most of those things got in the way of real progress. I felt like I was failing as a new mom, but I wouldn't give up. Even the pediatrician was doubtful of our progress, however, a resident Dr. gave us encouragement and reassured us at daily weigh ins that she was gaining and to keep at it. Another ray of hope was Dear Husband's Grandma who came to stay for the holidays and quietly encouraged me, told me stories about her brief experience with breastfeeding, her own lack of support and regrets.

And the biggest support- Dearest Husband. He was really set on our success because of his ear problems. Breastfed babies are less likely to get ear infections because of the mechanics of sucking and swallowing among other things. He suffered terrible infections as a child and has partial hearing loss because of it. He wanted no such thing for our beautiful baby girl and really kept me going with it. He made it easier for me at every turn. He even held warm wash cloths for me when I got sore and every other helpful thing possible. I cannot imagine going through what we did alone AND she's never had a single ear infection, thank God.

6 weeks later, we were finally comfortable with it. Then I had to go back to work. I pumped milk in my office while I worked at the computer and took phone calls. Sometimes I pumped in the car while driving to classes or to museum sites. If I wasn't actually breastfeeding, I was pumping. It was my life for 9 months. Milk milk milk. Totally worth it. At 9 months, I quit my full time job and went to part time, slowly decreasing face to face time from that point on. Sometimes the only time I really had to sit and connect with Lil'Bug was when I was breastfeeding her.

It took me a long while to get comfortable feeding her in public. I was even harassed by other moms (strangers no less). I breastfed Lil'Bug in bathroom stalls and isolated hallways, even out in the car. Eventually I got over it and just fed her discreetly when she was hungry.

My earliest day care provider really pushed formula on me. "For back up," she said. I brought her extra milk frozen instead.

I'm also not ashamed to say we breastfed until Lil'Bug was ready to wean. She was almost 3. Now when she plays Mommy to her baby dolls she pulls her shirt up to feed them Mommy Milk and that makes me smile and warm in my heart.

There are things we talked about in class that I had forgotten about. Milk sometimes smelled like the food I ate the night before. Sometimes it would take on tints of color of foods like broccoli and blueberries. I had forgotten how hard it was to sometimes find a place to pump milk on campus and when my job took me off-site. How hard it can be to travel where the laws regarding public breastfeeding are stricter than here in Iowa.

Mostly the things we talked about in class made me really long for the upcoming day when I will get to meet June Bug and hold her to my breast for the first time.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

28 Weeks!

Even if my ticker there at the bottom doesn't quite say that, the midwife informed me I am now officially past the 28 week marker and doing great!

I took the glucose (lemon-lime is way better than orange BTW) test today, results back tomorrow. I start going every 2 weeks for well mama visits this month and even though I feel terrible in my head (snotty, sore, like my sinuses will explode before falling out of my head......) apparently I look great. I'm measuring 28 weeks too which means that the fibroid isn't growing (last pregnancy I measured 3 weeks more than I actually was, they say) and I don't need another ultrasound (so far). I gained a little much these last 4 weeks, but I was a little on the light side before so it all evens out.

Bradley classes last night were pretty uneventful, save some serious birth film watching. We saw a water birth in Mexico, a series of squatting position births, and a very un-graphic home video of our instructor's 1st birth. I didn't admit this in class, but I had never really watched a birth film before. I had seen them on tv (but usually changed the channel) and doodled through one in a jr. high health class I think, but not really watched them. Wow.

But it wasn't so much the films themselves that impacted me, but the visuals. I dreamt last night of our upcoming birth and for the first time I could visualize it and hold it in my head. I can see myself giving birth in a way that I was not able to do before. Before I was unsure, not confident at all, but now it feels like I can do it and I know that I can.

When I was pregnant with Lil'Bug I just took it for granted that I could labor and deliver, I never visualized it, and I certainly didn't educate myself about the whats and what could go wrongs. I hired a Doula and a Midwife and called my stats better than average. Yeah. I know. I'm sure I just took it for granted that everything would go well because I wanted it to. That sounds bratty, but it is true. When I had contractions I went to the hospital. This time, I want to labor at home, but there are things I know about labor now that I didn't before (even after experiencing it).

Another thought I had was more of a regret. 10 or so years ago a woman who's kid I watched invited me to the homebirth of her second child. I would be the support person for her 2 year old, etc. I said no. I said no way. I now understand what a wonderful gift I would have given the little girl and her family and what a sacred event they were inviting me to be a part of. I said no and never gave it a second thought. I remember being grossed out that she was essentially having a party at her house while nakedly birthing a baby. There were so many people coming (in my mind, more than 3 is a lot) and her extended family and neighbors were all going to be celebrating with her. Now, I regret not being a part of it AND now I can see what an amazing support system she had in place to welcome her growing family. We don't have that. We have a handful of family, most who live far away and all who will wait at home for the phone call. I didn't grow up here, so no long time friends that I know well enough to be naked around. We will still have the security measures in place at the hospital, so that will make having visitors after the birth difficult (though the alternative is WAY worse).

So in my reflection, I have realized that not only did I say no to L. and her family, I have said no to many opportunities for friendship that is more than a meet and greet. Oh, and L. is a midwife now!

It is also amazing to think how much we have grown as people and as a family in the last four years. Both Dearest Husband and I are more present in our own lives than we were before, more active in our health, and more in love than ever. What a blessing that is!

So forgive the rambling update. I have a couple posts brewing in the draft folder that are much more coherent.

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Paper Tigers and Teacup Storms

Yesterday my husband made me feel really special. It wasn't in a single gesture or gift or touch, but in a glance. We made eye contact during class, and I smiled, he smiled back and immediately I felt the same wonder as the first time we kissed. That's it. So simple. :)

It happened last night during Bradley class. We practiced relaxing through pain and 1st stage labor positions. This exercise involves self inflicted ice cube torture (holding an ice cube in hand for 1 minute at a time). I thought it was awesome. Dearest cuddled me while I practiced relaxation and meditation.

Here's the thing: all week long I was worried about how I would do in a room full of people (not unlike labor in a hospital) so I practiced at home. Yes, from experience, I can wholeheartedly say that ice cube torture has nothing on the pain of contractions and nothing compares to the excruciating horror of being sliced open in the belly to have a baby extracted BUT I like having practice at meditation and relaxation. It is a skill I really need help with, labor or no.

This week I have also come to understand the image I focus on when meditating. Rural Eastern Colorado, mid summer, clear night. I used to camp out in my aunts back acres, just a sleeping bag and me (or siblings too). The air was cool and forest animals noisy, but the sky was swirled with the Milky Way and in that vastness, that solitude I felt free and safe. Perhaps I am still working through the turmoil of childhood abuse, but it was not constant as I had the safe haven of my aunt and uncle's farm and their love. What does this have to do with birth and labor? I read this week that abuse issues can hamper labor, complicate medical care. In fact, I do tense up severely with certain doctors and situations. So, that being my paper tiger, I am going to work this week on understanding that those people are not my former abusers, nor tools of my abusers, that they are there as my employees and caregivers to assist in my and my baby daughter's safe passage though labor. This time around we do not expect to need, but will still plan for additional hospital security measures. This time we will explain it early on to the head nurse so that we don't encounter problems like last time.

The second type of meditation I have been working on is total sensory awareness of the present moment. This is not relaxing inherently. Noises and textures bug me so I often retreat inside my own head to compensate for the exterior nuisances. During labor, Bradley method suggests being totally present and aware of all the physical sensations and sensory experience. This is what I have to work on. Being present, and not retreated to the depths of my imagination will help me cope with many aspects of everyday life, not just labor.

I think it is time to write our birth plan.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008


Last night was Bradley class. We did an encouragement exercise and went through the stages of labor. Lots of questions were asked by us and other students. What can go wrong, what steps lead up to interventions, etc.

After class, Dear Husband and I spent a little bit of time in the car driving to get Lil'Bug from Nana's house discussing things. He was concerned that I am over analyzing what went wrong with Lil'Bug's birth and blaming myself for things beyond my control. ???? So we talked. My memory is pretty fuzzy about that day's events, it was interesting to here it from his perspective. The summary of it was this: the fibroids did horrible things that made the chemicals and muscles in my body not able to function in accordance. Labor was impossible with no dilation and zero effacement and yet strong hyper contractions. Add IV chemicals to the mix and it became a dangerous situation. We made the right decision to C-Section to end up with us both healthy.

Does this mean that early on I could have done things differently to have a better outcome? Maybe. The fibroids were pretty established when I got pregnant. I ate well, but not as well as I now know I could have. I didn't exercise, I didn't inform myself of all the possibilities. I simply paid for things that I thought would safeguard us from intervention due to statistics. In reality, nothing could have. Perhaps if I had been informed better I would not have had such postpartum guilt. Perhaps.

Perhaps it is time to release those questions and move on.

The encouragement session was lovely. My husband is amazing and entertaining. When it was my turn to say nice things about him, it all came out wrong. So I will restate it here, for the record:
1) He's been wonderful about helping with meal planning and paying attention to the details. Variety and nutrition have been very important and having a second set of eyes on my weekly plan has really helped. As a bonus, he picks out the most awesome fruit and veggies and knows when they are ripe (I don't). Plus, he helps cook and doesn't complain when I try something new.
2) He is good about taking Lil'Bug out for Daddy/Daughter dates and giving me a chance to catch up at home or work or just rest. We have a tricky balance here of housework and my teaching online and Lil'Bug and Husband taking classes and playing in a band so our partnership is the key to what makes the balance work.
3) He reminds me to do my exercises and helps me to remember to take breaks. He's done his reading too. Every book I set next to the bed for him to read has been read. He's also been amazing when I get emotional and worried and freaked out.

I'm not including here the one thing I said he could do better. We all do that same thing at our house, and it was unfair for me to bring it up in class. I am sorry dear.

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Yoga 60 and Menu

I did the whole entire yoga routine, all 60 minutes of it. There was only one pose I couldn't do because my crappy folding chair is the wrong height. Whew. I am zonked and a bit sore and a lot thirsty, but I feel warm and comfortable despite all of that. I also played different music and muted the DVD- the instructor on the program's voice annoys me and my thought was that if I eliminated that I might stick it out longer. Yup. I love the soundtrack to The Piano, by composer Michael Nyman. Lovely.

So the question came up again this week about how and what we eat around here, how we have time to make stuff from scratch, ect. So I thought I'd post our menu for this week:

Sunday: Turkey, mashed potatoes, peas
Monday: Class night, so we ate Planet Sub's food
Tuesday: Whole wheat penne pasta with sausage meatballs and shredded parme and garlic bread (supposed to be Green Bean Schezwan, but missing beans)
Wednesday: Turkey, broccoli (w/ butter, pepper, and lemon), yams (steamed)
Thursday: Steak, acorn squash, snow peas
Friday: Fish (Cod, baked) and crispy oven fries w/ Cajun seasoning
Saturday: Chili

Lunch (Dearest either takes leftovers from the night before or a sandwich fruit combo):
Sunday: Soup, spinach salad
Monday: Cheeseburgers and apples
Tuesday: Cheese Noodles (Parmesan Fettuccine w/extra Parmesan and peas), leftover Planet Sub, chicken nuggets
Wednesday: Leftover pasta and meatballs w/fruit and milk
Thursday: Spinach salad with dark meat turkey
Friday: Peanut butter sandwiches and yogurt (leftover yams)
Saturday: Chicken nuggets with leftover oven fries and

Breakfasts are rotating with one or more of these elements:
Oatmeal with added fruit like apples, raisins, dried cranberries, and/or bananas
Scrambled Eggs with bacon or sausage
Cheerios with milk and fruit on the side
Whole wheat toast with peanut butter and/or raspberry jam

Sometimes I have oatmeal and make bacon too. It depends.

Snacks involve fruit and sometimes peanut butter on one slice of bread folded like a taco or yogurt with fruit add ins. If we are on the go, I slice up fruit and/or put a dry mix of raisins and pretzels and whole wheat goldfish together. Fruit this week included:
Strawberries, grapes, apples, tangelos, cantaloupe, bananas and frozen blueberries.

We drink orange juice, whole hormone free (and local) milk, tea, and water. Dearest also drinks cherry cola and coffee.

Every week I plan the meals so we have a variety of meat and vegetables and fruit. My protein counts are about 110 each day. I drink about 3.25 quarts of fluid, mostly water and whole milk. Desserts are for really special occasions and Lil'Bug can have whatever fruit whenever she wants, usually it is an apple.

So what we eat really isn't that different or odd, just planned and mindful. We eat locally raised, hormone free beef and pork, hormone free chicken, and local hormone free milk. (See a pattern?) We have noticed a difference in our health since we've opted out of hormone laden meat, most significant for me is the reduction of fibroids both in my uterus and breast tissue and I no longer have calcium knots in my hand and toes and ear cartilage. Medical studies have shown links to the artificial hormones to these medical conditions and some cancers.

So there's the details of our food week. Tomorrow I shall post a recipe! :)

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

New Categories

Last night I got the most amazing collection of recipe ideas for pregnancy eating, two of them actually printed out. Yum. So I am starting a new category for recipes. Later tonight I will post some, but I'm also adding the label to previous recipes.

Why I Never Made it To Medical School

I wanted to be a trauma surgeon. I wanted this at such an early age that at age 11 I read an EMT training manual and passed all the practice tests in the back. I doctored animals. At 13, I took basic first aid, at 14 became a hospital volunteer and shadowed the unit nurses and doctors.

Then, I saw blood. Lots of it spurting out of a patient all over the floor. And I saw how people die when they have AIDS. And suffering that couldn't be helped. I was never the same. In the end, I am glad I worked as hard toward the goal as I did so early because I learned so much about myself and my own capabilities. I now have skills many other don't.

But still. Now I can't even watch ER without a little anxiety. So why am I sharing all of this? Last night, during birthing class, a guest speaker Midwife brought a placenta in a bucket. A real, only 24 hours old, placenta.

I didn't realize this at first, I thought we were going to see a plastic model. When they started to arrange the plastic floor mat, I made a joke about the "no BBQ snacks during class" rule (all white furniture and carpet). Ok. Once I realized that what I had said was so TOTALLY inappropriate for what was about to be presented, I went from my usual pasty white to beet red and was mortified at myself. Yup, leave it to me to say the most tasteless thing ever. Gah. In a room full of pregnant people too. Geeze.

So then the paper was laid out and the Midwife lays out the organ. It was huge and bloody and I braced myself for biology lab smell. Surprisingly there was no smell. We learned about nutrition and how protein intake affects the organ, cultural practices involving it, that humans are the only mammal that doesn't eat it, and some of the complications involving placenta in 3rd stage labor. Whew. Seriously, why don't more people take this class? (The picture below and on the left is just a Google search find. Even though I had my camera with me, it didn't occur to me to take a picture.)

The question occurred to me at the end of the presentation to ask, "How do they remove the placenta in a C-Section?" I almost wish I hadn't asked. Flash back of all things awful. The answer is that the surgeon, or whoever, uses a gloved hand and scrapes it out with his or her fingertips. Then Dearest volunteered the memory of when he saw this happen. I just didn't really know that.

My reflections on the class? The placenta was from a successful VBAC. Wow. The original cord had a true knot (that part was cut off?) and we learned about that too. We also shared recipes and talked nutrition some more. It was the first time I really thought about how my nutrition might have impacted my last trimester with Lil'Bug and led to the C-Section. She was 9 lbs 6 oz when she was born and I had mega fibroids restricting contractions. Nutrition has helped me this time around manage fibroid growth and keep June Bug's projected birth weight normal. Not just eating well through pregnancy, but eating well the past 4 years, better even the last 3. So, that's about it.

Also, apparently I am OCD about menu tracking and food log. I was not the only one who tracked foods, but ingredients and protein counts too, but in great detail daily. I also do the exercises daily, though the yoga for 20 minutes only twice a week. I am working on that.

If I hadn't said this before: Thank you Sarah, for linking to the classes on your website and mentioning it on your blog. I never would have found it otherwise and it is an amazing experience.

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Wii and Childbirthing

A two for one post.

We decided, with almost the same wording, to get a Wii. While I posted on my blog, Dearest Husband posted almost word for word the same thing on a gaming (RPG) forum the same inquiry. So, it is done. It is ordered. It will be about a month, but a good deal and no line waiting. He ordered the family pack and then we intend to get Endless Ocean too.

Ok, so then.....first childbirth class last night. Wow. Last time we took "Childbirth Express" through the hospital because we thought we knew a bunch already and we were really busy. I think we covered last night, the first of 8 classes, more than the whole class we took last time AND it was basically a meet and greet/ syllabus review. Geesh. We did physical exercise positioning too and I learned that I was doing the tail bone "wagging" thing totally wrong.

Dearest Husband kept me entertained. During the relaxation work we were instructed to work on a calming story that we share for him to retell to me. I looked at him with concern. "We don't have a story," I whispered and then tensed up. He leaned down and whispered in my ear something that I never expected. It was hilarious and I almost screeched with giggles. (Dearest, if you'd like to share, post it in the comments.) I love him. It was probably the only kind thing he could of said to relax me too.

I love the class. We are really getting a lot of information. Funny thing is- it is the only such class in Central Iowa and there are only 5 couples in attendance? How sad is that. I really wish we'd had this available to us last time, not that it would have changed anything but my attitude/guilt post op.

Blogger still is fritzy. Is anyone else having trouble?

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Pregnancy Salad

Spinach greens (more or less about a cup full chopped)
Dried cranberries and or cherries
Parmesan cheese (shredded not grated) 1/4 cup
Whole wheat seasoned croutons 1/8 cup
Bite sized fresh apple chunks 1/4 cup
Meat of choice (Bacon, chicken, ham, leftover pork chop...all work pretty good) 1/4 cup
Caesar dressing (the kind made with anchovy oil, oh, and thank you to BIL (Uncle J.) for pointing out the ingredient!)

Serves 2 as meal (or hungry me and little tot). I came up with this as a way to meet the pregnancy diet requirements of spinach greens and fish (anchovies are ok, but kinda yucky- unless it is in salad dressing!) AND then to meet my craving for cranberries and apples. With this meal I knock out a bunch of the requirements all at once. Oh, and it is pretty yummy too. I can play with the ingredients for variety and what is on hand as long as I keep the dressing and the spinach. Also, I accidentally got Arugula greens instead of spinach last week and learned that THEY ARE NOT THE SAME!!!! Yuck.

Lil'Bug loves it. She asked to try it with out the "fish goo" dressing and now asks to have it for lunch too. That is wonderful since I hated making separate meals and I really like sharing with her yummy healthy food. Good example and all that. I figured she would pick out the bits she likes and leave the spinach, but she eats it all! Whoo hoo!

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Birth and Doulas and Centering

I love the idea of Doulas. I now have two that will be attending June Bug's birth. The idea of having dedicated care providers that are my employees, that's only part of it. I also long for the idea of being surrounded by friends and family for the blessed event, but that may not be possible if things go awry. During C-Section prep last time only the Doula could stay with me and I was glad to have someone I knew holding my hand. Things got crazy. I am glad to have the small comforts.

Birth is a complicated issue for me. At times I am full of anxiety and mistrust and at others I feel fully empowered to complete the cycle. Things did not go as I planned with Lil'Bug, complications made things scary. This time, feels different. I feel different about many things, more confident and more knowledgeable, but there is still the unknown waiting out there. I read in a kids adventure book recently- one character said to another, "If you feel confident, it is merely because there is something you don't know. Fear can save your life." Or something like that.

So I ordered more books, looked into classes again. I sat down and thought about it. I talked with Dearest Husband. It is too early to stress out about what we don't know will happen.

I am doing better with the de-stress meditation, I bought a lovely pendant today to work as a worry stone, it is Carnelina and Imperial Jasper in a pumpkin orange with a purple vein. My favorite colour combination. It was handmade by a dear friend, that makes it even more special.Will a small pretty make a big difference? Maybe. With Lil'Bug I had a pendant I wore through pregnancy of opal and amethyst and I will give it to her on her 18th birthday. I wanted the same small token to give June Bug. It is very pretty and feels perfect on my neck.