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Friday, April 30, 2010

An Attempt to Move

When my oldest was just a wee one, before I learned of slings and things. My husband and I bought a house. The house was a 3 bedroom condo, about 1200 sq ft. in a very family oriented community. We thought that it would be a great house to raise a family. Now 5 years later and 2 more kids and a dog, it's a little cramped.
Now, I don't *need* a new house. I like the idea of keeping your foot print small, but and I don't know if this is the Jones in me talking, I just feel like it's too small. I like the layout upstairs, and the kitchen is not bad..but my living room and dining area make me insane. There is no real space for the boys to spread out and do their thing. So they end up ripping apart my living room to jump on, or bring all their toys onto the landing, which is another "bigger" space.
I really only want a unfinished or partially finished basement and some semblance to a backyard and I would be happy for a while (5 more years??)
I really want to be able to open the back door and allow the boys to play on the back deck while I put the baby to sleep. I can join them after the baby is sleeping.
Now, its hard for other children to nap, because we are so on top of each other.
I also think the dog needs her own space too, and I want the crate out of my living room.
The issue I am running into now is that I have to move this summer for everything to work out the way that we want it to.
That means, cleaning, de-cluttering and listing my house (and keeping it clean) while my husband is away for days on end and I have a new born...this is gonna be tough.
But worth it I hope.
Maybe I should just go on vacation....

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Maiden Voyage

Imagine if you will, a newly minted mom of three decides to enroll her eldest son in soccer. The first game is the second day that she is single parenting for eight days. She has most of her routine figured out at home, but she is still trying to figure out how to juggle three children outside of the house.
So picture this, a Van pulls up to a soccer field and the doors open. A mom jumps out and runs to the other side of the vehicle to pick up a screaming baby that looks to be 2 weeks old. He is starving and all he wants is to be comforted and to get a little milk. She holds him in one hand as she unbuckles a 2 year old. Once the 2 year old is free he bee-lines it out of the van and runs into the field. The mother grabs the two year old and goes back to unbuckle the 4 year old.
The 4 year old decided that before he went to soccer that he wanted to wear his rubber boots, but upon arriving and noticing that none of the other children are wearing boots he decides that he wants to wear his shoes.
So he sits on the sidewalk and asks his mom to put them on. She tries to with little success as the baby is still crying and the 2 year old keeps trying to escape.
Another mom with older kids approaches the mom and asks if she can help, "because I have three and know what it is like." The newly minted mom gives the more experienced mom the newborn and says "He is just really hungry, as soon as I get this one to practice I can feed the baby."
The 4 year olds shoes are put on and the mom takes the baby in one hand, and carries her bag, and a long piece of fabric in the other hand. She orders the older children to follow her....the wrong way.
Once the mom has realized she has gone the wrong way, she quickly changes course. She has now decided to just undo her tank and start nursing while walking as the baby was becoming frantic.
They finally make it to the right field, once they get there the coach throws a shirt and pair of socks at the 4 year old and says, "get your mom to help put those on." The mom looks at the socks and shirt, and digs out the shin pads from her bag. She attempts to put them on but she only has one free hand and her 2 year old keeps running away. She puts her leg over the 2 year old so he cannot run anymore and tries in vain to put the socks and shoes on. Another mom shows up (happens to be a friend) and the mom BEGS her to put the shoes and socks on the child. She does. She then asks the mom to hold the infant as she wraps the long piece of fabric around her, as it is cold the mom does a crappy tie and shoves the infant in and latches him on. She then runs after the two year old for a whole hour. The fabric keeps coming undone and she gets stares and comments from those around her about coldness, activity level of the two year old, and comments about the fabric.
Once the game is done the mom gives the kids a snack and while the two year old is occupied with eating she re-ties the fabric properly.
They pack up and start for the van. She now has a soccer ball in one hand, and a bag and a water bottle in the other. The baby is close to her chest and she looks confident. She tells the two boys to run to the van and as the two year old gets to the cement he trips and eats cement. His front lip is cut open and he is hysterical. He goes blue and passes out, the mom doesnt look too concerned, and if you asked her what she was thinking she would reply, "Can it get any worse?!" The mom drops everything in her hands and picks up the lifeless body of the two year old to the van. She squishes the baby in the wrap in the process who then starts to cry. The four year old starts crying as well as he is scared that his brother passed out.
The mom places the child on the front seat and blows in his face and flicks his ears to wake him up. He takes a huge breath and starts to scream unconsolable. The mom then hugs and kisses the two year old until he calms down.
She puts the 4 year old in his carseat, buckles him in and re-assures him that everything is okay. Buckles in the 2 year old and promises a popsicle for his lip when they get home. Buckles in the 2 week old and caresses his head. She then climbs into the drivers seat, takes a deep breath and starts the van, and closes the doors.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Birth Story - Part Four

With my previous deliveries the pushing part was the best part. No pain. So when my midwife told me that I was fully dilated I was excited to start pushing. I had gotten out of the tub because I didn't really feel like I had the leverage that I needed to effectively push out the baby, and in hindsight I had probably decided to go on the bed as that is what I was used to. (muscle memory).
Pushing wasn't painless this time, however, and that really surprised me.
With every push I could still feel my lower back spasm, and so instead of letting go completely between each push, I held it and kept the tension until the next.
I pushed hard and could feel movement. My midwives commented on how I had my bag of waters bulging before the baby's head. Suddenly with a loud *pop* the waters exploded and hit my head midwife full in the face! I could hear the others joking about having a shower and how much water had come away. I kept my focus however, thinking about my walls and carpet, and continued to push.
The next push and I was crowning, the next came his head. Shoulders with the next push and he appeared at 9:52pm, after 4 or 5 pushes.
The relief that I experienced once he came out was immense. I had never felt anything like it and my back stopped hurting immediately.
I held him close and kissed his little head. We hung out for 30 mins waiting for the placenta and he started showing signs of wanting to nurse.
I wanted to see if he could self latch, as in the breast crawl video, and was delighted when he did.
My placenta was birthed shortly after and we skyped with my husbands mother as she was in the U.S. and unable to attend. (my mother and sister were present).
After everyone had gone home my sister sent me a copy of my birth story from her perspective, and it is the most powerful thing I have ever read. She talks about how inspiring it was for her, and how she wants to birth naturally. She talks about the power of the female body and how birth is a process and not a medical procedure.
So while I felt that this birth was my toughest, my little sister put it all in perspective for me.
Pain with Purpose; with a wonderful gift at the end.

The Birth Story - Part Three

I had gone to the Birth Breastfeeding and Bonding conference and had met Barbara Harper while pregnant with E. I had heard of the benefits of labouring in water since my first pregnancy, and had used the water with K until my water had broken. I had read all about water birth and all of the positives that came associated with it, "natures epidural" and the like. I was still pleasantly surprised when I got into the water and my contractions seemed to disappear.
I was worried that the contractions would stop all together and then I would have to get out of the tub. I sat pensively and waited for the next contraction to come. When it did it was still intense but bearable. I was so happy that I had this relief, as the contractions out of the water were the most painful of all my births.
Its not that I have had orgasmic births or anything, just that with both K and R the really intense contractions were at the end, and I had very few of them before pushing. I wasn't prepared to experience those types of contractions from the middle of labour on. These particular contractions were much different than that of my other births. They started in my sacrum and flowed into my uterus, down my thighs and into my calves. I could not walk through any of them, and if this had been a first birth I can honestly say that I would have probably asked to be transported to the hospital for some pain relief.
I had absolutely no idea how to cope and was saved by the water. If I had not had the water I am honestly not sure what I would have done.
I rocked through each contraction on my knees in the warm pool. My midwives, knowing my wish for a peaceful and less chaotic birth than that of my first and second, spent the majority of the time chatting with eachother at the kitchen table. Every 15 mins or so they would come up to check to see how I was coping, do a fetal assessment and then leave.
After about an hour of being in the water my contractions ramped up and they started feeling like they had when I was out of the water. I was so happy that my husband was there as he sat vigilantly by the pool side (he refused to get in :P ) holding my hand. I was having a really hard time trying to cope and so I grabbed my husbands hand and squeezed with all of my might. I could tell that it hurt him as well.
As the contractions increased I tried as best as I could to breathe through each one, finding it more difficult as they started to come one on top of eachother. I kept thinking that if they were to continue with such ferocity that I would not be able to cope at all. I remembered reading that one has to open and let go to make labour less painful so I kept repeating "open, open, open, open" through each one, hoping that they would give me some reprieve.
As the last couple went through my body I told my midwives (who had all appeared at the same time) that I did not think that I could do it anymore. My midwives and my husband reassured me that it was almost over.
I kept looking at the bed, thinking that it would help if I just got on it. I desperately wanted to be checked again just so I could know how much longer I would have to endure. I got out of the tub and had the most powerful contraction that I had ever had. I tried to breathe through it, and when it was over I quickly got on may back and demanded to be checked by my midwives.
She quickly checked me and told me that I was fully dilated and that there was just a little lip of a cervix left and if I wanted to push through it, or if I wanted her to move it for me. I told her to move it, and asked if I could start pushing. She laughed and said, whenever you feel like it.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Birth Story - Part Two

My labour started as the previous ones did. Braxton Hicks for days on end. I felt like I was constantly in a start, stop cycle of labour. It started 3 weeks before I actually went into labour. I had a wonderful Blessingway and three days later I had a period of strong Braxton Hicks that lasted 3 full days. I thought that these contractions that were consistently 7 mins apart were the real deal; unfortunately they were not.
My husband was set to go back to work on the monday and so on Saturday I started to panic that he may not be home to witness and support me during the birth. I had tried everything that I felt comfortable doing to bring on labour and was feeling very disheartened that it wasn't happening. I went for a massage and hoped that it would start on the Sunday. By Sunday I was having inconsistent contractions and we decided that we would just go for a really long walk. I had written a blog post about how frustrated I was and decided just to let go of all expectations. We walked for an hour and I got a Chai Latte and we headed for home.
Once I got home my contractions were staying at 2 mins apart. They seemed pretty legitimate but I was worried that it was false labour so I didn't let anyone except my mom, my cousin and my good friend L in the loop.
I called my midwives, just because I thought that they could just check me and let me know if anything was happening. We decided that I would call back in an hour to re-assess.
I kept walking around and around and around my island just to make sure that the contractions continued as I really wanted my husband to be home. I plugged in my ipod and downloaded a contraction app just so I could keep an eye on them.
Another hour and a half went by and my contractions kept on coming, not only that but they were getting stronger and stronger.
I was excited and started thinking that it was the real thing.
I called my midwives again and the midwife said that she would be over in 30 mins. I couldnt wait, and hoped that the contractions kept coming.
When she arrived she brought in all of her supplies and I worried that we would have to help her load them all back into her car if I was actually experiencing false labour.
She asked me if I had gotten the tub ready and I told her that I had. I took her up to my room and the other midwife arrived.
We did my blood pressure and a fetal heart tone, and then she asked me if I wanted to be checked. I agreed.
I was 5cm and she said that I had lost my plug and that there was a lot of show. She told me that yes, I was in labour and that she expected me to have the baby in 6 hrs at the latest.
I called my mom to come and watch my other kids and went about getting the tub filled and finishing my laundry. The midwives joked about how they thought that it was funny that I was in active labour while folding laundry, I commented that you could not do laundry with one hand.
My mom came over and we had supper, we put the boys in a bath and then put the boys to bed.
An hour after the boys went to bed I started having contractions that were an 8/10 on the pain scale. I then asked to be checked again (now at a 7) and went into the tub.

The Birth Story - Part One

When you become pregnant the first time you know that at some point you will have to give birth. You really have no idea what to expect, and have nothing to reference it to. You are basically blind to the experience, with some theoretical knowledge but not much else. Even if you take birthing classes you have ideas of how to cope with pain, but you really don't *know* what is coming.
For your second birth you have some idea of how the birth will go, generally. This is unless your first birth had complications and you hope to have a different experience. If you had an uncomplicated birth then you have an idea of what it will feel like and how it will go.
After having two, it seems like your birth will be old hat. Its not that you don't look forward to it, but you know what is coming.
Both of my previous births followed the same formula. Contractions for 7 - 10 hrs, active labour for 1-2 hrs of hard contractions followed by pushing. Pushing for me was the best part, no pain just progress.
So, following all that I thought that I knew what was coming. I was ready for birth, I wanted to meet my baby, I had prepared myself. All I had to do was wait...which was difficult for me.
So imagine my surprise when this labour and delivery was nothing like I had expected...

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Trying to let go.

I had hoped that I would have a new baby now, but it seems my girlfriend S is going to be right. (She always goes over her dates, and so thought that I was crazy to think I would go any earlier.) I just had the 10th in my mind for the last 9 months, so I am a little disappointed that he didn't come yesterday...and what is worse, it just seems like everything has slowed right down. I mean, yes, I still am having contractions all the time, but nothing regular. It makes me really tired. I have been sleeping a tonne. 2 hr naps and going to bed at 9pm.
I keep thinking of R's birth and thinking how I had to let go in order for him to come. I am trying to think of all the things that I need to get ready or to let go so that this little one can come. I keep coming up with dead-ends. I really feel like I am ready.
Well, as ready as one can be to go into labour. It's not like I *want* to go into labour...who really does? It's hard work, and as quick as it can be done, it's still like a massive workout. I sometimes think that my other two are holding me back as well. Like they need to be taken care of before I go into labour, but they have been sleeping pretty well for the last couple days so I am not sure what is up with that either.
All this wouldnt matter if I didnt have until tomorrow to figure it out. If I wasnt on a deadline this baby would have shot out 3 days ago...but no, it will just wait until the husband is on the plane.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Frustration and Too Much Information.

My husband now works shift work, but the kind of shift work that takes him away for days on end....
I made the mistake of getting checked by my midwives at my last appointment, my husband is only home for 5 days and I wanted to see if I was at least starting labour. They checked me and the diagnosis was awesome. 3 cm dilated, fully effaced and engaged and a paper thin cervix. My midwife was convinced that it would be no more than 2 weeks. I was hopeful that it meant that my husband would not miss the birth.
So began a waiting game that is making me insane.
It's not like nothing is happening, I get contractions...every 7, 10, 5 or 2 mins apart, for days. I have other changes that I have noticed as well, I have a back ache, leg cramps, and am incredibly grumpy. (of course that could just be the fact that I have a cold at this time as well).
A couple nights ago I had contractions so strong that they caused me to have a cold sweat. Now, that is intense.
The issue I am having now is that he goes back in 3 days and we have to book the flight, I feel like I am on this horrible timeline and there is nothing I can do.
Now, dont get me wrong, I am a huge proponent of natural birth and do not want to force my body into doing anything that it isnt ready to do, but my biggest fear is that he will get on the plane and at that exact moment I go into labour.
It's just frustrating, that's all I am saying.
Come on Baby, gimme a sign.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Water Birth

This post is purely to spite my husband. :P I told him I was going to write it, so here I am.
I am planning a water birth with this baby. I have borrowed a tub and set up my room to look like a birthing suite. The pool is on one side and the bed is on the other.
There is space for the midwives to work and we have set up a resuscitation station should anything go wrong (in or out of the water).
I am really excited about it. My last two births were incredibly fast and I felt completely out if control. I also experienced quite a bit of discomfort because when a woman goes through a fast labour she doesn't get the build up of hormones that one would get if their labours were a little slower.
Birthing in water may slow it down just a little and give me the pain relief that I am looking for.

Now for the spiting husband doesnt like the idea of a water birth because he thinks that we are not water mammals so why would we birth in the water. (regardless of the fact that the baby is made in the water).
He also thinks that it brings up too many variables that can not be controlled. (because you can control birth).
And he thinks that I just want to do it because it is popular. (which isnt necessarily wrong....I mean if loads of people are having water births and say how great they are why WOULDNT you give it a go?)

I just want to try, make this experience less chaotic and more calm. (and I only have a couple weeks to go...if that.)

For more information on Water Birth check out HERE.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Toddler Property Laws

I came across this today and laughed as I thought of my two year old.

Toddler Property Laws

If I like it, it's mine.
If it's in my hand, it's mine.
If I can take it away from you, it's mine.
If I had it a little while ago, it's mine.
If it's mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way.
If we are building something together, all of the pieces are mine.
If it looks like mine, it's mine.
If I think it's mine, it's mine.
If I give it to you, and change my mind later, it's mine.
If it's broken, it's yours!
~ Author Unknown.

We are definitely going through the "mine" stage right now as he is well aware that a baby is coming any day now. It's hard not to laugh at just how serious he gets when it comes to what is his and what isn't.

This kid is in for a wake-up call I think.... ;P

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