Thursday, March 14, 2013

My Thoughts About Natural Birth

I am so appreciative of all the support I've gotten when I mentioned I would be possibly attempting a natural birth. The fact that so many of you have done it and have lived to tell the tale gives me more faith that despite my low pain tolerance threshold, I may too.

What is kinda of funny, is that I actually have NO desire to give birth naturally. Its just that the medication I am on may force me too. If the timing works out where I can have the eppy- I am getting it. But, if the situation works out where I cant have the pain meds, I want to be ready, resolved and prepared. So I am planning on a natural birth, and hoping for the happy coincidence of an epidural.

So I have been doing A LOT of research. When I first started (searching pinterest for articles and blogs) I was actually SUPER disappointed with what I found. So many women were making their decision for a natural birth off of fear, and misguided information. I do not need someone to tell me that doctors, and meds, and hospitals are scary because guess what? They're not.

Maybe I am biased because my husband IS a med student. But I also think this gives me a unfair advantage. I KNOW what doctors learn- how hospitals are SUPPOSE to work, how the meds are made and given and for what, and how doctors are suppose to act. I am not blind, I also know there are lots of bad docs out there. I had one when I miscarried. But I do not put up with that.

I know in some situations you are stuck with a bad doc or a hospital and based on that experience, or a different bad experience, you may choose to go natural. Makes PERFECT sense to me and more power to you. But I read one misguided blog where a woman was saying "Women have given birth for hundreds of years without doctors and meds. Why do we need them now?"

BECAUSE WOMEN AND CHILDREN DIED. There are REASONS for modern medicine. I am not saying every doc or hospital is good. Do your research. Ask for your doctors credentials. I know where my docs went to school, did residency and where they were certified. And if you don't like your doc, SWITCH. I have. Ask the girls I am friends with- I get made fun of  A LOT because I am very picky and very specific about who handles my pregnancy. (That is for another post :) The great thing about being so picky, is that I TRUST my doctor implicitly and I know I am getting the best care for me.

Before I get off my soap box- I do want to say one thing about meds? Make SURE your information on meds, and your doctor for the matter, are not outdated. (I WILL not use a doctor over 50 unless they have been RECENTLY board certified. You can do it every few years.) Some woman in a blog I read was going off about how awful medicine is for you and your baby and attached a video... from the seventies. Medicine changes every year people. Five years ago a doctor wouldn't let you have more than 3 csections. That is not the way anymore. (And if you have a doctor that says it is? Ditch them now.)

I guess what I am saying is, please, no matter WHAT medical intervention you are having, trust your doctor, and be informed. And make sure your information is CURRENT. Because the eppys from the 70's are NOT the eppys of today.

That all said, I think there are LOADS of legitimate reasons to have a natural birth, and I am really grateful for the non crazy women who have talked to me and given me advice. I have lots of friends who choose natural birth for their own reasons, and all of them are smart well informed reasons. Some are even just a matter of preference but these women have never been so close minded to tell me drugs, or hospitals, or MD's are bad. And I would never be so close minded as to say they are nuts for choosing not to use drugs or to use a midwife. Cause they are not. Its your pregnancy, your baby, your body. (I am just asking for people to not treat themselves or their posterity with naivety.)

Thanks to these great women, I have been able to find LOTS of helpful things to help me on my path to a natural child birth. What is funny is that there is no one "birth philosophy" that I love. I feel like each one has something that is a little.... out there. So my natural birth prep is actually a compilation of... well, everything :)

I LOVE the Bradley Methods concentration on physical health. Makes sense- the healthier you are the healthier your pregnancy. He has some set exercises to do and I felt super dumb that I never thought about doing squats, and lunges, and inner thigh stretches to prepare for pregnancy. Hello Sarah! You may squat for hours while giving birth and you KNOW you have to spread for hours. Wouldn't it be great to get those muscles as ready and as strong as they can be? Thusly- I do squats and stretches a lot now :) Mixed in with some good old healthy aerobics as well.

I really love the whole notion of hypnobirthing. Some of the ideas here can get a little granola for my taste but for the most part- it makes sense to me. They want you to use thoughts, images, and affirmations to get you to a point that moves past pain. I am not sure I believe in being able to move PAST the pain of birth, but I DO know the power of a good affirmation. When I get tired working out I always say to myself, "Sarah, if you can do (something) you can run this." And it WORKS.

I also love that I am LDS because it brings so much more power to my affirmations  I was trying to think of something helpful enough to push me through the pain of birth- to help me deal with it and suddenly I came to tears when I realized the answer was in front of my face. "I trust the Lord." If he can help a 100 year old barren woman give natural birth to a son in the dessert, he will help me. (I am talking about Sarah in the Bible.)

What a friend of mine told me that I think is GREAT advice is to do anything that calms me. She said something to the effect that the pain is scary and that there is no way to be perfectly prepared for it, but it is important to stay as relaxed as possible otherwise you will be clenching and working against a contraction when really the idea is to let its body do its thing. I mean, isn't that what an eppy is? The ultra relaxation.  I progressed so much faster after I had my eppy with my son.

So Adam and I have been coming up with a list of things to calm me. One of them was a DVD full of short clips of Logan. When I was going through my miscarriage, sad, scared, and in EXTREME pain, I remember Adam putting his arm around me and going through pictures of Logan on the phone showing me how cute he was. Not only did it help to smile and laugh, but it also reminded me of how lucky I was to have Logan.  So videos of my son will not only make me laugh and relax because he is funny in himself, but they will also help remind me WHY I am giving this birth and how incredibly worth it it is.

I also plan on bringing a pumping play list to energize me, a soothing one to help calm me, any comical movie that I can find, and I fully intend to use the whirl pool tub and the shower as MUCH as I can. Because I LOVE water. I also plan of taking a Lamaze breathing class because EVERYONE says it helps.

That is kind of my plan- get as fit as I can in ways that will help during birth, reinforce myself positively, and learn to relax as much as possible. Any other advice you can give me I would LOVE. As long as you don't bash doctors too much. :) Cuz I like mine. :) But anything to help me deal with pain- would be appreciated.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Announcing...

 photo IMG_2698_zpsfe4a536b.jpgWell, if you couldn't tell from the rest of our blog- were pregnant! :)

Obviously Adam and I have known for a while- I took a test the Monday after Thanksgiving and didn't have to wait longer than 2 seconds for it to come up positive.

Don't be offended that we haven't told you- we told no one anything. Pregnancy is scary after a miscarriage- even at 19 weeks I still get nervous at times. Plus, we had tried for SO long for this baby, it seemed impossible that it was really true. Only our families, and those who see me all the time know. (And I didn't have to tell those who see me- you can tell :)

This pregnancy has been a bit harder than Logan's which has made me more wary as well. I carry the same (though bigger) but I am on blood thinners (yay to daily injections) and have had some morning sickness and LOTS of growing pains. All fairly normal, but I am listed a bit higher risk due to my miscarriage and blood issues. Still- it could be SO much worse.

And take note that I am NOT complaining- I am more grateful than anything to be having this baby! We are SO blessed. Right now I crave anything salty and red meat (which is SUPER weird for me) have not wanted chocolate at all, and am fully out of even fat clothes- its all maternity from here on in baby! I am only now starting to get some energy back, right as my little thing has decided to make its presence known! (Aka, lots of kicking.)

We had our big ultrasound today, and unlike with Logan who I KNEW was a boy, I had no idea. I was thrilled to find out we are having a little girl! She looks perfect, wouldn't show me her face (just like her brother) and is measuring right on time. We are pretty positive we will be naming her Monica Diane- Monica cuz I love it, and Diane after my best friend Becky.

I am due August 4th and am going to attempt a VBAC. Which is even scarier on blood thinners cuz it means there is a 50% chance I will have to do it natural. I really actually didn't want to try for a VBAC at all but all my doctors have been suggesting it so were taking the plunge. Natural is scary for me because the most natural I get is using organic conditioner. There has been LOTS of research going on.

Here are the pictures from our ultrasound today- no good profiles cuz she wouldn't stop going fetal (pun intended haha) but you can see there is no doubt- in a few months I will have someone ELSES toenail to paint :)

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Monday, March 4, 2013

The End of the Hated February

 photo IMG_2593_zps16701177.jpgComing up with titles for posts is definitely the worst thing ever. I realized this morning as I loaded pictures to the computer that I never posted about v-day, so you can catch that here along with what else we have been up too. :)
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 photo IMG_2622_zpscc14fbbb.jpg photo IMG_2601_zps3d920c10.jpgAdam is on spring break right now! Yay! Of course we only got to this point by a grueling three weeks of studying manly and womanly parts... Adam is hilarious- after this set he is SO sympathetic to the female condition. He told me last night, "I feel so bad for you. I mean... your body is ALWAYS changing." To which I had to bust up laughing and said, "Now you know why girls are nuts. We have no homeostasis  There IS no normal for us." He has also informed me that he understands why girls are so high maintenance  "You cant help it. Your PARTS are high maintenance. Its in your make-up." Love my lovey hubby :)

 photo IMG_2624_zps0f5961a6.jpg photo IMG_2612_zps4b218d61.jpgFor Valentines Day we had a little valentine box- Logan got a puppy that he now will not sleep without. Adam and Logan got Spider-man treats from my mom, and Adams mom sent treats to us that I ate all of. (Did you know they have "surprise" skittles, where they put the red flavor with a green coating? it was like- the most fun thing ever to pop a purple skittle in my mouth and taste orange.)

Logan ALSO went to his first Valentine party :) They decorated bags and valentine cookies and then exchanged cards.... Logan was more interested in playing with the buzz lightyear gun and eating the candy for the cookies... but he LOVED playing with his friends, and highly enjoyed his treats after. (SO MANY SUCKERS.)
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Adam took Logan and I to lunch at Chillis (I am finally mom enough that I know how to keep my kid happy and charming at a restaurant. Score ten for me.) And then we cuddled and watched Stranger Than Fiction that evening when Logan went to bed. It is one of our top ten favorite movies, and it is only now that we realize that we have strange tastes in movies... no one gets what we love.

 photo IMG_2662_zps593abe40.jpg photo IMG_2664_zps23ccb99e.jpgOther than that Logan and I have been trying to stay out of Adams way and beat the freezing temperatures. (I mean freezing... the highest its been in a month will be this Friday when it reaches a predicted 46. UGH.)

We baked cookies. (ignore my full sink.) Logan wanted to taste EVERY ingredient. First thing he did after I put butter in the bowl is squish it and then lick his hands. (Don't worry- I wouldn't let him taste the raw egg.)

 photo IMG_2657_zps7809e0c2.jpg photo IMG_2656_zps65cebad6.jpgWe have decided that Petco is like a tiny zoo. Logan likes to watch the dogs get "hair-cuts" tap on the mice cage, and I always have to stop him from kissing the fish tanks. He likes watching the frogs jump too. (Confession- I have always wanted a pet frog and am SO tempted to get one for Logan after we move.) Logan has been talking about this excursion all week since we have gone.

 photo IMG_2661_zps832c88bc.jpgWe went thrifting one day. Which in sucky Morgantown is hard, but I did find a gem of a place in a back alley looking area. Its not much to look at but had GREAT stuff. They also had a play area for kids. This is how I found Logan after five minutes alone.

 photo IMG_2669_zpsac8bb2c6.jpgWhen Adam was taking his tests this weekend I apparently went INSANE and bought a couple lunchables and took Logan to the park. It was 35 degrees. And of course Logan decides in freezing weather, what is more fun that playing in puddles? He lasted about 35 minutes and then we warmed up in the car. He enjoyed it though- the lunchable the most I think.
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 photo IMG_2628_zps078d1454.jpg photo IMG_2645_zpsa67f7cab.jpgWe also took apart Logans crib. I went into his room Saturday morning and found him halfway climbed out. Because I am paranoid I took the crib apart right away. Logan has actually been doing great. The first night he woke up once because he fell out and was too tired and confused to get back in :) He LOVES playing on it though. I often hear him in his room now saying Whee! As he jumps on his giant "cushion" (as he calls his mattress.) He also likes to tuck his puppies into bed :) Adorable. (And yes, he is still OBSESSED with puppies. You will catch Logan playing with cars and toy phones ans such- but animals are his true love.)

 photo IMG_2647_zpsed4bd6b8.jpgOh- and I am brunette again. The first box of "warm red" turned me Anne of Green Gables. But a second dose of normal brown fixed it. I am getting it cut this week and am SO excited. :)