Thursday, December 23, 2010
Tomorrow morning Michael and I will be leaving town to visit family in Indianapolis and Illinois, which I am so very excited about. Because our schedule is as jam-packed as my carry on luggage, I doubt I'll be posting while I'm there.
So I'm wishing you the best and warmest Christmas! Be safe and merry!
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
This particular hospital has a birthing center that is attached to the hospital proper, so I feel like it’s getting the best of both worlds. You get the amenities supporting natural birth (birthing tubs, less pressure for interventions, etc.) but you also have access to all of the serious medical equipment in case something goes wrong. (I know I’m considered a low risk pregnancy but I still get nervous at the idea of a home birth. I don’t think I could ever do that.)
It was a group tour which could be a good or bad thing, I guess, depending on your perspective. I liked seeing the other couples and watching us all waddle around as a pack (except for me…I’m trying to not adopt that pregnancy waddle until it’s no longer possible to refrain). I decidedly didn’t like how crowded things were when we all piled onto the elevator.
We knew someone in the group! How small a world! (There are a lot of hospitals in the Phoenix area and this particular hospital does two tours a month, so what are the chances?!) Another reason why I liked being in a group is that I tend to ask a lot of questions and I feel like I start bothering people with them. There was at least one other mom in the group (the one we knew) that seemed to have her eye on a natural birth, so she was asking all kinds of questions too.
When we first got there we were notified that all of the LDR (Labor, Delivery and Recovery) rooms were full! Was it the full moon? Was it a bunch of women wanting to get induced before the holidays? Or doctors pressuring them to so as to not have interrupted holidays? (That’s right, I said it!) Who knows? But because of this, we were told that we wouldn’t get to see a LDR room. I was SO disappointed. Sure, I wanted to tour the hospital to see what entrances to use, what waiting rooms look like, etc., etc., but the real reason I came was to check out the room for all the action. And to be told we’d miss out! I immediately started wondering if we should come back for another tour.
But what will be will be. We make plans and God laughs. It all turns out.
It just so happened that one of the rooms was being cleaned out and prepped for a new mom right as we were passing through. So we did get to look inside while a team put out new sheets and brought in new supplies! I was so happy to get to see the room after I’d been told I wouldn’t! I especially like how they try to make these rooms feel less medical-y. They have laminate flooring that looks like wood and all the medical equipment is kept in cupboards – very inconspicuous. All of the rooms are outward-facing, so they all have windows. At the mention of the Jacuzzi tubs, Michael whispered to me that he couldn’t wait to have a soak while I was laboring on the table. He thinks he’s so funny.
We also got to poke around in a postpartum room where we’ll be hanging out for however long I need to after recovering from birth. We didn’t get to see inside the nursery but we did see a couple newborns – one being held and one being wheeled around. What little burritos they are! Can’t wait to have a burrito of my own!
And speaking of burritos, we had Chipotle for dinner afterward.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
This is us on our Senior Trip after graduating - a trip that involved a car breaking down on the highway, a ride in the back of a police van, surf lessons, sunburns and one tattoo.
Lyndsey, Christina (Paige's friend from CA), me, Jaye, Paige, d'Averill and Ashly.
And here we are on the same trip, dressed down for a walk on the beach:
Monday, December 20, 2010
I'm not sure if it's been the 75' weather or some other reason, but it really feels like Christmas snuck up on us this year. We put up the tree pretty early on but didn't even find time to put the ornaments up until last week!
But for my work holiday potluck I volunteered to make my favorite holiday cinnamon roll cookies. I almost lost my motivation (making these is a two-day process) but I rallied and finished them off while my mom came over to visit.
A pain in the butt to make, but pretty and so delish!
And we even got some fog!Fog is almost unheard of in Arizona on account of how dry it normally is. But waking up to this sight was a welcome change.
Tonight, with Christmas fast approaching later this week, we finally got some presents wrapped and placed under the tree!
I can't wait to go out to Indianapolis and Danville next weekend to see all of the family and really celebrate the day!
p.s. Please vote in my new poll!
Also, the Bakery has been updated!
Read this article if you'd like to know more about when the eclipse will start and finish in your time zone. Favorite line of the article: It describes what the lunar eclipse would look like if you were standing on the moon's surface. It says that you would see a big dark Earth halo'ed by a brilliant red light. In that ring you would be seeing all of the Earth's sunsets and sunrises at once. Isn't that beautiful to think about?
And if you'd like a good laugh, go to Youtube and search for "Total Eclipse of the Heart Literal Version." Hilarious. I'd give you a link but Youtube is blocked at work. (Don't look at me like that for blogging at work, I'm on my lunch break!)
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
I’m sure you’ve all heard of a bunch of natural birth birthing classes that offer techniques to cope with or get past the pain. Lamaze. The Bradley Method. I’m not doing these. I’m doing Hypnobirthing, also known as Hypnobabies. I prefer this second title because it reminds me of when Michael first heard of it and he waved his hand in a hypnotizing gesture and said, in a very soothing voice, “Baby, you will enter this world in a calm, submissive state.” Made me laugh because this terminology is the vernacular used by Cesar Milan when talking about training bad dogs. (“You must put them into a calm, submissive state!”)
Hypnobabies draws a lot of raised eyebrows because of its name and all the imagery it invokes, which I can understand. So here’s a very brief synopsis of my understanding of the Hypno technique, and why we decided to go with it:
Hypnosis does not involve you being conked out, out of control of your body, under someone else’s power or without the ability to remember what happened. You are not in a zombie-like trance the whole time. The whole point is that you can put yourself into and pull yourself out of this relaxed state if you want or need to. It is all about self-guided meditation. It is relaxation techniques, visualization and some repetition of sayings to keep you in a focused state of mind. You can keep your eyes open, walk around and talk all while you're in your relaxed state.
Their information compares the mental state you go into to how you feel when you’re driving a familiar route and can’t remember much of anything about the commute. (“Wait, I didn’t run any red lights, did I?” Kind of funny, we also discussed this state of mind in one of my college psych classes.) Or when you are so focused on a book or task that you don’t realize someone has been talking to you for the past 5 minutes. This is the kind of selective focus and meditative state that you enter in hypnobirth.
I can hear all you skeptics out there rolling your eyes.
Well, I’ve done my research. According to a study done in 2001, 42 pregnant women received either normal counseling or hypnosis training before their births. Only 1 in 22 hyno-moms needed to stay in the hospital more than two days after birth compared to 8 of 20 “normal” moms. And NONE of the hypnobirths required medical intervention, whereas 60% of the other births did! WOW!
One of the techniques I’m looking most forward to is learning about the functions of the experiences you go through during birth. I think the idea is that you experience less pain if you go into it knowing what is happening in your body (and why) when you’re having a contraction, for example. There is also a lot of fear release and positive repetition. I read a woman’s birth story and she talked about how this really helped her – repeating that, even at the most uncomfortable moments, “I am safe. Our baby is safe.”
I’m probably not describing it very well. If you’re open, I’d encourage you to read up about it.
My first class is on January 2nd and I can’t wait to go and check it out.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
I got together with a three lovely women this weekend to make some Christmas-y cake balls to enjoy and share.
To make cake balls:
1. Bake a sheet cake.
2. Crumble cake into teeny bits with food processor
3. Mix crumbs with some kind of binder - I used frosting
4. Roll mixture into balls
5. Dip balls into melted chocolate
7. Let harden
Between the four of us we must have made more than a hundred balls. I wish I would have taken a picture of them all lines up on the wax paper to dry! Nevertheless, here is a small sample of the wares:
Speckled ones - Funfetti inside (my contribution). Dark chocolate and white chocolate - red velvet inside (Cindy's creation). Some of the peanut butter covered ones have strawberry inside and some have chocolate peanut butter (Jaye and Anni's). And the red one has mint oreo inside (also Cindy). These are so moist and delicious!
We also went over to the home of two of our favorite people this weekend - Remi and Cole and their smiley baby Smith. There was food, laughter, birthtalk and scorpion hunting.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Question: Do ALL belly buttons completely pop out like little snooze buttons?
Item: I had new software installed on my work computer to allow me to use my regular mouse on my laptop instead of the little finger pad thing. When the tech guy came over to install, he showed me that the official settings make you select which computer is the “master” computer and which is the “slave computer. Is it horrible that my first instinct was to giggle and blush and think, "Kinky!"? Maybe my first reaction should have been to shake my head at the insensitivity.
Update: According to my daily pregnancy email reminder, baby is about 2 lbs right now! Makes sense, my midwife told us that she went through a growth spurt in the past month! Wish I could nuzzle her!
And now I present a one-word teaser for what my next blog will be about: balls.
Let your imagination wander!
Friday, December 10, 2010
Now guys, I really don’t mean this blog post to be offensive or condescending. I know that people get sensitive when this topic is brought up because everyone feels like other peoples’ opinions are a slam against what they decided to do. I don’t want to come across with an attitude of “OMG, you’re a horrible person if you did x…” or a competition of who is better at being more natural, etc. I can’t stand that stuff.
What I do want to do is post about my feelings on the subject, and I’d like to be able to talk about something that’s important to me. I understand that not everybody out there agrees with me. I’ve already gotten several people try to talk me out of going natural, and one gentleman (who happened to be a nurse) make very clear that he thought I was an idiot and that he obviously knew what my body was capable of much more than I did. I wanted to tell him that, simply by making such statements, not only was he solidifying some of my fears about contemporary medical-intervention labor and delivery care, but also giving me personal ammunition and motivation to stay the course. (Let’s call it the “Take THAT” approach.)
I know going natural isn’t for everyone, I’m just saying that I think it’s for me. I think everyone has to decide what they want out of their L&D experience. A lot of women don’t want pain, I get that. I can see how having a less-painful, calmer experience would be preferable. However, going natural gives me some of the things that I’m looking for with my experience.
Guys, I don’t want a c-section. I’m not afraid to tell you that. If I end up getting a c-section I fully plan on coming on this blog and talking about the experience and my likely disappointed feelings about it. I like to think that my blog is a place where I can write a realistic portrayal of my life – the good and the bad. I think I helped this aim by posting about my nausea and puking experiences over and over and over again. Anyway, I’m scared of a c-section. Mostly because I keep envisioning this moment after the baby is born where Michael and I will get to look into the little one’s (likely screaming) face and hold her and cuddle her and tell her how much we wanted and waited for her. I’ve read a few too many blogs and forum posts of womens’ birth stories telling of their horror or sad experiences with c-sections. I’ve read about being tied down to the table (arms, head). Being freezing cold. Not being able to see anything, not knowing if everything is okay. Having the baby held in front of you for a minute before they whisk her away for testing and care. Being so wonked out from your meds that you recover in another room for an hour or more before you’re well enough to see your baby. Feeling so detached that you don’t even feel like holding the baby, you don’t even bond. These are the things that I don’t want from my experience.
So here are the reasons I want to go natural:
1. I feel like I can. I feel like I am a strong, tough woman who should be able to deliver a child without pain medication. I feel like I will be able to handle it. I would like to try.
2. I don’t know enough about the drugs. I’ve spent my entire pregnancy watching what goes into my body. “Is this soft cheese pasteurized?” “No wine for me, thanks.” “Has this produce been washed?” I haven’t gone crazy. I’m not eating all organic. I ate sushi (only cooked rolls though). But still, I’ve been pretty careful about what I put in my body. The truth is that I haven’t done my research. I haven’t learned enough about the drugs to find out what all they do/mean. So I’m hoping to just play it safe and pass on grass, like I did when I decided against taking Tylenol for a splitting headache because I couldn’t remember if it was okay or not.
3. I want the natural experience. I’ve heard that you get this awesome wave of bonding hormones right after giving birth naturally. Some people argue that you don’t get this same thing when you’ve had meds.
4. A cultural discrepancy. Plenty of other cultures look at birth as a beautiful rite of passage. Girls look forward to giving birth because it means their transition into the woman’s culture of the society. In Western society we tend to look at birth with horror and fear, like it's a medical condition to be treated, cured. It’s a favorite pastime for women to share horror stories of their births or the births of people they know. I’ve already seen this first hand. As soon as someone finds out I’m pregnant, people want to tell me the worst birth stories they know. “I hope you have it better than my sister! She was in so much pain she popped blood vessels in her eyes and she had a huge tear on her…” “Okay, I got it.” I just think we could all benefit from treating birth with a little more positivity.
5. It might lessen my chances of having a c-section. I’m sure this isn’t scientifically proven, but I did see some information in a very one-sided documentary called The Business of Being Born. It pointed out that doctors will often recommend Pitocin (a drug) to make birth progress a little faster. However, this also makes contractions more powerful and painful, so you need an epidural. And after a few rounds of getting the meds right and several hours of trying to get the birth to progress, eventually your body starts shutting down and suddenly you need a c-section. Even if this isn’t completely proven, it makes sense to me. So if this can lessen my chances of a c-section, I’ll take it.
6. It will cost less money. Period.
Do I have times that I wonder if I can do it? Do I have moments when I realize that I actually have no idea of how bad it might get? Do I realize that, even after going natural, something might go wrong and I’ll end up needing all kinds of interventions? Yes on all counts.
But this is my plan and I’m sticking to it. I will not throw a tantrum if things don’t go my way but I will try my hardest to stay the course.
I hope you’ll support that decision and not be offended by this post. :)
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Here I am at 24 weeks:I really feel like I've gotten a lot bigger in the past month. What do you think?
My childhood and dear friend Keely requested a belly pic to put on Facebook, so I took one especially for that. So I figured I'd show it here as well:
Plus, you get a glimpse of our skinny Christmas tree!
Thursday, December 2, 2010
This is going to be a very picture-heavy post to make up for all the only-text posts I've been doing.
Our day started out with some last meal preparations. Everyone in our family provides something for the big T-Day meal, and Kai is no exception! His rolls were some of the finest I've tasted. Just look at that jam-packed oven!We had not one, not two, but THREE types of cranberry sauce. We have at least two people in attendance who prefer their cranberry sauce avec lines from the can. Wish granted!I had a bit of everything. And ATE. IT. ALL.
Then it was time for the Turkey Day Games to begin!
One game was the Journey to the New World, where your ship (person) had to navigate the Atlantic Ocean (patio) and avoid rocks (obstacles) while carrying your cargo (a stuffed turkey between your legs).
The last game was the chipping contest. (Haven't you heard about the Pilgrims playing this one?) The floating green was first placed pretty close. Since everyone made this one (including Kai!), we moved it further away.The final round involved chipping across the pool onto the green that floated in the hot tub.There were also a few games that were unplanned, such as the "Jump the Fence to Retrieve Toys that Fell into the Arroyo" game. JP excelled. And the Hot Tub Football Toss, which everyone had a go at.
And, of course, the three-dog wrestle.And we'll finish off with the one picture in which I am featured:
Thursday, November 25, 2010
First, I felt her kicking hard while sitting at my desk, so I leaned back to appreciate. Suddenly I felt a huge kick and saw my belly move around on its own! What a treat! What a kicker! I feel like she's already ornery.
Second, when I was laying on the couch later - as I am wont to do - I felt her kicking again. When she stopped, I made big soothing rubs across my belly. When I stopped, she started kicking again. And we did this over and over again for a half an hour because I just didn't get tired of it.
I'm going to put off researching if babies are capable of this kind of game because I prefer my sugar-coated belief that BabyShock and I had some serious bonding last night.
I'm thankful for the dinner that I'll be eating later today, and the people who will be sitting around the table.
I'm thankful that I've been off Zofran for 5 days.
I'm thankful for you. And I hope you have a great Thanksgiving.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
First of all, the stores know about the impending madness so they lay out piles of the staples. Everywhere you look are towers of pumpkin pie filling and pie crusts. They know about the time crunch, so they put all the ingredients for key meal dishes right next to each other. A tower of green bean cans stands next to the cream of mushroom soup and onion straws to make that traditional green bean casserole.
People are so frantic. “Bill! Bill! Oh God, Bill! There’s no more Swanson’s Chicken Broth! Oh God!”
I love the procrastinators who are looking through the 3 remaining frozen Butterball turkeys with great interest, thinking, "Um, this will thaw out by tomorrow morning, right??"
I love people that wear Thanksgiving vests and sweaters.
I love the open bins of nuts. Do people really buy nuts this way? What do you do with them? Roast them over an open fire?
Anyway, I love it all. All except the checkout lines.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
It was really fun and I'm so glad to have finally accomplished something. You see, we (mostly I) have a list of things I need to get done soon for my mental health. Registering was one of the things. Also on the list are finding a daycare, taking baby classes and painting the nursery (not me, Michael). Our nursery is yellow right now, but it's a yellow that is a tad brighter than we now want. So we're thinking about painting it a really pale pink now that we've decided on our colors.
Michael and my mom came to register with me. It was good to have our little group. Michael provided the comic relief (him insisting that we could save money on a breast pump by having him "milk" me) and Mom was there for opinions and informational purposes ("Do babies even use a comforter?)
Here is the bedding/colors we decided on:
It's different shades of pink and chocolate brown. We originally thought we might go light purple but it was just too hard getting all the purples to match. The things we finally settled on remind me of something out of a magazine or movie - totally beautiful. Can't wait to see our little girl using all the stuff we picked out today!
Mom was a great help, and Michael took his job as listkeeper very seriously.
Monday, November 22, 2010
We've always known about the movies in the park at a local mall but haven't gone to one yet. It's getting colder at night, the holidays are coming and it seemed like such a romantic and season-y thing to do.
For those reading not from Arizona, this particular mall was like many here - an outdoor mall. So in the largest courtyard people showed up hours in advance to set out blankets and chairs to secure a great spot for the movie. This week's feature was The Great Gatsby. Maybe not the most thrilling or fast-paced of films, but that wasn't the point. The point was how great it was to be out there together.
We picked up a pizza and salad and brought it back to our blanket for a little pre-show picnic. We were pretty close to the screen, but it was nice because if we'd been any further back we would have had people in chairs in our way. This way we could lay back on our blanket and have the perfect view.
It was just so niceto snuggle under the blankets while we layed out under the big ol' moon. It got really cold out there! Favorite moment of the night: when we were walking around and Michael said, "We should bring our little girl here."
Yesterday was the Sunday before Thanksgiving. I have decided to host some kind of Turkey Day Games at my folks' house on Thursday to have some fun and maybe get us on our feet for an hour instead of spending the rest of the day in a turkey-induced coma on the couch. (Trust me, there will still be a coma. Maybe just a shorter-lived one.) So Michael and I venture out last night to find some last-minute T-Day decorations. I went into it being kind of picky – I was looking for a small stuffed animal turkey, about the size of a Beanie Baby. (Now I’m wishing I’d kept my BB collection, as a matter of fact, because I’m pretty sure I owned Gobbles myself.)
By the way, I recalled Gobbles’ name from memory and not from Google – something which I’m not sure if I should be embarrassed or proud of.
Anyway, we went to Michaels. We went to Target. We went to the Dollar Store. There was NOTHING out there. There were tons of Christmas decorations. Row after row of bows and ribbons and figurines and fake snow. Trees and tinsel and incense and crafts. There wasn’t a single turkey or cornucopia or Pilgrim or Indian. Not a sticker book or feathers to make your own turkey hat. Nothing.
This is the only moment where I say, “Hold on, Christmas! Let us still have Thanksgiving!” It felt like we’d missed Thanksgiving and it was still 5 days away! I love Christmas, but Thanksgiving is great too! I don't want to just skip over it! It was kind of saddening.
So if anyone knows where I can get a Gobbles in the next few days, or a place that still has Thanksgiving decorations for sale, please let me know!
And I’d like to leave you with a 22 Week haiku:
Makes your throat feel like acid
Has been poured down it.
Hope you enjoy!
Sunday, November 21, 2010
On Sunday we went to the game, Michael and I in neutral tones and Russell in his Seahawks jersey.
Question: What do you do when you've run out of koozies, have a pair of football gloves and have a tall boy to drink? YOU MAKE DUE is what you do:We had some great seats near one of the endzones.
I guess I always thought that Arizona fans were pretty tame. Shoot, half our winter population is snowbirds and most of us are too tired from the heat to get into too much trouble. Well, I learned that even Cards fans will fight when our team is losing and enough overpriced beer has been consumed.
In case you didn't guess, we witnessed a fight a couple rows in front of us. It wasn't quite a gameday brawl, more of an older Cardfan getting infuriated at a loud Seahawks fan when the Hawkfan decided it'd be a good idea to stand up and shout, "This is OUR HOUSE!" The older guy politely made his way along the row and proceeded to yell at the Hawkfan until he'd riled himself up enough to throw a punch. Sadly, he must have been pretty inebriated himself because what he had in team loyalty he lacked in coordination, aim and muscle power. I'm afraid that dodging his punch was neatly achieved on the Hawkfan's part by merely standing still.
Anyway, we had a great time despite Russell getting heckled a little for wearing the Seahawks jersey. As always, we had a great time with these guys and were sad to see them go!