Friday, May 28, 2010

Boy Sperm are Just TOO Sensitive!

I recently learned something interesting and had to share it. Apparently an acidic vaginal environment can mean a higher risk of having girls. And apparently women with PCOS have a tendency to be more acidic than what is considered normal.

I guess that explains my trio of daughters!

Obviously women with PCOS have boys, too, and it may have something to do with their diet or even their husband's diet and lifestyle. The Y-carrying sperm (which make boys) are sensitive and can die quickly yet they are the faster swimmers. The X-carrying sperm (girls!) are a lot more resilient but slower swimmers. So if a couple has sex right as they are ovulating and the sensitive X-carrying sperm swim faster and reach that egg before the acid kills them then they obviously have as good a chance of having a boy than a girl.

I actually read in You: The Owner's Manual by Dr. Mehmet Oz that it really isn't all on the man on what gender your children turn out to be. The vagina's environment can play a huge role in which sperm survive and which do not.

So next time someone jokes that the man is at fault for whatever gender you end up with needs to take a good look at their vagina! Ha ha ha ha ha!

And I also found an interesting blog called How to Have a Boy. I'm not really into gender selection (at least the scientific stuff where they take your little embryos and only implant a certain gender) unless the couple has a rare condition that would cause one gender of their offspring to be more susceptible to certain chromosomal and genetic disorders that could threaten their lives. But this was just a fun blog with do-no-harm tricks that might sway your odds more in favor of having a boy in a natural way. For instance they tell you to avoid dairy and focus on foods high in sodium and potassium (banana, anyone?). I'm a DAIRY COW! I drink a ton of milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, etc. So that may explain all my girls too!

No matter if you do headstands after sex or eat 5 bananas a day I still believe, at the end of the day, that God knows exactly who was meant for your family and He is ultimately in control. After all He knew us before we were yet conceived!

Friday, May 21, 2010

My house is chaos!

When my house is a mess I feel like a mess. I don't think my husband understands that. In fact most of our fights are not financial but more about shared responsibility. If something is a mess and I'm starting to spazz and hyperventilate over it, especially when I'm already stressed, he doesn't see why it is such a big deal to me.

Someone once told me, "A woman's home is a reflection of her heart". I can't say that is true for everyone but it is definitely true for me! My house is definitely not spotless. I need to clean the fan blades, dust, wash windows, there are toys all over, etc. What I'm talking about are the main spots (no dirty dishes on the counter, rug is at least vacuumed, my husband doesn't have a "pile" of his stuff in the front hall, laundry folded and put away promptly, etc.).

Well my house is a chaotic mess right now and I'm starting to feel that crazy creepy crawl underneath my skin. You know- the stress! I can't handle messes very well and when they are huge I feel like I'm standing before a mountain.

So why the big deal? Sometimes I can't tackle everything on my own, especially with a baby in one arm. Have you ever tried to do the dishes while holding a baby who is only consolable so long as you are holding them? Getting the husband to help is like pulling teeth at times. Not that he is a bad guy but cleaning is not his strong suit, ha ha!

I got to plant in my garden last week, finally! At one point Zoë had had enough and I put her in the wrap. I hoped to be able to hoe out the weeds and grass that had grown in my flowerbed. Um, that was impossible. I felt that mountain go up right before me as I stood outside, the baby falling asleep strapped to my chest, unable to hoe the garden. If you know me you know I hate being interrupted when I have my mind set on a task. I have to complete the task before I can shift gears. So when my gardening was interrupted I felt incredibly agitated and anxious.

I really try the, "The mess will be there tomorrow to clean up!" approach but there has got to be SOME point when you do have to tackle the mess after all that waiting. And I feel like that is my life. An endless cycle of waiting to tackle things and enjoying the moments I'm in and then the moments of complete panic and stress as I rush to try to clean as much as possible before the baby starts crying.

Here's another Catch 22. We just bought a bunk bed for the older girls and a crib for the baby. We got the crib to put Zoë in when I need to shower and hopefully very soon for naps! So while we're trying to put her crib together she's crying in the bouncer, watching me with these doeful eyes as if to say, "How could you put me DOWN?!" Hopefully she takes to it like a fish to water. We got the crib to put her down and can't even put her down to put it together. Thankfully we made it through (and through a few mistakes I made putting the darn thing together) and now she has a prettiful crib! I'll post pictures of her room soon, when her room isn't a mess of her big sisters' stuff as we complete their bunk beds.

All this furniture building has left tiny pieces of Styrofoam everywhere and we've got these huge boxes in our front hall that I have asked Daniel to take to the basement for the past two days (!!!). The kids have decided to throw couch pillows every which way, toys are strewn under the dining table, papers litter the table from Elaina's backpack and the remnants of dinner are on the kitchen counters. My husband has used Kleenex wadded up to the left of me at the computer desk (also told him to deal with those, LOL) and the bathroom floor needs to be scrubbed. I wish I had 8 arms sometimes! Time Management used to be my middle name.

I just need to get it more together. Not that I have to put stress on myself about getting things done. In fact I think a schedule of some sort might make it easier on me so that things are done and life is less stressful. I'm sick of starting laundry on Thursday and it isn't all folded and put away until Tuesday! It's just ridiculous.

So I guess I'm just venting. Not really looking for solutions or platitudes. I know- enjoy them while they are young. Worry about the messes later (I don't usually clean until everyone is in bed anyway), etc., etc. But I can't help but feel a little overwhelmed at times. What makes you feel overwhelmed?

For the time being I will just hold my sleeping baby (yes, she is asleep in my arms at this very moment while her brand new crib sits empty in her room). Pray for me, that she will transition to taking good, solid naps in her crib. It will really free my arms up to get some things done and to have a little "me" time at some point in the day, which is always refreshing and makes me want to pick up the baby anyway!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

It's all fading now!

I'm getting to the point that my memories of my natural birth with Zoë are fading. For some reason it just doesn't seem "that bad" or "that painful" anymore. And I have had more people ask me about having more kids since Zoë has been born than with my other girls. Perhaps because I am older or perhaps because I have three kids and people secretly want to know if we'll shoot for a boy. Well... some secretly wonder anyway. Others just come right out and ask!

And it doesn't bother me. I find it amusing more than anything. Just today one of our congregants asked me if we wanted a boy. Honestly if I had five more girls I'd be the most blessed woman on the face of the earth. The gender doesn't matter to me. To Daniel on the other hand... he is outnumbered and he knows it! He wants some testosterone in our house. I don't blame him! I think for men it is different. They are created differently than women. Whereas most women have a deeper connection with their child (which is actually hormonal and totally cool if you research it) men have a more abstract view when it comes to conception. They want an heir, someone to carry on the family name, to share sports with and wrestle with that also has the same genitalia as them (seriously!). So I don't blame Daniel one bit for wanting a son or two.

No we are not trying by any means. But we haven't been preventing, for a few months, either. With a baby in our bed we are not getting much action anyway (poor Daniel, right?!). And that darn aunt FLO has not shown. I think I'm going on 1 1/2 years without a period. Which is disconcerting and nice all at the same time. Because PCOS and secondary infertility can be unpredictable I really do not know what my body is doing or going to be doing. I almost feel like it is a race against time; that if I want more kids I have to do it now just in case my ovaries decide to call it quits early. Since I'm not trying there's no point in getting tests to see what is going on in there. I'm secretly hoping that having been pregnant and having given birth recently will reset my body, too!

Perhaps if you've never had a miscarriage or fertility issue you may not understand all of this. I am very young but being youthful doesn't matter whatsoever when you have cystic ovaries and hormonal problems that can prevent you from even ovulating. I'm not in any rush but at the same time I can hear the clock ticking in the background. I also know that if my three beautiful daughters are the only ones to come from my womb that doesn't mean there aren't other babies out there that need a loving home. I am definitely not opposed to adoption when we qualify to adopt ($$$ and age).

Okay so the point of this was to kind of revisit my birth with Zoë. I think that as women we really do put so much pressure on ourselves in so many arenas in life. Birth is no exception. I think it is also one area that many women can become judgmental of other peoples' choices. I am in no way judging anyone or thinking about anyone and all opinions here are based on my own research and experiences. If a woman is confident in her choices and happy with the outcome of her birth choices then I rejoice with them! If they are disheartened by things that happened or happened to them or the baby then I empathize greatly.

All of my births were seemingly quick. My perception of time in the heat of the moment is most likely fuzzy. But my husband's perception lines up with mine so I must be right! Ha! It isn't how fast that matters anyway but how safe. Thankfully I've been blessed to have three very safe vaginal births. The first two I had epidurals. Sweet, sweet epidurals that offer you numb relief to the torturous pain that are contractions.

With my third birth, however, I decided to do things differently. I was scared out of my mind but in the end I think going without an epidural was the best decision I ever made. I kept thinking, while in labor this last time, "What am I doing? It isn't too late! Get the epidural and the pain will stop!" It is amazing the thought processes you go through during labor, whether you do have pain relief or not.

I was incredulous with myself but also in awe of what my body was doing. Contractions ARE painful. They are ridiculous. BUT you can overcome the pain during labor. What I had to do was take the contractions one at a time. I didn't look at the clock, I didn't think ahead to when the next one would come or ask how much longer. I kept my eyes closed and tried to keep my muscles relaxed. Daniel told me later that often my hand would be limp in his hand instead of a death grip like in our previous births because I was so focused on staying relaxed.

And I'll admit that when my water broke earlier that day I was kind of irritated in one sense. I was SO tired and didn't want to deliver a baby that day. And I don't mean that to sound selfish. I just wish I hadn't felt so tired, that I had more energy and felt ready to take on natural labor. I even said, "I don't want to do this today!" over and over during some of the more intense contractions. My husband found that amusing to say the least! Obviously I was excited to see my baby and put an end to a long pregnancy (I was overdue!).

Daniel could tell by my face when a contraction was coming. His mom was also there and she was often watching my face when he wasn't. Because I was not on any fetal monitoring they had to watch me for signs that contractions were coming. My brows would knit together and sometimes I would open my eyes to glance their way. I often heard his mom saying, "Daniel, I think she's having another one"!

There were some funny moments sprinkled in there as well. I was not a happy laborer (like I said before I was tired and just dozed in between contractions). The pain would make me want to crawl out of my skin. So when my husband would try to put a cool cloth on me DURING a contraction I would chuck it at him or across the room. It made the contractions worst when I did that because I was frustrated and overwhelmed by the sensation of the cloth during the pain. Some women enjoy it. The one thing I really liked during contractions was counter-pressure in my lower back. It offered so much relief. I had a ton of pressure while in labor with Zoë and it made me feel pushy.

When it did come time to push none of us knew it was time. My midwife had sent the nurse down the hall for something and she was the only medical professional in the room. There are no words to describe what happened next. In a mixture of amazement and horror I began grunting and bearing down to push without even thinking about it. My body was reacting and my mind was lagging behind! I pushed and I yelled and I remember thinking in my head, very calmly, "Am I screaming? Wow that hurts. Why am I screaming so loud?" It was an out-of-body experience! So surreal to hear myself and yet not connect it with myself. I sounded so far away and so loud at the same time.

And my door was open. That was awesome! All the first time mommies or even seasoned mommies were probably shaking their heads at the unearthly sounds coming from my room!

So anyway my poor midwife was rushing to put some protective gear on her shoes, hands and clothes. The bed wasn't even broken down. She just told my husband to grab one leg (I was side-lying) and just encouraged me to push as I wanted. Daniel said I pushed that baby out in under a minute with the midwife still reaching behind her to grab some things (probably the nasal aspirator and towels for baby; I have no idea what she was doing, ha!). I made a lovely mess of the bed and apologized later to the nurses for whoever had to clean it up.

I do remember yelling, "Just pull her out, just pull her out!" over and over. The ring of fire is no joke, my friends. But I don't want to scare someone out of a natural birth. The pain is worth it. The pain is nothing compared to the relief when the baby is out. The relief when you hear their cry and hold them in your arms. I wouldn't change a thing and I wish I had gone natural with my other two. An epidural can actually inhibit this wonderful hormonal reaction to take place once your baby is born. It is a reaction that makes you become instinctual protective and enamored with your newborn baby like nothing else. This isn't just a random statement but a proven scientific fact that epidurals can inhibit this reaction from the mother which may cause bonding to take longer.

So anyway I was thinking that in the event that I do have another baby there are some things I'd want to do different:

-I want to try water birth!
-Less cervical checks (she seriously checked me WAY too much but only because I kept saying I felt pushy and all this pressure).
-Push in a different position, like hands and knees or squatting if not in the water.
-I wanted Elaina to get to be there so maybe next time she will get to be there. We watched a lot of birth videos and I did a lot of thinking on it. She was so curious and I know it would've been an amazing experience for her so perhaps next time.
-Discharge as soon as safely possible (I had the option to go but stayed; I WILL be leaving early next time provided all is well. I was uncomfortable and just wanted to rest in my home).

So there really isn't much I would change. I think all of my births were amazing with the exception of finding out Abigail's collarbone broke during her delivery. That just breaks my heart when I think about it.

Thinking about when you give birth or reflecting on your previous births what do you think you'd like to do or do differently next time (if you think there will be a next time)?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Almost midnight

I haven't been on here very much, have I? I miss my blog, miss my readers and comments, miss catching up with all of you. I've been so busy between trying to keep the house clean, kids entertained, baby fed, getting outside into the gorgeous weather, filling orders from Etsy, listing reviews and giveaways on the other blog... that I just haven't been able to catch a moment to write over here about anything other than picture downloads galore.

Speaking of Etsy my shop is doing really good! I get at least one order a day, which is a nice change from every few days. I just redid all the pictures and have so much more to list (another thing on my never-ending To Do List). I have some new fonts I'm waiting on, too. Check out some new faves:

So here it is almost midnight and I'm getting something on this blog if it is the last thing I do, ha ha!

If you haven't checked out the giveaway blog lately please do. I just listed giveaways for a flat iron, jewelry from Fantasy Jewelry Box, a Baby Bond Nursing Cover and so so so much more.

On the home front we're all right as rain! School is about to end and then start right back up (Elaina's school is almost year-round). I need to get more school uniforms now that she is growing like a beanstalk and getting holes in her clothes. I guess hand-me-downs might not work.......... Abigail will be starting school next June; I cannot believe it! One more year and I'll have two of my girls going to school.

Summer plans include lazying around in the sun, going swimming at Anne's house, having picnics, going to the parks, hopefully getting a zoo membership, VBS and just some FUN! I don't know that we'll go on vacation but it seems we have plenty to do right here at home. If anyone has any fun summer activities we can do here at home send them my way! I think we're going to be getting some adirondack chairs for us adults and a swingset for the kids so we can spend more time out in the yard.

Oh and we're doing gardening! I have the garden beds ready (except for some pesky weeds that are coming up now) and we're hopefully getting the plants this next week.