Tuesday, September 27, 2011

He is here!

Judah Isaac graced us with his presence on Sunday, September 25, 2011 at 6:44pm! He weighed in at 9lbs 2oz and 21 inches long. And he's absolutely adorable!!! He was not named until after he was born. I had had a dream his name was Judah and shared the name with Daniel. We were torn between two names and going back-and-forth for weeks. I took a step back and really put it all on Daddy. What an honor to name his first son! After he was born Daniel knew Judah was the right name for our little guy and I couldn't agree more. I didn't want my dream to be the say-all for what we did; I wanted Daddy to choose.

Elaina was there for his birth! She was begging to hold him and finally got her chance about 1 hour after he was born. These beanies were handmade by refugees for the birth center babies! So in this pic we're hanging out on the birth bed (they have regular queen-sized beds with gorgeous bedding; makes you feel like a queen!).

We got home 4 hours after he was born! He slept the whole way home (about 25 minute drive). But he was noisy! He likes to squeak and squeal in his sleep.

Finally got a picture of him with his eyes open! He has dark, dark brown hair (almost black) and his eyes are still the murky newborn color. I think they'll end up being brown!

 Meeting big sister Abigail! She told me, "I want to hold him forever!"

They fight over him! All three sisters want to cuddle him! 

I adore this picture! The sheer joy on her face is so priceless!

Zoë has been having a time adjusting BUT is doing great. I think it is her age and not fully understanding that the baby is here to stay. She was very excited this morning when I walked into her room holding him, almost like, "Hey the baby is still here!" But then got upset when I wouldn't put him down and pick her up. She also looks ENORMOUS to me now!!! Before he was born she was so tiny and petite to me. Now she's so big. 

Anyway the birth story is to come! I am waiting on birth pictures before I post! 

How am I doing? I'm sore and tender. The after-birth contractions seriously hurt me worse than the labor contractions because they don't have an ascent and descent of pain (contractions will rise to a peak and then taper off). It's just one long, long peak of pain. I finally broke down and took some Ibuprofen, as recommended, tonight and feel really good right now.

Being able to go home right after birth has been a blessing. I was able to actually sleep his first night (he did wake but at the hospitals in previous births I couldn't ever fall or stay asleep and especially not comfortably). I was in my own bed, my own smells, my own surroundings... it was great! 

Breastfeeding is going well. My milk has started to come in already and he's 2-days old. That has been a blessing! And he's latching on really well. It was rough at first because I stopped nursing Zoë only 6-months ago and I'm used to how she nursed. I've had to re-learn how to nurse a newborn and use all those different holds to find what position is easiest at this stage. But since this morning it has been going really, really well and I'm so relieved!  

I'm off to steal Judah back from Daddy and nurse him or I may be up all night!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Quickest way to kill your child's self esteem...

So I realized the other day that I was doing something detrimental. Something that I thought was innocent and done without much thought.

Let me start off by asking you how often your children have thrown a tantrum in public and you've fervently whispered to them, "EVERYONE is staring at you! Stop it!" because you're embarrassed and want them to behave?

I'll raise my hand! I've done that so many times.

I've even said, "Everyone can hear you throwing your fit!" when my kids are indoors throwing a fit. Beyond the desperation to end a full-blown tantrum I've also said things like, "Why don't you let me do your hair like that little girl?" or "See? I told you little girls like to wear that outfit!" I've pouted when my daughters have refused the hair style or the clothes, telling them, "Well other little girls like to do that"!

It dawned on me that I'm teaching my daughters to care what other people think about them and to judge them for what they wear, how they look and that those opinions matter. I'm also teaching them to look at others and judge.

Of course that isn't my true heart!!! I want my children to be confident in themselves and to not mind the opinions others may have toward them. Instead I should be encouraging their own creative efforts and trends (unless immodest in which I will protest and which is totally different - there are limits and as a parent I must set boundaries).

I think I've said those things because I want my kids to be confident and I thought that meant making them clones of other little girls who appear a certain way. Instead, in the past few weeks since the light bulb went off over my head, I've embraced each of my daughters' styles and have dropped the judgements. Not that I haven't ever embraced their personal styles because I have... but I've also heaped opinions on what they don't do and that isn't right.

Elaina loves more of the trendy clothes that are popular with kids close to the tween age (jeggings, leggings, Sketchers, skulls and graffiti, etc.). She also loves to do her hair very specific and unique ways! I love to see what she comes up with for her hair.

Abigail is my t-shirt and jeans girl (and she loves jackets!). She LOVES glitter, rainbows, hearts and unicorns. She loves her "Dorothy" shoes (as in The Wizard of Oz) and her silver dress shoes to dress up her t-shirt and jeans combo. The best part of Abigail's tastes include her eccentric socks. She can be wearing a baby blue shirt with shorts and throw on some orange and yellow candy-corn socks with her ruby red Dorothy shoes. And I've always loved that about her! She never lets me put her hair up, though. 

Zoë loves dresses and skirts that are colorful; still getting to know her tastes as she's not yet 2 but she definitely loves clothes and shoes. If I say, "Let's get dressed" she gets super excited and goes to her closet. If I need her to wear something other than a dress I have to remember to say, "Let's go get your clothes on" instead of "Let's get dressed" because she thinks the latter means she is wearing a dress and that is that.

The worst thing we can do in killing our children's self esteem is to compare them to others and make them feel like their choices are not good enough. The best thing we can do to build their self esteem is to encourage their individuality and give them choices. (When it comes to modesty, however, it is a teaching opportunity to encourage them to value themselves and their private areas.)

Our words are powerful. Our children hear us and weigh what we say very carefully. Sometimes it may seem that what we're saying is innocent but can be very harmful to our growing babies.



In other notes - I'm having contractions tonight and thinking tonight or tomorrow may be The Day!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I'm late, I'm late... for a very important date! - Updated with link

Okay so I'm technically not late yet! But my due date is tomorrow with nary a labor symptom in sight. 

Check out my ExpectNet online baby pool and input your guess in regard to baby and his birth info! Once he is born and I input the correct information the game will tally up your guesses based on a point system. The person with the closest guess to baby's birth date and weight, etc. will win a special prize from me - jewelry!

I saw this over at Hope Unfolding and just had to share because it may help you in your guessing!

How long were your labors?

Elaina - 3 1/2 hours after my water was broken (I was asleep and not sure when labor started; when I woke up they broke my water and she was born shortly after).

Abigail - About 8-9 hours. Again after they decided to break my water she came quick!

Zoë - About 5 hours. My water broke at home.


How much did they weigh?
Elaina - 7 lbs 5 oz
Abigail - 8 lbs 8 oz
Zoë - 8 lbs 4 oz

How did you know you were in labor?
Elaina - felt strange after a membrane sweep my doctor had done so we went to the hospital late at night. They gave me a shot of morphine and I drifted to sleep. When I woke up they broke my water and she was born 3.5 hours later.

Abigail - Same as Elaina's story; felt strange after a membrane sweep. EXCEPT I didn't go to the hospital that night. I went to bed with regulating contractions that were 9 minutes apart. When I woke up they were closer, I showered and went to the hospital. However things slowed down because it was early labor, not active labor. I was put in bed with monitors and wasn't allowed to eat. I got very ill and threw up five times from lack of energy and lack of food/drink. By the late afternoon they broke my water and then she came really quick.

Zoë - also had a membrane sweep but didn't go into labor because of it. Had bloody show a day or two after the sweep. I knew it would be any day but wasn't feeling any contractions. I laid down one day, three days post her EDD, and my water broke! Out of nowhere I went from no signs of labor to being in labor. Contractions came quick and they came hard. I was only 3cm dilated when I got to the hospital, which was discouraging but she still came quick.


Where did you deliver?
All three were at hospitals. This time we'll be at a birth center.

Drugs?
Elaina and Abigail - epidurals and something that made me feel high and giggly

C-Section?
No

Who Delivered?
Technically I delivered my babies, no one else. An OB or midwife can catch your baby but you, the momma, are the one actually delivering them. I get grumpy about that word, sorry!


Elaina and Abigail - OBs were present
Zoë - midwife was present

--------------
For little man's birth I'll be at a birth center with the most amazing midwifery team. I just took a water birth class and that was really fun; got us super pumped and excited about his birth! Made it seem so much more real, too. The best part is that I will be guiding my baby out and "catching" him myself! My midwife led the class and said that when baby is crowning she'll tell the momma to reach down and put her hand over the baby's head to push into their hand and when baby's body has been born it is the mommy or daddy that will bring them up and out of the water! I got teary-eyed thinking about it, anticipating it.


Of course he may be born on "dry land" instead of the birth tub, too! Whatever happens I know it'll be magical, amazing, surreal and beautiful! And I can't wait...

There was more to the class and I think someone here left a comment asking about it. Basically she talked about what is allowable in a water birth and what is not. You must be at least 5cm dilated because if you're not in active labor already your labor will slow down. However when you are in active labor the water enveloping your belly is a natural anesthetic. It won't take all the pain but it helps alleviate it.

They also have you get out about every 90 minutes to take a potty break, get fluids, eat something if you want, etc. The birth center has a smoothie bar and full kitchen (each birth suite also has a small kitchenette). It is very important to stay nourished through labor. You don't run a marathon without eating healthfully and nutritiously and birth is no different. I'm allowed to bring my own snacks that I enjoy so I grabbed some Luna Bars (chocolate-covered coconut protein bars, *sigh*) for energy and threw in a couple cans of Ginger Ale into my birth bag.

Another thing to note - the water should never be above 100 degree F. Over that and baby could become distressed which could lead to a cascade of problems. So if you choose a water birth for your baby, whether at home or at a hospital or wherever, be sure to remember that if your nurse, doctor or midwife (or husband/partner) isn't paying attention to the water temp. I believe my water temp was WAY too hot when I got in the tub my last birth and no one was monitoring the temperature.

Okay, enough rambling. Super excited! Going to go watch New Girl with a bowl of popcorn and just relax. He'll be here before we know it!!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

BIG BOY

Just look at that pregnancy ticker up above! Can you read it (I know the font is tiny)?! Do you see what it says?! ONE WEEK LEFT! Obviously give or take several days. But wow, we're definitely expecting him any day. Today at my appointment the midwife estimated him to be about 9lbs! If she's right he'll be my biggest baby birthed as of yet.

I'm getting the pre-baby jitters. It's this mixture of anxiousness and excitement. I feel butterflies in the pit of my stomach when I stop to think of it. The spontaneity and wonder of what is about to happen leaves me light-headed. I'm so super excited and still very nervous!

Tonight is our water birth class. I'm not entirely sure what is covered in this class but I'm excited because it somehow helps make this surreal journey more real. No matter how many children you have it is still surreal that you have to birth them and that there is a living human inside of you!

Physically I've been feeling... uncomfortable. Spreading hips, lower back throbs, waking in the night many times to switch sides (someone needs to videotape me trying to do that, ha ha ha ha!) or to go pee. You know - the usual! I'm not complaining, though. It's all part of the process and I accept that. I also accept massages and counter pressure if anyone is offering, ha!

Any signs of impending labor? Other than some intense Braxton Hicks, nada. Nothing. No mucous plug, no bloody show, nothing. But that doesn't mean anything. Labor can happen in the blink of an eye whether you're not dilated or you're dilated to 3cm for weeks. But those Braxton Hicks contractions are intense, wow. Not painful but definitely noticeable and strong. I welcome them! They help in every little way. My midwife told me my uterus was "exercising" and getting ready. Just like any other muscle the uterus needs exercise for optimal performance. Does it make sense that the full moon was two nights ago?! I'm not superstitious but I do believe in science and a God who created our bodies and our world to intricately work together... and for some reason that full moon does cause things to happen with our bodies! Love it! Bring on the contractions!

Well that's it for now. The next time I post I'll probably have a little guy in my arms! I've been slacking on my blog lately. I do have a post coming up that I might get up before I have him. I wanted to do a post on my workspace and about working-from-home with little ones! We shall see what happens. Taking things day-by-day.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

37 weeks

I'm considered full term now! I personally prefer baby to come after 38-39 weeks to feel more comfortable about lung development. Right now I'm not really doing much to encourage my body into labor, like walking and squatting. My birth center doesn't open until the week before my due date so once I hit 39 weeks I'll really get interested in moving things along naturally, such as using Evening Primrose Oil and walking, etc. They won't start labor but they'll definitely encourage him to get low in the pelvis and soften the cervix.

At my 36-week midwife appointment we couldn't find his heartbeat (I could feel him moving so I wasn't nervous) which has been really difficult this entire pregnancy anyway. So the midwife grabbed the sonogram wand and did a quick survey to figure out what my little contortionist was doing. He was apparently in a very strange position, ha ha! And I very, very briefly saw a very blurry picture of his face (ancient sono machine!).

Soon I'll post a clear picture of his face on this side of the womb! Can't believe he'll be here in a matter of weeks!