Dec 8, 2011

Choosing Cloth

Before Lilly was born we decided we wanted to use cloth diapers. We wanted to produce less waste (disposables can take up to 500 years to decompose. That makes me want to throw up) and to save some money. Plus they are so stinking cute. In the summer there were days when she wore nothing but her cloth diapers. One of my old friends used them with her son & gave me info but it was all so overwhelming, though she gave us hope that this was the path we wanted to follow.  Our parents used them on us but that was SO long ago;) that the cloth diapers are no longer the same. I'm a hands-on kinda gal and REALLY need to feel these things in person. To see the real differences. To play around with them. I searched the internet ad nauseum, trying to find a local place that I could meander through and try to fumble through cloth diaper land. I found a local business called Ten Tiny Piggies, which is an online store only, but offers diaper classes for free. So, to the class we went! Before the class, I was completely overwhelmed with the options, the difference between AIO, One-size pocket, Pre-fold, or what those even meant. The class was extremely helpful and we returned home with a lot of knowledge but our heads spinning a bit. Once we let the info digest, we made our wish list. Part of the bill was payed for as a gift by Jeff's parents (THANKS!!) and we got the rest. The total was under $400.  It sounds like a lot up front, but over the course of time, I believe it is going to save us tons! We have used disposable diapers for trips longer than a day because doing dirty diaper laundry at someone else's house or at a laundromat is not very easy. I can't imagine the cost of buying disposables and wipes all the time.

We opted for 3 different styles and brands of diapers:

-Prefolds--old school kind that you fold into thirds, secure with a pin (though now there are other, safer fasteners like the Snappi), and then place a water proof cover over it. You can reuse the cover numerous times before it needs to be washed.

-One-size Pocket Diaper (Happy Heinys)--there is an insert you place inside of a "pocket" in the diaper. When the diaper is soiled, you change the whole thing just like a disposable. Oh--and it is called One-size because they can be adjusted throughout the waist and the length of the diaper, making it usable throughout the duration of the baby's diaper wearing days!

-One-size Diaper System (BestBottom)--These too are one-size. The thing we like the most though, is that they have an insert that snaps into the waterproof shell. It gets soiled, you unsnap one insert, snap a new one in and voila--You're done!

Each diaper has pros & cons but we're glad with the decision in what we've chosen.
We do have to wash the diapers every 2 to 3 days so our water bill may have increased, but not anything significant. And since we are blessed with an average of 284 days of sunshine, we linedry everything.

Also, after a few months we started making our own wipes.  We just cut up some receiving blankets and use a mixture of water, baby wash & baby oil.  They work like a charm. And knock on wood, she has yet to get diaper rash and we don't use any creams on her.

The only downside that I've found to the diapers is that we have to change her diaper more often. They aren't as absorbent as disposables, so as soon as she pees once she wants that thing off asap! That actually may help her to potty train faster since she doesn't like being wet.  Hey, a girl can dream right?!

I hear some snickering ;)  shhhhh

Jul 5, 2011

Got Milk?

Well, I sure do!! 

I've been breastfeeding for a little over 3 months now and so far everything has been going very well.  After the initial first week of soreness, extreme fatigue & the feeling that this new little human was permanently attached to my boob, all has been easy peasy. But as easy as it's been, I've been having my fair share of DUH moments. I don't know if she had some growth spurts and my milk production increased accordingly, but the month of June was a messy one! I spent the better half of the month changing shirts and breast pads.  Not only am I sticky from sweat caused by the Arizona heat, but add leaking boobs to the mix and you've got one hell of a mess!

For my birthday I went out with friends to dinner and a dance club. Towards the end of dinner I had soaked through all of the breast pads I brought with. Not only did I run out of nice new dry ones, but since I use washable ones, I had a purse (a very small one) full of sopping wet milk catchers.  Classy! Then when we got to the dance club I was SO engorged & in pain that I had to retire to a bathroom stall and expel milk all over the floor, not once, but twice.  It was completely ridiculous. And I was quite saddened at all the liquid gold that was going to waste. The saying "crying over spilled milk" has a deeper meaning to me now. Lesson learned: bring a big enough purse to tote a breast pump.  At least my tatas looked AMAZING and big that night:)

Jeff's family came for a visit and we took them to do a little sightseeing.  I forgot to wear breast pads. As soon as this thought crossed my mind, I felt my milk let down. I practically ran to the bathroom where I proceeded to fashion makeshift ones out of the closest material I could get my hands on. In my infinite wisdom I chose the rough, brown paper towels over soft-ish toilet paper.  Smart! I later boasted to his family that "I can't believe I forgot my pads.  That has NEVER happened before. It won't happen again!".

The next day.....

It happened again!

And again, I chose brown paper towels.  Only this time, it wasn't as cleverly concealed by my outfit and when I look at the pics from that day, I can see that my boobs had some weird shape to them thanks to the paper towels.

July brings a new month. And more wisdom. Aaaaahh, who am I kidding!? I'm just waiting for the moment that I become that chick in the store with two huge wet circles over her chest. If you see me, promise not to laugh too hard.

(I wrote this July 2 but didn't post. That night I went out & leaked. everywhere. again. Guess July will be a messy month too)

Apr 22, 2011

Then There Were Three

Our lives have forever changed.  And we couldn't be any more ecstatic about it! Little Lilly Aurora entered the world & our hearts on Saturday, March 26, 2011 at 426pm.  Here is the story:

Lilly was "due" March 19.  We know babies come when they feel like it, so we patiently waited.  On the edges of our seats.  We planned on having a Birth Center birth.  However, if the pregnancy made it to week 41, then we would automatically be transferred to the hospital.  We really didn't want to go to the hospital & were crossing our fingers and toes that she would grace us with her presence before this deadline.  We wanted to be at the Birth Center--it's what we planned on since before we even became pregnant. Mother nature had another plan.

On the 21st (Monday), I had an appointment with the midwife to see how things were going. My cervix was softened but that was about it.  So that night, I started some homeopathic treatments of Caulophyllum and Cimicifuga (blue and black cohosh) in hopes of progressing things along.  I started getting more contractions but still nothing with a pattern or that stopped me in my tracks. We also continued taking daily walks, sex & nipple stimulation--all the things that are supposed to help get things moving along.

Our room in the Birth Center

On the 24th (Thursday), I went to the midwife again and this time was at 2cm.  She swept my membranes, which is just taking a finger, sweeping along the cervix and hopefully kick-starting labor. Again, my contractions never became too intense to where I couldn't walk or talk through them.

So, on the 25th (Friday), I went to the Birth Center again to see if I had progressed any.  All morning I was having what I deemed "real" contractions. Finally!  They were more intense than I had felt all week, yet I was still able to walk & talk through them. Our appointment was at 330pm. I was at 3cm, 80-90% effaced so we didn't need to do a membrane sweep again.  Our baby would be here soon!!  =)

walking through the halls & joking between contractions

Almost as soon as we left the Birth Center, my contractions intensified. I found myself having to actually concentrate through them.  It was a very familiar feeling to me, akin to the strong menstrual cramps I always have, only stronger. Fast forward to 3am on Saturday, the 26th (and the mark of my 41st week)...I had been laboring at home all night.  I rocked back & forth on an exercise ball.  Jeff occasionally rubbed my lower back, which had been KILLING me! I took 4 hot showers, letting the water pummel my back & relax me.  But by 3am I was tired of being at home and needed a change of scenery so we called the midwife and headed out to the Birth Center.

Jeff was thrilled he got to eat a popsicle in the tub

We arrived at the center a little after 4am, accompanied by my mom:) At 6am I was at 8cm but the baby wasn't descending. Jeff & I entered the birthing tub twice.  It was such a calming experience. We had the musical stylings of Jack Johnson and Bob Marley playing in the background the whole time we were at the center. The last time we were in the birthing tub, Jeff was laying behind me and humming in my ear. The ambiance the whole time we were there was calm, quiet and warm--both physically and emotionally. When we weren't in the tub, we wandered the hallways of the center, did hip circles on the birthing ball, did lunges. I rarely laid on the bed because it hurt too much to lay down and be still. Jeff, my mom and the midwife all took turns rubbing my lower back, pushing on my sacrum during contractions--all of which helped with the pain.  Somehow, in between contractions, I found the energy to joke around once in a while which really helped keep the tone of the experience calm.

Sometime around 9am (I think), while I was on all fours on the bed, one of the midwives checked my cervix and my water broke. Picture this--opening a fire hydrant! At least, that's what it felt like.  Jeff confirmed that it indeed was very similar to that. We couldn't help but laugh.

At noon, 6 hours after being checked and being at 8cm, my cervix hadn't changed and the baby still wasn't descending. So, it was decided that I should be transferred to the hospital so I could receive Pitocin to strengthen & increase my contractions.  I was very disheartened by this decision as it wasn't a part of our plan.  We wanted either a water birth or just a relaxed birth in the bed that was big enough for Jeff and I in a calm, cozy environment as opposed to a sterile looking hospital room. I understood why the midwife wanted us to transfer and I realized it was for the best. We hopped in the car and drove down the road to Tucson Medical Center. As we were checking in, I had a contraction in the lobby and had to hold onto the wall. At least I was calm and didn't potentially scare anyone;)

Once I got hooked up to the Pitocin, it did what it was supposed to and increased/strengthened my contractions. I opted against getting an epidural and stuck with our plan of a natural birth.  I've had people ask what it felt like. It hurt. Of course.  But it didn't feel any different at 20 hours than it did at 2 hours in. Pain is pain. The pain never got stronger.  It just got longer and closer together. So I knew if I could handle it earlier in the labor that I would continue to be fine with it.  And I was right. I was surrounded by loving, caring people and that helped immensely. I kept my eyes closed through each contraction. It helped me to focus. I opened them only when Jeff asked me to. He constantly requested that I smile and ran his fingers across my furrowed brow, reminding me to relax. Apparently I never got louder than a deep moan. It felt like the whole experience, down to the last minute when the baby was born, that everything and everyone was calm and quiet for the most part. There was no screaming, no cursing, no negativity--just soothing voices and loving words. Jeff & my mom, everyone for that matter, were very supportive--my own little cheer team! Jeff kept telling me "you're a fucking rockstar!" Jeff was glued to my side the whole time--saying encouraging things, holding my hand, rubbing my back and giving me gentle kisses, keeping me calm. My mom gave me hugs, kisses, cooled my face & neck with a cold washcloth and took turns rubbing my back too.  I couldn't have done it without them!  The midwife and nurses were very nurturing and supportive too.  I'm so happy that even though we ended up at the hospital, that they accompanied us and were still the ones to welcome Lilly into the world!

in the birthing tub at the Birth Center

About 24 hours of "real" labor, 8 of which were spent at the Birth Center. We were at the hospital for about 4 1/2 hours before Lilly was born; about 1 1/2 of that was spent pushing. 

Pushing. Before I felt the urge to push, I had an internal monologue that went something like "if this baby doesn't come out soon, someone better cut me open and remove it".  I fought with this evil internal monologuer because even though I was nearing a full day of labor, I knew deep down inside that an epidural was NOT what I wanted and a C-section was definitely NOT on my wish list. It's just that I was sooooo exhausted by then from lack of food and sleep I just didn't know if I had the energy to go another 4 hours. So once I felt the urge to push I was elated! I knew the end (or the beginning--depends on which chapter you're looking at) was drawing near. For anyone that has never felt the urge to push, it feels like you have to poop.  Seriously. It felt great to be able to push, because instead of breathing and moaning through the contractions, you get to focus all of your energy into pushing through a contraction.  Once I was pushing, I no longer felt the pain of the contractions.  It was a wonderful thing! I pushed while laying on my side. I pushed while on my knees, hugging the back of the bed. I pushed while laying on my back with my knees drawn toward my chest.  All with the help of Jeff and the midwife and nurse. They cheered me on the whole time. And held and pushed my legs. Once the baby was further down and out, it no longer felt like a poop, but more like a baby.  Duh--who would've thought;) When I heard everyone Ooohing and Aaaahing because they could see the baby's head and there was a full head of hair (!!!) it gave me more strength to push even harder and stronger because I knew I would soon be holding my baby!

holding our baby girl for the first time

When her head was crowning, the sensation was, for lack of better terms, pretty intense! I paused for a bit, with a human's head partially out of my vagina, to allow the skin to stretch and after a couple more pushes I heard gasps, felt the baby come completely out of my body, I opened my eyes, they announced the baby was a girl and they placed her on my bare chest. Apparently Jeff cut the umbilical cord, but I missed that because I was in such awe of our baby girl.  She stared calmly at me with her perfect glasslike eyes. She was absolutely breathtaking and she was my baby! I couldn't believe it.

our 1st family photo :)

The nurses never took Lilly off my body, except for a second to weigh & measure her. They did everything they needed to--the eye ointment, footprints, etc--while she laid on my chest. I ended up with a tiny tear, couple stitches.  I attribute not being ripped a new A-hole to the fact that we did Perineal massage while I was pregnant and maybe because we allowed the skin to stretch during her birth. Jeff jokes that my body must have really loved being pregnant because not only did it not want the baby to come out easily, but my placenta didn't come out until a little over an hour. We had to stay in the hospital a couple nights.  Though it wasn't the ideal setting, Jeff, Lilly and I spent those 2 nights together in the room. Our new little family. All of the nurses at the hospital were exceptionally nice and helpful.

We learned quickly that, as life goes, you can't always plan.  Sometimes you just have to go with the flow. Having our baby in the hospital wasn't our plan, but the way everything turned out, we have no regrets.  The outcome was what we always dreamt. Little Lilly <3

Mar 14, 2011

Ants in My Pants

I'm sooooooooo anxious! The baby is due on the 19th and I realize babies come when they want, not on some stupid date chosen by a doc. Not usually at least;)  But as the date creeps closer and closer, I wake every day more and more antsy. Since last thursday, my internal monologue has gone like so:

Is this gonna be the day?!
Is this gonna be the weekend?
How about today...

And so I sit and wait.  Trying to be patient.  There's no use in not. I'm still enjoying being pregnant (I can hear some eyes rolling). The pregnancy has been pretty much a piece of cake for me.  Not that I have any personal experiences to reference to. Just judging off of other's experiences/gripes/complaints. As much as I am still relishing in the feelings and movements that come from within, I can't wait for the next chapter to begin.  I'm not scared. I'm not hesitant.  I'm more...curious I guess.  And anxious.  Have I already mentioned that? What's it (the birth) going to feel like, how is the day going to progress, will we respond the way we've been planning, what's it going to feel like holding & looking at this tiny little human that we made? I. Want. To. Know. Already!!

Mar 9, 2011

I'm Offended Too!

Today I received a message from the Facebook gods that went something like this "Your profile picture has been removed for violating terms...blah blah blah".  Apparently the above photo has been deemed by some shit head to be offensive. According to their terms, a photo cannot contain the following: illegal drug use, excessive violence, direct attacks on a group or be sexually explicit. photo is none of those!  So then WTF was it tagged and deleted for? It's true, the photo could be deemed as a sensual photo.  But definitely not sexual! Not even close!! We are showing a lot of skin. But there's no nipple.  There's not even breast tissue showing! And it's not like we're recreating the act that created our baby! Since when did a showing of the love between two consenting adults & a visual of the ever expanding stomach filled with a tiny human life become offensive?!  You know what offends me (and this is NOT an easy task) is that someone took time out of their day to report our show of love. It's okay for barely legal girls to galavant around on the pages of FB, unbeknownst to their parents, in bikinis & bra tops, showing off ass crack and trying to be provocative, but I can't post a picture that shows off my stomach.  The other thing that really irks me is that I'd like to send in a formal complaint to FB.  To someone that will actually read it.  Alas, I can't find any info where correspondence will be read by a living, breathing, human being.  So here I sit, writing a blog about it, venting, where it will be read by possibly noone.  But at least I feel better now. Go fuck yourself Facebook.  How's that for offensive?!

Feb 1, 2011

But Everybody Else is Doing it!

Okay, so perhaps the title to this entry is off a bit.  Everybody USED to do it, but not so much anymore.  At least, not as commonly.  I'm referring to natural childbirth.  Women have welcomed bundles of joy into their lives for millenia "naturally".  Of course, they didn't call it "natural" because it was just what it was.  Now with the advent of drugs and surgeries the "normal" way is not necessarilly the natural route.  It all makes my head spin with confusion!

I guess I'll be going against the grain when it comes to having my baby. I suppose somewhat against the grain has been my M.O. for quite some time;) I understand in many countries around the world women still have their babies the way nature intended.  And I also realize there are vast numbers of women in the US who do the same.  However, only 1 person in my bubble of existance has gone the au naturale route--to my knowledge.  And she was still in a hospital hooked up to machines and things that would make me feel like a science experiment.  Unless you count my mother who unknowingly was in labor for a whole weekend before I came prematurely at 33 weeks.  Once she realized I was coming fastly and early into this world, it was too late to take drugs.  I'm not sure if she would've opted for them had she been given the chance. So noone that I know and can converse with about it on a super personal level has gone down the path I...we, are about to embark on.  A path that we've chosen since before we got pregnant. (though a few friends have expressed this desire the next time they have a baby & have been very supportive in my decision--thanks!)

I'm no hero.  I completely understand the need for pain medication.  The WANT for it. I have no qualms, concerns nor reservations for my friends that are so drugged up during their child's birth that you could saw off their leg and they wouldn't feel a thing.  If that's what you want, then fantastic!  I don't blame you one iota.  I whole heartedly stand by your decision.  Because it's YOUR decision to make. But it's not for me.  I am fully aware that I am going to feel every. single. thing. that occurs on my baby's birth day. And I don't want it any other way!

We plan on having the baby at the Tucson Birth Center.  The birth will be attended by one of their fantastic CNM's (certified nurse midwives), my mom and of course Jeffrey:)  The center itself has a very homelike feel to it, with big comfy beds where Jeff can join me, soft lighting--just all around a cozy, secure and calming vibe.  Also in the rooms are birthing tubs.  I'm almost positive I will use the tub for contractions but still not sure if I'll actually have the baby in the water.  I plan on just going with the flow that day and doing what feels right and what feels comfortable. 

People have asked if I'm nervous or scared or a tid bit crazy for opting out of pain medications. I can positively answer NO to all of that.  I hold 100% confidence in my body's ability to handle the birth, for it to be as calming of an experience as I allow it to be, for it to be a wonderful experience for all involved. I'm excited. Thrilled!  A bit curious as to what it's going to feel like.  But in no way, shape, or form am I scared.  The only thing I'm a bit fearful of is that for some reason I won't be able to have the baby at the birth center and will have to go to the hospital.  Not because of complications with the birth, but because I am out of town or my blood sugar gets out of control & I risk out of being able to have the baby at the center.  Something as trivial as that scares me.  But the actual birth and the pain that my body was intended to naturally endure--no fears with that! I'm completely throwing the preconceived notions of Hollywood theatrics of what a birth is like, out the window. 

If you've had a wonderful, natural experience please share!

Jan 7, 2011

Pain in the Ass!

If you're afraid of TMI, stop reading NOW.

Sadly, this is not my ass.  But a girl can dream;)
I had an appointment to get waxed today.  Hallelujah!  It's been waaaay too long.  I usually do it myself but have been seriously lacking in that department because it's very time consuming and I've just been a bit of a procrastinator.  Plus it costs money to go get it done and we've had other important things to spend the dough on. However, I have been keeping everything trimmed, so there's no 70s bush to write about.  Though not the ideal plan, it was working out for me for a while.  Until now.  I have lost sight of my vagina.  That's right!  The baby belly has now obstructed my view and I don't plan on blindly wielding scissors around my hooha.  So I have two choices: 1--let it grow au natural ( thanks, it's already driving me insane!) or 2--pay someone to torture me & rip out my hair at the roots.  As unpleasant as this sounds to those who've never experienced a good ol' depilation, I'd take waxing over shaving anyday.  Shaving is utterly painful to me.  

So, what's the dilemma you ask?  I came home to take a shower so I could be so fresh and so clean for my appointment and as I lathered my crack with soap I felt something odd.  WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?!  Waaaaaaaait a minute!  No Effin Way!  A hemmorhoid! Not anything big and serious that I even noticed earlier in the day, but one none the less.  Thanks to my ever growing body, pressure on my pelvis, a bit of an intense B.M. today & sluggish circulation in the lower half of body, I now have a protrusion.  It's not anything to scream about but I definitely didn't want some strange woman to freak out.  And then there is the problem of me needing my actual crack waxed too--that's right, the perineum and all.  I can't really have that done with things poking where they shouldn't be.  Hmmphf!  Here's to hoping it goes away sooner than later because my appointment is rescheduled for next week.  Thanks mother nature!  You are one hilarious bitch!

Jan 3, 2011

Dear baby,

Jeff got me a journal to write thoughts, etc for and about the baby.  Reading this makes me realize how fast time is flying by!  I wrote this almost a month ago already, yet it feels like it was yesterday.  I feel as though I'll blink a couple more times and the baby will be here. 

December 8, 2010
Hello baby! You have been growing for 25 weeks in my belly.  Your daddy and I have known about you since you were about 3 weeks--an embryo barely the size of a poppy seed.  And now here you are, changing the shape of my body--pushing my stomach out further & further.  Making space for your fastly growing little body.  Back in October, around the time you were 16 weeks, I started to feel the tiny movements of you.  It felt like little bubbles popping and moving.  Almost like gas, but not quite.  Then all was quiet for a while.  Then, 2 weeks ago I felt you.  And I saw you!  The biggest smile spread across my face.  I SAW YOU MOVE! When your dad came home he placed his giant hand on my stomach and as if on cue, you kicked (or perhaps headbutted) directly where his hand was.  Ever since then you've been flip-flopping around and when you do I can't take my eyes off of my stomach.  I laugh.  I smile.  I talk to you.  I love feeling you moving; alive and growing.  We joke that you're swimming laps.  It's just in a very small pool:)  This all seems so surreal at times.  Almost like magic.  I can't believe that I'm growing a human from scratch.  A little bit of me, a little bit of your dad and POOF!--like magic, we have you!  I can not wait to see your twinkling eyes, to hold you in my arms, to talk to you, to sing to you, to see you grow & learn & love.  But for now, I will relish in this magical time when you are closer to me than you will ever be.  Thank you for making me smile every day.  I can't wait to watch you move around some more:)
<3, Mommy