16 weeks!

I think it's safe to say I kind of exploded sometime over the past month.  I think it all happened this week because last week I looked in the mirror and swore my belly was no bigger than at 12 weeks.  Coincidentally I also woke up yesterday feeling suddenly pregnant.

Not that I haven't felt pregnant thus far, but all of a sudden it was like, BAM, pregnant.  Aches and pains, getting out of breath easily, feeling lots of movement, losing the ability to sleep on my stomach and suddenly outgrowing all my small maternity tops overnight.

I'm only up 8 pounds which is about where I was with Addie at this point.  I'd gained 10 earlier but lost a few pounds and haven't gained them back.  I only gained 25 lbs with Addie which was my goal, so I'd like to be happy about only having gained 8 lbs, but I look so, so much bigger than I did with her at this point that I really think this will be a Ben kind of pregnancy.  I'm just going to look like a swollen balloon at the end of this journey.  It's inevitable.

The morning sickness is completely gone now, thank God!  That was a rough patch.  Still absolutely exhausted at all times and still totally weepy and going through the ups & downs of prenatal depression, but so happy to be feeling him/her.

We'll have our big u/s soon, but not to determine gender, just to check out the little squirt and make sure everything looks good.  Not much else to report!


Using your voice.

Do I feel its my duty to patrol the interwebs and make sure no one ever says a bad word about anyone else?


So why do I get involved?

I had to ask myself that this morning, after I opened my mouth on the STFU, Parents fb page post I referred to yesterday.  I had a nice little talk with my hubby about it this morning.

Appalled at what I read yesterday, I decided to add my opinion in a sea of other opinions.  I tried to be as graceful as I was able to be.  I certainly didn't want to start a fight, but I was obviously prepared to have some hate directed my way.  I mean, some of these people were wishing for Michelle's death.  Of course they would attack anyone who shared a different opinion.

I felt the need to say something because, like I said yesterday, when did we become so complacent and desensitized that we could read things like what I posted yesterday and not say a word?  To not say a word, to not try to make just one person stop and think and reconsider their position made me feel like part of the problem.  If I watched it all unfold on a page I was a fan of and I didn't try to respectfully share my opinion, I was just another reason that people feel they can get away with such hateful bashing online, behind the safety of a screen name.

So I said this:

And I stand behind it and I'd say it again because it's what I believe.  NO ONE deserves that sort of hate.  Whether or not the Duggars expect it and are prepared for it and have thick skin doesn't matter or make them less worthy of defense.  The point is, we've now become so desensitized to this sort of hate online that most people don't say a word.  Because I guess we feel we can't have an impact as "just one person."  I understand that mentality because I share it.  I constantly second-guess speaking up because, well, what's the point?  Whose mind am I going to change and in the end, I'm just going to have my feelings hurt.

Now I think there's a difference between tactfully standing up for a belief and just being nasty or judgmental in return.  The latter doesn't solve a thing, and I've been guilty of it so many times that it's shameful.  I've learned a lot over the years.  I used to be incredibly judgmental, and it took a few comments from others to convince me of how mean I was being, how hurtful my words were.  So I guess, deep inside, I feel that if I have an opportunity to share my opinions with others and the potential to change only one mind, that's totally worth it.

It was really sad to read what most people had to say in response to my comment because it's just indicative of our current state of morals and human decency.  Someone even stalked my facebook page to find my blog and comment here.  Interestingly, and ironically I guess, that was the person calling me a troll repeatedly.

I'm not saying it's everyone's duty to speak up when they see something evil happening, but I think we're too complacent.  I think we see something going down and we say, why get involved?  What's the point?  I won't change anyone's mind.

But I think you definitely can.  It's all in the way you deliver your message.  Answering hate with hate won't solve a thing and won't help your cause.

If I saw someone being bullied on a playground or in a park, I would do my part to help.  If I see someone being bullied online, I try to do my part to help, too, even if it means most people think I'm crazy or spew hate in my direction.  Internet bullying is becoming a very real problem.  I think most people would try to come to the defense of someone being bullied (or perhaps I'm being naive), but for some reason coming to the defense of someone being bullied online seems so much more taboo.

I don't seek out things to argue about or people whose minds I could potentially change, but if I see something going down like that, on a very public page with 17,000 readers, I'd speak up again.

Finally, this whole issue taught me a really valuable lesson.  I've grown in my faith tremendously over the past two years, and I've changed for the better in so many ways thanks all to God and his grace, but I still find myself faltering all the time.  I deemed the Duggars worthy of defending but laughed right along with the late night shows picking on Charlie Sheen.  I've read tabloid articles about movie stars I don't like and I've been to TMZ to get my latest dose of gossip more times than I'd like to admit.  That makes me pretty lame and hypocritical.  I know God was using this experience to teach me that no one person is less worthy of hate than another.


The Duggars, our fading morals and a giant rant.

What has happened to our society?

When did it become tolerable - no, acceptable - no, the mainstream view, to bash a family going through something as horrendous as losing a baby at almost 20 weeks?

I'll admit that I used to think the Duggars were nuts.  This was long before I was saved and long before I got sucked into an episode.  All I heard were the tabloid headlines and other people's summaries of the show.  And, yeah, 18 kids?  19?  20?  Crazy.  For ME.  But why in the world does that matter?  Because I've chosen to have three children, that makes me superior to them?  No, it just makes me a different person with different desires.

But then I was saved.  And now I wrestle with the idea of birth control all the time.  I pray about it.  I talk to other Christians.  But ultimately, I've made the decision to take my procreation into my own hands and decide that I don't want anymore children after this third one.  Because I'm too weak to trust God's plan.  I'm too weak to think that He could know better than me.

So I have to admire the Duggars.  And respect them.  They can do something I'm not capable of.  They have the ultimate faith.

But because they're famous, society says that makes them fair game for hate and ignorance and bashing.  Upon news of their latest pregnancy, a lot of people had a lot of things to say.  At first, I didn't have a clue what to think.  Then I realized it wasn't really my business.  And then, ultimately, I realized that I admired their faith.  And I admire the way they raise their children and I admire that they are able to support them all.  So what if that's via a TV show on TLC?  They also shop only second hand and make a MUCH greater effort to leave a small carbon footprint than I ever have.

Really, whose business is it?  Theirs and God.  That's what I think.

People's opinions on the matter frustrated me a little bit, but I certainly understood as I walked in those same shoes just a few years ago.  I was right there, judging them along with everyone else.

But then, when they recently announced their loss and the truly EVIL comments started to surface, I wanted to throw up.  I also might have wanted to punch a few people in the face because I'm not the perfect Christian, but I could at least show a little restraint.

The comments made that the Duggars deserved this tragedy, and that it's God's way of telling them to stop, were some of the lowest blows I've ever seen Americans make toward other fellow Americans.  To take someone's horrendous tragedy (this wasn't an early miscarriage, this was as close to stillbirth as you can get without being called a stillbirth) and use it to gloat or make yourself feel better is so sad there are just no words.

When TMZ shamefully leaked pictures of the Duggars baby that were passed out at the memorial service, the reaction was how dare the Duggars!  

How dare the Duggars?  How about how dare TMZ?  How dare whoever shared this with TMZ?  That someone could blame a family who has lost a baby for sharing a picture of their baby's hands and feet with their fellow loved ones is just beyond me.  Some of the comments that I saw on the STFU, Parents FB page post (who I will never read or support again):

Original post from STFU, Parents:


I would have to argue that it's not a family who has lost a baby and wants to remember and share that baby, to know that baby had a purpose in the world who is sick.  But, psh, what do I know?

Yeah, how dare the Duggars want to remember their lost baby girl and share her with their loved ones!  Gah!  Sick!  Tasteless!  Totally trivializes their loss!

Oh, right!  Let's get the government involved and forcefully remove her uterus!  What a great idea!  She's had 19 kids and 2 miscarriages.  I'd say the odds are pretty in their favor considering 1 in 4 pregnancies ends in miscarriage.  And furthermore, the idea that having a miscarriage and/or a stillborn baby means you shouldn't be allowed to have more children makes no sense.  We don't tell women in this country who can't get pregnant on their own that this means God is trying to tell them not to have children.  No, we assist them with medical miracles, and I think it's wonderful.  We don't tell women who've had four miscarriages in a row that they would be irresponsible to keep trying.  No, we hug them and wipe their tears away and encourage them and remind them that God is in control, and not one of those miscarried babies didn't have a purpose.  God has a purpose for ALL life he creates, miscarried, stillborn or otherwise.

Just because someone's belief system is different, if it does not actively affect YOU (i.e., were they taking government assistance, you might be able to have a say in her procreation), I just don't believe people have the right to voice such nastiness in the direction of a family who is just trying to put their faith in God while responsibly caring for their children and this earth.

The worst ones, the ones that made me stop and actually cry, were these:

Though I found it tasteless for STFU, Parents, to have started a thread picking on this family, what I found much more tasteless was the writer's shock when people came to the defense of the Duggars, and then the anger that followed.  I only hope that the writer of STFU, Parents, and all the nasty commenters never have to experience a tragedy like the Duggars.  Like it or not, we're all putting ourselves out there.  Everyone with a public facebook page, everyone with a blog, everyone with a TV show.  To say that I would deserve being made fun of while going through a tragedy because I put my life out there on my blog is a true testament to how far the morals in our society have sunk.  NO ONE deserves being viciously attacked during a period of extreme grief.  Not even a murderer.  The internet has allowed cruel people a stage to spread hate without suffering real life consequences, and it's time we demand that it stop.

What she was really trying to say is: if I ever go through a tragedy, I'm fair game!  If I lose my baby, you have every right to violate my privacy and tell me I deserved it because I run this blog for profit!  I am ACTIVELY seeking attention!

The Duggars may profit from their TV show.  So?  The Duggars may have made themselves famous.  So?  As if that somehow negates their right to privacy, to respect in times of grief, to common courtesy that is afforded to anyone else who isn't famous.

Whether you're a Christian or not, hate, in any form, is counterproductive and detrimental.  Even if you don't like someone, whether they're a blog writer or a facebook friend or a movie star, try to remember that we're all human and we all have feelings and saying such incredibly hurtful things to another has the potential to cut in deeper ways than you could ever imagine.  It has the potential to destroy another life.  DESTROY.  Let that sink in.


A revelation of massive proportions.

I'm really struggling.  That's not some big secret.  Adalyn has been a high-needs baby mostly since birth, and 11 months of it has worn me thin.

I've spent a lot of time whining and complaining and, honestly, feeling really sorry for myself.  Making myself a martyr is kind of lame, right?  I'm not the first mom to experience a fussy baby who has problems sleeping.  And I'm not the first mom to experience that with a toddler who also doesn't sleep.  In fact, in comparison to LOTS of other mothers' lives, I still have it easy.

But I'm dense and sometimes selfish and I don't see that sort of stuff until it slams into my face going 100 miles an hour.

This morning I was feeling particularly crummy and sorry for myself.  Adalyn now sleeps through the night but no longer naps and wakes up really early.  This morning it was 5:00 a.m.  And that's after never napping yesterday, which has pretty much become her new norm.  So I thought surely she would nap today, but she won't.  And I have a horrendous cold and I feel like an 18 wheeler ran over my head and then backed up a couple of times.

So I consulted Dr. Sears to see if he had any literature on his website regarding high-needs babies.  Turns out, he does.  A lot of it.  And it all said mostly the same thing: quit yer whining.

I was feeling all defensive about it, yelling out things in my head like, "Hey now!  I'm sleep deprived and pregnant and have a baby who cries all day!  I get to be upset and sad about that!" and almost quit reading all together until I came across this:

"Instead of feeling sorry for yourself that you didn't get enough sleep, just don't expect as much from yourself that day." 

Well, duh.  I suppose I could do that, too.  I have a wicked case of The Guilts and I am always feeling guilty for something.  If it's not my children's picky eating then it's that they don't sleep and that's my fault and that Adalyn cries and that's my fault and that the house is ALWAYS a mess and what a terrible housewife I am and so on and so forth.  I don't ever nap when Adalyn naps (er, when she used to nap) because there are things to be done, dangit!  What kind of wife am I if Tim has to come home to a messy house and no food on the table?!

Which, er, happens more than I'd like to admit.

But that little sentence hit me.  Instead of using my high-needs baby as a tool to allow myself to whine and feel sorry for myself all the time, I can use it as a tool to do what I need to do anyway: lose the guilt.

Yep, my baby cries a lot, still.  She sleeps like crap.  She is very needy and wants mommy or daddy almost all the time.  So it's okay if I take advantage of a nap time for myself and let the laundry slide.  It's okay if I make breakfast for dinner for the 3rd time in a week because it's easy and I'm wiped out.  It doesn't make me a bad mom or a bad wife.  Whining and feeling sorry for myself all the time?  That does.

I'm going to cut myself some slack, accept that this is our life right now, but realize that because this is our life, I can make adjustments to my work schedule and feel totally okay about that.  That's how I'll be the best mommy I can be.  By cutting myself some slack and kicking my feet up sometimes.  Not by crying in my coffee.


A random smattering of stuff.

Mostly I just wanted to use the word smattering.

I love my sweet girl (I always feel like I have to preface things like this...) but she is, er, high needs.  Always has been.  So Ben, the little trooper he is, has happily handed over his spot as the baby of the family to allow us to focus our energy on Addie.

Some days I feel like he really got the short end of the stick.  We were all, "Oh, there's a baby in mommy's tummy!" and he was all, "What?" and then we brought him to the hospital and we were like, "Surprise!  The baby!" and from then on, life became, "Don't touch the baby like that," "Stop it, you're making her cry," "No, she can take your toys but you can't take hers.  I know it makes no sense but it's the world you now live in," and "You must no longer make noise during the hours of 9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m." and other such unfairness.

So every once in awhile, I want to spoil him.  To death.  I want to lavish him with gifts and cookies and McNuggets and kisses.  So sometimes I do.  But it doesn't happen very often.  I'm honestly not even sure why.  OH...right...because I had a baby attached to my body for the last 11 months.  How quickly I forget once she's weaned.


This weekend, I decided we both needed to shake things up.  Let's have some FUN!  So we went to Subway and Hobby Lobby Saturday night.  Let that sink in a minute.

For fun...on a Saturday night...I took my just-about-three-year-old to Hobby Lobby and Subway.  And honestly?  Better than any bar or fancy restaurant of days gone by.

Because that wasn't enough, Sunday I took him on his first movie theater excursion.  MUPPETS!  Dude.  Awesome cheesy movie.  I had way more fun than Ben, which is saying a lot because he was totally mesmerized.  And I just have to say this because I haven't been in a movie theater in probably 5 years but WHAT THE WHAT?!  Hello, my lovely!  When did theaters lose their creaky old chairs in lieu of Grand Poobah recliners and full dining service?  I mean, you have a waiter.  Inside of a movie theater.

A few dates with my little guy was just what the doctor ordered.  I blew through some sewing, too, which is always good for stress relief.  And pricked fingers.

This week has been alright so far.  Kind of a repeat of last week.  Not good, not horrible.  Tolerable in the sometimes-I-lose-my-mind-a-little-but-I'm-hanging-in-there kind of way.  I heard baby's heartbeat today at an appointment with my midwife, so that's always great for the ole spirit.

I'm sick again.  That'd be the third time in 2.5 weeks for anyone who is counting.  Tim's sick.  Also again.  Adalyn's sick.  Also again.  Ben seems to be the only one with an immune system around here.  He had a cough for a day but now seems to be just peachy.  Go figure, the child who got as much formula as breastmilk in his first year is the one with the immune system of steel.

I have my first therapy appointment Friday.  Yay?


Journey to Me

Someone suggested I go back to Dooce's archives and read about her postpartum depression.  She blogged it all while she was going through it, even when she checked herself into the hospital.  So last night, I stayed up really late doing just that.  It was amazing and beautiful how honest she was.  But what I found striking was that on several occasions, she said people were thanking her for her honesty and she's like, what?  Why?  It's a disease like any other disease, I don't get why it's a big deal?

Well I, for one, have to thank her, because just reading someone else's chronicles through a deep, dark depression made me feel so much more normal.

I'm holding onto hope that being open and honest here could possibly help one other person.

I need hope now.

I called the therapist this morning.  Still waiting to hear back.  It's tough to watch the day tick away, get no phone call back and know I may not have any relief until Monday at the earliest, but it'll get better at some point and that's what you focus on, right?  At some point, I'm going to be the normal me again.


The scariest blog post I'll probably ever write: prenatal (antenatal) depression.

Someone recently wrote me an email to thank me for being so raw and honest here (thank you, again!).  I sat back for a few minutes and thought about this, because it isn't really the truth.

You see, just a few weeks ago I wrote a very raw and honest post about my struggle with a rather debilitating fear of vomit.  Yuck, right?  Not like anyone enjoys vomit, but it consumes my thoughts a lot.  Probably 30 minutes after I wrote it, I deleted it.  It was scary.  It felt way too vulnerable.  I have no idea who wound up reading it in that time.  I hope not a lot of you.

So that thank you email made me feel a little guilty because there's a lot I hold back.  A ton, in fact.  Being totally open and vulnerable is terrifying to me.  The thing that holds me back more than anything else in life is probably my fear of being disliked or judged.

Thus, I try to only share the things that are PC or acceptable enough that no one will quit liking me.  No one will decide they can't be friends with me.

I know I'm not alone here.  I know it's totally human nature and that's why most of us keep our skeletons in the closet.

But what I'm going through is a continuation of something I went through when I was 22, and I'm struggling with it a lot more than I probably need to because I'm too scared to share it with friends and family.  Because when I went through it at 22, one of my very best friends at the time ditched me, told me I was f*ing crazy and we never spoke again.  That...left a deep scar.  And changed my behavior.  And taught me that depression is still not accepted.  It is still looked down upon.  People still treat those suffering with depression differently than those suffering with other illnesses.

As long as I keep silent about what I'm going through, or only choose to share it with my friends who've also gone through it, I am a part of the problem.  Staying silent about depression continues the stereotype.  If everyone could be open and honest about it, I think we'd see that most of us have a mental disorder - whether mild or severe - and we could encourage each other and help each other through it rather than hide and handle it all alone.

You see, at 22, I went through a debilitating, life-changing depression.  I have very few memories from the whole time period and most of them are cloudy at best.  But every time I think back on it, all I feel is darkness, all I see is pitch black.  I try never to think about it because it was so horrific and so terrifying.  I spent weeks researching the best ways to commit suicide and I wanted to.  I had no desire for life.  I wound up in the hospital for issues stemming from the depression.  Poor Tim, my new boyfriend of only a month, was my sole support during this time.  He witnessed things no one should have to witness.  And when he tried to bring it up later, I would freak out and refuse to talk about it.  It was so incredibly humiliating and I swore I would never tell a soul about it.  Once the clouds lifted and I was my old self again, the knowledge that Tim was a witness to it all was too much to take and I very deliberately pushed him away until we broke up.

Luckily, time healed that wound and we got back together.  The rest is rather obviously history.

I've thought about that dark time off and on, but luckily have not experienced it again.  I chalked it up to situational depression as everything in my life was falling apart simultaneously.

Each pregnancy has been rather rocky emotionally.  It wasn't unexpected, though.  Growing up, I experienced depression and extreme irritability/anger for a few days each month, corresponding with "that time."  I'm pretty sure I have PMDD, but I've never sought help for it because a few days a month seems so manageable.  So the idea that the hormonal changes experienced during a pregnancy could also affect my mood in the same way they do during my cycle isn't a far-fetched theory at all.

The past two pregnancies have been survived.  I say that with a little fear, because I don't like admitting that I hate pregnancy, but I do, and my midwife is trying to get me to see that it's okay to admit that.  I mean, we puke, we swell, we cry, we get fat, we hurt and then we have to go through horrendous pain.  It's all more than worth it in the end, but I'm learning it's okay to admit that the experience is less than desirable.

 This pregnancy has been different from the other two since early on.  While I experienced the blues with my other pregnancies, this time it's the kind of sadness that keeps me from getting out of bed in the morning.  It's the kind of sadness that has kept me from wanting go to church.  The kind of sadness that has made me a bad mom and a bad wife and a bad friend.  The kind of sadness that scares me, because I'm not really me at all.  I don't recognize the person I see in the mirror anymore.  I spend my days coping, praying (begging!) for relief, crying and then crying some more.  For those who don't know me well, I'm not someone who cries a lot.  Not in front of anyone, certainly.

I don't know what I'm sad about.  I don't know why I can't stop crying.  I don't know why I've lost every ounce of motivation I once had.  I can't clean my house, I can't even cook food.  I can lay here.  I am a pro at laying here.

I don't return phone calls or emails.  I cancel almost everything I have planned.  I don't enjoy anything - even the things I loved so much just a few months ago.  I'm finding it difficult just to muster up the energy to pray, which is something I need more than anything right now.  I feel like a shadow of my former self.

My world is slowly closing in, just like it did back in 2005.  It sounds cliche to say that when you're depressed, your life is dark, but that really is exactly how I describe my depression.  Dark.  One day you wake up and your world is grey and every day it gets a little grey-er until one day it's pitch black and you can't see because you're suffocating in sadness.

I've started having panic attacks.  They are definitely one of the scariest things I've ever experienced and make me never want to leave the house again for fear of having another one while driving.

 I'm doing something about it.  I've sought help and I'm working on getting in to see someone who specializes in prenatal depression.  Did you know that prenatal depression is more common than postpartum?  Yet all you hear about is PPD because people with postpartum depression spoke up.

So I'm laying it all out there, being more vulnerable than I've ever been able to in my life, in hopes that I can encourage one other person to speak up who can encourage one other person to speak up and so on and so forth until prenatal depression is something most everyone knows about, just like PPD is today.

It's hard to admit that pregnancy, what's supposed to be one of the single most joyous events in life, is something that brings with it the kind of grief that makes it hard to breathe, much less function in any kind of capacity.  It's embarrassing.  But also a little therapeutic.  And the idea that I will no longer be the girl who hides what I went through and, now, what I'm going through, is a tiny sliver of happiness so desperately needed in my life at this moment.

I am not looking for sympathy.  Sympathy often perpetuates depression for me because I feel guilty, which compounds the feelings of depression.  My only agenda here is awareness.  Prenatal (antenatal) depression resources:


13 Weeks

I think I'm only doing monthly pictures from here on out (in the same outfit and place and yada, yada, yada) because those show changes a lot more than weekly and I'm going for the dramatic this time around.  Or something like that.  I'm just lazy?

But the hubby commented on how pregnant I was looking today, so I went to the mirror and what do you know?  BAM.  There's a giant pregnant belly.  Not that it wasn't big before.  But now?  That's a definite pregnant belly.

Not much to report this week considering I spent the better part of it in bed trying to will myself to die recover from a stomach bug.  Now I don't really know if I've still got morning sickness or if this is just lingering illness.

I'm still wiped.  If you ask some people, I'm now in the second trimester.  But some books say it doesn't start until 14 or even 15 weeks, so I don't even know.  I'm giving my exhaustion the benefit of the doubt but putting up an eviction notice come 15 weeks.  My house has never been more disastrous.



My heart is breaking.  My little baby girl can no longer get what she needs from me.

I had supply issues with Ben.  I might have caused them by thinking I had supply issues when I actually didn't and supplementing.  Who knows.  I never will know.  But I do know that around 7 months, I had totally dried up and he was exclusively formula fed.  It was really tough for me.

As a mom, we often wrap our security up in how well we can (or can't) provide for our children.  Just as I've heard some moms talk about the depression that accompanies premature birth - feeling that their bodies aren't capable of carrying their babies as long as they need to be carried - I've heard many moms talk about the failure they feel when their bodies don't produce enough milk.

I'm one of them.  I made it my mission to make milk this go 'round.  And things were going beautifully until I unintentionally got pregnant again.  Shortly after getting the positive test, I noticed some serious changes in the nursing department.  About a month ago, I suddenly went from being able to pump 4 ounces to only drops.  While they say pumping output isn't indicative of the amount of milk baby is getting, when one goes from pumping 4 ounces to pumping nothing overnight while also being pregnant, it's pretty safe to assume there was a massive supply drop.  This accompanied a sudden loss of letdown (haven't felt it once since that day a month ago when I was able to pump only a few drops) and the gut feeling of emptiness.  She only swallows once or twice during an entire nursing session.  She wakes up 5 or 6 times at night to eat.  She's only having a couple of wet diapers a day.  I want to think it's in my head, but I can't anymore.

And so, with a heavy heart, I called her doctor yesterday.  Her clothes seem to be getting looser, she doesn't have enough wet diapers and she absolutely, positively WILL NOT drink formula.  I even tried the Dr. Sears recipe for goat's milk formula, which just tastes like sweet milk.  She absolutely, positively WILL NOT drink that, either.  People say, "Oh just give it time!  She'll come around to it!"  They don't seem to understand that this has been going on for two months.  If she hasn't come around to it yet, can I have any faith that she will?

Maybe if she ate tons of food, I'd feel less like a failure as a mama.  But just as she's picky about her milk, she's picky about her food, too.  She eats mostly purees, though she has begun to dabble in the world of real food in the last week or two, eating tiny bites of things like bread and fruit.  I still can't get vegetables in this girl to save my life, but I'm trying not to lose hope on that, either.

It's tough for me because I already failed once.  I thought after 8 months of successful breastfeeding with Adalyn that we were golden.  What could possibly go wrong?  I even read that most pregnant women don't see too much of a supply drop right away, so I figured I'd make it to her first birthday before watching this disaster unravel.

Being able to provide for your children in such a basic way is something I wanted so, so badly.  I wanted to be like all the other women I know who have no problems being the sole provider for their children.  And once I was five or six months into breastfeeding this time, after reading article after article, I was convinced that I never would have had supply issues with Ben if I had had more support.  As a first-time mom, it's so easy to be scared you're not making enough.  After all, we can't visibly see how much our babies are eating, so how can we be certain they're getting enough?  Couple that with the weight gain issues Ben experienced and the hypoallergenic formula the doctor had us put Ben on when he had blood in his poop around 1.5 to 2 months and I was totally dejected.  I just knew I didn't have enough for him, so I continued supplementing with formula, and then not pumping enough, and I probably was solely responsible for my loss of supply with him.  Since I had that all figured out, I had just come to assume I would be nursing Adalyn until at least a year, probably longer.

I was wrong.  And I think it stings a little more because I thought I had it all figured out.

There are many reasons we shouldn't get pregnant before our babies are a year old.  Our bodies need time to recuperate (I just read recently that a study shows this baby has a 40% chance of being born premature because I got pregnant too soon - awesome, Chelsea).  And our babies need breastmilk!  I guess my body is so focused on making this baby that it just can't make milk, too.  One would think that the very fact I've gained nine pounds already says I'm eating more than enough to be making milk and a baby, but I guess not.

The reality is that she'll live.  I know that.  She'll get hungry enough that she'll take formula or she will get by on purees until she learns how to eat more real food.  Hopefully the doctor can give us some pointers to get more liquid in her so she doesn't get dehydrated.

Please God, if you're listening, let me be able to provide for this next baby.  I don't think I can take a third failure!

For anyone else who has also had supply issues, how did you get past the feeling of failing as a mama?

EDITED FOR UPDATE: So the doctor says stop nursing, give her cow's milk.  Since she hates formula and goat's milk, I'm not assuming she'll love cow's milk but it's worth a shot, right?  But STOP NURSING.  Stop nursing.  :(

That was the last thing this hormonal pregnant gal wanted to hear today.  I don't know why, but ending nursing is one of the hardest things I've ever had to do and I'm not ready to go through that again.  I wasn't hormonal and pregnant the last time I had to do it and even then I about had a breakdown.  I can only imagine how swimmingly well it'll go this time.


Blue Swirl Headquarters!

A consequence of adding a fifth member to your family when you have a four bedroom house is that you no longer get a whole room to sew in.  Over the weekend, I took up residence in our laundry room.  It sounds worse than it actually is.

We actually have a pretty big laundry room and it's really bright and cheery in there.  My space was still cut in half, but I'm kinda diggin' it.

Here's the old Blue Swirl headquarters.  Now home to the kids' playroom.  :)

Sometimes when you have more room, you have more room to be messy.  And disorganized, like these old pictures show.  So I'm looking on the bright side.  Less room = less clutter.  Right?  Right.  :)

12 weeks

I finally took a picture!  I've failed miserably at my vow to take a picture every week.  But maybe it's more effective if it's once a month.  Right.  That's what I'll tell myself.  I mean, let's be honest, how much of a difference can you really see in one week?

That is one DIRTY mirror.  Sorry.  Ew.

Mostly I just got fat in the last 5 weeks.  True story, I've already gained nine pounds this pregnancy.  NINE.  In 12 weeks.  Yikes.  If I'm hungry for even a second, I get so sick.  So...I stuff my face.  And nursing while pregnant gives you an insane appetite.  Right.  That's what I'll tell myself.

The past week has been the worst so far.  For a few days there I was just worthless sick.  Like, couldn't get off the floor, couldn't move a muscle without being certain I was going to throw up.  But the past two days have been so much better.  Maybe I've finally reached that glorious second trimester break.

We heard the heartbeat this week at the midwife's appointment.  It was music to my ears after a scare a few weeks ago.  Praise God for this precious little babe who seems to be growing just as he/she should.  Love you, sweet baby!


Weeks 9 & 10

I'm not doing very well with my goal to take a belly picture every week.

Or even blog.

Weeks 9 & 10 were rough.  My fatigue is through the roof.  My morning sickness is persistent, showing no signs of going away.  I've had some issues.  Things are looking up, albeit veeeerrrrry slowly.  I see light at the end of the tunnel - the twelve week mark is fast-approaching!  Usually that brings a lot of relief with it.

I had my first Braxton Hicks this past week.  I already have heartburn.  I already have pelvic pain.  I already have sciatic pain.  It's unreal how quickly this is all happening the third time around.

A friend who is in practically the same position as me (pregnant and her youngest two will also be 17 months apart) told me this week that her doctor said when your body only has 7 or so months of rest between pregnancies, it's no wonder things happen at warp speed.  Your body hasn't even gotten over the last pregnancy and you've already hopped right into a new one.  Right.  I guess that makes sense.

At least this next week we'll hear a heartbeat!  Can't wait for Wednesday!

I'll have a week 11 picture in a day or two.  I hope.  :)


Let's support women!

Yesterday, in case you were living under a rock and didn't see, a monumental vote took place to try to pass Initiative 26 in Mississippi.  The intended purpose was to ban abortion, but the bill had a lot of other implications like the potential to ban birth control, IVF, and even bring cases against doctors who aborted an ectopic pregnancy or women who had miscarriages.  None of these were guarantees.  Not even outlawing abortion was a guarantee.  The bill only served to define a person, it said nothing about abortion, nothing about birth control, nothing about IVF.  The results of the bill could only be speculated on.

That wasn't good enough for a lot of people, obviously, and the bill did not pass.

I have a proposition: instead of devoting all this energy to a bill like this, and until we can all agree on a proper bill with proper wording, let's redirect our energy to ramp up the efforts that do exist in our country, albeit on too small a level, to support women.  Let's open more pregnancy crisis centers.  Let's offer more support to each other.  Let's offer less hateful words to mothers considering abortion and more love (after all, as Christians, we should be striving to do this every single day to every single person - more love, less harsh words).  Let's offer to support more children in foster homes.  Let's work on changing the adoption system in this country so that so many children don't end up in foster care.  Because one thing I can guarantee is that if abortion is ever outlawed, there will be a flood of unwanted babies.  That's not an if.  We love to talk about the idealistic banning of abortion, but we don't follow through with propositions to handle the problems that will create.


Will we just ban abortion and then move on with our lives, refusing to do anything to then help the babies who end up in dumpsters or in terrible, dangerous homes or born addicted to crack?  I'm all about an abortion ban, but if we want to get serious about it, then we must get serious about the results.


I hear women say that unwanted babies shouldn't ever mean we allow abortion.  Again, idealistic.  I can agree with the logic, but not the refusal to propose we do anything.  Idealistic women say to me that it doesn't matter if babies are born into unloving homes because that's always better than not being born at all.  Idealistic women say to me that there are tons of families who want to adopt.  While I agree with ALL of that logic, it's not the reality and it's time we be brutally honest about that.


8 weeks & counting...

I have no picture this week.  Maybe I will at some point, we'll see.  But I found the fact that I have no picture a very perfect way to start off this week's post.  Because, you see, I'm too exhausted to take a picture.

This week has been unreal.  It's been unlike any of my other pregnancies.  I feel like a total failure as a mom and wife right now.  I'm so tired I honestly don't know how I even pull myself out of bed in the morning.  I have never, ever, ever, ever experienced exhaustion like this.  Saturday night I fell asleep a little after 6:00 and last night, at 5:30.

My house is a train wreck.  I say that a lot but in this case I'm actually not exaggerating.  There are probably seven...eight...maybe even nine loads worth of laundry just hanging out on my couch.  There's barely a place to sit which is saying a lot because we have a huge sectional.

The fact that I'm too tired to track down my black top and pants, walk to the camera, pick it up and then walk to our bedroom is indicative of whatever is going on.

I had exhaustion with Ben, but that just meant I was asleep by 8:00 every night the whole pregnancy, not that I couldn't function as a human being.

The nausea is bad.  Really bad.  Some mornings I put Addie down for her nap and cuddle in my bed with Ben while I put on a movie so I can lay down and not throw up.  I'm such a wonderful mommy right now.

And then there's the cravings - if I don't have what I want RIGHT AWAY then, well, let's just say it ain't pretty.  In fact, my sweet, patient and amazing husband is on his way to pick me up some guacamole and a cheese quesadilla from my favorite restaurant as we speak.

Tim?  He's a champ.  Picking up my slack left and right.  That man deserves an award.  If for no other reason than because he's actually putting up with me like this.

This does get better.  This does get better.  This does get better.


7 Weeks

Hey look, I actually sort of made my bed this week!  How classy of me.

So I think my belly totally changed shape this week.  Regardless, I'm becoming increasingly convinced I'm either having quadruplets or I'm a freak of nature.  Either way, oh well!  I kind of like seeing a bump already.  It's fun.  :)

Dear Sweet Baby of Mine:

This week has been quite a bit different than last.  I'm still overwhelmed with exhaustion.  Your amazing daddy has let me be lazy and get lots of rest.  You're quite the lucky thing to be coming into this world with him as your dad.  The small little business I'm trying to run has become very difficult to manage.  If I have one minute of free time, I want to spend it sleeping or with my feet up.  Not sewing.

Saturday was the start of some awful morning sickness.  In fact, I even slept on the bathroom floor for awhile.  The past three days have just been yuck.  I've begun a new love affair with saltines.  I went from being 100% convinced you were a boy because this pregnancy has started EXACTLY (to a T) like your brother's pregnancy, but this horrible sickness is now making me doubt myself.  Who the heck knows, it's way too early to be spending time on this anyway.  And I'm excited that you're our surprise baby, so I really don't want to dwell on it.  I can't WAIT to hear, "It's a..." as your daddy hands you to me.   :)

An interview with my (almost) 3 year old

My friend did this and I thought it was adorable and would be great for the "baby book" (AKA blog).  I'm going to try to do this once a year.  The answers cracked me up!

An interview with a (almost) 3 year old:

What is your name? I'm Ben

How old are you? I'm foyree

Favorite Color? I don't know.  Redgreen.

Favorite Animal? I don't know.  GREEN!

Favorite TV show? I no know my favorite TV show.  When I prompted him with a few he likes, he then said, Fireman Sam!

Favorite Book? Fireman Sam book.  (We don't have one, don't know what he's talking about.)

Favorite Food? Pickles.  (I literally LOL'd...he never eats pickles!)

Favorite Song? ABCs!

Favorite Toy?  Fire truck!  (Sensing a theme?)

Ben IN a firetruck this weekend.  They were doing tours at The Home Depot.  How fun is that?!


My soap box!

I used to be passionate about all sorts of things: politics, food, raising children, birthing children, etc.  These days I'm more carefree.  I still believe what I believe politically, but it's become less important what others believe.  I used to feel it was my duty to get everyone on my side.  Now, not so much.  If someone agrees with me politically (ahem, that is, liberally), AWESOME!  I would happily talk politics with you all day long.  But if you don't, I might try to sway ya, I might not.  In the end, it just doesn't matter to me very much.  Same goes for food and raising children.  We are all entitled to our own opinions and who is to say that any one of us is right?  Your child may very well need to be raised differently than mine.

Having a child really does this to a lot of people, I've noticed.  I ate my words so many times regarding the type of mom I was going to be that I quickly realized I have no right judging anyone else's parenting skills or beliefs.  To each his own!

But a few things have held true and I've become even more passionate about them: my religion and birth.  Because I believe these are the two most important things in life and they're worthy of being passionate about.

Our birth system is BROKEN.  B-R-O-K-E-N.  It makes me sick to my stomach every time I hear about elective inductions and c-sections.  It is NOT okay.  It is NOT healthy.  It is NOT right to play God.

I need to start off by saying that I don't blame moms.  Sadly, most of us don't really know anything about birth.  We go see our OB who tells us what to think and feel and do, down to how to hold your legs while pushing.  I accepted it all with Ben.  I accepted that I "needed" an ultrasound at every appointment (I didn't) and that I should be hypersensitive to every cramp or sensation inside of me.  I accepted that I had to lay flat on my back and push when the doctor told me to push.

Why?  Because, though I'd seen The Business of Being Born and had read as much as I could, I was still scared.  I doubted my own body and my own urges.  I mean, this was a doctor!  A DOCTOR!  Surely they knew more than me!

The second time around was much different.  With a pregnancy and delivery under my belt, I decided I could do this pregnancy thing without all the ultrasounds (yes, I'm the freak who believes ultrasounds aren't healthy) and hype and propaganda.  I decided I would birth on my terms.  I would have my birth plan and I would follow it!

Even me, who is about as crunchy as they come in regards to birth, wavered at the offer for an induction at 38 weeks.  And then I wavered again at 39 weeks when I was 5cm dilated and they insisted that I be induced.  And then, ultimately, I caved and had them break my water 2 days before my due date.

By most people's standards, at that point in pregnancy there is nothing wrong with inducing (naturally or not).  I regret it because I want my God to decide when my baby is ready, not me or a doctor.  I don't regret it because there were bad outcomes, but because I trust my body but didn't trust it that day.  I decided I knew more than my body on that day and I made the call that my baby was ready to come instead of letting my body (& my God) make that call.

So, like I said, I don't blame moms.  Even the crunchiest of us can cave when a doctor dangles an induction in our face.  We're hormonal and miserable!  OF COURSE we are ready!

But I urge you to get educated so that next time (or the first time, if you're that lucky) you can birth on your terms!

I was shocked when my doctor offered me an induction at 38 weeks.  Not for any medical reason - there was no concern whatsoever on any account.  I can only assume that it was easier on her to just schedule me in than for me to go into labor on my own.  Nothing else makes sense.

This article in the NY Times really won me over.  There is no denying that early elective inductions and c-sections put your baby at much higher risk for complication.  But doctors don't tell us that when they pencil us in for an induction at 36, 37, 38 weeks.

What woman, when facing these facts, would want an elective induction?  My bet is none.  Doctors should be educating their patients so that they can decide if they really want that elective induction.

  • Studies have shown that as many as 36 percent of elective deliveries now occur before 39 weeks, and many of these early deliveries are contributing to an unacceptable number of premature births and avoidable, costly complications.

  • With each decreasing week of gestation below 39 to 40 weeks, there is an increased risk of complications like respiratory distress, jaundice, infection, low blood sugar, extra days in the hospital (including time in the neonatal intensive care unit), and even deaths of newborn babies and older infants.

  • In a study published last December of babies demonstrated to have mature lungs before birth, those delivered at 36 to 38 weeks had two and a half times the number of complications compared with those delivered at 39 to 40 weeks

  • In 2006 the infant mortality rate at 37 weeks gestation was 3.9 per 1,000 live births; at 38 weeks, 2.5 per 1,000 births; and at 40 weeks, 1.9 per 1,000 births.
But until doctors do start educating their patients on all of the above, it's time that we educate ourselves and make up our minds early on in pregnancy that we won't have an elective induction or c-section unless it's truly medically necessary.  No matter how miserable we are!  I would love to be able to rely on doctors to remove this choice all together, but right now that's just not the state of our birthing system here in the US.

We assume that a 37 week baby is totally ready to come.  Because, you know, 37 weeks is full term.  This is not the case, as can be seen in the above stats.  Now, as the article states, if your body goes into labor on its own, chances are much greater that the baby is ready.  We're talking inductions and c-sections here.

That's my first beef with OBs.  Elective inductions for no reason other than convenience should flat not be an option.  Period.  Exclamation point.

My second is the "necessary" inductions and c-sections.  Sadly, in this day and age, doctors make decisions out of fear of getting sued.  I can't say I really blame them.  But it's a major contributing factor to all the early c-sections.  It's something we should always have in the back of our minds during pregnancy.  If a doctor performs a c-section, he can say he did everything possible to save that baby.  So naturally, he's going to move to the c-section much more quickly than necessary.

It was supposedly necessary that I be induced when I was 5 cm dilated even though I wasn't in active labor.  One of the midwives I interviewed told me a story about a woman who was 6 cm dilated at 36 weeks.  As she pointed out, any OB would have required an induction at that point.  She didn't.  And do you know that that mother went on to deliver at 39 weeks and a few days?  Some women (me, a case-in-point) actually can walk around ridiculously dilated and stay that way for weeks.  Sadly, had she gone an OB route, she would very likely have been delivered at 36 weeks without knowing better and that baby could have been in NICU and had complications.  But they trusted her body and God and she carried that healthy baby to term with zero complications.

Other doctors will refuse VBACs and require that patients have subsequent c-sections because of the fear of uterine rupture.  Do you know that the risk of rupture is LESS than one percent? And now they're saying a woman who has had multiple c-sections is at no greater risk of uterine rupture than one who has had only one.   But doctors are still hesitant to accept the facts, so they encourage repeat c-sections.  Because they don't want their patients to actually go into labor, they schedule these c-sections often WELL before the due date.  Because of a risk of uterine rupture less than one percent, they up the risk of complications to baby by tons (see above).  How does this make sense?

See what can happen when we educate and empower ourselves and decide that our bodies almost always know best?

Now I'm not one to shun the medical profession.  There are cases where doctors are needed and I'm very grateful for them.  In fact, I chose my midwife based on the fact that she seemed to share that philosophy with me much more than the others.  She said she never hesitates to make a transfer to the hospital when necessary, and she believes sooner is always better.  I totally agree.  If there is even one sign that something isn't quite right, I would much rather play it safe and end up in the hospital unnecessarily than the other way around.  I'm all about safety for my baby.

That's the entire point of this post.  Safety for your baby.

Educate yourself!  Empower yourself!  YOU know your body more than anyone else!  Have the birth you want with the healthiest baby possible!

And, above all, don't trust that your doctor always knows best.  Read the studies, seek out information on your own.  Because doctors are notoriously very slow to accept new information and change the way they practice.


6 weeks & counting...

I know it's common to slack off with each subsequent pregnancy.  Everything seems a wee bit less exciting when you've been there, done that.  But there's something to be said for this, too.  Because though it may be a little less exciting, it's also a little less scary.

I know what to expect now, with number three.

Basically, I know to expect the unexpected.  I thought I had pregnancy nailed down after Ben.  But Addie's pregnancy threw me for a loop.  I was so sick.  I could barely function.  From weeks 6-11, I was worthless.  I could have won several worst-wife-of-the-year awards and I parked Ben in front of the TV for about 5 weeks straight.  It wasn't my proudest moment.  The hardest part is that I hadn't expected it.

I'd expected exhaustion because that was my symptom with Ben.  I would come home during lunch breaks and sleep.  But I never had exhaustion with Adalyn.  Never.  I guess God figured the morning sickness was enough.  Rightly so.  :)

I also now know that babies come in all shapes and sizes...and personalities.  Ben was easy as pie.  Didn't cry, totally content doing anything.  I was so excited to have another newborn that I completely forgot that there was a possibility that the next newborn wouldn't be so easy.  And, though she is our heart & soul, BOY was she not easy.  She's still not easy.  She cried ALL THE TIME.  All. the. time.  She has been sick so many times (go figure, my exclusively breastfed baby gets sick way more than my partly formula fed child).  She won't drink from a sippy cup (nope, we have to put a glass to her mouth each and every time), won't eat anything but fruit that has been highly pureed (as in she won't eat anything I puree myself, has to be first foods from a jar) and she still cries all the time.  She's the pickiest child I've known personally.  But she is also my baby!  She and I...we're just attached.  In this crazy awesome way.  The next baby may be tough or he/she may be easy but either way, we will love this baby more than words can ever express.

This time around, I'm bracing myself for all possibilities.

But rather than slack off, I try to use each pregnancy to do things better than the time before.  I want to eat better and be more physically active and take better pictures and keep better notes, because these are all the things I have regretted from before.

And, to be brutally honest, I don't enjoy pregnancy too much so I have to force myself to have some fun.  Pictures = fun.  Doing pictures right = double fun.

I've always wanted to take belly pictures in the same outfit the entire pregnancy.  I never thought I'd have such a belly so early, but what are you gonna do?  I could whine and fuss and complain and feel sorry for myself.  Well, I have done all those things.  But it hit me today that I can actually force myself to enjoy this.  To embrace the belly.  Hey, short girls on their third pregnancy when having a baby 8 short months ago can't be that surprised to see this in the mirror.  Right?

All this was basically just a really long way of saying that this blog is going to be one gigantic pregnancy journal, so if you're not into that sort of thing, feel free to stop reading.  I will understand.  No hurt feelings.  Promise.  :)   I realize this is much more for my sake than anyone else.

And you can feel free to follow my unpregnancy-ish stuff at my other blog.

Dear Future Baby O' Mine,

This week has been good.  Other than the massive preggo belly I've managed to sport, I'm feeling pretty good.  I have had my serious morning sickness moments, but so far they're just that: moments.  The exhaustion is pretty bad and I struggle to keep my eyes open every couple of minutes, especially because your big brother has taken to not napping.  But if this is as bad as it gets, I can handle it.  It's all worth it for you!

We've discussed the mini van purchase we will inevitably be making and whether or not all three of you kiddos can fit into one bedroom for the time being until we can sell our house when the market improves (oh, the housing market slump...remind me to tell you all about that one day).  We'll see.  God will provide and it'll work out.

We met with two midwives for interviews.  We're excited to have you at home.  So, so excited!  Just having a heck of a time deciding between these two amazing women.

We love you...so very much!


Why yes, I'm having a baby at home.

This post could be controversial.  I hate that I have to preface it this way, but I ask that you please keep any nasty/hateful comments to yourself.  We may have different birthing philosophies and that's okay.  I won't judge yours if you don't judge mine.  :)

Shortly after I found out I was pregnant with Ben, I got word of a new documentary called The Business of Being Born.  I also happened to have a friend preparing for a home birth at this same time, so it was really fresh on my radar.

I was as far from "crunchy" as one could be at this time.  I drank lots of pop, ate lots of crap, was incredibly wasteful, used endless amounts of chemicals on my body, our home, in our food.  I was just blissfully unaware.

But I was a newly pregnant mama, and that changes your brain.  It really does.  Suddenly you want to change everything about your life that won't provide a perfect environment for your child.

And so I watched The Business of Being Born.  And that little documentary changed my life.  It didn't just convince me of a broken birthing system, it rocked my world.  It changed my philosophy on everything.  It was the first step in a desire to learn about my baby and my body and my food and my environment.

I wanted a home birth.  I wanted it so badly.  But my husband didn't and my mom didn't and I'd had surgery on my cervix not too long before getting pregnant, so after time, I realized that I probably wasn't the best candidate and even if I was, I couldn't change my husband's mind.  And he's half the equation.  So I had a hospital birth.  And honestly?  It was a pretty good experience.  My doctor was hyper-paranoid and ordered ultrasounds at almost every appointment which I'm not a fan of - ultrasound technology is still fairly new in the scheme of things and they used to say that x-rays were safe for babies too - until they learned they weren't.  You see, that's how we do things in this country.  Did you know that in America, a chemical is assumed safe until it's proven harmful?  A company does not have to prove the safety of a chemical.  HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE?!

Anyway, aside from the mega exposure to ultrasounds, I liked that experience.  They were sweet, doting and accommodating to my desires, but I did feel pressured into the epidural as they kept telling me that the anesthesiologist was at home and that it would take a bit so if I wanted one, I should go ahead and make that decision.  But really, I can't complain.  It was a beautiful birth and a wonderful experience and it taught me that my body carries and births babies well and that I would be a good candidate for a home birth in the future.  Something to get excited for!

Fast forward to Adalyn's pregnancy.  Both Tim and I were on board this time, but we kind of dropped the ball.  I kept putting off making an appointment and before you know it, I'm 12 weeks pregnant.  I finally called the only midwife I knew of and she said she'd call me back.  Only weeks and weeks went by and I never heard from her.  So I called her again.  Again she didn't call me back.  By that point, I was 17 or 18 weeks pregnant and we just gave up on the idea, called an OB and that was that.  I later found out the one midwife I chose to call was one who has taken on WAY too many patients and is not recommended by anybody else in town now.

This time, I don't have a good hospital birth.  At 38 weeks while I'm complaining about my comfort level, my OB asks, "Well, do you want me to go ahead and induce you?"  I thought I was going to faint!  My doctor was just offering up an induction at thirty-eight weeks (!!!) for discomfort level only.  Not because baby was in distress or my bp was high or there was some indication that baby needed to come out now.  Nope.  Just because I hurt.  Because, you know, no other pregnant woman hurts at 38 weeks.  Most hospitals in the country are moving away from unnecessary inductions because they're just that: unnecessary.  Why should we mess with God's plan merely because we're uncomfortable?  If there's a reason to take baby and baby is better off outside of the womb earlier than God would have, hey, I'll support that.  But to offer up an induction to a vulnerable woman who is at her wit's end and uncomfy as all get-out is dangerous and irresponsible.  I am quite crunchy these days, in case I haven't made that obvious, and even I toyed with the idea!  Half of me was shocked and the other half was like, Hmm, maybe I should just do it!  Luckily my smarter half convinced my vulnerable half to say no.

Then she wanted to give me pitocin when I was dilated to 5 because she was afraid the baby would come too fast.  I pretty much begged her to just break my water instead because pitocin scares me (statistically speaking, your risk for other interventions is quite large after getting pitocin and I'm just plain scared of the painful labor that I've heard pitocin induces), but she wouldn't have that.  So I went home and was told to come in with the next contraction, which happened a day or two later.

Then they broke my water.  I can't fault them for this because I asked for it.  That was on me.  I was going for the "natural induction" route and while it's not totally accepted within the "crunchy" circles, I'm not really opposed to it when all signs point to "baby is ready!" (I was 6 cm dilated, fully effaced, etc., but not in labor). In hindsight I wouldn't do it again because I am at a different place in my life now - one in which I would prefer to trust God's timing and not my own - but I wasn't quite there yet during this time and I was impatient and fearful.

When my doctor broke my water and it got on her, she jumped back with this horrified, disgusted look on her face.  Like, how DARE I!  Because she's an OB doctor and somehow that's not a regular part of her working life?  This was after rolling her eyes at me when I told her I needed to potty before she broke my water.  She was annoyed at me that I had not done this before she got in the room because I was wasting her time, you know?

I asked for several things in my birth plan that were not honored.  I asked that they not cut the cord until it had stopped pulsing (something that is becoming increasingly accepted and even if they didn't buy into the philosophy that baby needs that last surge of blood, they could and should have humored me as it was in my birth plan).  They didn't honor that.  I asked that baby be bathed in our room for her first bath.  They refused that.  They took my brand new baby away from me to bathe her.  That was the last straw - that was the moment that I realized I could never birth a baby in a hospital again, unless circumstances dictated that it was NECESSARY.  I don't believe normal, healthy births HAVE to be done in a hospital.  Now, I don't think there's anything wrong with hospital births if that's where you feel most comfortable and you won't find me judging someone for having one.  I did!  Two of them, to be exact!  But for me, this time around, I want to experience birth as I believe it was intended to be, and I hope that having a home birth will facilitate that.

I feel the need to write this post because there are people who have been very vocal about their beliefs that home births are stupid, risky and uninformed.  I could have just said, "Hey, I'm having a home birth!" and that's that.  But I know I would have to brace myself for some comments that would hurt my feelings and some disrespect and honestly, some misinformed viewpoints.  I know this post sounds like a giant justification.  It really isn't, but it is a plead to respect every woman's right to birth as she wants without rolling your eyes, judging or vocally expressing your distaste for her choice.  I do feel the need to explain myself because I know what the common conception is and I've already received several strange looks and a few disagreeing scowls.

You have every right not to choose to home birth.  We should all choose to have our babies in the place that makes us most comfortable.  For me, that's my home.

But I don't feel you have a right to tell me I'm endangering my child by birthing at home.  Unfortunately, the studies on the matter are flawed.  Most studies say that home birth is as safe as hospital birth and results in far fewer interventions, but people question the validity of these studies.  A few studies claim that infant mortality is higher among the home birth group, but people question the validity of these studies, too.  I wish there were a definitive answer.  The best answer I find comes from the studies on OTHER countries - ones with much lower infant mortality rates and much higher home birth percentages.  We're one of the few countries in the world that decided to consider birth a problem that needed fixing by modern medicine.

My heart and my soul tell me to birth this baby at home.  I'm kind of old fashioned in a lot of my beliefs.  I do tend to err on the side of "if we did it in the old days, it must be the right way!"  Years of frustration with our current system (food system, chemical system, government, parenting, etc.) have tainted my views and shaped me.

Until very recently (in the scheme of things), women didn't birth in the hospital.  We've been birthing at home since the dawn of time.

I don't want interventions if unnecessary.  I'm not so prideful that I would forbid them.  I'm not so prideful that I will refuse to go to the hospital if baby has low fetal heart tones or something is obviously wrong.  I believe that hospitals can be a wonderful thing when needed and I'll have no shame transferring to a hospital if need be.  There's one quite close, as we discovered a few months ago when rushing Ben there after he ate peanuts.

But I don't want a c-section because a doctor is tired of waiting on me and wants to go home.  I don't want pitocin becuase my labor isn't progressing fast enough to make my doctor happy.  I don't want the cord clamped immediately and my baby whisked away from me for his or her first bath.  I want to give birth to my baby in a quiet, peaceful, dark, COMFORTABLE environment surrounded by people who love me and my baby.  I want my husband to help (and most importantly, he wants to help) and I want to do what feels right and natural.

When I was ready to push with Adalyn, they told me to hold it to wait for the doctor.  If you've birthed a baby, particularly without an epidural (I say this because I never experienced the need to push with my epidural birth, which I think is common), you know that there is no "holding it."  When baby is ready, baby is ready.  You don't control pushing - your body does.  Then they FORCED me onto my back to push her out regardless of my pleading not to make me.  Rolling onto my back felt so horribly painful I honestly thought it would kill me.  I cannot find the words to describe that pain.  Every time I would try I would be hit with horrendous pain, and the pain would immediately lessen when rolling back to my side.  But that wasn't convenient for my doctor, so she forced me into the most unnatural position a woman can be in for labor.

When I met with the first midwife we interviewed this week, we talked about birthing in WHATEVER POSITION I WANTED.  WHEREVER I WANTED!  Imagine!  I get to do what I want!  And really, doesn't that seem like the most natural way for labor to progress?  Doesn't it seem like something God equipped us to be able to do?  I think we women don't give ourselves enough credit that we know how to get baby out.  We're so brainwashed into the idea that we need to be flat on our backs taking orders from our doctor that we don't think to question that.

I am the perfect candidate for home birth.  I have had two normal, uneventful pregnancies, produced two healthy babies, had a natural birth and quick labors.  As far as risk factors go, I have almost none.  I will have the 20 week ultrasound to check for heart defects, deformities and anything else that would make the hospital the safest place to birth this baby.

I don't feel I'm naive, uninformed, stupid or risking my baby's life. I have thought long and hard about this, I have taken in as much knowledge as I can soak up and I am ready for this!  In eight months, that is...



Place yer bet! Twins? Triplets? Quadruplets???

This is a big part of the reason I shared the news so early.  How could I keep THIS under wraps for long?

I wish I could embrace the fact that I show soooo early, but instead it's just embarrassing.   This is obviously not BABY belly, but I get a little HCG in my body and my uterus just goes, Okay, we're ready, let's do this!

Sorry for the terrible quality.  This was from my sucky camera cell phone late last night while I was staring in disbelief.


Number three...

So last week we had a moment like this:

When we saw this:

But we thought, no, impossible...right?

I mean, this is one of those $0.25 tests so it's probably wrong.  Because this really is impossible.  No problem.  We would just make a quick trip to the store to pick up a $20 digital test (I mean, really?  TWENTY DOLLARS?!) and it would be confirmed that the test was wrong.  So a digital test and a regular test later and I'm staring at these:

And then there is no denying it.  It is not impossible.  It is our new normal.


We couldn't be happier!

So happy and so excited, in fact, that we just can't keep it in.  I know I'm supposed to be PC and wait the 12 weeks.  But Tim and I found ourselves blurting it out to everyone we came in contact with.  And now, we might as well make it official.  Also, I started showing the second I got a positive test (funny how that happens when it's your third and you're really short) so there is just no way I'd make it to 12 weeks!

We had a day of panic and then God gave us total peace about this.  This baby was meant to be.  This baby has a purpose and my heart is just so happy.  God has a plan and it may not always be the same plan I have for my life, but you know what?  I love that.  I embrace that.  I can't wait to meet this gift in late May/early June.

And this time, FOR SURE, we will not find out the gender.  :)

And now I can finally start pinning all these maternity tutorials I've been dying to try!

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