17 October, 2010

Wordless Sunday

this is love

What do you want to be when you grow up?

This is a question I have asked myself over, and over, and over, and over, and....well, you get it. I've asked myself that question A LOT. Sometimes I wonder how high school kids know what they want to do, and then go to school for 4+ years...they are still babies. What happens if they don't want to go to school for the same thing a couple years down the road? A waste of money I think. When I graduated high school, I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life. Zero. Nil. Nada. So I went to community college to try to figure it out. I dropped out within the first year. Not just because I was in a rebellious stage of my life, with a shitty boyfriend, but also because I wasn't ready to make that kind of decision about my life. I had no idea what would really make me happy...what I could imagine doing for the rest of my life. Aimlessly taking classes here and there wasn't going to get me anywhere except wasting my parents money.

So now, 7 years after I graduated high school, after a wide variety of ideas of what I wanted to have as my career, ranging from teacher, to accountant, to chef, to marine biologist, specializing in the study of sharks, back to chef, I think I've finally found something I am passionate enough about to tackle. A year ago, two years ago, three years ago, the thought of going back to school, while I really wanted to do it, seemed really overwhelming to me. Going back and doing all the stuff that I did already and just....blllehhhhh. I didn't know where I was going to fit going to school into my schedule, even with just one kid...now I have another one that I have to figure out what to do with! I don't trust myself doing online school. I don't learn like that. I learn by reading and by physically being in a teacher presence, take notes, etc. I can't afford to throw both girls in daycare while I go to school...not to mention another car and all the expenses for school. I don't WANT to take out a student loan, but I'm sure it will eventually happen, and that also frustrates me. So I'm glad I've been waiting for so long to go back to school...I just couldn't bring myself to do all of that to myself and the family for something I wasn't 100% on.

But now, I figured it out. I did it. I found something that I am passionate about. And it's all thanks to my little Ocho! When I was pregnant with her, I had wanted a doula. We didn't have one, but that's neither here nor there...we did fine without one. So again, not the point. But adding to the fact that I wanted a doula, and that I was scared about having a baby where I wasn't familiar with the hospital, or doctors, and didn't have any family, and also that I frequent a baby website with a forum where there are so many mis- and uninformed women, and women who wanted certain things out of their births, I decided that what I would really love to do, and could really get passionate about and stick to is becoming a doula and a midwife.

For those of you who are unsure of what a doula is: A Doula is a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth; or who provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period.

I have been so let down by all the negative stories I've heard about birthing and birth experiences. I've been let down by my own nerves and my own understandings and basically mistrust in doctors. I have grown a lot in the last 4 years since I gave birth the first time. My views have changed drastically. Giving birth with OB's who I don't know and will probably never see again scared the shit out of me. It still makes me nervous. I haven't decided what I'm going to do when we have our next baby in a couple of years because while this birth wasn't inherently bad, my next birth may not go the route that this one went, and I want to be comfortable and feel like I can trust whoever is involved in my birth. I know a lot of women can't do that. They can't pick their provider. They can't ever feel comfortable. They can't do what they want to do...and what they should be able to do. And I want to be apart of the solution and HELP those women.

I've done some research about becoming a doula and I think that's the route I'll go first. To be a midwife, I will have to go to nursing school, and honestly, that isn't something I'm quite ready to do yet. I have a small baby at home, and I want to at least have Reilly in school full time before I start on that venture. I don't want to miss the last year or so that I have at home with her. So doula training is first. The steps that you have to take to become a certified doula really aren't THAT difficult. Read some books, take some classes, sit in on some births. Easy peasy. And hell, I'm in the military community. I know what happens and how we end up with re-deployment babies. I know whats up *wink wink nudge nudge*. I'm sure there would be tons of women who would let me sit in on a birth. And once your certified it lasts for so many years before you have to re-certify, and that's always easier after you've done it the first time.

I hope that this is something that I can be good at. I hope that this is something that I can do, not only to be an advocate to women and couples, but that I can be happy doing it, and I can make at least a contribution to the family income with it. It'll be hard when I actually become a certified doula because as we all know, birth is in a league totally of its own. We don't know when a birth is going to start, or finish, unless you obviously have a scheduled induction or c-section. So it'll be hard with the two little ones and Bradford in the military and having a schedule that he needs to keep. But we'll figure it out. One thing at a time Mrs. Obie...just one thing at a time.

16 October, 2010

You know what I love?

There are few things that I really, truly love in life. You can say, I love that shirt, but you don't REALLY love that shirt. Your life wouldn't end because that shirt wasn't in your life...you just like it a whole bunch.

There aren't many things that I love more than my friends, my family, my husband, and my children. That's ascending order by the way. My girls (and subsequent children) will always be #1 in my book. I would do anything for them. I would die to protect them. I would get thrown in jail if it meant keeping them out of harms way. My husband, obviously, is very important to me too. He's my soul mate and my best friend. My family, and my friends who are like family, mean the world to me. And I only have a couple people who I really, truly consider to be "like family". My friends that I have are all amazing. I love them all to bits.

But do you know what I love just as much as all of those people? Peace and quiet. Now, I know you're probably thinking, "But Mrs. Obie! You have two kids and a husband! How do you ever get any peace and quiet?!" I know, it doesn't happen very often. But every once in a great, GREAT while, I wake up before anyone else does. Or at least before the kids do if Brad is at work.

So what do I do when I'm the only one up? Well, it depends. When I was a smoker, I'd go outside and enjoy a cigarette all by myself. The best was when it was the middle of fall or winter (and it wasn't 20 degrees outside) and I'd get to sit out on the back porch in Washington and just enjoy the crisp cold air and not have to worry about anything. I could think my own thoughts. I could just sit and be quiet.

I also relish taking a shower. When everyone is quiet. I feel rushed otherwise, and generally speaking, the shower is the only place I REALLY and TRULY get to be alone, except on the off chance that I'm taking a shower with the hubs.

A friend of mine on facebook recently made a status update about understanding why mom always got up at the crack of dawn. Some coffee, a little food, maybe a hot shower are all reasons to be sleep deprived. And I couldn't agree with her more. As you get older, and have more responsibilities....a husband, kids, a job, the house, they all take precedent over you. Everyone else comes first. Your needs, wants and desires are all put on the back burner. Now, that isn't always a bad thing! But we are human after all, and have the desire to do things for ourselves. So every once in awhile, when it happens, I seriously enjoy my alone time. I enjoy the time I spend with my husband and my girls, but really...I enjoy my 'me' time.

This is what my family looks like
My family is my first priority. Myself is my second. And I'm very much okay with that. But mama's, take some time for yourself. You will seriously go crazy taking care of everyone else and not sneaking in a little bit of YOU time.

11 October, 2010

Body Image

Being a female, body image is something I know about all too well, and something that I have struggled with on almost a daily basis for many, many years. It started late in middle school, and continued through high school. A couple different times in my life, I have suffered from anorexia, especially my senior year in high school. I think the only time I really ate was around my parents. That lasted until I got pregnant with Reilly. Then around the time I went back to work, I was eating maybe one small meal a day, and basically living off of coffee, cigarettes, and the occasional alcoholic beverage.

Honestly, I don't know why my self image was so bad in high school. I mean, I wasn't over weight or anything. I had a bit of pudge around the face, but most of that had worn off by my senior year. One of the many, many trials people go through as a teenager. There is always someone skinnier and prettier than you are. It took me a very long time to realize that there will always be someone skinnier and prettier than I am. It's just the facts of life. There will also always be someone bigger and uglier than I am.

I'm a member of a certain website online, which includes a decent number of teenage mothers or moms to be. I read their posts about how the baby weight just makes them feel horrible, or they want to be a size ___ again. And while I do want to lose some baby weight, it isn't because I feel ugly. Sure, I feel a little fat, but its a little fat that I can handle. A lot has changed since I was in my early 20's. Which is funny considering I'm only 25, but even after Reilly was born, I had a lot of body image issues. I think it took me finding the right person to love me for me, no matter what I looked like for me to finally accept that I was who I was. And yes, I can change how much I weigh and my general physical appearance, but there are still some things that I can't change. I can take a look at it in a healthy way and change my diet with better foods, and exercise, not starving myself.

The things I can't change? Dun dun dun...the dreaded stretch marks. Can anyone name someone who really, REALLY likes having stretch marks? I can't. I don't like them. But I've become accustomed and actually proud of them now. When I first started developing the bazingas (aka, my boobs), I got stretch marks. I did everything I could to hide them because they were so embarrassing. That was part of the reason I never dressed like a girly girl until later in high school. I despised them. I didn't feel very good about myself because of them. I later got stretch marks when I was pregnant with Reilly, though they weren't horrible. I still didn't like them, but I wasn't embarrassed by them as much. I got more during my pregnancy with Ocho, in different places than during my pregnancy with Reilly. A lot changed during my pregnancy with Ocho -- a lot. I became more aware of myself as a woman, and I hold my stretch marks, even though they still aren't pretty, and I still don't like them, but I hold them as badges of triumph...badges of honor..."Mommy Marks". I have them because my body was busy making my two amazing daughters.

Its hard being a girl. We have so many thing that we have to deal with...pregnancy, periods, sagging boobs, menopause...and that's just the physical stuff. Not to mention having to live up to standards that are ridiculous. Women back in the 40's and 50's and such didn't have the kind of pressure we do now. Men want skinny women with skinny waists and boobs and butts that look awesome. At least that's what is portrayed in magazines and the media. What isn't portrayed is the millions of NOT skinny women, or the overweight women, who have boyfriends and husbands who love and adore every curve of their body. They don't portray the flat chested women who have husbands who love their small chest. They portray the "perfect" woman, which, most of us are not.

Its important to me that I continue to be accepting of my flaws, and make healthy choices for the things that I want to change, simply because I have two small girls who depend on me to make them feel amazing about themselves. I have a duty to encourage them to make smart choices. I have a duty to make sure they understand that they don't have to be a size 0 to be beautiful. I have A DUTY to make sure that they love themselves, inside AND out, and love who they are because THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL no matter what. As long as they have a good heart and a good mind, it doesn't matter what marks you have where, or where you have a little extra.

I've decided to do something a little...not embarrassing...but not like me. I feel comfortable enough with my body to post a couple pictures. My acceptance of who I am. I am putting it out for those who read my blog (the dozen of you or so) with the hopes that you can also feel comfortable in your own skin, and realize that yes, while being super skinny and odd mark free would be awesome, we are who we are.

We are all beautiful in one way or another. So please, women AND men, embrace yourself. Embrace your body and who you are. We all want something to be different...but that doesn't mean that we can't embrace who we are TODAY.

for your information: 25 years old. 2 pregnancies. 2 children. 4 weeks postpartum.

10 October, 2010

Wordless Sunday

So many blogs I follow have a "wordless" day. Just simply a picture to describe life. So we're gonna go ahead and start that on Sundays. Unless I have something better to say, which is always possible...but for now, we'll just say that from here on out, Sundays, will in fact, be wordless.

08 October, 2010

Being An Alterna-Parent

I have to admit, my parenting style is...well...alternative.

I also have to admit that I don't treat my 4 year old like a 4 year old. She's much more grown up to me.

I know everyone has their own parenting styles. I know that no one raises their children by the book. But there are things that I like to consider as alternative parenting. And not everyone is going to agree with me on this, but this is my version of being an alternative parent. Also, there are different ways to be an alterna-parent.

With Ri-baby, like I said, I treat her as a mini-adult. She is just as capable of making her own choices and suffering consequences as an older child. She understands a lot more than kids her age. I don't know many parents who would let their child watch Kick Ass, let alone have a copy of it on their iPod. I don't know many parents who would let -- yes, I said let -- their child cuss (on occasion and when appropriate). I don't know many parents who lets their child be who THEY want to be.

Reilly is a smart girl. She asks A LOT of questions. She learns A LOT about things that many parents are squeemish talking to their kids about at such a young age; periods, sex, drinking, killing and death. A lot of parents don't feel that their child is up to handling the "adultness" of those topics. I do. I know my child is. My daughter doesn't have a violent streak in her, but we let her own toy guns NERF guns, she understands that people do kill people, and that those are bad people. She knows about jail. She knows about sex. Not in detail, but she knows the fundamentals. I've never made it a point to hide information from my daughter, and because of that, I feel that she is one of the most well rounded children on the planet.

Things that bother me to no end about parents is when they try to lie or give their children obscure answers about important questions. Calling a vagina a flower or a penis a pee pee isn't a good way to build a well rounded child. I'm sorry, but its not. Telling your child that their baby sister just appeared one day? Give me a break. Hiding 'fuck shit ass cunt' from your child seems silly to me because they WILL learn those words eventually, and honestly, wouldn't you rather it come from you? (Maybe not cunt, but you get the picture).

Setting boundaries, is still obviously needed. Reilly may be smart, but she's still four. She still needs laws laid down for her. She still needs to be put her in place. But I feel she also needs to be able to explore the world around her and figure out her place in it. She needs to be encouraged to make something of herself and express herself in a healthy and safe environment where she can ask anything that she wants and learn about anything that she wants. Sometimes I also consider myself a push over. Yea, I kinda let her get away with some things, but all in all, I don't have to worry about her too much. Yes, she's still a kid, but she's a good kid. I go out to a store or restaurant and I wonder sometimes what the hell some of these parents are thinking when their child is screaming bloody murder in the middle of said place. I wonder why these parents can't get a handle on their children, and how I got so lucky to have a mostly well behaved child. And then I realize that her personality, her character, her charm, is all because of how Bradford and I have encouraged her to expand her horizon, become her own person, and hopefully thrive.

I applaud myself for having a long conversation with my daughter after watching the video for one of her favorite songs, Love The Way You Lie, by Eminem. If you are unsure of what the song is about, it is about domestic violence. We watched the video
and we had a long conversation about what to do if someone ever hits her. Who she can come to, what she needs to do, all of those things. How many parents talk to their kids about domestic violence?

Reilly is everything I could have ever hoped for in a young child. Literally everything. She's an easy child. Really she is. Sure, she has her bad moments, because for fucks sake, she's four. But 90% of the time, she is amazing. She has started to develop her own taste in music because we let her. Her favorite artists include Ke$ha, Lady Gaga, Eminem, Dora, Spongebob, The Beatles and B.O.B. Some of her favorite movies? Zombieland, Kick Ass, Coraline, Chicken Little, and anything having to do with Elmo. She love sushi and raw green peppers, along with ice cream and candy.

She's expanding her palette of the things offered in life. Because we, as parents, let her.

So yes, I am an "alterna-parent". I am open and honest with my child. I let her be her own person. I watch her learn every day. I get to watch her be older and still a youngin, all at the same time.

I'm proud to NOT follow the rules.

And most of all...I have no worries about my child going out into the world and experiencing life. She is going to be an amazing person.

picture #1 is Reilly rocking out with Daddy on Guitar Hero
picture #2 is what KISS does (yup, the band, another of Reilly's favorites)

07 October, 2010

You're a bad, bad hippie.

Yes. Yes I am. I would like to apologize to the State of Washington, my home state, my comfy place, because you see, I feel as if I've let her down. (States are girls right? Just like boats and cars?)

It took me a long time to embrace my hippie ways. Because up until I was about 22 or so, to me, hippies were pot smokers who continually smell like hemp and incense, and rarely washed their hair. But a new breed of hippie has taken over, and those of us that practice this form of hippie-ism like now to be called "green". Though I do appreciate me some tie-dye and lets face it, I smoked pot back in my youth. But this isn't the time to go back down that road. Maybe later.

Back on topic. I went green, or at least, mostly green, about a year after Bradford and I got married. I bought eco-friendly cleaners, organic foods, used my reusable grocery bags, you know, general "green" things. In fact, I have such a collection of reusable grocery bags that I have zero need for ever using plastic bags. I didn't get a plastic bag anywhere for almost a good year, except on the rare chance that I didn't have my bags on me when I made a surprise stop somewhere.

Since moving to Hawaii though....[sigh]...I have been a less-than-perfect hippie. I would love to blame the fact that everything eco-friendly is OHSOEXPENSIVE, and while that is sometimes the case, it isn't always, and doesn't mean that I have to quit using my awesome bags (and my reusable mesh produce bags), or using some at home remedies for cleaning supplies, or anything like that. I've been a failure at living a eco-friendly, organic, healthy lifestyle. I blamed the pregnancy for a little while. I was so tired all the time, and I hated going anywhere. Loathed would actually be a better word. I also wasn't (and still, I'm really not) familiar with the area around me, and with only having one car, and Bradford getting off work around 5pm, and home close to 6, its hard to go grocery shopping and get dinner on the table at a decent time, or getting to a place where I can buy the products I need. Now that I'm not pregnant, I can use the newborn excuse.

"I have a baby who NEEDS me all the time, I just don't have the time to do some serious, eco-friendly/organic shopping!"

If your curious, yes, I have actually justified a lot of things I wouldn't normally like doing with that statement right there. Like eating fast food. Ordering pizza. Sleeping in? No, I'd do that regardless, and that has zero to do with my hippie-ness. Or does it?

So now, I have to jump back on my hippie band wagon. I'm just not sure at how to do that. Bradshaw isn't a hippie like I am. He doesn't buy organic foods (okay, not ever, but very rarely does he), he doesn't use reusable shopping bags, and it was almost like cutting off an arm or leg to get him to do cloth diapers. Not really, just a promise of not having to change diapers. But still. It's not that he doesn't support my hippie ways, he was just raised in a different state, where they don't have the super hippie values that Washington has. So the art of being green is very strange in my house. Normally, I do all the grocery and household items shopping. Normally. I haven't in awhile. Once our household has settled down, and we have a routine again, I think it'll be a lot easier, but until that happens, I feel like I still need to be on a green hiatus. Hopefully that won't be much longer. Right now, its hard to go out by myself without Ocho, since I'm her walking feeding machine. Its hard to go out WITH Ocho, because she is very demanding sometimes. Its hard to go out with everyone because I feel rushed. When I go out by myself, or with Roo, before Ocho was born, I could take my time...normally because Bradford was sitting at home playing video games and didn't care how long it took. So until the household settles, I feel stuck.

Back to jumping back on the band wagon. How should I proceed? I'm not sure at this point. I think for starters, I'll start using my reusable bags again whenever I'm going on a trip to the grocery store (or Target/where ever). I think that will be the easiest for me to do right now. I'll eventually get back into what I was doing before we moved, as long as its cost effective. Getting my ass to some local markets is going to be key. Another problem we I have is that a lot of places around here don't carry the amounts of eco-friendly/organic products like Washington. Which makes me sad. But I digress.

My Hippie Goal:

Use my reusable grocery/produce bags.

I'm going shopping tomorrow for dinner with my parents, so I'll have the opportunity to make sure that I use my bags. In my next blog, I promise I'll let you know if I've been keeping my goal in check to use them. Just taking a first step to getting back to my hippie ways.

05 October, 2010

Diapers Diapers EVERYWHERE!

With Ri-baby, I strictly used disposable diapers. I thought it was easy. Wipe, wipe, toss! But when my bestie, Brooklyn, had her daughter, and switched to cloth diapers, the hippie bell in me went "ding ding ding!!"

So I did some research, talked to the lady down at Simple Cloth about which kind of diapers would be the best, and easiest for our family, and then convinced Bradford that he wouldn't have to change a single diaper if he let me go cloth and got started buying.

We decided to go with bumGenius to start with. The one size fits all diapers, that grow with baby. They have snaps to adjust the size, and most of the ones we have are Velcro and not snaps, like the newer ones. I just want to say that I love the velcro. I don't know why. But the snapie ones do have a tendency to leak if the diaper isn't on tight enough, and I don't want to cut off circulation to the poor babies leggies.

I was really, really overwhelmed with using cloth. In fact, even though I was dead set on using them, I was overly anxious about ACTUALLY having them. Using AND washing them. Because if you aren't aware, you can't just wash them like normal clothes. No fabric softener. No regular detergent. And definitely none of that Dreft shit. You have to wash them a certain way. It's overwhelming if you've never done it before! When my mom used cloth diapers, they had a diaper service that would take their diapers and bring them back nice, clean ones. I was overwhelmed at the thought of doing this all by myself. But the closer that it got to Ocho's birthday, the more I knew I needed to get my shit together and deal with it. So after I ordered the last of my 24 diapers (the recommended number of diapers for starting out), I sat down, and read, and read, and read the little card that the lady at Simple Cloth gives out when she sells diapers. Instructions on how to wash them, and what kind of detergent to use. So we stocked up on Country Save detergent (which I also adore), and I washed my first load of cloth diapers.

SUCCESS! None of my diapers fell apart in the washing machine or the dryer. I was so happy to sit on the couch and stuff all the diapers. I was ecstatic! Really. I was! So the first part was a success. But the real test would be putting Ocho in them and doing laundry all the time. So about a week after she was born, we started using the cloth diapers full time. Before that we had been using disposables (but 7th Generation, so better for baby and the environment!) until she could fit into her cloth dipes. But when we started using them full time, I got anxious again. Would I be able to keep up with the demand of needing diapers, and having to wash them on an almost daily basis (since we are "short" the 7 snappie diapers that don't fit well yet)?

In a short answer, fuck yes! I have ZERO problems taking the bag of diapers downstairs once a day -- or every other day, depending on how much she shits -- and throwing them in the washing machine. Even running the load twice every 3 or 4 days or so to help get rid of some of the stains from the poop isn't that big of a deal. And I really do enjoy sitting in bed, with Ocho sleeping next to me, and stuffing all the inserts into the diaper covers, and neatly putting them back into their little basket by her pack and play.

I have been seriously happy with the cloth diapers so far. Not to mention it helps fill out her outfits, so now it looks like she belongs in the clothes she wears instead of them looking like she could swim in them.

So first, a big THANK YOU to my bestie, Brooklyn, who helped me get into cloth diapers. And another big THANK YOU to my husband, Bradford, for letting me do it, and not complaining about my hippie ways.

Curious to know WHY I ultimately decided on cloth diapers? Well, you should be.
  1. They are good for the environment. Really. Do you know how many diapers end up in the land fill EACH DAY?! Think about it. How many times a day do you change your baby? I know I change Ocho AT LEAST 10 times a day. And she's 3 weeks old. So for three weeks, I've been changing at least 10 diapers a day. 70 diapers a week, 210 diapers since she's been born. And diaper changes go on until they are potty trained. Ri-baby wasn't potty trained until she was 3. Yea, after they get the hang of their eating and bodily functions, the number decreases. But still. So if, on average, you changed 10 diapers a day, for the first year of your childs life, give or take, that's over 3500 diapers a year. A YEAR. Then add night time pull ups after you've potty trained during the day. Yikes.
  2. Money. In this economy, who seriously has the extra cash to fund said 70 diapers a week? How much is the average pack of 40 diapers? About $20 after tax? So you're buying $40 worth of diapers every week and a half. That's over $1000 a year on just diapers. What could YOU spend an extra $1000 on? A down payment on a car? New clothes? Toys for your child? Food? Putting it into savings for a rainy day? But what about your water and electric to wash the diapers? Really? Washing your diapers on even a daily basis isn't going to amount to that much money, especially since you can just throw them in the washing machine with other clothes, like I do. Laundry soap? Pssh. The Country Save brand that we buy is about $15 a box or so. It's 80 full scoop loads. We use half a scoop for diapers. So that's 160 loads of laundry. That's about 5 months worth of diaper laundry. I have two boxes sitting in my laundry room right now. So 10 months worth of laundry for $30. See? Cheaper.
  3. They are better for baby. Yup. Cloth on the body is better for you instead of tissues and elastics. Try wearing some undies made from different kinds of films, tissues, elastics, tapes, and not to mention that absorbent gel shit and tell me that those are more comfortable than your nice cotton panties. I'll pay you $100 if they really ARE more comfortable. No I'm kidding about that, I won't. I need that money for bills. But if YOU wouldn't find that comfortable, why would your child? Not to mention they reduce diaper rashes. And they absorb the shit outta some pee. Not to mention that they are cushier and softer. Quite a bit more comfortable I would imagine!
  4. They are fucking cute. You ever see a babies butt in a cloth diaper?! ADORABLE! Plus, there are so many cloth diapers and covers on the market today, that you can basically dress your child in ANY kind of color or pattern you want and they'll STILL look super cute!

So there you have it. I encourage new parents to consider switching to cloth diapers when you decided to have your first baby. Hell, I encourage parents in general, new or not, to use cloth diapers. I spent about $400 on all my diapers. They are going to last until Ocho is potty trained. I'm not going to be wasting $1000 or more a year on disposables. And most children are potty trained around 3 or so (just a rough estimate, I didn't feel like looking up statistics right now). So $3000+ vs. $400 + the cost of laundry soap (About $30 a year for us).

So please new mama's and papa's, consider cloth diapering your babies butts. I promise, its not as hard as it seems. Not only will you be saving money, and the environment, but you'll have the satisfaction of knowing that you made your baby's butt cute and comfy!

To get you started, here is a handy link about cloth diapers!

03 October, 2010

Birth Regrets?

I know that everyone has at least one thing that they would have liked to change about the birth of their child. It could have been something as small and trivial as wearing their own clothing during birth, or as big as having to have an emergency c-section. Every parent goes through the regrets at some point or another, even dads...

So what is my birth regret? Well, when I got pregnant, I wanted to have an epidural. I had said from day one after having Reilly that I would have an epidural for all of my subsequent births because it was just too painful for me to deal with. That mentality lasted all of a week or two after I got my positive pregnancy test. I had decided that I wanted to try to have a natural, drug free birth. It was the way that millions upon millions of women had given birth before me, and hopefully, millions and millions of women will do so after me. I made a choice to do my research, come up with a plan, educate my husband, and have the birth I wanted.

Well, what happened was...

I read book after book after book on how to prepare myself for child birth, what to expect, why it was better for both me, and baby, to have a natural child birth. EVERYTHING. I bought who knows how many books on the subject. Most of which I still have sitting next to my bed. I started labor, and it was easy peasy. Even my "bad" contractions when we got to the hospital weren't THAT bad. I could still handle them. And then I went into transition.

Transition: Transition is the phase of labor just before the pushing stage. At about 6 or 7 centimeters of dilation, some of the symptoms of "transition" appear. During transition, contractions become very strong, and often their duration and frequency are less predictable.

At this stage of labor, the laboring woman may feel confused or even unable to cope at all. Legs and arms may tremble uncontrollably. Belching, hiccuping, feeling nauseated or even vomiting may occur. Most women recall feeling irritable and often become astonishingly rude. The coach will need to be particularly attentive and encouraging at a time when it is not going to be too rewarding to do so. The extreme changes in body temperature will require the obvious treatment of either adding or removing blankets.

Toward the end of this accelerated phase, but often before the cervix is fully dilated, the laboring women may feel the urge to push (or what feels like the need for a bowel movement). A couple of these signs, but especially the urge to push, often indicate transition.

If no examination has taken place within the preceding half hour, the nurse should be notified of the changes. Even if it has been less than the thirty minutes and the urge to push is strong, immediately notify the attending person of this sensation. The coach's presence is most helpful during this difficult time.

And then I asked for an epidural. I told Brad I couldn't do it anymore. I didn't wanna have a baby anymore. I was done. Why I didn't figure out that it was transition is beyond me, or anyone else for that matter. I would think that OB's at least would be able to tell where a woman was in labor by how she was acting. But then again, OB's and turned birth into such a medical procedure instead of something that a woman is born to do that it's kind of amazing that they know how to handle a natural birth to begin with.

When I had dead set decided on getting an epidural, and told the nurse, she made a comment that really bothers me, even now. "So you're done trying to be a hero?" Really? REALLY?! You're kidding me right? I wasn't aware that birth was something that gave you a hero status if you did it naturally. Did women hundreds of years ago get medals or something because they gave birth without drugs? Do they get them now? And if so, where the fuck is mine? I digress. That really struck me in a bad way. I feel guilty for even mentioning the words epidural. I'm irritated and mad at myself for thinking I couldn't do it. Bradford was amazing. He kept trying to encourage me to do it the way we had planned...but in the end, he told me that I could do whatever I want. And so I decided.

Luckily for me, Ocho had different plans. She was fast and furious and wanted to get the fuck out NOW. I appreciate her so much for that. She is the sole reason I got the birth I had intended to have from the very beginning, and if either of us should get a medal for being a hero, it should be her.

I know in theory, I have zero reason to beat myself up about it. I did it naturally, with zero drugs, and the only "intervention" I even had was a fetal heart monitor, which was strapped on with barely enough time to catch Ocho's heart rate. But I still do. And I know I'll continue to do so because it makes me feel like a failure to know that I could have not said anything. I could have kept my mouth shut and just dealt with the pain. I could have kept screaming my little head off to get me through it. But I didn't. I bowed down to "the man" and asked for an epidural.

Not next time. I'll be prepared next time. I'll make it through transition. And then they'll have to give ME the medal for being a hero.