27 October, 2011

24 Weeks Already....*sigh*

Today, I went to my 24 week appointment at the OB/GYN clinic. I'm technically seeing midwives...however, I believe that they are truly more "med-wives" than the traditional midwife. The woman I saw today has been doing midwifery since 1982...so longer than I've been alive. She's seen many a birth. She told me today that I am "her type" of patient...because I'm informed and want to take control of my birth.

I didn't like her one bit.

Since I actually gave birth to Ophelia pretty quickly (labored at home until I felt I needed to go to the hospital, got to the hospital at 5cm, but pretty much as soon as my water broke, she was outta there), I asked what would be good to have on hand just in case we got stuck in traffic or something. Ya know...because it COULD HAPPEN.

Her response?

"Oh. Talk to the hospital and let them know what happened last time. Then just go in at the first sign of labor."



You want me...the woman who doesn't even want an IV stuck in her hand to go into a hospital at the FIRST SIGN OF LABOR?! If you haven't read my birth story, I started having contractions at 3:30pm. They were noticeable and semi-regular. They weren't painful, just irritating. But it was the beginning of labor. My delivery was super quick. It took 9 hours for my contractions to get bad enough that I thought "hey, maaayyyybbbeee I should go to the hospital"...it was just once I got there that things went really fast. But I can't understand why a midwife would suggest going into the hospital at the very first sign of labor, especially when my delivery is what is quick, not my labor (which, she didn't even ask about...and I'm sure I won't ever see her again so she'll never get a chance to ask).

Maybe I'm more irritated about it than I should be. But should I really have to rely on going to the hospital instead of just being prepared? I have had uncomplicated pregnancies and uncomplicated deliveries. My babies have both been born healthy and there is nothing that is pointing towards Bachman's birth being any different. Instead of telling me to do something that will ensure I get all the interventions I don't want (EFM, IV, etc) why not suggest a few supplies that I could easily get on hand that would be useful in helping my husband delivering a baby before we get to the hospital?

I'm really frustrated. I don't want to go to the hospital at all...but there are no birth centers (that I've found) on the island. My options are deliver at Tripler again...which, my birth experience with Ophelia wasn't horrible...I want to make that clear. My problem was the lack of personal care, the fact that I was just another person in a bed...the fact that if I had been admitted, I would have been forced to follow certain procedures...the fact that I gave birth to my daughter in a brightly lit triage room with close to a dozen nurses that were unnecessary.

I don't want any of that...Not this time. Not with my last baby.

My other options include a UC birth (unassisted childbirth) or a home birth with a non-certified nurse midwife, which my insurance will not pay for. According to Tricare, they will only cover CNM's for home birth, even though CNM's rarely do home births.

While I believe that we (Brad and I) could have a baby at home, all by ourselves, on purpose, it honestly isn't my first choice. The "what-ifs" for me are almost too great. Would we do it if we had to? Absolutely...my births have not been high risk and the girls have been fine...however, I do like the knowledge that someone will be there who knows exactly what to do in case of an emergency.

So after digging around and doing some research, I found Sacred Healing Arts. Its a group of women who practice Naturopathic Medicine, Oriental Medicine and Midwifery. I had run across them before when I was pregnant with Ophelia, but nothing ever came of it. So I sent them an email (I've been sick and talking on the phone is not really in....well...anyone's best interest really. I sound all gross and raspy). I'll be interested to see what they say...and then try to figure out what I'm going to do about it. I haven't decided. Its not going to be cheap and going to the hospital is free for us because of our insurance.

We'll see how it all works out. I've just been so upset all day after talking to the CNM...I don't feel listened to...I don't feel like anyone is standing behind me....I don't feel comfortable. I'm there at the office for 15 minutes. They take my temperature and blood pressure. Measure my belly. Listen to the heartbeat...tell me when to show up for my next appointment. Any questions are just answered quickly. My cold magically turned into allergies as soon as I started to ask about it.

It's sad to me when I feel like I can do better on my own....on the internet or through friends or books....than I can sitting in my doctors office for 15 minutes.

Like I said...maybe I'm being too emotional about this...maybe I'm logical in my own right...but I'll figure this all out. I just want this to be the best birth. This IS my last baby.

I'll keep you all updated when I figure it all out.

11 October, 2011

Court is Today

So today is the day. Court day. If you've been paying attention to the ongoing court situation (part 1 and part 2) today is the day of our hearing. We are actually going to go to court, sit in front of a judge, have him/her look over our case and decide what would be the best course of action in petitioning for Brad to legally adopt Reilly.

We haven't heard anything from Reilly's natural father (no text messages, phone calls, Facebook messages, emails, etc) or from anyone who could possibly be representing him...though I've gotten a hint from his facebook (a mutual friend...well...a friend of mine really...pointed out his current status that asks his friends to cross their fingers for him) that he may be at least calling in. I don't believe there is any chance that he will actually show up...but there's a chance that he'll be present. Though, I can't imagine why....he hasn't spoken to her in 10 months.

Yes...I keep reiterating that. I keep saying that he doesn't talk to her or he doesn't email her or ask to talk to her. I have to. While I've said that I completely understand if people want to take sides, I need the people who take HIS side to understand that I didn't wake up one morning and think "hmm! How can I fuck him over today?!" -- it's not like that. This hasn't been a problem for days or weeks, this has been a problem for years. This isn't that I'm just being mean. I'm trying to protect MY child from disappointment. I want people...especially people who know him...to understand that this isn't some fucking pitty party that needs to be thrown. I expect good, quality people to want to be involved in their child's life, regardless of where that child is. I live thousands and thousands of miles away from my parents and I still keep in contact with them. Even when I was a bitter, angsty teenager I had a better relationship with my parents (who I "hated") than he does with his daughter. And there are so many things out there now -- she has her own laptop with a webcam on it that I would be more than happy to download Skype on so she could sit in the play room and have a conversation with her natural father. But instead, he chooses not to.

I woke up this morning excited. My friend informed me of his status (remember, the one asking for fingers to be crossed). I got nervous...well...more nervous than I was previously. Court is always nerve wracking. But the more I think about it, the less nervous I decided I was...I know that Brad and I have done everything we possibly can for Reilly -- emotionally, mentally, physically and monetarily....but I'm angry. I'm angry at Brett for thinking he deserves some kind of sympathy from his friends and family when it's his fault that he doesn't have s relationship with his daughter. I'm angry that he thinks he deserves to even have a relationship with her now.

People say that DNA doesn't make a daddy. My husband is proof of that. Will he ever be biologically related to Reilly? No. But, he doesn't need to have the same DNA as her to be her dad. He has proven time and time and time again that he is up for the responsibility (in every single way) of taking care of her for....well....basically ever! Because of Brett's disability, he is at home almost all the time. He continually has access to a computer with a webcam and Skype. He also has access to a phone. He has the time. But instead of taking 20 minutes of out his day to talk to his daughter...to ask how school was...or what she's learning...or ask her what she can read all by herself...or who her friends are......he plays facebook games or WoW, or reads comic books.

You know what Brad does when Reilly gets home from school? He helps her with her homework. We all talk about what happened during the day.

So that's my pre-court "rant" of sorts. I'm not nervous. I'm confident that Brad and I are the best parents for Reilly. I am confident that her natural father doesn't have a leg to stand on. I'm confident that today will go in our favor. But I'm still nervous as hell.

And for everyone who thinks they are doing anyone a favor by feeling sorry for him...the only person you are doing a favor for is him. He needs someone to feel sorry for him. But this court hearing isn't about HIM. It's not about ME or BRAD or any one else. The only person it is about, is REILLY. And what is going to benefit HER in the long run. And what she's been through. And who has been there for her. And who WILL be there for her in the next weeks, months and years. Not who's DNA she's made out of.

I'll update everyone later about how it went.

Okay...now I'm nervous.


10 October, 2011

My Take on the Minimalist Baby

With BB's (Baby Bachman's -- and oh, it's a boy!! I don't think I've blogged since we found out!) due date fast approaching, we obviously are going to be in need of baby items.

I've taken somewhat different approaches to baby gear with the last two.

With Reilly, I wanted awesomeness in any way possible. Baby gear out the ass. Did I get it all? No. Of course not. (I'm not THAT spoiled) but I got what I needed and THEN SOME.

With Ophelia, we were so close to moving by the time I had my baby shower that I really only asked for the basics....but I still ended up with stuff that I didn't need or really utilize.

So with BB, I've decided that I don't need anything else other than the basics. I have a lot of stuff left over from Ophelia that I can use -- breast pump, boppy, pack and play (to use as a make shift crib until we can get one that isn't ridiculously expensive OR just a crib...convertible all the way!) a couple of bottles and some "entertain small baby" toys. I also have an entire bin full of blankets (wtf?) and my Moby Wrap. We have the little things too...baby nail clippers? Check. I think we have two sets even. Burp cloths and wash clothswe also have! In abundance (thanks mama!

So I have baby things. I'm not planning on buying a ton for BB. I don't really *need* a whole lot! There are some things though...like almost every baby, you do need some things.

My minimalist list for BB:
-convertible (not infant) car seat. Ophelia hated her infant car seat and we'll be buying a convertible car seat in the not too distant future, so we're opting to invest in one from the get-go.
-double stroller for Ophelia and Bachman. We actually use our stroller a decent amount of the time right now...especially when I walk Reilly down to the bus stop. It will be nice once Bachman gets older too and it isn't comfortable for me to wear him in the Moby wrap.
-cloth diapers. This one I'm a little worried about...I haven't been CDing Ophelia for 2 months or so now. We hit a snag that I needed to take care of (maybe worth a blog post later) and we switched to disposables for Ophelia's sake. I've had a hard time getting back to CDing for a variety of reasons, but I plan on hopefully finding a way to make it work for our family again.
-an acceptable amount of clothing for a BB At least enough clothing for two changes/day if necessary for a week plus a couple outfits for laundry days. Including some jammies. But we live in Hawaii...he doesn't need an abundance of pants or socks or jackets or anything like that.

There will be a couple more things here and there I'm sure...but mostly, this is the list I'm going off of. He'll be a newborn, what the hell else will he need?? Sure, a couple of months after he's born, we might get him an exersaucer (not Ophelia's...because...well...hers is bright pink). It'll probably be nice to have a little play mat at some point too...Ophelia seemed to dig hers for quite some time. But I think instead of buying mostly new (Ophelia's exersaucer was found on Craigs List), we're going to go for mostly used this time around. There are some things that I do want to buy new because both Ophelia and BB will get use out of them. A nice new baby monitor. If our house was one level, I probably wouldn't bother....but its not. And since Ophelia will be moving into her own room before BB comes along, we'll need one for her. Then, when BB moves into his own room. Baby gates are a must. We have one crappy one...I'd like two not so crappy ones. But honestly, that's about it.

Of course, as he (and Ophelia) gets older, he'll need more things. More clothes...or rather, different kinds of clothing (tshirts and shorts instead of onsies), shoes and socks, pants and jackets when we move back to the mainland. But in the first year, Ophelia didn't really need a whole lot. She didn't need a new outfit for every single day. I actually liked just letting her hang out in stained clothes if we were just gonna be at home...why not? The likelihood of her getting MORE stains on them was pretty huge...so instead of ruining new clothes, she can just ruin old, already ruined clothes! With the abundance of toys Ophelia has collected over the last year, I won't need to buy much. I don't need twenty million binkies hanging around my house -- unless BB turns out to be a binky baby, which Ophelia wasn't. Then maybe we'll have like, five. I'll be breastfeeding 99% of the time again, so we won't need an entire stash of bottles...just a couple for here and there times....like when my parents and inlaws come to visit and maybe the husband and I can have date night.

Plus, I'm on this minimalist kick anyway. I look around my house and I get irritated. I don't want to clean up the house because it'll be cluttered again in 20 minutes (not an exaggeration either). I have a list of things to start minimizing and BB's stuff will be an on-going project until he's born....and then after -- along with the girls.

If I can actually take the time to sit down and blog...which...I seem to keep promising...and failing miserably at...I might write about my new minimalist obsession and what I plan on doing about it. I have lists and plans...and they might get done in a timely manner. Especially with Christmas around the corner. Yeesh.

So that's my plan for BB.

Are you a minimalist mom or do you need all the awesome gadgets for a new baby? And yes some of them are pretty awesome. Someone them....not so much. Like the "baby keurig"...that makes a bottle of formula for you. Seems like a waste of counter space to me. Though...maybe that's why I (now) consider myself a minimalist mom...I don't need that kinda stuff.

07 October, 2011

Lawyer Meeting

So a couple weeks ago I blogged about what we were doing and our super secret news...and WHY exactly we were going down the road that we chose to go down.

Well, we are less than a week away from our court date and I'm getting more nervous and excited the closer it comes to the court date. Court is next Tuesday. Yesterday, we went to meet with the lawyer who will be representing us at the hearing.

For the last month or so, I've been nervous as hell. The what-ifs have been flowing. But today, when we met with our lawyer most of that changed. I'm still nervous...but not as nervous as I was before.

We went over what was basically going to happen...apparently adoption cases are pretty cut and dry. Which is pretty understandable, especially since it is looking pretty doubtful that Reilly's natural father will be in attendance in any way.

She's expecting this to go pretty quick...and really, the only thing that may take some time would be waiting until our names are called.

So if all goes well, it could be finalized as soon as Tuesday.

We also discussed after the adoption is finalized...I was under the assumption for some reason that this would be a closed adoption -- meaning that Reilly's natural father would not be able to have any contact with her legally. But I found out today that that isn't the case. There is nothing *legally* keeping him from trying to contact her, except for Brad and I...which is fine...and I think beneficial in the long run. If, a couple years down the line, she decides she wants to know about him or what happened, I will have no problem telling her, and with all the social media and google, she'd have no problem finding him...though I think right now, it is better left as a "closed" thing on our end...not that he seems to want any contact with her to begin with.  I mean...I didn't stay friends with her biological father AND his mother on facebook just because it's fun. I kept that line of communication open specifically for Reilly. I let them catch glimpses into my life for my daughter.

This whole situation makes me happy for our family. For Reilly, who will legally have an amazing father. Not that she hasn't the last 4 years...Brad has been there for her when she's needed a father. He's been there for her for 4 years.And making it legal will just be the icing on the cake.

But it makes me sad too. It makes me sad that I believed Reilly's natural father when he said that he loved her. That he'd take care of her. That he'd never let anything hurt her. And he lied. He lied to me. And ultimately, he lied to Reilly. He let HIS issues/problems/entertainment/well being/LIFE come before his child. And do you know why that is wrong? When you become a parent...to one child, three children, or ten children...your life is no longer yours. Your needs and comfort and entertainment no longer come first 100% of the time. Sometimes, it's okay to take time to yourself...to have alone time or a date night. To go out with friends. But when you put yourself first...before your children...any chance you get...that's not right. And it's not being a *real* parent.

Reilly has stopped asking...she's stopped caring....she's stopped questioning. She might do it all again one day...but as of right now, she doesn't even know that they are on the same planet, let alone related by blood. And I'm more than okay with that. She has everything and everyone she absolutely needs, right here in our house.

I'm so ready for Tuesday.