Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Birds

I really hate doing posts full of random information. But I haven't been consistent enough in my blogging, so when I finally get around to writing a post, there are a billion different things that have happened that are "blog worthy"! I know that if I don't just go ahead and put them all in one post, they will get forgotten.

So, to start things off...The hubs felt our little baby move for the first time this past Sunday. It was two weeks past the time that he felt Bug move, so he was pretty anxious for those kicks to get strong enough. And, although they were strong enough for a while, we have quite the elusive baby!

We also had our first visit with our midwife. The visit was originally scheduled for last week, but the midwife had another client that was having a baby! It was actually the fourth time she has been to our home, so we didn't really have to get acquainted, but it was a nice "first" visit. I have asked for no vaginal exams, so I didn't have to worry about that. Basically, we just talked about how I envision myself giving birth. (And we talked about the state mandatory PKU test that I will have to get county information for, before the baby comes. It's the only real test that is required by law, so I can't exactly refuse it, like I am doing with all the other stuff!) Oh, and I know I picked the right midwife, because she let me do the pee stick test (glucose, protein, ketones, etc.) all on my own. There was ABSOLUTELY nothing degrading about her visit at all. I always hated my visits with the OB during my pregnancy with Bug. I would have to strip down and lay a giant paper towel over my lap. Then expose my most private parts while my feet were in stirrups. I would have to pee in a cup, then hand it off to some stranger through the little window in the bathroom. I would be subjected to all kinds of questioning, not comfortable conversation, within the 5 or so minutes that the doc was actually by my side. I was weighed, squeezed, poked and prodded while at the OB's office. None of that happened in my home with my midwife. Ok, well...I was prodded a little bit while she felt for fundal height and fetal position (apparently, I sit in squishy and comfy seats too often, because I currently have a posterior kiddo!!!) But it was done on my own couch, and I was fully clothed. That makes a big difference!

As you can see, I am extremely happy to be having a non-medicalized birth (and pregnancy) experience this time around. It's exactly what I wanted last time, but I didn't know enough to actually get it! (As I have learned, if you do home birth in Ohio, you are kind of in this secret underground world. It was a bit difficult for me to get into it all!) But, no matter how much I want to have an unassisted childbirth, I will admit that it is nice to have a friendly person watching out for you and your baby!

Also, I have been DYING to hear the baby's heartbeat. You know, to confirm that this whole pregnancy isn't just in my head. (Sometimes my irrational self thinks that!) But, we don't want to use any ultrasound device, including a doppler. So, my midwife used her fetascope, and she was able to pick up a very faint "vibrating" sound that was the baby's heartbeat. But, because of the baby's posterior position, it was difficult to find and hear. So, I still haven't heard the heartbeat. I guess I'll hear it once the baby's born...but I really want to hear it while I'm pregnant still!!

And now for the story about the birds. (I'm sure you all have been wondering why the title of this post is The Birds, and I'm just now mentioning birds.) In the corner of our small deck, we have an open, half empty bag of potting soil. The other day, I thought I saw a small bird fly into the bag. I told the hubby, "There's a bird in that bag!" So, he and Bug went out to investigate. They got really close, and I was beginning to wonder if the bird hadn't really flown into the bag. Bug was the closest and as the hubs leaned over the bag to peer inside of it, a bird burst out of the bag into full flight! (I really think the bird hit Bug in the chest on its way out, because nearly every time since then, when I mention "the bird" Bug hits his chest while saying, "Birrr".) It was very exciting to have the bird fly out, but it scared poor Bug. He refuses to get too close to the bag now!

A day or two later, I went out and looked in the bag. I was NOT expecting a bird to be in there, I was just curious about why a bird was in there before. But, to my surprise, a bird flew out once I got really close. Once the bird was out, I looked into the bag. It was full of leaves and twigs and pine needles. That bird was building a nest in our bag of dirt!!! I couldn't figure out what kind of bird it was, because I was always seeing it while it was in flying away at full speed. I knew it was small and brownish. I guessed it was either a brown creeper or a tufted titmouse.

Finally, yesterday (too chilly to go out or have the door open), I was sitting on the floor at an angle that allowed me to see the bag of soil. And I finally saw the birds while they were sitting still!!! I successfully identified the birds as........HOUSE WRENS!

I am excited about the learning opportunity that this could be for Bug, but I don't want to cause any harm to the birds (especially the babies, when they hatch). But it has been very uplifting to me, to have song birds nesting in my bag of dirt!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


When I first got pregnant with Bug, and started thinking about breastfeeding, I knew I wanted to nurse at least a year. That was the AAP's recommendation. So, I nursed a year. In the meanwhile, though, I had learned that nursing never really loses its benefits. The WHO's recommendation was to nurse for two years (and longer if desired by both mother and child). So, I decided that I wanted to nurse for two years. I loved the idea of child-led weaning (CLW)...even though there were times when I refused to let Bug nurse, and I think that's against the rules of CLW. All the same, I knew that if Bug wanted to keep nursing after he turned two, I would let him. Even when I got pregnant, I knew I wanted to keep nursing Bug, if he wanted it. I often thought about tandem nursing Bug and the new baby. I really had mixed feelings about it, as I have had mixed feelings about nursing whenever it gets difficult! But, I knew I would do it, if that's what Bug really wanted and needed.

Bug is only a couple of weeks away from turning two. For the past couple of weeks, Bug has only been nursing for nap time, and rarely for bedtime. Everyday around 2pm, Bug would demand to nurse...and if he couldn't nurse, he wouldn't nap. I figured that I would be nursing him down for a nap for a long time still, because he seemed so attached to that. It wasn't so bad for me though, because it meant I could lay down for a nap, too. (And what pregnant woman doesn't want to take a daily nap??)

Apparently, a long Saturday away from home and then a long Sunday, with afternoon church services, would be all that Bug needed to decide he didn't need his nursies any more. When Monday's nap time came around, all Bug wanted was to hold his nursies...but he didn't want to nurse. And he fell asleep. Same for Tuesday. Today is day five of absolutely no nursing [so far].

I think I'm a little bit in shock with it all. I really did want to wean Bug. And I had been secretly hoping that he would decide he was done with it -before- the new baby came. But, at the same time, I have enjoyed how easy it made parenting. I've been going through the pros and cons of nursing a toddler a lot lately. And, consequently, I have been arguing back and forth with myself about whether to wean...or not.

-I must be with Bug in order for him to nurse. That gives me less time for myself.
-Sometimes, especially once I became pregnant, nursing HURT! (Especially once my milk supply vanished.)
-Bug often would whine and pull at my shirt and throw a fit if I wouldn't/couldn't nurse him exactly when he wanted to nurse.

-Magic Mommy Milk soothes tears of all kinds (whether there is actually milk in there or not!)
-Teeny tiny bits of immunity boosting colostrum are probably still getting into Bug's system, even if I think I'm as dry as the Sahara!
-Easy way to get Bug to sleep.
-Easy way to keep Bug in bed when -I- want to sleep!
-I cherish the closeness and bonding that we have in the nursing relationship (provided I'm not all touched out and cranky when Bug decides he wants to nurse!)

This is definitely not a comprehensive list. It's hard to remember every feeling I have about nursing when I haven't nursed Bug in 5 days! But, I always realize that the Pros list is longer. That's why I was willing to keep it up, even when it was hard or annoying.

I'm kind of surprised that Bug decided he didn't need his nursies anymore, before he turned two. I really thought we would make that milestone (and we were SO close!!). But, I have to remember, this isn't a race for me to win. It was all about making sure my child had all the physical and emotional support that he needed, when he needed it. And I'm still doing that, just in different ways.

So now, when we lay in bed for nap time, I just let Bug put his hands up my shirt and hold on to his nursies. It's a process, both gentle and turbulent. I'm just glad to know that Bug will never wean off of hugs and kisses!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Baby Nudges

This is my first time trying to blog while pregnant. I'm discovering that it is difficult for me. Really, keeping up with any project has been difficult for me. I have ZERO motivation to do anything other than read Ina May's Guide to Childbirth for the hundredth time!

Let me tell you what I have been trying to work on, with no real success, during this pregnancy.
 -I have been trying to sew a patchwork skirt. It is so ridiculously close to being done...but it has been sitting in the closet for the past two months.
-I have a series of three paintings (that are actually pregnancy/childbirth/breastfeeding related) that I started, but haven't finished yet. They have been sitting under the computer desk for the past three months.
-I have been trying to read some casual fiction books. I made it through Alice in Wonderland, but not Through the Looking Glass.
-I always try to work on housework (i.e., halfheartedly straighten up). I don't think there is ever real success there.
-I have been trying to learn Spanish with the Rosetta Stone software on which we spent a small fortune. Pretty much as soon as I found out I was pregnant, I started napping instead of speaking espanol!

Sadly, I don't even think that is know that isn't a complete list of the things I have been unsuccessful in completing (see, I can't even make a complete list)! I blame the baby -poor unborn kiddo- for "eating my brain". Spoonerisms and my new found (and rarely needed before) relationship with spell check are also evidence that my brain is slowly liquefying this pregnancy.

BUT, I am finally getting to the part of being pregnant that makes being pregnant super fun! First of all, the smell of food no longer makes me want to lay on the couch and die. That's always a good thing! Second, the bloat that put me in maternity clothes at 8 weeks has now grown into a bonefide baby belly...and people are commenting on it and my pregnancy! "You have such a cute belly!" "How are you feeling?" "You're lookin' pregnant now!" You know you are pregnant when you get comments like those!

And finally....(we'll ignore the heartburn, because that isn't super fun)....baby nudges! I am finally feeling the baby move and kick every day. I felt a tiny little flutter one day around 12 weeks. Then nothing for a week or so. Then I felt another little nudge. Then nothing. Then a little more. They are building up, slowly and calmly, but steadily.

When I was pregnant with Bug, I felt the first movements at 16 weeks. And from what I remember, they picked up very quickly. And they got pretty hard, really fast. The hubs even got to feel the movement by 20 weeks.

This time, it isn't coming on so rapidly. I DID feel movement much earlier. But it hasn't come on all at once. (I'm really thinking, and hoping, that this baby is a girl. I know every pregnancy is different, but I can still hope!) This baby is much more mellow. I'm totally ok with that! Bug is a firecracker!! I need a chill kid to keep the family balanced. Even now, at the time of my previous pregnancy when other people could feel the jabs, the kicks I feel are feeble. But it is enough to know that I really do have a healthy baby growing in there. It is very satisfying.

The next 20 or so weeks are going to just fly by!