Sunday, August 29, 2010

The PP Diaries: But wait, there's more!

Dear PP Diary,

I neglected to mention a couple of things in my last entry. Like, waking up every night drenched in sweat. Crying about every little thing. (Oh, I did kind of mention that...Yeah, I'm gonna add it again. 'Cause I'm probably crying about something else this time!) Dying to get out of the house, but knowing it's not a good idea quite yet.

And that SPD does -not- go away right after the birth. Rolling over in bed is still horrible. My hips still feel like they are splitting in two. All my joints are apparently still blissed out in relaxin....which apparently has a half life of one million years....or something like that.

The swelling doesn't go away immediately either. Uhm...I would like to wear my wedding ring again someday. Today, preferably.

Is there anything else I should mention? (So I can try to keep all the depressing stuff somewhat together?)

Love, Mallory

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Postpartum Diaries

Dear PP Diary,

I forgot how confused your organs get after delivering a baby. For the first couple of days, mine were asking, "Now....where the heck do we belong???" It felt weird to stand up straight, because my abdominal muscles were (are) so shot. I can feel about two finger widths of separation between the muscles. Too bad I'm such a lazy bum that I probably won't ever do anything to correct that!

I also forgot that around 3 days after the baby is born, your breasts turn into huge, hard lumps of heat and milk. I feel so bad for Gizmo. How on earth do you latch on to a rock? Of course, I should be feeling more sorry for myself...because a bad latch hurts!

Hemorrhoids suck even worse after the delivery. Even worse than peeing on that little skid mark tear. And worse than having a crotch that smells like days old birth, no matter how many times you wash, thanks to the continual flow of lochia.

A couple days after the baby comes, the ecstasy of the birth starts to fade. And the tears threaten to fall. And suddenly everything you husband does (and doesn't do) is annoying.

Meconium diapers are horrible, even without it sticking to the baby's butt. Babies hate diaper changes. Waiting for that umbilical cord stump to fall off is agonizing! Diapering a baby with an umbilical cord stump is pretty close to torture...for both babe and mom.

Love, Mallory

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Birth Story: Gizmo

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010. Around 5:30am: I woke up with a full bladder. But getting out of bed when you are hugely pregnant is hard…so I laid there for a few minutes, debating how full my bladder –really- was, and whether or not I could just try to sleep until there was actually daylight outside. Then, I had a contraction. 5:37am. It didn’t feel any different than the contractions that I had been having for a couple weeks already. In fact, I had even had worse contractions just a few nights before! But, there was something –spiritually- different. There was a little, hinted whisper that this was “it”. Although, I was very, very hesitant to declare that.

I did get up to relieve myself, and have another contraction on the toilet. Then I tried to go back to sleep. The contractions kept coming, 5-8 minutes apart. Pretty easy to handle. At 6:20am, Scotty’s [aka "hubby"] alarm went off, and he crawled out of bed to get ready for work. I told him that I was having contractions, and that I thought maybe this was for real, but I wasn’t sure. I told him to go ahead and get ready for work. While he was in the shower, I prayed to my Heavenly Father, asking Him to give me a confirmation of whether or not to send Scotty to work before it was actually time to send him out the door!

Once Scotty was dressed and ready, I got out of bed and we ate breakfast together. The contractions were much more comfortable to take when I was standing up and leaning on something. I had to stop and stand three times while trying to eat my cereal. Scotty kept looking at me like, “you are totally in labor”. All I could do was giggle at him between contractions and tell him to stop looking at me like that! It was between 7 and 7:30am that Scotty decided to stay home. I think –he- was the one who received the confirmation to stay, more than I did!

After breakfast, I brushed my teeth and got in the shower. I thought I was just taking a normal shower (stopping every now and then to lean my head against the cool tile and sway through a contraction)…but apparently it was a lot longer than I usually take. Scotty came in to check on me, and asked how many contractions I had been having. Enough. They did seem to be coming closer together, as well. I immediately decided that I wanted my mom to come and braid my hair. And then I had another contraction that made me want to vocalize a little. I told Scotty to call my mom and tell her to come. I got out of the shower at about 8:30am. Scotty also called his mother, who was invited to be there. I remember Scotty saying, while on the phone with her, “You should probably come now. [pause]. Yes, I’m serious.”

When I got out of the shower, I decided that I didn’t really want to get dressed, but I didn’t want my mom to show up to find me in all my naked glory! So, I put my robe on. I put my towel on the floor right next to the bed, and knelt on top of it. I leaned onto the bed while kneeling or standing and rocking while I had contractions. Every now and then, I would get up and walk around the room, but I kept going back to leaning forward. The contractions were getting to the point where I really wanted to vocalize through them. I was also starting to move into Laborland, although I stayed fairly well aware of my surroundings pretty much the whole time.

Scotty was starting to run around the house, getting things cleaned up and ready. I kept worrying about where my comb was between contractions (I could have sworn it was behind the couch), because I still wanted my mom to braid my hair when she arrived. And I was beginning to wonder what was taking her so long! (She apparently thought she had plenty of time!) Soon, I decided that I wanted a snack. Scotty got me some grapes to eat, and I had a cup of water that always seemed to be out of reach. And I was feeling hot…so I needed that water! When I was down on the floor, my cup was on the headboard. When I was up leaning on the bed, my cup was on the floor. It was around this time that I took my robe off…even though nobody had shown up yet, so it was pointless for me to have put it on in the first place. And I wanted a cool washcloth for my face and neck.

I started to moan through my contractions, and I would mentally tell myself to keep it low and loose. Near the end of the contraction, I would blow my lips like a horse, as a final relaxation technique, so I could rest more easily between the contractions. And I decided that I really did need to rest between contractions. I had been staying down, leaning on my arms, and I was beginning to feel tired. The pinky finger on my right hand was going numb…and it stayed numb for a couple hours after the birth, even! I tried to lie on the bed, but every time I had a contraction, I had to hop onto the floor and lean on the bed. Finally, just a little before 10am, my mom arrived. But it was too late for her to braid my hair. And my mother-in-law arrived just shortly after.

I had a prenatal scheduled with my midwife and her assistant for that day at 10am. My midwife scheduled it for that day, the day –she- predicted the baby would be born, due to the full moon. It made things convenient for them, for me to be in labor then! The assistant, Deann, arrived just shortly after 10am. When she came in, I’m pretty sure the first words she said to me were, “You look beautiful!” It was so sweet to hear, and when I think of those words now, I think about my divine nature. God gave me this beautiful body and the ability to birth babies! Deann started quietly pulling things out of our “birth basket” (all the supplies needed had been gathered together in a laundry basket).

Scotty kept running around to take care of things, and I had to keep calling him to me, to be my support. I would have him rub my back. But if he did it even slightly wrong, I would say “no!” and have him try something different. My midwife, Marlene, showed up around 10:30am. Marlene lives two hours away, so Scotty had called her around 8:30am (when she should have been on her way anyway) to let her know that she would be staying a little longer than for just a prenatal, and she still hadn’t left yet. Apparently, she left pretty quickly after that! I was only slightly aware of her arrival. I remember hearing her talking in the other room, and being introduced to my mom and mother-in-law. (Honestly, I don’t remember actually seeing her until right before the baby was born!)

Soon, the contractions were getting pretty hard to handle. I kept analyzing myself throughout the whole labor, wondering what stage I was in, whether it was taking the appropriate amount of time, yadda yadda; consequences of being a birth geek, I guess. I remember at this point beginning to feel like I might not be able to handle things. I thought to myself, this better be transition…or else I don’t think I can do this! (Classic “transition”!)  

I really had to pee, and an empty bladder is better for birthing. But, from my experiences earlier in labor, I knew that the toilet brought on much stronger contractions. I really wasn’t interested in –that- happening at that point. I decided that I was ok with getting in the shower, just to pee. I had Scotty keep the water on my lower back. Then, I had a contraction that had me on my hands and knees. And I started feeling pushy. I told Scotty that I was feeling pushy, and I wanted to get out.  

Right after I got out of the shower, I tried to lie down on the bed. I was able to handle two contractions lying down; then I just –HAD- to get up on my hands and knees. We piled a ton of pillows up for me to lean on, while kneeling on the bed. I kept announcing that I was feeling pushy. (Of course, from my sounds and actions, everyone else already knew that!) Marlene then told me she wanted to check the baby’s heartbeat in between contractions. I knew I was right in between one, so I quickly leaned back so she could get to my belly. She used a Doppler, and it was the first time we had used one (we normally used a fetascope), so that was the first time I heard my baby’s heartbeat….and I was so far into labor that it didn’t even register! 

I was pushing, involuntarily, with every contraction now. It was such a strong and uncontrollable urge. My vocalizations were turning more grunty and animalistic, with a touch of “loss of control”. Deann kept gently reminding me to keep it low and relax. I had another contraction that came with a flow of what I thought was urine. I announced, “I think I peed!” To which everyone chuckled and Marlene responded, “Or your water broke.”  

With every urge to push, I told everyone I was “pushy! pushy!” And soon, I was feeling a lot of pressure in my crotch, which led me to tell everyone it felt “burn-y! burn-y!” I knew labor felt a lot like a huge bowel movement, and I know women often think they have to poop, when it is really just the baby coming down. Still, I had to ask, “Am I pooping? Or is that the baby?” It was a little of both. Marlene had baby wipes for my butt, and a nice, warm, ginger and almond oil compress for my perineum. I remembered my labor with Bug, and now nice pushing was. It hurt more this time (probably because my hemorrhoids), but it was still so nice knowing that I was being so productive!  

Then, I –knew- my water had really broken. I felt it gushing with my pushes, and I felt the baby moving down more quickly. I wanted to ask what kind of progress I was making. It was burning so badly, but I wasn’t even sure if the baby was visible yet! But, then I was told that I could touch the baby’s head. I reached down to feel the squishy, wrinkled mound of head coming. It felt so good to have my hand down there. I wanted to keep my hand down to apply counter pressure to my labia, but I couldn’t support both my crotch and my body at the same time.  

Around this time, truly just minutes before the birth, my mother-in-law, my mother, and Bug were all in to watch the baby be born. I pushed with more vigor when I knew the baby’s head was so nearly out. Then, the head was out, followed quickly by the body. I love that wonderful feeling of release when the baby comes out! Scotty caught the baby, and announced, “It’s a boy!” I thought, for just a split second, that he had to be joking. I honestly thought I was having a girl! Bug was fascinated while watching the birth. And when the baby was born, he announced to the room, “Bobby!” Which is Bug-speak for “baby”. [We have chosen a nickname for the blog, thanks to my little sister. Boy number two will be known as “Gizmo”.] 

I was still on my hands and knees, and I hadn’t seen the baby yet. I was so overwhelmed with those wonderful birthing hormones, that I was a little bit confused about how to go about turning around to hold my baby! I eventually got it (while trying not to kick anyone in the head) and Scotty placed our little boy in my arms. I was overjoyed! I had given birth! At home! In such a short amount of time! It all felt so surreal. 

I eventually mustered up enough energy and interest in pushing out the placenta. We waited about an hour before cutting the cord and taking stats. I tried to get Gizmo to nurse. He wasn’t all that interested, he just licked and nuzzled. I was checked over, in the meantime, and found I just had one small skidmark (I found later that I had another itty bitty one, higher up) but no major tears. 

The boy names that we had picked out during the pregnancy didn’t seem right to us. It took nearly an hour, but eventually we did give our little boy a name. Soon, we started passing Gizmo around to everyone who was there (and everyone who was showing up), while I went to take a soak in a nice, herbal postpartum bath. It was very nice to relax. I felt wonderful! 

We are so pleased to announce our second son, Gizmo. Born at 11:26am. 8lbs 2oz, 19 ¾” long.  

Born at home. Born in peace. Born in love.

While you're waiting....

I know everyone is anxious to read the birth story, but I haven't gotten around to it quite yet! In the meantime, here are some pictures for your viewing pleasure.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Welcome Baby!

Our baby was born this morning! It's a boy! I haven't decided what his nickname for the blog is going to be, yet. So, that will probably be given when I write out the birth story. He was born at home, after 6 hours of labor, at 11:26am. He was 8lbs 2oz, 19 3/4" long.

Bug was able to see the birth (from crowning to birth). He was very interested, and once the baby was out all the way, he excitedly said, "Bobby!" (Which is his way of saying "Baby!")

We are all so thrilled and in love!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Cranky Hag

There should be a rule, that if you are in a consistently bad mood for over 48 hours within three weeks of your due date, your body should kick into labor and just birth that baby!

I have been in a bad mood for nearly three weeks now. Honestly, I have been foul. And, because I don't swear, the only word to describe me would be "hag". (And don't tell me I'm not a hag, because I've been living with myself for these three weeks that I've been acting this way...and I've been a hag.) I think I've been throwing more tantrums than my two year old. I struggle to show even the tiniest bit of affection. I don't want to do anything. I'm exhausted. I have absolutely no patience...which means that I have been yelling at Bug for the smallest things.

Today, around lunch time (which means I was hungry, and tired...because nap time is right after lunch), I was actually so irritated with everything that my body was shaking. I had to put myself in a time out so I wouldn't do something that I would regret.

I know emotions like these are "normal" in late pregnancy....but I hate it. PLEASE come now, little baby!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Life as a stay-at-home mom can be very repetitive. Oh, don't get me wrong. I absolutely love being able to stay home and raise my family. But, sometimes I don't even know what day of the week it is. It's almost always the same: wake up, breakfast, dishes, laundry, lunch, vacuum, dishes, clean [a room], laundry, change a diaper, shower, dinner, bedtime. Over and over and over.

And those little fingernails keep growing. No matter how many times I clip them, I have to do it again and again. Clipping fingernails is torture. TORTURE. For both me and the kiddo. When Bug was little, people would tell me to just clip his nails once he was asleep. To which I would say, "ARE YOU FREAKING CRAZY!?!? Do you know how long it took me to get him to sleep!?!?" Bug was a pretty light sleeper. I know that he would have woken right up on the first clip if I had tried to declaw him while he slept.

So we did this.

Now that Bug is older, the rolling and punching and kicking is worse. And it hurts more. But, those nails still need to be clipped. And now Bug has -words- to put along with getting his nails clipped. "It hur's!" he whines, "It hur's!!!!"

Can you believe it? This kid apparently has nerves in his fingernails.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Another Photo Update

Here I am at 38 weeks. I know I should be more patient and mentally preparing for a 40+ week pregnancy...but every fiber of my body is wanting this baby to come NOW!!! For one, I haven't even heard this baby's heartbeat yet! (We have requested to not use any ultrasound devices, not even a Doppler, so the heartbeat must be heard through a fetascope.) The Hubs finally got to hear it at our last prenatal. The smile on his face made my heart melt. But at the same time, I was so jealous!!!

Another reason that I can't wait for this baby to come (other than for the cessation of all my aches and pains) is that I want to know what sex this baby is!!! EVERYONE keeps asking, "Do you know what you're having?" Uhm...yeah....a baby. But I don't know if it's a girl baby or a boy baby. I knew at 20 weeks with Bug, that I was having a boy. This time, I have been trying to hard to just go with the flow of pregnancy and ignore the super intense desire to know what I'm having! People ask me how I do it, going through the whole pregnancy without knowing the sex. Honestly, I have no idea. But, there's nothing I can do about it (other than go get an ultrasound, which I'm -not- going to do) so I might as well try not to let it make me crazy!

Yesterday, my sister asked me if I felt like I have been able to bond with this baby pre-birth. Especially in comparison to my pregnancy with Bug. I told her that I might have been a little bit more "bonded" with Bug before he was born, because I -did- hear his heartbeat and I knew he was a boy. (Although, I was calling him a different name up until 36 weeks!)  But, I'm not one of those women who talks, sings and reads to their belly. I do have a hard time seeing my huge belly as being an actual baby. I think I have been more distanced from this particular pregnancy. But I also feel more confident in my abilities to gestate. Before I started feeling this baby move a lot, I often thought the whole pregnancy was something that I have made up in my head. But, I haven't felt like I've needed someone to tell me that I am doing the whole pregnancy thing right.

The good thing about having a baby, though, is that the bonding comes almost instantly when the baby is in your arms!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Pregnant Woman, Her Tender Parts...and The Bathroom

"And remember, this is for posterity. So, please be honest."
This post has been classified TMI. Continue reading at your own risk.

When you get pregnant, there are a lot of things people just happen to "forget" to tell you. Of course, a lot of people don't want to ruin the euphoria of pregnancy, so they just smile and nod at you...knowing that you'll figure it out eventually. This is especially true for the relationship with a pregnant woman, her tender parts and her bathroom. Sure, every book about pregnancy mentions the increased need to pee, but that's only the beginning.

When I was pregnant with Bug, I didn't really have an increased need to pee. I had good, strong pelvic floor muscles, and a confidant bladder. When I was pregnant with Bug, I didn't have too many issues with anything dealing with the bathroom. Whether from the luck of craving bran flakes for breakfast every morning, or the joys of a first pregnancy, I may never know. 

I have not had such blessings with this pregnancy. I seem to have acquired a bladder the size of a pin head. And I have acquired hemorrhoids the size of Alaska. Those vulgar varicosities haven't even had the decency to stay where they "belong". My whole nether region is swollen and tender. It was tolerable until about week 30...when I sat in a car for 16 hours to Texas and 16 hours back. Not recommended. Since then, the baby keeps growing and pressing, my blood volume keeps increasing, and my veins keep begging for mercy. Sleeping with an ice pack in my crotch has never been such a welcoming idea!

With all the horrors that are going on within and around my digestive system (i.e., heartburn, alternating constipation/diarrhea, urinary incontinence, varicose veins) I've learned a few important items to keep well stocked during pregnancy. 

Antacids. I chew Tums like candy. I have a feeling they aren't the most effective way to eliminate heartburn, but I'm a cheap-o...and I have a HUGE bottle of the little buggers. So, they'll have to do.

Toilet paper. Lots of it. More than you think. A nice, soft, thick, -very- absorbent kind. Let's face it, you're going to be dabbing at your lady bits a lot throughout your pregnancy. It helps to have a toilet paper that you like. Increased usage, paired with things getting messy, you'll thank yourself for getting the good stuff. And getting lots of it! Also, make sure you always have a couple rolls stashed in the bathroom. There is nothing fun about stumbling into the bathroom at 4am and tinkling just enough to necessitate even a meager two squares, to find an empty roll....because you used the last two squares at 3am. (Not to mention, you are relieved you even made it to the bathroom on time. After laying in bed for six minutes, deciding that "yes" you do have to go. Then figuring out a way to get out of bed...I'm not sure how I ever manage it. Then taking three minutes to go three steps, because you have to test out if your hips will even hold your weight. Yes, you are relieved that you made it to the toilet, but you are -seriously- considering just sleeping in adult diapers and letting go without having to even roll over!)

Relaxation techniques. Constipation is horrible. It's even worse when you feel like every poop is turning your whole body inside out through your bum! And a big baby head is pushing on your rectum. Just learn to take a deep breath, keep your mouth and lips loose and blow out (like a horse). Keep your feet flat on the floor. I like to think of this as training for the birth. (Birth itself, to me, felt like the biggest BM I've ever had!)

Baby wipes. For you. When you have hemorrhoids, you will realize how important this is! Even the softest toilet paper feels like sandpaper when your insides are coming out. Plus, a little moisturized wipe does cleaning wonders when you are dealing with pregnant-woman-sweaty-crotch in the dead heat of summer.

Panty liners. Or just lots of panties. This is one recommendation that I haven't followed on my own, but I wish that I did (I wish I had 70 gazillion pairs of underwear so I -could- follow this advice). Changing a liner or your underwear will make you feel much better. Excess mucous excretions and sweaty crotch are -not- pleasant. It feels nice to freshen up a bit. Baby wipes are good, but you can't beat fresh, clean underwear!

So, there you have it. The down and dirty on pregnancy bathroom needs. And just so you know, it is definitely ok to pee in the shower.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

My Mother Blessing

Last Saturday, I had a Mother Blessing "Ceremony". If you are wondering what the heck that is, I am here to tell you!
The Blessingway is a traditional ceremony or celebration from the Navajo culture. The purpose of a Blessingway is to show support, and give blessings, to someone who is about to go through a major life change (e.g., a man going to war, or a woman about to have a baby).  The traditional Blessingway includes a song performed by a trained Navajo medicine man. It is an extremely spiritual experience. Out of respect to the Navajo culture, those who wish to have a Blessingway-type ceremony before the birth of a child, but will not be including the traditional song, often refer to the celebration as a Mother Blessing. However, this event is still meant to be a highly spiritual celebration, full of only positive emotion and complete harmony. The purpose is to give the mother the emotional strength and confidence that she needs, in order to have a happy and healthy birth experience. It is also meant to bless the home where the birth will take place, and fill it with happiness and joy.
                Most of the rituals performed at the Mother Blessing are meant to pamper and honor the mother. Hair brushing, feet washing, the burning of sacred herbs, and singing are traditional Blessingway activities. Often, more modern Mother Blessings include artsy activities, or earthy rituals that are meant to remind the mother and guests of the ancient and spiritual nature of mothering. [The description I provided on my invitations.]
One of the most popular activities of the Mother Blessing is the bead ceremony. Usually, guests are asked to bring a bead and a "blessing" for the mother. Sometime during the Ceremony, a string is passed around and the guests each string their bead.  The mother then has a bracelet or necklace to wear or hold during labor, that is supposed to remind her of the women who love and support her. I decided that instead of having all my guests bring a bead, I would provide clay and have my guests each -make- a bead.  That was the main activity I wanted to do...then I had to figure out what else I wanted to do. There are a lot of different things that can be done at a Mother Blessing Ceremony. I had a huge list at first, and I had to only pick a few things. If we were to do every good idea, it would take all day! I got a lot more ideas for what I wanted to do at my ceremony from this site.

I planned on having a special introduction ceremony right at the beginning, but my guests all straggled in at different times. So, I waited until about half an hour after my ceremony started to do the introductions. In the meantime, I asked my guests to cozy up to the yogurt bar (instead of traditional party snacks, I provided yogurt, granola and assorted fruit...yummy!) and also to write me a poem or "blessing" to give me confidence in my ability to birth my baby. I told them I planned on reading their contributions when I was in early labor. I probably should have warned my guests that I would be asking them to write poetry! In the end, however, I received some of the most beautiful words of love and inspiration I could ever ask for! Most wrote letters. Some wrote scriptures. Some poems. All wrote words that have -already- inspired me. And I look forward to reading those messages again when I am preparing to meet my new little one!

Once I was sure that all the people that were coming were actually there (I didn't ask for an RSVP, but eventually about 50% of my invited guests showed up), we did the formal introductions. For the intros, I had a mortar and pestle with dried corn in it. As we each introduced ourselves, we were to grind the corn and give our names, as well as a mini-genealogy ("I am ___, granddaughter of ___ and ___, daughter of ___, mother of ___..."). Grinding the corn is a way to remember that women used to gather together to socialize while they were doing their daily chores. Let me tell you....grinding corn is -not- easy. ESPECIALLY when you are trying to remember what your grandmothers' names are!!! You know, it's hard even when trying to remember what your -own- name is!

Then we had a wrist binding ceremony. (I think that was next...after some more yogurt, and cleaning up spilled juice!) For the wrist binding ceremony, everyone sits in a circle and we pass around one skein of yarn. Each person wraps the yarn around their wrist before passing it to the next person. Then the yarn is cut and everyone ties their piece around their wrist. This is symbolic of how are are all connected in a sisterhood of women/mothers, even though we are separate individuals. The guests were then asked to wear their yarn bracelet on their wrist until they hear that my baby was born, after which they can then cut the bracelet off. This part is symbolic of the umbilical cord being cut. It is really nice to think of all these women who are "connected" to me, through their bracelets, giving me support through labor/birth, and then all together cutting the cord that connected woman to child for 9 months.

Continuing with the theme of a sisterhood of women, I described how there are lots of cultures that have rituals/activities/ceremonies that show support to pregnant women. The Mother Blessing, of course, comes from the Navajo tradition. But, belly dancing and hula dancing are also traditional ways that older women show younger women how to birth well. And, being a very religious woman, I then chose to read the first five verses of Titus, chapter 2. I told my guests that being examples is part of God's plan for us. Titus 2 tells us how we can be examples to others (especially those younger than us). The scripture specifically calls to the "aged women" to teach the younger women how to be good wives and mothers. It is really a wonderful scripture, and I feel blessed thinking about all the women who have been examples to me!

About this time in my Ceremony, most of my guest were needing to leave (not because they had been hanging out at my house for hours, but because all but two or three of my guests had other obligations that popped up last minute. So much for sending out invites nearly 4 weeks before the party!) So, we quickly moved to the table, where I had put all the clay and tools, and we were able to make beads. There were so many beautiful beads made!!! We all spent the rest of the time working with clay, talking, finishing poems and eating goodies. And my guests all drifted away to their other responsibilities.

The one ceremony that I had to cut out (because we ended the party nearly an hour earlier than planned) was the hair brushing/braiding ceremony. The grandmother (my mom) is supposed to brush the mother's hair and braid it, in a beautiful and loving ceremony reminding all of the days gone by when the mother was a girl. My mom used to braid my hair A LOT when I was younger, and so I was pretty excited for this part...and a little bummed that it didn't happen during the Ceremony. But, my mom was the last person to go (actually, we left together to go to her house, where I would meet back up with the Hubby and Bug). So, I had her braid my hair before we left. It was very sweet, even though there were no more guests left to witness the ceremony, I felt nostalgic and loved as my mother pulled my hair back into pigtail french braids, just like she has done many times before!

All in all, it was a very enjoyable day. It wasn't quite what I was expecting. But it was nice to be surrounded by women who care about me! I look forward to having a Mother Blessing Ceremony with future pregnancies. And I would definitely encourage other women to do the same!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Beached whale, indeed!

It's summer. And it's hot. And I'm pregnant. All these things scream "WATER!"

We are a one car family. I don't have the opportunity to get out to local bodies of water. And, honestly, there really aren't a lot of swimming options around here.

Last week, my sister-in-law was able to pick me up and take me (and Bug) out of our little apartment. We went out to eat, and then I decided to fill up four small baby pools at my mom's house. I figured if I couldn't swim in a big pool, I could at least lounge in a little pool. And Bug would have fun in the water, too!

After squeezing myself into my maternity swimsuit, giving myself three good contractions while getting Bug into his swim trunks, and slathering us both with SPF 50, -we- were ready to get in the pools. But, of course, we had to blow them up first. Huff, puff. Then we had to fill them with water. Then (after a few more contractions) I realized that I needed to get myself a huge glass of ice water. Finally, I was able to put my feet in, while Bug hopped back and forth between the four pools.

It was hot. And I really wanted to submerge myself. Unfortunately, I forgot how humongous-ly pregnant I am. And I forgot how tiny those blow-up baby pools are. I lowered myself carefully into one of the pools. I think it lost half of its water right then. I couldn't lean back, or else I would just fall over, and lose even more of the pool's water. Sitting up was a pain in the ribs. I tried stretching my legs out...but apparently, I'm not short enough. I folded my legs under me in a tailor sit, until my pelvis ached and my thighs cramped. And then Bug started dumping water all over my head.

After five more minutes, I was done. And the next morning, I realized that I missed my thighs when I was putting on the sunscreen. I think I'll just lounge around inside with the A/C.