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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Just exhausted

Sorry I haven't been too good with the updating (or the reading of the blogs of my sweet friends!).

First trimester woes have just hit me hard. It's not anything that every other pregnant mama on the planet doesn't face - I just tend to be a little pitiful. I feel like one of those commercials for anti-depressants; the ones where they talk about symptoms of depression including lack of interest in the things you used to love while they show a person laying on the couch in the dark. I feel so tired it's really hard for me to even get on the computer, let alone do all I need to do to be there for and connected with D.

So, that's where I am. Hoping to be on the upswing very soon. The second trimester of Dacey's pregnancy was a wonderful time for me - keeping fingers and toes crossed that history repeats itself!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Mommy Uprising

If you have a few minutes, this is a very thought-provoking read on what birthing choices look like these days and the reasons behind the decisions:

Birth on our own terms


I am, for the first time, really understanding the phrase "green around the gills."

Each day brings with it a day long feeling of nausea that actually feels as though it's emanating from my throat (where my gills might be if I had gills). My gag reflex is also more hyper-sensitive than ever before in my life. Yesterday a pita that had begun to grow some green mold made me retch. Sure, moldy bread is unappetizing, but I never before have I had such a violent reaction to food left to its own devices.

And that will be enough complaining for today.

In other news, we are hopeful that the ice storm that has had us trapped inside since Monday will subside and we may even begin to thaw out. My poor daughter - cabin fever is in full force for both of us!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Redemption Child

Can I just say how appreciative I am for the vast array of online resources for mamas these days? Yes, there's some muck to search through, but mostly there are many, many resources literally at our fingertips that so many mamas before us have not had access to. Hurrah for the internet!

Thank you, Kulia, for pointing me in the direction of I-CAN! There are no chapters near me, but the online resources are outstanding.

Thanks to the mamas at MDC, I have found out some helpful information about doulas. DONA has tons of information for doulas and expectant families, and I am hoping to be able to find a doula-in-training in our area who might be able to support us in a VBAC delivery. BellyWomen.Net is a great site that connects low-cost (or free!) doula services with women who are pregnant.

So as I continue to think and reflect on my birthing options, my thoughts also turn to mothering a newborn again. I can now look back at Dacey's first three (okay, six) months and be able to say we had a "rocky start." There was a time when I would have chosen different phrasing - like, I don't know . . . "hellish start," perhaps. As I have shared before, I was ensnared in a scheduled-feeding-babies-belong-in-cribs-don't-spoil-that-baby mindset. I had read a book that convinced me that what I now know to be nurturing a baby would certainly lead to a crabby, demanding, nightmare child and also the certain destruction of my marriage. And so I spent tortured months trying to let her cry it out in her crib to get her to sleep, only to pick her up tearfully each time and rocking her to sleep while mentally berating myself for failing her as a mother. So yes, it was self-induced hell, but I really thought I was doing the right thing.

And so I think and daydream about the arrival of our next baby, and visions of tucking that sweet bundle in a sling while D and I go about our days mingle with delightful thoughts of not making the poor babe wait until the next feeding time on the schedule to breastfeed. Ah, and sharing sleep with no guilt! Just having an overall sense of confidence in trusting myself as a mother . . . Well, in some ways, I almost feel like I will be a first-time mother again.

But I wonder if that's a lot of pressure to put on this next baby. To be the one with whom Mommy works through all of her guilt about D's babyhood. To be the child that allows Mommy to atone for her mistakes. To be the Redemption Child.

As I continue walking out the journey of motherhood, it occurs to me that it is no wonder we all have issues from our childhood. How could we not? It seems that the circle of life in families dictates that as parents, we are always seeking to atone for something; so often, that search for atonement expresses itself in the choices we make - consciously and unconsciously.

I think I will be proactive and get D on a therapy waiting list right now.

Saturday, January 13, 2007


My Bloggin' Friends!
Corey (Living and Loving Every Minute of It!)
Emily (From Mumu to MILF)
Ingrid (Boricua in Texas)
Julie (Peaceful Chaos)
Karen (My Hands are Full and So Is My Heart)
Keara (Now I Know What Life is All About)
Laura (Sweet Awakenings)
Lauren (This Rollercoaster We Call Life)
Lori (Fairytales & Magaritas)
Mandy (A Small Tribe)
Mary Ann (Moutaineer Mommy)
Meghan (Pyreflies over Xanarkand)
Melissa (how 'bout the etheredge fam)
Noah (Life of a SAHM)
Papaya Mom
Sara (Sarandipity)
Shannon (Saga City)
Stephanie (Providence Handmade)

Blogs I Read (whilst I should be cleaning house or knitting or gardening or doing something crunchy with my time!)
2 Pink Lines
2nd Cup of Coffee
A Complete Thought
Adventures in Babywearing

After a cup of coffee . . . or two
Antique Mommy
Big Mama
Days to Come
Diary of a Shoe Addict
Dream Bigger
Gluten Free Krums
Green Bean Boutique
Happy Jack's Mommy
Here we go again!
Home on the Ridge
Home Sanctuary
I'm an organizing junkie!
It Coulda' Been Worse
It's Almost Naptime!
Little Fun; Little Learning
Living Proof Ministries (Beth Moore)

Looking Towards Heaven
love, laughter & laundry
Mama Blogga
Melissa Garrett ~ A Writer's Woolgatherings
Metropolitan Mama
Mom of Three Girls

Musings of a Housewife
My Quotidian Mysteries
Parent Hacks
Raising Five
Rocks in My Dryer
She Laughs at the Days
Summer's Nook

Sunnypond Home
Sweet Tea with Lemon
'Tis But a Season
The Lazy Organizer
The Things You Didn't Do
the truest thing
The Wooden Porch
Velveteen Mind
Walk Slowly, Live Wildly

On Hiatus
Mandy (My New Memories)

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Beneath the surface

Thanks, friends, for your wise and encouraging words. (I have been meaning to write more, but have been feeling pretty darn crappy!)

Anyway, the funny thing is - I didn't realize at all that I had any unresolved feelings - positive or negative - towards my c/s. I actually had a really good c/s experience. Fairly easy recovery, never felt cheated or robbed of anything, lots of help and support getting back on my feet again.

But I had never gone back and revisited the way I viewed labor and delivery before D was born. Like I said in my last entry, I was flat out terrified of the birthing process. I felt woozy reading books on labor. I felt pretty confident that I was not up for it physically. So instead, I focused all my energy on having a positive breastfeeding relationship with my soon-to-be-born daughter.

Here was my philosophy: Basically, that child was going to have to come out of me one way or the other. If I couldn't do it by myself, my doctor could do it for me. Breastfeeding, on the other hand, well, that was all me. I seriously stressed out so much about breastfeeding and hardly gave labor a thought. Subconsciously, I think I kind of wanted a c-section. In fact, the reality is, when my OB said "c-section" I actually felt relieved. I was so scared of the PAIN I had heard so much about, and to be quite honest, I was scared of long-term damage to my lovely vagina and precious pelvic floor. Pretty shallow, huh? You know, when I think back on my thoughts and attitudes about childbirth, I almost feel as if I am reading one of my high school journals. I look back at my pre-mama self and kind of wanly smile and shake my head.

So I don't really harbor any hard feelings towards anyone involved in my c/s. I am not really all that angry with myself, I just feel stupid. It's true, what Karen said that Oprah said (and I believe what Oprah said is what Dr. Angelou said - could be wrong though) that when you know better, you do better. I just can't believe how much I chose not to know because I was afraid.

Interestingly enough, one of my new years' resolves was to seek to be unbound from fear in so many areas of my life. As the new year began to dawn, I had no idea I would be confronting fear of childbirth in such a very real way. But here I am. :)

Thanks for listening, ya'll.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Wading through a flood

Thanks for the congrats, mamas. Yeah, we are pretty thrilled. Meghan - there's still time! January is a great month to get knocked up. Hee hee hee . . .

So, it's interesting. Like I mentioned yesterday, the very moment I discovered I was pregnant, I instantly began mulling over delivery options in my mind. Mmmm, maybe "mulling" isn't the best word. Let's call it what it is - obsessing.

And so I hauled newly pregnant booty to the library and checked out every book I could on birthing after cesarean. While that was probably not the best approach to take (it was certainly the most overwhelming), I kept coming across statements in each book where the author wrote about VBAC mothers needing to be at peace with their c/s experiences to improve their chances of a safe and healthy vaginal delivery. At first I skimmed over this, because I thought I was at peace with my c/s. But the more I read, the more it dawned on me that it my intentional lack of information and education about birthing really pretty much set me up for an operating room delivery.

We did not take childbirth classes. I was convinced I would "have" to have an epidural because I don't handle pain well, so I wasn't the least bit interested in anything other than signing off on having taken the epidural "class" the hospital requires (10 minutes with the anesthesiologist) and that was about it. Like many American women, the only labors and deliveries I had born witness to were on The Baby Story. I saw what unmedicated birth looked like - it was scary, it was undignified, and it was certainly not classy. When I heard a veteran mom comment that she wouldn't have a root canal with no medication, so why would she birth a child without it? - I felt confident I was making the right decision on that.

I did at least realize that there would be some "discomfort" in weathering the contractions leading up to the time I could get the epi, so I flipped through a friend's copy of the Bradley Book and promptly became even more terrified by what I saw there. The very few things I picked up from my scant reading about relaxing, letting your body go limp and allowing the contractions to work for you . . . all of that was out the window when labor set in. It hurt and I was scared. I had no one there to talk me through what was happening. My husband was scared, too. He certainly didn't know what to say, other than "when can you get the epidural?"

So there was a lot of fear. A lot, a lot of fear. Tomorrow, I will share more on how fear mixed with ignorance led us straight to the OR.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Hiatus . . . Interrupted

It's quite a bit earlier than my projected return to blogging . . . In fact, Dacey's birthday is still three weeks away.

But the thing is - I'm pregnant!

And now I find myself overwhelmed with thoughts that need an outlet - and the keyboard beckons me.

It is so outrageously early, it seems silly to tell anyone. And yet, it's surprisingly easier to share the news with my online community. If the worst should happen and we lose this pregnancy, the "clean-up" is sort of easier . . . A few quick keystrokes rather than many, many phone calls.

So here I am - interrupting my own hiatus so I can let a few of these thoughts seep out before I go crazy thinking them over and over in my head.

First, I am ecstatically happy. I cannot fathom that we would be so blessed as to be able to conceive in our first month of trying. As with my pregnancy with Dacey, I can't seem to limit myself to "cautious optimism," even though quite a few of my friends have lost pregnancies, particularly after delivering one or more babies with no complications. I just can't help but to full-out, full-on celebrate this life within me. I know full well I may not get to carry it to term, but I don't want to deny it the respect it deserves.

Secondly, I am scared. Terrified! This baby's due date is smack dab in the middle of our most hectic time of life - football season. My husband is an amazing and dedicated coach; I worry about the stress and strain of adding to our family during the most stressful part of our year. Additionally, as I have said many times, D is very serious about her attachment to me. I fear for what this disruption in her life with Mommy will do to her, to our relationship. I know this is a completely normal feeling. I just didn't know how powerful and disconcerting the fear would be.

Thirdly, it is as if the moment the test turned positive, a switch was flipped within me and I find myself examining and re-examining Dacey's delivery - an "emergency" c-section.

I have a lot to write about this, but I need to hold back for a while as I sort through some of it on my own. It's just amazing to me that all of the sudden, the events of nearly two years ago nearly consume my thoughts.

More on this to come, I assure you.