Monday, January 20, 2014

Homebirth vs. Hospital Part 1: Prenatal Care

I'm not one much to make lists, its just not in me too much so I apologize in advance for the lack of bullet points.  I just know a few of you have been interested in the fact that I am planning to have a home birth this time around.  So I wanted to give you more information about it.

So you all know that making this actual decision was a hard one, not so much the home birthing aspect itself, I totally labor all that I can at home anyway, so why not just take the plunge to staying at home for actual birthing too. Since I really don't like to be intervened with in birth unless needed, this seemed like a good option for me.

So what's it been like?  Pre-natal care has definitely differed.  Appointments are 1-2 hours and encompass the whole of my life at the time. It's been good for me, especially this time because I've had a lot to work through and she has been able to help me do that by talking with me giving me suggestions to work on and even lending books to read.

In the appointments, I actually do my own urine analysis, before this was probably done by the nurse, but now I know exactly what was being checked and check it myself.  I also get to opt out of something if I don't want to do it without backlash. One day we even skipped taking BP because she knew I was fine, but I was just being paranoid about it instead of seeing it as something helpful. I think this has been good and at the same time trying to me because well, it makes me have to trust God more and not the establishment.

Different HB midwives do different things, it depends on different state regulations and such and what they feel is important.  The one I have models her care more on the European midwife standard of care, so she does test for Strep B, but will not do an IV for drugs at birth but a wash instead.  She doesn't however test for gestational diabetes because it has never been an issue for her patients as long as diet is monitored.  She will however refer you to an office if you want that type of testing.

Ultrasounds are also not required. It's an odd thing to tell a person that no I don't have any US pictures of my baby yet, but really I feel like for myself they are expensive under our insurance and last time when I got them with my first I felt very pressured to get them so that I could then consider abortion if something wasn't right. This wasn't going to be the outcome, so hubby and I decided unless necessary we would skip them from there on out.  I know for a lot of folks ultrasounds mean reassurance and connection with baby and I am glad for that, I just haven't felt the need for that this time around.

I guess one major difference is that you really see a person as your care provider instead of a title.  This can come with ups and downs, because maybe you have slightly different personalities and disagree a little or maybe you gain a friend. But also its made me have to remember that their is a person there that has a life, that isn't perfect and well that's okay.  It doesn't mean that she isn't a professional about her work, she is, but there are definitely differences to having a one man shop versus an office to call where someone else does a lot of the interacting work for you and you just have to follow protocol.

So this all I know about HB at the moment.  The midwife I have actually now has an apprentice too, so I'm interested to see what having her there as well brings to the table.  There is approximately 6.5 weeks to go.  It's bound to get more interesting from here on out

Sunday, January 19, 2014

What I Wore Sunday, Life week edition

Doing a quick link up for What I Wore Sunday with the girls over at Fine Linen and Purple.

I did a more serious post earlier dealing with my feelings on the March for Life found here.

So here is the outfit.

Undershirt: American Apparel
Dress: given to me by my neighbor, more tunic-like length on me
Pants: Motherhood Maternity
Shoes: which you can't see here, from Target.
Baby Belly: 33.5 weeks

So that's all for this post.  It's been a little chaotic today with the littles, and as I just wrote this, I got thrown up on, just because someone was chewing on their finger a little too much. 6pm bedtime anyone?

So go check out more outfits at Fine Linen and Purple!  Happy Sunday!

For life

I started writing down my thoughts for this post on actual paper and I hope this goes well because well, I'm writing this on my phone which is okay, but I can't type the same so the words might be not be the same.

Yesterday, the family trekked downtown on the bus to the Cleveland March for Life. It's an odd thing to go to a March or maybe just pray in front of a clinic when pregnant. Why? Because the emotions are so different and you can actually put yourself in the shoes of the woman wrestling with this heart wrenching decision.

One of the things that pained me was the carrying of the graphic images by those around me. To me, I feel like those images are more hurtful than helpful especially when pregnant. They just made me sad and really had me crying. Because while yes they are accurate, I'm not sure who they are really trying to reach. Maybe they are going after the guy counterpart involved, the one that operates off of logic and facts, but even then I'm not sure if it's making them colder in the issue or actually helping. It was ironic to then read Simcha Fischer's post which basically said something similar but with more proof.

And here's the thing. I love marching for life. I really do. I just don't think it needs the gruesome to support the truth and beauty that life is.

You see the March and I have an interesting history. I lost my first baby around the time of my second March experience. There I was marching for life for saving it while at the same time I was my baby. And while I didn't medically know the exact moment or if they were still hanging on at that moment it was still really hard. So the point in March where those graphic images were huge and clear I cringed. I hope one doesn't need to lose a baby to know those images hurt more than help to try see and be more compassionate but maybe it does take that.

To me it's similar to taking the approach to sharing the gospel of Jesus as a crazy street preacher would. It may be true, but there is zero compassion there. I remember even having to take a class my Baptist university before mission work about how not to shove Jesus down people's throats. They knew that forming that trust and having compassion to know where some one was coming from much more effective. So when it comes to life issues, I feel like there is a distinct parallel. These women seeking an abortion are people and they usually are in a tough situation, while those may be truth they are also scary make you want to run away from the problem as quickly as possible which means having the abortion, despite the aftermath years later.
I think about the women in my life who have had to face difficult situations where people told they to have an abortion versus carry the baby, because it would have been easier. And yes, externally it may have appeared easier, but I'm glad that they choose differently. I'm glad I was able to support them and others too so that they could give those babies life. It may have been rough, but I know each one of those women is so glad to have those children in their lives. They are blessings and not burdens.

The thing is, I know the support isn't always there. We live in a broken world full of broken homes and big problems. Even those of us who appear to have it together don't really as this life is messy and we can be easily influenced to justify something wrong as right. My prayer though is that the pro-lifers want to be that support and are. Instead of these hurtful rash statements we listen and talk and be there. I remember movie Bella in which the guy actually goes and helps the woman by raising the baby for her. This is the point we need to be at, as hard as it is to uproot our lives to do it. And the thing is so many people do. There are saints living and breathing out there doing this and I'm so thankful for them. To be completely selfless in that manner is amazing to say the least.

But one more thing, I feel like the March for Life doesn't just stop with the issue of abortion. I feel like it should incorporate those who have lost that baby due miscarriage or stillborn or ectopic pregnancy or disease or yearning and praying for a child to be theirs on this earth. We are all effected by life in its brevity or loneliness or its pain, and some how, through the tears we realize what an amazing gift it really is. And when you do, you don't want to take it for granted one bit more. Because that gift, the chance to experience life, that is definitely something worth marching for...

Sunday, January 12, 2014

What I Wore Sunday, Baptism of the Lord Ed.

It's time for another WIWS.

Here's the outfit.

Necklaces: Target
Shirt: My mom gave it to me, so I have no idea.
Undershirt: Target
Skirt: Another from my mom...
Leggings: Old Navy Maternity
Shoes: Target
Belly: 32.5 weeks

I officially feel big this week, not sure exactly what it is, but I think sometimes its just that its really hard to be comfortable anymore.  This outfit was nice to wear though because it was all knit and stretchy, so actually it was nice and comfy to wear. I even wore it all day today because it really was just that comfy. 

And since this Sunday was the Baptism of our Lord Sunday, our parish honors everyone that was baptized in the parish in the last year.  Even though we didn't have anyone in our family baptized this year it was entertaining to hear the list of names as we are just a few weeks away from officially naming our new addition. There was a mix of traditional names with the trendy names amongst the parish. We have a Benjamin Anselm and a Ephraim Gerard so far, so we apparently have a tribes of Israel theme going on. Or maybe we just like more traditional names. We keep the sex of our baby a surprise till birth each time so we have 2 more names picked out, but aren't telling, because well 1 of 2 times we have changed our minds last minute, so to avoid the craziness that happened before, we are keeping the names under wraps. So, what are some of your favorite names? 

Also check out some more Sunday outfits at the WIWS linkup at Fine Linen and Purple

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

"But what we offer in love"

The Rocket Summer song has been stuck in my head lately, that goes, "the truth is nothing matters...but what we offer in love." I am one of the people that thinks that God gets through to them by sometimes putting a song in their head on repeat.  I mean the holy spirit can do any thing he wants, so why not this.

I've been so caught up lately with school stuff in my head.  Am I doing enough? Why can't my child learn the letter V?  Should I actually have a more structured lesson for my kids a day? I mean yeah, we do a butt load of crafts, because well I like art.  But I see something new and it makes me worry that I am not doing enough.  It probably didn't help to add to the matter that my husband wanted me to give him a homeschooling budget. I mean I really can't blame him he was being super practical about it, and well that's just who he is. He loves his structure and his numbers and everything having a place.  And I am thankful for him being so because our house would be a crap shoot without him. It's just that it started the worry process even more because it made me think, what should I do?  Should I get this gadget or that, or should I get a boxed set, or should I enroll them in this or that?  It really kind of spiraled out of control fast.

Today I asked for some sanity by venting to the lovely Jeanine, and well she gave it to me to me straight.  She asked point blank, do you think there is something different you should be doing with them?  And I said, probably not they are probably okay.  She reminded me of Charlotte Mason and that really trying to teach my children to have good habits at this age is more important that shoving information into them.  And so it should be.

It is hard sometimes to not let the super fast paced world get to you though.  With the curriculum of first grade moved into kindergarten, why wouldn't someone panic that a nearly 4yo should know his alphabet, since they are expected to read at 5 in the traditional schooling atmosphere. And I'm not saying that it's bad to know how to read at an earlier age.  It's just maybe not what should be my focus with my children.

I know when I look at what I want my children to become, I don't really care if they are a plumber or a rocket scientist or a pro-athlete or a priest.  God knows what they are to be and he's got that covered.  My job is to help them to love, to show compassion, to want to help others and to instill good habits that will actually help them to be able to learn what they need to learn to be well-functioning adults. And dangit, this is actually harder to me than learning the letter V, because the letter V will come, but those habits, those values, those are what stick.

I know I am not perfect at this at all.  I sometimes really lack compassion or graciousness with my children, but today was a reminder that maybe, just maybe, I can do this.  Because as I reflected in the shower, I remember my little ones, looking out of the McDonald's play land all wide eyed and wanting just that smile returned.  Ben even came out multiple times just to give me a hug because he tells me continuously these days that he likes me and he just likes being near me. So maybe they are learning love. I sure hope I am offering my love in return.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

What I Wore Sunday, Epiphany Ed.

Linking up with the ladies at Fine Linen and Purple for another...

So here goes...

Outfit details:
Necklace: Target
Dress: Gap Maternity
Pants: From my sister's old maternity collection
Shoes: My Danskos, though after 8 years they are almost done and I'm ready for a new pair of black shoes, any suggestions.
Belly: 31.5 weeks

This was actually my Christmas dress too.  When you are in your last trimester and you are as tall as me, clothing options are limited. When I bought it online, I totally thought it was red.  And well compared to my orange walls, it looks red, but its really orange-red, not Christmas red.  Oh well, its still fun to wear and comfy. 

Today we went to our old parish to visit, because guys, they really do an awesome job with celebrating Epiphany!  They are a little Italian parish in the Little Italy part of Cleveland and the Befana comes and everything.  I love, love, love the Befana.  I know most Americans do the Santa thing and that is great, because its great to have traditions that you know and love.  I unfortunately think I've just had really bad experiences with Santa in the past and my kids don't particularly care for him at this time, so to find a fun alternative to it is really great for us. My almost 4 year old was so excited to meet her today.  It also helps us carry out the Christmas season a little better since the tradition goes she that she comes on Epiphany.  Anyway, if you don't know her story, I recommend getting ahold of the Tommie DePaula book The Legend of the Old Befana.  It does a good job of explaining the tradition behind her. 

So go check out some more Sunday outfits with the WIWS linkup at Fine Linen and Purple! Happy Epiphany everyone!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

It's a new year

Advent always makes me think of where I'm at to meet Jesus and where I want to improve. A lot of it was spent praying for peace and to try to let go of the things I cannot change that I try to in my sense of false control I so badly want to have. I think it went well and really it helped me to find a little bit of Jesus amongst the chaos.

Today at mass, our priest challenged us to be more Mary. In her life most of it out of her control she was able to have peace and patience. These things seem to be so difficult as a parent of small children. The children are crazy and can constantly test your patience so you give them anything they want instead of what you and they need.

My job as a parent is to equip my children with the tools to get to heaven. To stay on that narrow path to and with Jesus. And it's hard already and I don't even have anyone over the age of three my charge. To really try to teach them to love above all else, sometimes is hard and I know I fail at it a lot. But I'm realizing that I may be putting too much weight on my shoulders and not letting God do his thing.

And so in this new year I'm going to try to love more and worry less, To try to get rid of some of my false sense of control, and in doing so try to get closer to Mama Mary. After almost 7 years of being Catholic, I admit I still struggle with all things Marian, and to this point I've gotten her intellectually. But this year I want to try to work on my relationship with her and get to know her mama to mama. Because with a new baby set to arrive in about 9 weeks on top of the 2 littles I'm trying to already take care of and teach it's going to be an interesting year.

So my prayer and resolution this year is to get to know mama Mary and by doing so get to know her son Jesus even better. I hope I can really do this because the peace and patience of Christ, I really do need them.