Friday, November 15, 2013

Quiet Kids.

I just gave each of my kids a package of cotton candy and turned on cartoons so that I could have 10 minutes to myself. The plan was to use this time to do dishes, but I decided I wanted to write a quick update instead.

Abigail started dance class today. She was adorable. And Abigail is becoming more and more of a lone wolf. At her birthday party she was mostly off by herself playing by herself. Whenever we have playdates she usually goes off and does her own thing. For a while I figured it was just her age, but now she's 4, and I kind of worry.And sometimes she cries and says no one wants to play with her. Like when we are McDonalds and she's trying to join in some big kids game or something. I tell ya nothing breaks a momma's heart more. I sometimes wonder if she has gotten her feelings hurt so many times, so she would rather just stick to herself. But I think part of it is just her nature. I'd rather just hang out with one friend than a large group, and Aaron's the same, so she comes by it rightly. The other day Aaron asked her what her favorite cartoon was. She said, "Jake and the Neverland Pirates". When he asked her why she said, "Because there's not too many people." And that's just so her. But still, I worry, so today she started dance. And in January she'll start preschool. The dance class only has 2 other kids, so 3 girls total. Perfect for her, "not too many people".

Nathan is doing awesome going on the potty. Except he hates underwear. So as long as he's naked, we're good. But when we leave the house he asks for a diaper, and literally screams bloody murder if I try to put unders or even a pull-up on him! He's talking more and more. I love hearing the new words he says every day. He makes hilarious facial expressions and cracks me up all day. He really has been so good lately. He also learned to say sorry in the cutest little voice. It seriously makes everything forgivable.

And that brings us to Olivia. Well... I missed her Thanksgiving feast. Probably my biggest mom fail to date. I was supposed to send in money for to participate, and I totally forgot about it. I emailed her teacher because I remembered it was coming up, but couldn't remember when. Turns out I emailed her THE day of the feast... just after it was over. Fortunately they still let her go and be part of it, I just wasn't there. But I didn't know they let her be part of it, so when I read the email that it was that day, I cried a lot. I felt terrible and went to the bakery and got her a cupcake. And then she came home and told me lots of moms weren't there, and she still got to go and have fun. So guess it wasn't that big of a fail as I initially thought it was.

And I'm 31 weeks pregnant (well tomorrow technically) and I feel huge and tired and done. But 9 weeks to go!... or 10 most likely.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

We all know we're supposed to try and enjoy each moment, especially when raising little kids, because you hear about 1,000 times a day how quickly time passes. But when you're living it, it really doesn't feel like it's passing very fast at all. And sometimes when you're staring at the clock waiting for it to be a reasonable hour to send your children to bed, and that hour is still at least 2 hours away, and kids are screaming and fighting and whining, and crying... it feels like time stops. Not in a romantic lovely way, but in a "How the crap is it only 4:45?!" kind of way.

And then you read some blog post about how it's okay to not love every minute, and you feel better.

But lately (as in the past two days) I have been loving every minute more. I know it's crazy, but some day it will be really weird to get Nathan out of the bath, and while drying him off ask him if he's delicious, and then pretend to eat his tummy and make him crack up. When he's 1, that's normal and cute. When he's 20 that's totally creepy.

Maybe it has to do with Aaron's brother receiving his mission call (Russia!) and realizing that some day that will be my baby boy. I mean wasn't it just yesterday Samuel was 10 and eating paper? Time really does fly, and I'm feeling it. So tonight instead of putting on cartoons for my kids while I went on facebook/pinterest/whatever, I turned everything off and just sat and watched cartoons with them. I remembered sitting on my Poppy's lap in his recliner and watching Looney Toons. I loved having him watch it with me, and I distinctly remember being aware that he was enjoying it. Or at least he was doing a good job pretending to. In fact he did such a good job that I genuinely believed he loved Road Runner so much that I called him every single time it came on, to let him know it was on so he could go watch it. I was a thoughtful child like that. Never mind that it was a long distance phone call at the time! Anyway, as all three kids tried to cuddle on my lap, I could tell how happy they were that I was enjoying the cartoons too.

And when it came time to put them to bed I wasn't rushing to get the heck away from them and to my precious bath tub where I could unwind from the day, I lingered and sang a few extra songs, and tried to be patient with their 50 million end of the day questions. ("Is God the king of the whole universe, or just earth? Did the girl have a key for the secret garden? What are we going to do tomorrow?")

I know this is a phase, and surely I'll be going crazy again soon, but the last two days have been nice. At least in this regard. Let's not talk about how my brain is shrinking with each pregnancy and I can't form a complete thought, and today I may or not have backed out of my garage before opening the garage door all the way... yes slightly damaging both the car, and the garage door. And how I can't remember to plug my phone in and keep it charged for more than 24 hours. And how I burned dinner so badly tonight we ended up having cereal. Lest I led you to believe every moment is magic around here the past 48 hours.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Skip this post unless you really, really like reading about birth.

This question has been on my mind and I want to just write it out because that's what helps me think and form my thoughts. I've given birth 3 times now, each experience completely different from the other. Olivia - in the hospital with an epidural (after 26+ hours of hard labor!) Abigail - in the hospital with no drugs, but I certainly wouldn't call it natural! And then Nathan at home, which I would call a very natural birth.

Now getting ready to have baby number 4 and I can't stop thinking about how I want to have this baby.

What I loved about my home birth:
-Getting to sleep in my own bed.
-No nurses coming in at crazy hours to find out when my baby last pooped, or check my blood pressure.
-No fighting anyone for what I wanted - ie, no Hep B vaccine at birth, and no eye goopy stuff. It was seriously so nice to be in the care of someone who completely respected my opinion either way. Fetal monitoring limited to a stethoscope.
-Very, very minimal cervical checks - as in 1.
-No coached pushing. Literally the contractions pushed him out, and I just screamed. No pushing! Actually, if I'm being honest there was a moment when I thought, "If I push maybe this will just be over faster." And so with a contraction I gave the tiniest push, and out he came. There was no legs up in stirrups, no one yelling "PUSH!" it all just happened very naturally.
-Laboring at home, and not having to worry about going to the hospital too soon. Plus it was just comfortable. Walking around my own house, playing video games with my husband, talking to my best friend on the phone, folding laundry... all great labor activities! There's not that much to distract you from the pain in the hospital.
-Let's not forget my fabulous 3 hour massage. In my house. Seriously FANTASTIC, and every woman in labor deserves a massage.
-And this was unique, but we had the house to ourselves for 2 days with just Nathan, Aaron and me, because my fabulous mother took my girls for me. Yeah that was awesome. Got the "break" you get when you deliver at the hospital, but got to sleep in my own bed! I think that puts sleeping in my own bed on this list twice, but it deserves it. Sooo nice.
-Getting to hold my baby on my chest as long as I wanted, with no nurses waiting around to take him and clean him up. All mine!! I loved being the very first person to pick him up, bring him to my chest and bask in the magical moment. Of course he was screaming bloody murder, and the peaceful moment was more of a harsh reality check that there was now a third person I had to take care of!

What I didn't love about my home birth:
-It hurt. A lot.
-I worried I wouldn't be able to do it. I was never once worried about my baby. I trusted my midwife 110% and never would have done it otherwise. I knew she would be the first to suggest going to the hospital if something was wrong, but I knew she was equipped to handle 99% of what could happen.

What I loved about My hospital births:
-Nurses to take care of you, and have three meals delivered to you each day.
-Hospital swag - ya know the free diaper bag, cute pillow, cookies at 3 for Mommy and me. That was nice.
-The pain relief. That epidural with Olivia was freaking amaaaazing.
-Not having to clean anything. In your own house you still feel the need to tidy up, and whatnot. No doing that in the hospital!

What I hated about my hospital births:
-Having to fight for every single thing, and feeling like people thought I was making ignorant decisions about my baby.
-Pushing. Legs in stirrups, all the yelling. I was SO swollen after pushing. I didn't have that swelling after my home birth.
-Ugly hospital gowns.
-The potential for things to go wrong because of unnecessary medical interventions. Like checking my cervix every few hours and somehow telling me I was less than I was 4 hours ago!! That was literally the point I gave up and asked for the epidural. I am just scared of doctors and hospitals in general, so it's really hard for me to relax and labor in an environment where I'm just not comfortable.
-A nurse forcing me to pee, or threatening me with a catheter... I hadn't had anything to eat or drink for hours, how on earth do you expect me to pee?!  Fortunately my hubby went to bat for me on that one, and saved me from further pelvic trauma.
-Lactation Consultants who tell you you're off to a very bad start, when you felt like things were going great.
-Waiting around forever to get to go home.
-Being forced to fill out paperwork, and having to convince a receptionist it would have to wait because I was about to have baby.

Okay so this list makes it seem obvious that I'd do another home birth, right? But that's not an option in Yuma, so I HAVE to have the baby in the hospital. I've been promised it would be as natural as possible, but I'm sure most of what I hate about hospitals will be unable to be avoided, so then I think, well why even bother trying to make it natural. Why not get that lovely epidural??

So then I wonder if some of the "problems" I had with Olivia were in any way related to the epidural. I needed oxygen while pushing, and we had a horrible time with nursing at the beginning. My milk didn't come in for a WEEK! And she had some breathing issues. Was that just her? Was that just because it was my first?

So after writing this all out I think I'm going to labor at home as long as possible and then ask for an epidural as soon as I get to the hospital. But I worry about other things that could go wrong, like infection and spinal headache, and future back pain. But really those chances are slim, right? And the only con on my home birth list is that it hurt, but man it hurts a lot!! I'm going to talk to my midwife at my next appointment and see what she says.