Thursday, December 17, 2009
It has been 13 days since the birth of our beautiful son and I know there is no way I'll be able to write his birth story without uncontrollably weeping as I write. My experience with birth was so incredibly beautiful and joyous that it will be difficult to describe with words...
I awoke around 4am, not really in pain, but simply uncomfortable and incredibly alert. There was no way I was going back to sleep and I had 'a feeling'. I came downstairs as not to disturb Javier, fired up my laptop and began to frantically take care of some Junior League work that I had been procrastinating. I also wanted to be sure to communicate to the Junior League girls .... "Hey, seems I'm going into labor so don't count on me for anything for the next few weeks." It's interesting how together my head was. I wasn't really having any contractions, but just this extreme intuition that the whole process would be starting soon. I also wrote an email to Anna, Alice and Laurel (the midwives) at 6:10am,
"Okay ladies - I think things are firing up over here! FINALLY, THANK GOD! If not, I'm going to be heartbroken. I woke up around 4am with what felt like some bad cramps (although I dont really know because I am not one to typically get cramps). I decided staying it bed was too uncomfortable and was moving too much. The contractions seem to be lasting about a minute or longer and are coming fairly inconsistently, but maybe like every 10 minutes ish. I'm not going to call yet ... not sure when to call... something like 4-1-1... but I've forgotten what that means ;-). I'm totally okay, but of course the contractions are kind of painful. Do you think I should cancel my breakfast plans or am I getting too hopeful? xoxo,Erin"
Laurel wrote back and suggested I go ahead with my breakfast plans. I got her email about an hour later after my contractions had begun to get slightly more intense. When I read her email I was thinking, "There is no way I'm going anywhere, I'm having this baby today!" and I was irritated at her response. Things were definitely progressing and even if they were not, I was not going to be able to sit in a car, eat breakfast and go walking. No way!
So that was as far as I got at the time.
And really those are just facts. I think that's why I decided not to post it. It's kind of boring. I really feel like my labor was relatively textbook (I guess, it's very difficult to remember). But here's goes. Time to finally complete this story....
Each midwife arrived one by one. The first being Laurel. I feel like her words to me shortly after she arrived at our home on December 4th (around 11am) helped me tremendously. I said to her, "Laurel, I just cannot seem to get comfortable." I said this because in all the classes and books they talk about massage techniques and ways to position yourself to be more comfortable. But she said to me, "Honey, you aren't going to be comfortable. You're in labor and you just have to go with it." I'm pretty good at taking instruction and with her telling me that, I feel like my mind just said, "Okay, got it. I'm going off to a different place. A place where I can just be in this and get to the other side."
The next thing I really recall is her and Javier working to fill up the birthing tub in our room. I felt like being in the tub would sincerely make a difference, and I was getting a little annoyed at how long it was taking them. The tub was nice and I stayed there for some time, but as soon as Laurel informed me that the tub was "slowing my progress" I was out of that thing in a flash. It was nice in the tub, but not worth slowing me down!
I do also remember the second midwife, Alice, arriving. It was interesting because the energy changed. Laurel is a soft-spoken California sweetie with three little girls of her own. Alice is a straight shooting New Yorker with two grown boys. When Alice was added to the mix (around 1pm) I tried to acknowledge and appreciate the shift in energy and immediately go back into my zone.
Flash forward to my next memory ... Laurel says to me, "You should try to go up and down the stairs. That will really help you progress." I left my zone for one moment to give her a look of dagger eyes. And I have no idea what I said to her, but what I was thinking was something like, "Are you F'ing CRAZY?" Really, the thought of walking down and back up the stairs seemed completely incomprehensible. But, as I said before, I do follow instruction well, so when this birthing goddess at my home recommended me walking down and up the stairs, I decided to put forth the massive effort to try it. I only recall doing it once, but Javier reported later that I did it several times, and I'm sure that has everything to do with them telling me it was helping me to progress. We have photos of this. I hope no one every sees them ;-)!
So that was pretty much what I remember of labor. I was ready to begin the pushing stage of childbirth by 6pm and this is when the third midwife arrived, Anna. Now, I had really armed myself with a lot of info before labor and I had read so many people talking about how much they enjoyed the pushing phase of labor. Well, I do not even have words for how hard the pushing stage was, but let's just say that I didn't enjoy it at all. It was a very difficult ordeal for me. Perhaps becuase he was so big? I don't know, but it was HARD and it was not my favorite and I find it crazy that it would be anyone favorite part!! But, when we finally got to meet him, WOW, that was special and as soon as he made his appearance I couldn't remember a thing that had happened before. I felt so happy to finally meet our beautiful little boy. It's a fascinating thing ... to be with someone every second of every day for nearly 10 months, but never to meet him. Words cannot describe what it felt like to finally meet him.
I was on a major high for the following days for sure. The human body is amazing and bringing forth a new life is otherworldly.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Tomorrow is a big day. Start out with a midday appointment with our midwife where she is going to be talking to us about how to "speed things along" with her midwifery skills ... dont know what these are yet, will keep you posted. Then we have to go for an ultrasound. I'm scared to go for the ultrasound because I fear the doctor will simply try to scare me, but I know there is no inherent danger for being overdue. Then I will have my 3rd acupuncture session.
Okay, breathe, stay calm and RELAX. He'll be here eventually ...
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. I love the fact that the only obligation is to get together and to eat. It's so simple yet so beautiful. No gifts, just hanging out over yummy food. LOVE IT! So I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving with the Latin crew this year. I'm going to be making green bean casserole and cornbread (the cornbread will unfortunately come from a mix, but that's just the way it goes). And then once Thanksgiving is over, I'm going to make Javier take me out to do lots of fun stuff over the weekend so I dont have time to sit around getting too anxious.
And just remember, a typical pregnancy lasts 41 weeks in France. If we lived in France, my due date would be Dec 1 ;-).
Friday, November 20, 2009
We're at the point where people are calling and texting on a daily basis asking if there is any progress. It doesn't anger me because I understand the curiosity, but it does make me think ... 'when will our time be?!'
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Okay, so what's going on with the baby/me? My belly is getting quite big. We had an appointment with our midwife, Alice, on Monday and she said she didn't think he was too big of a baby yet and I was excited, but I swear I've grown a lot since Monday ;-)! Sunday night I had some random pains going on, but they went away when I sat down so that's a sign they were nothing too serious. I also get random pains in my hips. I guess they are stretching out or something ... not quite sure. I feel like I may have felt the Braxton-Hicks contractions a few times, but nothing consistent. I have a hospital bag packed (just in case) and have all the stuff together for the home birth so we're physically ready to go when things start to happen, but everything I've heard about the first stage of labor is that it can last for 12 hours + so I feel like I will still have time to be getting things together if necessary. More than anything I am excited about the process. I've read, heard and seen so much about it via DVDs, classes and books and now I just feel ready to see how my own experience unfolds. We pray every single day that it goes beautifully for us, for the baby and for the midwives attending the birth. I dont guess there is anyway to know when he will arrive and that's fine for me. I've sort of wondered if I will get a feeling or anything like that, but I guess he will pick his own perfect time for arrival and we'll just have to get on board. And I guess that is how life with a baby is ... you have to be ready for anything! At this point, though, my guess is that it will not happen before this Sunday. I'm predicting the 17th, but that's just sort of a date I've pulled out of nowhere so I dont think we can put much weight behind it ;-). But it will be fun to predict dates even if I'm wrong!
Okay, I'm off to create a list of things I'd like to accomplish today so I can see the progress made. Not working is lovely and very restful despite my complaints ;-). I feel very fortunate to be able to take this time to slow my pace down so that once our little prince arrives it will not such a shock to my system.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
At this point I have officially been off work for one week. It's been an absolute luxury to be off work and is definitely a major stress relief. Forget the stress induced by work, but the added stress of coming home and trying to figure out how I can squeeze everything I need into the short period of the evening before I must be in bed in order to feel rested for the next day. That weekly cycle can simply be so draining. I've definitely stayed just as busy and incredibly 'occupied', but it's much less stress to be doing the things I want to do :). It's lovely. And officially as of yesterday I feel like I've made some very wonderful progress on little Patito's room. It's coming along nicely. I wasn't too pleased with it in the beginning due to what felt to me like too many different colors going on in there, but I've done some painting on the trim of the room, door and a bookshelf and now it's coming together very well. This child already has so so so many clothes, and very stylish ones at that. It's hard for me to even believe that I every felt like I wouldn't have enough. Now, his drawers are overflowing! Now my biggest worry is ensuring I can put every one's adorable little outfits on him before he outgrows them!
We had our 37-week appointment with our midwife, Laurel, today. His heart sounds strong and great and everything is going well for me. I've gained 30 pounds!!!! Amazing, it really is. I honestly don't know how obese people do it. Simply carrying around 30 extra pounds is a LOT of work ... imagine if it were 100.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
I'm getting to the point where my body hurts at the end of the day, well at like 6pm. My feet hurt like I've been standing up on them for 60 hours (always) and my upper back feels like I've gained 30 pounds ... which I have ;-)!! Even though I have slept for over 10 hours last night, I'm ready for a nap right now! But really I dont want to complain. Overall I feel good and lucky. :)
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
At 34 weeks and still feeling pretty good. I wonder how big he is and what he does all day. I guess he doesnt have a concept of "bored" yet ;-). Or perhaps it is infinitely entertaining sharing my feelings and listening to me all day - hahaha. At this point the updates on his development are not that exciting. He's pretty much developed and is just filling out at this point - "Not much changes from 34 weeks pregnant and on except your baby is adding valuable meat to his bones."
I'll post photos soon. Javier and I took a few this morning and of course there are several from the shower.
Only 6 more weeks to go ... give or take a few on either side ... it's really all up to him!
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
Nothing much going on with the pregnancy actually. It's business as usual with Baby Mus - the MOVER and SHAKER! He is very active in the womb, but then again, I'm still pretty active. He's probably pretty used to be moved around and rocked and perhaps finds it comforting. Last night we had dinner at a friends house and she has recently returned from Europe with some YUMMY and strong chocolate (85% cocoa). Of course I couldnt resist, but I think it made him do flips. I was in bed around 10pm, but didnt fall asleep until he finally settled down probably around 11:30ish. I still find it absolutely wild that there is a little person moving all around inside of me. What a fascinating miracle!
This weekend was a success on one big front. Javier cleaned the garage!!! He worked long and hard on his Sunday and I'm so appreciative! I started to clean out the office ... it's a work in progress, but I'm close! I find "papers" and office stuff the most difficult to organize. I feel like once things are filed I just forget about them. So my normal protocol is to simply leave papers out. BAD...very BAD. I'm improving though.
Javier and I had an appointment with one of our midwives, Laurel, on Thursday. She was at our home for a couple of hours and it was great to hear his heart beat and start a bit of the mental preparation/counseling that is certainly critical for us to hear in this time before our lives change dramatically. Today we meet with our back-up doctor, Dr. Ramos, so it looks like we'll get to hear his heart again -woohoo! I believe we will only have one more appointment with Dr. Ramos and the purpose is simply to establish rapport in case we end up having to deliver the baby at the hospital. I really like her too so we'll see how things go, but I'm working hard to mentally prepare for both scenarios as I don't want to feel disappointed with myself if things dont turn out as planned. But so far, all is going well so we're not anticipating any issues.
This week is big -- I'm planning to order the big ticket items i.e. crib, changing table and glider. Thanks again to my mom and dad for helping out with these items. It will be fun to see his room coming together.
Mentally I feel great and fairly relaxed right now. I'm sure it has a lot to do with Javier being home and taking good care of me. It makes such a big difference! He only has one more very short trip before the birth. Hopefully I dont fall into my panic state!
Weight gain as of today: 23 pounds
Monday, September 14, 2009
Thankfully, last week, we started our "Birth Circle" with our midwives and some of the other couples due around the same time as us. Since me telling Javier that I need him around didn't seem to be enough, the reiteration by the midwives about this physical need was super great! I was not too sure what to expect from the Birth Circle and had therefore held off from registering for a childbirth education class. But after our first meeting, I have promptly enrolled us for a childbirth education class. The midwives are really wonderful and for them it's very important that we feel a sense of community with other new families, which I totally appreciate, BUT I still feel like I need some more hardcore information. The first Birth Circle was more like a potluck with a light discussion. Maybe this week will be more information intensive ... I hope!
No progress on our "nursery" yet, but it's at least an empty room with new windows, newly cleaned carpet and a fine color paint :)! My mom offered to buy us a glider and my dad offered to buy the crib - WONDERFUL! It truly does take a village ... Anyway, I'm excited to see things coming together, at least in my head and dont feel the amount of worry that I did in the previous weeks.
I've got new photos, but need to upload them to the computer. They are a reminder to even me of my size. I forget how big I am until I see the photos or pass a mirror from the side! ;-)
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Javier is once again out of town and this is a struggle. Not only do all the responsibilities of our home and the dog fall on my shoulders, but I don't have him around to talk through my concerns,worries, stresses, etc. I really need him around. I wish he felt this were as important as I do.
I was supposed to meet with my midwife today, but she is at a labor so we'll be meeting tomorrow. I always love to hear the baby's heartbeat and I look forward to it so much ... TOMORROW! He's been moving around a lot for sure so that's always reassuring.
I'm reading my friend Mandy's "Bradley Method" (a style of natural birthing) book and last night I got to the page that showed what the actual size of 10cm looks like (this is how far your cervix needs to be dilated in order to begin pushing the baby out). For the first time, I got pretty freaked out about birth. 10cm is HUGE!!!!!!!!
At this point I've gained about 20 pounds and according to my iPregnancy iPhone application, 11 weeks and 5 days remain until my due date, but the baby will be "full tern" on November 3rd (coming right up!). He probably weighs between 2 lbs 9ozs and 3lbs 11ozs. The surface of his brain is beginning to show the twists and grooves seen in older children (it was all smooth before). Also, it is thought that babies begin to dream during the 3rd trimester. How cool - Baby Mus is dreaming!! DREAM BIG, Little One!
Monday, August 31, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Thank goodness for my good friend, Devon! She is the mother of a 20-month old and an infinite source of resources and wisdom for me. She has passed down so many maternity clothes to me for which I am immensely grateful. I have purchased near nothing. She is throwing me a baby shower on Oct 11th. AND on Tuesday night she helped me create a baby registry (and made me a birthday dinner).
Even though I have a lot of fabulous friends here, I still feel a little lonely. This is really a time when you need your family around I think. I'm realizing how BIG this really is, having a baby, that is.
I remember feeling so accomplished once I decided on the midwives and on having a home birth ... but now there are MILLIONS of other things to do and to buy.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Our trip to Wyoming/Yellowstone was fabulous. We both really enjoyed the location of the wedding, which was about 1.5 hours outside of Yellowstone. And we also really enjoyed Jackson Hole and the Grand Teton National Park as well. Yellowstone is pretty, but it's much too touristy. But we did have a nice opportunity to relax and enjoy nature for a week. It was great.
Javier turned 35 on Saturday! Unfortunately we didnt get to celebrate like I'm sure he would have liked, but our house was a construction zone from the window guys and we had just returned from Wyoming so we couldnt plan too much. We had dinner out and were joined by several friends later at Blue Agave. It was fun!
Here are some photos from the night of his bday. I'll get all the Wyoming photos together soon. Lots of belly shots!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JAVIER!
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Saturday, July 18, 2009
So it seems everything is in place. Anna and Alice are both Certified Nurse Midwives with YEARS of experience and wisdom. They also work with Laurel Phillips, who is the person putting together the Santa Barbara Birth Center which is scheduled to be complete by November, but as the way most projects go, I'm counting on that happening later.
At this point I've gained about 15 - 17 pounds. Right on track for being a little more than halfway through the pregnancy. And I dont know if I mentioned this yet, but pregnancy is 10 months ... it is not NINE! According to one book I am reading the months look like this:
21 - 25 weeks: 6 months (I'm here, 22 wks tomorrow)
26 - 29 weeks: 7 months
30 - 33 weeks: 8 months
34 - 40 weeks: 9 months (notice, this is 7 weeks!!!)
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Javier and I were recently home for a 4th of July visit to Hanover/Madison. We had a lovely time visiting with family. It was wonderful to spend time with my mom, Dennis, Trevor, my Dad and Chris. It was also very fun to see my cousins (Holly and Kelley) and my stepbrother (Jason) and their families as well. There are a lot of little boys in the family right now. In fact, out of the 6 kiddies, 5 are boys and there are 2 more boys on the way and one of unknown gender on the way (Holly's 4th!). It seems that all the cousins are having more kids than their/our parents did. I'm seeing this trend amongst my friends as well. It's interesting.
What's going on with my birth plan? Well, I have officially changed doctors. Javier and I met with Dr. Susanne Ramos yesterday. We really liked her. She took time with us and let us listen to the heartbeat for some time, which is always incredibly exciting and fun. She mentioned he is moving around a lot too! I told Dr. Ramos that we will more than likely be doing a home birth and she was very supportive. Very different from the response I got from my previous doctor. I explained to her that it is important for me to have a rapport with a doctor as well in the event that something does happen that prevents us from doing a home birth. I'm trying VERY hard not to have expectations about this "perfect birth" that I have envisioned for myself. I know that anything can happen so I want to be realistic, but I will say that I feel completely capable and even excited about giving birth at this point!
Stay tuned for photos. I'm getting BIG :).
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
I'm currently reading "Ina May's Guide to Childbrith" and the entire first half of the book is birth story after birth story told by various mothers who went to the Farm to have their babies. I believe the purpose of reading these stories is to hear the emotions and the feelings of all these women and to read/see that all births are different. Some are fast, some are slow and there is everything in between. It's also fascinating to read about how different women handle the "rushes" and all the techniques used to get the labor going. I've learned a lot just from reading the various stories and I also feel empowered. I know I can do this too!
Hearing Ina May in person was great for many reasons, one of which is that she had the best analogies! She asked how many women in the room had had a baby before and several raised their hands. Then she asked them how it feels when the babies head is about to come down, and there was a collective murmur in the room, "it feels like you're pooping." So then she asked all the men in the room, "Men, if you were about to poop the biggest turd of your life (approx 7 - 10 pounds) and you had to do it in a brightly lit room with a bunch of strange men looking at your crotch, do you think you could be successful?" I thought it was hilarious, but the point is that women are not set up for success at the hospital. She talked a lot about how other mammals give birth and most all mammals go away into privacy to have their little ones, and that women need this same type of privacy and security to have the optimal chance of success. It makes a lot of sense to me, but I find myself still battling with people who dont understand my point of view. Birthing is a NORMAL process and women are designed for it and most of us can do it! But drugging us up and using one intervention technique after another generally makes things worse not better.
I came into work on Monday to hear a close coworker friend of mine tell me about her daughter's delivery of her grandson that occurred over the weekend. Her daughter has had a beautiful pregnancy, no problems at all. She is a young 22 year old and she went into labor early Saturday morning and they headed straight to the hospital. There she walked all around the hospital to help speed up the labor. Okay, this is where she wanted to be, but not me! I want to be walking around by the beach or on nearby preservation land. I dont think walking around a hospital is going to make me feel good or positive in any way. Once she got herself dialated to about 9 centimeters they gave her the epidural and put her feet in stirrups. Well, after hours of labor she was unable to get the baby down .... But what could one expect since she was numb, in stirrups and unable to move the lower half of her body. Many times with big babies women need to be able to move all around into various positions to widen the pelvic area. After 22 hours of labor she ended up with a Cesarean Section and feeling like a failure. The story was heartbreaking for me. This was the last type of story I wanted to hear as I'd been closely following the girl's pregnancy. It was right after hearing this story on Monday and coming from the Ina May Gaskin lecture over the weekend that I have made a final decision to have a home birth if possible. I do not want to be in that situation. I hope to receive support from my family because this is a decision that I have made with a TON of research, FACTs and statistics. It's also important for everyone to know that the midwives are wise and not in a position to set themselves up for an emergency. They do not let you give birth at home if you are in some sort of danger. I'm hoping for a water birth so that me and the baby will be cozy and comfortable!
Tomorrow we find out the sex. I'm ecstatic and although I really should not say this, I have strong feelings there is a little boy living in my belly so if they tell me it is a girl I will be shocked. I'm so happy to be having a baby that it truly doesnt matter if it is a boy or a girl, but I need to document that I have strong feelings that it is a baby boy.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Javier and I had a regular scheduled doctor's appointment yesterday. When we have the Sansum appointments we rotate around so that we can meet all the doctors because you have no idea who will be there to deliver. Yesterday we met a young doctor, Karen Craig. Dr. Craig has recently moved to Santa Barbara from Nebraska. It was interesting to hear her perspective. I had mentioned to her that I am interested in touring the hospital soon so that I can see the birthing rooms in order to make a decision about a home birth vs. hospital birth. She said very matter of factly that the rooms here are out of date and especially compared to Nebraska. She mentioned that in Nebraska all rooms have big laboring tubs and at Cottage there is only a shower. In general Santa Barbara just doesnt have the money they have in the midwest, she reported. It was interesting to hear her perspective.
But the good news is the appointment went well. I've gained 6.5 pounds and we heard the babies strong heartbeat, which is always so reassuring! We find out the sex of the little one on July 1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
I need to post some new photos soon. I'm blowing up ;-)
Thursday, June 11, 2009
I really do just want to make a decision and move forward! But I need to make and informed and intentional decision. The fact that "most" people do hospital births does make it a little more comfortable, but I would be on top of the world if we had our baby at home. What an accomplishment and what an amazing entrance for Baby Muslera.
The Art of Joyful Living workshop was great! I got all kinds of tools to help get out of negative thought patterns. The idea is that we really can manipulate our reality by our thinking and our energy. Really cool stuff and a lot of fun! Totally California ;-).
An old friend of mine is in town from Atlanta. She was over for dinner last night and insisted we do the "ring test" to find out if I'm having a boy or girl. This test, which we completed twice, says we will be having a girl. Controversy is heating up - acupuncture test says boy, ring test says girl ;-)! We'll find out on July 1!
Friday, June 5, 2009
Dr. Ralph Green has blessed Santa Barbara women and families with personalized childbirth experiences for the last 39 years. With the skills of an obstetrician but the inclusive philosophy of a midwife, Dr. Green has eased thousands of Santa Barbara babies into the world since 1967 (he lost count at 5,000 births 10 years ago). Many women who feel dissatisfied with traditional prenatal care are recommended to Dr. Green — who, in turn, recommend him to others. At 70, he works at least 60 hours a week, sometimes sleeping at the hospital to ensure he doesn’t miss a birth.
Dr. Green’s loving smile and calm manner set his patients at ease, even throughout the most trying birth experiences. In order to be responsive to what “the individual desires out of birth,” Dr. Green aims to forge connections with his patients early on in the pregnancy, which helps him intuit potential problems and plan accordingly. Dr. Green also encourages his patients to have a doula — a woman experienced in childbirth who cares for the mother-to-be — present during the birth so that they are not “at the mercy of an attendant they have never met before.”
According to midwife Mary Jackson, Dr. Green is one of the few OBs who “view childbirth from the perspective of trusting in the process.” Part of this trust plays out in Dr. Green’s refusal to do routine episiotomies or to rush births. In an age where immediacy and anonymity seem valued over experience, Santa Barbara is fortunate to have a doctor who welcomes new life into the world at its own pace and in its own way.
Our meeting with Mary Jackson at home actually kind of made me feel like that perhaps we're not ready for a home birth at this point. It's absolutely the more complicated way to go, even though it is meant to be the simplest. It's complicated with insurance and can be complicated by the myriad of potential, although unlikely, possible scenarios that might occur during a pregnancy. Just a lot to think about. Again, ideally I'd be in a birthing center, but here in Santa Barbara that is not possible yet, so for the time being I'm looking forward to meeting with Dr. Green on Monday. If I like him, I'll make the switch over to his care and will hopefully be able to relax. For a little more insight on my current thoughts ... I'm seeing a doctor who is part of a "group". I have to meet all of the various doctors in the group because I have no idea who will be on call at the time of my labor. Basically I feel like I'm just in this system. It's not really personalized at all, and I just want a little more.
In other goings-on: I'm busy all day tomorrow (Saturday) and Sunday with a retreat, The Art of Joyful Living. It is being conducted by an esteemed life coach team, Roger and Kim Vincent. What lead me here? I want to figure out how to maximize joy and my life purpose. Right now with work, the radio, volunteering to the Junior League, juggling marriage and a social life as well, I am often exhausted and not left with much to give. As I will become a mother soon, I figure I'll need a bit of a paradigm shift in my life. I always love to learn about myself and others and am constantly seeking ways to improve so this is right up my alley. I'm looking forward to it, but it won't leave me with much relaxation time this weekend ;-).
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
We met with Mary Jackson yesterday. She came to our home for a 30 minute visit. She used the time to tell us about her, her training, her philosophy, the risks and the reality of home birth. I enjoyed hearing all of this and her story is definitely amazing. I have no doubt that she has more experience than any doctor here in SB with births, but I have to say when she left I just wasn't 100% convinced that this is the way we should go. I'm still exploring options. I would prefer to take a tour of the hospital soon too, to determine how I like the birthing rooms they have. The good news is that Javier's insurance covers 70% of the midwife's fees. That's really good considering my insurance would cover zip for the midwife. We're definitely not decided on anything yet and will still keep open minds and listen to our (well, my) gut!
I'm really enjoying the prenatal yoga with Siddhi. She's great and the exercises are wonderful too. They're pretty challenging and they are not things that I have done before for the most part. I'm still running a bit and am trying to plan more walks with friends. Santa Barbara is a lovely place for being outside... even in gloomy June, which I personally LOVE.
I've got a new trick and with it today I am using some of the jeans I haven't been able to wear in some time. It's a hair band trick and it's working today, and maybe for the next month, but I don't see that it is going to last too much longer! I'm popping out. We took a couple of photos on Sunday evening which I will post very soon.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Saturday, May 23, 2009
I'm off to my first prenatal yoga class today. I'm looking forward to meeting more expectant mothers and doing some great stretching!
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
According to my pregnancy book Patito is currently the size of a peach. My current weight gain - 5 pounds.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Okay, I'm going to attempt to post some photos...
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
I had a dream last night about the baby. This time it was very clear that it was my baby and he was a tiny baby boy. He was all wet, maybe sweaty, but I was very worried that he was uncomfortable. In my dream we had not yet come up with a name, but I heard another woman call him something. I asked her what she had called him. She replied, "Peterson Anderson, that's his name." I was quick to tell her that we had not come up with a name yet, to which she replied, "Javier told me that was his name." I was so upset because he had never even brought that name up to me. How funny! So this baby now has a few names: Patito, Tito, and Peterson Anderson!
I spoke with Javier's mom on Thursday of last week. Keep in mind that when we speak, we speak in Spanish on the telephone so you can imagine how the telephone conversations go! Anyway, I *think* she was professing to me once again about the certainty that she feels we are having a boy. At this point I'm starting to worry that if we find out we're having a girl that she'll be disappointed so I tried to communicate that to her on the phone. I'm sure either way she will be happy, but I just wanted to try to prepare her. I have to be honest though, at this point I feel that it is a boy as well.... It's very strange that you can get a feeling like this from a little human that is currently the size of a lime.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Hawaii was interesting on another level as well. I was there to visit with friends (Mandy & Jeff) who have a 3-month old little boy, Pierce. Pierce is adorable and wonderful, but I got to see first hand that he is also a full-time job. I kind of freaked out .... you really do not get a break when you have baby!! OH MY GOSH I HOPE I'M READY FOR THIS!
It was wonderful visiting with friends and we really had a great time in Hawaii. It was too short actually! One of the highlights for me was definitely the North Shore. For Javier, I'm certain it was the surf lessons at Waikiki. I returned yesterday to yet another fire in Santa Barbara. It's always so devastating. I hope this one is maintained quickly, but it's not looking good due to the heat and the wind.
In other news, I'm up to 115 lbs, often hungry and able to wear even fewer of my "normal" clothes.
Friday, May 1, 2009
Today I depart for Hawaii. I have to be honest, I am a bit afraid of this swine flu. I try not to buy into this fear mongering that is so prevalent in this country, but apparently when you're pregnant your immunity is very low. If it were just me I wouldn't feel the same way at all, but suddenly it's all about Patito and making sure he/she is always okay and comfy.
Looking forward to surprising Mandy with the news! Back on Tuesday!
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
I just returned from an appointment with the Sansum midwife, who I loved by the way. I had thought my appointment with her was supposed to be my opportunity to ask any questions, etc. so I was very pleasantly surprised when she said we could "try" to hear the heart beat. She said that sometimes it is not possible to hear the heartbeat until 12 weeks, but that there was a chance we might hear it. As she poked around looking for the heartbeat, at first she found nothing. It's funny because based on the ultrasound and also on how I physically feel I think I know where the baby is so I told her to try there and sure enough we heard it. It was so loud and so strong -- this WOOSH WOOSH WOOSH. It was so cool that it made me want to laugh and cry at the same time, but every time I would laugh I would mess up the whole set-up. I'm bummed Javier missed the heartbeat. He would have loved it. At the moment I was experiencing our baby's heartbeat, he was on a bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto. We were texting.
Yesterday was not such a great day. I felt so crappy and tired. I basically fell asleep at my desk, but didn't realize it until someone came up to talk to me and she started laughing her head off. I wanted to leave early so badly, but my work ethic got the best of me so I stayed. Once I arrived home for the day, I got Queso out for a walk and then promptly got into my PJs. I laid immobile on the couch for hours. I didn't feel like talking to anyone, eating anything or even getting up to pee. It was strange. I even caught American Idol (my mom's favorite show that she is always trying to talk to me about) for the first time. Simon is a jerk, no? After an early and full night of rest I was feeling back to normal today and even started out the morning with a short run with Queso. I'm tired again now though and have so much work to do before Hawaii!!!!
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
In other news, I continue to feel pretty good. Less nauseous, but more tired. I tried to get a little more exercise this weekend as I know it is important for me and Patito. It's tough to exercise during the week because my regular days exhaust me so much. But there definitely seems to be a direct correlation between the exercise and me feeling better.
I have an appointment with the Sansum midwife tomorrow. I'm very excited about this. After seeing "The Business of Being Born" I had figured I'd be as anti-hospital birth as possible, but now that I'm here at this time in my life, I feel like I do not have the time use an "alternate route" if you will. I told my doctor about my concerns and she assurred me that they will do their best to ensure my delivery is as I want it (yes, because this is the way it always goes, huh?). But the point is I'm excited that my OB/GYN department has a midwife. It will be nice to meet with her.
Javier left for Japan today. He's quite concerned about me catching the Swine Flu. He went out yesterday and purchased masks and hand sanitizers and really wants me to use this stuff. Cute. I'm pretty stubborn though and confident about my health and my strong immune system. He and I will see each other again this Saturday in Hawaii, where I will be visiting with Mandy. She just gave birth to a new son on February 1st and I have not shared my news with her yet. I think she's going to be pretty excited so that will be fun!
I seem to have leveled out at this new bloated size. I found another pair of jeans I can wear - big excitement at the Muslera house!
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Saturday, April 25, 2009
On March 19 Javier and I found out we're pregnant. It was a happy surprise. We've been open to it for some time, but simply weren't one of those couples who just got pregnant looking at each other. It took some time (16 months to be exact), but through the process what I learned about myself was that I could be at peace with whatever the outcome. Being a big believer in fate, I had a feeling it would happen exactly when it was supposed to at some point and that if it didn't happen, well life is a beautiful experience and one that usually has a way of playing itself out in a way that makes sense later. Perhaps the world would not be able to handle a mini Erin&Javier ;-).
After the initial shock and excitement the first thing I did was set out to learn. I was on the Internet figuring out at what time of the year this new little one could be expected, what type of development was going on inside me at that moment and of course, "what am I not supposed to do?" In fact, we found out on a Thursday, and we're headed out for a ski trip on Friday. And not some relaxing ski retreat, rather that weekend warrior type trip of which I've become all too familiar. The kind where we pack up the car on Friday afternoon (after working), drive 6+ hours to Mammoth, ski all day Saturday and all day Sunday and then hop in the car on Sunday after a full day of intense skiing to drive home. I digress, but anyway, I started to wonder if our crazy lifestyle could be dangerous. I was at the very beginning stages. Far too early to share the news, but also too early to begin panicking I figured and tried to relax and enjoy myself.
Around week 6 we took off for New York City. Mostly in the very beginning I just remember being hungry, hungry with the type of appetite of which I am not too accustomed. Big appetite? - No problem in NYC! We enjoyed our trip and I did my best to appear that I was drinking when out with our friends. The bigger concern was how was my belly already looking slightly more round? It was WAY too early. I still don't know why I have popped out so easily - the extra calories, the pregnancy bloat? Who knows, but at this rate I may become HUGE ;-).
At week 8 (April 14) we had our first appointment with Dr. Terbell. At this time we got a big stack of paperwork and bits of information that I would not too many moments later be saying, "What was it she said about this?" Also at this appointment we had an ultrasound. The first thing I said when I saw the little thing on the monitor was, "It looks like a duck!" At week 8 it's pretty difficult to distinguish because of the way the baby is developed at this point. But hence, the moniker "Patito" was born. We now mostly refer to the growing baby as Patito (little duck in Spanish).
Soon after this point I got my hands on some books! And everything I read suggested keeping a journal which is why I decided to start this blog. Typing is way easier than writing and this way I can share the fun with anyone who is interested or needs a "take 5" from work, etc.
We are currently in week 10 of the pregnancy and for about the past two weeks I have been unable to wear the majority of my jeans. Last weekend I had to buy this "belly belt" thing which allows one to wear pants without fastening them - GENIUS! Also very handy, a pair of jeans that have been too big for over 5 years that I had hung on to for some reason (this is big for me because I have serious clothing purging issue). We've started to share the news with close friends and family, which I find so much fun. Reactions are quite varied, but of course I love the screamers. Then there were those people, you know who you are, who called me out straight away when I didn't have any wine at the Latin BBQs ;-). Momita Irma claimed she had a dream we were pregnant so she was very excited to learn that her keen intuition was dead on as usual. My mom exclaimed that she had given up on being a grandparent at this point so the news came as big surprising excitement to her for sure.
Symptoms at this point:
MUST GET ENOUGH SLEEP. Not getting enough sleep is not an option.
MILKSHAKES and CHOCOLATE MILK TASTE GOOD
The couch is one of my new best friends, as well as "Millionaire Matchmaker"
MEAT MAKES ME WANT TO PUKE
Prepping veggies also makes me ill
Some helpful information for this blog:
A typical pregnancy lasts 40 weeks, but 37 to 42 weeks is accepted as being within normal medical limits.
My due date according to the professionals: November 24, 2009
My pre-pregnancy weight: 111 lbs
Current weight as of today: 114 lbs