Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Signing off... from Blogger

Nearly a year ago I reserved MPLT as a Tumblr account because part of me wanted to make the switch from Blogger. But, as a creature of habit, I didn't have the time/energy to want to learn a new blogging system.

But, that time has come.

For various reasons, mainly an easier ability to update my blog with my smartphone once baby arrives, I decided it was time to make the switch to a new blog format.

So here it is:

To my followers, please please pleaseeeee continue to subscribe to my RSS feed on Tumblr - which is easy to do... it's the top right option on my page's navigation bar. My format is very basic right now, but I'm planning on investing some money into making it personalized and user-friendly.

All my blogger posts have been imported to Tumblr - so you'll have full access to all my archives.

So, goodbye Blogger. You've served your purpose. Crossing my fingers Tumblr works out or I'll be crawling back asking forgiveness.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Building my library

I have been SO excited to start purchasing some baby and children's books for Jack. My mom was always great about reading to us and encouraging our reading growing up. So I knew I wanted to start collecting some books .

But where to begin?

I wanted to buy all the books I loved as a child. Books my mom would read to me or ones I'd help read to my younger siblings.

But I also knew there were likely tons of amazing books that have been written in the years between that I wouldn't have a clue about. That's where having a child development expert as your sister-in-law helps. Molly was able to make some good recommendations.

So along with some of my old favorites...

...Molly also suggested getting some fun "board books" for the baby that include fun pictures, bright colors, lots of repetition and rhyming words, etc. She said Sandra Boynton's are great - so I picked up a 4-pack of her "greatest hits":
And, of course, there are the classic "goodnight books" that friends have given me as gifts like:

But my mom also found the sweetest book that I have a feeling will definitely be my favorite to read to my darling boy...

I can't even read the words without crying:

On the night you were born,
The moon smiled with such wonder
That the stars peeked in to see you
And the night wind whispered,
“Life will never be the same.”

Because there had never been anyone like you…ever in the world.

So enchanted with you were the wind and the rain
That they whispered the sound of your wonderful name.

It sailed through the farmland
High on the breeze…
Over the ocean…
And through the trees…

Until everyone heard it
And everyone knew
Of the one and only ever you.

Not once had there been such eyes,
Such a nose,
Such silly, wiggly, wonderful toes.

When the polar bears heard,
They danced until dawn.
From faraway places,
The geese flew home.

The moon stayed up until
Morning next day.
And none of the ladybugs flew away.

So whenever you doubt just how special you are
And you wonder who loves you, how much and how far,
Listen for geese honking high in the sky.
(They’re singing a song to remember you by.)
Or notice the bears asleep at the zoo.
(It’s because they’ve been dancing all night for you!)
Or drift off to sleep to the sound of the wind.
(Listen closely…it’s whispering your name again!)

If the moon stays up until morning one day,
Or a ladybug lands and decides to stay,
Or a little bird sits at your window awhile,
It’s because they’re all hoping to see you smile…

For never before in story or rhyme
(not even once upon a time)
Has the world ever known a you, my friend,
And it never will, not ever again…

Heaven blew every trumpet
And played every horn
On the wonderful, marvelous
Night you were born.

How your body changes

I've been telling Chad the last several days that I just felt like I wanted to stretch out my upper torso so it was twice the length because it just felt so dang uncomfortable. It's hard for me to even twist around to reverse down the driveway because my body has no where to twist.

Then they showed a graphic like this at our birth classes this weekend.

Now it makes sense. And I think Chad gets it too. ;)

Monday, July 11, 2011


Chad called me last Friday afternoon to say he had a little surprise for me when I got home from work.

This isn't unusual for Chad (I know, I'm spoiled) - and he often has done something sweet for me like bought me a pretty bouquet of flowers, or a card or a special dessert to welcome me home on Fridays.

But I walked into the house and there was a lovely packaged bag from GreenPea Baby (my favorite baby boutique in the area) with the softest KissyKissy onesie, a Sophie teether (we bought one like it for baby James last week) and "chewbeads" --- which is a 'necklace' I can wear and not care if the baby chews and drools all over it.

I thought it was so sweet that Chad spent part of his Friday morning walking around a baby store picking up some things he thought baby and I would like.

I know it's the understatement of the century, but we sure are lucky to have him. Unfortunately for Chad, if he ever gets sick of my antics and decides to up and leave me... I'm packin' my bags and following him. I can promise you that I'd never find one better.

Power not Pain

So this weekend was the "big weekend" where Chad and I spent 12 hours in a classroom at the hospital learning about how in the heavens I'm going to deliver this baby.

Other than a few funny words, comments and phrases from our tree hugger/hippie/doula instructor - I think it's safe to say Chad and I found the labor and birth education class to be super helpful and did so much to alleviate a lot of the concerns we had going into this whole "birthing a human" thing.

So here's the thing - if you only based labor off of what you see on television and what your "for some reason I think it's a good idea to terrify you with how hard and difficult labor is" friends tell you about it... no doubt, you'll be terrified. Obviously, I don't think any woman is stupid enough to think labor is easy and painless. But there is more to the picture than that.

As our instructor did a good job in explaining, "pain" during labor isn't pain for no reason. It's a natural response your body is giving because it's doing something it was made to do. It's not like pain from an injury or sickness where your body is telling you something is WRONG. Labor "pains" are completely different. And besides that, the pain is not constant. With each peak of pain comes minutes or seconds where you can regroup and focus to do it again --- God's awesome design. And if we can change from seeing it as scary, scary "pain" into something that is empowering (ummmm hello, you created life and are delivering it!!!) then you can go a long way into alleviating that fear we have going into labor... which will go a long way in making your delivery easier.

So with that knowledge, we learned all about the ins and outs of labor and delivery. We learned about the options available to us and how to advocate for things we do or do not want during labor in order to come up with a birth plan for our ideal birth to share with our doctor before our little man arrives. Everyone has the right to decide what they think would be best for them - so no judgment on what anyone else decides - but I'm glad that Chad and I were on the same page.

We had to do one helpful exercise where we laid out all the options that would go into having our "perfect labor and delivery" and then had to go through acting like if three things went wrong and we had to change what we had wanted, and then add three more things, and three more things until we only had 2 "cards" that were most important to us. These are things that our partner would advocate for us above all else if things were to go south.

Ours were:
Vaginal delivery.
No forceps or vacuum on baby. (I have an 'under no circumstances' for forceps, and if absolutely necessary, I'd let them try the vacuum ONCE very briefly to help guide the baby out. But if there was any resistance, I'd want it to stop immediately. If baby was absolutely lodged in there and was in distress, then we'd absolutely go for c-section.)

My other big "want" - which I know might be hard to fight for - is that I really, really, really unless absolutely medically necessary for the health of me or baby, do NOT want to be induced prior to 42 weeks. So many of the reasons people either want to be induced, or that doctors want you to be induced (mainly liability/medical malpractice reasons) aren't really necessary. We should trust our bodies know when baby is 100% ready to arrive.

Big reason being? Once you start one medical intervention, things are exceedingly more likely to snowball requiring you to need others. Again, this is no knock to those who were pleased as punch to figure out their induction date and proceed to have perfectly healthy babies. It happens all the time. But for us, we really want this to be as natural as possible for both me and our little one.

So here are some of our "wants" for our labor + delivery. As you can see, so many of these "wants" would be eliminated immediately should I have to be induced.

1) Spend as long as possible of "pre-labor" at home. Our hospital is only 7 minutes away, so when our contractions get closer together and more powerful, we'll head on in. Until then, I want to be in the comfort of our own home.

2) I don't want to be hooked up to an IV. I want the freedom to eat and drink as I want to during labor unless I'm showing signs of dehydration. I'll have the little port stuck in my hand ready to go in case I need to be quickly administered an IV or medications --- but I don't want to be tied to an IV.

3) I only want intermittent monitoring for baby. I don't want to be tied to a machine for this either. I'm happy for the nurses to come monitor the baby as often as they want to - but I don't want something strapped to me unless, again, baby is showing signs of distress. This monitoring is the same thing I had on during my non-stress test last week, and I was stuck lying perfectly still because whenever I moved the dang thing would slip and the nurse would have to come in and readjust it.

4) The biggest reasons for numbers 2-3 is I want to be able to move about freely during labor. I don't want to be lying in bed. Our hospital will provide us with a birth ball and each room is equipped with jetted tubs and showers for "aquatherapy" if we want to do that. We spent a good 2 hours practicing various techniques - standing, squatting, sitting and lying that will help open up the pelvis. A lot of times women can get stalled in labor simply because they aren't trying any other positions. Let gravity work with you!

5) After the baby is born, I want to immediately hold him on my chest and unless medically necessary, delay any testing or newborn procedures for one hour.

In terms of drugs, I've been super honest this whole time with the fact that I'm not going into this assuming I'm going to need them. At the same time, I'm not kidding myself that I won't want them. I have no idea how my body is going to be able to manage the pain. But I hope that by being able to move around and work through my contractions with Chad's support, I'll be able to put off (or avoid completely) any pain medications or an epidural. Of course, the ideal situation is for this baby to be born completely unmedicated - it is definitely the best thing for baby and mom if that can happen.

Our instructor mentioned more than once the biggest factor in allowing you to have a natural birth is you believing in your body's ability to do it. I don't want to second-guess myself and don't need anyone telling me "oh you say that now... just you wait!" What does that accomplish? Nothing.

I am completely realistic that in birth, like in every other area of life, things hardly ever go as planned. And I'll be okay with that. The only thing I really care about in the end is having a healthy baby. There are a million different scenarios that can all end with that - that involve any number of combinations of things I do or do not want during my labor + delivery. I just want my little boy at the end and we'll do what we need to do to make that happen. I'm not tied to my plan - because things will change... I have no doubt. But I'm glad that I have an idea of what I want instead of going in this blindly.

Most of all, I'm so thankful to have Chad. As big of a goofball as he is, took the class very seriously and I have no doubt he is going to be the most amazing support system for me in that hospital. I'm also so thankful to have baby Jack... I've said it before: Jack is a fighter. I know he is. I can feel it. It's crazy, but I really feel like the three of us - Chad, Jack and I - are going into this together as a team and we're going to work this thing out. I have completely confidence in my ability to do this, Jack's ability to cooperate with me to get him out, and Chad's ability to support us all.

Only a little over 6 weeks left.

And I finally feel ready.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Busy Bee

Sorry for the lack of posting - it has been a busy week!

This weekend, Chad and I have our labor and delivery classes at the hospital where I'll be having our sweet little boy. I'm crossing my fingers that we have a great teacher, because I heard they can feel like a huge waste of time - or the best, most informative thing ever - depending on who you get.

Regardless, I'm sure I'll have some fun/funny stories ready for you on Monday.

Have a great weekend y'all.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Panic Routine

This weekend, Chaddyboy and I go to our Labor and Birth Education classes at the hospital where I'll be delivering little Jack. In preparation for the class, the hospital sent a large booklet for us to read ahead of time.

I had to keep reading it in stages because all the talk about labor and delivery would freak me out and I'd start crying.


I know it's a little too late now. No turning back. But seriously, I'm terrified. And I know it's hormones and it's (somewhat) irrational - so no need for all my mom friends to send me pitying emails about how this is normal. I know this.

I texted Molly last night just to be sure.

I just got to keep reminding myself that babies are born every minute. Women have been doing this for generations. And they end up having MULTIPLE babies... so it's obviously not the end of the world.

But it's just the fear of the unknown. And knowing that every birth is different - so I can't assume my labor and delivery is going to be like someone else's.

With that said - I told Chad he better double- and triple-read the page on "What to do if the laboring woman panics."I loooove some of these "pre-panic signals" like if lose my focal point and start thrashing my head from side to side.

So great - I can potentially turn into the exorcist. Lucky for us there is a "Panic Routine" at the bottom which includes things such as holding my head in his hands, breathing with me and reassuring me. Chad said he thinks if he tries to touch me or tell me to slow my breathing than I'd be liable to start cursing like a sailor at him to leave me the $#%*^$% alone.

After Chad reads through this dang booklet, we're going to need another page:

"What to do if the support person panics."