Archive for the ‘Mommyhood’ Category

One of those days…

I find it helpful to reread my reasons for homeschooling every now and again, especially on days like this. 🙂

Yes, it’s been one of those days. I’ve been feeling sick, thanks to the cold and tummy bugs around our house for the last week or so, and today, everyone has been grumpy. We had a really frustrating trip to the grocery store where the older kids were loud and didn’t listen well, and I had to make a meal for someone tonight, so I couldn’t leave without the things I had come for. By the end of the trip, I was so upset I wanted to yell. This, too, is part of homeschooling!

The kids are always around. Most of the time, that’s wonderful! Sometimes it’s not. I could have used a break today. When we got home, I put everyone straight down for a nap, literally from the car. My 2 year old and 4.5 year old both slept, as did my 4 month old toward the end of their naps, and my 7 year old read quietly in his room for a while. Is it sipping something with an umbrella on the sunny beach somewhere? Nope. Not even close. But the quiet recharged me enough to get through and play with this kids this evening.

So homeschooling – and parenting! – have good moments and the not-so-good. Everyone has days like this, and we are all not alone!

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And so ends the era of the moo doggies

Childhood is so fleeting. So long, drawn-out, and hard, and yet so quick. To us adults, that is.

My third son just turned 2 years old. In the past few weeks, he has started talking so much more than before, and I’m already missing some of the things he used to say. For example, for months all animals were “doggies.” Then they became somewhat differentiated, like “moo doggies.” And now, during one of our regular car songs, he piped up from his car seat in the middle bench, loudly and clearly, “COW!”

And so ends the era of the moo doggies. Goodbye, moo doggies, I’ll miss you.

It’s a girl!

It was pointed out to me that I never said I had my baby, or what “flavor” it was…so let me say that after three wonderful boys, I had a beautiful baby GIRL over Passover. She  was 9.5 pounds, has lots of dark hair and delicious cheeks, and we are so happy she is here!

Reflections for the future me…

Dear future me,

This has apparently been the same for each pregnancy, but pregnancy brain (or is it baby brain?) makes you forget. Just so you know, you have done it before and it’s OK…

The last 4-6 weeks of pregnancy are rough. Really, really rough. I guess it has to be to get people to want to go into labor, right? Except you don’t mind labor. Well, you don’t like it much, but it’s not terrible. (Pushing is absolutely terrible, but thankfully that has been quick, even with the latest 9 lb 6 oz addition!) But back to the reminders of those last few weeks…sciatica that makes you avoid going anywhere with your (poor, housebound) kids. You will have real exhaustion and need to take a nap as much or more than your current baby/toddler (although your exhaustion could be from current young kids, too.) And you will have tight (at least not painful) “practice” contractions that come everyone 10-15 minutes starting in the evening for the last 3 weeks. The baby is probably not in a bad position, your body just needs to ramp up to get them out after all the getting out it’s done over the past few years!

Recovery physically isn’t so bad, especially after the first week. But two weeks of help is better!

Dear future me, if you are blessed to get pregnant and carry a child again, remember this and plan for it!

Pregnancy mindgames

The last weeks of pregnancy are a total mind game…I’m full term!…It could be today…What was that twinge?..Is that a real contraction, or just more practice?…etc., etc., etc.

I think the end of pregnancy is a way to show the pregnant woman that you don’t have control over much, and that “much” will get even smaller shortly as a(nother) small person with demands, needs, and their own ideas makes an appearance. But the waiting is so hard!

I know several readers are in the same boat, and I’m wishing you more grace than I have been able to stir up. I’m not handling it as poorly as I did with my first (when the midwife kept saying any time from 36 weeks and got my hopes WAY up while my baby was ready on his due date!), but I am still not the zen mama whose trust in God above and the wisdom he has given my baby and my body is unshakable.

Last night, the practice contractions made me think it might be the real thing, and it’s scary and exciting and frustrating when it’s not. But the end is in sight! B’shaa tova (at a good time) to all!

My “get up and go”…

…has gotten up and gone. Without me, that is. Or so it seems tonight.

Being in the last couple of weeks of pregnancy is hard. Being close to Passover with little kids (AKA crumb-makers and de-organizers) is hard. Being a homeschooling mom with little kids home all day, working part time from home, managing the house, trying to work through dissertation red tape, etc…is hard. Added together, it’s HARD!

I’m trying to find the peace that I always imagine I will have at the end of my pregnancies as I await this particular baby. As usual, I’m raring to be done in my head–being zen is just NOT me. I’m a planner, and the waiting game is really hard. Apparently, I’m not alone–I just read that elective, non-medically driven inductions are up to a ridiculous rate (something like 15% in general, with some hospitals reporting as high as 44%?! *) for weeks 37 and 38–“early term” babies. While we are most certainly an on-demand society in general, those numbers shocked me!

While being done being pregnant and having my baby in arms (and my aching back magically healed) sounds AWESOME, I’m reminding myself why I’m leaving this in bigger, more knowledgeable hands. My baby’s health, the ease of delivery and recovery, less complications overall…and the fact that I seriously doubt my midwives would induce just because I’m feeling beaten down and sore! 🙂

Meanwhile, baby is growing and we’ve made a deal that he or she will emerge as soon as they are ready. Preferably before my due date. But somehow, I’ll find to strength to last. The toy surprise at the end is just too good to endanger because I’m in a hurry! 🙂

Hoping you have more energy and less exhaustion, dear reader. Because this normally organized and generally ahead-of-the-curve Mama is going to bed early!

*Source is the April 2011 Edition of American Baby magazine

Why home birth?

As I am getting closer and closer to the end of this pregnancy, I find it good to review my motivation for having a home birth.

A little history: I have a back condition that makes an epidural out of the question. I also have a…needle “discomfort.” I can take it if I need to, but I sure can’t relax with an IV in place. Plus, I had never been admitted in the hospital, but it isn’t so much fun! So I started looking at options other than a hospital and found a freestanding birth center staffed by CNMs (Certified Nurse Midwives). Although we were a little nervous (and really, what new parent-to-be isn’t?), we decided to go for it.

My first was born in a freestanding birth center after 9 hours of labor and 3 hours of pushing, diagnosed as breathing too fast, and sent to the hospital. It was a rough situation for all, since we had to take a hotel room a few miles away and struggle to balance all the changes with a baby who didn’t seem sick in any way–other than his breathing was a little faster than “normal.” He weighed in at 8 lb 9 oz, was the loudest little one in the NICU, and had so many precautionary wires and tubes running from his poor little body in the first days of his life! It turned out nothing was wrong and he slowed his breathing himself in about a day. Then he started developing a little jaundice–truly nothing serious! Had he been home by then, no one would have done anything, but they kept him longer as a precaution. We started feeling like we would have to break him out of there! 5 days later, we were finally able to take him home.

When I was expecting my second, we were living in another country, but decided to return to a free-standing birth center–although a different one closer to family and in another state. This labor was about 2.5 hours long once it got rolling, and it was a good thing we were nearby–we were staying an hour from it! We had a relatively easy birth, in the water (unplanned), and I was amazed at how good I felt after. The baby was breathing a little fast again, but otherwise seemed fine, so we took him home. Turns out he was fine…about a day later.

For my third, we were again overseas, and due to return around 32 weeks. The birth center in the area was closed, and the others were about an hour away with no traffic, so I didn’t feel comfortable using them. I tentatively set up care with a home birth CNM duo who I found through mothering<dot>com. I wasn’t sure about a homebirth, but didn’t like the nearby hospital choice with its 40%+ c-section rate and lack of naturally minded doctors. It was only about 10 minutes away from the hospital, so I decided it would be good for a back-up and took the leap into homebirth. This babe was my first that was a few days late, but he arrived 90 minutes after I awoke in labor at 8 lb 10 oz. And although it was an intense labor, it was amazing to go back to my own shower, clean up, and get tucked into my own bed with my new son. He, too, was breathing a little fast, but the midwife said, “A sick baby looks sick–they won’t nurse well, are crabby, or have trouble with other things.” I loved that approach, and again, this baby resolved his breathing in about a day. And my older boys got to walk into my room one day and were surprised–“There’s a baby in Mommy’s bed!” 😉

So here I am again, and I’m planning another home birth (please God!). My pregnancy has been low-risk, this babe is doing well, and we are anticipating a quick labor. I did an ultrasound at 20 weeks, as I have done with each child–I want to be sure that all the important organs and body parts are there and functioning.

We aren’t super crunchy people. Really. I love being a mommy, but being pregnant and actually having the baby? We don’t wax poetic about childbirth. It’s an awesome thing, absolutely. But not something either my husband or I are too fond of. If it wasn’t for the cutest toy surprise at the end, I don’t know that I would ever consider doing it or attending one! But since I have to be at the birth, we’re trying to make the best of it.

We’ve just decided that home birth works out best for us assuming everything is still going well. This is for many reasons:

  • Long prenatal appointments (usually 1 hour each) with much more focus on health and nutrition, and inclusion of the kids
  • Much more freedom in labor: ability to eat and drink, move around without continuous monitoring, take whatever position works, use my own things, push in whatever position works, etc.
  • Avoiding hospitals: unnecessary interventions, foreign germs, super-bugs, IVs, unnecessary c-sections, etc.
  • Less disruption for me, dh, and the kids!
  • A history of precipitous births that could mean a car birth or unplanned home birth
  • No laboring in the car needed
  • A general mindset among midwives that pregnancy is not an illness and is something spiritual to be celebrated!

Now, should a hospital transfer be necessary, we will not hesitate to go. If there are doubts or potential problems, we are out of here! But God controls the universe, so I do what I can to make everything as safe and comfortable as I can, and rely on Him for the rest.