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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Baby 4 Week 31: Tub of Blood

New blue hair, first shot at blue since 2006 when I turned my
neck and ears blue but not my hair. Glad I tried again!
Week 31

Eric was laid off last week so that means we are getting a lot done. We expected him to get laid off two weeks ago so the extra paychecks were nice. We are racing to finish crown molding and base boards then we will rip out the bathroom.

Having Eric home means I get to go to the gym a lot more. I've gotten five really good workouts in five days in a row, which is amazing. People at the gym are finally consistently noticing that I'm pregnant... though yesterday I had an instructor who I honestly think didn't know I was pregnant and not just unfortunately shaped. So in a group weight class if someone is doing something wrong usually the instructor just reminds the group, instead of calling someone out. I usually skim the room via the mirror to see who is fucking up. Well having a huge belly, I cannot properly do a dead row with a barbell. This is a dead row:

A dead row... only I do this with hella weight... HELLA!
Bar goes to your belly button. I know this, but my belly button is getting closer and closer to my knees so the movement it pretty worthless at this point, so I take the bar to my lower chest. I checked this modification with another instructor and he said it was fine, move my hands out farther on the bar... no prob. This instructor said over and over "To the belly button, not lower chest." I looked around, pretty sure it was directed at me. I finally just complied, which is bullshit because that means I basically didn't work my back at all.

When we get to abs, I usually just quietly put my stuff away unless abs are all upright, and they usually aren't. Yesterday this instructor said several times to the group "if your back hurts or something and you just don't think you can do abs on the floor, just do planks!" I'm the only one not doing abs... then she starts twisting back and forth doing side planks saying "then do this, you know, get those obliques!" Maybe this was a general suggestion... but I'll be annoyed just in case.

Things I'm into: rice, eating a whole bag of sugar snap pea frozen stir fry in one sitting (usually with rice), rice cakes still (especially the chocolate ones which I'm not longer allowed to buy after I ate a whole package of them in a day), decaf coffee with lots of cinnamon, dripping food on my belly, super hot showers as often as possible, not wearing clothes as often as possible, super cute baby kicks.

Things I'm not into: all vegetables except raw carrots and sugar snap pea frozen stir fry, staying up past 10pm, bending for any reason (I left dropped items on the floor of Target four times yesterday), getting up to pee 3-4 times in the night, sex... which is very disappointing and not like me and despite feeling really good about my body.

I've been wanting to write about my thoughts on birth and pubic hair for a while... maybe I'll write about that next week...

Oh before I wrap this up I saw my midwife yesterday. For the first time I think I am measuring right on instead of on the big side, which is great. We covered some of my concerns with the birth... which are really just what can we do to avoid my birth involving me sitting in a tub of blood... because I'm not super into that. Considering that I don't expect to tear, getting out of the tub before the placenta detaches should hopefully help me avoid the blood tub. I'm not overly concerned, I'll probably be really into my new baby... but there is a little part of me that thinks I would look down and think "this is gross, get me out of here." I really don't have many other concerns. I can answer a lot of questions that I think first time home birthers would have... I know when we might need to transfer, what a transfer would be like, what a midwife brings... etc. So now I can focus on things like... what will I wear and how will I do my hair :)

Pubic hair post next week... get ready for it.

What this week was like with my other pregnancies:
             Milo, Week 31: Diabetes Drama, Our Birth Plan
             Ash, Week 31: Gateway Drug
             Indy, Week 31: No post this week


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Baby 4 Week 30: Social Media/Cake/Husband Doula

Week 30

If you follow me on facebook I'm sorry that I post about food all the time. I think about sweet stuff almost all the time and me posting about it is like Eminem singing about murdering people instead of doing it. Don't feel sorry for me, I'm not suffering, and I know that a huge reason why I feel amazing right now is because I'm not eating the massive amounts of sugar that I really want. And that's really what I want... all the time. Driving I saw IHOP has a cheesecake waffle... and I wanted it... I've been to IHOP once and I thought it was excessive and gross, but suddenly cheesecake waffle sounds super reasonable. I like sweet stuff like anyone else, but when I'm pregnant it's like my body becomes a suicidal sugary flame seeking diabetic moth...

... and there's lactation oatmeal cookie dough in the fridge... if you were to bet that I'm going to eat it for breakfast... you'd win. I could pretend that I wouldn't eventually eat it... and then maybe eat it at a socially acceptable time, but I'm just going to get it over with and then do some PiYo or something after.

With 8-10 weeks to go I need to start to seriously look at my birth team. I have my husband, I have two amazing midwives, I have my sister in law who may be holding a video camera again or may just be squee'ing in the corner... we'll see... I may have a birth photographer, she needs to be confirmed, one of my former students who is a pro photog may be experimenting with videography... I've even set which birth class we'll be taking (I'll share that another time) and I pretty much have all my home birth supplies assembled. However, I've been putting off choosing a doula.

I want a doula, but I guess I didn't expect to be looking for one. Being in the birth community I figured that things would fall together through friendships and acquaintances. I've really assessed why I want a doula... and my reasons might be kinda stupid. First off, I decided I'm not going to livefeed the birth, but after seeing another mom's doula do all her social media updates (when mom couldn't) I would love to have someone do that for me. Next, it would be great to have someone there to help with stuff like filling the pool, or taking over birthday cake baking duties if Eric and I get busy having a baby. Doulas do so so so much more than this by the way, but our needs and wants are all unique, and mine just happen to be kinda frivolous. I also want someone to help Eric in case he has to like... pee or something... which he rarely gets to do when I'm in labor. I need a lot of physical support from him, usually for the entire labor, and if someone was there to help him I think it would be a better birth for both of us... which is really a very classic role of a doula, to support dad.

I feel definite barriers in making this decision. First, the thing I thought would make this decision easier, being a birth professional, has definitely made it harder. The doula community can be a little political, I know that choosing one doula might be making a statement to other doulas, and I don't want any part of that. Choosing someone who has a similar birth philosophy is important too. I really like all the local midwives, but finding two midwives whose style and philosophy matched up with mine was actually quite challenging. I ended up making zero compromises in who I chose... obviously I chose the midwife who talked loudly about vaginas in public places.

I can definitely like you as a person, and have a very different philosophy as you, and I think mine is pretty unique in my community, though I'm most certainly not alone and I've made connections with women who seem to think like me when it comes to birth. I did ask one doula already, but she will be moving the month before... which was a bummer. Another doula offered, but I don't think we are a good match on that level. I've thought about looking in Santa Cruz, but I don't think we could swing a full fee when we are also paying for the home birth out of pocket and when I feel like my needs are very different from say, a first time mom birthing in a hospital.

So, those are my doula thoughts for now... I'm willing to invest a lot of consideration here... doulas are really important and the closer we get to the birth, the more I know that I want one.

I totally ate the cookie dough already.

Talk to you next week!

What this week was like with my other pregnancies:
        Milo, Week 30: Don't Mind Me... Just Hanging Out... Stuck in the Tub
        Ash, Week 30: Abs of Steel
        Indy, Week 30: Decision Week


Monday, October 6, 2014

Baby 4 Week 29: I'm Not Going for a Natural Birth

Week 29

Great week! Got some awesome workouts in, including a run, with hills, and more running than walking. My weight held steady this week and I really can't say I had any unpleasant pregnancy feelings. Oh! One super weird thing! I was at a pregnancy moms meet-up (it's just a local group of pregnant moms, super fun, check out our facebook group for meet-ups) and I got a leg cramp, but not my calf... in my thigh! Not even my quad or hamstring, it was my abductor... and it hurt! It eventually went away but it was so weird.

Ok about the title of the post.. so yeah... I was just thinking about it the other day, and I really don't feel like I'm planning a natural birth. I've had a natural birth, and that's not what I want. I feel like everything I'm doing is to help me achieve my goal of an undisturbed birth. One would think that achieving a natural birth would be the highest achievement, but I still feel like I have missed out on a truly normal birth. I still had to negotiate aspects of my birth, I had to answer questions, I was made to lay on my back when that was the last thing I wanted to do, blood was drawn as I pushed, I was instructed to not push when it was the only thing my body wanted to do, waters were artificially ruptured, oxygen put over my face when I couldn't breath... which was because I was on my back. I'm not bitter about my natural birth... and it was certainly totally natural in that it was unmedicated... but it wasn't undisturbed. I was in fact super disturbed. I can't imagine what an animal in that stage of labor would do if you did all those things to her. I wouldn't want anyone else to feel bad about the natural birth they achieve while also having to navigate a system that is not really supportive of it.. it's an amazing achievement... but it's just not what I want this time. Obviously, that's why we are having a home birth... the importance of birthing freely without having to negotiate the terms has just been on my mind a lot this week... and I'm really excited about it.

I got my list of what I need for my home birth from my midwife this week. I don't need a birth kit and I literally have almost everything on the list! Score!

Baby is amazing. I can feel his or her skinny legs and feet so clearly sometimes. I must have less fat on my belly because I never felt this with the others!

What this week was like with my other pregnancies:
        Milo, Week 29: Bigness & Loudness are Positively Correlated
        Ash, Week 29: Get Me a Paper Bag ASAP, Natural Childbirth Freakout
        Indy, Week 29: No Girl No Pie


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Baby 4 Week 28: One of Our Kids is in There

Week 28

This pregnancy continues to be delightful. I know the next couple months will go quickly so I'm trying to enjoy it. It's still shocking to feel and see baby kick and move around. I like to freak out Eric by reminding him that one of our kids is in there, and it'll be out in as soon as 10 weeks (Ash was!).

I admit I was not as excited to meet Indy. We definitely wanted another baby, but Ash had been such a hard baby, I was content with letting Indy stay inside where he was nice and quiet for as long as he wanted... until 41 weeks... then I started to get a little nervous. But nine days later Indy was finally born and he was such a sweet little newborn. I try to not say "good baby" because that implies there are bad babies... and there aren't... babies are different just like adults are... he still woke in the night and wanted to be held most of the time, but everything was so much easier. Maybe it's because I was better at mothering him. No one ever says anything about that, but I think you do get better at mothering your babies the more you have. What felt like a big deal with your first is barely a blip on your mommy radar with your third, and I'm assuming that's why mothers of larger families can do it... they just get better at it. At least that's how I feel... I suppose some women will be really hard on themselves for every baby... which sounds awful...

My point is that having Indy made me realize that I have no idea who this baby is. I expected Ash to sleep six hours straight at a time like Milo did, and I expected Indy to eat every 90 minutes for months like Ash did. I don't know this baby, but I know I have the skills or the ability to learn whatever I need to meet his or her needs. That realization takes off so much pressure, and I think is one reason why I'm able to just fully enjoy this pregnancy and this growing baby. I have never felt the need to post "Moms of four... how do you survive!? What's difference from three to four???" I'm just looking forward to meeting another one of our kids.

Twenty eight weeks is kinda one of my favorite weeks... so I thought we should do another belly compare.

28 weeks with baby 4

28 weeks with Indiana

28 weeks with Ashley

27 weeks with Milo

I think I pretty much covered how I feel about this pregnancy... and how the pregnancy actually feels is still pretty good too. Heartburn is stupid and I'm definitely slowing down a little... though not enough to not be planning a family vacation to Texas and Disneyland this month and also a bathroom remodel for this month or next month. 

I'm starting to gain weight which I knew would happen eventually... but I just don't like it. I'm up to 198... which is still only 6 pounds gained... I just hate going over 200... and I don't want to start rabidly gaining 2-3 pounds a week like I have in other pregnancies. At this point with Milo I was 212, with Ash 208 and Indy 209... and gained pretty rapidly until I gave birth. My concern is all associated with gestational diabetes... not vanity... in case anyone didn't know. I know I'll lose the weight after, but how much I gain seems to reflect how well my blood sugar is controlled. I am making sure to make more time for the gym this week, and I'll be checking my blood sugar much more often now. Just 10-12 weeks to go... I've got this.

What this week was like with my other pregnancies:
                    Milo, Week 28: The Job You Can't Quit
                    Ash, Week 28: Win/Fail/Win
                    Indy, Week 28: AKA The Diabetes Week


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Baby 4 Week 27: The Cake Drought

Week 27

I'm not that awesome with stuff like, what month I'm in, when a trimester begins... etc... I actually just found out today that I'm in my third trimester now! 

I find charts like this helpful, and I do have to consult them every pregnancy because I forget.

I thought I had another week... but it makes sense, because my pregnancy felt more... there... this week. 

I had a couple days where I was really hungry, like I could not stop eating. I ate healthy stuff, whole wheat toast, kefir, greek yogurt, nuts... but I just felt gross and huge and I really wanted cake... I feel like I'm in a tragic cake drought.... and brownies... the cake and brownie drought of 2014. Also obsessed with coffee... decaf of course, but I'm not a coffee drinker and now I want it all the time. Maybe coffee makes you want cake.

I decided a run would make me feel better. Only a couple blocks in I was seriously tempted to fall on my side on someone's lawn. I felt strong, I had the energy, but my whole uterus totally cramped up. Not a contraction, it was the ligaments I think. It hurt and sucked... so I walked a while... then ran again... then walked off the agony... then ran... walked... and actually after like a mile I could run for a while without pain... but there's no denying that running is mostly off for the pregnancy. I still have my weights and elliptical. I was a little annoyed that the BodyPump teacher was all "Oh you are pregnant?" when I asked her how I could modify chest presses. I overall feel better now that I did during my bingey days earlier in the week.

I did have crazy acid reflux one night, but just one night. It was the kind where you feel like you are drowning, exactly like week 27 with Milo. Hasn't happened since that one night. Apparently that's how I start third trimesters.

My official second trimester gains were 4 pounds, but I still haven't gained back what I lost in the first trimester. I'm measuring 28 weeks, so pretty much right on. All very good news... come on normal sized baby!!!

I saw my midwife this week, and it was lovely (she's probably reading this). No it really was though. Baby and I are doing great in all areas, blood sugar, blood pressure, growth. Right now the biggest concern my midwife has is my blood pressure because I've had some high readings, but I was good this week and I really think it's going to be ok. I feel really good about everything... except cake.

What this week was like with my other pregnancies:
                    Ash, Week 27: The 10k Post
                    Indy, Week 27: Bigger in Texas


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Baby 4 Week 26: The Shortest Week of the Longest Fucking Days Ever

Week 26

Sometimes there's a week on my calendar that I know is probably going to be nuts. Months ago, I knew this would be a busy week. I had a birth fair:

The Rally to Improve Birth that I was a coordinator for:

The Fall Meet the Doula which I also help plan (and I didn't take any pictures at because I never stopped moving and sweating).

and then our Birth Network's fall meeting.

In addition to that I had two birth classes starting (Salinas and Hollister) Monday and Friday. When I put this week together in months ago I must have seriously had it out for future me... Though, I also didn't know I would be totally taken down by a brutal cold. And honestly, not participating in any of these birth events is just not an option to me, they are all really important to me and I do truly enjoy them while they are happening... it's the planning and prepping before and the sometimes unhappy participants afterwards (dare I check my inbox after?) that made for very, very long days. Days where I seriously could not believe that from morning to night it had only been one day.

My classes that were due to start didn't. The Hollister class was always a long shot because I don't live there and I was relying on others to market it... but I was surprised to have only one Salinas couple who then decided to do the online class. My Carmel class is full though and my time with them is like a little oasis in my week. Honestly, it's probably a good thing I will not be teaching three nights a week pretty much up to my due date, maybe the universe is intervening.

The days were very long but overall the week felt very short. I cannot believe I will be in my third trimester in just two weeks! I made it to BodyPump and RIPPED this class and I was pretty pathetic at BodyPump... but I feel like I killed RIPPED. I felt so good, and I think I looked good too, which is a nice change.

This baby is moving like crazy now... which is... crazy. Seeing my belly move all over is just amazing because I go so much of my day not even really thinking about being pregnant, and because it's all just going so fast. I don't feel like I should be getting those huge kicks in my ribs (or boobs, which is so funny to me when they do that) or see my whole belly shifting. I'd love to know who's in there.

I honestly don't know what I ate this week... I had to bake 50 lactation cookies which came out to a lot more so I think I lived off those quite a bit. I had seemed to have creeped up a couple pounds and backed off... and went right back down to where I had been. I feel good and my blood sugar is good so I'm not worried. Feel good other than the savage exhaustion and the stupid cold. I got new hair though... that makes everything ok.

Talk to you all next week!

What this week was like with my other pregnancies:
                    Milo, Week 26: Practice Makes Perfect
                    Ash, Week 26: It's Called Labor Not Picnic
                    Indy, Week 26: Almost A TMI Post

- Cori

Monday, September 8, 2014

Baby 4 Week 25: Nesting, The Power Tool Edition

Week 25

I can't seem to nest like a normal person. I don't paint nurseries or hang pictures... we rip out walls. It seems I only get these bursts of motivation to remodel more of our home when I'm expecting.

We finally saved up the money to refinish the floors, we compared estimates to what it would cost to do it ourselves and we would save thousands... I convinced Eric to try to do just one room. If it turned out horribly, we would pay someone to do the rest.

Eric started on one room and halfway through the day he said we might as well do the other bedrooms and I started clearing furniture... big furniture... didn't care, we were going to finish the bedrooms. I dropped off the kids and started sanding with Eric.

Hours and hours of this.

We ended up sanding for 22 hours straight... I looked like this sometime around 4am:

It's not a good look.
There was no time to sleep after sanding,  we went straight to applying the polyurethane. I ended up staying awake for 37 hours straight, and Eric was awake for 47.

This is where we got to sleep the next couple days... with all the kids:

I'm really happy with the result, and so glad we did it ourselves. We are going to use the money we saved to go to Disneyland in November.

Original floor right, sanded floor center, finished floor (just poly) left.
One room done, I'll take picture of the others as we move stuff in!

We are still slowly moving everything into the rooms. I ordered wall vinyls for four rooms. I wavered over whether wall vinyls were too trendy, but they take up big spaces and I don't have to buy art or... God forbid put pictures in frames. I'll take pictures of rooms as I work on them/finish them. 
Above is the daycare nursery pretty much done, now I feel like I can finally decorate it.

Pregnancy wise, the heartburn has been mild. I feel really good, not big at all. I am getting a lot of round ligament paid. The ligaments in my belly feel really tight, it can be really uncomfortable. However over all, it doesn't bother me much. I am really enjoying this pregnancy.

I didn't check my blood sugar this week, but I'm not worried about it. I still haven't gained much and I associate my blood sugar going off with weight gain, they tend to correlate. I'll check tomorrow. I've gained back 3-4 pounds of the 11 I've lost. I'm still obsessed with kefir with apricots (put in the freezer for a bit and it's almost kinda like ice cream) and rice cakes. For actual real meals, an egg and a piece of toast and rice with stir fry veggies are my favorites.

This sweet little baby is moving more and more, I love when I can see him or her kick, maybe I'll be able to catch it on video soon.
I'm off to go get my hair done after doing it myself the past... 6 months at least. Excited :)

What this week was like with my other pregnancies:
                    Milo, Week 25: I'm gonna give birth like a cow in a barn and that's that.
                    Ash, Week 25: Brainstorm on Why I'm Not Miserable
                    Indy, Week 25: Six down, three to go

- Cori