Thursday, August 27, 2009

Baby I Week 32: Those God Damn Crazy EC Moms Are Kinda Making Sense!

I'm 8 months pregnant with just 8 weeks to go!!! Wait a second... gotta get up and do the snoopy dance... *snoopy dance*

Now that that's out of the way, I know it could be longer, but let me just believe it's 8 weeks because that is such a nice, little number of weeks! So awesome. No weight gained this week (thank God).

Ok so if you've been following me, you might think I'm crazy by now... "Cori's going to have her baby naturally even though there's special Dr. magic that takes all the hurt away... nutso" and "We have these nice, clean inventions called disposable diapers, but Cori wants to use icky cloth diapers with extra work... get the men in the white coats NOW!"

I shouldn't even tell you what I'm reading about now. You'll stop reading my blogs and probably won't be my friend anymore because now I'm just too damn crazy for normal society. I'm going to have to change my name and retrete into special crunchy granola mom land where people like me can't disturb normal modern moms.

I don't even want to say it, but I kinda think the Elimination Communication moms make sense. I had heard of it, and all I knew was "those moms are crazy, don't go near them, they potty train newborns!" I know, what crazy bitches right? So when I saw an EC link on Diaper Swappers I didn't even click it, just like how I wouldn't click on a Babywearing link, because they might see me and try to convert me and I think they are absolute loonies. Yeah well lets all raise a glass to the pot that calls the kettle black.

I clicked. God damnit why did I click? I LIKE hating those crazies! It's SOOO fun! Well, I did click and got reading and the theory makes sense, and seems to work. I've rejected a lot of parenting philosophies, because even if it's "natural" or "easier" or "super fucking old" it seems to be pretty proven to not be best in producing a stable, confidant child, or it just doesn't jive with what I know about infant/child/human behavior. Ok, so EC, kinda makes sense, but I bet most of you are still wondering what it all entails.

It's not potty training so much as it is helping your baby to not soil himself. The claim is that babies don't want to soil themselves (like nearly ALL other species of animals, we know a puppy won't want to soil where it sleeps, that's why crate training works) and can cue as to when they need to eliminate (most of us know that part, they make faces, squirm, etc), so instead of sitting by and letting your baby do something they don't like, you help them go in an appropriate place (potty, sink, open diaper). You pay attention to when your child is going potty, and when they do, you also "cue" them with a sound, like "ssss" or something. Very soon after, they will go when cued. The idea isn't that the baby will NEVER use a diaper, but if you are available, watch your baby so you can help them do what's comfortable and natural to them.

They also talk about how confusing it is for babies to be trained to use a diaper, even though it's not comfortable, then to be later scolded for the same behavior when mom and dad decide to potty train. I think I've just functioned under the assumption that babies were not developmentally able to tell they were going to potty soon, and therefore cue themself or respond to a cue. But so far I've been reading about these behaviors we've all seen, but are actually (being claimed to be) connected to the baby's natural instinct to keep dry.

Now I would think this was all crazy, except it works with animals. Mother animals never let their babies be in their own waste. Very young puppies can respond to cues to potty. Are puppies smarter than babies? Honestly... I don't really know.

So, am I saying I'm gonna try this? Don't know, everything I do I do after an insane amount of serious research. If I did, my goal would not to be "Diaper Free" as it is with others, but the theory seems solid, and the stories from moms are SO interesting. I think because I can relate it to the animal world, it makes sense to me. I think it would be interested to try out some of the techniques on a small scale, because unlike the parenting theories I do not approve of, I can in no way see how this would be damaging to the developing child.

Personally, I don't think I'm so crazy... though... I won't be reading my "Diaper Free" book in public.

In other news... pregnancy is really starting to get in the way of sex. I haven't decided if I'm gonna share in detail, but I want to because it's all SO funny, but I don't want to come off as tacky or TMI. Anyhow, I'll let the readers vote on this one...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Baby I Week 31: Diabetes Drama, Our Birth Plan

OMG. Week 31. Nuts. So I got my routine glucose tolerance test (Gestational Diabetes), for those who don't know what that is, you fast, then drink a super sweet drink, and an hour later they draw. No biggy. Well I failed, not horribly. They want your blood sugar to not be over 120, mine was 149, really bad is like 200. No not awesome. So then I have to get a 3 hour test. Call me crazy, but I thought I'd drink another drink, maybe a bigger one, then get tested 3 hours later. Nope.

They draw your blood, you drink, 1 hour later they draw again, and then again another hour later, and then again another hour later. Four draws. Ugh.

I get there, and get my first draw, drink, leave, come back from draw 2. Ok, back story: I have horrible veins. Many nurses and even doctors have failed to stick 'em. I have ONE good vein. Also, when faced with a stressful, blood related situation, I faint, have a seizure, and vomit. There is no rational reason for it, I'm not afraid of needles, this is a fear reaction associated with pain/blood that I can't control. Putting my head down, breathing, legs up... or anything like that dosn't help because it's a reaction related to my anxiety disorder. So... that known...

I had horrible bruising from my draw 4 days prior. The one arm with the good vein is now horribly bruised and painful. I still endure my first draw there, hoping the tech can get another vein for draw 2. I come for draw 2, new tech. She tells me all my bruising (since I tell her I do not bruise easily) were from bad sticks. I have a spike in anxiety, because now I'm grossed out talking about the bruise, which means I bled extra (I'm very obsessed with internal bleeding, bruises included). Then she tries my other arm. She goes through the vein, can't get it. I try to play it cool (I don't LIKE having this issue) but she and Eric both see me getting really white. She says she can TRY my hand, but she doesn't think I can finish the test. I don't think I can either. I'm on the verge of tears (it's associated with whatever reaction happens in me, I never have a good reason for the crying) and I know the rest of the attack is well on its way. I go outside so I don't have to sob infront of the other people.

The tech gets on the phone with a nurse from my Dr. office. The nurse says she has to do it any way. They go back and forth and the phone is eventually passed to Eric. At this point, the test TODAY is not possible. There's no way, I've lost it now. Eric goes back and forth with her and eventually he just ends the conversation and we leave. Later Eric talks with my doctor, and he doesn't seem to know what to do. I have 1 good vein, we are asking that we have time to just heal so we can try again with a good tech. The Dr. said he'll have to have the nurse we talked to earlier call us, because he doesn't seem to know what our options are, though he did suggest they sedate me. Awesome.

I'm not stoked about any of this. I don't want to be a problem, I want to know if I have Gestational Diabetes so it can be treated... but I also didn't want to have a seizure, because they take a lot out of me and I KNEW if I had one, there was no way they would be able to do more draws that day anyway. I know I'm so high maintenance.

On a less dramatic note! I'm huge. I've now gained around 23 pounds. I had to suffer through endless dress shopping this week. Sucked, because I'm a giant. How giant? My belly is 47 inches, and my rib cage is a horrifying 40 inches. So I basically fit in nothing. I was ready to give up on life, or make something myself... then I went to Ross in Monterey. Appearantly, fat people don't buy much formal wear there because there was a huge selection for me to choose from! I bought 2 dresses (1 for my baby shower, 1 for a wedding). One I will need to take in at the bust, it's a size 22 Wide! LOL... but it fit my belly!!! Both dresses together were less that $30. SCORE!

Our birth plan is finally done! I'm sure it'll need a few revisions... but here it is! Super open to suggestions and such. It prints out to exactly 2 pages. We know some things are repetitive, but we don't expect nurses to read it through, just glance it over (if that) so we want the important points to pop out.

Oh and Eric wanted me to add that this week I drove away with a gas nozzle still in my tank. He thinks it is somehow baby related, something about the baby making me retarded.

Gentry Family Birth Plan

Father/Coach – Eric Gentry Mother – Cori Lynn Gentry Due Date – October 23, 2009
Obstetrician – Dr. James Gilbert Pediatrician – Dr. James Brennan Hospital – Salinas Valley Memorial

Thank you for allowing us to summarize our wishes for the birth of our first child. We have prepared for a natural, husband-coached childbirth through the Bradley Method. We have educated ourselves prior to making these choices and feel that we are prepared to follow through on them. We hope that with your help, we will welcome our son, Milo, joyfully and naturally.

Labor Wishes in Stage 1
• Natural Birth – We have prepared for a natural birth, without medical and/or chemical intervention. In the case of an extreme emergency, we ask that we be given the opportunity to accept or refuse any procedure. In the unlikely event that this is necessary please consult the father/coach, Eric, not the laboring mother.

• Privacy & Atmosphere – We anticipate that a natural birth will take serious concentration by both the father/coach and laboring mother. We ask that lights are kept dim, noise is avoided, and the door closed for privacy. We ask that any unnecessary staff be turned away.

• Pain Management – Please DO NOT offer the laboring mother any form of chemical pain relief. If there is an emergency and an anesthetic is necessary, please consult the father/coach, Eric. To cope with labor, we would like to move freely, change positions, and would appreciate access to the shower and/or tub.

• IV – Unless there is an emergency, we do not want a glucose drip, or any other IV fluids administered. If an IV seems necessary, please consult the father/coach, Eric, before taking any action.

• Induction – We do not want any form of chemical induction preformed, we especially want to avoid the use of Pitocin. If induction is absolutely necessary, please allow us to try natural forms of induction before considering chemical ones.

• Prep – We do not want a routine enema or shaving.

• Vaginal Exams – We prefer minimal vaginal exams or at the mother’s request only. We prefer at no time to have membranes broken. Please consult us if it’s believed to be necessary.

• Monitoring – We prefer an external monitor be used intermittently, if it is necessary.

• Fluids – The mother would appreciate having access to fluids by mouth throughout labor.

Labor Wishes in Stage 2 & 3
• Residents & Students – As long as they do not cause any unnecessary noise or distraction, we welcome residents & students to see a natural birth in progress.

• Photography & Video – As long as is it does not interfere with the birth and there are no emergencies, we would like to have a close friend present to video tape and photograph the birth of our son.

• Episiotomy – We do not want an episiotomy, we prefer a tear. We would appreciate the doctor try perineal massage, support, and warm compresses to assist in the birth of a large baby. If after the birth, the mother has any tearing that needs stitches, please apply an anesthetic at that point.

• Pushing – The mother would like to push in the squatting or semi-squatting position, at her own pace (Mother-Directed Pushing). Please do not count out loud for her, the father/coach has been trained to coach the mother’s breathing and pushing. We also do not want a mirror.

• Birth – We want our son placed on the mother’s chest for skin to skin contact immediately after birth.

• Breastfeeding – The mother wishes to nurse her son immediately. We ask that any evaluations be done while she is holding him. We also ask that the cord not be clamped and cut until it stops pulsing.

• The Umbilical Cord – Once the cord has stopped pulsing, the father would like to cut it.

• The Placenta – We do not want the placenta, and the mother is not interested in seeing it, although the father is. If you could please allow him to see it, he would appreciate it.

• Eye Ointment – We would like eye ointment to not be applied until the end of the first hour after birth. We want erythromycin to be used, not silver nitrate.

Newborn Care
• Rooming – We would like a private room. We want all medical procedures done at bedside. We want our son to room in fulltime. If our son does need to be taken away for any reason, one or both of us would like to accompany him. We want our hospital stay to be as short as possible.

• Bottles & Pacifiers – Please do not offer any bottles to the baby without parents' notification of a medical need. No pacifiers or artificial nipples please.

• First Bath – We would like to give our son his first bath with the help and guidance of staff.

• Circumcision – We plan to have our son circumcised, we would like at least one parent present.

Thank you for taking the time to help us achieve a natural childbirth for our first baby!

That's it for this week, I'm sure I'll have more on the diabetes thing next week.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Baby I Week 30: Don't Mind Me... Just Hanging Out... STUCK IN THE TUB!

30 weeks... and I can't believe how huge my body is. I didn't gain any weight this week, I actually lost 1/2 a pound... but it's like everything just got wider.

I'm pretty sure it got wider while I was sitting in the tub trying to shave my legs--I can't shave them standing, my belly is in the way and I get light headed. Anyhow I got down there ok, I fit fine, I swear. By the time I had succeeded in going from buffalo back to girl, I guess my hips got wider and everything settled... and I got stuck. It was pathetic. Took a lot of grunting and twisting to escape.

I can really feel that my hips are wider though... and not with fat either. They feel like they have stretched, like my legs are farther apart. They are almost always sore too.

Oh and I guess my ribs are supposed to be spreading too. I wanted to know what was happening with my ribs because when I sit for almost any amount of time, the space where my uterus ends and my ribs begin, tingles, like it's fallen asleep. I wanted to know what was causing this and I didn't get a great answer, but I guess it just has to do with pressure on my ribs. Oh and in most things I read, it starts as tingling... and progresses to pain. Great.

Started ordering my diapers this week. They are SOOOO cute. I can't wait to use them! I hope Milo is little so he can wear all the smalls I bought for a long time. Fingers crossed!

Ok last but not least, my belly scares Eric. It moves A LOT! The whole thing shakes, bounces, and shifts from side to side while we sit on the couch. I think it's super neat, but Eric is a little freaked out. In his defense, it does look like something is about to burst out of it.

That's it on week 30! This is the final stretch, 10 weeks (or so) to go!!!

Oh and contrary to what most of the pregnancy guides say is normal, my libido is as insane as ever... which I guess is just my "normal." If it wanes, I will be shocked. Sorry "experts," I don't fit in your mold.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Baby I Week 29: Bigness & Loudness are Positively Correlated, One Unique Mommy Cocktail.

So I'm a week late with this one, sorry! 29 weeks finds me bigger and louder and that's about it. Weight gained: 13 1/2 pounds.

Bigger AND louder you say? Oh yes. Apparantly, as I take up more physical space in this world, I feel more entitled to my comforts and conveniences, and God help you if you get in my way. I was not a self-centered bridezilla when I got married (either time) but I basically expect seas to part for me in all my bloated glory. Amazingly, Eric really doesn't fall victim to my belly rage, it's strangers, employees at various places, or God forbid there's a fat chick with a brood of 5 (probably illigetimate) kids walking slowly in front of me in Walmart... all those brats may not be making it to adulthood.

So I'm realizing that my Mommying style truly has a split personality. Before I go into that, a disclaimer. I know everyone says I'll change my views on parenting once I'm a mom, I get it, so there's no need to say it again. However, I also think you are likely to parent like your parents parented you, even when you say you won't. For me, I have a feeling I will be raising my children the same way that I was raised because I know it produces the kind of child I hope to produce. I was birthed naturally, breastfed, cloth diapered, Ferberized, immunized, and spanked, and intend to do the same. I'm not just imitating behavior, if you know me, you know I research the hell out of everything, and you probably know my ECE experience as well. So, humor me, and lets just pretend I'm actually going to implement the techniques that I think I will :)

With that said, my parenting style split personality...

I don't know how to label the sides, but one, by today's standards, I guess is pretty hippy. The cloth diapering, natural birthing, long-term breastfeeding, stay at home mom side seems to make a lot of mom's ask if I'm going to go without electricity and indoor plumbing as well. But among the granola, Earth-loving, hippy-mommy communities that support the natural, the cloth, and the boobies... my intense disapproval for home-birthing, co-sleeping, babywearing, home-schooling, and most other principles of attachment parenting make me run from them screaming.

Yeah I don't know what to do with this. I guess I'm gonna be a super unique mommy cocktail. There will be no online forums where everyone is my friend. There's wishy-washy mom forums, working "independent woman" mom forums, and hippy mom forums... and then there's me, party of one. Oh and Amy... ok party 2... plus our kids and husbands... that's enough for us to start our own country right???

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Baby I Week 28: The Job You Can't Quit

I'm 28 weeks, which was a number I was excited about... I have about 12 weeks to go, which sounds both manageable and overwhelming. Is that allowed? I'm gonna say yes.

Even though we are set to take maternity pics at 34 weeks, I needed a picture now for our shower invites. I had my lovlies, Heidi and Amanda, come over to take one real quick... and it turned into a little photoshoot with Amanda as director and all. OMG they did so good! I think they look professional, my girlies are SO talented!!!

So I'm very repetitive, and it takes a special man to put up with me without killing me, selling me to gypsies, or bribing a vet into debarking me. I'm not naggy, I will just pick something and say it about every day for a year. About 3 weeks after we were married I texted Eric a picture of Tucker, a 7 week old I was caring for at the time, saying "I want one." After we bought the house Eric probably heard once a week, if not more, "I want a baby." We remained on birth control for a measly 3 months after buying the house. After getting on fertility drugs my "I want a baby" pleas were pretty close to daily, not that Eric could change anything, he was giving me as much of his baby making efforts the doctor would allow :)

And it worked, go Eric. So now he gets the blissful silence of a satisfied woman? No... now every day Eric gets at some point "I want the baby out now, I'm done." I can't wait to have him, I'm thrilled about the whole thing, but I want him out where I can play with him, and where he won't give me heartburn. I love being pregnant when I'm sitting on the couch and I'm looking at my big belly and it's popping around like there's popcorn in it. But if this was a job that I could quit and get my pay now... I totally would.

So as I've mentioned before, Eric and I decided on having a natural birth. Great for us, but the whole thing might be nothing less that hell if we don't have a cooperative doctor. Well, we had our first appointment since our decision, and we had a lot to talk to our doctor about. I had my questions written down, and I was ready to go, prepared for resistance from my doctor. I think Eric was even more prepared for resistance. I think he felt like we would be shopping for a new doctor.

What a wonderful surprise! He was completely on board with a natural birth. He said "We are there to give you guidance, you don't have to do anything you don't want to." This is not the attitude I expected, and it's not particularly common from what I've heard and read. The typical Dr. response is more risk oriented, minimizing the likelihood of a happy natural birth and emphasizing the many complications we can encounter. The truth is, Dr.'s see a lot of complications, but many of those complications are medical intervention caused.

Anyhow, our doctor said that will let me decide to not be induced, with no excessive pressure to do so on his part. He said I do not have to have an IV glucose drip. He said that I can leave as soon as 6-8 hours after the birth if we are doing well, which is great because hospitals are not great places for new babies! He will also allow me to push for as long as I want, no arbitrary 2 hour limit!

My books gave me awesome sample dialogues to help me recognize when a doctor is telling me what I want to hear but being deceptive, and what kinds of answers would indicate that a doctor would a good partner in a natural birth. My doctor passed with flying colors and I'm just thrilled over it.

So the day I went in for my appointment they weighed me, almost fell off the scale I was so surprised. It said I had gained like 11 pounds since my last visit! No freaking way! I was all concerned until I got on the scale at home the next morning and a more familiar number came up. Freaking doctors and their evil scales, let's try 6 pounds gained in 5 weeks buddy, NOT 11! Psh.

More pics :)