Thursday, October 30, 2014

Baby 4 Week 33: Hypnobirthing

Week 33

This week was spent prepping for our trip to Texas. We ate out more than usual because we were so busy, and I did definitely feel that... but I got myself to the gym and and chugged lots of water and I don't think any serious damage was done. This is my favorite pregnant body so far, it's nice to feel strong, though right now I feel pretty sore because I got a little hardcore at the gym yesterday in anticipation of being away from my gym for a week. Boo that.

Eric and I had our first birth class last Wednesday. It might seem weird for someone who teaches birth classes to want to take a birth class... but not all birth classes are just about what physically is happening during labor and different classes can offer different things. I also think it's important for a couple to take time to prepare for each birth, each baby deserves that. So I decided we would take a class.

I reviewed our local options, which are unfortunately pretty slim, and we decided to take a 4 week Hypnobirthing class. I read the book last year and honestly, I really didn't like the book. I don't think it's right or kind to tell women that 90% of them should have a painless labor, or that they don't need to know what physically happens during labor, or that if you don't talk about something it won't happen. However, I decided to email our local HB teacher and find out about the classes and without me telling her what I didn't like about the book, she shared that she didn't teach some of those principles... which is something I have heard from other HB teachers. The first group class is starting next week, while we will be gone, so I asked if she could refer me to another teacher and she offered to meet with us privately for the first class, so that's what we did last week. I am excited to meet the other couples when we get back though... I may teach birth classes, but this is the first one I've ever taken and I'm excited.

Baby had his or her first hiccups last night, right in my hip bone at 4am. It was still cute.

I broke 200lbs, I hate when that happens... but at least it happened a lot later this pregnancy, and no huge rapid gains (like 3 or 4 pounds in a week) which has happened with the others and is usually a sign the my blood sugar isn't great..

Expect the 34 week to be a little late, talk to you guys after Texas!

What this week was like with my other pregnancies:
             Milo, Week 33: Diabetes Drama II, Rolling Stones
             Ash, Week 33: Gateway Drug
             Indy,  Week 33: Then I Died

- Cori

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Baby 4 Week 32: Body Hair Philosophy

Week 32

This has been a busy week. We gutted our bathroom... down to the studs gutted... and we are preparing for our road trip to Texas and then Disneyland. But I promised you a pubic hair post and I'm going to deliver!

Quick update on baby and the baby house. Baby is a crazy active little thing. It always surprises me that Eric doesn't like to feel his pre-born baby kick. It creeps him out. I still like to scoot my belly up to him and let baby attack. 

My uterus is contracting a lot now. I think Eric is sick of me saying "my uterus is so hard!! Feel my uterus, no FEEL it! Isn't is SO hard..." I think he should be more impressed... it seriously does get so hard. I'm also leaking a little colostrum, I think this is the first time this has happened. I just think my body is super impressive... have I mentioned how hard my uterus gets? I might ask you to feel it.

I've had some really painful round ligament feels... like I've wondered twice if I should call my midwife it hurt so bad... but is stops. Mysterious pregnancy things.

Ok so this hair post. There are lots of subjects that I have been able to form very clear opinions on. Sometimes I'm ok with saying that I don't know enough to form an opinion, or that I don't feel I need to form an opinion. Sometimes there is a subject that I just can't seem to form an opinion on though I would like to. I can apply evidence, philosophy, personal feelings... and still come up empty. Body hair is one of those things... and yeah, it bothers me that I don't currently have a clear body hair philosophy.

I think I just made myself the weirdest person you know.

A couple years ago someone shared this Vagenda article, Hair! (Not the Musical). It's one of my favorite articles that I've ever read. Stop everything now and read it.

I'll wait...

She's great right? So that article really got me thinking. Before that article my hair philosophy was simple... no hair = good/clean/normal... and for me... hair of any kind only happened when I was lazy... which honestly was most of the time... but my feelings were that it wasn't ok. Obviously leg and under arm shaving is a normal part of our culture, but I also shave my arms, stomach, and had any hair on my face/eyebrows lasered years ago. Have I imprisoned myself with my expectations of hairlessness? This article definitely got me thinking, but didn't change anything for me... I just didn't know what to do with the information...

I don't know how much thought women give pubic hair when they are going to give birth. Is whether you shave, clip, or go natural an obvious decision? Do women reconsider their hair style for their birth? I don't think this is something that I have ever given much thought in the past... really... like legs and pits... in every context no hair = good. I'm not sure where I got this feeling, How did I decide how naked women should look? Were there Cosmo articles on this? No hair is normal in porn of course... maybe that was it. Either way, like the Vagenda article, a share on facebook some time ago got me thinking about hair again.

Warning... contains nudity... and hair...

This website is called Mormon Woman Bare. A friend shared it and I don't know why... but the feeling of hair being normal and no hair not being normal was intense. I really wanted to share it, but didn't... for reasons that are a whole other blog post that may or may not ever be written. But I think of those pictures often. I liked the project, and I think it's very... very important for women to see what other normal women look like naked. Most importantly... for this topic at least, they really made me question what I do with my body. What I feel is normal.

And I'm undecided.

Maybe if I was a certain kind of feminist this would be an easy decision. All women are expected to shave? Fuck that. Hair it is! But for me, feminism means choice... in every direction. I actually very much love that I have women in my life who shave their legs, but not under their arms. And I know women who don't shave their legs, but do shave under their arms. To me that says they are likely making a decision based on their personal preference. If someone doesn't shave anything, that's cool too. And I think if someone prefers to shave everything... also very cool. But seriously... what do I prefer???

I seriously... don't know... and for some reason birthing soon makes me think about this more. Probably because there is a high likelihood of there being pictures and video of me naked, and I want to like what I see... are you all just like omg what am I reading??? I'm sorry... but 6 years ago I promised to lay it all out in these posts... and I'm thinking about it a lot.

That's it... really... I have no fucking idea what to do. I know that my philosophy for women everywhere is do what you want, what makes you feel good about your body. For me... I have no idea what that means, and that bothers me. Not a lot... but enough to write about it for 2 hours.

This week I have a massage, a doula interview, and it's Milo's 5th birthday! Oh! Eric and I had our first birth class last week! I didn't even write about that... guess I'll have to share about that next week.

What this week was like with my other pregnancies:
             Milo, Week 32: Those God Damn Crazy EC Moms Are Kinda Making Sense!
             Ash, Week 32: Gateway Drug
             Indy,  Week 32: Let's Just Keep Doing This

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