Monday, March 31, 2008

Attachment Parenting International

I have been a leader for our local Attachemnt Parenting Support group for several years. I enjoy talking to others about parenting and gaining support from them as well.
Today API has several important and exciting announcements to share:
  • API unveils its Parent Education Program
  • API launches new worldwide attachment parenting forums
  • API co-founders announce their new book about attachment parenting
  • API announces series of monthly web events with noted AP authors and parents, kicks off series in May
The website can be accessed at . The forums are found here

You should take a moment to check it out.

Friday, March 28, 2008

The Wonders of Technology

One of the coolest things about Benton's birth is that so many people were involved. Friends were texting each other or calling the notification phone tree. Dave sent out a text to his family, friends and coworkers with the baby's information.

Perhaps the coolest is that my sister and her family were able to "be" at the birth. She is such a very important part of my life; I feel honored that she could be "Skyped" into the birth. She and my nieces and nephew watched the last hour or so of the birth. They were with us cheering me on and crying remembering E's own recent homebirth. She stayed with us for several hours afterward talking about the new baby, the birth and miscellaneous things. I am so lucky to have such a wonderful sister. Thank you, E, for being at my first and my last birth!

40 weeks 1 day

I have had easy pregnancies. Each has been healthy without any real discomfort until the last two weeks. I developed a golf ball sized cyst that made sitting, standing, walking or lying down incredibly painful. My midwife and her backup OB advised sitz baths, warm compresses and rest. There was basically no way to drain it until after the birth. It was horrible. I started complaining a lot and crying. I was a bit afraid I would drown in my own self-pity.

I decided that this baby could not be born at 41 weeks or I would lose it. After crying Wednesday night over my pain, I begged the baby to come soon. Well, someone was listening.

I started having mild contractions intermittently on Tuesday night. The surges would start and stop never increasing in intensity. I went to Birth Circle on Thursday night with mild surges about 4 minutes apart. My midwives were there as well as a few friends. They told me they thought it would be soon. I went home with hopes of an overnight baby. Not so easy! The contractions stopped, so I went to bed around midnight. I awoke to stronger contractions around 2:15am. I laid there for an hour before deciding to get up to see if they would continue and increase intensity. Nope - they spaced out, so I decided to go back to bed. When Dave was getting ready for work, the contractions started again and I suggested he stay home as I thought we were close.

The morning went slowly. I kept apologizing to Dave for the false alarm. A very good friend of mine came over to help with the kids. I also apologized for the slow-going to her. The surges did not start to pickup in duration or intensity until 12:30-1pm. I tried lying down to nap as I had not had much sleep. The contractions came regularly and started to become more intense.

Around 2pm, I got into the bathtub. I remembered how great the tub was with my previous births. It was more difficult getting comfortable due to the cyst. It was painful. I asked Dave to call our midwife. He asked if it was close, because he wanted to make food run. I told him he had time, but to make it quick.

The midwives arrived around 2:40pm and things began to get intense. I went to the bathroom to pee and subsequently vomited. The same thing had happened with A, so I knew I was getting closer. I staggered back to the tub to be hit with really intense surges. I started losing a bit of control and really vocalizing. I was checked and cleared to push as my body told me. The surges hurt so much with the cyst. I felt as if the baby may split me in half. I started pushing and yelling about the pain. One of the midwifes applied counter pressure as I pushed on my knees. The head started to emerge and she asked me to flip over. The cyst was making things more difficult. I felt down and helped ease the baby's head out while supporting my tissue. The shoulders were next and a little sticky due to everything. I screamed, "Get it Out!" as I pushed a final push.

At 3:41pm, I felt my baby glide from my body and into the water. Dave & I saw immediately that it was a boy. We laid him on my chest and started talking to him. E & A welcomed their new baby brother enthusiastically. Neither wanted to cut the cord, so Dave did. He then took the baby skin to skin, while I got out of the bath and into bed. The placenta was soon delivered, and our new baby boy was checked out. He was perfect - 10lbs 13 oz and 22.5 inches long.

I had no tears and the cyst did not rupture. It had swelled a bit more (lemon/baseball size). My midwives were amazed at my strength and resolve with such an obstacle. Luckily it can now be resolved by the gynecologist and won't be a problem.

Thank you so much to all my friends for their support. It was a wonderful experience being at home welcoming our son.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Surrounded by Love; Supported by Friends

My friends planned a blessingway for me to celebrate my last pregnancy and prepare me for the birth. It was a beautiful evening surrounded by friends. One friend gave me a pedicure, which was a huge feat(no pun intended). Another painted my belly with henna creating a beautiful work of art. All gathered and showered me with kindness. Tibetan Prayer flags were created with each person writing a hope or wish for the birth and the baby. Seven prepared wishes were also included: May this baby’s life be filled with joy and happiness, may this baby’s life be filled with good friends and mutual respect, may this baby’s life be filled with the support and care of family, may this baby’s life be filled with health of body and spirit. may this baby’s life be filled with wisdom and insight, may this baby’s life be filled with laughter and humor, may this baby’s life be filled with warmth and love.

Candles were given out to be lit when I go into labor and as a means of letting everyone know when the baby was born.

Several blessings were given to complete the evening.

First Blessing

In every birth, blessed is the wonder.

In every creation, blessed is the new beginning.

In every child, blessed is the life.

In every hope, blessed is the potential.

In every transition, blessed is the beginning.

In every existence, blessed are the possibilities.

In every love, blessed are the tears.

In every life, blessed is the love.

And—blessed are our children and the renewal and fulfillment they give to our family circle.

Second Blessing:

Let us support Heather in her journey to raise children, who will be strong enough to know when they are weak, and brave enough to face themselves when afraid; ones who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, but humble and gentle in victory.

Let us support Heather in her journey to raise children whose hearts will be clear, whose goals will be high; children who will master themselves before they seek to master others; ones who will learn to laugh, yet never forget how to weep; ones who will reach into the future, yet never forget the past. Then their parents, will dare to whisper, “We, too, have been enriched.”

Monday, March 10, 2008

Productive Day

Today we spent outside in beautiful weather. I wanted to plant the garden on the east side of the house. With help from the kiddos, we prepped the area and planted a few things - tomatoes, peppers, marigolds, eggplant, corn, cantaloupe and squash. I am so very late on my garden. I don't have high hopes that it will be productive, but the seeds are at least planted.

After the gardening, I went inside to conquer the kid's room. I removed the animal prints and hung a few pictures that have been sitting on the dresser and bookcase (Aine's birth record and a painting of a teddy bear done by my Grandmother L). I also hung their initials with a corresponding photo underneath. I want to get most everything off the bookcase and dresser. It would look much cleaner, but I am at a loss as to where to put the other "stuff."

The closet was my last project. I moved E's clothes to a higher rung, replacing them with A's. Now A should be able to reach her clothing. I need to find a small stool for E to reach his clothes. This cleared the highest bar for the baby's clothes. I sorted out all the clothes which are too small or that are for the cold weather season. I also sorted out the baby clothes to wash. I am sure I washed them already, but I can't remember.

Phew - what a day!!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

International Women's Day

One more birthday musing:

Did you know I share my birthday with International Women's Day? How cool is that? Take a moment to think about the amazing things women have done and accomplished as well as those things yet to come.

Children and Praise

I am a fan of Alfie Kohn and his work. He has written several books which I have read. I agree with his article Five Reasons to Stop Saying "Good-Job!" Recently the same topic was discussed on a blog I read as a result of an article in New York magazine. I have noticed that my son has recently begun saying, "good Job" to his siter or anyone else for that matter. It is a bit unnerving as he just says it by rote. We don't say it to him in this manner, so I am wondering where he picked it up.

So here's to you...

My sister has informed me that Anne Bancroft in The Graduate was 36. We haven't determined the age of the woman she portrays (it is said to be mid-forties). Today is my birthday - the big 3-6. Perhaps I am someone's Mrs Robinson or perhaps not since I am 37 weeks pregnant :)

Thursday, March 06, 2008

No 'poo

I decided after missing a few shampoos to try no 'poo again. Essentially you don't wash your hair with commercial shampoo or use conditioner. When my hair starts to feel a bit greasy, I "wash" it with baking soda and water. For a conditioner, I rinse with diluted apple cider vinegar. It really works well on my hair. I haven't gotten greasy in almost two weeks. I just shower, rinse my hair and style as usual. Intriguing, eh?

I did use henna to color my hair during this time as well. It has a bit of a red hue to it now.

37 Weeks

Sunday, March 02, 2008

At Long Last

For our seventh anniversary last year, I decided to make Dave a pair of wool socks (the gift for 7 years can be wool). I finished one sock, but ran into some difficulties. I broke a few needles, and I caught "second sock syndrome." I was able to acquire new needles, but the sock languished. Finally with our 8th anniversary on the horizon I finished the pair. The socks have been given to the recipient and are FINISHED.
The socks are made from Colinette Jitterbug in the Copperbeach colorway. It is the basic pattern that came with the yarn.

PHEW! Anybody know what the gift for 8 years is?


I signed us up for a miniswap through this blog. It was quite a bit of stress to send out with visitors and D gone for a week. We are finally mailing it out. We were matched with two children ages 8 and almost 6. I did most of the work with input from the kiddos. We included an Arizona map and calendar, two Arizona postcards, two wrist cuffs, a jump rope, cowboy pants, a doll skirt, two Usborne books and two blank books for them.

Here is a picture of the goodies: