To epidural or not to epidural!

Please understand that I am NOT any sort of medical professional. This piece is strictly opinion and experience based.

I’m mainly writing this for pregnant women who are trying to decide weather or not to get an epidural when the time comes for the birth of their child.

You will come across women who are adamant about not getting an epidural and how it’s going to give your baby a bad start at life. There are women who have had epidurals and swear by them, along with women who have had one and say terrible things about their entire experience. I m not any of those women.

I have had one child. And although I had an entirely natural, vaginal birth, it is NOT for everyone! Also, even if you make it part of your birthing plan to either have or not have an epidural, that does not mean things will go as planned.

If you walk into the hospital in pain, with amniotic fluid dripping down your legs and fully dilated… Guess what? No epidural for you! They will throw you in a room and get you started pushing. On the other hand, if you aren’t progressing (in the dilation area) yet your contractions are only one minute apart, you might catch yourself praying for the medicine you swore to never take to get you through the 28 hours of labor ahead of you.

THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT!

In my opinion, you need to do what your body is telling you to do. Everyone has a point where the pain becomes overwhelming. That being said, I’ve never heard any woman say that every single one of their labor/births was exactly the same. Why do we think we have to plan every single aspect of every labor, then get upset if it doesn’t turn out as planned?

So long as your baby is healthy, and both parents are healthy, why not enjoy the beginning of your new babe’s life instead of making yourself sick worrying about this or that from labor. Squeeze that thing out, and snuggle it like crazy before they start walking and don’t want hugs anymore.

~Jord

Comments (2) »

Cloth Diapering at its Best

Not sure how to start this… It’s actually a little late, since we haven’t been using our cloth diapers lately. I meant to start this months ago and keep everyone up to date with how things were going but life gets away from us and nothing seems to go as planned!

We (my husband and I) decided LONG before our son as born that we at least wanted to try cloth diapers. Partially to save money, partially to be more “green”, but mostly because I think those little bums are simply too cute clad in all the different styles that are available now.

I must have talked him into it, but either way, we started with the “G Diapers” starter pack. These hybrid diapers have cloth covers with a waterproof liner that snaps in. You can either use disposable liners or washable liners in this style of diaper. Either way, you can use the same diaper multiple times throughout the day by just swapping out the liner during each change.

The “G Diapers” starter pack comes with 12 newborn sized diapers, 6 small diapers and a ton of disposable liners. We had to buy the washable liners separately, but we knew what an investment this would be.

Now while the idea of this style of diaper (and the countless positive reviews we read through) got us excited enough to make a large purchase, they did not work well for my son. We had leak after leak in the newborn size diapers which continued when we moved into the “small” size. I could barely use a diaper more the one time without having to wash it. I ended up turning to other moms for advice since I wanted to badly to LOVE my “G Diapers”!

I was asked if I was putting them on him properly, which I double and triple checked. Other moms told me to go up to the next size. Another option was to double the liner if my son was just a “heavy wetter”. I tried all of these options with no luck. Disappointed and confused, my hubby and I decided to use the disposable diapers we had on hand until another option came about.

A little over a week ago, we grew weary of the disposable diapers and started to research other types of cloth diapering options. Pocket diapers seemed to be the best option for other parents like us so we decided to take the plunge and make an investment.

The one thing we couldn’t stand about the “G Diapers” was that you had to purchase multiple sizes as the child grew so we knew our new purchase HAD to be a “One Size” style. The new “Charlie Banana” OS style had good reviews so yesterday, we jumped!

A six pack was the best deal. It came with 6 “One Size” pocket diapers, 6 small liners and 6 large liners. Initially the plan was to purchase them on Amazon, but I tripped over them at Target so BAM!

I of course chose the “Tango Mango” pack because as well as being gender neutral, the colors are also vibrant and fun. I can’t stand pastels and I won’t put my child in them unless its a last option, haha. The liners are currently on their second of four rounds in the wash and I will give updates on how things go!

20130517-141220.jpg

Update 6.13.13

We are LOVING our Charlie Banana One Size Diapers!

It took a while for the hubby to get used to the snaps. He was a little confused by the hip snaps at first but we work at it. I think, but maybe don’t take my word for it, that he is getting better, lol.

I have been using my homemade laundry detergent for washing, and because I only had one set I’ve been drying the in the dryer (don’t get mad at me cloth diapering fanatics) to have enough for every day.

My husband and I read a review where a mom was very unhappy with the elastic leg pulls. She complained that every time she washed the diapers, the pulls would come undone and she had to re-set the size. We haven’t had any issues like this.

The only time we’ve had leaks is if the kiddo falls asleep and we don’t feel like waking him up just for a change.

Advice that’s can give at this point would be:

If you are diapering a boy, make sure the liners are pulled more towards the front of the diaper. If you fail to do this, there will not be enough absorbency where you need it.

Use liners to catch the poo. I’ve been using the ones I have left over from the G-Diapers we were using previously and they work fine. If I were to purchase more, I would buy a roll from amazon since they are much less expensive. They make poo clean up much easier, and leave less mess on the diapers which means less staining.

Comments (3) »

Families Who Fly Together…

Traveling With an Infant

When you have a baby, you shouldn’t take them anywhere until they are at least 6 weeks old. Not even out of the house… UM, WRONG!

That may have been how it was when our mothers (who were all stay at home mothers) had us, but this is a new world! Your family may not live in the house next door or just down the block, and I know for sure that I’m not going to deprive my son’s grandparents of getting to spoil him and hold him (giving me time to get in a shower).

I know there are parents out there who feel the same way, so I’m writing this guide to traveling with an infant.

My son is now 10 weeks old, and as been traveling since the day we came home from the hospital. We drove right over the river and through the woods, a 4 hour drive, to grandmother’s house. He has made this trip 3 times since being born, flown on 12 planes, and been to 7 states so far. He will have travelled over ___ miles before my maternity leave is up.

You might be thinking I’m crazy, but the truth is, I’m just not scared. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no super woman! I only have the one baby, and I often travel with my mom or my husband. Either way, I have help!

So here we go…

Flying:

Things You MUST Bring Along:

~Baby Carrier- I like to use my Moby since it can easily be folded up and put into the diaper bag when not being used. It gives you two free hands and you can still wear a backpack. It’s also better to have when traveling through large airports because you can still use the escalators (which gets difficult with a stroller).

20130124-112948.jpg

Depending on the type of baby carrier you have, you don’t have to even take baby out to go through security or when you are on the plane. If I face my son out in the Moby, when I sit down he is also in a sitting position. This is perfect for take off and landing.

~Snacks~ This goes both for you and for the baby. I’m nursing, but I still tend to pump and bring at least 5oz in a bottle for a snack. This way, if dad is with, he can help with feeding. Want to know a secret? You CAN bring bottles through airport security! If you are flying out of a smaller airport, they do have you open the bottle and wave a PH stick over it to test it, but besides that, you’re golden. The mid sized airports have a machine to check the bottles so you don’t have to open them, and the really big airports usually don’t even bother with them at all! So much for the 3oz rule…

Snacks for you is because it sucks waiting in lines at the airport with a baby, especially if they are crying, just to pay too much for something you could have brought with.

~Diaper Bag~ This part is extra important. Your diaper bag should be easily accessible, and should be able to be carried “hands free”. It should also be large enough to carry anything you think you “might” need on your flight.

STUFF IT FULL!

I use my diaper bag as my personal item, and a backpack as my carry on bag. I’m all about being hands free! That way, I have all the important stuff, like my wallet and iPad in the diaper bag under the seat in front of me when I’m flying.

Fly during nap time with a full tummy- The second I get settled in on the plane, I feed my son to knock him out, and he sleeps the entire flight. This way, there is no crying, or even any awake time on the plane. I know that he sleeps better when swaddled, so I make sure I have a blanket large enough and wrap him up right when I sit down.

Since I’m nursing, it’s easy to just feed him quickly if he does start to wake up, but as long as its not too long of a flight, things usually go pretty smooth.

If you need it, ASK FOR HELP! When on the plane, the flight attendants are usually more than willing to do you a favor and grab your bag from the overhead bin, bring you an extra water, etc…

20130124-113016.jpg

Leave a comment »

And Now There’s A Thor

I wrote this note/memoir for my cousin who is pregnant and due in the beginning of November. I’m sharing it with my WordPress family in case there are women out there who want to read a story from a real woman with all the dirty parts left in. No roses here…

Labor/Delivery

I know you’ve been wondering about labor, and it was all so fast for me that I decided to write it down.

It all began… I was at work and having contractions, did I know they were contractions? No. I just thought I was having cramps (Which I was since that is really what contractions are).

Tip#1: Download an app to your phone to time your contractions! This way, when the nurse asks you about your contractions, Dave can give them exact info. I say Dave, because you will be focussing on distracting yourself from the pain.

Not sure if you’ve been feeling any small contractions yet, but if not, they just feel like cramps low in your abdomen, and they get stronger as you go.

Movement helped with coping with the pain. Not that it made the pain go away, but it gave me something to think about. Something to concentrate on.

I would say that my contractions started getting uncomfortable around 11am. At this point, the pain was more just discomfort, and I didn’t know I was having contractions.

By the time freight came at noon, I had to have one of my girls come help me move boxes, because I couldn’t move them very well on my own. At this point, I was doing a lot of hip movement to help with the pain.

Surprise:
Something I had never been told before that happened was that my body started getting rid of all the waste that was inside me. Because of this, I spent all day on the toilet. Half the time, nothing came out, but I was grateful later not to have anything left inside me. I didn’t poop while pushing because there was nothing left.

I ended up leaving work around 2:30, only because my manager told me I looked like sh*t and to go home, lol. Thankfully, Daniel came and picked me up, because I should not have been driving (Although if you would have asked me at the time, I would have told you I was fine).

Again, at this point, I was more uncomfortable than in pain. I was visiting the bathroom extremely often, and there was a little bit of bloody discharge (Which is normal). I was okay to be walking around, but I was more than slow.

When I got home, I went straight for the toilet (Story of my day), and called the nurse line at the hospital. The nurse asked about my contractions, (which were 3-4 minutes apart) and about discharge, and advised me to take a bath since she didn’t think I should come in yet.

Daniel helped me run a bath and brought me ice pops (since I was over warm, and it was the only thing I wanted to eat).

I had been throwing up whenever I had a really strong contraction, and I didn’t last very long in the tub cause it was HOT and because I was more comfortable on my side (easier to throw up that way).

Where did I end up since the bath didn’t work? Laying on my side on the couch, watching Troy on the downstairs TV. I had a garbage on the floor (for the throw up of course), a stack of icees on the coffee table, and my phone in my hand to track my contractions.

By the time I hit the point where I couldn’t take it anymore, I was up on the couch, facing backwards, arms up on the back rest moaning, and moving my hips back and forth.

At this point, I told Daniel that it was time to go. I was not pleasant when telling him, although I was proud of myself for only yelling (well, more just raising my voice) one time. I also was only able to walk around in between contractions. The rocking back and forth of the hips was the only movement that happened during contractions.

I went upstairs (slowly) to pack a bag. Probably should have done this sooner, but I was still in shock since I was two weeks early. Even when I got home from work, I kept saying that I should pack a bag, then told myself I couldn’t have the baby because I was on the schedule to work til the 10th of September, lol. How silly I was.

Anyways, I could tell I was pretty delirious because as I rocked my hips back and forth, and said “right, left, right” in my head, I noticed that I was not moving the same direction I was saying, nor were my hips moving as fast as my mind was thinking the directions. It didn’t matter, it was just something I was doing to not think about the pain. There was no happy place to take my mind to, and all the planning I had done didn’t even cross my mind. My focus was just “right, left, right…”

Daniel was in the kitchen cooking the entire time from the bath through my watching Troy (which I didn’t get to finish). He kept my mom and Barbi (my manager) up to date on what was going on. Although I didn’t freak out on my wonderful husband, I’m not sure I would have been able to stand talking to my mother, even though she was perfectly wonderful, and helpful, and I couldn’t imagine not having her at the hospital with us!

I remember yelling out to Daniel nicely that I was going to the car. I leaned my arms up against my truck, rocking and waiting out a pretty bad contraction as I felt the lovely warm wet liquid they call “water” dripping down my legs. Having a pad on just delayed the inevitable, but the idea it was there gave me comfort just the same.

Why do they call it “water”? It’s gross not exactly clear liquid, with blood in it and all types of strange gunk. Mine even was a little yellowish because Thor had pooped inside me before coming out. Water it is not. Amniotic fluid. That’s what it is… The only good side is that it will wash out of whatever you decide to wear when it breaks… If of course it breaks on its own.

This lovely fluid continued to flow out of me as it pleased the entire way to the hospital, which was not a long drive, especially since Daniel drove 80 miles per hour the entire way, slowing down only for traffic lights. 6:24 is the time I remember leaving the house, and it couldn’t have been longer than a 5 or 6 minute drive.

During the drive was the only time I mentioned meds. I pretty much said “I can see why women like to get the meds… This really doesn’t feel good.” That was that. Before we left the house, I was thinking that I better be close because otherwise the medicine would be pretty tempting.

Daniel grabbed my stuff from the car when we pulled up , and I couldn’t wait so I got out myself and walked into the hospital since I was in between contractions and I wasn’t sure how long that would last.

Now I just want you to know what I looked like at this point, because it was not at all what I had planned to look like going into the hospital. My plan was to have my hair braided in some way that wouldn’t look like a crazy mess. You know what curly hair does when it doesn’t get done… I just didn’t want to look like a homeless person. Instead, my hair made it into a mess of a pony tail, somewhere on top of my head where it was out of my face. That was my only worry at the time I got into the tub, which was when I had put it up.

I was wearing my purple, Nike sweat Capri things, which have a yoga pant style waist band so they were comfortable enough to wear with my belly. At home I had on a cami, I don’t remember having the sense to put a bra on, so it’s lucky I thought to put on a t shirt before leaving the house. All these clothes ended up in a plastic bag until whatever day I was sane enough to do laundry after getting back to Fargo a week later… My tennis shoes (no socks because it was not something I was thinking about while getting dressed to leave) did make it through without getting wet somehow.

Once inside the emergency room, they checked me in, asked if I wanted a wheel chair (which I said no to). Daniel, who was clearly the only one thinking at that point said yes. So I stood in the emergency room waiting for Daniel to bring me the wheel chair while all the emergency room people stared at me thinking about how lucky they were to only have to be getting stitches or whatever their problem was that day.

Daniel wheeled me upstairs to the labor and delivery floor where the nurses asked me stupid questions like if they measured me downstairs… I looked down at my soaked pants and told them “nope, they just saw this and sent me up”. She also asked if we had a written birth plan… A question which I’m sure she wouldn’t have asked if she knew how short this was going to be. I told her that “we were going to do that tonight, but things didn’t happen the way we planned.”

I had to get undressed, which had to wait until I was done having a contraction, and put on a belly band (which I asked if I could go without because I hated having anything touching my stomach but she said no). I got into the bed wearing the ugly gown, which was fine cause I had it on for less than an hour anyways.

The nurse checked me once I had the heart monitor on to check Thor’s heart rate and announced that I was ready to go, 10 centimeters! She told me not to push til the midwife on call got there, lol, like I was just gonna go at it or something. The only thing I asked her was if my son had hair, but she didn’t check, even though she told me that his head was right there… Ugh…

The midwife who delivered Thor was not my regular midwife. I did have an appointment with him once and he delivered multiple babies for women that I work with and that went to my church. I think I was actually more comfortable with him than I was with my regular midwife. I will definitely go with him when we have our next baby.

It only took less than 10 minutes for Terry (the midwife) to get to the hospital. Just enough time for them to prep the room for delivery. My nurse tried to get an IV into my arm (They do this just in case for any reason they need to give you fluids) which I didn’t want or end up needing so it was fine that she wasn’t able to get my vain.

The nurses also asked me if I had planned to have any medicine and when I told her no, she seemed relieved and told me we didn’t have time so that was good.

Terry checked me, and thankfully he was able to tell me that my son had a head full of hair which is all I wanted to know at that point! He also told me that there was mirconium in my amniotic fluid (which meant that Thor had pooped before coming out) so once I finished pushing him out, they would have to take him to check his lungs Before i got to hold him. This meant Daniel would have to cut the umbilical cord quickly if he wanted to do it. I wasn’t too upset like I thought I would be that I couldn’t hold him right away. All I cared about was that he would be okay.

I scooted down on the table and Terry asked me if the contractions made me want to push yet. I told him no, and this seems strange until you’ve felt it. You WILL know when the contractions change. The regular contractions are down low… The ones that open up your cervix. The “pushing” contractions are up high, and they are squeezing things out.

Once it was time for pushing, the hardest part for me was holding my legs up. Daniel held one side and my nurse… She tried to hold the other one, but was too distracted by my sons head coming out of my vagina.

I pushed through three contractions, all the while, Terry was helping me stretch open so I wouldn’t tear. It was so strange to be pushing like I was trying to poo in a room with other people.

Terry had me stop pushing once Thor’s head was out and switch my hips to a different position so I didn’t tear as his shoulders came through, which I appreciated so much! One last push and I was done! Whew!

7:07pm about a half hour from when we got to the hospital, I was a mommy!

They took Thor straight to a warming table after Daniel cut the umbilical cord to check him out and make sure he didn’t swallow any of his poo. They also took his temp since he was considered pre mature, and told me I had to take his temp every time before feeding him.

Finally, after concluding that he was fine, which we already knew, I got to hold my son! He was perfect, and warm, and smelled just like a new baby should. I didn’t cry because I was still in shock since everything went so fast. I just wanted to call my boss and make sure she knew I wouldn’t be in the next day.

I had to push the placenta out, and Terry showed it to us which was kinda gross. They also pushed on my stomach a ton to help get as much blood out as possible. I was pretty much leaking blood at this point, and glad I didn’t wear any of my own clothes. I just kept asking when it was okay for me to take a bath.

I fed Thor, which was wonderful. It was awkward and strange, but so beautiful and natural at the same time. Daniel went to Quiznos to get us food since anything I had for breakfast was no longer in my system and I threw up everything else. I got to spend some time alone with him, and it was perfect.

I just remember thinking I can’t believe I squeezed this huge thing out of me. He was inside of me, and now he wasn’t. I told Daniel I was in love with another man, and that was about it.

Is there anything I would change or do differently? No. I was glad that it ended up being only Daniel and I in the delivery room. Even though the nurses kept joking about how easy I made it look and my midwife said he would just set up a cot in the parking lot and send me home for the next one, it was still a new experience for me, and it was so intimate only having Daniel there.

What was the hardest part? The hardest part for me was the circumcision. I wanted to cry when I saw it, but now it’s nice and healed up.

Did I forget the pain? NO WAY! I think other women feel pain differently, and Thor is worth going through the pain I felt, but oh I remember it. That’s the thing about pain though, it doesn’t last forever. I also know that I will do it again, cause its worth it.

Cat

20121016-192022.jpg

20121016-192055.jpg

20121016-192132.jpg

20121016-192242.jpg

20121016-192348.jpg

Leave a comment »

Baby Shower Advice

Hello all! 

As of tomorrow, we are 6 months into the pregnancy! Woo Hoo! Only a few months left to go! Now my summer is going to be so packed full of work, family reunion, and baby prep that this last weekend was the only time I could fit in a baby shower back home. I teamed up with my fabulous Aunt and my best girl friends to get the task done and came up with a few tidbits of advice for all.

First off, I’m a control freak, kinda, but I am definitely very specific about what I do and don’t like. I know a lot of people say that you shouldn’t have to do anything for your party, but as long as you don’t let yourself get stressed, I say TAKE PART IN THE PLANNING! This does not mean that you need to do everything, or even anything at all. I just think that if you want your shower to have a certain theme or if you want a specific food incorporated into the menu, then you should say so. Of course you shouldn’t have tasks to do the day of besides showing up and looking cute with your new bump, but help with decisions where you want to.

Second, but most important, BE THE CENTER OF ATTENTION! I know this is hard for some people, but everyone that shows up is there for you! Let them dote of you. Let them tell you how cute you look and how you are just glowing. Let them compliment you until you turn red all over, and thank them for everything. 

Next up, TAKE ALL THE ADVICE YOU CAN GET. I don’t care how many times you’ve been through this with a friend, and how many child cares you’ve worked at. I don’t care how often you babysit for other people or jump at the chance to hold the babies at church. There are just things you won’t really know until you are a mom. At my shower I made sure every woman had an index card where they could jot down a piece of motherly advice for me. The advice you get from the women you look up to and respect is more important than anything a doctor or nurse could tell you at the hospital. Plus this way, you have it written down in their writing which makes it extra special.

HAVE WOMEN ONLY TIME. Even if you are allowing men and children to join in on the festivities, there should be time set apart when you can ask questions or get advice without having to make up fake words or say “you know” in order to explain things. Birth is an experience that even women who have nothing in common feel a bond talking about, and you should be able to talk openly about the good parts as well as the bad and ugly parts.

In order to make sending Thank You cards easier, HAVE EACH GUEST FILL OUT THEIR OWN ADDRESS ON THE ENVELOPE. This is not tacky or rude to ask your guests to do. Usually the soon to be new mom is overwhelmed with things to get done still before baby comes and there is little to no time to sift through an address book in order to find everyone’s current address. This way, each envelope has been filled out (we had the guests do this while people were still arriving) and it only takes a few seconds for them to do it instead of taking you hours to do them all.

Well that’s all I’ve got for today, enjoy and comment if you have any other good shower advice!

Leave a comment »

Here Comes Thor!

Wow, has it been forever of what?!? We are now into our 5th month of the pregnancy, same as before with no sickness, not a whole lot of being uncomfortable, and to top it off, we found out that our Thor is really a Thor!!! Whew, what a relief that we haven’t been calling a girl Thor all these months, lol

Last week we tried taking photos to announce the coming baby and it was… Well, eventful? We tried first to get the dogs in on the photo since they are a part of our family… Jackson was a perfect angel, while Kira didn’t quite behave… The first few shots turned out something like this…

Image

I guess she didn’t like the idea of not getting her face into the shot, plus we had the camera on a timer so after 5 or so that were… Well not quite the image I had in mind, we decided against having the dogs in the photo.

Image

This was finally what we ended up with for our photo and I pretty much love it. Thanks for Daniel for setting his camera to sepia ahead of time so I didn’t have to do much editing, But HERE COMES THOR!!!

Leave a comment »

As It Turns Out…

So Last Thursday… January 26th, We went in for our first doctor’s appt. YAY! Sooo, turns out we were 7 weeks into things and not 12… Good and bad things about the date change, but I guess things could be worse. The best part is that I won’t have to miss “Back to School” at work, which happens to be the busiest time of year for us.

We got an ultra sound and got to see Thor’s heart beating!!! That’s all we could really see, but KC said that’s all that matters at that point and that it was beating nice and strong! So that’s what we have so far, a picture of my uterus with a little new life growing slowly but surely inside of it. New Due Date, Sept 12, 2012

Other new news for this post, CAR SEAT!!! God sure works in mysterious ways because we got a gift of the exact car seat that we had planned to purchase on the day I was going to buy it! WOW, same color and everything. All I can say it that this experience is surprising me in new ways every day and teaching me to just let things happen without expectations.

Oh yeah, I told my boss as well and found out great news that I’ll be able to get a full 6 week maternity leave when Thor gets here. WOO! I’ll leave you with that, until next time!

Leave a comment »