Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Why I'll Hire a Doula for My Next Birth

I always knew that I wanted to have an unmedicated birth, I just wasn't sure how I would go about achieving it. One thing I knew I definitely didn't want was a doula. It seemed like an unnecessary expense, and I preferred to have as few people in the room as possible anyway.

Josh was totally supportive of my goal and birth plan. He was familiar with the Hypnobirthing method. He had learned about the birth process right along side me and shared my enthusiasm for avoiding certain interventions. We practiced the techniques we thought we may want to use. He should have been a fantastic birth partner. But he wasn't, because he's a boy. And because of that he didn't understand what I was feeling or what I needed.

I was fantastically lucky to have a nurse who had used the same method I was using to give birth to her own child. She helped me in a way that only a woman who had experience with unmedicated birth could. She helped me in ways that my husband could not. She knew what to say, what suggestions to make. Having her as my L & D nurse was an amazing stroke of luck and she was an integral part of Noah's birth. Next time, I won't leave it up to chance and hope that I have a nurse with similar beliefs about birth and knowledge about achieving the process naturally. I'll seek her out because now I realize what an asset an educated, supportive, sensitive woman can be to achieving the birth you want.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Sleeping Through the Night!

Last night Noah slept through the night for the first time, 8 PM to 6 AM! I'm not sure if it'll become a regular occurrence, but it feels like a great success because it took so long to happen and it wasn't the result of anything drastic. About a week ago, Noah was still waking multiple times a night and eating 1-2 of those times, so I started focusing on getting him back to sleep without eating. About half of the time we were able to get through the night without eating (but still waking), but the frequency of night wakings immediately started to decrease and then last night he slept through. Success! Here's to hoping it lasts!

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Big Move

We made it! Our move was relatively easy because we had so much help and we're in love with our new apartment! A long drive alone with Noah had me a little on edge though, because we usually have someone sitting with him in the backseat in case he gets upset, but he did so well. Josh started work on Monday and has been juggling that with studying for the bar and getting things situated in the new apartment. What a trooper. So far we're loving it here!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Noah's 8 Month Update

This little guy is 8 months old! He's about 19 pounds and wearing 3-6 and 6-9 month clothes and size 3 diapers.
This kid is social. He loves being around people and is always smiling and babbling. Our biggest challenge with him these days is keeping him entertained. He gets bored easily and doesn't like playing alone. I can also tell he has a shy side when somebody's talking to him and he smiles and lays his head down on my shoulder.
 We introduced teething wafers and he's obsessed.
Still loves drinking through a straw 
and story time.
This boy has gotten so much more mobile this month! Not crawling yet but rolling everywhere...and quickly!
He went to his first car show with dad, grandpa Jack, and uncle Dave!
And we learned that this is what happens when you sneeze after eating peas for lunch?

Saturday, July 13, 2013


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Tips for Achieving an Unmedicated Birth: Preparing Your Body (Part 2)

I can't emphasize enough how important confidence, education, and the ability to relax your body and mind are to achieving a natural birth. If you missed it, check out the first segment in this series, Preparing Your Mind. Your body is designed to give birth, so you can do it without being in great physical shape. There are a few things you can do, though, that can help you prepare for the process. 

Eat dates daily during the last month of your pregnancy .
A study published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (read more about it here) found that women who ate dates daily during their last month of pregnancy were less likely to need medication to start labor, were more dilated upon arriving at the hospital, and labored seven hours less on average! There's a compound in dates that mimics the effect of oxytocin, one of the key hormones involved in labor (pitocin is the artificial version of it.) I ate six or seven dates every night starting at 36 weeks and my labor and delivery were quick! There are so many variables that go into this type of thing, but research backs it up, and it can only help!

Do these exercises daily.
There are a number of different stretches/exercises that can help prepare your body for birth. I did these regularly (except for squatting due to the activity restrictions I had).
  • Tailor sitting-Sit with your back against a wall in a butterfly stretch and gently push your knees to the floor for 10-15 seconds. Repeat 5-10 times. This stretch improves blood flow to the lower body and stretches the pelvic joints, which can make baby's descent easier.
  • Squatting-Squatting is an awesome position to use during labor because it can create extra room in the pelvis, allowing the baby to descend more easily. It can be tiring though, so the purpose of doing squats during pregnancy is to build up your strength so that you can do them during labor. 
  • Pelvic tilts- You yogi's out there are probably familiar with this one (also known as cat-cow). Get on your hands and knees, keeping your head in line with your back. Slowly push your back upward, creating an arch, and hold for a few seconds. Then, relax your ab muscles and let your belly fall slowly towards the ground, creating an arch. Repeat a few times. This exercise helps with lower back pain and abdominal strength and is beneficial to preparing for labor because it may help a posterior ("sunny side up") baby move to the anterior position. An anterior-facing baby's head is going to put more pressure on the mother's cervix than a posterior-facing baby, which makes contractions more effective and labor and delivery quicker and easier.
Spend some time on a physio ball.
After I was released from strict bedrest at 36 weeks, I spent some time every day sitting on an exercise ball. Doing this opens up your hips and allows the baby to move down, putting pressure on your cervix and aiding dilation.

Follow along for part 3, Strategies for Labor and Delivery.

Productivity in Motherhood

Nothing gets done around here during the day. Absolutely nothing. I've decided there are three reasons for this: 1) I didn't choose to be a stay-at-home mom so that I could spend all day cleaning my house. I stay home so that I can spend time with Noah; 2) Even if I do want to get something done, he hates being laid down and left alone. He likes action, people, being held...he's not the type of baby that likes to just chill alone. Maybe this will change when he starts crawling?; and 3) He's not a great napper.
Who, me?
Everything on my to-do list is done after bedtime. 7 PM is go time. For example, last night after Noah went to bed, I tackled an overflowing sink of dishes, did 3 loads of laundry, went grocery shopping, did 30 minutes of HIIT at the gym, showered, pumped, spent some time with Josh, and made almost 20 oz of baby food.

I'm always amazed by moms who have perfectly clean houses, run errands with children in tow, and have a multiple-dish meal made when their husband gets home from work. That's so not us. Maybe I'm still getting the hang of things? Regardless, without those few hours after bedtime, we'd be a train wreck around here.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Summer Vacation 2013

We were all over the place for this trip. We were gone for over two weeks, stayed in five different places, and I packed TEN, yes ten, different times because we were hopping between houses. A few highlights:
Hiking in Palm Springs
Pool time
Beach trips
He loved playing in the sand.
Watching Austin skydive
Austin's mission farewell
And time at the cabin
During this trip, we were thrilled to get a job offer on, you guessed it, June 28th. We'll be moving in about two weeks and we're so excited that Josh will have the opportunity to practice criminal law. He's doing exactly what he wanted to do when he started law school, which is pretty cool.
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