I am five minutes into being clean--no spit up, pee or poop. I am trying not to nap during Eleanor's naps because I feel like there is just so much to do that I can't get to during the day. Plus, we are sleeping in very late, so I really am getting plenty of sleep. Just wanted to stop in and share somethings I am loving right now.
1. I am brewing a cup of coffee and mixing it with some of this for an afternoon pick-me-up to help me get through the rest of the day. There is a McDonalds so close, and I was stopping by there a couple times a week to get their Hazelnut Iced Coffee. That habit had to stop. Money wise not a smart decision; this is so much cheaper!
It is like a straight-jacket for the babe. She almost always goes right to sleep. It is a must have!
3. Free Lactation Consultant services at the local hospital and feeling so supported by other mommies. No judgment here! For info click here.
4. I finally ordered my Doterra Essential Oils. I feel like I am getting more and more crunchy as time goes by. Natural birth, cloth diapers, essential oils. By product of Denton, I suppose. I am not an expert with these at all, but I have had them highly recommended by two friends. Check them out here if you are curious. I will keep you updated on my journey with those once I get them. Excited!
5. Taking on more responsibility at home. My husband takes such good, good care of me. He always has, but now that I am home for the time-being, until the end of maternity leave and then for good after this school year, I want to take some of the load off of his shoulders. Two things that I am really proud of my progress with is laundry and dishwasher. Before baby, laundry consisted of washing a bunch of loads throughout the week, but never folding them and putting them away. I have been doing laundry almost every other day so that the amounts are more manageable. With the dishwasher, I have been trying to make sure that it is either dirty or empty. We were the worst about collecting dishes in the sink to "soak." Can I get an "AMEN"?
For most of my life I probably have had this irrational fear of child-birth. And with good reason, every tv show or movie portrays it as a woman screaming her head off for hours on end with no break until this ginormous needle gets plunged into your spine. For someone who strongly dislikes needles, the thought of all of that was a bit too much for me to handle. Plus it doesn't help that a lot of people who have given birth feel like it is their rite of passage to scare the crap out of future first time mommies. " Well, I had to go through it and now that I am on the other side, I am going to tell everyone how horrible the process was."
First, I had to combat my fear.
This acronym was like an epiphany for me. It helped me with my needle fear. I think for the longest time I thought that the nurses stuck the entire length of the needle into my arm, like they do on tv when someone runs up from behind and stabs a syringe in someone's neck to sedate them or like an epi pen.
So, in regard to childbirth, education of what really was happening was key. At first, I just wanted to be blissfully in the dark, but as my pregnancy progressed, the more I knew, the more confident I felt in my abilities to birth.
My doula gave me the book Prepared Childbirth-The Family Way. It is really informative even if you are not planning to birth all-naturally. One of the biggest things that stuck out to me from that book was another acronym.
For me, realizing that each contraction was my body opening up more and more for my daughter's arrival really helped me embrace the contraction instead of gritting my teeth and fighting through it. I remember several contractions that I would say "open" in a low moan to remind myself that that is what I was doing.
The "A" and the "N" go together for me. Knowing that I would experience pain and knowing that it was normal helped me not panic and think that something was going wrong.
I clung to the truth of "I"! Even when my contractions were at their worst, I knew there was a break coming soon. Instead of looking at labor as a whole, I looked at each contraction. I just have to make it through this contraction, and then I get a break.
In addition to this book, I also watched several birth videos. My husband and I watched the Business of Being Born as homework for our birthing class. Even though our hands were in front of our faces for some of the video, we both admitted that it wasn't as bad as we had thought. We also watched some clips in our classes. Although I was probably stunned at first, I am glad I watched because I knew what was going to happen. In labor, I could feel when the end was near, I didn't need someone to tell me they could see her head. I knew what to expect, and that helped me.
As far as actual pain-coping strategies, I moaned through each contraction. My goal was to keep my moan as low as possible. Once I started getting high pitched or screaming, I knew I was not in control of the contraction, and I would refocus and try to make my moan even lower.
Lots of love to all, regardless of how you choose to birth,
I put on jeans. That counts as getting dressed, right? Eleanor's arrival has made "getting out of yesterday's clothes" something I have to put on the to-do list.
A few days ago, I blogged about Eleanor's birth story. You can read about it here. I really could not have asked for a better story.
Why did we choose to go natural? And why did we choose to deliver at a birthing center?
Initially, I started looking into going natural because of my crazy fear of needles and doctors. I knew that I would not be able to get an epidural. So, if I wasn't going to get an epidural, I started looking into other options. I am not going to post all the reasons after that that further convinced me that this was the best option for me. You can research for yourself about birthing center vs. hospital, natural vs. not. I am not going to try to convince someone to change your mind. There was nothing wrong with me, so we didn't feel the need to be at a hospital. Ultimately, the person birthing the child has to choose where and with what they are going to be most comfortable.
The last statement of the previous paragraph is what I really wish other people would take to heart. I had so many people try to point out the error of my decision by stating things that as a whole are just not true about birthing centers or hospitals, by telling me how much pain I would be in if I felt everything, and by guilt-tripping me by saying that if something went wrong, I would have to live with that decision. Ouch! Totally not appropriate!
I had Eleanor at Inanna Birth and Women's Care in Denton. I could not have asked for better care. Instead of spending an hour in the waiting room, the midwives would spend an hour with me. When we did have complications at the end of the first trimester, I was sent to a specialist. The birth center will not take high-risk patients. Fortunately my issue resolved itself, and I was able to continue my care at the birth center. During labor and delivery, I had a birthing assistant that stayed with me the entire time in addition to two midwives. The best part was being able to take my daughter home hours after her birth and spend the first night at home as a family.
If Eleanor keeps sleeping, I am going to blog about pain-coping strategies and overcoming my fear of birth.
I cannot believe that Eleanor is already a week old today. This has been the fastest week of my life. I wanted to share her birth story with you. If you were like me, pre-pregnancy and even pre-birth, I was always a little apprehensive to click on birth stories because it seems that there were far more negative experiences than positive. This is a very positive story!
Friday, February 14th
6:30 Wake up just like normal. I was running around trying to find something cute to wear to our Valentine's Day party. I told Anthony I wasn't feeling well, but I thought it was just cramps.
7:30 Got to school. My main goal was to finish my sub plans for maternity leave and put my grades in for the 6 weeks.
8:00 Emailed Anthony to let him know something was happening.
8:30 Told my kids to pretty much work independently and leave me alone because I felt sick. I was having cramps periodically, and I was especially irritable during those times.
9:30 Went to the office to see if there were any half day subs in the building who would be willing to stay the rest of the day with my class. I told them to look around for a sub but not to do anything yet as I wasn't sure how I was feeling. I left the office, and a sweet teacher volunteered to go watch my class for a bit, so I could go have a cry. I just felt sick and wanted to be home laying in bed.
10:00 Went to the bathroom, lost my mucus plug, and was spotting a bit. I called Anthony. He suggested that he leave work, but I declined because I wasn't sure yet. Besides, I wasn't sure that I even had a sub, how could I possibly leave?
10:15 My kiddos went to special areas, and I was ready to leave. I felt like I was sick, and I didn't feel like being sick in front of my kids. I wasn't for sure if it was labor or not. Everyone had always told me that I would definitely know when I was in labor, so I didn't think it was for real. In fact, I kept telling my team that I would feel like an idiot if I left, and it was nothing.
10:30 My team took me home. I definitely realized that I was having contractions on the way home. During the 15 minute drive, I probably had about three contractions that were incredibly difficult to talk through.
10:45 Arrived at home and sent my team away because they had to be back by 11. In hindsight, I should not have let them leave me alone. Anthony was still not home. At this point, I was moaning through my contractions. I started timing them. They were about 4 minutes apart and lasting about 45 seconds. In between contractions, I was scurrying around trying to finish packing my bag. Baby girl wasn't supposed to be here until the end of February. I wasn't ready.
11:15 Anthony got home. He helped me grab some more things and called my midwife and doula. I was grabbing things like games and art journals. I still thought I had a long ways to go, and to avoid being bored during labor I wanted to have things to do.
11:50 I arrived at the birth center. Fortunately, it was only 20 minutes away. They checked me for the first time and PTL I was already 9 cm and completely effaced. Ummm hello! Baby was coming soon. I was a little scared when I arrived because I didn't know how I was going to last through like 12 more hours of labor with this kind of intensity of contractions. It was a huge relief to be so far along. My doula arrived shortly thereafter. I labored on the bed and in the tub. It was all back labor. Less than two hours later, Eleanor Joy Houston had arrived.
God blessed me with a great labor. He was so gracious to provide breaks during labor where I could relax, to provide me with a great support team, and to help me deliver a beautiful baby girl. I am so pleased with me and my husband's decision to go all natural and at a birthing center.
This is the short of it. Hopefully in the next coming weeks I can talk specifically about our decision to go natural, pain coping techniques, the education I received to help me feel empowered, and some of the fears that God helped me conquer throughout my pregnancy.
I am sitting in our new, albeit, dog-chewed chair listening to the sizzling of my husband cooking dinner in the kitchen. I have a laptop that works and a lapdesk which makes it super easy to type while sitting away from the table. (Thanks hubby for the Christmas gifts! Now I can finally get back to blogging!)
Did anyone else feel weird this Christmas? I just felt like I was off. It could have been the Icemagedon that caused schools to be closed a mere 4 days after returning from a week-long Thanksgiving break. It could have been that because of said ice storm, I had to cancel my cookie exchange this year. I was way excited because it was going to be in our new house, I was going to use my grandma's Christmas china, and I had the menu all planned out. It also could have been because there were only three weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Oh well, Christmas decorations are down, and I am on to the next projects.
I have been feeling so overwhelmed lately, so overwhelmed. I just feel like I have a mountain of things to do before the baby gets here in 8 short weeks. Some of my projects don't even have to do with baby girl, I just know that once she is here, a lot of other projects will be placed on the back burner for a while.
In the upcoming posts, I will be sharing with you the progress on our house, baby girl's nursery, and a couple DIY pinterest projects that I actually did! Shocking.
My wonderful mom came up today to help me out with life because I am seriously struggling. She is such a calming presence. A few weeks ago my hubby said, "I know most people don't really like their MIL, but I like mine because she calms you down." He will even suggest me calling her when he has tried his best to calm me down, but I am still worked up. I can't wait to show you some of the stuff we did today. If you want a sneak peak, check out my instagram on the side bar of my blog.