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Thankful for my little family

Thursday, November 28, 2013

How can I not be grateful for such adorable people??

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GERMANPICKLE 2/6/2014 8:43AM

    How precious. My little one was also born in September. Aren't they precious?!

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SLIM153 12/1/2013 12:43PM

    It is so fun to 'talk' with little people;)

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DUSTYPRAIRIE 11/30/2013 2:32AM


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STR458 11/29/2013 6:06PM


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Six weeks of mamahood

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Six weeks ago, my baby finally decided it was time to join the outside world, and my life has (duh) been turned upside down. If ANYONE reading this is a single parent, let me take this moment to say that you are officially one strong, kick-ass person -- because I cannot imagine doing this alone. And the thing is... I've had it relatively easy!

The homebirth went really well. My midwife and I did end up deciding to use some natural induction methods -- herbs for two days and then, unfortunately, a dose of castor oil. Let me tell you... if I'm offered a choice between castor oil or pitocin next time, I will take the pitocin. That's how awful the castor oil made me feel. But it also did the trick! I was having some mild contractions (7 minutes apart, very easy to handle) the morning I took the castor oil. After the castor oil, my body quickly ramped into high gear with contractions 2 minutes apart and a minute long -- for FIVE HOURS. Normally, contractions like that mean that it's transition time and you're about to push. Not me. I labored like that from 2 cm to 5 cm, which took 5 hours. But then I guess my body and the baby decided that enough was enough, because an hour and a half later I was at 10cm, my water broke in the most dramatic way possible (my midwife had been, at that moment, looking for more herbs to help speed labor because she thought it was taking a while. Nope), and I was ready to push! Now, I have to say this: I thought the contractions were bad before pushing, but HOLY SHIIIIT. Pushing my baby out basically required me to ignore my will to live. But I did do it, and you know what?

I'd do it again in a heartbeat. I'm not saying I'm ready for another kid. But if/when that time comes, I am absolutely doing another homebirth. It was such a positive, empowering, terrifying-but-sooooo-worthwhile experience, and I can't begin to describe how glad I am to have made that choice.

Josephine Linda was born at 9:54 pm on October 3rd, weighing 7lbs, 7oz and measuring 20 1/2 inches. She was also born perfect.

I recovered from the labor really well, too, although the first two weeks were incredibly difficult for me. Physically, I was doing great -- I chalk that up to my uncomplicated labor, staying active and well-nourished all during the pregnancy, and having a lot of help from my hubby and mom-in-law. But emotionally, I was a mess. The post-partum depression was overwhelming. I cried every single day (some days, up to 4 or 5 times) for 10 days straight, skipped a day, then cried another 5 days in a row. I thought I'd never be happy or well-rested again.

But you know... it all seemed to click into place after that. I figured out how to get stuff done around the house with Jo around; I get out of the house for a walk or me-time or errand almost every day (basically, unless the weather sucks); I have friends over and my family has visited. I'm figuring out what being a mom looks like for me. And I like it!! Jo is starting to smile, enjoy cuddles, and hit some milestones like following objects with her gaze. She's a great sleeper, usually. She sleeps for 3-5 hours at a time, which is AWESOME. I actually average 7 hours+ per night. She's pretty advanced on that front.

It's SO COOL to watch this little girl grow before my eyes! I cannot believe how much I love her.

My baby is the best baby ever. Sorry not sorry! And even if you don't believe me, you have to agree: she is super cute and beautiful (and seriously, THE BEST BABY).

I can't believe I MADE this!

Miles and Jo, Day 1:

Tickle time, 1 Week Old:

Getting dressed for our first shopping trip, 2 weeks old (and stricken with Baby Acne):

Happy Halloween -- 4 Weeks old:

Taking a scrapbook-worthy 1 Month "Birthday" Picture:

And just this morning, after 4 hours of fussing and keeping me awake (from 3 to 7). She's lucky she's so dang cute!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GERMANPICKLE 2/6/2014 8:45AM

    I had post-partum with my first as well and it was rough. It took me about 10 months to get back to feeling like myself. I'm glad that you are moving forward through your mothering experience.
All the best!

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INTHELOOP 1/13/2014 9:35PM

    Congratulations!! I love being a mom and I can tell you feel the same way. Adorable little family!! Best Wishes for all of you!

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ARUNNINGKAT 11/19/2013 6:28PM

    I missed this blog when you first posted it (think I was out of town and just using my phone app for Spark) but I loved reading all about your home delivery and your beautiful baby girl! My mom had several babies at home and she never considered anything else.

Your little girl is just so stink'n cute! Enjoy every minute with her!

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JODROX 11/15/2013 8:51AM

    She is beautiful, and you have adapted to motherhood beautifully. I'm so happy for you!

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ZESTFUL60 11/14/2013 3:34PM

  Oh those are the most fun days enjoying babies and at times I miss baby days in my house (1 is married but no kids yet, another was married but getting a divorce, and my other two are teenagers) still nothing like holding and loving a baby. Enjoy them emoticon

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So close

Friday, August 23, 2013

This may very well be my last blog entry for a while. Granted, I'm not a very consistent blogger at all any more, but this time I'll have an excuse!! With just 4 weeks and 5 days until my due date, I think it's safe to say that I'm about to not have any free time.

Being pregnant is no longer "the bomb" as I said three months ago. Oh sure, I love knowing that I have a freakin' baby inside me because that's hella cool... but I'm also looking forward to being able to get out of chairs without grunting, sleeping on my back again (actually, make that sleeping through the night again), going for more than 2 hours without peeing, not needing antacids 4+ days per week, being able to go for a walk without sciatic nerve pain, and not lugging around 35 extra pounds of belly.

You know what makes this super crazy though?

I have been having an incredibly easy, healthy pregnancy. At 8 months pregnant, I can safely say that I fully understand and appreciate the power of fitness and nutrition. This pregnancy has been so straightforward because I have been taking care of myself -- exercising, eating lots of nutritious food, keeping my stress levels normal, and taking pro-active steps to ensure the pregnancy goes well. I honestly can't imagine how women who never learned to eat right, don't exercise, and receive impersonal medical care actually manage to get through pregnancy and birth without being in total misery. Carrying this belly around and growing a whole human is tiring enough as it is... I'm so glad I laid the foundation for a healthy experience years ago.

With about a month to go, Miles and I are really trying to make the most of our last days together as just a couple. We've been socializing more, spending a lot of quality time together, taking little day trips, etc. My birthday is next weekend, so we're spending a few days at a B&B in Gatlinburg (in the Smokies) to celebrate and unwind. I know that once Josephine arrives, we're going to be shut-ins for a while -- so we're not only trying to get our thrills now, but we're also trying to reinforce how much we love to be together in our home. It seems like the best way to prepare for such a major shift.

In terms of the practical things we need, we're really all set for the baby. We got several good baby reference books, my homebirth kit is ready to go, the nursery is complete, the clothes are washed and organized. All that's left to do is get the cloth diapers and a hamper, and do one last gigantic Costco run (we want to stock up our chest freezer with no-tought-required meals).

We're as close to ready as I think we can get... which means that I'm going crazy!!! I switch between "Hurry up and get here already!" and "Please, by all means, take your time!" on a daily basis. I want to be excited that I'm so close to being full term, and yet prepare myself for the very likely possibility that I Jo will be "overdue." I'm intimidated by the idea of facing labor pains, but thrilled by the opportunity to birth my daughter while surrounded by loved ones and supportive professionals, without unnecessary interventions, in a comfortable home setting. I'm often frustrated by my size (and the baby's size!), but I love feeling my baby move around and get the hiccups. I just can't believe how soon she's going to be here -- and yet, I can't believe how much longer I have to wait!!

What's great about this is that I know it's all normal, and it's all healthy. And I'm healthy because five years ago, I decided that I was going to be healthy once and for all, and I stuck to that. And now it's not just for my sake. It's for hers, too.

I'll post again when it's time to lose the baby weight, y'all. But first, I have to finish making the baby.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EGRAMMY 8/24/2013 9:29PM

    emoticon Our team will miss your blogs but we are so excited for you. Do let us know now and then how things are going. emoticon

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JODROX 8/23/2013 10:37PM

    Super excited for you!!

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    God bless you in this journey! My baby is already 2! And my other children are already 8 and 10! But I remember giving birth to my firstborn like it was yesterday! You're in for some amazing times!

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EMMACORY 8/23/2013 9:03PM

    What an exciting time for you and DH! My Mom's middle name was Josephine. She is in heaven now but I'll ask her to watch over you when it is time for little No to arrive. Blessings! emoticon

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Being Pregnant is WONDERFUL! With pics :)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

I can't believe it's been so long since I blogged! Life has been pretty crazy lately, but in some great ways. I could list them all, but honestly... why bother? They're over, and things are settling down now.

On the 8th, I had an Ultrasound. Ultrasounds are not without risks, and they can make some people more anxious (and an ambiguous ultrasound is often used to justify more invasive tests), but I really wanted one. I needed to see that my baby has a brain, and a spinal cord, and functioning organs so that I could rest easy. And I figured, "Well, might as well find out the baby's sex, too!"

So we decided to have a gender reveal party! We had a voting board where folks could guess baby's gender, size, and whether s/he'd be early, on time, or late. The votes were HEAVILY in favor of Boy, 8-9lbs, and Late. We also set up a Dinosaur Decorating table where everyone painted a little wooden dino for the baby's mobile and played an Old Wive's Tale game for activities. We had fabulous food based on my cravings -- chips and salsa, salmon, and cheese for the savory side; cookies and milk, berries, and chocolate (in the form of question mark cupcakes) for the sweet. And for the actual reveal, we had a PINATA! I had given the gender, written by the Ultrasound tech in a sealed envelope, to my BFF, and she filled up a pinata with wrapped candy. So when the reveal happened, it was a surprise for Miles and me, too!

My friend shot a video of the reveal, but since it's just on his FB page I can't really share it -- sorry. But the big deal is that IT'S A GIRL! emoticon

Of course, most of you know that from reading my little Friend Feed updates.

I'm so excited to have a girl. I would have been thrilled with a little boy too, but I really do feel like I'm meant to have a daughter. Miles is really excited to have a daughter, too, and to raise her right. We're going to raise an awesome, empowered, bold little girl! Her name is Josephine, after Jo from Little Women, and I hope she gets a lot of the character's traits.

Having the name, seeing the Ultrasound pictures, and of course, feeling her move have all made this pregnancy so much more REAL. During the 1st trimester, I mostly felt icky and paranoid. Now, I know that things are going smoothly, I can feel her dance and kick and squirm, we've painted the room and started building the furniture... This is really happening!

Being pregnant really is wonderful. It's an awesome excuse to sit in funny positions and do yoga poses at work. I get to practice relaxation techniques every night. I cut my caffeine consumption down without a problem and I don't even remotely miss alcohol. I've never felt better about my body. Oh sure, I weigh 184lbs now -- about what I did when I joined SparkPeople in 2008 -- but I LOVE my belly! And these changes are FASCINATING! I mean, come on -- I have an extra human inside me! MIND-BLOWING FACT: I HAVE THE EGGS TAT WILL GROW INTO MY GRANDCHILDREN GROWING INSIDE OF ME RIGHT NOW. Biology is neat.

I'm trying to be as healthy as possible, but I will admit that I am a far cry from my Whole30 self. I don't really mind this, because with an expected intake of ~2400 calories per day and a total lack of calcium in prenatal vitamins, I really need the grains and dairy in my life. What I DON'T need is the daily dessert that I've been enjoying for quite some time. emoticon That said, it hasn't stopped me from getting all the right stuff! Miles and I have a CSA share that started 4 weeks ago, so every day I'm eating organic vegetables, especially dark leafy greens. I get LOTS of protein from a wide variety of sources (meat, low-mercury fish, dairy, nut butters). And of course, I'm exercising! The intensity is steadily dropping as the weeks go by, but I'm still averaging 35 minutes per day.

I'm also getting geared up for the birth. We're taking Bradley Method classes and I'm reading "Birthing from Within," which are both really confirming our choice to birth out of the hospital. I'm so grateful that I have the opportunity to make the birth a positive experience for me, Miles, and (of course!) our daughter.

But before that can happen, well, I have to keep expanding! Here are some pictures of the progress being made!

Here I am at 17 weeks, in mid-April.

This is at 21 1/2 weeks -- I'd really popped! And I've gotten even bigger in the past week and a half!

Here she is! This is actually one of the best Ultrasound pictures I've ever seen -- I can't believe how clearly I can see her lil' nose!

Stage 1 of the nursery is done -- painting. We're halfway through stage 2 -- assembling the furniture. How awesome is that crib?

So, there's my long-winded update. Being pregnant is the bomb.

...Remind me of that in 12 weeks when I feel like I'm going to explode, okay?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MYOWNHERO 6/25/2013 1:00PM

    I'm so delighted that I stumbled upon this joyful blog. Best wishes to you and your family. Daughters are awesome! Sons are also pretty wonderful.

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VHALKYRIE 6/25/2013 11:22AM

    Congratulations on your little girl! You are a gorgeous mom!

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JODROX 5/31/2013 9:00AM

    Awesome!! You sound so happy to be growing Josephine and anticipating her birth. Thanks for sharing the latest!

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RUSSELLORAMA 5/30/2013 8:31PM

    I'm happy it's been such a positive experience for you!

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Wow, I really can't handle the food tracker

Friday, March 15, 2013

I've been using the food tracker for the past four days, because my midwife wants me to keep a food diary.

I'm definitely DONE using the food tracker.

I stopped counting calories when I did my Whole 30 last fall, and I'm very quickly remembering why. Here's the deal:

1.) I start freaking out about numbers right away. The simple fact of the matter is, I have NO IDEA how many calories I need in a day. Knowing that I'm supposed to eat "300 extra calories" each day for my baby's growth doesn't really help. Does that mean I should be trying to eat 2300 calories daily? 1900 calories?
And calories aren't the only numbers that I worry about -- carbs, fat, blah blah blah. Getting hung up on these stats is not at all useful, because it doesn't address the quality of food I'm eating.

2.) I don't trust the numbers it gives me. The food tracker does not know the nutritional information of the bread my husband bakes, or the ingredients in the chicken salad I ate at lunch (which I hope doesn't kill me). The yogurt I eat doesn't list potassium in its nutritional information, even though all dairy products contain the mineral. So am I really potassium deficient?

3.) I immediately have awful feelings of food guilt and that's just fcked up. Sure, today was not my healthiest food day, but when it's 70 degrees and sunny, few things are more delicious than a slaw dog, fries, and ice cream. Sure, it wasn't the best choice given that I also had a brownie and some sweetened tea today (but at least I had a big side salad with dinner and chose sugar free ice cream), but it's also not something I do every day, or even every week. I don't really need Spark People's nutrition analyzer telling me I'm turning myself into a big fat pig, thanks.

It only took 4 days for a crappy cycle to start. See, the first two days I tracked, I was SHOCKED by how few calories I was getting. So I figured I needed to eat more to make sure I was hitting the 1900-2200 mark that I "think" is right for me. But after four freaking years of obsessing over my weight, food intake, and how what I ate determined whether I'm a decent human being (I know that's extreme, but my emotions regarding food got pretty intense before my W30!!!).... I can't see numbers like the ones I see today and feel OK about them.

I can't let my relationship with food get that fcked up again, ever. And I certainly can't let that happen when I have a person to grow.

My midwife will not be happy about what I ate today, I'm sure of that. But you know... it was DELICIOUS, and it was a rare treat that I don't want to feel guilty about. And tomorrow, I'll be right back on track with a healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner (corned beef and colcannon, yummmmm).

So to hell with calorie counting and obsessive guilt, and hooray for loving my body and my growing bump!

Also, turns out I can't do a W30 or even strict Paleo. My midwife wants me to eat every 2-3 hours (that means a mid-morning snack, an afternoon snack, and a before-bed snack, with smaller meals in between. THIS IS SO HARD FOR ME TO DO, OMFG), to drink juice when I'm "blocked," and eat yogurt daily for the probiotics. Whole30 is pretty strict about not snacking, juice is forbidden, and obviously even cultured dairy is a no-go. So while I can definitely eat a primal blueprint, a W30 is out of the question for now.

I also ran out of coconut and almond flours and have been crazy busy, so I haven't had the time to bake any kind of paleo snacks that quell my crazy carb cravings (like banana bread or big batches of pancakes). I have more now though, and a quiet weekend planned, so hopefully I'll have a few more snack options on hand.

Today has really been my first "bad" food day in a quite a while though, and I'm pleased about that. I'm eating lots of veggies, getting plenty of protein, and taking good care of my gut. I want to make my mindwife proud!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JODROX 4/5/2013 9:30AM

    Find what works for you. I happen to love the food tracker, but if it's not working for you, I think you can find balance without it. You'e aleady learned everything you need to know about healthy eating, and you can continue to apply that. Just add a few extra healthy snacks to get the extra calories you need.

I wish you all the best!

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    I have become obsessive at times, with the number and the carbs and protein, etc etc and had to back away from tracking on here. At least you are still journaling what you eat, that is the biggest part- so you can see trends and evaluate the quality of food you are giving yourself and your little one.

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JGRAY55555 3/18/2013 1:48PM

    You said,
I've been using the food tracker for the past four days, because my midwife wants me to keep a food diary.

I'm definitely DONE using the food tracker.

I didn't mean to offend, just offering up that I don't over-think the food tracker, and I don't see the value in bashing it??

I don't think the food tracker suggest that you eat yogurt, or drink juice when you're "blocked" or eat paleao. It is just a tracker of what you and your midwife decide is best for you.

I am sure there are many sources that can tell you about nutrition related to pregnancy.

Good luck to you and your child. I just became a grandpa for the 3rd time, it is wonderful!

Comment edited on: 3/18/2013 6:22:00 PM

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KATISONIT 3/18/2013 1:16PM

    Hey girl,
Can I say congrats again or are you plum sick of those already? CONGRATS!

I hear you about how numbers and expectations (self-imposed or not) can mess with your head. I just recently started using the tracker again, and I almost completely disregard it since it says I'm getting too many calories and way too much fiber (I'm just munching on fresh veg all day, hippie dippie smoothies and nuts, because that works with my cooking-averse, 3 hours a day commute, boring cubicle lifestyle), but it's gotta be better for me than the far more tracker-compliant 3 McDoubles a day I was plugging in when I lost all that weight a couple years ago (not that Sparkpeople is to blame for those stellar food choices, I know), or my recently atrocious diet while I was in a bit of a long-haul slump.

Sounds like between that self-aware head you've got on your shoulders, Miles, and your midwife, you are more than prepared to do this baby thing.

Can I also compliment you on how relatable your writing is? Always, always an interesting read, even for somebody like me that cannot fathom caring for something more significant than my plants and hermit crabs.

Hope your day is smashing!

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JGRAY55555 3/18/2013 8:22AM

    I have lost almost 70 pounds in about 7 months. I COULD NOT do it without the food tracker. NO, it is not ALWAYS 100% correct, who cares. It is way more accurate that what I tried unsuccessfully to do before. When I eat a brownie, I know the price I have to pay. I figure if I am off a few calories, or spark is off a few calories, then maybe I lose 1.5 lbs instead of 2, or maybe 2.5 instead of 2. It all works out over time.

Don't freak out that all the numbers are not exactly correct, but use them as a guide. JMO

Good luck in what ever you do.


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    I found ther tracker one of the more useful tools on the board. I don't use it like I did in the beginning, but by doing so I know the calorie content of what I call "stock" meals....the things I eat almost daily for breakfast and lunch.

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DEVITIA 3/17/2013 11:11AM

    Do what is right for you and that will work for your little one too! Actually- I think that the baby will take what is needs- the questions is whether you get what you need- so keep on following your own voice. Step one of parenting. You can do it! Believe in yourself. All will be well. Congrats to you!!!

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BOPPY_ 3/15/2013 11:58PM

    Isn't this simple?

If you want to lose weight, and you're losing it without the tracker, then you don't need it.

If you want to lose weight, and you're not losing it without the tracker, then you do need it.

If you have special dietary needs, find the foods you need and eat them; avoid the ones that are causing problems.

Maybe, I'm just confused, though?


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VHALKYRIE 3/15/2013 8:22PM

    I'm so with you about the food tracker. I haven't used it since November. Those numbers of whether I was over or under just added up to guilt or anxiety. If I ate 1400 calories and was still hungry, didn't that mean I needed more food? Yet that 1400 became some kind of barrier that didn't correlate to my real nutritional needs.

If I track, my calories are pretty low by Spark standards. But I'm not hungry. Seems to me that's the right amount of food. If I ate more when not hungry, then I'd be overeating. That was a concept that took me a very, very long time to undo, and I don't intend to go back.

Comment edited on: 3/15/2013 8:42:41 PM

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