Thursday, September 27, 2012

Bean Update #4

Tim was a wonderful husband and made it his priority to take my 22 week picture, I am not sure why I don't look bigger, I really don't know why the "round, fat belly" (as Madeleine calls it) isn't showing up in these pictures! When you see me in real life I am bigger. I think I'm huge lately. At our 20 week ultrasound, the tech said she thought Bean was about 12oz. (a can of soda). Of course, we also found out we were having a boy! Can you believe it!? I shed a little tear of disbelief and happiness; Tim never cries, but some dust flew in his eyes too. God's so awesome to us. Of course, I was a little sad at losing the potential of a third girl, I had a name all picked out, but this is what God wants, and what we all wanted too. 

How far along? 23 weeks

EDD: LMP suggests January 25th ; Kaiser says Jan 30th, I am hoping for January 31st (I can will myself into labor right?) MJ was due May 25th and came on the 2nd. Not sure if this babe will be different with different gender. Grace was only 6 days "overdue" due the 7th, came the 13th. I think 1/31/13 is totally doable for this little guy. 
Total weight gain: 9 lbs.- still not exercising...being lazy, I guess.
Maternity clothes? oh yea!
Stretch marks? please...I've had them since I was 14, they're proof of power :)
Sleep: could be good, if i went to bed earlier than 12am
Miss Anything? beer, beer and beer.
Movement: Tons: baby is super active lately and especially at night. sometimes, he keeps me up.
Food cravings: breyer's cookies & cream ice cream 2/$6 at Albertsons and distilled water, though i quit drinking it after reading that it can strip your body of minerals.
Anything making you queasy or sick: i get super hungry, then gorge, then feel sick. my eyes are way bigger than my mouth, but i let so much time elapse between meals it's hard not to stuff.
Gender: BOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! holy cow, we're having a little man!

Labor Signs: Thankfully none.
Symptoms: I thought I was supposed to have energy in the 2nd trimester? I'm just plain exhausted all the time. Oh, and how is it possible to be this hungry all the time? Wow.
Belly Button in or out? in, never does pop.
Wedding rings on or off? on. my ring is still slipping a bit, might have to re-size it after baby.

Happy or Moody most of the time: moodily happy?
Looking forward to: Monday, October 1st 

In other news, our lease is not being renewed, so we have to be out of our house sometime (not sure when). At first, we were asked to be out by October 31st, but we said we'd need more time. Tim is already super stressed studying for the Engineer test at work Oct 5th, and he will be helping his grandparent's move this week. We had an 18-day RV vacation planned for mid-November, but that might be the time that we are moving. Not our first choice, but blessed that the Lord foresaw our situation and granted us that time off. Everything feels incredibly unsettled and disjointed. I'm trying to take it one day at a time. The baby is definitely taking a back seat to all the other pressures we're facing as a family. The thought of packing and moving again in about a month or two is a bummer, but I'm fine with it, I know the Lord is faithful and true to our family. I trust Him. 
Love, Lauren

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Green Bean Update #3

This is the last green bean update. In only 10 days (start the countdown) we'll get the chance to take a little peek at our growing babe. Hopefully he or she will cooperate and we'll know...I don't know why it matters so much, it just does.

19 weeks + 1 day:

It's bigger in real life. Not sure why. Not much to report other than I'm still totally excited and so amazed that I am co-creating and carrying life! It still blows my mind to know that there is this little growing person inside of me with predetermined genetic code (gender too!). I was praying this morning, thanking the Father for allowing me to be guardian to these little lives. Practicing gratitude for every day that I get to have Bean because He could choose to take them from me. They are ultimately His, and so I want to be ever thankful for the days I get. Of course, this attitude is easier to maintain with the babe in the belly than with the two out of belly. But, growing a new life keeps my perspective on the ones I've already delivered. So, I try a little bit more patience, a little bit more grace with Mads and G, because I still feel about them the way I feel about this new life. 

I had a long conversation with my midwife. Tim was supposed to be at a class the Monday I had my appointment, but as I was taking my blood pressure, I hear his voice outside the door. Can I just totally brag on my loving husband that he left his class early to surprise me and be at our appointment? He ALWAYS makes the effort to be there with me, and as I think back on all our pre-natal visits, I can remember only a few appointments (mostly with my midwife at home) where he wasn't able to make it. 

Anyways, it was good because I had a bullet list of talking points for my CNM and thankfully, I was her last patient of the day. After reading Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, I wanted to get a feel for basic hospital protocol upon arrival. Things like a blood draw, heparin lock or IV placement, electronic fetal monitoring and urine analysis are all standard. I asked if there was a time limit on labor and delivery. I asked to meet the other midwives who might deliver me. I wondered if she felt pressure to adhere to the medical model and to what extent she felt she supported the midwifery model. 

I think the most important concept I have taken away from my readings and from my own experience is the idea that fear, or the perception of fear, has a incredible impact on delivery. Gaskin's calls this the law of the sphincter. She has found medical books, anecdotes and literature from the 1800s that attest to this phenomenon. Attendants were advised to not startle the patient, nor walk in on them suddenly for fear that the sudden shock of being caught in a position of vulnerability would reverse the labor of the woman. The best way to akin it is like a gazelle who is birthing in the wild: if she is suddenly attacked, God has mercifully allowed the animal to retract the spawn back into the uterus in order to escape with a live baby. But this is not just biological animalistic behavior. These doctors of which I spoke earlier recorded several instances when the laboring mother was deep into delivery and because of the disturbance of the male doctor and a sudden presence that made her uncomfortable, labor ceased and one doctor recorded that it did not start again for 2 weeks. And I'm not talking Braxton-Hicks here, the records show that the delivery was immanent. As I talk to friends--one who was told not to deliver because her doctor was not there and then watched as 4 nurses stepped back and stood watching, and to another who delivered in the back of an ambulance-- they attest that although labor was bearing down (literally) on them, they did not feel safe enough to "release" their baby until they were assured that someone was there to catch him or assist them.

Sometimes it's hard to imagine that fear could cause such a reversal, especially for woman who have felt the overwhelming urge to push their babies out, but imagine sitting in a circle of 6 people with a bowl in the middle and being told that the first one to poop in it will get $50.00. Or, have you ever been in a bathroom stall that does not lock and realized how the little fear of being walked in upon effects your ability to use your sphincter? This is the theory that Gaskins presents: the same laws apply to anus, bladder and birth canal. Many a labor has been draw beyond its natural course due to fear. I believe my 30+ hour with Madeleine was effected by fear. With Gracen, I was doing great until we transported and I lost it. I lost my coach who was having to drive (and fast) and there was a lot of fear because of circumstances, not because of my own body. But, I ramble. Read the book for yourself, it's one of those things that you read and go, "Duh, why doesn't everyone know this?" Well, medicine is politics, and if you watched the RNC then you can see how commonsense can be overruled by those who have the most money. Hospitals make money. Doctors make money. Why do they want you to do naturally what they can help you do and make a lots more money. She needs pitocin, ch-ching; she needs a blood draw, ch-chaing; she needs an epidural...well the anesthesiologist just bought an Audi, so let's get him in here. ch-ching. 

But, there is a revolution rising. I just found out about the Improving Birth Rally taking place all over the nation and there is a group in Murrieta. or you can visit the national site

Birth matters. Do you believe that? Do you believe that the way that the mother brings her children into the world absolutely impacts both in ways they don't fathom? There are reasons to induce; there are reasons to c-section. But, for the majority of healthy, pregnant women like me the most empowering and effective birth for me and my baby is one that values us, not the litigious or monetary interests of my hospital, caregiver or insurance company. I encourage all women, but particularly pregnant ones to research alternatives to the procedures of the medical model. Question why they are asking you to do the things you do. And remember the 4 magic words:                    I do not consent. 
Love, Lauren