Wednesday, April 30, 2008

What is with my boys and loving to spill things on me? Travis is forever knocking into my elbow and making me spill my coffee, water, etc. Deklan is always spilling and dripping on me. Gavin...well, I can't blame him because he's a baby. But it seems that I can't make it thru a single day with dry clothes.

*sigh* I have some sewing projects to do. I found a pattern for turning prefolds into fitteds, and I think I'm actually going to do it. I also have 4 more slings to make, and a shirt to alter for my sister. I also found a really cool crochet pattern for hacky sacks...I'd like to make some for Deklan. And I'm thinking that I'll make a wool soaker and see how it goes. I found a pretty good free pattern online, so I want to give it a go.

We had a little graduation party for my lil'sis tonight. It was nice to spend a little time with the family and play some cards....

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Do you ever seriously just dread the thought of cleaning? Not even deep cleaning, just the standard old empty-the-dishwasher-and-load-it-back-up type stuff? Today is one of those days. Plus I have a noisy little boy demanding my attention, and a babe who is currently on a growth spurt and nursing every hour...I just can't seem to get my thoughts in order or my butt in gear. So what do I do? Blog. Is it making me feel better? Not really. Just aiding and abetting my lack of drive today. Maybe I'll get up and make coffee. Then I'll feel a little more chipper.

Deklan got up in the night and brought a bottle of water into the bed last night. He drank a few sips, then left it open in the bed, unbeknownst to me. Well, gravity and wrinkled covers happen, and needless to say I woke up at about 4am to a stream of freezing cold water hitting my shoulder and side. I stumbled to the bathroom for a towel to lay on the now wet sheets, and went back to sleep. Gavin slept thru the whole thing. Oh, the joys of the family bed!

O.K. I can't procrastinate any longer. I'm getting up now. I think...

Monday, April 28, 2008

To wool or not to wool? That is the question...

I'm really excited about this coming weekend! Not only is my lil' sis graduating Saturday morning, but Saturday night is the benefit for the Florida Friends of Midwives. It's going to be awesome! I made a bag to go up in the raffle. I hated to part with it, but I made a similar one for myself to ease the pain a little! Here is a pic of it:

So, to the burning question of the day and the REAL topic of this blog entry...wool covers. I've been doing a lot of research on wool diaper covers these days. We're gearing up for another gloriously HOT Florida summer, and I've heard that wool is great for hot climates because it breathes. I'd end up making my own soakers, and would probably only make one longie for sleeping. We'll see what happens. I had a hard enough time talking Travis into cloth in the first place, I'm afraid throwing wool in the mix might spook him a little more. Speaking of other diapers, I claimed victory over the fish funk in the BG's that I bought! Woohoo!! I stripped those puppies 3 times before it made a difference! *sigh*

So we're talking more and more about the future and California. I'm not relishing the thought of being a full-time working mom again, but it'll be temporary. Two years temporary, but temporary nonetheless. We decided against moving our junk to MI first, but will leave it here in a nice climate-controlled storage unit somewhere. Trav is also going to skip Academy, as much as he wanted to do it. So all things considered, we're going to try to get out of here when our lease is up, at the end of July. We're already working on a major home overhaul, getting ready for a yard sale. Eek! I'm just trying to look at the whole thing as the means to an end, to a home and some land and midwifery school. That's where my heart is, I just have two years of work before I can get there!

Gavin's Birth Story

Well, my water broke at a trickle at 7pm on Jan. 21st. I was getting off of the sofa and felt a little "pop" in my upper belly. I didn't think anything of it until I stood up and started trickling! After I was sure it was my water and not just me peeing myself (not going to miss THAT finer point of pregnancy!!), I called my midwife, Harmony. Since I had not started having any contractions yet, she told me to go to bed and get some rest. Being as excited as I was, I got off the phone with Harmony and promptly started cleaning my house. After cleaning and making sure everything was packed, I showered. I recall looking down at my pregnant belly while I was in the shower, thinking that this was the last shower I'd be taking with my baby inside of time he would be earth-side. Around midnight, I finally went to bed. I woke up at 2:45am Jan. 22nd with contractions that weren't bad, but were enough to wake me up and not let me go back to sleep. So, at about 3:30am, I called Harmony back and told her about the contractions. She said "Well, it looks like we're having a baby!" and we made arrangements to meet at the birthing home at about 5am. It was cool outside and lightly raining. We settled in, and waited for my family so they could watch Deklan, then Travis and I holed up in the birthing room. It was so beautiful and relaxing...fresh flowers, candles lit, dim lights, and soft music playing, the bed was turned back and waiting for was better than home! I rocked on my ball for a while, then my back started aching and I decided to get into the bed.

Travis got a hot pack for my back, then we snuggled up in the bed with the hot pack sandwiched between us for a while and just let the contractions come and go. They were painful, but I could easily breathe thru them. At about 8am, Harmony checked my cervix and saw that I was at 8cm already! And not only that, but when she checked me, the forebag of waters released with a gush. She called in her birth assistant, Jodi, who rushed to the birthing home, thinking it would be soon...well, my ornery little boy threw us all a curve ball!! I got into the birthing tub and relaxed a bit (by the way, I would recommend water birth to ANYONE!). When people call a nice, warm tub of water an "aquadural", they're not was amazing how much it relieved the discomfort. I had also studied Hypnobirthing, and was loving how it was helping me relax thru each contraction. After a while, Harmony checked me again, I had actually gone BACK to 7cm! I started to get discouraged, which made me lose my focus, which in turn made the contractions seems twice as painful. After one particularly painful contraction which left me wondering if I could actually do this, I looked at Harmony with what must have been a look of utter despair, because she read my mind and said "Jessica, you are not going to have to go to the hospital." I tried vocalizing through the pain, and found that it only distracted me...made me focus on the pain instead of on the relaxation. At one point, Harmony told me (so softly and gently, but firmly) that if I wasted my energy whining, I wouldn't have enough energy for the rest of my labor! Ha! I really was whining, and that was exactly what I needed to hear. I decided she was right, reached down deep and found my focus again, relaxed, and let the contractions do their job instead of tensing up and fighting against them. As my cervix was slowly melting away, I tried pushing with a contraction to see if it would complete my cervix, but that didn't just hurt. At her suggestion, I got out of the water (she figured it might have been a little too relaxing!) and tried changing positions. Before I made it to the bed, I had a contraction which came with a wave of nausea and I threw up everything that I had been drinking. I tried laying in bed, but that killed my back. I found that the most comfortable position was sitting on the edge of the bed. With contractions, I circled and swayed, which helped. Finally, I just had a rim of cervix left, but that little bit would not go away! Harmony started giving me herbs to help my cervix finish dilating. They tasted terrible, but I drank the concoctions willingly knowing that they would help. When she saw that I was tired and struggling and that Gavin was having some trouble getting into place, Harmony got behind me and supported my tummy with a rebozo with each contraction, and let me rest against her between them. My belly was so BIG (I forget what my fundal height was at my last appointment...48 cm, I think?) that we thought it, along with Gavin, might have been leaning forward in a strange position that might have been inhibiting him from moving down.
Since my labor had lasted longer than we had thought it might, and since I wasn't keeping much down, Harmony asked if I wanted an IV of fluids, just to give me a little extra energy, and I said YES! I knew it would help. I wanted to be checked again, but at the same time I knew that if I hadn't progressed, I would get discouraged again. So I told myself that I would have her check after the IV bag was empty. When the bag was almost empty, Harmony suggested that I try to get up and use the bathroom, so I (reluctantly...I didn't feel like moving at all) said O.K., and that I'd get in the water again after I went, and she'd check me in the tub. But when I stood up at the side of the bed, I had a massive contraction and it hit me like a ton of bricks that my body was PUSHING...without me! I remember leaning forward onto the bed, roaring like a lion, then looking at Harmony and saying "I have to push!" Suddenly, a whirlwind! The tub was being filled, my IV was getting disconnected, someone was trying to help me get something on for the walk from the bed to the tub (I couldn't stand the feeling of clothes on me, though), and I was trying to make that forever-long journey from the bed to the tub. I really wanted the tub to get filled in time, so I tried my hardest not to push, breathing (well, it was more like a growl, but it worked!) out the contractions while bearing down instead of holding my breath and pushing. I had two big contractions like that at the bedside while waiting for the water to get going in the tub, the IV to be disconnected, etc. At this point, my friends and family, including Deklan, piled into the room, filming and taking pictures. Travis helped me across the room, me almost breaking his neck as a huge contraction washed over me and I curled into myself while holding onto his neck...poor guy! Then I got in the tub, and my first instinct was to get to my hands and knees. The whole time that I was in the water previously, I had been floating on my back and didn't want to move, but the thought of being like that during this phase never even crossed my mind. The water was only about 4 inches deep, not deep enough to give birth yet, so I breathed (growled) thru another two contractions like that. FINALLY the water was deep enough and I could really work with my body and bear down and push...the first or second time I pushed, he crowned. It burned, but I remembered to relax with the burn and stop pushing, to let me stretch. The next time I pushed out his head...I remember Harmony telling me that his head was out and that I could feel it. I remember reaching down and feeling that smooshy little head and being once again in awe of birth. The next contraction, and a push and joy! that crazy squirmy feeling of a baby being born! Harmony told me to get my baby and I reached down into the water and caught my sweet little boy, and held him to me...I did it!
The last phase was so much shorter with Gavin than it had been with Deklan. Waiting until my body was ready to push was amazing. I remember in my body and in my mind it was so crazy and intense...the thoughts, the sensations, the feelings seemed loud and rushing and incredible. Yet when I watched the birth back on video, it was so incredibly quiet! You could hear the water swishing as I moved in the tub, nobody talking, only water and me breathing. I had a 3rd degree tear with Deklan, and only ended up with a first degree tear and a couple of superficial lacerations this time. I think the perineal massage really helped a lot with that, and also, when he crowned and it really started burning, I tried to breathe and not push and let his head stretch the tissue rather than pushing his head right out. When his head was out, I had still not torn. But he had a little arm right up by his face (nuchal hand), so with the next push it wasn't just his shoulders that popped out, but an arm too. Travis said that it burst out like a sports fan pumping his fist in the air. When I pushed him out and caught him and pulled him up out of the water and held him to was awesome! I held him in the bath until the cord stopped pulsing. I was bleeding quite a bit, so we decided to go ahead and cut the cord so that I could get into the bed and get a better idea of how much I was losing. So Travis cut the cord and held him while I birthed the placenta. Then I got out (thinking how strange and empty and light my belly felt), climbed into bed, and started breastfeeding him. It was so cool. Travis and Deklan climbed into bed with us and inspected him while he had his first meal. While we were in bed and everyone was gathered around us, Jodi showed us the placenta and gave us all a little tutorial. It was really cool to see the organ that we formed and that nourished and protected Gavin for his first 9 months! She showed us the inside, the outside, the sac that was once the bag of waters, the vessels in the umbilical cord and the "tree of life"...the huge blood vessels that supplied blood to the placenta. They also took placenta prints by pressing the placenta and cord onto paper, and it really looks like a tree! After he had nursed on both sides (I'm sure he needed those few sips of colostrum after such a harrowing journey!) and I had eaten some fruit and cheese and drank some fluids, Harmony took him to weigh and measure him.
He weighed in at a whopping 10 lbs., 1 oz., and was 22 inches long! Big boy! It made sense then why my labor took so long.
After he was checked and weighed and got dressed and all, I was taken back to the exam room to get stitched up. Laying flat on my back was so terribly uncomfortable, although Jodi and Holly tried endlessly to make me comfortable. Harmony mentioned how she loved suturing, and I said sarcastically that I was thrilled to give her the opportunity! After that, I took a shower, then went downstairs and had a bowl of soup and got my post-partum instructions. Then we went home! All in all, it was a long (well, longer than I had thought it would be, anyway!) labor...about 11 hours long. But it was worth every bit of it. It alternated between exhausting and empowering. At one point, I looked at my hubby and said "Next time I'm having a c-section!", and was only half kidding. Long labor can be so taxing, more mentally than physically. But then, just minutes after I wanted a c-section, I was laughing to myself when Travis was asking Harmony why I hadn't had a contraction for a long time...I had had two of them, but since I was quiet and relaxed and focused, he thought I was sleeping!! It's amazing to know that you really have that much control over your mind and be in pain and out of control one minute, and resting and quiet and focused the next. Travis was very helpful, but when things got intense, he got quiet because he was worried for me. Harmony helped me so much, encouraging me and grounding me. She did things for me that no doctor would ever have done. Toward the end, when she was in the bed with me, sitting behind me supporting my tummy with a rebozo and letting me lean back against her and was just a really unique experience. Small things made the biggest difference to when I was sitting on the edge of the bed and circling and swaying until that IV bag was empty, and I saw Jodi sitting cross-legged on the floor at the foot of the bed, silently circling and swaying with me and inconspicuously timing my contractions. Seeing her do what I was doing made me feel like I was doing something right! Even though I'd say that this labor was harder than my first, it was still better. I liked the whole birthing home/midwife experience, and wouldn't have traded it for the world. We learned so much, and with that new knowledge, we are doing things differently this time around, like co-sleeping and babywearing. Gavin is very happy and alert, and is very much attached to us. I think the initial time of bonding immediately after birth makes a huge difference!! Also, the fact that Deklan saw his baby brother "come out of mommy's tummy" helped him adjust easier. It wasn't like we just came home with a new baby. He has really made an easy adjustment and loves being a big brother. And I love sitting and nursing my little guy and reaching back and feeling that soft, smooshy head that I felt as he was exiting me and entering this world, and it just takes me back to that moment. As he's growing bigger and his head is less smooshy, it makes me sad to know that that tangible link to such an awesome part of birth is leaving. I hope someone who loves reading birth stories as much as I do enjoys his birth story! Writing it all down is such a powerful reminder. Now, about that third baby... ;)

My first post...

Well, I can't seem to keep a written journal, but I'm decent at getting on the computer, so I'm going to give this a go. Also, I had kept a little blog on a pregnancy site... ...but I'm afraid that the site will go down (again!!) and everything would get erased, so I'm transferring my entries over here. Plus I'm embarking on a lot of new life changes, so I'm eager to write about all of that and just get it OUT! So, here are the entries for my pregnancy with Gavin:

Hi there, I'm Jessica! I am a 26-year-old wife and mother of one, with our second on the way! I've been married for 5 years to the love of my life! We're really excited, and we're hoping it's a girl, since we already have a boy (Deklan Ryan...he's 3). We'll be finding out on Aug. 27th if it's a boy or a girl. The names we have picked out are Gavin Newton Robertson for a boy, and Brighe Meghan for a girl. I've been a nurse for 5+ years, and I love my profession! I've done local work, as well as travelling, in many different areas of nursing. I'm only working part-time now that I'm pregnant. I have been seeing a midwife at a free-standing birthing house, and I'm planning a water birth there. I have really enjoyed the experience that I've had with this midwife...everything is very calm and laid-back, and there is a great emphasis on doing things naturally, which is what I want.

Aug. 27th - Thought I'd give the whole blog thing a whirl...we had our ultrasound scan today and the baby is healthy and whole, as far as they could tell. No congenital heart defects, which was a concern for us. Also, we found out that we're having another baby boy! I'm happy with that, but my hubby is a little bummed out...he REALLY wanted a girl. And as sick as I've been this time around, and as different as this pregnancy has been than that of my first, I was thinking it was a girl. Well, I was wrong! The only thing that matters to me, though, is that he's healthy. So, Gavin Newton Robertson is on the way!

Sept. 9th - All is well so far! Gavin is jumping around in there like a little mexican jumping bean, and continues to stomp on my cervix and bladder. I can also feel the subtil rolls and movements now, not just the kicks. I had a great appointment with my midwife last week...we went over the ultrasound results again (the actual U/S was done in a different location), and it was so nice to hear the word "perfect" come out of her mouth. We talked for awhile about my pregnancy and birth with my son, Deklan, and his heart problem and how my entire plan for the remainder of my pregnancy and delivery was turned upside down. What a relief to find that we won't have that struggle this time! I just continue to pray that God will keep this little one healthy and growing well inside me until it's time to hold him in our arms. It's so scary sometimes being pregnant. Well, not so much scary as just worrisome. There are so many unknowns. I suppose life in general is like that, though. Anyway, on a different note, I've decided to, in addition to having a water birth, try hypnobirthing this time around. I'm impressed with the statistics, and the premise of it just seems to make sense. I am so excited about this labor and delivery! I am actually looking forward to it with anticipation, not dread. Nice feeling! If you're interested in checking out what hypnobirthing is all about, go to and have a peek!

Sept. 12th - Several people have asked me about my midwife, birthing house, etc. So, for those of you interested, here is the link to the website for the birthing house: . I'm really excited about giving birth here. I'm not 100% comfortable with a home birth, and this birthing house is located a few blocks from a great hospital in case of emergancy, so it makes it an ideal situation for me. I have had a non-eventful pregnancy, a healthy baby, I don't want a hospital birth, but I DO want a "controlled" setting with a professional. So this is the perfect compromise! They've done a little re-arranging since the pictures, but the main birthing room is the same. They have 3 birthing rooms. But anyhoo, check it out if you want!

Oct. 24th - Well, I'm 28w1d today, and growing! Gavin is a very active little boy, although it seems he's been doing more rolling around than kicking these days. I believe he's settling in the head-down position now, as the kicks that I get are pretty consistantly in my right upper belly. My next appointment is on Halloween...I take my Glucose Test that day. Then it's every two weeks from that point until 36 weeks, when it'll be weekly visits! Deklan is starting to understand what's going on, and will poke my belly to try to make Gavin move, and he also talks to my belly! He thinks the best place to talk is into my bellybutton, and he says "Hi, Gavin!" or "Hi, baby brother!". He has given Gavin the nickname of "Bo-Bo"...I have no idea why, since he can say "brother" clearly...he just sometimes calls him Bo-Bo. So I have a feeling that name may carry on till after Gavin is born! I have been giving the thought of a baby shower a lot of thought...I didn't really want one, because I don't need anything...I already have a little boy, and I have pretty much everything I need for him, with the exception of diapers and a few miscellanious things. But a friend of mine, Rene', has been asking me to think of who I want invited to my shower and when it should be, etc. So, I was on my birthing home's website the other day and learn that the doula who works there, Tami, had just had her son...and the announcement included pictures from her Blessingway. I had a little double-take and thought "Blessingway??? What is a Blessingway?" So I looked it up and LOVED what I found! A Blessingway, also called a Mother Blessing, stems from a Navajo ritual, a sort of rite of passage. It has been modernized to be a "baby shower substitute", religious or otherwise. For that reason, some Navajo people who observe it as a sacred ceremony have asked that the modern version be called something other than a Blessingway, hence the term Mother Blessing. But anyway, what it basically is is just a celebration of the pregnancy and the mother and the transition that she will soon be making. IF there are any gifts involved, they are gifts for the mother. But many simply include mom-centered activities, such as belly casting, belly painting, henna art done by girlfriends on the mommy's tum, making of beaded jewelry with varying significance, lighting of candles or giving of candles as gifts to attendees (to light when the mother is in labor, to remind them to think positive thoughts or pray for the mother), talking about the positive aspects of birth, talking about each person's relationship to the mother, etc. What a wonderful idea!!! You still get to be with friends and celebrate your pregnancy, but without worrying about gifts, etc. I love it! So I'm going to talk to Rene' about it, and see if that's something she would be willing to coordinate rather than a baby shower. I welcome any comments or suggestions from anyone!!

Nov. 1st - Wow...yet another month has passed. It's hard to believe that 2007 is almost over. Well, I had a good visit with my midwife yesterday. I passed my glucose test, which was a relief, as is every other test or milestone in pregnancy. I am, however, anemic. No big shock to me, since I was VERY anemic when I was carrying Deklan. So, I have to start on double doses of iron. But anyway, Gavin is indeed head-down now, as I suspected. He's incredibly active, stretching and moving in there. His heartrate was in the 140''s been 140's and 150's all along. My appointments are every 2 weeks now, which I'm so happy about! I think time is going to go by faster this way. Oh, and I was reading my midwife's blogs the other day on her myspace page, and I thought I'd "borrow" something that she said. So, the following thoughts are not my own, they belong to my midwife, Harmony.

"I would like to share some thoughts with you. This has profoundly effected my life views. As you may or may not know a female baby has all the eggs she will ever have before she is even born. This means that the egg that I eventually developed from was inside my maternal grandmothers body while my mother was a fetus inside of her. This means that half of the genetic information of every male and female was once inside the body of their maternal grandmother who was not only inside of her mother but her grandmother as well. It goes on and on. I believe this to be physical proof that we are all connected. It is even more far reaching... There are energetics involved. A part of me was with my grand mother. That part of me was influenced by her thoughts, emotions, environmental pollutants, the food she put in her body. Then as my mother grew that potential part of me was influenced throughout her life. Then I was conceived and that egg that had been traveling through my maternal lineage met with sperm from a body also from an egg that had traveled down his maternal lineage. As I developed inside my mother every bite of food she ate came to me via the inner workings of her miraculous body. Every emotion she felt triggered a hormonal response that released hormones into her bloodstream . That blood filtered through the placenta that we grew and exchanged those hormones and nutrients for my waste products. I received hormonal messages everytime she smiled, laughed, or cried...I have often wondered how the knowledge of all the medicinal plants and edible foods came to be. Massive trial and error? I have heard and read of Plant spirit and the plants communicating if you listen. I have also read of the medicine men and women and "The Memories" How these healers, holders of the sacred knowledge were born with a gift, the memories of those before them. In an ancient tribal setting the healers were usually of the same lineage they would pass this knowledge down. But an accumulated knowledge would be necessary in this ancient time before writting, before language. It has been said that the next generation was born with the memories. Could this be because they actually learned it together? That egg already exsisted when it's grandmother and mother were studying, experimenting, remembering...I was sitting last night remorseful that I had not known my maternal grandmother well when I realized I may know her more than I had ever imagined. I am of her. Her blood and breath nurished me and grew me and my mother."

Nov. 9th - I've been so busy! I'm working for my mom and the family business, in addition to part-time work at the hospital. But I'm trying to stay home as much as I can to spend time with Deklan and rest a little. Gavin is still doing very well...a little less kicking now, but he still moves a lot. Mostly turning and stretching out. He gets the hiccups every day feels so funny, but it's so cool to know what he's doing in there...I can almost picture him hiccuping. Before Travis got up this morning, we were just laying in bed half asleep and he hand his hand on my tum. He felt the hiccups, and a few rolls and stretches...he just smiles. :) It's so cool to know that the little life growing inside me is ours...half Travis, half Jessica, all ours! Deklan and I went to the beach this morning with my friend Rene' and her son Noah. Noah and Deklan played on the rocks and ran thru the tidal pools and tried to catch shrimp with their nets. It was windy and a little chilly, but they didn't mind. It was about 65 degrees and windy. Then we dug around in the sand and looked for shells and hermit crabs...we found lots of shells with holes in the middle and made a shell necklace when we got home. We also found some really cool ones without holes...he's playing with them as we speak. Then we had some turkey and cucumber sandwiches and headed home. Being outside is so fun, but it makes me so tired!! My fatigue is a little less these days...I think the iron is starting to benefit...I'm not quite as tired or short of breath. Some days, though, I wake up tired and am tired all day and go to bed exhausted. It's hard work on my body to grow a person! I think growth spurts are hard on me, since it's not every day that I'm that tired. Still waking up to pee several times in the night...I think I should switch sides of the bed with my hubby so I'm closer to the bathroom. Hahaha... Oh, while we were eating lunch, Deklan came up to my belly, said hi to Gavin, then started telling him all about the beach! How cute is that!

Nov. 16th - I went to my midwife's appointment yesterday...all is well, both Gavin and I appear healthy! But the main reason for this blog entry is something VERY IMPORTANT. A dear friend of ours on this site recently lost her 7 week old son to SIDS. While I was at my appointment, I spoke to my midwife in depth about SIDS, risk factors, co-sleeping, etc. She told me to go to the birthing house myspace site and check out a blog that she had posted there. I am including the link to the blog, and I hope EVERYONE who comes to my page visits this link and reads the article. It links chemicals in mattresses to SIDS. There is a very simple solution to the problem, and yet this is not common knowledge, which is frustrating. So anyway, here's the link...PLEASE READ!!!

Dec. 2nd - Well, everything is just rolling merrily along over here! I've got about 6 weeks left, and it suddenly dawned on me that I have a LOT to do in just a little bit of time! Gavin is still very active, although the kicks are becoming still slightly less...more of just body parts rolling around in there. He had a tremendous growth spurt a couple of weeks ago...I gained 5lbs and gained 8cm of fundal height in 2 weeks!!! Along with that came several new itchy stretch marks, of course. But other than that, all is well, baby's heartbeat is still good and strong in the 140's mostly, no swelling or anything like that. I am getting more and more tired these days...I just don't have an abundance of energy. But I've started doing prenatal yoga again, which helps some of the aches and pains. Oh, I also got my birth kit in the mail last week, which was exciting! Kind of makes you realize how fast the birth is approaching! I also ordered several nursing bras from at the recommendation of my midwife. They're having some great clearance right now on their nursing tank and supreme nursing bras, if anyone is interested! As a big-busted girl, it's SO HARD to find bras that fit right, especially with all of the body changes that come with pregnancy and breastfeeding. But honestly, these are THE MOST COMFORTABLE bras that I've found yet! I love the supreme nursing bra because it's not underwire, but I swear it supports me better than an underwire bra. Anyway, I've also been on ebay and got an exercise/birth ball for me to use here at home to exercise and in the early stages of labor. I also found an awesome deal on some pretty nursing nighties with matching robes...when I was breastfeeding Deklan, I really didn't care about sleeping in just a bra and undies because we didn't have any other kids...but now that Deklan's 3, I have to be a little more decent about it...hahaha! But anyway, I have to interview Gavin's pediatrician this week, and then all of my birth preparation will be done...all of the paperwork signed, etc. Then I just have to ready myself and my home! I think I've begun "semi-nesting"...I SEE all of these things that need to be done, and I start to do them, but then I run out of energy! Oh, well! It'll all get done eventually. I've been drinking my red raspberry leaf tea faithfully, and I'm SO hoping that it helps me to not go overdue this time! I have some new cravings...dark chocolate orange BellyBars, and Pomegranate Lychee Green Tea by POM. Oh, talking about food reminds me...I have to clean out my freezer and prepare some meals for after the baby comes. And I have to put a couple of lists together...a shopping list for the birth, and a list for what to much to do, so little time!! :) I can't believe it's almost time for Gavin to arrive!!

Dec. 14th - Well, I have 32 days left till my due date! I have to admit I'm getting a little frustrated at the birth team meeting with my midwife is next week, and I have been pulling my hair out trying to get everyone's schedules to coincide. Other than that, this pregnancy is just rolling merrily along. I believe Gavin had another growth spurt early this week...more itchy stretch marks, and he was not moving as much yesterday as normal, but is off the wall today. That's how he was when he had his last growth spurt! He's got hiccups all the time, actually has them now as I type. Sleep is coming harder and harder...every week or so I'll get a really good night's sleep that refreshes me and makes it not seem too bad. But I'm seriously up every 2 hours to use the bathroom, and just rolling over in bed makes my hips hurt so badly that it wakes me up. When my midwife was measuring my belly, she pressed on my pubic bone and it was all I could do to not cry, it was so sore. Rocking on my birthing ball helps a bit, but I just try to remind myself that it's just for a little while longer! Soon Gavin will make his grand appearance! I'm still trying to get the last odds and ends wrapped up (which technically I should be doing right now, instead of, and it seems my list is never-ending. Here lately my appetite is a lot less, I've noticed. I eat a lot of fresh fruit...especially strawberries and pineapple, and drink a lot of tea, water, and mineral water. My energy is still lacking, I'm afraid, which probably explains the never-ending lists. I feel like I could SO take a nap right now, but Deklan is busy tearing up the house, so I can't really do that. He's getting a lot better at cleaning up after himself, though. And we're starting to have some victory in potty training. He's got the pee-pee down, but we've been struggling with poop for a LONG time, and we're just now making some headway. Also, it seems like I'm awfully short on patience here lately. Maybe it's because Deklan takes so much that I have very little left for other people...hahaha. But seriously, I'm normally one of the most laid-back people you'd ever meet, but I feel on edge the last couple of days. Well, on a happier note, my Blessingway is scheduled for Dec. 30th at 3pm, I believe. I'm looking forward to it! I had a huge tiff with my step-mom...she seemed to think a Blessingway had too much "pagan ritualism" for her, and was wanting to change the whole thing. I think she's still in denial that I'm having one, as she constantly refers to it as a "shower". Oh, well. It is what it is, whether or not she likes it! Well, I feel a little better for ranting...I think I'm going to go clean the fans and the fishtanks now. Maybe I'll run to the store later and get some things to make banana pudding (which I've been craving for days).

Dec. 31st - Happy New Year to everyone tomorrow!! It's hard to believe 2008 starts tomorrow! What a year this has been! So much has happened. But mostly I'm excited about 2008 bringing our son! Gavin and I are both doing well. At my last visit with my midwife (which was Thursday), I found out I am negative for GBS, which is awesome. Also, he went from 42cm of fundal height to 40cm, and his head is nice and low, so he's dropped "officially". I'm 37w6d today, and feeling every day of it! Lots of aches and pains, and they're not getting any better. Several things help, like hot packs and rocking on my birth ball, but nothing takes away the discomfort. I'm still having lots of powerful BH contractions every day. I went on a nesting rampage Saturday and have been disabled ever since!!! lol Such back pain! My Blessingway was yesterday, and it was really cool. Due to the timing around the holidays, a lot of people weren't able to come, but I had a nice little group of close friends and family. I'm now wearing my Blessingway bracelet, which I won't remove until after Gavin is born. Everyone who came (and even people who couldn't!) sent/brought a bead representing a thought, wish, hope, or prayer for me and the baby. So I look at this beaded bracelet and am reminded of the individual people thinking of me and Gavin and wishing us's so cool! They also gave me a pedicure (which I was in desperate need of!) and so now my toenails are a lovely shade of dark metallic purple for the delivery. ;) We wore rosemary in our hair and they made me a flower crown...we ate some great "comfort food", opened a few small gifts, and talked about all kinds of stuff, from life in general to everyone's experiences with birth, breastfeeding, etc. It was just a really good time! Now, each person went home with a candle to be lit when I go into labor, to remind them to think of us and pray for us until they get the call that he's OUT! :) My next appointment with my midwife is Jan. 3rd. I'm just in disbelief at how FAST this pregnancy has gone! Even these last few weeks are going by fast! We only have 15 days till my due date! And last but not least, for any of you out there wondering where I went for the last 2 weeks, I was having major technical difficulties!! Out of the blue, one day I just couldn't access the site! Long story short, it took several emails to poor Dirk, about 10 hours worth of technical support phone calls, and almost 2 weeks to get me back on here. This site was the ONLY one I couldn't get to! I could go ANYWHERE else on the web but here. How weird is that?? I still have a little more "fixing" to do, so if I disappear again, it's probably just the computer being stupid. Anyway, I'm REALLY glad to be back with all of my friends on here! 2 weeks without you all was too long! :)

Jan. 9th - Well, only 6 days till my due date! I am running out of time, it seems, to tie up my loose ends. So today, I'm going to try to finish my "deep cleaning", and sew my slings. That's a tall order for someone who gets winded after about 10 minutes of working, but I think I can do it if I pace myself. Gavin is going to be a big boy! At my last visit with my midwife (last Thurs.), I was 38 weeks and measuring 44cm! I'm pretty certain that it's mostly a positional type thing, but I'm also pretty sure he'll be a big boy, at least 9 lbs. is my thought. We shall see soon! I see my midwife again tomorrow. He's been measuring ahead the whole time, so I'm not really concerned. I guess I just have a big, roomy uterus! I've been having lots of strong Braxton Hicks contractions, some of which are a bit uncomfortable. They're starting to feel like they're running down my back and the backs of my legs and the sides of my tum, not just the typical "tight belly" that is a BH contraction. Today is Wednesday, and I just have a feeling about Friday or Saturday...I've always thought he'll show up a few days early to a few days late, but I don't think it'll be extreme in either direction. Anyway, I'm going to start doing some visualization tonight and start talking to my body and my baby and see if we can't get them to work together and get me into labor Friday or Saturday. :) I've had diarrhea for several days now (ick) and had a much decreased appetite. I would seriously go all day without eating if it were O.K. But I eat a little bowl of cereal or oatmeal in the morning, a granola bar and some fruit in the afternoon, and something light at night, most times some soup, a salad, a sandwich, or another bowl of cereal. I just don't feel like eating. I'm very achy in my pelvic area and hips, even my ribs. But it seems it's been like that for so long that it's becoming normal, so it doesn't bother me as much as it once did. Travis is wonderful these days, helping with Deklan and cleaning and rubbing my feet (which have started to swell as the day goes by). He loves resting his head on my tummy and feeling Gavin roll around in there. He talks to Gavin and pokes him and gets him all riled up, mostly at night right before I try to go to sleep! We found a stuffed monkey for Gavin, and named him "Mookie". All of the baby gear is out in the living room and ready to go, the cradle is in the office for now, since we will be using the co-sleeper for a while at first. At least the first couple of weeks. By the way, the Snuggle Nest is one of the best inventions ever! It really makes me feel more comfortable co-sleeping, knowing that I'm not going to squish Gavin in the night. Well, I'm going to go eat my little lunch...we're just waiting now!!!

Jan. 20th - Well, here I am, 5 days beyond Gavin's due date. I really didn't think that he would still be residing in my body at this point! Well, he's still a welcome guest...I won't be getting pregnant again for a few years, so I'm really enjoying every moment that he's still inside of me. The one thing that I REALLY wasn't happy about is the fact that my mom flew down from Michigan to be with me for the birth, and already had to leave. :( I was really hoping he'd be born while she was down here. But she could only stay for 8 days total, so it was really a gamble either way. I have siblings who are 8, 4, and 2 years old, so she had to arrange for their care, etc. while my step-dad was at work. It just didn't work out for her to stay any longer. So, for that, I've been a basket case the last two days, crying at the drop of a hat. I know most of it is just the preggo hormones in overdrive, but it really does just SUCK. Well, I've been trying to look on the bright side...I'm still going to have my sister and stepmom and a good friend there with me, as well as my husband. That's more than a lot of people have. I think of the women who's husbands are deployed to different countries, etc....that's got to be the biggest not even have the father of your child there for the birth! So, instead of allowing myself a huge pity party, I'm trying to just tell myself that it COULD be worse, and at least I got to see my mom and spend time with her for a while. *sigh* The tears DO get the better of me still, though. As for the technical end of things, I saw my midwife this past Friday, and all was well, thank God. She checked me and found that I was about 80% effaced and 3.5cm dilated. She stretched me to 4.5-5cm, and stripped my membranes as best as she could. I've been having lots of mucous and bloody show ever since...that's 3 days now. I'm getting strong BH on a regular basis, but nothing that strengthens. Also, lots of twinges in my cervix. My whole pelvis is just uncomfortable. My hubby laughs at me, saying "You LIKE this??? You want to do this AGAIN??" It's a strange thing, pregnancy. It has its ups and downs, its good days and bad days, its aches and pains and magic moments. In spite of all of the things that can make your life miserable (the morning sickness, pain, worry, etc.), it's still one of the coolest things in the world, and something that I would do time and time again. Well, that's about it. I'm just going to try to keep the house clean and keep whittling away at my to-do list until he decides to show up. Hopefully, my next entry will be Gavin's birth story!! :)

Feb. 2nd - Wow...I can't belive it's been 12 days since I gave birth to Gavin! Time is flying already. He's such a little cutie! It's strange in a way, having a second child...knowing how fast they grow up now, I truly cherish every moment with Gavin, every time he nurses, every little smile...soon he'll be a big boy like Deklan. His next visit to his pedi is Thursday, and I'm curious to see how much he weighs now. He had lost some of his birth weight, of course, until my milk came in. But I could swear he's gained that back with interest! He's just a big boy...not fat, mind you, just big. He doesn't have any chubby fat rolls or anything...except his chubby little cheeks. Anyway, I go to my midwife Tuesday to be checked out...hopefully she'll take the lifting restriction off of me. It's hard to take care of a 3-year-old without being able to pick them up. Thankfully, though, my hubby has been home with me for these first couple of weeks. The first week he took off was paid, and the second unpaid. That's going to strap us financially, but it's SO important to have that help for those first couple of weeks, as well as just bonding time for Daddy and baby. My recovery has been so much faster than last time, even though my labor was harder. My "hinder parts" are almost totally healed now, which is nice! For the first week and a half though, my pelvic bones just ached. They hurt so badly! Then one day, like magic, it was better. Also, one day I ran a fever, between 100 and 102. By the next day, I was fine. Other than that, though, my recovery has been uncomplicated. My boobs are huge, and my tummy is shrinking. I'm also 12 lbs away from my pre-pregnancy weight. I'm not overly concerned about getting back my pre-preg body FAST...I have to worry more about good nutrition right now, since I'm breastfeeding. But really, with the good nutrition, the weight has been dropping off pretty fast. I'll be happy when I can start working out again. I really miss the way it makes me I'm doing something good for myself...not to mention the nice, relaxed feeling after the workout. Oh, for any of you out there who are breastfeeding, my midwife recommended an organic, vegan nipple cream that works 100 times better than Lanolin. It's by a company called "Motherlove". You can check it out at I had really bad nipple issues when I was breastfeeding Deklan, but it has been SO MUCH BETTER this time around! Part of it is just experience, I know. But when my nips started getting sore and I started using that stuff, I was shocked at how well it worked! Plus, it's not sticky and gluey like Lanolin is. And lanolin comes from sheep. Sheep get all kinds of antibiotics and stuff, and I was concerned about that, since what goes on my nipples goes into my baby's mouth. So when my midwife told me about it, and I looked it up and checked it out, I was impressed. Anyway, Gavin is crying, so I'm going to wrap up this update.