Countdown to Baby

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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A lot of talk about boobs!

International breastfeeding symbol

August is breastfeeding awareness month and though I am THRILLED to see breastfeeding take the spot light I am a little confused why we even need to promote it.  Breastfeeding is one of the greatest things we can do for the health of our children and it's free! I had a terribly difficult start with breastfeeding my first child and it took a lot of patience, practice, help from friends and professionals as well as just good ole sweet time before we finally got it down.  And in the end, it was well worth it in every aspect.  I hate the argument that too much talk about breastfeeding makes mothers that choose not to breastfeed or cannot breastfeed feel guilty.  Well, I hate to break the news to all the moms out there, but motherhood can be filled with guilt if you let it.  We are never going to be a perfect moms because we're not perfect people and we live in an imperfect world.  So we all do the best we can with the best of what we've been given and most of us turn out to do okay.  Not perfect and sometimes not even great, but we do okay.  Our babies are loved, healthy and happy and our children seem to be developing into great little people.  So it is silly not to talk about what is best for baby because some don't like it! So in honor or this month's breastfeeding awareness, BREAST IS BEST!  Here's the link to a public service announcement about breastfeeding.  If you are afraid to hear a lot a talk about boobs, and a lot of words for boobs, you better not listen to it.  (BTW, a word for breast in Spanish not included in the PSA is mama.  Kinda funny don't you think.)   

Breastfeeding Awareness Month PSA

Countdown to Baby!

Today I found  It's from the same makers of that we all poured over as we and our friends married.  Now the makers have followed us right along into the next great event of our lives, becoming parents.  Though I do not intend to make a shameless plug for the site, I do love the baby ticker you can design and post wherever you like.  So we have a ticker now here at this blog counting down the days until my estimated due date.  (Top of the blog page) So the official count down to baby has begun!

Banana smoothie- yummy

A few weeks back a Dominican friend of mine made me a banana smoothie when I was visiting in her home. Since then I have thought about making one in my own home but was sure it was loaded with sugar, like most good Dominican beverages, and didn't want to have to feel guilty about the extra calories and refined sugar. So today my craving got the best of me and I ventured out into the world wide web to find a simple banana smoothie recipe. I was happy to find one Here it is:

1 c. milk
1 ripe banana, cut into halves
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1-3 ice cubes
Place milk, banana, vanilla and ice cubes in blender container; cover. Process for 20 seconds. Pour into glass. Serve and enjoy. Yields: one smoothie.

I am pleasantly surprised that the smoothie was tasty without the added sugar! I doubled the recipe which really then makes 3 servings. I made a double portion thinking my son would enjoy the cool beverage on this hot afternoon. But though he said it was good, he was too busy playing to drink it, so I drank his portion too! So I am satisfied as my tummy is full of smoothie yumminess and my baby is thrilled to have gotten a extra special dose of calcium and potassium today.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

"The twist you can't resist"

Today I have a CRAZY craving for Twizzlers.  I don't know why, but I am dying to eat them.  The sad news is that you cannot buy Twizzlers here in the DR.  A lot of candy is imported and though you have to pay more, it is available.  But not Twizzlers and that is what I want! I don't care what kind or flavor as long as it is red and it is Twizzlers.  My dad and stepmom are coming to visit in a couple week and I will have to make a special request for them to bring me some.  I guess I'll just have to wait until then. 

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Some rules. . .

I just wanted to review a few rules for friends and family members, or even complete strangers for that matter.

Rule 1
Only the pregnant woman herself may make a joke about her weight gain.  Her jokes are not an invitation for your jokes. 

Rule 2
Only the pregnant woman herself may joke about her size.  Even if she is thin, she is her largest during pregnancy and will see herself as big even if you don't. 

Rule 3
No one may comment on the amount of food consumed by a pregnant woman.  It is rude to monitor anyone's food consumption unless he or she is on a diet and has asked for your help. 

Rule 4
No one other than the baby's dad is allowed to state their opinion about the chosen name for the baby, EVEN IF ASKED.  You can always think of something nice to say even if you don't like the name.  You don't have to lie and say you love it.  But you can respect the name chosen by the parents.  

Rule 5
If asked if an outfit makes a pregnant woman look big or fat, the answer is always no.  Because what she really wants to know is if she looks unattractive.  Because of course she looks big, there is another person living inside her.  She is going to look big no matter what she is wearing.  

Rule 6
Any pampering or gift giving of any kind is always welcome.  Some ideas may include but are not limited to, a back rub, a foot massage, going out to eat, a manicure, free babysitting, jewelry.  (This rule applies to all women but is especially nice during pregnancy.)

Rule 7
Don't EVER ask a woman if she is expecting twins.  If she is not expecting twins, your question is insulting because it implies she is large enough to be carrying two babies.  She will tell you if she is expecting twins if she wants you to know.

Rule 8
If you don't have nice things to say about labor and delivery, don't say it.  We all know that labor is difficult, but your 80 hour labor with an epidural that never worked isn't an encouragement.  By the time a woman is pregnant it is too late for her to avoid labor.  Your horror stories only cause her to fear what she cannot avoid.  In reality, labor is challenge that many women find fulfilling.  Let pregnant women hear personal stories from those ladies.  She already has enough scary stories she heard about before she was even pregnant.

Rule 9
Don't ever ask if a pregnancy was an accident or if it was planned.  I know someone who used to say, "All babies are surprises." Whether planned or unplanned all babies will surprise you as they settle into your womb and once again upon their arrival into this world.  Our intention mean little once their arrival is anticipated.

Rule 10
Don't indoctrinate a pregnant woman with your old wives tales.  Here is a list of some of the most common ones I hear that bother me the most.  Raising your arms over your head will not cause the umbilical cord to strangle the baby.  Lifting a preschool age child for some motherly loving will not cause you to lose the baby.  Pineapple is full of Vitamin C and actually is good to eat while pregnant.  It does not cause deformations.  If I am tired, I will sit down.  If I am hungry I will eat.  I do not always have to remain seated and I am not eating for two full sized adults.  I am able to walk around the neighborhood, exercise is good for me and baby.  Basically, unless your "advise" has a recent study showing its harmful effects on me or my baby, I don't need to hear about it.

I know some of these rules may seem silly.  But the truth is, they all have been violated during my pregnancy.  And I know no one had the intention to be insulting or rude.  Therefore, I felt the need to post these rules to help those that may need a reminder.    

Growing right along

a 30 week ultrasound
This week makes week 30 in our pregnancy journey. Though the ultrasound posted is not our little man, I was excited to share what he may look like developmentally.  I can't believe how much he is growing!
Most days I feel like I have been pregnant for an eternity.  Last night I was admiring my pregnant belly and couldn't help but wonder how much growing does this baby have left.  I'm starting to look pretty big!
However, other days I think we need more time to be ready for a new family member.  I know it is obvious, but it's astonishing to think that at the end of the pregnancy we will be a family of four.  It's on those days that I think, "Wow, we still have a lot to do to get ready to greet this little man."
So today, I pray for my baby's health as he continues to grow physically and I pray for my patience and trust in God as He helps us prepare for the new baby.  So. . . here we grow together!

(When I can get hubby to take a photo, I'll post a belly shot.)

Monday, June 21, 2010

In the minority

I, in general, am a rule follower.  Now, don't get me wrong, I may question a lot about the rules and why they exist and why I should follow the rules.  BUT in general, in the end, I follow the rules.  I tend to go with the flow.  I don't like conflict or confrontation.  Maybe it is part of my need to make people happy or for me to feel accepted, but that is a psychological discussion that I wish not to explore at this particular moment. So the question is then, how can someone like me end up pursuing something that is so not mainstream like a VBAC? I guess that is where the other part of me is taking a strong hold.  I want to do what is right.  I have rarely had difficulty standing strong in my faith.  I have never felt incapable of advocating for my child. And with this pregnancy and birth, I want to provide for my baby, my family and myself the prenatal care, birth and postpartum care that are best for all of us.  So why are am in the minority?  A recent report from the National Center for Health Statistics reported that only 8% of women that have a c-section have a successful vaginal delivery for a subsequent birth.  What that really means is that 92% of women end out with another c-section.  So am I crazy to even think that I am a part of that small 8%.  What about me is so different than 92% of other woman that would make me believe a VBAC is even possible for me.  Am I being rebellious not to just conform to the norm? Am I being arrogant to believe that I have some ability, strength or knowledge that 92% of other women lack? Or what I fear the most is, I am being reckless to explore the possibility of the unknown rather than just scheduling a c-section? I think I can say no to all these above questions.  I think that I can say that I am a dreamer.  I hope for the best in me and my baby.  I am trying to put my confidence not in myself, but in my God that made me and this baby that is growing inside of me.  I pray that he has given me the wisdom to seek what is best for us.  I thank Him for providing me with a doctor that is supportive of me and my decisions.  I pray that he gives me persistance to continue to accomplish my goal of a VBAC not to be a champion but to just do what I truly believe is the best for my baby, family and me.  So for this time in my life, I am going to take a stand.  Whether it is a part of my character to stand for what I believe in or against my character to go with the flow, it doesn't really matter much.  Because the more I try to focus on myself and "the story of me" the more I realize that this isn't about me at all.  But rather about God and me learning to trust in Him. 

 NCHS report

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Yeah! New doc!

So I had exhausted all of my known resources and had not come up with a doctor I could feel comfortable with.  So while having a dinner with a new nurse friend she made a few suggestions of providers that she has worked with.  Since she works in Haiti and in poor rural villages, I hadn't considered checking out the associated clinic.  Well, it turns out that she made a great recommendation.  The doctor I met with was willing to assist me in a VBAC, is very easy to confer with and is a great clinician as well.  So I prepared myself to settle with a less than perfect delivery room in order to have a better provider.  Well to my surprise, the labor and delivery area is the best I have seen so far in La Romana! I am thrilled and actually looking forward to the birth of my baby boy now.  I had been praying that God would provide for me and my baby, I was, however, starting to wonder when and how He was going to do it.  But as a friend reminded me the other day, HE IS FAITHFUL.  I still have many things to pray for, but I am more confident now that God is in control.  I will continue to pray for good health for me and my baby and wisdom and ability for my new doc, Dr. Sonia Garcia.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

It's a boy!

Yesterday's ultrasound reported that I am carrying another boy. So it looks like we are on our way to start a basketball team, though living in the Dominican Republic maybe we should consider starting a baseball team.

Accident in progress

As you can tell, I really would like to avoid another c-section, but I'm afraid that is right where I am headed.  It has been really frustrating for me.  I have explained the feeling like that of being in a car accident.  You can see that you are about to crash but the you can't avoid it.  So you brace for impact and hope that it doesn't hurt too much or cause too much damage.  Fortunately for me, this is REALLY slow motion, so I still have a few months before the "accident" is on course to occur. So that is where I am right now, looking to come up with some creative defensive moves before the crash occurs and instead enjoy a natural birth to greet our new baby.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Best option?

The journey continues.  I had really looked forward to meeting with this new OB tonight.  In a town where only OB's deliver babies and most by c-section, I had heard good things about him.  I heard that he actually delivers babies vaginally, so I was looking forward to meeting him.  Though much more friendly than other providers, he and I weren't exactly on the same page.  He told me that a c-section is better than a VBAC.  But I can have a vaginal delivery if I want since my son will be 4.   Because according to him you should wait 4-5 years after a c-section before attempting a VBAC.  He also said if the baby appears larger than 8lbs by ultrasound, it's a c-section.  Upon inquiry he told me that all vaginal deliveries require episiotomies, especially white women because we loose the elasticity in our skin so quickly.  So I am wondering, where is this guy getting his "facts"?  The sad news is, he's the best option I have right now.  He practices at the best clinic in town and offers reduced rates.  So the search continues, at least a week more.  At 17 weeks unless I find someone else next week, he looks like the lucky doc! Lucky me!    :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Does anybody have babies vaginally?!?!

So it had been rumored that La Romana has a high c-section rate.  So during my first prenatal appointment I asked the ultrasound tech about it.  She explained that La Romana has a very high teen pregnancy rate.  (And many of those teens are very young, like 13 years old.)  So the rate is higher due to the girls being unable to deliver babies due to their undeveloped pelvises.  Though I wasn't thrilled with the answer, after all not all moms are teenagers, I thought it was reasonable and could explain for a portion of the c-sections.
Well, it has been three weeks since that first appointment and  I have been asking around.  No one I have talked to about having a baby here has been a teenager.  And EVERYONE has had a c-section! I realize that I have not taken an official pole by any means.   BUT what are the chances that EVERYONE I asked has had a c-section if the c-section rates are not inexplicably high.  C-sections can be life saving and I am thankful for that.  But EVERYBODY needs a life saving surgery to have a baby in La Romana? I have to question why?
I just want a healthy baby, born the way babies were intended to enter this world.  I'm concerned that I am in the minority because of that!
Here's a link to ICAN for anyone else that may be looking for a little support and information.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Hormones! Week 11

3D ultrasound of baby at 11 weeks
I feel awful and when I don't feel awful, I am emotional! All thanks to raging hormones! I am thankful, really I am! This past June I lost a baby during my 11th week of pregnancy.  And now I understand more than ever that hormones are a sign of a healthy, VITAL baby.  I have to remind myself each time I find myself trying to suppress the unsolicited gang reflect that randomly invades my days that my little baby is thriving off these hormones.  Each time I cry over some news story, I can thank God that my tears are a sign of a growing baby! When I awake in the night because my breasts are so tender it hurts to roll over, I can pat my no so flat tummy and hope for the day I will meet my growing baby.  And since that isn't until October, I better find something to do in the meanwhile.  I have played around with eating every few hours, avoiding fats and sugars, but none of that seems to quiet my ridiculous gag reflex or overwhelming sense of nausea.  So I am going to try motion sickness bracelets.  I will keep you posted on if they seem to help.  But until then cheers to hormones and a healthy baby!     

Monday, March 8, 2010

Pickles and Ice cream? No way!

The idea of pregnancy cravings has always interested me. But when I was pregnant with my first child I never really had any major ones. For a couple days, I really wanted cantelope and then a while after that I prefered PB&J to most other sources of protein. But those just lasting a few days.
However. . .this time I WANT CUCUMBERS! And usually I want them with balsamic vinegar, I am more than half way to a pickle! I also have been craving fruit smoothies. Crazy I know. How similar are my cucumbers to pickles and smoothies to icecream! I thought pickles and ice cream were just something people joke about with pregnant women. But for me, it is a reality. Fortunately at this point I have not craved them together, though with my raging hormones, I wouldn't put anything past them!
So it is almost 9:30am. I've dropped my son off at school, my husband off to work,I have already eaten an entire large cucumber and I am headed to the grocery store. And guess what? YogenFruz is calling my name. A little yogurt stand at the front of the store that sells. . . you guessed it, SMOOTHIES! This looks like it is going to be a great day! :) Cheers to pickles and ice cream!

Friday, March 5, 2010

The story of me

So I decided to blog, again. But this time, it is about me. It is not about my work as a missionary or my jobs as wife and mother, though those will definately be a part of what I write because that is a HUGE part of who I am. Instead it will be about me. I am celebrating week 10 of my pregnancy and was inspired by other pregnant bloggers to do the same. I will continue my EDCM blog, but this blog will be about what occupies my mind most of each day, my new baby and how we are changing from a family of three to a family of four. This will be my story.