Friday, July 30, 2010

Swim Time Video

Living the Safe Life

Part of Francis Chan's sermon from Challenge 2006. "Safe" has a different meaning for everyone, but regardless, this challenges me to step a little further, do a little more, maybe even make some waves...

Watch it on You Tube!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Baby Update

Well, I'm all's things, my things and the birth supplies are all ready to go for when this baby finally decides to show up. I had my 37 week prenatal yesterday, and we got to hear a good strong heartbeat (about 135 bpm), the baby has wiggled back into an ROA position (on my right side, head down, facing in - yay!), and all systems go from here. The baby is way, way, way down low, which is a bit unusual for a 4th pregnancy. Babies don't normally drop before labour, but normal isn't really my forté. Obviously, this one must feel a need to get ready ahead of time. I'm hoping it means a shorter labour and less pushing for this time.

So now we wait.

Birth Talk

I think I wrote about this on the blog before, but I figured it was time for an update. I started a group called Birth Talk last February (I think). We meet every 3rd Tuesday of the month. Every month has a different topic. So far, we've done The Business of Being Born, cloth diapering, comfort measures, birth plans, prenatal/infant massage, belly casting, etc. So far, it's been a really good experience. We usually have 4-5 ladies come (other than me).

This next meeting will be a showing of Orgasmic Birth. It's not really about orgasms (actually, not about that at all), but it is about birth and how to make it into a pleasureable thing instead of a "labour" that you have to plow through in order not to be pregnant anymore :)

September we're hoping to have a photographer come and show us her work doing prenatal/birth/infant/family photos.

I love the Birth Talk group! I love that it's a safe place for women to ask questions and to learn from each other. It's not a class. I do lead, but I regularly ask other women to contribute on topics of which I know they're knowledgeable. It leans a bit to the natural side, since I felt that there was plenty of support for the usual births (hospital, medicated, etc) but not a lot of info or support for women seeking alternative care and options. Most - if not all - of the women are having hospital births, but it's my hope that Birth Talk will have encouraged them to explore what's out there, ask questions and become active in their care.

I'm excited to see what will happen with the group in the future!

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Bigger They Are...

The bigger they are, the harder they fall...

The bad thing about being 9 months pregnant is that when you're squatting to pick something up, you are completely at the mercy of the 2 year old's tackles from behind. The good thing about falling over at 9 months pregnant because of a 2 year old's tackle is that they provide an excellent cushion to land on.

He's fine, by the way.

Some Days are Hard...

We've been having a hard time with our middle one. She is normally the cheerful, snuggly child, but in the last few weeks she seems to have developed an extremely stubborn, whiney, and defiant personality. Perhaps she senses the changes to come with baby? Maybe she resents that I'm no longer able to do all the things I used to with her? Either way, Rich and I have had it up to here!

We went to a friend's house a few days ago. In 2 hours, Eva refused to share, whined for no reason, demanded dessert (no please or thank you), threw a tantrum when she realized it was Jello and not candy, and generally made a ruckus. I tried to hide my red face, and vowed to never let her leave her room again. When we got home, our conversation went like this:

Mom: Hey, Eva, let's play a little game!

Eva: Okay! *giggles & claps*

Mom: It's called the Good or Bad Game. I'll say something and you tell me if it's good or bad. What if you're at someone's house and they offer you lunch. Should you cry?

Eva: *realizes it's a trap* No.

Mom: What if they offer you Jello and you don't want it. Should you throw yourself on the floor and scream?

Eva; *realizes she's been found out and that Daddy now knows her naughty ways* No.

Mom: Let's play another game. It's called the Feeling Game. What if Mommy is at someone's house with Eva and Eva throws a fit. Do you think Mommy feels happy, or embarrassed at Eva's behaviour?

Eva: *quiet pause* I don't want to play anymore.

So, we're trying to figure out what to do about Eva. Any suggestions? Remember, they have to be legal.

I'll post another entry with some ideas I've got.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Are You a Good Parent?

Yeah, we all have days where we think we're great parents, and days we think we suck. Test yourself!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The "I Can't" vs "I Won't"

I thought this blog post was very interesting. I live in an area where breastfeeding rates are quite low. As a doula, many women come to me with a desire to "learn" how to breastfeed, or to "fix" whatever isn't working. It's always so hard to find the right way and the right words to help. The same applies to birthing vaginally, and especially naturally (by natural, I mean without meds).

When a woman comes to me for help, naturally, I do my best to support and give information. However, it's so incredibly tricky to say and do the right things without hurting a mom's feelings or damaging her already shaky self-confidence (remember, I work with moms who are going through a huge hormone and life change). Even trickier is when I am faced with the reality that telling my story of successful VBAC, HBAC and breastfeeding relationship - including overcoming weeks of breastfeeding pain and frustration, and months of post-partum depression - makes other women feel angry and guilty. When you go through something so difficult and come through the other side in one piece, you want to celebrate and tell people, "I did it!!" But, I guess every personal victory can be taken as a personal attack. I wish it wasn't that way, but, it is.

I digress. The blog is about the difference between women who can't and those who won't. The comments are really interesting, too, where some women who didn't breastfeed voice their opinions. What I've taken from it is the importance of supporting women from every walk - those who can, those who will, those who try, those who do their best, and those who choose not to as well.

What I'd like to know, Blog Readers, is how does a doula and fellow mother do that? If you have struggled with breastfeeding, what was most helpful to you? What was least helpful? Did you feel put down by anyone, and why? How could you have been helped better? Leave a comment!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Today's Funny

I've been interested in Herbalism for years, and I'm just now starting to really get into it. I've been learning about plants' uses, preparing simple remedies and trying to identify plants in my neighbourhood. Obviously, because of my limited knowledge and my pregnancy, I've been sticking to the less potent plants.

I brought Eva and Graedy into the back yard with me to collect St John's Wort. I chatted with Eva about how to identify the plant, what we were going to do with it, how to prepare it, etc. I repeated it a few times to really drill it into her - she might be an herbalist someday, who knows? After a while of picking the plant I asked her, "So, Eva, do you remember what this plant is called?"

"Yeah! It's John Deere."

Such a Daddy's girl.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Swimming Pictures

Here are some photos of the kids swimming!

Maddie - The Fish

Eva - The Duckling, Graedon - The Frog, & Grammy P. - The Enforcer (keeps 'em in line and safe LOL)

Graedon with his very nifty and extremely helpful swimbelt.

I have a video, too, but I'm still working out some bugs with uploading it. Enjoy the last few days of this heat wave!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

34 Weeks

Eep! 6 weeks to go!

I feel kind of funny blogging about my prenatal since it's just more of the same. Once again, I am the most boring pregnant lady in history. Baby decided to wake up and jazzercise as soon as my midwife went to take the heartbeat, so the FHT were 160/min. It's been running on the high end since the start. Some people assume that means a girl, but I think there's still a 50/50 chance either way. I started the pregnancy measuring small, but since the baby has wiggled it's way into the correct position, I am now measuring a bit ahead. Fiew! I hope this means that I'm not really a week or two behind. My weight gain has slowed a bit, but at this point, it's no surprise. The heat we've been having and the smaller tummy space accounts for that. Just less to lose in the long run :)

I had all three kids with me at the appointment. There was nothing to be done for Graedon. He was hot, he was hungry, he was cranky, and I really wasn't much help in providing what he wanted - swimming, candy and a nap. Even going to visit the farm animals didn't distract him. Thankfully, he fell asleep on the way home and is peacefully napping right now. I think we're all due for a swim in the pool, and as soon as Daddy gets home, that's where we're headed.

Stay cool during this heat wave!

At the Pool

I always hoped that my kids would learn to swim. The girls have been taking swimming lessons during the colder months for the last couple years. In the summer, thankfully, we've all been able to benefit from my mom and dad's pool.

The lessons have been okay. I wouldn't term them excellent. Mostly, they have one-on-one time with the teacher for about 5 minutes of every class and the rest of the time they play "What Time is it, Mr. Shark?" and sit around waiting for their turn. I know it's important for them to learn through play, and that it all serves for the purpose of getting them comfortable in the water, but the progress has been slow.

In the last couple weeks of unstructured swim time at Grammy & Grampy's pool, though, their swimming skills have just grown in leaps and bounds! Maddie and Eva are both jumping in from the side of the pool, swimming underwater short distances, doggie paddling across the pool (we insist on pushing a noodle ahead of them in case they need a break halfway through), and holding contests for who can stay underwater longest. Maddie has even been able to touch the bottom with her hands. She is definetly the stronger swimmer, but Eva isn't very far behind. Even Graedon has come a long way. He has become much more comfortable in the water, and with the help of his floaty belt, he can now float on his own without freaking out, and can do a sort of beginner's doggie paddle. He even ducks his head under water and rides on Daddy's back.

I'm very pleased with their progress. They are definetly nowhere near the non-supervision swim stage (and, really, I don't think anyone should ever swim without a buddy), but it's calming to know that they can at least paddle to the side of the pool if they ever fall in. By the end of the summer, who knows? They might be doing the butterfly stroke!