Saturday, December 21, 2013

8 months!


Merry Christmas everyone!  Thoughts are with you all this holiday season!  :)
I can't believe I have an 8 month old baby!  In my head this is the transition from little baby to big baby, and here we are!

Eating:
We're still on mostly purees, with some pincher practise (organic peas).  I've given her sheep and cow yogourt, she seems fine with it.  She still hasn't refused anything yet, but she's now keeping her mouth shut to indicate she's done.  We're lucky she's so far such an easy girl!  I'm not sure she knows that she can refuse food.  :)  I suspect this time might be over soon.

She eats twice a day, I'm thinking of adding a 'snack' in the morning as well.  Also, I've given her some coconut cream this week - fat good for the baby!

We go away on a cruise next month, I think I will bring store bought food to cover the week.  Customs won't allow homemade food through, so I think this will be our best bet.  If there is some food I can give her that we're eating I will, but I will have baby food as backup.  I'm thinking the packets will travel well.  Any mommy tips about travelling with food?

Breastfeeding still the rest of the time.  Really, it hasn't slowed down at all.  Tried giving her formula once, but she was having none of it.

Infant Potting:
We've moved to changing her diaper on the bathroom floor since she's such a squirmykins (in the middle of a diaper change she can pull a fast roll and suddenly be on her tummy - yikes!).  Way safer.  And I can use the 'leg over' technique if I have to! 

This bring pottying to the next level - she goes right on the toilet.  Cleanup is a DREAM.   She poos about half the time in the toilet now.  EXCELLENT.  Every poo in the toilet is waaaaaay less work for me.  Scraping the poo from the diaper into the toilet is fine, but often poo seems to get everywhere still.  Blech.  Even with gloves, still...it's a bit of a mess at times.  So I much prefer the poo directly into the potty!  :)

Cloth diapering:
Yes, we still are.  It's going great!  With the change of soap (to Tide free and clear) all my diapers are working fine now.  I've had to start stuffing them with more liners since Pips is peeing more since she's bigger.

My 'China cheapies' came and they're fine.  A bit on the big side.  I'm going to buy my friend who is expecting a whack load of them (like I think I'll be able to get ~21 for ~$100).  Exciting and fun!  Feel a bit guilty....but 21 pocket diapers is pretty much all you need!  Another friend and I will split it - we were kind of a threesome in university, it's great we're still close.

How I deal with grown up poop?  I have a scraper that I keep in a bucket next to the toilet with gloves.  I scrape the poopey diaper in, and rinse the scraper in the toilet, then put the diaper in the pail.  It's ok to have a bit of poop on the diaper, just not loads of it.  It all comes off in the wash.  :)

Milestones:
Super duper awesome crawler now.  Twice now she's actually crawled over other babies lying on the ground.  Pulls herself to standing pretty easily now.  She's really a physical kid, she's tough!  She's still not super keen on sitting.  She can, but she's not all that into it.  Likes playing at climbing a mound of pillows, although she doesn't actually climb yet.

Lots of babbling!  Says "da da" type of words often, but I don't think she's quite connecting it to DH yet, but we're trying to reinforce that.  Waves "bye-bye" with one arm - that's my favourite!  :)

Still hasn't been sick yet, knock on wood!

Favourite songs:
Alas, no automatic song smiles anymore.  Seems to like "Hello Pippa, and how are you?" the best right now.  Also likes "Let the fall leaves fall".

Sleeping:
No real change.  She still is generally up 2-3 times in the night for breastfeeding.  It can be a bit rough.  Sometimes its 4 times.

She's sleeping her own room now, so DH gets up and brings her to me.  I'm a super lucky lady!  I sometimes bring her back, sometimes DH does.  She does generally go right back to sleep, so that part is good - it's the being woken up out of a dead sleep that can be hard if it happens a few times in a night.  I do wish she'd go a bit longer between feeds, am trying to feed her more in the day, but not seeing much of a change.  Again, if it really bothered me we'd do some fancy protocol to reduce night feeds, but I'm not there yet.

Last night she did sleep from 11:30pm right to 5:30am - awesome, right?!!!




Saturday, November 30, 2013

Move to crib!

What I said about keeping her in the pack and play a while longer? Lies.

My snuggle bum today can pull herself up on the crib sides! Yikes! So crib and pack and play will be lowered tonight, and we'll begin transition to big girl crib. Yikes!

She's growing up so fast.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

7 months (better late than never)

Our 7 month State-of-the-Union!





Eating
We've started solids!  We started at 6.5 months.  She's had boiled (in bone broth) root vegetables (carrots, sweet potatoes, rutabagas, turnips, parsnips), avocado (pictured above), liver pureed with bone broth (from 100% grass fed cow), a bit of caviar (that I rinsed to make less salty), prune puree, squash puree, peas, pear puree I made with a bit of lime and gelatin...I think that's it to date.  Oh, and some pig's blood - you know, the Chinese dish?  Just a bit.  Iron.  She doesn't seem to love or hate much yet. Ok, ok, she doesn't seem to enjoy the liver so much, but she does eat it.  And I only give her a few baby spoonfuls every other day.

We were all for baby led weaning, but she was having some constipation problems, so we moved to purees.  We seem to be back on track, this week I plan to do half purees (I used the broth to puree) and half boiled veg she can feed herself.

Still breastfeeding the rest of the time, and I give her a little water or broth to help with the poo-ing.

Infant Pottying:
Going well!  She often poo-poos in the potty.  Now that she's eating solids, this is a huge deal.  Waaaay easier to clean up.  But it's up to us to race to the potty when she starts straining.  Still pee-pees in the potty when we make the cueing noise if she has to pee (usually she does).

Cloth Diapering:
We still are.  I will say this has gone trickier with the grown-up type poos coming now.  I don't quite have a good system down yet for getting the poo off the diaper when it doesn't all go in the potty.  It tends to sort of get everywhere (GLOVES are worn!).  Hopefully this will get smoother.

My Bum Genius pocket diapers have started to repel.  Bah.  This means an instant leak as soon as baby pees.  Lame!  So I tried to strip them following instructions found online (loads of washing, use Dawn dish detergent).  They may be incompatible with the coconut oil I used on my diaper wipes?  I recently read that maybe it's my laundry soap causing the problem, Nature Clean.  I've used this for ALL of Pippa's clothes from day1, and never had a problem, but apparently it can cause repeling in some diapers (not her Happy Heinys, those are still AWESOME).  I'm currently deciding what to try next - I may keep washing them, or may give them to a friend unlikely to use homemade diaper wipes.

I have bought four more pocket diapers  - "China cheapies".  They are like 1/5th the cost of fancy diapers made in North America.  But now I feel guilty (they haven't arrived yet, actually).  So today I'm going to go out and buy a $20 AMP pocket diaper that is made in Canada and has great reviews.  Am excited.  Diapers are kinda a hobby, these days!  :)  And as they'll last for the *cross your fingers* next baby, a good investment.

Milestones:
Definitely knows her name now.  Doesn't always look at you when you call her, but that's cuz she's being cheeky!  ;)  Is a great "creeper", but isn't fully crawling yet with bum lifted.  Can really locomote around a room, whatever you call it!  She knows that when you move a toy out of sight it hasn't disappeared, she goes and tries to get it.  Loves peek-a-boo type games.  Sits up only for ... maybe 10 seconds before toppling.  Not super interested in walking at all, prefers her tummy/back, but she does stand with support.  She babbles quite a bit - we like to "sing" together, which is me imitating her noises.  Amazingly (to me), when I'm dressing her and she's playing with a toy, she knows to move the toy to the other hand because I'm going to need to put her other hand in the sleeve soon.  :)  She's not quite reaching to be picked up and held, but she's thinking about it.  :)

Favourite Songs:
You can no longer guarantee a smile by singing her fav songs.  Too bad.  I'm not sure if I just need to get her a new fav song, or she's done that stage.  With the exception of "Grand Old Duke of York" (that's the song, but we raise her up which is what makes her smile - and I don't sing it all weird and creepy like the vid), she still always smiles to that - except in swim class.  She will generally laugh to near/far type games with kisses.

Sleep:
No change.  Still wakes up twice or three times a night to feed.  We seem to know LOTS of babies that sleep through the night now.  But...I'm not bothered by it enough yet to enact complicated plans to get rid of a feed.  Maybe next month?  She's still in the pack-n-play next to our bed, so it's not terribly inconvenient.  I laid down the law said she can't move to her own crib until she's down to one feed a night.  I know we planned to move her at six months.... but this seems like too much for me, to get up 2-3 times and go into her room.

Things are going really well in generally, I'm really quite happy.  As she ages she's much easier to handle, I'm still really enjoying my maternity leave.


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Baptism baby!

Pippa is 7 months old

Pippa was baptized this Sunday at Church!  It was a lovely ceremony.  :)  Loads of people came back to our house for lunch after, that was nice.  We counted 42 - woah!  Our little house was rammed, but it was very festive.


This is Pippa being held by a friend of the family.  We don't have too many great photos of the event/baby, alas, so this is what you get!  Thank you for the gown advice MHE!  I decided to buy here gown online, but not quite so fancy (DH would have never gone for a really pricey gown).  It was the Kayla gown.  It was reasonably priced and made in the USA, I was very happy with it.  It actually garnered a lot of compliments - and older English lady at church said it "made her day" to see a traditional gown!  Hah!  :)

I was SUPER excited the whole lead up to it.  How many times have you sat in Church during a nice baptism and wanted it to be your baby?  Loads.  Me too.  I couldn't believe it was finally our turn.

Pippa's Godmother will be her Aunt (DH's oldest sister).  No Godfather, as she's not married.  We're sort of all about family being the godparents - well, until we run out of Aunts.  ;)  My own Godparents are friends of my parents.  My Mom and the one Godmother fell out when I was a baby, so I've never met her.  Lame.  And the other ones we were all in touch (they have a girl about my age) until I was maybe.... 9ish?  Then they divorced and scattered and I never really saw them again.  Lame.  You can never divorce your Aunties, so our theory is they will always be in Pippa's life.  :)

Since both of DH's sisters don't have children, we kind of are having the kids for them, they are very involved.  That's good.  I likes.  :)  It's very good for Pippa to have lots of Aunties.  I have lots of Aunties (like, I have...10?), and I think it has benefited me.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Happy Half Birthday, my Sweetie!

My baby girl is 6 months old today!  How time flies!  Sorry I've been so absent.  Hard to find time on the computer lately!



I thought I'd do a quick state-of-the-union, to update on how things are going.

Infant Pottying:
Pretty good.  We're part time still.  So whenever we change her diaper (or when I think of it in between), we put her on the potty and see if she needs to pee (which she does maybe half the time).  Sometimes it seems like she's waiting for this.  Poos are still only occasional on the potty.  But really, we're not super consistent - if we're out all day, she doesn't get many chances to potty.  We're recently started adding the ASL signs for pee and poo, so we'll see if that turns out useful!  :)  It is super awesome when she pees on a grown up toilet (if we're out).  We're so proud of our good girl.

Cloth diapering:
Still great!  My friend gave me some of her fancy cloth diapers (her kid is now like 4, and they've decided they're not having any more).  They are super fun to use, but I probably wouldn't have spent so much for them, but I sure am glad to have them as hand me downs!  I have 2 Happy Heinys pocket diapers which are my fav, and we're considering buying one more.  We have about 6 Bum Genius pocket diapers, which are my second fav.  I save these fancy pocket diapers for naps/car trips - they magically wick away moisture and so her skin stays dry.  Not that we've encountered diaper rash (yet), but I still imagine its much more comfortable for her.

We have about a billion prefold diapers (like, 24 or 36), and 5 covers.  Love them too.  Easy to wash, and CHEAP.  Because I have so many, I can do wash every three days.  Easy breezy.  And really I can stretch it to four days if pressed (since she does pee in the potty sometimes).  Once the whole wash routine is down, it isn't a big deal.  We'll see how it is when she starts eating.

I have started making my own diaper wipes.  I love them so much, they deserve their own post.

Milestones:
She started to roll both ways right on her 5 month birthday!  :)  She's just such a big girl compared to the tiny infant she was only recently.  I know all you mothers out there are like "duh", but it's surprising to me all the things she can do now.  :)  She almost answers to her name - she's not quite all the way there yet.  And she's SUPER roll-y.

Eating:
She's still exclusively breast-fed.  Well, excepting vitamin D drops and pro-biotics.  I read somewhere that children that use pro-biotics have fewer colds.  Sign me up! (she hasn't been sick yet, knock on wood!)  We're planning on starting her on food when we get back from vacation in two weeks.  I plan to slow cook some grass-fed liver, and see if she wants like a teaspoon of that.  And to cook some root vegetables in bone broth.  And egg yolk.  We're planning on doing baby led weaning.  We'll see how it goes!

Breastfeeding is much much much much easier than before.  Now it is no big shakes.  Although I do still have to use Lansinoh, or I can get a little sore.  But a LITTLE sore.  Nothing like before.

Favourite Songs:
Let the fall leaves fall,  Pippa's so Pretty, Pippa's been working on the Railroad (to which I try and rub her back to), Skinamarinkeedinkydink, mm mm went the little green frog, the Grand old Duke of York, Hello Pippa and How are you.  She used to be partial to her ABC's, but I think she's over it.  It is very cute.  When one of her favourite songs is being sung to her, she gets a look of joy on her face.  :)

Sleep:
She's generally a happy baby.  Happiest when just up from a nap, tending towards grumpy as it is time to have another nap.  She still sleeps tons throughout the day.  Love my sleepy baby!  In the night she tends to wake up about twice for feeding.  She's still in her pack 'n' play in our room, but we're going to transition her to her crib when we get back from vaca (2 weeks).  Ah!  Not sure how that will go. 

Lots of changes coming!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Baptism gown recommendation?

Hello! This is just a quick note tonight! Things are going really well, I'm enjoying our baby very much.
Question - Pippa's baptism is coming up, and I remember reading some blog posts where yall had beautiful gowns for the babies. Any tips? There are a lot of Greek stores around here, but I am picturing something more simple.thx!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Making more milk

~4 months

So we were having what I was thinking of was minor supply issues, in the breastmilk department.  So I started reading up on the million things you can do to increase breastmilk.

I'd also like to say - different strokes for different folks.  I think different solutions work well for different people.

I even went to the SUPER hippie herbalist and bought gross tea (and kind of expensive) to bring on the milk.  But even thought I was downing 3 pots of that stuff a day, it didn't really help that much.

You know what does reliably work for me?  Beer.  As in super dark beer, like a fancy stout or Guinness.  After a bit of beer, I can feel much more milk in my boobs.  Interesting, right?

Now I have a friend that swears she thinks it works because you're more relaxed - but I don't think so.  I'm pretty relaxed.  And I don't drink enough that I think it affects my mood - I literally can drink like 2-3 shots of beer, and feel more milk.

I am of course concerned about my baby drinking  (read some scary stuff on the Internet, but I also have read a lot of stuff saying it's no big deal, so...?), so I exercise extreme caution - I don't actually drink an entire beer (more like half a beer a day, max, spread out over several hours), and I don't feel drunk at all.

I even tried eating a lot of barley, because I read that maybe it was the barley in the beer - but that didn't do much.

So I've taken to buying fancy stout beer in bottles, and putting a wine bottle corker in it to help it stay carbonated-ish.  Works pretty well.  One of those fancy beers lasts me many days.  And it is tasty.

So that's my story for now.  BF'ing had taken a sort of nasty turn, and everything was hurty again, but we're back on track, things are good the last week or so.  I think it's the beer.  Or maybe that she's done a growth spurt.

Only ~2 more months of exclusive breastfeeding left!  Time flies.  While it will be exciting to give her food, I am enjoying this stage in her life.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Camping!

4 months + 4 days

As you can see:





Last weekend we went camping.  It was super fun!  They say camping with a baby isn't hard, and I see they were right!  At this age feeding is easy because I brought my boobs along, and she doesn't crawl in the dirt and run around the fire or anything, so.... not too bad!  It was great seeing a lot of my University friends as well.

Last year I was a tiny bit pregnant on this trip.  :)  The year before - sad that we were the only married couple without kids. 

Nighttime was a bit tricksy - first she was too hot, then too cold - but we did figure it out in the end.  Second night was waaay better than the first night.  Lately she's been sleeping rather well - knock wood!  We are lucky to have a pretty good sleeper on our hands - at least for now.

Now that she's four months I said I would put her on a schedule...haven't done this yet.  Maybe I will start tomorrow - my plan is to observe for a few days, then try to fit a schedule to when she is generally napping already.

I signed us up for Mom and Baby Diaper Aqua-fit starting in September.  I'm kind of excited for it.  She has the cutest swim diaper and rash guard (for warmth) ever....so pretty much I am just excited to use them!  Hahha.  Yes.  I've become obsessed by diapers. 

I'm even planning to try out reusable wipes.  Now, before Pippa was born this was our plan, which we quickly abandoned.  BUT - I want to give it a try again.  Even though I kind of love the Kirkland wipes - can't stand throwing 2.2 cents out the door with every wipe!  hahha.  Just wasn't hippie enough for me, I guess.  So I'm going to try reusable again.  It was a hassle before because we tried it when she was a newborn and we weren't using cloth diapers yet... but now that I'm doing a diaper load every 2-3 days anyway, I can't see how washing some added wipes will be that big a deal.  I can see how having to make up a solution every week or so will be a hassle, so we'll see....  :)

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Pillow Baby

Just a little slice of crazy for you today:

I use two pillows at night.  One under my head, and a hugging pillow.  So EVERY SINGLE NIGHT, I think my hugging pillow is my baby.

It freaks me out, yo.

One minute, I am holding my baby, she is breathing and a real little baby...then gradually she turns into a pillow.  Is she under the pillow?  No.  IS SHE IN THE PILLOW?  CAN SHE BREATHE?

Oh, wait.  She's in the pack and play like she is every night.  She's fine.  Ok.  Back to sleep.

This seriously happens every night, and we are 3.5 months in!  Hahahahah.  My poor husband.  I very often wake him up to confirm where the baby is.  Sometimes I figure it out on my own, because, like, duh, I do this every night.  But still at least every few days I wake him to confirm her whereabouts, because she seemed particularly real before turning into a pillow.

Our brief experiment with co-sleeping probably started all this lunacy, mayhaps.  But I am a known crazy sleeper - somehow dreams take a little longer to fade than they should.  But never before in my life have I done the exact same thing night after night.

(To be clear, we've settled in with her sleeping in a pack and play [top shelf] on DH's side - this seems to work best for us - and travelling is easy, we take her bed with us, no transition!  The doctor now seems to recommend sleeping in the same room for 6 months, and this works very well for all of us so far.  For night feeding DH just has to hand her over when she starts to fuss, before she actually has to cry.  And she's calmed down from her infant grunting stage, so she's not very loud, so we all get a decent sleep, generally.)



Well, this was your insaneagram for today.  :)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

100 + 8 days

3.5 months

Last week we had a 100 days banquet for our baby girl!  In Chinese culture, they don't do baby showers, but they do celebrate when the baby is one month (or alternatively 100 days) old.  We thought at one month she would be too little to be handed around to a kajillion relatives (and I was still on the tail end of being a huge disaster), so we chose to wait for 100 days.

Here she is looking all China-fied in her cute little outfit (which went on to stain everything pink when it accidentally got thrown in the laundry - ha!).


I am still feeling so lucky and blessed to have this little babes in my life. Many times a day I think about how lucky I am.  It still is what makes me remember to start my prayers at night, I naturally turn to praying for ladies still waiting or those who miscarried when I think about how good I have it.  I know it isn't fair.

I would like to throw this out there - her name is Pippa.  There.  I find it very hard to keep calling her Appleseed on the blog when we dropped that nickname as soon as she was born.  Pippa isn't her full legal name - that is my Grandmother's name with "-Rose" added.  But Pippa she'll be until she decides that is not grown up enough for a CEO/Prime Minister/Surgeon/Whatever she chooses to be.  :)

Sorry, I haven't been blogging much lately.  They're all swirling around in my head!  I did set up bloglovin', so I'm lurking on all the public blogs, even if not commenting.  Cheers!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Google reader leaving has killed me!

13 weeks, 4 days

I'm all unorganised with blogs now that google reader is dead, so you'll have to forgive me! I'm trying to reorganize. Blog loving?

We just got back from vacation. Long road trip. Baby girl did alright!  The last day home was maybe too hard on her, she was quite fussy.

She was a bit fussy last few days- I hope she's not teething!

Generally I am just super happy.   :-)

Baby girl is getting bigger.  This is her with her boy cousin, who we just visited in NJ.

Monday, June 10, 2013

How Infant Pottying is coming along (7 weeks)

Appleseed is 7 weeks, 1 day

Just a quick update on how Infant Pottying (Elimination Communication) is coming along for us!  My minister asked about it after Church yesterday, reminding me there are others out there who are doing this, it isn't just me being crazy!  :)  (She's a huge fan of EC, btw)

We've been catching pees in the potty since Appleseed was about 4 weeks old.  We noticed that often when we opened her diaper for a change she'd pee, so we started putting her on the potty in the middle of a diaper change - with a clean bum, but obvi before we put the fresh diaper on.



It works pretty well!  We can often catch pees (which make me SO proud!).  We use the potty pictured above - and of course we hold her and support her head still, she's still little.  Although she has very good head control, so they say.

Catching poos is way harder.  I've caught one, and DH has caught one (his was a double).  So far that is blind luck.

We've progressed in the last few days to the point where she fusses, so I go to change her diaper and SHE HASN'T PEED YET, so then I catch her pee, and I have at this point actually saved a diaper!  Woohoo!  Less laundry/cost  (depending if she was in cloth/disposable).  I think this is easier with cloth.  With cloth diapers, they are way more gross on her bottom when wet, so she fusses right away.  So I am apt to try and change her diaper much more often.  With disposables, we have that neat magic blue line that tells you if she's wet, so we think that's not the cause of the fussing, so we try other remedies.

Between DH and I, we probably have so far saved...oh, about 5 or 6 "diapers" this way.  Not a lot yet, but I think this is a good sign.  I am getting much more comfortable with cloth diapering, and that's exciting for me too.  We are using prefolds with Thirsties Duo covers - pretty much as cost-effective as you can get!  :)  With practise, I am getting faster at them, so they're not much more trouble than disposable.   DH still not really on board.   And I don't mind doing laundry so much, the only trouble is planning it - I want as many of them dirty as possible, but don't want to run out...and it would be nice to dry them on the line, but for example today is rainy...and one always has to plan to use large amounts of electricity when electricity is cheap, but often in the evenings I forget/am tired.... it is funny the things that fill my head now!  :)

I'll update again in a few weeks to see if we've made any progress with our pottying!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

My cup runneth over

Baby Girl is 6 weeks, 6 days old
(sorry this is a bit jumbled and late - still hard to get on the computer!)


I'm super in love with her.  It is fun to just gaze at her.  :)

Things just seem to be getting better!  We are blessed with a very good baby, things are fun!  And I have my DH here all day now since he's been laid off - we're (well, he is) getting some house projects started.

Like, we're finally finishing the decoration of baby girl's room.  :)  It has had plain walls for ages now - things are going up!  Hooray!  Here is a pic of her light fixture (previously just a bulb).  Also we hung the quilt my choir made me on the wall.  Finally!  It looks rad.




We've moved to using cloth diapers (prefolds and covers) about half the time.  Still using disposable at night and when we go out - and DH doesn't like cloth, so it is mostly my diaper changes that use cloth.

I just bought vitamin D drops for her - probably I should have been using them for a few weeks now, but I didn't know.  Oops!  It's probably fine to start now though, I am thinking.

We had our final midwife checkup - 6 week checkup.  Baby Girl is doing fine - she was 9 lbs, 4 oz.  :)  Right on track.  She's about 50% for height and weight.

The midwife ended the visit asking about our birth control plans.  It seems to foreign!  I'm kind of all "we'll just see what happens"/mucus checks.  I don't really want babies spaced too closely - but any second baby would be a gift I wouldn't return.  She mentioned any time we give the baby a bottle or a pacifier, my fertility would increase.  Hahah - I can't wrap my head around those words meaning a bad thing!  I'm still all for fertility.

Our midwife thinks I will get pg again easily.  She thinks this because she pointed out once my endo was gone I got pg relatively quickly (3 months, if you'll recall), and my labour was smooth, and I have ample milk, so she thinks that points to me having good hormones.  I would like that to be the case, it is a nice thought.

No way will I go on the Pill or anything, so she gave us a natural family planning booklet on the way out and wished us luck!  :)  Can you believe we're already talking about a second one?  (Particularly DH, who loves Irish twins - me, I want some time to enjoy this one first!).  I'm not sure what to think - it would be wonderful to conceive relatively easily when we're ready.  So different than I'm used to thinking.  What a blessing that would be - sometimes your cup runneth over, you know?

I know I am so lucky!  My thoughts still with those of you waiting/experiencing loss.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

It does get better!

Appleseed is 5 weeks, 2 days old

Sorry for not posting for so long!  Things are going much smoother here in the CS household!  People kept telling me "it gets better" - and I was like "WHEN?" - but turns out, for us, that was about week 4.  :)

Appleseed and I are much better at figuring each other out - ok, maybe it is mostly me understanding her better, but it makes for a much easier day.  And I can now put her down for some naps - I hadn't been putting her down at all, which makes life harder.

And she is so cute.  And we love her so much.  Of course.  She made quite the splash her first time at Church two days ago!  :) 

We're mostly into a sleeping rhythm, we are slowly adding bedtime routine type stuff into the day.  Exciting for me - I've now caught quite a few of her pees in the potty.  (Infant pottying)  I hope to be a part-time infant potty-er eventually.

Quick pic (pic is maybe a week old?)






Sorry, it is really hard to find time at the computer.  I've been lurking on all your blogs, hard to comment from the tablet (due to me using various accounts).  The tablet has been a dream - I've been reading lots of e-books while I hold the baby and she sleeps or nurses.  :)

Oh, and my boobs are good now.  Phew!  That ALSO makes life way more easy!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

State of the Union

Appleseed is 3 weeks old


Sorry I haven't posted since the birth - it's been sort of a wild ride!

Appleseed
Is doing great.  She's gaining weight, and seems to be filling out a little.  We're starting to figure her out more, so things are getting smoother.  I swear she gives us smiles now and then.  :)  But mostly sleeps.  In arms.  She looks NOTHING like me.  Hahha.  Its ok.  Well, her hair is brown instead of black, that's my contribution.  Otherwise it looks like I adopted an Asian baby.  :)

Boobs
Are finally on the mend.  Rightie had a SUPER painful nipple, so I was pumping that side to rest it.  But here let me be a cautionary tale for you - I was sort of lazy pumping, and didn't do it often enough.  Result - BAMN, Mastitis!  OUCH.  It was crazy.  Tuesday morning I was fine, by lunch I was a freezing shivering mess (due to fever).  Thankfully it was a day the midwife had planned to come over, and right away she was like "mastitis".  She said I was to stay in bed 24hrs, only to nurse the baby.  I have the best DH in the world, he was a HUGE help.  It was really about two days I was useless - the fever killed me.  Even though I went on antibiotics right away, it took until ~Sunday for things to really feel better.

I went off painkillers/fever reducers on Thursday - wham, the fever was back.  Finally by Sunday I think the last duct was no longer plugged, and it is just a bit sore.  The nipple on that side is still all chewed up.  I am hoping that Rightie will be as good as Leftie (who has no complaints, stopped hurting about 1.5 weeks ago, is a bf champ) in 3-4 days?

I knew breastfeeding could be hard, but hadn't quite planned on how hard.  I am mostly over the hump now (rightie hurts a lot for the first minute, then it settles down).  We thought about formula, but there are just SO many food allergies in my family I wanted to get through it without formula.

The Day your Milk Comes In
My midwife warned me I'd likely cry the day my milk came in (day 3 or 4, usually).  I thought this meant that silly crying, where you cry for no reason.  I think for some ladies that is the case.  But not for me.  I cried because I was really sad.  Crazy, right?  And I knew it was crazy, and that made me sadder.  Yikes.  It was a really bleak day.  Not at all what I was expecting.  The fog sort of lifted all at once, which felt great.  I felt like a normal person again - but what a scary experience.  Hormones are killer.  I was a bit sad on and off throughout the next week.

Gross Things
A day after the birth a friend of mine IM'd me to say congrats, and she hoped I was dealing with the Gross Things ok.  I didn't get it.  Cut to like a day later - I get it.  Gross Things happen after the birth, for like that whole first week.  Too Gross even for a mostly-anonymous blog.  Suffice to say, any place that leaks fluids on your body may surprise you.  I wasn't expecting any of that nonsense.

In Sum
It was all a lot harder than I thought it would be.  Somehow through my years of IF, I thought the second that baby came out the world would be full of unicorns, rainbows and talking kittens, but actually that first week was quite painful still, and tough emotionally.  And the second week I wanted my boobs to fall off, and still tough emotionally.  Third week I got mastitis.  I am hoping fourth week will be smoother.  We're starting to take visitors, and DH's mom has come by a few times now to hold the baby while I rest.  REALLY nice.  Especially when I was still slightly feverish, I just needed to doze a lot.

Oh, and a few days ago DH found out he's been laid off.  Hahha - never rains but pours, right?  But we'll be ok.  He's been expecting it for a year or two.  And he's excited that maybe this will lead to a better job.  And worst comes to worst, I could go back to work early from mat leave, we won't be out on the street or anything.  But yikes!  The kind of annoying part is that he still has to work ~2 months - I could use the help at home for the next week or so!  And his boss made him work the 3rd week even though I was sick (well, half days) - all to be laid off at the end of that week!  I REALLY could have used him with me full time through that!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Appleseed's Birth Story

Here it is, the birth story I've been waiting and wishing to write for so many years!

It's not quite the one I pictured writing.  If you are pregnant now or planning a natural birth, I seriously suggest not reading on.  Of course, after hearing that you're probably all ears, but I warn you - it isn't all sunshine and lollipops coming.  But there is a GREAT ending.  :)

________________________________________________

I was 11 days overdue, trying everything to naturally induce labour.  It was castor oil day, which gave me [TMI!] some serious diarrhea, at about 1pm and 3pm, and just a bit at 4pm.

Between 4-5pm I believe I went into labour.  At 5:30pm I asked DH to call the midwife, contractions were about 2 min apart, but they were about 20-30s long.

And here it is where we deviate from the birth I was picturing and hoping for.  The contractions (or surges) HURT.  I could not relax during them.  I even cried because I was 'doing it wrong', but I could just NOT relax.  Now, maybe I should have started a rainbow relaxation before then?  But I tried and I couldn't focus on it at all.

I got in the bath to see if that helped.  It didn't really.  We were doing acupressure for birth, and we did this throughout the whole birthing.  I do think it sorta helped.  It seemed to make things slightly more manageable.  For the few contractions DH was not by my side doing acupressure, I found it much harder to take.

The midwife got to our house while I was still in the bath.  I already didn't care about being naked, I was too wrapped up in the pain.  She checked the baby's heart rate while I was in the tub (Appleseed was fine), and I got out so she could see how dilated I was.  I was about 3+ cm, and the baby had moved down quite a bit.  She was surprised things had started off so well!  I would have for sure cried if there had been no progress for all that hurting, but thankfully things were rolling.  She also broke up some of my scar tissue at this time.

She decided she would set up, then leave.  They don't generally like to lurk around - it could be another 12+ hrs before show time, afterall.  It took quite a while for her to set up, which I was oblivious to.  I was focused just on each contraction, and on DH and his acupressure.  She gave me an IV bag of clinomycin around this time - it didn't take long, wasn't a big deal.

They never really slowed down to 3 min apart, and often they didn't really give me a rest in between.  I believe for a lot of women in between contractions they feel totally 'normal' - but not me, I was sore, and some of them never really felt like they quite stopped all the way.  They also didn't much lengthen to that 90s I had heard about - thankgoodness.

She left, and here things are a bit hazy for me.  I spent the next couple of hours just having regular active labour.  I had to be reminded to breathe during each surge.  It was so natural to tense up!  Really really hard to breathe.  NOT what I was expecting - "meet each surge only with your breathe" - hah!  Fail!

I was mostly laying on my side, but I did a few contractions on my hands and knees.  Didn't really matter.  I think it was around 8:30pm, I decided to get into the bath again.  Again, it didn't really help.  The contractions felt pretty much same in the tub as out of the tub.  Poot!  That too was disappointing.  I've heard a lot of tales about how the tub really helped some women, but I guess that's just not how I roll.

It was around this time I went through "the transition".  Yup, I threw up a little.  Just like you've heard!  But I hadn't really eaten much all day, it wasn't a big deal.  I was weirdly not very hungry all day.  Actually, during many of my surges I would feel quite nauseous at the peak of them, I made sure the throw up bucket was nearby at all times.

DH called the midwife and told her.  While he was on the phone my contractions changed into the start of pushing contractions, he relayed that to her.  What I really said was "I think I had the urge to push".  How that soon changed!  I had been silent all this time through all of this, but here is when I started to get loud.  Poor neighbours!

Mw arrived quite quickly (9:25pm), and I got out of the tub and went to our bedroom where she checked me.  I was 10 cm!  GREAT progress - those contractions may have hurt but they sure were working - but I didn't care.  The pushing contractions were my whole world.  I started to really yell and scream - mostly "OW" during each one.  Like, really loud.  The secondary midwife arrived (9:40pm), which I knew was good, but again, didn't really care.  I didn't even look at her for an hour, my eyes were shut.

So these contractions were SUPER overwhelming.  I can't even understand how people couldn't push.  My body I think did most of the pushing, I just helped out with what I could.  I did my pushing on my back with my legs in the air - again, not quite what I would have thought, but that's what felt best at the time.

My water blew out around sometime after this.  I will say that was kind of fun.  It was during a pushing contraction, and it was like a rocket.  Hahahha.  It felt good for like 20 seconds.

About halfway through this (10:25pm), the midwife said I had to turn to my side a bit, the left side of my pelvis was slightly tight.  I ended up doing the rest of my contractions with my leg on her shoulder!  Hah!  I'd like to see an OB do that.  :)

With every pushing contraction, she was opening my tissue or 'gently' moving my pelvis aside so this would be over faster.  And that's what REALLY hurt.  But really, there were no flowery thoughts during the pushes.  I honestly could only think "get out of here".  Poor baby! 

The midwife did coach me with pushing, but I kinda ignored her.   Maybe this is what Hypnobirthig meant?  Some contractions I had two pushes in me, some had three, some had four.  And yes, I didn't breathe at all during pushing.  But it felt kinda good.  At least I had some serious relief in between these ones, that really helped.  The rest period really was restful.  And I needed it, to catch my breathe and take a sip of water.

After each a surge she would often say "good, CS, she moved down quite a bit during that one".  That was encouraging.  :)  Although I think 'quite a bit' meant 1 mm.

At 11:18pm, she finally came out.  And that's how it felt.  Finally.   The heavens didn't sing quite like I'd imagined!  There was no magical rush of endorphins. 

The Placenta came at 11:25pm, I declined the shot of Pitocin - I had to push it out a bit.

All in all it was a short but hard labour.  In fact, even though she's on vacation now, my midwife came over today to visit, and re-iterated that fact.  I had a really hard labour.  The theory is everyone gets the same 'cup of pain', but a more usually the first labour usually takes much longer so is less intense.  She was really proud of me, which was nice.  She was impressed I didn't ask for pain killers - but...I know there is nothing they can do at home, and it was too late to go to the hospital (and I didn't want to go anyway), so even in my half crazed state, that wouldn't have made sense for me to ask.  I just wanted it done.

Sadly, either Hypnobirthing failed me or I failed Hypnobirthing.  I am really disappointed with that.  And kind of resentful?

It was nice that my body really did know what to do.  It wasn't painless by any means, it was brutal.  But I never stalled at any point, and all the contractions made headway.  So despite all that nasty endo I had last year, I seem to have a GREAT birthing body.

And the main conclusion - Appleseed is super.  Her heart rate was good the whole time.  She got an APGAR score of 9/10.  She was lovely and pink and alert.  For all this, I am glad we had a home birth, I wouldn't change it.  And now my sweet pea still hasn't been to a hospital - awesome.  :)

My perineum is intact, which somewhat seemed to astound my midwife - she really thought I was at risk for a 3-4th degree tear.  Massage your perineum, ladies!  I did have some other tearing, and have a few stitches.  That continued to suck a bit after the birth.

___________________________________

Here I am 9 days later, just adding in some details (times) before I post.  Man!  The memory of the pain is indeed fading - but it took a good few days for those memories to go down at all!  At the time I was totally all for having only one baby, or getting an epidural next time.  Who knows, I might.  I would describe my birth as slightly traumatic, actually.  Overwhelming.  Thankgoodness for fading memories.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Appleseed ON THE OUTSIDE!!!

Introducing, the Appleseed!


No, that is NOT her real name, but for the purposes of this blog, I think I'll stick with it.  She is named for my Grandmother, and her Chinese name is still being worked on.

:)

I can't believe she's here!  Yay!  Hooray!  We're both doing fine.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Castor Oil Shake Recipe to induce labour

41 weeks, 4 days

So my midwife says the recipe below is more effective at inducing labour, and has less side effects than just taking a slug of castor oil on it's own.  She said they used to recommend 4 oz. of castor oil, and you can see below the recipe only calls for 2 tablespoons.

Recipe for Castor Oil drink to Induce Labour

  • 2 tbsp castor oil
  • 2 tbsp almond butter (or other nut butter)
  • 5 drops lemon verbena
  • 1 cup apricot juice
  • 1 cup crush ice


We're not really ice people (particularly with the weather still being cold), so I'll probably skip the ice, but my apricot juice is chilled.  The nut butter (we'll use peanut butter) is supposed to be to keep it in your stomach a little long so it is more effective?

I then just whirred it up in my magic bullet.

Update:  Tastes kinda good, actually.  Like a peanut butter smoothie.

Update:  Had about 2-3 bouts of diarrhea in the afternoon.

Update:  Well, I went into labour that night. Can't say for sure it was this drink, but it didn't hurt!

Saturday's Stretch and Sweep

41 weeks, 4 days

Well, the stretch and sweep turned into just a sweep.  I was not dilated enough to allow for the 'stretch' part!

She did mention she could feel quite a lot of scarring on my cervix, and that she'll have to pop that open during labour.  Yeehaw!  Cervical cryosurgery was worst thing ever.  Bah.  But I knew this a while ago, it was just re-confirmed again.

So, uh....the sweep really hurt.  :(  DH was on the ball and reminding me to breathe and things, but I was having a load of trouble.  I asked, "Is this what labour will feel like?", and she answered a "sort of" kinda answer.  Well.  At least I've had a preview?  I totally wasn't prepped with being ultra-relaxed or anything, we were just chatting beforehand.  So hopefully with the Hypobirthing prep this will also make things easier to cope with.

I pictured labour to be more muscle pain, but this was stinging cervical pain.  Hrm.

The good news is that DH had the presence of mind to try some acupressure while this was all going down, and I think it really helped.  There was one point when DH and I had a miscommunication - I meant "press harder" and he thought I meant "stop".  So he stopped, and in the time he was not pressing on the point it was much more painful.  Then he went back on and it was much more manageable.  Down to a dull roar, totally do-able.



When he was pressing the acupuncture point, mw sometimes would say things like, "this is going to hurt", and it didn't really hurt more.  So, good.  It was funny, last we discussed it and it turns out he was doing a point on my shoulder AND one on my hand, but I totally thought he was just holding my hand!  Hahhaa.  Odd!  I guess I wasn't thinking about my hand at all.

DH and I have since come up with hand signals.  I'm totally not great at vocalizing if I'm too relaxed, or under too much stress, so I think the hand gestures will be good.  (Yes/No/More/Less/Stop, nothing fancy).

Anyhoo, this did not put me directly into labour as might have been the case.  We actually went out to a dinner party last night!  Which was nice.

Oh, and the real news was that the ultrasound shows Appleseed is doing quite well in there.  She scored 8/8 (perfect!).  So no worries she's in distress (yet).

Plan:  Today I'll do the Castor Oil shake, then Monday I am transferred to secondary midwife, and we'll consult.  Likely blue/black cohosh.  Also Monday will be another bpp u/s.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Sugar juice

41 wks, 3 days

Yesterday was a bit of a roller-coaster!

I woke up early (6am, yo!  who knew they made that time?), had a nice first breakfast, then went for a pre-2nd-breakfast walk!  Totally what I should have been doing like every day - but was the first time I'd actually done it.  Weather was nice and springy, lovely and calm morning walk.  :)

Then DH made me a lovely omelette for second breakfast.  I signed up for Twitter (HAH!  I can't believe it!  Email me if you want to follow me - warning, it will be mostly baby related, I am guessing).

Then 3rd acupuncture visit.  Nice, but uneventful. 

Then lunch and off to the ultrasound from hell.  So, you'll have to excuse me, but this is where I am going to complain for a bit.  Now, I've had a billion ultrasounds, it isn't a big deal.  This was a new clinic downtown, but I thought - "hey, it'll be fun to take the streetcar!".

I had an appt at 2:45pm, and left early with loads of time.  I got there at like 2:30pm, they said they were running late, no worries, I sat back and chillaxed and read news on the tablet.  They had said to drink some fruit juice beforehand to make the baby move.  Ok, so I had a cup of sour-sop juice at home, but when I got there I thought maybe I would need more, so I hurriedly bought a bought of "grapefruit cocktail" in the building.



Now naive little me actually did think, "maybe they are blending mango and grapefruit to make this 'cocktail'" (which would have been weird anyway, but I swear that thought dashed through my head).  Harumph!  Duh!  No.  I am normally a label reader, but I had to pee, so I just bought it and dashed upstairs to the ladies' room.  As you know because you were not born yesterday, "cocktail" means "we added sugar/high fructose corn syrup". 

I waited a while in the waiting room, still pleased.  Then they took me to this changing room area.  Like, this ultrasound place is SO BIG they have 6 changing little changing booths.  Weird.  And then it all turned pear-shaped.  I was left sitting there in my gown-that-opens-at-the-back for like over half an hour!  And I think by this time the juice was making me crazy.  Too much sugar and I don't go well, I was actually feeling super nauseous and hot and sleepy. And pissed off.  I really don't get pissed off very often.  It's generally not in my wheel house.  But I was pissed off.

When the ultrasound finally started, they didn't have anything to put under my knees.  I was having a very bad back day - hard even to walk at times.  I was less than impressed.  And she used an ENORMOUS amount of gel on my tummy.  Like, half a tube.  You just don't need that much.  The top of my pants were gooey and wet!  What the hay!

And baby girl didn't like her, and didn't move right away for her.  But I had felt her move not that long ago, and I knew her heartbeat was ok, I just heard her check it.  But she was all "if your baby doesn't move soon, you have to go to the hospital".  !!!!!!  It was hard not to freak out, despite knowing baby was ok.  I turned on my sides (as my back complained loudly), and Appleseed did finally move.  Phew!

I left at >4:00pm.  Bah!  Lying on the table I had decided to take a cab home because I was so upset and still nauseous, but in the end I decided to be a trooper and take the streetcar home.  Which ended up smelling like homeless people, and making me want to move to the suburbs.  :(

I pulled out of my suckyness after some time to rest at home (plus lots of DH hugs), but MAN!  What a day!  Sorry for the rant!  I still know I'm lucky everything is ok, it just seemed like too much yesterday.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Thursday: Massage and Lost Mucus Plug?

41 weeks, 1 day

So I had another massage today.  Totally great, felt super relaxed afterwards.  My mw sort of got me all hot and bothered at yesterday's appointment, really focusing on a lot of talk about pain.  I was like, dude, you are totally ruining hypnobirthing right now!  :(  I had a hard time sleeping again.  Comments like hers really fly around in my head a lot.

But the massage helped - I thought a lot of birth affirmation type of things during it, I feel much better now.  Hebrews, did you have comments that made you doubt hypnobirthing?  And how did you get them out of your head?

And in potentially exciting news - I think I lost my mucus plug!  :)  Haha, I thought of taking a photo, but it's too gross.  I will let your fingers do the walking, google has plenty of images.  That's why I think it is probably what it was - from checking out google images.  It was smaller than I thought it would be?  Maybe there is more in there?  I don't know how you'd know.  Mine was dark brown.

The Internetz seem to agree this could mean she comes tonight, or in two weeks!  Ha!  Just like EVERYTHING about birth, there is a huge range of normal.  But I suppose it does at least mean I dilated a little more today, and that's a step in the right direction.

All in all a good Thursday!  :)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Plan for last week

41 weeks!

Well, baby is still not arrived on the outside yet.  That's ok now...but less good as the week progresses.  Risk of merconium aspiration.  If I were to go to 43 weeks, I would be transferred to an OB.

I was about ~1 cm dilated today.  And OUCH, did the checking of that hurt!  Haha, I'm sure labour will hurt more right?  But yikes, that was uncomfortable.  The mw did get to touch Appleseed's head - DH and I were like, "Jealous!".   But I'm not even dilated enough to do a stretch and sweep - which I was going to decline.  But it makes that whole decision a lot easier.  :)  (I want to wait a few days, to see if things can start up naturally)

We also had an enthusiastic discussion about due dates.  My original due date from Ovuview app (which I love, and recommend) on my phone was April 15th - in which case she wouldn't be as far overdue.  After much discussion, it seems like anywhere April 10th-15th would be reasonable.  Not that we're talking about changing my due date, just that it gives us a little less cause for concern since at least the range is all after my official date (which was Apr 10th).

So here is the plan (and I really really like having a plan!):
  • Thursday (apr 18) - another massage.  Rough life, eh?  :)
  • Friday (apr 19) we'll go for an u/s to check... ah, amniotic fluid level,  fetal tone, placenta something...and something else.  I LIKE this.  I want to make sure she's still ok in there!  If there is any indication of problem, we'll get here out of there pronto.  Also 3rd acupuncture session.
  • Saturday (apr 20) mw will attempt a stretch and sweep.  Hopefully I'll be dilated enough to allow for this by then!
  • Sunday (apr 21) - Time for castor oil!  The midwives recommend using peanut (or other nut) butter and verbena oil and apricot juice with the castor oil.  She said it is less harsh outgoing, and it sits in the stomach a bit longer with the peanut butter and is thus more effective.  I'm down.
  • Sunday (apr 21) - Birth herbal tincture.  Contains blue/black cohosh, birth root (?) and ginger.  This is slightly risky - there are no studies.  But mw claims very effective.  I was quite tentative about this, but by Sunday we'll be pretty close to induction day, so I think the risk/benefit ratio will be worth it.
  • Monday (apr 22) - another u/s, same checks as on Friday.
  • Tuesday (apr 23) - appt with 2nd mw.  I'm guessing another stretch and sweep? My primary marvellous midwife will have gone on vacation!  :(
  • Wednesday (apr 24, 42 weeks) - scheduled induction at the hospital.  She said generally they start with foley catheters, but it depends on the doc on duty.  And that inductions are low priority, totally possible we'll get moved if there are a lot of births that day.  That's ok.
For a first baby she's really not that over-far along at this stage, so we're not yet worried.  Hopefully I'll be able to stay relaxed through the week!  Acupuncture does really seem to help with relaxing!  I was already relaxed at the start of yesterday's acupuncture, and I swear by the end I felt so JOYFUL.  You know when you want to cry a bit cuz you're just so darn JOYFUL?!  :)  I didn't picture being here a year ago, that's for sure!  Our baby girl is almost here!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Induction 'Spa Day'

40 weeks, 5 days

My chiro referred to it as my induction 'spa day' today, and I thought - "hey, why not just go with it?".

I had a stressy labour dream last night - I was trying to get into labour but no one knew what to do.  It was one of those weird stressful dreams.  Bah.  Needless to say, I didn't sleep well last night.  I even had to read some of the Hypnobirthing book to calm me down.  The rainbow relaxation wasn't working.  Poot.

So this morning I was a zombie, and barely made it to chiro appt on time - well, ok, I was a little late.  But I did run into the other midwife in our choir - I really like her, so that started cheering me up.

I had another chiro adjustment - my back's been ok lately, this will probably be the last one.  Then she did acupuncture to bring on labour.  THEN, I had a foot massage to bring on labour.

WOW, did that lady have STRONG hands!  Yikes!  And she told her me really scary and awful birth story - but thankfully, it did have a happy ending.  But what a story to hear just before birthing!  Yikes. 

But now I am sort of chillaxed.  I will take a 'day off' from errands and things I really should do.  I think it is important to be relaxed right now, and not focus on the scary impending induction, just try to have some fun today.

I ate my yummy eggplant parm leftovers for lunch, then I watched some netflix and played Candy Crush (yes, this is ruining my life, can't stop playing!  don't judge me too harshly!).  Now I'm going to hop in the bath, maybe read a book, then maybe have a nap.  DH is making dinner, I made sure we have all the ingredients (eggplant again - Chinese style).

Acupuncture again tomorrow!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Eggplant parm!

40 weeks, 3 days

So I went for a massage yesterday.  It was part Craniosacral, reflexology, part regular shoulder massage.  It was definitely different from any massage I'd had before.  She didn't really use much pressure.  But by the end, I was SUPER relaxed.  Was that just because I was like, "CS, don't use this time to think about errands, use it to think about positive birth imaging & breathing", or was it the actual massage?  Don't know.

Today I'm going to make eggplant Parmesan for dinner - Hypnobirthing says this will bring on labour.  :)  I'm not so sure of that - but it will be a tasty dinner for DH and I!  (and I'm making a grain-free lemon cake for desert - WHAT!  sounds yum!)

I've done some reading about interventions this morning.  I don't think I want any (well, if eggplant were to work, that would technically be an intervention...).  BUT, at 42 weeks, the ball game changes, and here I will be transferred to an OB who will want to induce.  So the midwives like to do early not super invasive interventions before we get to that magical 42 weeks date.

But it seems everything I've read seems the whole thing goes a lot smoother with no interventions at all, baby comes when ready.   But, there does seem to be some risk going past 42 weeks.  Not sure I want to play there.

Also, she suggest I may want to try blue/black cohosh at 41 weeks.  I need to be getting down with the google on that, I am quite wary.

In general, my BH have subsided somewhat.  They only seem to come when walking now.  I've been trying to be good about walking - except for yesterday - it is mega winter here (?  Hello, spring?  Where art thou?), I wasn't down with a mid-winter walk, for reasons of wimpyness.

I'm having some round ligament pain, but it's no big deal.  I've also been trying some stretch suggestions from spinning babies - they say labour is all about position, right?  So I want Appleseed to be in the best position possible. 

All in all, I never really got that "get the baby out of here, now!" mentality.  I want her to leave when she's ready.  I loooove being pregnant, and I appreciate it.  No reason to end early.  (Well, unless there are valid medical reasons, of course).  Sure it is a bit uncomfortable at times... but whatev.  I'm still so lucky to even be here. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Update: 41%

39 weeks, 6 days

UPDATE (not that you've even had time to read the previous post!)

She's ok!  She made it from 26th percentile to 41st percentile!  She's FINE!  All is well!  MW just called me.  :)

PHEW!


I had done too much googling already on restricted growth, and the words "perinatal morbidity" come up too often for comfort.  I actually made it through the ultrasound and after without crying - probably because I had 3 crying fits beforehand.

PHEW!

Baby girl is doing A-ok!

Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!

Potentially Growth Restricted?

39 weeks, 6 days

Wow, almost 40 weeks!  Saw the midwife today.  This is not the post I pictured writing, actually.  I thought it was going to be the usual - blood pressure good, pee stick good, size ok, let's roll.

First of all she checked my cervix.  She said its about 50% soft and 50% moved down, not open or thinned.  So, that's fine.  Baby not coming immediately, probably next week-ish, maybe?  First time she's checked it.

I thought it would be cool if all those cervical knife pains I've been feeling actually opened the cervix, but no dice.  So it goes.

But then onto the measurement...and she's still measuring like 34-35cm.  Its been like this for ~3 weeks.   Could be not good - could be just position has changed, so it doesn't seem like she's not getting bigger - or she could not be getting bigger.

I am trying to stay calm about this!  (but...I don't feel calm.)

The Marvelous Midwife is sending us for another ultrasound.  DH sort of protested (since I cry like a maniac every time), but she strongly recommended it.  And she's quite keen we get it today if possible.  I am still trying to book it.

In terms of size, Appleseed seems right around her due date, according to the last u/s.  In terms of weight she was 26th percentile.  A wee bit small.  All the babies on my side are normal to getting big-ish (8-9 lbs, it seems), so I am concluding it is because she is half Chinese.  And Chinese have smaller babies.  Even though DH's family is not small, they were more like 6-7.5 lbs babies.  Which is fine.  Just less than I was expecting.  BUT, still, baby girl should be growing every week.

Well, we'll see what the ultra sound says.  I will have to see an OB if she really is too small.  That's ok.

I don't seem to have any of the maternal risk factors related to intrauterine growth restriction, so.... probably she'll be ok.  Yes.  Right?

In other news, she's planning on doing a stretch and sweep (well, I want to research this a little more) Wednesday (I'll be 41 weeks), and I will book acupuncture for Monday.  :)  We are allowed to go to 42 weeks, at which point it will be a schedule induction.  And since that changes the whole ballgame, we'll try to avoid it.

Friday, April 5, 2013

(still) Pro Pro-Biotics

I am pre-writing this post, and will actually publish when I have some results!

Background:

So after my midwife's recommendation of taking pro-biotics to help lessen the chance of actually testing positive for group B strep, I decided to find out if the current pro-biotics [Jamieson advanced 4 strain] I am taking have positive reviews out there on the Internet or not.  I want to avoid group B strep if possible.

For sure I can say the Jamieson 4-strain is helping my skin, which is awesome - but what about my ladyparts?

I came across this informative article about evidence based pro-biotics.  Seems like a rather good idea (to be evidence based).  Here's another article on the effect of pro-biotics and FERTILITY.  Long but good!

There I read about a product called "Fem-Dophilus".  I then got really excited.  Google it and 'prevent group B strep' and you get loads of hits and comments about how it seems to work.  In fact, I came across a clinical study that is currently taking participants (in Santa Cruz) to specifically test whether or not taking fem-dophilus from 28 weeks decreases incidence of group B strep.  They don't just decide on a whim to do a study, I am thinking, there must be major anecdotal evidence.  I called my local hippie shop, and they do in fact carry it.  I have some non-ideality going on "down there", let's see if this changes things.

I am still planning to take the Jamieson 4-strain - can't hurt to fix my skin as well.  If some pro-biotics fix my skin, that is telling you I had some serious gut balance issues for many many years.  Um...like, forever.

Update:
When I upped the Jamieson to 3/day AND started the fem-dophilus, my lady parts seems to be getting in better shape.  Then I moved Jamieson to 1/day, and my lady parts when back to only slightly better than they were.

So I'm moving back up to 3/day.  After a few days, I could tell it totally helped.  For me, anyway, and my gut, it seems to be the Jamieson doing the heavy lifting.  I am still taking the fem-dophilus too - don't want to mess with the system too much.

Further Update:
Well, I think moving down to 1/day of the 4-strain sort of screwed me.  I tested GBS positive.

Right now it sort of feels like there is a bacterial war going on, and some days the good guys win, some days the bad guys win.  Also, I ran out of fem-dopholus, probably I should go back on.  Particularly with antibiotics coming  up.


Random things that may have been improved by probiotics:
  • This may or may not be due to the probiotics - but DH got sick, and I DIDN'T.  This is the first time, ever.  (Also I think RRL tea helped)
  • Skin MUCH improved, then moved to mostly improved (including starting to improve my rosacea) (see that comment about a war going on above)
  • My super painful right lymph node has calmed down considerably

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Final GBS Post (probably)

39 weeks, 1 day

So we've made our final decision about GBS.  Anon x 2 had two good comments on the last post, but turns out I either is not really going to happen.

I chatted up my doctor friend (poor lady, but I HAD to pick her brain!), and I asked about testing the baby for GBS after birth - she said they basically never do that.  If baby comes in with a fever and mom was GBS +ve and didn't take antibiotics, they will give the baby antibiotics.  No time to wait for test results.  And baby would be very sick by the time the test results came back.  (maybe our lab results take longer here?)

And I asked if they could check my strain against clindomycin, and she said in Canada in general our strains are susceptible to clindomycin.  In India (for example) they have some resistant strains, but unless I've been travelling there, I should be good.  I haven't been there since like ~2004.

Doc friend also said the biggest risk with clindo is C.Difficile.  But I am low risk for this.  And (hopefully!) not going to the hospital, I shouldn't be exposed?

So I told my midwife today, and she was cool about it.  She said she'd do the same thing.  I was very impressed about how they didn't try to influence me either way, just gave me the info and let us decide.  She even gave me some clindomycin to take home to put in my birth kit just to make double sure we had lots on hand.

And apparently it will be a needle straight into my vein - takes like 4-7 minutes.  And I'll need to do it twice, if possible.  I was picturing being hooked up to an IV bag for hours, so this is much nicer.  Although I'll have to be not moving during contractions during this time.

My back is mostly better.  Yay for chiro!  LisaB, I'm sorry you back problem can't be fixed by a few adjustments, I will be thinking of you and Spot during labour.

In other news, Appleseed is in the 26% for size.  LITTLE!  Baby girl!  Why so small?!  But the Interweb says anyone 10-90% are normal (there's that HUGE range of normal again!), and to not sweat it.  The Interweb also says this does not predict future size.

My midwife is very happy with this number.  She says it will be easier to deliver a smaller baby, and as long as baby grows a ton when on the outside, it's all good.  Ok-ay!  I would prefer an 8 pounder (all the babies in my mom's family were big - where is my big baby?!), but I will be happy as long as she's healthy, of course  :)

I think she dropped farther down last night.  I went on a loong (long for a preggo - just checked, it was 3.3km - it sure felt far!) walk yesterday, and since last night it has been rather uncomfortable.  I think I will rest the rest of the afternoon.  Can't wait for DH to come home from work for some snuggles!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

GBS

38 weeks, 4 days
(prepare for longest blog post, ever)

Perhaps my last post about GBS was a little vague - here let's get statistical!   I will say it was a good test of blogging from my phone, should I need to send out any brief birth announcements in the upcoming days!  :)

What is GBS?  It stands for Group B Strep.  It is a normal bacteria in our bodies, but sometimes causes death in newborns.  Pretty serious stuff.  Let's look at what "sometimes" means:

So if you have GBS (which I did, at least two weeks ago - well, they say the test is 87% accurate), 50% of babies will be colonized by it, and 1-2% will get sick.  So that's 0.5-1% of babies will become sick (serious consequences including death/life long disability).  To quote the midwives, of 17 500-50 000 pregnant women, 1-4.5 babies will die due to GBS.

Who are these babies?  There are some risk factors that make it much more likely it will be babies of a certain set rather than others:
  • Preterm [thankfully, Appleseed is not!]
  • Baby weighs less than 5 lb 8 oz [the last u/s put Appleseed at 6 lb 8 oz, which makes me SUPER happy, but I know that is not the most accurate of measurements, so am not banking on it]
  • Previous baby with GBS disease  [thankfully, no]
  • Water broken for more than 18 hrs
  • Fever during labour

So what is to be done?  Two common choices:
  1. Take IV antibiotics during labour if you test +ve for GBS
  2. Take IV antibiotics during labour if you test +ve for GBS and have another risk factor.
Life is further complicated by the fact that I'm probably allergic to penicillin, and so have to take clindamycin.    This means two courses of IV antibiotics during labour (6-8 hours apart) vs only one course with penicillin.  And these aren't getting little nudges of antibiotics, they really whack you with them.  And if my labour is less than 6-8 hours long?   It will be like I didn't do it (in the view of medical professionals, anyway).

Ok, CS, just take the antibiotics, what's the big deal?

Again, looking at the stats is very interesting.  With choice #1, 30% of preggos receive IV antibiotic.  This leads to GBS (/other) antibiotic resistance.  The lamest stat of all is that 21% of GBS strains were resistant to clindamycin, while none were resistant to penicillin (yet?).  But nothing to be done about that.  Sorry Appleseed!  Blame Grandma for calling "allergic" without proper testing!  Can't test now - pregnant!

With choice #2, 3.4% of preggos receive IV antibiotics.  Quite a dramatic decline.  One would argue that's almost everyone that needs it.

We can say it like this.  With #1, about a 1000 infants receive antibiotics during birth to prevent one GBS death.  With #2, about 6 infants receive antibiotics during birth to prevent one GBS death.  That's pretty striking.

Why say almost?  Success rates of methods 1 and 2:
  1. 65-86%
  2. 51-75%
So even if I do opt for antibiotics with no other risk factor, it isn't 100% successful in preventing GBS disease.  That's sort of surprising, right?  Here is what they don't tell you - those 14-35% of babies that STILL get GBS - do they belong to a particular group of babies?  Like, are they all preterm?  They don't say.  Interestingly, the majority of those 14-35% are of mothers that screen GBS negative - that should give you the willies!  (sorry)

Still seems like slightly improved chances if I just take the antibiotics no matter what.  BUT - what about the downside of antibiotics?
  • Yeast infections - not life threatening, but a bummer, and can cause breast feeding drama
  • Potential for baby to be allergic to the antibiotics (rare, not too worried about this - 1 in 10 000)
  • Death from Antibiotics (very rare, 1 in 100 000)
  • Public Health concerns about growing strain resistance
  • Potential for increased allergies or asthma for Appleseed.  
There is where I struggle -  potential for increased allergies or asthma for Appleseed.  By maybe overreacting, I am maybe increasing her risk of allergies and/or asthma.  We have TONS of allergies in the family.  I really struggle with starting her off on that path.  The data totally isn't clear on this point. 

And that's where I stand today.  I'm leaning towards only taking the antibiotics if I have a second risk factor.  Even though the official risk bar is set at 18 hrs for membranes ruptured before baby comes, some studies indicate risk begins to slowly climb after 6 hrs.  I will ask about that - can I change my mind after 6/8/12 hours of ruptured membranes?

I'm planning on talking to a friend of mine who I think was GBS positive, and also to my doctor friend, for their opinions.  And this does not preclude a home birth - midwife can give IV antibiotics while I'm at home, no worries.  So at least that is uncomplicated!

If interested, the real (LONG TECHNICAL) details are here.

A very interesting quote about garlic (and for the LIFE OF ME I tried to find this full document online - our public library should give us access, but no dice).  There is no research to back it up....but maybe it can't hurt....?

Saturday, March 30, 2013

State of the Union

38 weeks, 3 days

Well, I am officially off on mat leave now!  Whee!  That is not strictly true - I found out I had 5 vacation days I had to use or lose, and so on Wednesday last week I decided to go on vacation this upcoming week!  So I'll be on vacation as of Monday.  :)  Sort of a lame way to spend vacation (laying on couch?), but better than losing it!

It was a bit of a shock to the system - all of a sudden it was like "tomorrow is going to be my last day!".  Which seems weird, all I do is complain about work - but it isn't so bad, and I have my work friends, who I will kinda miss.... But of course I won't really miss it.  I want to snuggle my baby for the next year!  Woohoo!

That seems crazy too.  It still seems far away.

 So I've been having more and more Braxton-Hicks/prodermal labour.  Pretty much if I stand too long or walk, there will be a contraction.  Not apparently as bad as ones that will be coming, but still they are now quite powerful-ish, I wouldn't call them comfortable.

Good Friday was kind of a hard day for me (remember Good Friday is a stat holiday in Canada).  Our church was stations 4-6, so the choir had to show up early to practise.  And the choir in this case was standing for the entire thing.  About halfway through my choir friend looked over at me and said, "Standing is ok for you?" and I was like "No", and she was like "SIT DOWN!" - so I took her advice and did sit down when we weren't singing (there were long solo parts).

Then, I really wanted to keep following the rest of the stations.  We are not usually in the City for Easter weekend, I might not have another chance for years!  So off DH and I went - but even though this is just a regular amount of walking to the next church, and of course once you get there you sit down, it was quite uncomfortable. 

Then we realised our dentist appointments were rather soon, so we had to bail on the last few stations (after seeing the inside of our local HUGE catholic church - very pretty!  but MONSTER SIZED!  and I thought our church was big - nope!  ha!).  So we left - and we took the SUBWAY home.  We had never done this.  It is only a few stops, and completely walkable.  But I was just too uncomfortable.

Hahha - lame, right?  Even at the dentist (turns out we were early, so we had time to grab lunch), DH was like "where do you want to go?" and I was like "the closest place possible".  I even took the elevator there.  Yikes.  It is only on the 3rd floor!  It is one of those creepy small smelly elevators, I had never even considered it before.

At the dentist, the receptionist was like "Another few months left?", and I was like "Haha - no.  Another week or so", and she got all shocked and told us to go eat lunch because I need to eat more.   Yes, I didn't end up getting all that huge!  Compared to most ladies, I don't look full term at all.  I was hoping for a big ginourmous bump, but that wasn't in the cards.  (And I certainly haven't been curtailing any eating!  Bring on the full fat dairy, I say!)

I did nap in the afternoon, and things calmed down.  It totally isn't real labour or anything, otherwise napping wouldn't chill things out.  I asked my midwife if these could be getting me ready, and while she was positive about me having them, she did say they wouldn't open the cervix.  So now they are seeming like a waste of energy to me.  I've been having BH for ages now - I was thinking of them as going to the "uterus gym".  So my uterus should be quite strong.  It is enough now, yes?

I had to do some relaxation stuff last night to calm down - getting all ansy wasn't helping anything.  I just have to chillax and wait to see how things go.  But I am SUPER glad I won't be at work next week.

I can't believe we're having a baby soon.  It still blows my mind, seems unreal.  Too many years of buildup, maybe.  But we're very very excited.  I'm sort of worried I won't be able to stay in my Hyponobirthing relaxation during labour just because I'm so darn EXCITED!  I picture more of that weeping-because-I'm-happy stuff.  :)

If you have any intentions you'd like me to pray for you while I'm in labour, please comment below!  I'll do my best!  I do plan on of course thinking about my IF sisters still waiting,  You ladies are never far from my thoughts - I know you'd switch places with me in an instant, I don't feel worthy of such good fortune.

Monday, March 25, 2013

GBS positive

Boooooooooooooo
I am kinda bummed.  Lots of reading ahead of me.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Portents

37 weeks, 4 days

Well, things are ramping up here in the Appleseed household.  Thursday I was feeling super great, and I was like "Forget 39 weeks, I should work until 40 weeks!".  But then Thursday night I was all...not feeling great.

My Braxton Hicks have amped up a bit, I was a bit thrown.  They're not regular or anything, and I'm mostly ignoring them (well, besides doing the breathing).  I skipped choir and needed two bowls of cherry ice cream.  This is the second pg thing I've sent DH out for - the first being perogies AGES ago.  Sure, yes, I am not a fan of commercial ice cream - but somehow those cherries were delicious and soothing.

Friday I also wasn't feeling super at work, at least in the morning - but then I was ok in the afternoon.  People kept stopping me in the morning and telling me I should rest more.  Oh dear.

So I sort of freaked out a little - like, maybe Appleseed will come earlier rather than later?  And we're NOT ready.  So Saturday we made a big list (which is prioritised) about things that we'd like to do before her big arrival on the outside scene.

We decided on no bassinet (they seemed like a huge rip off, or physically huge, which we don't have space for in our room), so we're going to use a piece of foam next to the bed.  DH made some sheets for it today, we bought some cute-ish fabric yesterday (polka dots).  The foam is pretty much the size of the space between the bed and the wall, so she'll be all snug and cozy down there.  And it is much thicker than a bassinet mattress, so that's a positive (yet still nice and firm).

We have no diapers yet (well, ok, we have 2, but that isn't going to cut it)!  Hahha - our diapers are coming with my friend's visit on Easter weekend.  Obvi we'll dash out and buy disposables if she comes early, it just seems funny to me.  Shows how much we really think/thought she was going to come late or at least not early.

She may still come late - I've never done this before, I don't really know.  Maybe the next four weeks will be like this?  Very strong BH - they don't hurt, but they are more powerful than before.  And [TMI] I checked my cervix - it seems soft but closed.  So that's fine - slowly getting into shape, maybe?

Did y'all have BH?  I am always surprised when people say they didn't have them at all - I've been having them for ages now.

Today at Church was sort of hard.  I freaked out and made sure the hospital bag and homebirth kit were ready, then I needed a nap.  I was supposed to go out to walk to the library this aft, but I bailed.  Seemed too hard to do - hahha - lame!  But I do think I maybe needed that nap.  Sometimes Church can be emotional, you know?  Or it is just me.  I did watch the Katy Perry movie this afternoon, and it made me cry.  For like 5 minutes.

Then I had a bath and 'did a Rainbow'.  While it sounds like that is some sort of street drug, it is just my hypnobirthing rainbow relaxation I listen to.  Worked quite well.  I also recorded myself last night doing a deepening script, and I listened to it last night.  Seemed to work quite well last night, even though I think I rushed it a bit, and would re-record if I had time.  But I decided I'd probably drown if I got that relaxed in the bath today, since the Rainbow worked so well!  ;)

I'll keep you posted!

Appleseed grows

Lilypie Maternity tickers