Just noticed you had made it to 36 weeks. Congrats on your lodge and look forward to sharing your journey!
Another lodge . . . WOW! This is one hoppin' board.
Welcome, I'm excited to read all about your journey!
Congrats on your lodge Jen!!! Excited to read another June Buds story
Congrats! Can't wait to share your journey! Yeah for junebuds!
Congrats on your Lodge
Congrats on your lodge!!!! Can't wait to follow your journey!
Congratulations! Welcome to your lodge!
Welcome to your lodge Jen
Grouphug for natural minded June buds !!
congrats on your lodge, looking forward to hearing about your journey!
Yayyy Jen! Congratulations on your own lodge! I really look forward to sharing this journey with you.
Yea Jen, welcome to your lodge...
Congrats & Welcome to your lodge!!!!
Hurray!!! Congrats! And welcome to your lodge!!
Wow! So it's only a few weeks until I hold my LO!! Hard to believe, but then again, not so hard to believe! I've gained so much-- intellectually, spiritually, and emotionally-- from this board that I am just honored to get to be a part of it. Thanks, mamas, for your interest, your perspectives, your experiences, your humor...that's what this journey is all about!
So, a little about me (my students kindly tell me I'm "thorough" when what I think they mean is that I'm long winded and don't shut up--so I'll try to self edit for the good of all)!
I'm 33 and my DH, Fred is 36 (well, 37 on June 7th)! This is our first human child, though we have three, very spoiled persian kitties that we have "parented" for quite some time! Fred and I have been together for about 9 years...married for the last 4 of 'em. Lived in "sin" for the 4 before that;-) Fred and I are, in many ways, opposites-- I'm more the planful, organized, uptight, nerdy type and he's the spontaneous, laid-back, social, happy-go lucky type. It took me a while to feel like we could really have a good life together bc everything in me said that while opposites may attract, they don't last. But over time, I came to realize, that for he and I, being so different is a strength in our relationship and for us individually---we help each other grow and we balance each other. Of course, sometimes there are some fantastic fireworks...but we always see each other in a better light and become closer as a result!
I work in education, specifically, I am a teacher educator and a consultant for school reform work. I work with schools, districts, foundations, non-profit education organziations to help them improve their work (using data, drawing on research, including stakeholders in reforms, etc.). I work nationally but do much of my work in Pittsburgh, Chicago, and LA right now. I am passionate about education and can quite easily get very fired up very quickly when conversation turns to our public education system and the inherent inequities within it! Fred works in real estate...he manages a large portfolio of residential and commercial properties and does some commercial development. We both are fortunate to have flexible schedules and great benefits!
So how did I come to this BN board? Well, I have to start with a couple of years ago. My father, who was 56, was unexpectedly diagnosed with STage IV kidney cancer in January 2005. My dad was an amazing man...a sense of humor like no other. We always laughed to tears at family get togethers! We had a whirlwind battled with his cancer for 6 months, but ultimately, lost the battle in July 2005. It was devastating to me, my mom, and my pregnant sister. The process of losing my father and adjusting my spiritual and emotional life based on that experience has been revolutionary for me. It has utterly changed my outlook on life and the way I live it. I have let go of much of my anxieties and my priorities and values in life have shifted quite dramatically. I began to shed some of my more mainstream beliefs, norms, practices, and the like as a result.
Anyway, birthing naturally had never been on my radar. My sister is a family practice physician and so is quite steeped in the medical model of childbirth. The birth of her daughter was amazing, but was quite medical (induction 8 days postdate with pit, epidural, episiotomy). Both mom and baby were healthy and she successfully breastfed for a year! I had no reason to think of birth any differently when I found out I was pregnant last fall.
Being the information junkie that I am, I turned to the internet to find resources. I found pregnancy.org and joined the June 07 BB. What was amazing to me was that I was hearing mamas (including Michelle, lunabelle) raising perspectives and views of birth and child care (e.g., cloth diapering) that I just hadn't really considered. I guess I just hadn't been exposed to all of the possibilities. This exposure got me curious and so I started looking for information about these alternatives. I had found some of the books that I had been given about childbirth a bit odd (What to Expect; Girlfriends Guide)...they just didn't resonate with me with what I was feeling or what I wanted to feel down the line. Anyway...I started lurking on the BN board and got some great information and resources and finally, after reading Goer's and Ina May's books, felt like I had found what fits for me! So thanks, ladies for helping me find my way on this journey.
Fred and I are preparing for an unmedicated, intervention-free hospital birth. In the middle of my pregnancy we switched from an OB practice to a midwifery practice and hired a doula. Our doula, Wendy, is just fabulous and I already feel so much trust and confidence in her. Fred has been amazing on this journey bc it has challenged his views of childbirth as well. He's impressed me with his willingness to let go of things that are ingrained in his head, to explore possibilities, and to defend our decisions vigorously to those who challenge them! This whole experience has brought us even closer. We've taken childbirth classes with our doula service, will be taking a breastfeeding class this weekend, I've connected with LLL in my area, and have found an amazing pediatric practice in which almost all the docs are certified lactation consultants and have a 7-day a week BF support center! We are feeling as prepared as we can be but know that curves balls are likely heading our way!
So at this point I am just feeling at peace. Of course I'm looking forward to meeting my LO, but I'm really enjoying the feeling of being pregnant (Fiji, that's what we call the baby now...it's Fred's and my initials--moves all the time). I'm going to miss feeling the movement inside me so I'm trying to savor it right now. We are doing a belly cast later this week that we're going to decorate and we just got in the proofs of some professional belly pics we did...it was really alot of fun posing with Fred (even though he felt a little uncomfortable at first). I'll post some pics later...
Okay...so this was, *ahem*, THOUROUGH!! Thanks for those of you who hung in there and read it all! I promise to work on brevity over then next few weeks;-)
Congratulations on your lodge! It sounds like you and your DH are great together, can't wait to share this journey with you!
I enjoyed reading your story, Jen, and congratulate you not only on being so close to holding your LO but also on finding this board. I, too, am a teacher (5th grade before my #1 was born) so I appreciate a thorough telling of a story!
Jen, your write so well and I enjoy your thoroughness! It sounds like you and Fred are very committed and this is the next step in your journey...what a beautiful thing. It was the "coversations" on the June 07 board and some with other members of other birth boards that helped me find the "birthing naturally" way too...very cool that we were open to other ways.
I can't wait to see the pictures and look forward to hearing more...
Welcome Jen! Your story reminds me a bit of my own. I never really considered natural/"alternative" (for lack of a better word) options until I was exposed to this board. I then became steeped in finding information and educating my husband (who is extremely gung-ho about all things natural now!).
I thoroughly enjoyed your story, no need for brevity here
I didn't even know that natural birth was an option until I found this board...I'm so glad I did find it!!
I'm excited to see your pictures!! And have fun wit te belly cast...I want one!
I'm still learning about posting pics within the boards so forgive me if I royally screw this up...I'm hoping to post some pics to let you see some of my world;-) Fingers crossed...
DH and I after the Race for the Cure a couple of weeks ago:
My belly shot at 36 weeks:
Some of my family at the Race for the Cure (back row from left to right: my SIL, MIL, Mom, sister, sisters' partner, me; front from left to right: neice Marina, neice Elliot)
My 3 kitties, Mexi, Sidney, and Madison:
Fred enjoying scrumptious grass with two of the kitties (he's not REALLY eating the grass....my husband that is):
Mexi during a bath:
My adorable neice, Elliot (aka Elly-B):
Pic of my FIL making a toybox for FIJI...it's not completely finished yet...will post pics when it's totally done--it's amazing...he's so talented!
Thanks for looking....hope it worked;-)
You look great! And, the dh is pretty cute, too. But, the kitties, lord the kitties are gorgeous!!!! (cat person here! )
Jen, you look great and so nice to see pics of your world. I agree, your dh is very handsome.
Love the kitty pics--I too am a cat lover and OMG the one of Mexi taking a bath cracks me up--it is one you would see on one of those forward e-mails.
Elliot is ADORABLE!
Wow, you look incredible Jen! I am jealous already I like the pic of you and your girls running the Race for a Cure. That is fantastic that all of you participated. (Oh and I love the pic of your wet kitty!)
Oh wow! You and your DH are sooooooo cute!!! You look sooooooooo good!!!
You look great...poor kitty having a bath, not so much! LOL!
Fiji has selected parents, extended family and pets well! Looking forward to your story's continuation!
Aww...thanks guys for the sweet compliments. I, too, think DH is a hottie! When he's grumpy I tell him he's lucky he's so damn cute;-) The kitties are constant entertainment!
I've been MIA since last Wednesday bc of a super busy work and play schedule---it's been great but I definitely have learned that at this stage of pregnancy, willing yourself to keep a brisk pace doesn't mean there aren't consequences! I had clients who have become quite good friends in town to do 2 solid days of work on Thursday and Friday (we were busy for 16 hours each of those days). Then on Saturday I took them to the airport, went to a breastfeeding class, went to a dinner out with DH and neighbor friends of ours, and went to see George Carlin. Then Sunday, went to spend the day with my in-laws and some extended family that was in town visiting for the day. Needless to say, I suddenly got serious foot/ankly swelling on Thursday/Friday/Saturday so I bought some of those hideous compression stockings and wore them religiously along with elevating my feet at night. Swelling is gone but it was a huge lesson learned-- "I will NOT overdo it anymore"!! I had a great time with my clients/friends and totally enjoyed dinner/George Carlin--he was very, very funny--crass but funny. Toward the end of his performance, he got very, very political and I don't think many of the people in the audience understood what he was saying...anyway, I loved it!
I have to tell you about our visit with Fred's extended family, though. His great nephew and his girlfriend were in town with their 3.5 week old baby girl. This is the mom's second child (though she's young compared to me...maybe 25 or so). She had a c-section with her first, and a planned c-section with this one. They had scheduled her c-section for 38 weeks, but for convenience given schedules, asked to do it a week earlier! The OB agreed and they did the c-section at 37 weeks!! The baby girl is fine, but was 6 lbs!! She's tiny! She's only about 7 lbs now---almost 4 weeks later! The mom is trying to BF, but I have to say, is clearly not in tune with her baby's cues---the kids was practically giving me hickies on my arm and neck and when I'd tell the mom what she was doing, she wanted to give her a pacifier or would say, "Well she just ate"--meanwhile she'd fed her about 1.5 hours earlier and this baby is so small I suspect she needed to nurse quite frequently! Anyway...sad to me that this little baby was born early so needlessly!
On another note, though, it was so amazing to hold this little baby this is probably right about the size that my baby is in my belly! Fred and I just kept staring at her in my arms and were awestruck by the realization that THAT is what is in ME right now and we'll be holding him/her in just a few weeks! It was really amazing;-)
I'm feeling great overall, minus a locked SI joint that I've had problems with for years. Probably going to go to the chiro to get that adjusted...don't want limited mobility when it's time to do the hard work to get this kid out!!
It's really a pleasure reading your lodge. I wish I could write as well as you do. I think it would be amazing to hold such a tiny baby right now because it is still hard to imagine exactly what this baby really looks like inside of me. It is a shame that the baby came before she was ready though.
I really enjoyed your pictures too. Your cat looks hilarious and I can't imagine trying to bathe my kitty. She'd tear me apart and I don't know how you managed. She loves to be brushed but water, no way.
I can't wait to see your belly cast too!
Good to hear from you! Glad you had such a fun filled weekend, it sounds like you still have tons of energy!
What wonderful pictures! Thanks for the quick snapshots.
Michelle-- the kitty in the bath is actually very cooperative. Although he cries during the bath, he basically just stands there looking at me like he is paralyzed! My other two kitties are less cooperative but still not athletic enough to be a reall challenge in the tub---the benefits of having spoiled, lazy, non-athletic felines!
Belly cast has been post-poned until this Friday...we'll cast it Friday night and then start on decorating on Sunday!
Rita-- I do still have lots of energy but when I do get tired I crash hard and I sleep far more at night than I ever used to before being pregnant!
Oh and on the TMI front...starting last night I have the most foul, horrific gas I have EVER had in my entire life. It's so bad I couldn't go into work today! I mean, I am clearing myself out of rooms and gagging;-) Maybe my bowels are purging/cleansing?? Sorry if it's way TMI but I think it's funny---Fred, not so much!
My goodness, a kitty who is cooperative in water. A rare and unique creature! Mine has to be wrestled to the ground to do his claws and he will let me brush him for about a minute. Then, he growls to tell me he is done. My other kitties, now deceased, were even worse!
Gas story is hilarious. Only other preg women can relate.
The kitty in the tub reminds me of a very funny documentary I saw once on PBS about cat shows. Talk about well-adjusted cats - they all get baths and primped and the males wear diapers (to protect from spraying).
I hear you on the colon weirdness. I don't think I'm truly digesting anything anymore. That's all I'll say.
It must have been such a great reality check to be holding the little one, who, in most cases, would still be cooking now if the whole c/s thing wasn't such an epidemic. Anyway - an exciting thought that very soon you'll have your own in your arms.
I love how Persians always look so pissed off at the world. Thank you for sharing your pictures and your story and I look forward to reading about your labor and your birth!
Had a MW appointment yesterday and my doula, Wendy came along. It was a good, *boring* appointment. Baby is head down and quite deep in the pelvis (YAY)! GBS was negative. Fred and I have met all of the midwives in the practice and really like them all (except one physcially resembles a woman whom I have really strong negative feelings about-- my sister's former partner who cheated on her when my sis was pregnant and my dad was dying). But personality-wise, the midwife is nothing like the woman I don't like so I'll get past it.
I'm having pressure/soreness in the pelvic/pubic bones but nothing that is too uncomfortable! Fred's birthday is tomorrow so we'll go out to a nice dinner--we'll celebrate with his family and mine on Saturday night.
Mine has to be wrestled to the ground to do his claws and he will let me brush him for about a minute.
Kathy- I have one kitty who has to be pinned (literally...Fred helps holds him down) to be brushed---and since he's a persian, he HAS to be brushed regularly. He growls and hisses and throws a major fit (the cat, not Fred)--far worse than when he's in the bath tub...go figure. Do you have any good strategies for pinning 'em down for the brushing??
Kathy- Do you have any good strategies for pinning 'em down for the brushing??
Kathy- Do you have any good strategies for pinning 'em down for the brushing??
I sort of sit on him. Not really, but he is between my legs, with his legs down so they cannot scratch me. Then, I can brush him in sections. I reposition him so I can get to as much of him as possible. He is a short hair, so I don't worry that I cannot get to tummy. We had a long hair kitty (passed at xmas ) and him we used to wrap sections of him in a towel with dh helping me find sections to unwrap and brush and comb. He had to be brushed all over to avoid mats. Sometimes, we could not do all and he would get mats and we had to just shave them off. Poor guy! He lived to be 17!
Yay for the boring appointment!!
Yikes for the stories of trying to brush your cats... I had a cat in college (he stayed with the boyfriend when we split up; boyfriend needed him more) that was long-hair, but he loved to be brushed--he'd just purr and purr. And here I thought trying to get the tangles out of my 8-year-old's hair every morning was a pain!! (She has very fine, flyaway hair and it tangles if you so much as breathe on it... but she and DH both insist on keeping it long. )
I guess I'm glad not to have the strong pelvic bone pressure--I was chatting with my mom earlier today, and she said that with my sister Mary (sixth pregnancy), Mary dropped down onto her pelvic bone and stayed there for weeks. She said it was awful--she couldn't even use her foot to shove things out of the way because that put too much strain on her already-sore pelvis. I feel like that when I first get out of bed in the morning, but fortunately so far it goes away after an hour or so.
Hope you're not getting too sore with baby there!
I also have been having swelling in my ankles and it really is when I am in the heat and over-doing it. I don't know if I could do the tights, lol!
That is so sad about ELECTING to have a c-sec at 37 weeks, what the heck is the dr saying he would do it when obviously the parents don't know better. I am sure it was heartbraking when you obviously saw the signs that the baby needed to nurse but it has to make you feel good that see it and wow, what a feeling to hold that little babe.
Glad you had a "boring" apt, those are always the best, really!
Jen, I'm just now getting caught up on your lodge. I love the cat photos!
Great news about your most recent appointment. Do you think that the babe is facing front or back?
I'm doing catch up on my lodges, I love your story of how you found NB board and about you and DH's journey with this baby. Sounds like you are doing well, sorry about the swollen feet that doesn't sound too joyful. I loved you pics and your niece is beautiful. Hope you've had a great week! Take care
38 Week Update
I'm feeling quite good...still have some pelvic bone pressure but it's intermittent and tolerable...have had some on again off again crampiness, but again, nothing too bothersome. I have energy and am able to keep working and playing;-)
Do you think that the babe is facing front or back?
I'm not sure....I think Fiji does rolling spirals in there so sometimes is anterior, sometimes posterior. I don't think it's staying in one direction, but I could be wrong.
I had a really nice weekend. My mom and her new "boyfriend" (my dad died in July 2005 and my mom just started dating about 2 months ago) came to visit on Saturday and into Sunday. We spent the day at Fred's family's house laying out by their pool, playing with my neice, Marina, and celebrating Fred's birthday. It was a very relaxing day for the most part. The best thing, though was that Saturday night Fiji got really, really active and my mom got to feel the movement for like 10-15 mintues. She was literally squealing with delight! She lives about 4 hours away from me and it's been hard on her not getting to be around me and Fiji as much as she'd like during my pregnancy. Anyway...it was great bc Fiji's knees and bum were rubbing back and forth against my belly and my mom could feel it all. I talked to her on the phone today about it and she started crying! She said it was so wonderful but made her sad that she hasn't gotten to be even more a part of it bc of not living close. I have to admit, I am very sad, too, that my mom is 4 hours away...I'd really love for her to be a daily part of our lives!
Anyway, on Sunday-- Fred, me, my mom, and her beau, Wayne went to an Arts Festival going on in Pittsburgh...we walked quite a bit and looked at all of the cool things people made (I'm blown away by the talent that so many people have)! I think I found a gift for our doula, Wendy...a handmade bag/purse--I'm thinking of it as her "doula bag" and maybe I'll get some items to put in it that will be about taking care of herself while she's helping women through their labors. I'm going to pop down there tomorrow to buy it;-) Any ideas on things I could get to put in it would be much appreciated;-)
Fred and I also finshed the belly cast on Friday night. It was great fun to do even though Fred was a bit apathetic at first...sometimes he just needs me to nudge him into trying somethign and then he does have fun doing it! I'll post some pics later tonight when I get home. We still need to sand it and then paint it. I'm thinking we won't finish painting it until Fiji arrives and we decide on a name and know it's sex. It's very neat looking though!
The toybox that Fred's dad made is almost done...it's been primed. Now we just have to paint it and then take pics. I think we'll be able to get it done before the baby arrives as we have few plans for the evenings this week.
I have an appointment with my midwife tomorrow...I'll update afterwards.
Jen, sounds like you had a great weekend and so nice that your mom was able to visit. Isn't it the best being in a pool when you are prego? I love how it takes all the weight off.
I can't wait to see the belly cast and the toy box sounds really nice...
Sounds like a great weekend. I am jealous you can walk that much! My hips ache if I try to walk around the block. Post a pic of the box and good luck at tomorrow's appt!
You and Sarahsunshine need to have a body cast painting party!
So glad you and your Mom managed a nice get-together! I hate being so far away, not just now, but being far from her family is going to drive me crazy.
Midwife appointment yesterday was the wonderful boring kind. All is well!
I finally took some pics of the belly cast--- it's not sanded or decorated yet, but you can see what it looks like as a work in progress:
I think we are going to paint it white and then put the baby's name, footprints, birth date etc. on the belly portion with symbols reflecting our wishes for the baby's life spread around the rest of it.
A friend of mine who was due on the same day as me (but this is her 2nd baby) delivered a healthy son yesterday morning. She had not planned on a NCB but got one anyway bc her labor was so short--1.5 hours from start to finish! It was good to hear and she said she felt way better after delivery this time than with her first bc of the effects of the epidural.
I'm hoping to go back out to my in-law's pool on Sunday and swim a bit. It does feel so good to float around without any weight on anything! Fred is in major nesting mode...he's getting all kinds of projects and tasks done in the evenings after work! It's very cute;-) I don't have another MW appt until Friday of next week-- I'm glad, too as I just want to keep working and going about my usual life until this kid decides it's time to come out;-)
Just catching up on lodges here... I love the belly cast Jen. It looks fabulous. I think it's so neat when our DHs start nesting. It's like they have something ticking inside them and know that things gotta get done!
I love your belly cast! Can't wait to see it with little hands and feet!
Jen, yea for wonderful boring apt...
Love the cast, that is soo cool. I found after I had my ds, it was hard to imagine what my belly was like when prego--you will always be able to see...
Glad Fred is nesting, can he send some of those daddy nesting vibes this way, haha!
Have fun at the pool and relax...
The belly cast is awesome! Great job!
I know what you mean about the pool. I've been taking DS to the Y for "swim lessons", it's just baby swim time but man, it makes me feel so good! Only when I get out do I realize how much he weighs and how heavy my tummy is!
Hope you are feeling well and enjoying the nesting!
Love the belly cast! I hear it is a bit messy to tidy up afterwards. Can't wait to see it decorated....and DD's too!
I hear it is a bit messy to tidy up afterwards
It actually wasn't too bad...just took a good soap down to get the Vaseline off!! I don't like to use petroleum based products on my skin but the directions said to do it to prevent the stuff from sticking to the skin and fine hairs you have all over you--so I'm glad I did and washed it off really good about 30 mintues later.
Glad Fred is nesting, can he send some of those daddy nesting vibes this way
I think our friend having their baby the other day (and having only a 1.5 hour labor) has put him in turbo drive or something. Your DH has BTDT so he probably won't go into overdrive like mine;-) But I'm sending Daddy Nesting Vibes (DNV) your way!!!!!!!!
Had a difficult night's sleep last night. Woke up every hour on the hour to pee (and I did actually have to pee each time) and had some mild cramping/contractions. Never progressed to anything but made for a difficult night's sleep. I'm planning on taking a nap when I get home from work...I don't want to let myself get worn down before labor...I need to be ready to do the hard work!
I've been having doubts lately about my ability to birth naturally...all of the mainstream BS is creeping into my head a bit. I've gone to the birth stories here on this board to read some success stories and to Ina May's....feeling a bit better now;-)