Posts tagged memories

Lost treasures

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I CAN’T WAIT FOR ALL THIS MOVING TO BE OVER!

I can’t find anything. Everything is everywhere… most of my stuff is at the new house, some is at the old house, and I can’t find a blessed thing. Boxes are everywhere and neither Paul nor I can remember what all is in what box.

But! There is a really cool plus to moving. YOU FIND STUFF! Stuff that you didn’t know about or forgot you had or knew you had but forgot where you put it. One of the neat things I’ve found was this little instruction piece regarding making Nathan’s breakfast when he was probably about 7 or 8 months old. That was around the time he was having weight gain issues and his doctor was working with us to fatten him up.

So for his breakfast back then (four years ago… can you believe it??), I would first breastfeed him. The we’d make him some oatmeal, but instead of using water, we’d use infant formula and add some banana baby food for all the extra calories. In fact, I remember when we’d go grocery shopping and get baby food, we’d read the labels and get whatever had the most calories.

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I am SO glad we got past that and Nathan is a big, tall, healthy and by no means underweight four-year-old. Hopefully, John won’t have weight gain issues like Nathan did, but at the rate that baby is eating and growing, I doubt that will be an issue!

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Feeling nostalgic

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There are, of course, many things I will not miss about pregnancy. The fatigue, leg pains, insomnia, back pain, cumbersome belly, heartburn, shortness of breath, aches, and clumsiness are just a fraction of those things. But there are many other things I WILL miss. Feeling the baby move is the biggest. I just love it! I love feeling him roll, wiggle, stretch, and twist. And I like feeling the hiccups, although admittedly, they get a little annoying when they go one for a long time. I’ll miss having a little human growing inside my womb, knowing he’s safe.

This pregnancy has flown by, perhaps because I’ve been pretty busy. It hasn’t been a walk in the park for sure, but it’s been much more manageable than my last one. And even though I will no longer feel his little movements once he’s born, I’ll finally be able to hold him in my arms! Let’s just hope this little man takes it easy on me and let’s me sleep more than Nathan did… ha ha.

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Getting even closer!

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Taken when I was 8 months pregnant!

Taken when I was 8 months pregnant!

It’s getting closer! I am officially full-term (37 weeks) which means that the baby is developed and should I go into labor at this point, it would be safe to deliver him. Since the majority of babies arrive within + or – two weeks of their estimated due dates, he could pretty much arrive anywhere from now to 5 weeks from now. I suspect he’ll be here sooner rather than later because my body is definitely gearing up and preparing with practice contractions. They’re quite painful and can be pretty intense. So I’ve been almost in panic-mode… there’s so much left to do! Get the house organized & cleaned, (which seems to be next to impossible… as soon as I clean it, it’s messy again), get all the baby gear from Nathan’s infant years out & cleaned, sort through Nathan’s baby clothes & get them washed & put away (almost done!), and lots of other stuff. I’m trying not to let it all overwhelm me and instead keep thinking about how exciting it will be to finally meet this baby. The contractions are keeping me up at night, but they’re not regular enough to be considered active labor.

We still don’t have any names picked out yet. It looks like it’ll be one of those things where we wait til the baby’s born and then after we see him, we’ll decide. I don’t particularly like that idea all too much because not knowing gives me even more anxiety than I already have! I like to have everything in order and ready. Sigh.

I’m really looking forward to going to a birthing center this time around as opposed to a hospital. Speaking from my own experience, a birthing center is way safer… there is only a 2% chance of something happening &  me ending up with a medically needed c-section, for example. Hospitals, however, have a much higher rate… a 33.3% (and upwards) rate of c-sections- many of them not even medically necessary. That’s one out of every three women having a major abdominal surgery with very real risks such as life-threatening infections and problems with the placenta in future pregnancies. Thank God VBAC (vaginal birth after cesaerean) is an option for many women, as opposed to repeat c-sections. I really believe the high rate of c-sections is attributed to the cascade of interventions laboring women are subjected to. Pitocin and inducing labor, doctors putting labor on a timer (hence, instead of it being “failure to progress,” it’s actually “failure to wait” on the doctor’s part, constant monitoring of temperature, blood pressure, etc that force women to lay down rather than moving around, epidurals, I.V.’s, birthing in The Worst Possible Position- laying on one’s back… birth has been turned into a medical procedure that requires medical management. I’m sure many women are fine with that, and that’s cool. But not me. Nope.

At a birth center, I am free to eat and drink to keep my energy up. I can move around, which helps the baby get into the correct position. I can wear whatever clothes I want instead of a horrible hospital gown. There is no timer for my labor; baby will arrive when he’s ready as opposed to arriving on someone else’s schedule. I can labor and birth in water if I so desire. My baby’s umbilical cord will not be immediately clamped and cut, thereby allowing more blood and oxygen to tranfer to him from the placenta (where his blood is stored). I will start breastfeeding the moment the is out of my body; he will be placed directly on my chest immediately after delivery. He won’t be taken away from me for someone else’s convenience and his measurements etc. will be taken while he is on my chest after we have breastfed and bonded.

A birth center birth is everything I wanted but didn’t get with Nathan’s birth. His birth was scary, traumatic, and it took me a long, long time to come to terms with it. The whole ordeal & details of what I endured are not something I talk about, much less publicly, but it was more than just not getting the birth I wanted. I had complications that lasted months and months. Additionally, I feel like I was deceived; when I went on a tour of the labor & delivery floor of the hospital, I was told that they treat birth as a normal, natural event. Well, that’s the opposite if what I experienced there. It was 100% medically managed. I was subjected to interventions I didn’t want but was told it was “standard procedure.” One intervention led to another, led to another, led to another, etc. And before I knew it, it had gone incredibly awry.

So having this one at a birth center, MY way, is me taking my power back. It’s my body, my birth, and I am the one who says what will happen to me. No forced procedures and lack of informed consent. I’m super happy with the midwives there and how supportive they are. We’re in this together as a team, and they want to help empower me after such a nightmare of a birth the last time. And oddly enough, even though I’m nervous about the pain, I am incredibly excited to have this chance to experience birth the way I’ve always wanted it to be!

So today I am bustling around, getting my bags packed (just in case) and tying up a few loose ends. I’m not sure how much longer baby boy will give me before he makes his grand entrance. I am so excited to meet him!

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Going to miss her…

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So the last post I wrote talked about my grandmother on my dad’s side being in a coma after a massive stroke. She is still in a terminal state and there has been a steady decline since my last post. She is a very strong woman, however, and is still hanging in there. My mom told me Grandma’s doctor is very surprised she’s made it so long. However, her breathing has become slow and shallow, so the feeling that’s hanging over everyone is that she will pass very soon. She is very comfortable and is not in any pain, so that consoles me somewhat. Even though the general consensus seems to be that it won’t be long now, I think she’ll hang on a couple more days, though. That’s what my grandma does- she pushes forward for as long as she can.

From what I understand, although my grandma is in a coma, she can squeeze people’s hands. One of my cousins sent me a picture of Grandma holding her hand, and I think it’s quite possibly the most beautiful picture I’ve ever seen.

I’m so incredibly sad that her life is drawing to an end. What an amazing woman… strong, determined, witty, and above all, loving and kind to others. She’s never lost her sense of humor. For example, the last time I recently saw her, one of my aunts said jokingly to Grandma, “Hey Mom! Why don’t you get up on the table and dance and we’ll put some dollar bills in your skivvies!” My grandmother was so frail and tiny, and needed help walking, standing, and even eating. But without missing a beat, face completely deadpan, she looked at my aunt and said in her telltale no-nonsense voice, “Well… It’s gonna take me a while to get up there.”

My grandma’s always been quite witty with an awesome, dry sense of humor. She used to always crack me up the way she would say things or tell a joke… always with a straight face, always as if she was serious, yet never attempting to be funny or make someone laugh. She was a total natural.

Because I was unable to make the long trip to see her and say goodbye, I wrote her a letter. Since my mom and dad were able to make the trip, I emailed it to Dad and he read it to her. I’m thankful that I was able to say my final farewell to her, to tell her how much I love her and how much she’s meant to me over the years. I know death is a part of life, and I know it’s to be expected that our grandparents will pass on. But why is it still so damn hard to lose them?

 

 

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