Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth

24 weeks (6 months)

I have a book that I would love to share with all of you. I neeeeeed to recommend it to the women following our blog, whether you plan to have children in the future, are currently pregnant (let me tell you the Kahrs family is very fertile right now), or have had children. Every woman needs to know what’s written in these pages. Seriously educate yourself and make your own decision on the care you want but you need to know what’s out there and why those treatments are available and any possible repercussions.

But first – we need to work on the lighting in the nursery. Here’s my favorite picture this week:

i hate the lights in the room. it’s too orange-y yellow for me, and andrew insists on turning on this floor lamp that I hate and already told him is going bye bye but he doesn’t listen. but i loveeee this room. I don’t know if any other parents have experienced this but her room is my favorite room in the apartment. I just walk in there sometimes, especially when i get home from work and it instantly wraps me in this feeling of love. funny part is that andrew loves hanging out in there and is trying to keep his computer in the room. i tease him because his favorite room in happens to be mostly pink 😉

Anyway. I heard something interesting yesterday. A coworker of mine was commenting on how big I got over the weekend (i took monday off) and was telling me about how big she was with her last child. Don’t ask how we got to this part, but she said “…and then the doctor was pulling my placenta out…” and inside i’m thinking what? the doctor pulled your placenta out? isn’t it supposed to come out naturally a few minutes later (like in every vaginal birth i’ve read about? oh wait… I’ve mostly been reading about natural childbirth)

I’m laying in bed later that night doing my reading (Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin, Certified Professional Midwife from The Farm) and sure enough, the great Ina May brings this up! apparently it’s something that doctors do in hospitals today, and can actually cause harm to the mother (including hemorrhaging). When they pull on the umbilical cord to tug it out they can actually cause the umbilical cord to detach, and the placenta will stay inside, which in turn can make them take more invasive measures to get it out. The placenta and remaining cord are supposed to come out naturally 15-20 minutes after the baby does. Your uterus keeps contracting until it expels the placenta. There is no need to intervene when it comes to the afterbirth. If I didn’t realize it before, it suddenly stuck that there really is nothing that some doctors won’t do and how far the misconception that a woman’s body doesn’t know what it’s made for has really come in the medical world.

(for example, in 1985 some US publication actually recommended that all women be forced to have cesarean for every birth. seriously! no more vaginal births, whether we liked/wanted it or not!)

This is just one of the books I’ve been reading, you can find it here. I began this book shortly after I found out we were pregnant and not having a miscarriage. It’s really short, but I’ve put it down numerous times to read other books (Spiritual Midwifery which I haven’t finished yet, Labor of Love, some book my obstetrician gave me, and What to Expect When You’re Expecting which I hated so much i didn’t even finish. I’ll explain why in another post) and honestly has been by far one of the most informative texts ever.

The book is split in two parts: part one are birth stories (both home and hospital births) and part two is about childbirth, current and past methods, what kind of care is out there to choose from, what intervention/induction methods exist, common induction medications and their effects including harmful side effects just to name a bit.

I’m only about 40 pages away from finishing it (shameless promotion here: I love love love my nook from barnes and noble) but it is by far one of the best books I’ve ever read. I can’t recommend it enough. I thought the movies we watched were mind boggling, but this really took the cake. She has so many citations from medical texts, journals, and books it’s all validated that the information presented is out there, it’s just not easily accessible to people like you and me.

I can’t wait to see what Ina May has to say in her first book, Spiritual Midwifery, as I’m still only halfway through the birth stories in part one.

I have certainly been educated to a point where I feel comfortable knowing what to ask for (for example double layer suturing in case that I do need to have a cesarean) if I were to get transfered to a hospital. I feel empowered. I am more confident than ever that my body can do this, but just in case it needs help, we’ll do this right together.

Well Folks, Punxsutawney Phil was Wrong Again

I’m currently sitting in BabyGirl’s room. It’s around 7:00am on Monday morning and the snow continues to fall outside.

It's not over yet...

I’m really happy BabyGirl won’t be born in the middle of winter and that Lilly’s most pregnant days will be after all of the snow has melted. I feel like a winter birth is a lot of work for both mommy and baby especially when frigid temps and thigh-high snow is uncomfortable enough for the average person. It’s funny how things work out. When we began trying we didn’t really think about when our baby would be due, honestly we didn’t think it would only take two months before the pee-stick read preggo, but it happened, and God couldn’t have picked a better time of year.

Continued Baby Prep and Spontaneous Date Night

Seeing as how we have no money at the moment I spent the day taking care of chores/tasks I’ve put off long enough. I’ve slowly been trying to sift through all of our stuff so we can focus solely on Baby when she arrives. Today was filing cabinet day as well as usual household chores. I pulled out all the useless stuff from our filing cabinet and shredded an entire garbage bag full of random documents (bills/receipts/memories of bad financial decisions). I also washed about three days worth of dishes and tossed everything from our freezer straight to the dumpster (came home Friday to the freezer door open and EVERYTHING defrosted… damn cats, I know it was them).

Pretending to help me build a bookcase, but secretly thinking about how him and Dean are going to ruin all the food in the freezer.


Dean acting confused as to why he is in jail. He knows why, oh he knows.

Around 5:00pm Lilly was passing out from shear boredom having spend the day doing laundry, eating, and watching the Jersey Shore (I watched with her. Neither of us are proud of this). Then she suddenly got a huge hankering for some fried mozzarella. Learning from a previous night when I denied her of her food craving, we IMMEDIATELY got dressed and headed over to Carabarra’s for appetizers (swipe credit card). It was a really fun time. We sat at the bar and watched all of our food prepared right in front of us. Realizing it was our first date in quite some time, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and even ordered dessert (ice cream covered in caramel and roasted cinnamon-sugar pecans). Mmmmm.

I’m glad I was able to make Lilly’s night; however at 9:00pm it has come to an early end. We’re so full it has become bedtime, and yes, we both know it’s a Saturday night!

P.S. Preview of BabyGirl’s bedding is below

BabyGirl's Bedding!

Why do we cultivate a fear-based culture in the US?

23 weeks, 2 days

this week’s belly photo

Note to self: what you say today may come back and bite you in the ass.

The reaction that really struck me the most when we began to tell people that we were pregnant or (to the few we shared this with) were planning to get pregnant within the year (boy did it happen fast) came from mothers:
“Whatever you do, get the epidural! Don’t even try to put up with it.”
“Get ready for the most painful experience in the entire world.”
“You have no idea what you’re getting yourself into.”

Then, I would place the reactions of the ignorant and insensitive (and by ignorant, I mean those that have never experienced birth and have only witnessed it from movies and television, not actual birthing videos or documentaries):
“Are you scheduling your c-section?”
“You’re gonna be a screamer! I bet I’ll hear you all the way from here!”
“You better warn your neighbors, they’re gonna think you’re Linda Blair with all that screaming!”

I kept asking myself, Seriously?!?!

First, I’m sorry, I don’t really understand why the need for hazing from experienced mothers. Is that really necessary? Are we pledging a fraternity here?

You’re gonna have to click more to continue reading. This will be a very long post.

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Heat and Hot Water, Don’t Ever Leave Us Again!

I love dedicating this blog to our daughter, but I can’t pretend like everything is peaches and cream. It’s full of cold showers, unexpected financial punches to the gut, idiots, late night bass-bumpin’ neighbors, muscle pains, vomitting, and overly-needy felines. I can sense your envy. But hey, could be worse, I mean, I could with the Lottery. How awful would that be!

After my ice cold shower and downright aggravating day at the office I was informed my heat and hot water were up and running. It was then that I was able to take my first breath of the day to think about the humorous suffering that is about to enter my life. My BabyGirl will be crying late at night, she will be puking on my shoulder, leaking out of her diaper, screaming in the car, and throwing food… everywhere. I foresee great times ahead!

I’m not being a total cry-baby. I wholeheartedly believe I will somehow find the humor in it and truly cherish the above moments; although maybe not until she is 15 and I realize just how precious it all was once she starts yelling at me that “I don’t understand her.”

Not Enough Sleep

I’ve mentioned before that I have sleep apnea. How, do you say? I certainly don’t fit the appearance of one who would normally be diagnosed with sleep apnea but it can also be hereditary (so i’ve been told) and my dad has had surgery for it, so there’s the connection.

I don't care if this is what I will look like, just give me a C-PAP!

I’ve been having trouble sleeping since I started college so, for about six years now at least. I can’t sleep through the night. The last time I did that was when I bought my body pregnancy pillow to sleep with, and even then it was only the first night. Last January I began falling asleep at the wheel, always waking up in time to see myself begin to veer off the road (and always able to right myself – I swear I am a safe driver! but all we seem to talk about is my car troubles). That January I called my doctor for an appointment to talk about it and ask for sleeping pills. I didn’t get any, but he did refer me to a sleep specialist.

I don’t want to get into why it took so long (but i was highly unsatisfied and very peeved when they finally called me to make an appointment in May) but I got in for a consultation with the specialist in June. My appointment was made for a July polysomnography (sleep study), to see if I actually did suffer from any sleep disorder, including Narcolepsy. So, they call me two days before the test to cancel my appointment. Apparently the technician who was supposed to run my test had an “emergency” and wouldn’t be able to perform the test. So I was rescheduled to August. I get a call the week after the call to cancel asking me to show up that night for a test (that was also a last minute cancelation on the patient’s side). I was angry, this was so unprofessional. I was leaving for San Diego to see my sister the next day, there was no way I could come in for a test. So, we kept my August date.

So the test finally came. We won’t go into what issues I had the day and night of the test. Results time — idiopathic hypersomnia and supine sleep apnea. The first part meants i’m overly tired and sleepy without a visible (medical) cause or diagnosis. Second was obvious. BUT here’s the kicker — my apnea is not severe enough to treat with a C-Pap machine. Their solution: don’t sleep on your back.

Okay, anger has reached boiling point and I explode. Somehow I managed to train myself to sleep on my side or on my stomach, one of which is no longer possible.

Now that I’m pregnant I have erected a wall of pillows around me (and I’m sure Andrew appreciates it sooooo much 😉 ) but somehow in my sleep, regardless of all the pillows, I am turning onto my back and waking up choking and coughing up a storm. This is really beginning to affect my quality of life. I honestly just want to cry and beg for a C-Pap machine, but don’t know if it will really be all that effective if my apnea only acts up if I’m on my back.

I am just about to die I’m so tired. Okay I’m exaggerating, but seriously, please, give me some respite from this. It’s really painful and I need to sleep… and I know it’s not going to get any better when the baby comes, but at least it’s for a reason worth getting up for.

Reason number 54890987 living in Troy ended up being amazing

Hi. Remember us? yes we’ve been away for a few weeks, life kept us busy. Between finally getting the car repaired from the accident to the morning sickness coming back with a vengeance and feeling like my body has been fighting coming down with the bug going around we were kinda busy.

I owe you two belly pictures, and after that I have an awesome story to share.

 

20 weeks 6 days

 

22 weeks 1 day

 

So, we’ve been cooped up at home finishing the baby’s room and I’ve been begging Andrew to take me out just to see other people in existence. We went to the mall yesterday to visit our friends Kristen and Allan (they own an awesome wine shop called For Love of Wine at the mall. We’ve known them since they opened and have developed a wonderful friendship), ran into an old college buddy of mine that lived in the same dorm freshman year, got my wedding rings cleaned (and was told by our jeweler that it’s still safe to wear them so i’m back to wearing them again) and just people watched for a bit.

So today, I tell Drew that I want to go to the Farmer’s Market in Troy because a) we haven’t been since November when we took Mom and Dad and b) more people watching, and most importantly c) I was really craving a Jamaican beef patty. I need to learn to stop asking for cocoa bread because they don’t bring it to the market, but they do have it at their restaurant. After eating we walked around a bit and made our way downstairs and we’re just about done with the circuit when I spot a familiar looking guy taking a picture of the band that played (which btw, ten times better than the Black Eyed Peas). He had the most adorable little baby in a baby bjorn and a pretty sweet camera. I paused.

“Hey, Andrew, wait….I think that’s ‘Adeline’s Daddy'”
“Who?”
“The guy, the daddy blog, when we were researching Michelle…”
“No way, really?! Let’s go talk to him!”

Me says no, leave him alone, he’s just trying to enjoy his day. Can you believe it, ME, shy?!?! I was intimidated. Here’s this dude we’ve never met, yet read his blog when we were researching our potential midwife. His blog helped cement to us that Michelle was the right pick and would provide the best care for how we wanted to give birth to our child. (Don and his wife gave birth to a beautiful baby girl named Adeline in October while in a birthing pool in their living room, with Michelle as their midwife.)

Andrew quickly pulls me over to him and starts up a conversation. Don was very gracious and told us a bit about his experience, and how Michelle has become a very good friend even after the birth of their daughter. Talking to Don was so comforting, and just confirmed that we’ve made the right decision (I must emphasize, for us, because everyone should choose their best birth). Probably the funniest bit, he introduced us to his neighbors, Elizabeth and Andrew, who had a baby named Lily (probably spelled that way, I don’t want to assume that they also spell their daughter’s name like mine) 3 weeks apart from Addy. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to talk to his wife, who was upstairs, but it was so great to get a chance to meet someone else who has a relationship with Michelle and are extremely satisfied with the care they received and have a wonderful little baby.

It’s amazing the people we’ve been able to meet and the things we’ve had a chance to do all because Andrew and I chose to go to RPI. The City of Troy has brought us so many opportunities and continues to give us these wonderful gifts, including each other.

I definitely recommend you go and read Don’s blog, he is also a graphic designer and writes the sweetest little stories about being a first time father. It would be wonderful if we could continue contact, it would help us so much to know other first time parents in our vicinity!

If there is ever one place Andrew and I will be able to call ‘our first home’, I can say without a doubt it will probably be Troy.

Another little treat for you. We finished preparing the crib for our sweet pea. We walk into the room a few hours later to a little surprise from our resident Satan’s Spawn.

 

Ziggy, this is not the new cat bed!