Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Phew, Water Is Back!

When we got up this morning, the water was back on. No idea what happened, maybe I'll find out today or tomorrow. But I am happy that we got the water back, it was inconvenient not to have any. I bribed the kids into picking up the floors, and ran a vacuum cleaner through them. The house looks so much better now, that is, if you ignore all the piles of clutter every where, but at least you can walk LOL. Got bread started, ground wheat for my rhubarb bread (which I have been wanting to bake for close to 2 weeks...) and now I am finally making lunch for myself. But at least we do have water :-)

Never posted the pic of all seven kids a few days after birth, it was taken where Sylvia was born. They are sitting on Sylvia's special deer quilt.

Lucky Seven

Out Of Water Error!

About half an hour ago, our water just stopped working. No idea what happened. The tap used to give water when you turned it on. And the toilet used to flush when you asked it to. Now they just stopped! We went to our basement to see whether anything obvious was wrong, but it wasn't. So we looked in our front yard, since it was really windy tonight, so was thinking that maybe a tree had fallen down and the roots had damaged the water line. Nope, not that either. If it wasn't midnight, I guess I could ask the neighbors whether they had water. Somehow I doubt that they want to be woken up right now to ask them to check their water.

I looked in the phone book, and it just tells you where to report a fire, nothing about where to report your water not working. And I dont' really want to call them at midnight anyway, I'll wait till tomorrow morning, and hope things get solved during the night, or that I can ask the neighbors about their water situation tomorrow morning.

My gut feeling is that Kim has been contagious. And Carmen is having water problems too, but hers are much more annoying than ours. Some one in chat had plumbing problems, so maybe it's just a bad water day? Must be because the planets are aligned the wrong way or so...

Well, let's hope that we will have water again today, Sylvia will not be impressed if we have to clean her butt with pond water tomorrow (we have kind of an algae problem in the pond LOL)

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

What A Mess!!!

My floors are starting to be even more messy than usual, I think I need to schedule a picking up day tomorrow, this is crazy. And usually it doesn't bother me much, but now suddenly it does. Guess it really is time to clean up! Or at least, make the floors walkable again. I am ready to get a few garbage bags and to just throw out everything that's on the floors. Heck, let's throw out everything else too! LOL

Today was too busy. Had Tim work on the computerized standardized test, picked up the girls from summer gymnastics, did two loads of laundry, helped Cees making blueberry scones, took a morning walk, had a quick lunch, helped deliver veggie boxes for our CSA, dropped off videos at rental place, got new summer shoes for Tara, Jane, Kate, and Erik, and so on. It really was too much.

Erik had to pee extremely badly at the shoe store, and of course they didn't have a toilet...He was doing the toileting dance, you know, where you know he can pee his pants any moment. Sylvia was filling up her diaper in the sling, really loudly too... Tara and Jane were trying to decide on which sandals. Looking at them, and at Erik, I didn't think he was going to make it. I ended up just taking Erik (and Sylvia of course) out, and have him pee in a quiet corner of the parking lot, where no one could see us. There just weren't any other options. But I still felt embarrassed and very trashy, to have him pee on the asphalt there. Oh well.

The good thing about today is that we broke the 40 % barrier on our debt. A bit over two years ago, I read an article, claiming that most people could get rid of all debt, including the mortgage, within about 7.5 years. I didn't believe it. But I was interested anyway, so I sat down with my trusted calculator and started punching in numbers. Hmmmm, maybe he was right in our case. We had almost 27 years left on our mortgage, but with this plan, we should be able to pay off within 6.5 years.

I did more number crunching (always loved mathematics) and decided to go for it. Made a nice spreadsheet to keep track of it all (including graphs, yes, I am geeky LOL). We got started in May 2002. At that point we had the mortgage, a home equity loan, and three almost maxed out credit cards. Now (2 years later) we just have the mortgage left, and we are at less than 60 % of all that original debt! Some months are better than others, but we always pay off some extra, even when we can't pay the full 'lots of extra' amount. So glad I got started on this, and that it is working. I hope to pay off the rest of the mortgage within the next 4 or 5 years, and then everything we own will be really ours! :-)

Cute baby

Monday, June 28, 2004

Fun With Gloves

When I was assembling my birthing supplies, I consulted the list my midwife gives to all her homebirthing moms, and used that as guidance. One of the items were latex gloves, which I knew we were not going to need, because of having an unattended birth. I bought them anyway. Mostly because when Erik was born, my kids played for weeks with the leftover gloves. So much fun.

Today, they discovered the new box of gloves. Instant happiness, they were blowing them up, and doing all kinds of games with them. The most hilarious ones involved cows, udders, and milking them... Imagine a bunch of kids, udders between their legs, walking on four 'legs' on the lawn, moo-ing to each other. They later morphed into chickens and roosters, not sure how that happened, and not sure what happened to the udders LOL. There suddenly was a need for lots of balls outside though, because they were laying eggs. Even the rooster managed to lay eggs, so amazing! LOL

When I walked with the little ones today, Kate asked to go to the beaver pond. So we spent some time there, the kids throwing rocks, sticks and flowers in the water, while I was nursing Sylvia. Sylvia recycled her milk into poop though, so we needed to go home to change her. I didn't bring any supplies since it was going to be a short walk. Oh well.

Was kind of depressed this afternoon, but then I had a few friends over, one even brought dinner, and that helped a lot. It's amazing how good friends can make such a difference, just by being there. I got six more birth announcements mailed today, that made me feel good too. And Sylvia got cute presents in the mail, a hand knit sweater/pants/hat combo, very pink, and a beautiful new baby blanket, with her name and a bambi in one of the corners! I just love it! I will post pictures later this week, too tired to upload them now.

Kate is really into reincarnation. 'Every day some one dies and some one gets born. The person who dies will be ready to be born again, and will be a new tiny baby.' For her reincarnation is an instantaneous process. I think Jane's theory involves angels somewhere in the process.

Sleeping


Sunday, June 27, 2004

Nice Day

Nice, quiet day at home today. Lots of gardening, I took out enough weeds that I can actually find my vegetables again ;-) Took a long morning walk with the three little ones, a nice evening hike with a friend. We went to the beaver pond, so I could show her where Sylvia could have been born. The mosquitoes convinced me that it might not have been the optimal location though :-) It still was fun to visualize a beaver pond birth :-) It would have been kind of inconvenient to birth there, having no birthing supplies at all, but it also would have been even cooler than the front yard birth. Maybe the next baby :-)

Today I was thinking that even if I did get post partum depression again, that I have lived through it before, and that I can come out the other side and be ok. It won't be fun, but I know that it's something that will last for a limited time only. I still hope that I won't get it though. It's summer now, so I can garden and be outside a lot. That sure should help against depression. It was much harder with Erik, who was born in the middle of the winter.

I had a friend come over today to give Jane an evaluation for our homeschooling 'end of year testing'. I usually let them do a standardized test on the computer, but because she isn't reading yet, the numbers weren't high enough. The achievement part has to be at least 40th percentile, otherwise you are in trouble. Which never made sense to me, why do homeschool kids have to be better than 4 out of 10 public school kids? Would they hold back 40 % of each school class because they are less than 40th perc. in their achievement? I am not worried about her reading at all, she is only 6yo, and will read some day, she is close. But it screwed up the achievement numbers, so we had to do the evaluation by certified teacher instead, we have an awesome evaluator, who spent quite some time with her figuring out what she did this year, what she accomplished and learned and how we could put that in academic learning terms. It just bothers me to have to jump through all those stupid hoops to prove that she is totally ok and is learning just fine.

I am sitting here now, holding Sylvia, and being happy about how blessed I am that she finally joined us. She is just such a perfect baby, she really enjoyed all the walking and hiking today. She even was awake for part of the hike through the woods, the bad thing is that she got her first mosquito bite. Poor little one! Mosquitoes shouldn't be allowed to bite babies!

Sylvia

Ups And Downs

Yesterday was a pretty good day. In the morning, I looked at all the dishes that still needed to be done, at the floors that needed to be vacuumed, at the toys that needed to be picked up, at the stove that needed to be cleaned. And I decided that it was time for a walk LOL. So I grabbed the baby in the sling and did a nice, vigorous neighborhood walk. Much better for me than doing all the housework, right? It felt good, and Sylvia almost enjoyed it too. If she hadn't slept all the way, that was :-)

Harvested some more spinach, but didn't do much household stuff. Ended up making a greek spinach frittata at night, yummy! And had another walk at night, a nice long one, with just Sylvia, and one of my friends. The walking was nice, the rest of the day wasn't as good, but going to just ignore that for now.

Today was rainy, which was nice for the garden, not so nice for my mood. I decided to skip the farmer's market, just didn't feel like going there in the rain. So it stopped raining soon after making that decision, but didn't want to revert it again, since the kids all had found other things to do.

I was going to bake and cook all kinds of things today, but life kept getting in the way, so I just baked bread, made donuts, and made soup. I did get the rhubarb cut for rhubarb bread, but did not actually get the rhubarb bread baked though. Oh well, maybe tomorrow. My dinner plans were pretty elaborate, but got less and less the later it got, ended up with just a simple 'whatever I can find in the fridge' soup.

Tonight, the older kids went to a movies night at a friend's house. Tim had gotten some Dungeons and Dragons miniatures for his belt testing, was extremely happy about them. One was a cool dragon, and he insisted on taking it to the movie night. I told him about the risk of losing it / breaking it, but he still wanted to take it. We had been there for about 15 minutes and he had lost it already. I felt so bad for him. I actually was in tears on my way home, I just felt so lousy that he lost this very special miniature. Oh, and I drove a bit too fast too, and there was a police car doing speed checks, but I guess 8 miles over wasn't enough to be chosen, phew. I felt so emotionally unstable, crying about a stupid dragon. Had some other crying episodes too, geez!

When they came home, it turned out that Tim had found his dragon again. I was very happy to hear that. I knew that this dragon wasn't a big thing in the big picture, but I know it was big to him, and very important, and that he would have been devastated if he had permanently lost it.

I lost it again at night, when Kate kept whining about which cup she wanted or not wanted for her water. My tolerance for whining and kids frustration clearly was a lot lower than usual. I definitely was not the nice, calm, and understanding mom that I would have wanted to be.

Sylvia is doing great though, today she even was willing to sleep away from me for a bit. Of course, that meant that I actually had to do things, instead of sitting and holding her. Oh well :-)

Thursday, June 24, 2004

testing time

Blue Belt

Tim had a belt test for karate today. He acquired his blue belt, pretty good. The belt colors are white - orange - yellow - blue - green - purple - brown - black, so he is almost halfway to black belt now :-) The belt testing is done in a group of students, and takes about 2 hours. That wouldn't be too bad, if it wasn't timed around dinner time, so all the little ones are really tired and grumpy... Let's just say that the situation for them was less than optimal. But Tim did pass the test, and is the proud owner of a blue karate belt now :-)

I harvested spinach today, yummy! Just love getting vegetables from my own garden! The groundhog paid us a visit, and we now have a lot less broccoli, cabbage, and eggplant plants. He even ate some of my zucchini plants! But somehow I can't imagine that we will complain about having less zucchini than we could have had :-) Of course, after harvesting all that spinach, I decided to heat up one of our freezer meals that a friend had brought over, a Sheherazade casserole, since we didn't really have time to cook because of the belt testing. It feels so luxurious to be able to just heat something that some one else has prepared!

Got a call from the bank that our visa card number has been 'compromised' Not used yet, but of course they still wanted to cancel it and give us a new number. Since I have been doing the debt annihilation plan, I have only one credit card, so it's kind of inconvenient not to have one for a week or so. Not terribly hard, but just inconvenient. Had to pay CASH at the gas station. How old fashioned ;-) I'll be glad to have my new credit card! I won't even be able to order anything on line till I have it!

With the gymnastics, the gardening, the belt testing, the take out food (Tim's choice as celebration for his blue belt), a trip to the video rental place, and a friend coming over today, I didn't have time to feel depressed at all, so that was good :-)

asleep yet again


Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Busy Day

Started out with gymnastics for the girls, early in the morning. They are enjoying it a lot, but I have to admit that I won't mind when this is over :-) Later we had two of Cees's friends come over to play, then he and Tim got invited to go to our local swimming pool, so they went for a while. One of the neighbors stopped by with her 5yo girl. This was the first time Kate and she did meet and they seemed to hit it off. Both are very much into barbies :-) We will go to visit them on Friday, Kate has 2 backpacks totally packed already, filled with barbies to take with her :-) And she keeps saying 'I can't wait till Friday!!!'

A friend stopped by with her toddler and newborn, we sat in the front yard for a while, that was nice. Just sitting and chatting, not doing anything but holding and nursing our babies. Watching our older kids play. Listening to the birds and the squirrels. It is times like this that hopefully will help me not to sink in a post partum depression this time around. At least I timed this birth so I can have lots of outdoors time during those first few months :-)

Got more birth announcements sent out, now I need to find a different address list to do my next batch. It should be somewhere on the desk that was cleared off about a month ago... It is not as empty anymore... Maybe I'll look for that list tomorrow, maybe not :-)

And of course, I nursed, and I nursed, and I nursed, and I changed diapers, and I just overflowed with love for this little miracle baby. She can be so fast asleep on top of me, so cute, so trusting. I feel very blessed that she finally joined our family!

miracle baby


Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Rain!!!

Finally!!! A real rainy day, the garden needed it badly! And it made me stay inside and do things like vacuum the floors, which was good too :-) I even got all the packages sent out that I didn't get to send yesterday. Feeling way more organized now, even although I didn't accomplish that much. Got a few more birth announcements sent out too. Baked cinnamon raisin bread for Cees's scouting. Got lots of nursing done too ;-)

I have been soooooooooo hungry this post partum period, I don't remember being this ravenous with my other babies. I feel that I can eat all the time, and I still am hungry, it's amazing. This is my first vegetarian post partum, wondering whether that's making a difference? I do make sure to eat lots of protein, but I guess it still might be different from when I was still eating some meat? Oh well, guess I just have to get used to eating all the time for a while :-)

The girls are enjoying their gymnastics, I just wish it wasn't almost every day. It's only a few weeks though. But then the daily swimming lessons start... So much for leisurely summer time :-)

Monday, June 21, 2004

karen and sylvia

One of Those Days

Today was one of those days that I was busy doing stuff all the time, but felt like I had accomplished nothing at the end of the day. Didn't get any birth announcements sent out. Didn't get any of the other things sent out that I had been wanting to mail to people. Didn't get the rhubarb bread baked that I am craving. Didn't get even one tenth done of what I would have liked to have done.

Maybe I should concentrate on what I did get done instead.

  • Got my girls to an early gymnastics session, phew, that wasn't easy, and it's going to be almost daily for three weeks. Jane really wanted to sign up for it though, and I got myself suckered into it.
  • Baked three cheese pizzas, Jane, Kate, and Erik each made one, Jane's was shaped like a jellyfish... She likes to make all kinds of more interesting pizza shapes.
  • Did get part of the garden watered, but only the close by the house part. Didn't want to bother with 3 or 4 hoses to do the farther away beds. It really should rain someday soon!!!! We got like two times 5 minutes of rain this weekend, and that was it...
  • Weeded some of my veggie beds, why do weeds grow so well, even if it doesn't rain? LOL
  • Nursed Sylvia 5,000 times, and changed a lot of poopy diapers :-)
  • Washed a load of diapers, and even line dried them, but I have to admit that I bribed my older boys into hanging them on the line :-) If I didn't have them around, they might just have been thrown into the dryer.
  • Did lots of other little things, but nothing big.
  • Hmmm, the boys cleaned up most of the mudroom, can I count that as my accomplishment since I asked them to? And paid them in Pokemon cards? ;-)

Hmmmm, when I write it out this way, it seems that I did more than I thought. Still, it feels like I didn't do much, even although I was busy all day. I also was really stressed, I think that bothers me a lot more than the stuff I didn't get done. I don't want to get post partum depression again, and it's scary to think that it could happen anyway. It better stays away this time! Now that I have this perfect baby, I want a perfect post partum experience too!

iris

Since I got some irises as a shower present for Sylvia, I have been really associating my irises with her birth. Some of the purple ones are at their top now, and I have been so much enjoying them, and thinking back to her birth, close by the irises :-)

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Her First Hike

Today, I took Sylvia on her first real hike through the woods. Very special for me, just boring for her, she slept through most of it LOL. It was mostly uphill, so at the farthest point, I sat down to rest for a bit (I am not in top condition anymore I guess :-) That was the only time she woke up, and she wasn't interested in the woods at all, she just wanted to nurse! All the mosquitoes in the woods seemed to want to nurse too, that was annoying!!! I switched to walking and nursing pretty fast, I had too many mosquitoes attacking me while I was sitting down.

I really enjoyed this first post partum hike in the woods. I have done lots of neighborhood walks, but this was our first real hike. I find that hiking through the woods really grounds me, gives me a feeling of calm and peacefulness. A red squirrel was yelling at us from a closeby tree, I heard a thrush singing, a small furry animal ran away from where we were, water was running through a nearby creek, and the wind was rattling the poplar leaves. And here I was, carrying my brand new infant, soaking up all those wonderful nature vibes. How perfect!

Of course, the black flies and mosquitoes did not contribute to the feelings of calmness and peacefulness, but I'll just wipe them from my memory, and only remember the positive aspects of this hike :-)

We went to the beaver pond too, I kind of wanted to present Sylvia to the beaver pond, since she 'almost' was born there :-) It was nice to be there with her, looking forward to when she is old enough to really explore the pond, like my other kids do.

Today was father's day, which made me realize yet again how much I am missing my own dad. He passed away two years ago, so wasn't alive anymore when we conceived Sylvia. I like to think that he must know somehow about her anyway. I like to imagine that he can see us somehow, and see how happy we are with our perfect little girl.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

sleeping baby

Farmer's Market

Today was Sylvia's first trip to our farmer's market! I would like to say that she loved it, but I have to admit that she just slept and slept in the sling, rolled over once in a while and then continued sleeping LOL. But every one there liked seeing her, she looked very content. I love showing her off to all. Now it would have been perfect if Erik wouldn't have needed too many potty stops on one of those disgusting portable toilets ;-) Blech!

Harvested my first shelling peas today! Erik was so excited when he saw them! Sander said he had a hard time telling him about it, since he was just too excited :-) He immediately started shelling them and fed us the peas. I tried to encourage him to eat some, but he didn't go for that, he loves shelling them though. So much for 'experts' telling us that kids will eat vegetables if they grow and pick them themselves... Guess they haven't met my kids :-)

Sylvia wore her first real dress today, I had mostly gotten neutral baby stuff before she was born, since we didn't know she would be a girl. But now that she is out, people have been giving me girly stuff, this was one of the gifts she got. The picture shows her sleeping in her new dress.

I was going to take a nice walk all by myself tonight (well, with Sylvia, but she doesn't interfere with walking). But Kate and Erik wanted to go with me, so I thought that would be a nice outing for them. Of course we had to stop at every interesting rock, stick, and so on. Not a very good workout. But they enjoyed themselves, so I guess I'll just do a real walk again tomorrow :-) Maybe they'll fall asleep earlier tonight... OK, maybe not :-)

She shrunk!!!

Had a checkup at our gp today, her first official one. Where she still was 8 lbs 10 oz at the midwife on Wednesday, she was only 8 lbs 7.5 oz now... And she shrunk in height too. Guess I shouldn't have taken her in the hot shower this morning LOL. And my dreams of finally having an eater and a sleeper might not come true either :-) She was declared healthy though, which is the most important issue.

I told her about the low heart rate at day three, when the midwife listened to her heart and it was only 88 bpm. She was waking up, but still, it seemed really low. She said that she had seen this in babies who are very relaxed, and as long as her color is good and she seems fine otherwise, that most likely there isn't anything to worry about.

Got yet another package of formula today. Geez! Like I really want to spend my day preparing bottles instead of just popping in a breast. At least this one didn't come with a 'developmental book for baby' with formula ads on it. But still...

I had my first 'real' walk tonight, since Sylvia has been born. We walked for an hour, without kids (well, without walking kids, I had Sylvia in the sling, my friend had her toddler in a stroller) so we could set a good pace. I had gone out in the morning too, and had some issues with the uphill parts. It was easier tonight, because we were together, so we could just chat , and we didn't really have to concentrate on the walking so much. Still, my driveway seemed very uphill when I came home, LOL. I had been walking almost every day with the little ones, but those walks weren't very demanding, much slower and much more resting, waiting for toddler to pick yet another white clover :-) It was nice to do a real walk again, maybe some day I'll actually get back in condition :-) I am hoping the daily walks will help with preventing post partum depression this time around, since I had it pretty bad with the last two kids. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

sleeping baby



One more fun fact about Sylvia, I just found out, thanks to a comment in my blog, that the queen of Sweden is called Sylvia too. I didn't even know that, how cool! Kate's real name is Catharina, which is our new princess in the Netherlands (Catharina-Amalia), and now we have a queen too ;-)

Friday, June 18, 2004

Formula...

Formula companies have been invading our mailbox. Over the last few weeks, I have gotten at least three packages of formula companies, all claiming to be the best for my baby and the closest to breast milk... It's amazing how they all want the best for my baby by trying to convince me to use their formula. They all pay lip service to 'breast is best', but that's kind of hidden in all the other messages of happy babies with bottles, family members who can't wait to be involved in feeding the baby, and the implied convenience of bottle feeding.

I even got a 'developmental play book' for my baby, with formula advertising on the back... Guess where that book ended? Got two cans of free formula too, which I will donate to the local food bank. All the advertising crap made it to my recycling bins and/or the garbage can. ToysRus told me I needed to get the perfect nursery ready for my baby's homecoming... Hmmm, she was born at home AND she doesn't have a nursery. Guess we are not in the target audience for all those companies.

Pampers is trying to convince me to give my baby the blanket-like comfort of their swaddlers. I'll just stay with the Polar Babies fleece wrap blanket-like comfort instead, thank you. With the number of poopy diapers Sylvia has been having, we would have spent quite a lot of money on disposables already, and we would have had a lot of extra garbage. I'd rather spend my money on paying off the mortgage, or buying heating oil for next year.

We had a nice, quiet day at home today. Got some more birth announcements written, did some household stuff, and just relaxed. I wanted to write my birth announcements outside, so I got all the stuff together and carried it outside, sat down to start writing and drip drop... the first rain drops fell... Decided that the porch was outside enough, so at least I wouldn't get wet LOL. It wasn't even that much rain, my garden needs way more than what we got. The second time it started raining was when I was watering the plants on the deck... But yet another instance of not enough rain. I hope there will be more rain over the next few days, the garden needs it badly!

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Checkup With Midwife

We had a checkup with my midwife today. Everything is going well. My blood pressure was 100 over 70, and my weight was down to 140 lbs already. I seem to be losing weight faster than normal after birth. Oh well, not something I am going to complain about LOL.

Sylvia is doing well too. She was down to 7 lbs 8 oz when she was three days old, and weighed in at 8 lbs 10 oz today! Wow! That's quite some weight gain. No wonder she has so many poopy diapers :-) She must be doing a lot of growing.

My neighbor mowed our lawn today! Using a riding lawn mower, which goes a lot faster than our own boring one. Let's just say that we don't consider lawn mowing a very high priority, so it made a huge difference. The yard looks a lot bigger now. And Tara has been biking everywhere in it, much easier to bike in the grass after the lawn has been mowed :-)

I started sending out birth announcements. Got them printed yesterday, and actually was able to send out a bunch today. I am so organized! (stop laughing!) Yesterday I immediately managed to give myself a papercut on them, very dangerous activity, writing all those envelopes :-)

Tara spent quite some time reading to Sylvia today. It was so cute to watch. I just love seeing my kids interact with each other. And Sylvia seemed to enjoy the reading too.

Story Time

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Her special hat

A Very Special Hat

Last year, I was feeling pretty hopeless about my chances for another baby. I kept having miscarriage after miscarriage, and I was starting to wonder whether I would ever hold my newborn in my arms again. The losses were really wearing me down, the only thing that kind of kept me going was the hope that next time, maybe next time, things would work out. For too many next times, they didn't.

'Everybody' around me seemed to be getting pregnant. 'Everybody' around me seemed to be having babies without any problems. There were new babies all around, whenever I went anywhere. And here I was, getting pregnant just fine, but losing every single one of those pregnancies.

One day, I was in the thrift store, and I found this cute newborn baby hat. I just couldn't resist. I had to buy it. I felt a bit silly about it, since I thought I might never be able to use it. But I still bought it.

At home, I put it with my ever growing stack of fertility tracking charts. Every morning, when I woke up, I would enter my bbt and other stats, and see the little hat. Every time I started a new chart, I saw the little hat. Every time I felt discouraged, I took out the hat and just held it and stared at it, hoping that one day, I would be able to use it on my newborn.

In April, I had the myomectomy, and a few months later, got pregnant again. I was still holding on to that hat. It was a symbol of hope to me, a symbol that even when things were at its darkest, that there still was a sparkle of hope and light. That this hat was waiting for my new baby.

And here we are, a long time later, and she is wearing her hat!!!! It's not just stuck with my charts anymore, it actually is being used on my deer baby. I am so happy! This sure is a very special hat!

The pain is much better today, and the swelling is going down. Even during the night, the pain was better, so whatever it is, it seems to be resolving itself. My mom left today, so we are back to just the nine of us. It's nice to be on our own again, somehow having visitors just changes the energy in the house. And the best thing, I got my last tomato seedlings planted! Phew! :-) Maybe some day I'll actually get everything planted, then I just need to try to keep up with the weeding and harvesting :-) How many zucchini plants did I plant again?

Monday, June 14, 2004

Is She A Good Baby?

Got my first one of those today 'Is she a good baby?'. It always puzzles me that people ask that. Of course she is a good baby! How can a 10 day old be bad anyway? What kind of reply do they expect? 'No, she is just horrible, I think I'll exchange her?' 'No, we'll have to try again and hope we get a good baby next time?' What defines a baby's goodness? How many poopy diapers? Well, she's pretty good at producing those. How many times she wakes at night? The perfect number of times for her perfect body. Whether she cries a lot? Well, it's one of her ways of communicating, so of course she does cry some. All those thoughts went through my head, and I decided to reply with a simple 'Yes! She is a PERFECT baby!'

She is TEN days old now, gives me flashbacks to when Kate was ten days old and we had to travel to the Netherlands. Talk about stress. So glad we don't have to do that this time! Going to the supermarket today was adventurous enough for me :-) I took Sylvia in the sling, she slept almost all the time. Newborns are so easy!

My pain is a bit better again, although it was pretty bad last night while I was nursing. It was the way I was holding her though, not the nursing itself that aggravated it. I think I need more pillows to work with, so I can support my arm with a pillow till this stupid pain is gone.

I did get some tomato seedlings planted today, only a few more to go. This was supposed to all happen before the birth, but I guess she still was too early, even at 17 days overdue ;-)

Sylvia


Saturday, June 12, 2004

Doing Better

The stupid pain is getting better, finally. Not perfect yet, but also not as excruciating anymore. Some one mentioned inflamed lymph node to me, and now I am wondering whether that's what is happening? I figured it must be milk duct related, because of the timing, but the lymph node theory sounds likely too. It also could be nerve related, the pain feels like it could be a pinched or an irritated nerve or something. She was clenching occasionally during the first few days (OUCH!!!) and maybe that's what has caused temporary nerve damage? Whatever it is, it seems to be lessening today, very grateful about that.

Sylvia is doing great. She poops about 20 times per day, nurses like a pro, and is very good in communicating when she is unhappy about something. She makes the cutest noises when she is asleep, I just love love love her!

Friday, June 11, 2004

She's REALLY Here Now

She lost her umbilical cord yesterday, somehow that always symbolizes to me the real transition from the 'inner' or womb world to our 'normal' world. On the one hand I am glad that it's gone. On the other hand, it feels like it's the first step of growing up, and that it's going way too fast already! But however it feels like, it sure does mean that she is a full fledged member of our society now. Or do you think she still needs a name too?

We are pretty sure it's going to be Sylvia. We considered Diana too, but somehow I didn't want her to be associated in any way with princess Diana, I think otherwise I would have liked that name. I know it's silly, but it just doesn't seem like the right name for her.

We are enjoying her so much. It amazes us how she, at a few days old, already figured out how the world works 'When you get a diaper change, you are entitled to a nice nursing session afterwards' ;-) She totally insists on this now :-) She focuses on our faces and just is too cute for words. We are truly blessed to be her parents. She makes those cute noises in her sleep, and just is totally perfect!

Today was Tara's birthday. She was our first unattended birth. Granted, it was not planned to be an unattended birth, but I still feel that having this experience made it a lot easier to choose for a planned unattended birth this time. Some one said to me that sometimes she wonders whether those things happen for a reason. So I had the two unplanned unattended births to prepare me for the planned one this time. It's an interesting theory, makes me go 'hmmmm'' and contemplate life, the universe, and everything :-)

Today also was Payback Time... Cees was holding the baby and suddenly there was this big burping sound and she emptied the whole contents of her belly over him... He shrieked and I just laughed and laughed, it wasn't too bad anyway, but it made me remember the 9,602 times that Cees had done that to us when he was a baby... Even if he never gets puked on by his own kids, at least we got this as a tiny payback LOL.
All curled upFast asleep

I love those two pictures. The first one shows her exactly the way she must have been curled up inside of me, nice and snugly, feeling safe. The second one she just is sooooooo relaxed and fast asleep. Just precious.


Thursday, June 10, 2004

Back On Line

After 25.5 hours without power. Wow, talk about bad timing! No cooking, no hot water, no laundry, no tea, no dishwashing, no vacuum cleaning (wait, I didn't mind that LOL), lost most of the contents of our small freezer, and of course no lights at night. You can't believe how many times I tried to turn on the light before it finally sank in LOL

Baby is doing great, I am not doing so well, physically. I have an extremely painful plugged duct, in my arm pit, of all places. The whole right side of my torso is hurting a lot! And I couldn't even use cold or hot compresses, because of the stupid power being out. I remember having a plugged duct in my arm pit with Erik, but I didn't have the pain I am having now. I had some pain when my milk came in, but it seemed to have disappeared. Then last night, Erik was nursing and suddenly my whole side started to hurt. OUCH! It hasn't stopped hurting since then, I have a hard time coping with it. When I lean on my right side, it causes excruciating pain. I can't easily reach or grab things with my right hand anymore. Getting up from a sitting position is very challenging. Ouch, ouch, ouch!

I am doing all kinds of stuff, took a nice long hot shower now that the power is back on. Will start warm compresses tomorrow, and I'll try ice in between nursings. Taking extra vit C and E, and some B complex. I also took some liquid lecithin, but that tasted so awful that I am not sure whether I want to continue that LOL. I can use healing vibes, this just sucks! I have a cold, and every time I cough, it just is awful.

She still hasn't officially be named, but we are working on it, now that the mil is gone. We first were considering Elizabeth, with maybe Eliza as a nick name. But now we are thinking Sylvia, which means 'from the woods' and that seems to fit her very well. We started thinking about that name when somebody wrote to tell that we should find a name that meant 'born amongst trees'. Dh immediately came up with Sylvia and both of us like that, it sure has the trees connection and would fit with the way she came into this world. Not to mention that a deer definitely is an animal from the woods too.

3 days old



On this pic you can see that she's darker than my other kids. Not dark dark, just darker than I am used to :-) After so many blondies, I am curious to see what color her hair will have when she gets a bit bigger. The picture also shows her working on getting her thumb in her mouth and her other hand close to her face too. She must have spent a lot of time in that position when she was in utero, she kept getting her hands up there and sucking either her thumb or her fingers. So cute!

Back to the names issue, just some names that the kids came up with. Cees came up with a few normal names, but also names like Yaya, and such. Tim is still working on a list from the names book which I borrowed from a friend. Tara has presented us with two sheets of names already, containing gems like Taratwo, Janetwo, and Katetwo, in addition to more traditional names. Jane has one name, Kelly, which I actually like too, but which I don't think is right for this baby. Kate came up with names like Misty and Pokemon. Erik's favorites were Borst (dutch for 'breast') and Goldenhair. At least they are all assisting in the name search :-)
Karen just called. She has no electricity. There was a storm and some poles were knocked down. Baby is doing great, nursing well and making lots of laundry that can't be washed . .

Karen is doing fine except for a plugged duct. She could use some healing vibes. It's a pretty stubborn plug and she has no way to make hot compresses. Hopefully she will be able to be back online soon.

Monday, June 07, 2004

A Perfect Birth!

She is here! And what an entrance she made. She was born at 5:45pm, in our front yard. Under a pine and a maple tree, so perfect! She weighed 3680 grams on our scales, and a few hours later the midwife's scale said 7 lbs 14 oz. She is 22 inches long.

In the morning, I started out with contractions that weren't really strong yet. I had a coop pickup scheduled, so I went out by myself to pick up all the stuff, and I did have contractions during the trip, but not that many, and not that strong either. I was wondering whether those were 'day before' contractions or 'birth day' contraction, I wasn't sure at all.

I had more contractions at home, but still not sure whether this was it or not. They were reasonably strong, but I knew that going into labor the day after losing my mucus plug was a bit soon for me, and I just didn't believe this was going to be it. So I spent time planting more of my seedlings, thinking that those contractions felt pretty strong, but I was still in denial.

I had a prenatal at 1:45pm, everything was fine. I measured even less than last week, 35.5 cm, and the midwife said that the head was nice and low, so there was no risk for cord prolapse. I was spilling a bit of sugar, everything else was fine. Baby's heart rate was 140, my weight was 155 lbs, 6 lbs down from last week, which seemed unlikely, so we just blamed the scales LOL. I had about three contractions in the forty minutes that the prenatal lasted, but I could just breathe through them, didn't need to vocalize yet. Dh was there too, and we talked about the upcoming birth and wondered when it would happen. I declined a vaginal exam, I really wanted this to be a hands off birth. I was tempted to find out how dilated I was, but it just didn't feel right to do a vaginal exam during this birth.

Came back home at 3pm, stepped out of the van, and had a monster contraction hit me. Had to lean on the van and vocalize. Hmmmm, maybe this was going to be real after all? The kids came over and wondered what I was doing, I explained to them after the contraction had ended. Another one hit soon, and I figured I'd better call my support team and dh. The mil-s told me that they didn't want to be at the birth, but they didn't want to leave either. I had arranged for some one to take them sight seeing and to his house, but they refused to go. I wasn't in the mood for fighting about it at that point, labor was too well established already.

I called my other labor support friend, left a message, she wasn't home. Left a message on her cell phone too, and hoped for the best. The contractions kept coming, so I wasn't going to make any more phone calls.

I went into the front yard, and sat down on the grass next to the driveway. Away from the mil-s, waiting for dh to come home. Contractions came hard and fast. I never timed them, but they can't have been more than a few minutes apart and lasted pretty long. Vocalizing and relaxing worked great though, could handle them easily that way. I felt that this might not be a very long labor, things were definitely progressing nicely. In between the contractions I talked to the baby about what a beautiful day it was, and how wonderful it would be to be born today.

Dh came home, and sat with me. I told him that I wasn't going to move, this was a perfect place to have the baby. He knew better than to argue with me ;-) My friend S arrived, and joined the circle. She said that it sounded like I was meditating, chanting 'oooooooooohm' I have to say that it felt like meditating too. During a contraction I would withdraw in my own world, just me and the baby, and everything else would fade in the background. I would hear people talking, the kids playing, the catbird singing, but I would be inside myself, riding the contraction, getting closer to this baby's birth. Things weren't painful yet, but I did have to concentrate.

Kate came to tell us that she needed a bandaid for her foot. I told her to go inside to have the mil-s take care of it, since I really wanted my labor support. Dh and S weren't really doing anything, but being there, but I found it reassuring to have them around. Kate grumped for a while about it, but finally went inside to get that bandaid.

Contractions got stronger and longer, and I told them that I hoped this was not going to take long. Things were moving right along, but vocalizing still worked great. I just had to spend more and more time vocalizing, and had shorter breaks in between. Contractions often were almost on top of each other.

I moved to the pine tree, so I could have something to lean against during my contractions. I was fearing that my other friend would miss the birth, but there she was! She arrived with two of her kids, so we were up to eight kids now. The kids were playing and running around, I was in my own world with my baby. Kate came over, because she lost the bandaid which was on her foot. She whined till some one took her in to get another bandaid.

I wondered about the time, but didn't want to ask. I was so immersed in the birthing that I didn't really want to know the time, the birth had its own flow. External time didn't have much meaning any more, I was really living in the middle of birthing time now, in the middle of accelerating and ebbing contractions. I knew I was getting closer and closer to meeting my baby.

Another friend came over with her 2yo and newborn, she has had home births too, so she was not shocked at all to see me there in the front yard. Or if she was, she was polite enough not to comment on it LOL. They didn't stay for long, the 2yo had his own agenda. But for a little while we had 10 kids at the birth :-)

The vocalizing was making me thirsty, and I drank water in between the contractions, but still kept having a dry throat. Dh had gotten the rubbermaid tub with birthing supplies, because it was clear that I wasn't going to move anymore, I felt too comfortable leaning against the pine tree, being sheltered by a maple tree. They got a pillow from inside too, to help me be even more comfortable, although I was starting to reach the part of labor where comfort wasn't really possible anymore. Contractions came on top of each other, almost no breaks in between. Kate came over after losing yet another bandaid on her foot, I have no idea how they solved that, I was too focused on the birth.

Things were getting hairy now. The vocalizing didn't help as much anymore, I wasn't comfortable anymore, and I felt thirsty, and drinking didn't help. The contractions were just too close together, and too strong and the baby wasn't there yet, and I wanted it to be over. NOW! Or at least the pain to go away. If I had been in the hospital, this would have been the time that an epidural would have been a major temptation. I was at the point that I said that I couldn't do it anymore, that it just was too hard, and although I did recognize that this most likely meant that birth was close, I still felt discouraged and almost like it would never happen.

The vocalizing stopped working and I started screaming and chanting 'Oh shit oh shit oh shit oh shit' The boys later told me that they had wished I had used some more creative curses, so that they could have expanded their vocabulary. I have no idea how long this phase lasted, in hindsight I don't think it was that long (maybe 10 minutes??), but it felt endless while I was in the middle of it. I had moved to hands and knees position, and I was alternating inwardly between 'Get out, baby, get out!!!' and 'I want the pain to stop!!!!!!!!' I pushed and screamed and pushed and screamed and suddenly I felt that she was coming out. FINALLY!

Her head was half out, and I just continued pushing and we got the rest of her out. No way I was going to blow to cautiously get out her head and body, I was way past the point where I could have done that. Dh caught her, S suctioned her, D slipped the cord from around her neck. And there she was! I heard D exclaim 'It's a girl!' I turned over and looked at her, she was perfect. She pinked right up (within 10 seconds) and started breathing. I was sooooo happy that she was out D said that her water broke while she was coming out, she saw the bag of water first, and then the baby appeared. She had a hand next to her head, I am wondering whether that was why it hurt so much in the end.

I was in awe, she was born! Perfect and healthy! I was so relieved it was over though, somehow the last part was extremely intense. The thought went through my head that I was very happy that this wasn't twins. Never thought that with any other pregnancy, but somehow this time, it hit me with a sense of relief, that I would not have to push out another baby LOL. I still had a placenta to push out, but for now we were focusing on the baby.

She was breathing quietly and serenely for a few minutes, and then started crying. I offered her my breast, but she wasn't interested yet, so I just sat and snuggled and was happy that she was out. I just looked at her and enjoyed how everything was totally right with her and with this birth.

I was hoping the birthing of the placenta would be easy, but it wasn't as easy as I had hoped. I still was not comfortable, and the contractions started up again after a while, strong enough to make me vocalize again. We did cut the cord, and I handed the baby over to Sander, so I could concentrate on the placenta. I asked Erik whether he wanted to nurse, but he looked at the bloody chux pad in the grass and declared that there was too much yuckiness to nurse! LOL So much for that idea.

I called my 'on line reporter' friend to tell her that the baby was born and whether she could post it to my journal. We called the midwife to tell her that the baby was born, but still waiting for the placenta, she was very happy to hear from us and said that she had had the feeling that it might happen today. Then we spent more time waiting for the placenta, I was not very patient anymore at that point. I just wanted it to be OVER! The contractions weren't supposed to hurt as much anymore, and I couldn't get back into my birthing trance, I was just finished with it all. I had done my job, why did I have to push out another thing???? LOL

The interesting thing is that the thought of uterine rupture did not cross my mind at all during labor, but now during this waiting period, I started worrying about placenta accreta or percreta. During the birth I didn't have any wavering of my confidence in my body and my baby, but now I suddenly started wondering. Not really worrying very deeply, but I definitely was thinking about it. I kept trying to push, but nothing happened yet, apart from some clots. No excessive bleeding, so no real reason to worry.

Finally the placenta decided to be born, phew. It was accompanied by a HUGE blood clot, about orange sized, wow. It was about an hour after the birth, which isn't a lot when you look at it objectively, but it felt a lot longer. I was very relieved when it all was over, and I moved to one of the lawn chairs, so I could sit down, relax, and try to nurse the baby again. She had been fervently sucking her thumb and her fingers while waiting, so we figured she might be ready. And she sure was. Latched right on and nursed like a champ.

My friend with the 2yo and the newborn baby came over too and handed me my first new baby present. Before the placenta even was out. So nice! It helped to keep my mind off the worries and the waiting :-)

I liked how the birth went, it was totally right to do this outdoors. I had had such an connection with the outdoors this pregnancy, the beaver pond, the deer, the gardening, the hiking, that this birth fit right into that pattern. The pine and the maple tree protecting me. The woods in the background, the catbird and the yellow-bellied sapsucker an auditory part of the birth. I had the perfect support team, with dh, two friends, and eight kids, all part of the birthing circle. I am glad we did this unattended and I still think about how I have no idea how many cm I was at which point, and when the pushing stage started. Instead, this birth was very much a continuum, moving from start to finish at its own pace, without any outside interference.

I had wondered about getting a fetoscope to use during labor, or maybe just use our stethoscope, but I had been worried that we wouldn't have been able to find the heartbeat, even when things were going just fine. That would have worried me a lot, so I decided against it. It turned out that she was moving and kicking a lot during most of my labor, so I never ever worried about her, she communicated very clearly that she was doing just fine.

The midwife came over later that night to do her newborn exam and to check me. No tears, and she agreed that the baby was perfect. My blood pressure was 108 over 80, but my pulse was very high, 120 bpm, so she told me to rest and push fluids. I think it was mostly leftover adrenalin from the birth.

The baby's hair seems darker than the others. Weird to have a non-blonde one. She is still nursing great, and it's Sunday now, and my milk is starting to come in. I think I'll wake up with Dolly Parton breasts tomorrow.

It was a fast birth in hindsight, timeless while in the middle of it. I knew for sure it had started at 3pm, she came out at 5:45pm. It was a very intense birth though, contractions close together and strong. But it was all worth it, to be able to hold my perfect little girl in my arms now!

Saturday, June 05, 2004

She is beautiful!


Karen emailed me some stats and a pic to post. She was born at 5:45pm, Friday, June 4th, in their front yard. Under a pine and a maple tree, so perfect according to Karen. She weighed 3680 grams on their scales, and a few hours later the midwife's scale said 7 lbs 14 oz. She is 22 inches long and just perfect! I couldn't agree more :-)



Karen started a birth story but was too tired to finish tonight. Luckily I fell asleep at chat lol. I woke up to find I was getting a large email (picture) and it turned out to be a pic of Karen's new baby!

Friday, June 04, 2004

Karen had her baby!


She just called. Its a girl! Baby was born at 5:45. Karen is still waiting for the placenta. Baby wasn't born at the beaver pond but she was born outside. Both Karen and new baby girl are doing fine. I heard her sweet cries even :-)

Contractions!


Karen is having contractions :-)
She phoned and asked me to post an update. The contractions are frequent but she isn't sure if its going to be 3 hours or still 3 days. It feels like just a few hours but her normal pattern is to have a lot of contractions the night before giving birth so this might be those. Karen is very excited that something is happening but would like to know if this is it or not lol. Either I will update later with an announcement or Karen will do her nightly entry later. .
9.5 months pregnant!

Mucus Plug!!!!

Tonight, around 6pm, I FINALLY started losing my mucus plug!!! This usually means that I will give birth within a few days, I am thinking that either Friday night, or Saturday night would be nice. But I'll take a birth at any time of the day or night, just want it to happen soon! I am having some contractions, but nothing exciting. Guess I'll have to wait and see when real labor starts kicking in. I have a friend who will post about the birth to this journal, so even if I am not up to posting, you all still will know ;-)

Took the kids to the swimming pool today. Kate and Jane had been asking, and I figured I'd better do it before baby makes his appearance. People did the obligatory step back when they found out that this baby was due two weeks ago. They seemed to think I could drop that baby on their feet any moment now ;-) I didn't though.

Took Kate to ballet, and had one of the grandmas watch her, while I made a fast, but pretty big grocery store run. I often do that the day before I give birth, and since the birth still hasn't happened yet, I hoped that doing the groceries would trigger it somehow.

Came back home, put away groceries, and had a friend over to bring some frozen meals for after the baby, yummy!!! She said that she thought that maybe this baby had been waiting for those meals :-) Guess he was, because a few hours later, I started losing that plug ;-)

Went on a short walk, saw the chiropractor yet again, and told him that he must have done something wrong on Monday, because I still hadn't given birth. My spine is in optimal condition now, I just need to get this baby out :-)

Later today, I planted thirty or so strawberry plants, this was in addition to the tomato plants I platned this morning. So much gardening to do, so little time!!!

And then tonight, I was going to the bath room for the umpteenth time, and I saw the blood!!! Finally good blood, as opposed to the toilet paper checks, being scared for blood throughout most of my pregnancy. It really is going to happen! This baby really is going to come out soon! Can't wait to meet him! Tomorrow, I'll have my very last prenatal.

hands on belly


I have been wanting to make this picture for the last two weeks or so, but somehow never got around to it. It's inspired by ICAN's Cesarean Awareness Month poster. I am glad we were able to make the picture before the baby came out, even although I procrastinated till 16 days after the due date ;-) Hmmmm, maybe this baby was waiting for the picture to be made?

I guess the baby is finally getting all the hints and will make his appearance soon!

making of the hands on belly pic


This shows how we made the picture, Erik kept putting his head on my belly instead of just his hands :-)

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Nesting!

Well, by the mil-s at least LOL. They were complaining today that they felt so useless, and whether I had something I wanted them to do. I told them that I didn't have anything that HAD to be done, but lots of things that would be nice to be done, so if they were willing to take on some of those...

We decided on my hallway closet as the Project Of The Day. One of those closets that you just throw in stuff and hope you will be able to get it out again some day. Usually by opening it and having it fall on your head or your toes... I first measured it all, so I could go to the hardware store and get some shelving hardware. While I was there, they emptied it, and stacked it all in the hallway. What a mess! LOL

I spent quite some time at the hardware store, staring at my little piece of paper, staring at all the shelving and storage options, and feeling quite overwhelmed. Who would have known how many options there are for making your closet look organized? Although I realized that my closets never would look the same way as the one on the front of the boxes. But still, a bit more organization in it would be nice :-)

After long and thoughtful consideration, I just closed my eyes and picked the first two boxes that seemed about right LOL. Got two shelving units, and six stacking shelves, for the upper part of the closet. Loaded them in my car and drove back to the mil-possessed house :-)

We got all the units put together, and the shelving installed and then we started putting all the stuff back into the closet. And wonder of wonder, miracle of miracles, it all fit! We even had room left! And it doesn't fall out anymore! And we can even FIND things when we need them. How amazing! Do you think the baby has been waiting for this closet to get organized? No, I didn't think so either, but it's nice that it's done anyway.

I think I have had about five wimpy contractions today, not very impressive, is it? Still no mucus plug, still no feelings of impending birth. Guess we have to be patient for a bit more. A friend pointed out to me that there was a study once that showed that a deer wouldn't go into labor if she felt she was in danger. Hmmmmm, and since this is our deer totem baby, it makes me wonder :-)

BeforeAfter
BeforeAfter
Notice the baby scales (so we can actually weigh the baby after birth) and the hose. The hose is for if we decide on a waterbirth, to fill the tub. MIL was asking whether we could put the hose somewhere else, but I told her I would like to keep it here ;-) Not why I would want to keep it here though LOL.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

42 Weeks!!!

All those sticky vibes people have been sending me sure are working very very well! Although I believe it's mostly the mil-stress that's keeping the baby in at the moment. Yesterday, I had enough contractions to be hopeful that it would happen some time soon. Today, they are totally GONE! Guess it's not going to be as soon as I had thought :-)

Some one was asking me today whether I was trying to break some kind of record or so? LOL, nope, just having a baby who is as much of a procrastinator as her mom :-)

It was rainy today, so I didn't even get to do any gardening. Did go to the chiropractor, and decided to take the kids to Shrek 2 in the afternoon. That was fun. I enjoyed watching it, and it got us out of the house. Erik was very bouncy though, I am glad we were in the back of the theater, so he didn't bother other people. He just hasn't reached the age yet where he can actually sit still when watching a movie.

Baby is very active, and I feel great, so I am not worried about going overdue. Although it would be nice if she decided to come out some time soon. Especially if I manage to have that happen at the beaver pond. Next time, I might take a backpack with some receiving blankets, just in case ;-) A beaver pond birth just sounds perfect. I'll come home with the baby in my arms and show the mil-s 'Look what I've found on my hike!' :-) What a contrast that would be with the planned c-section that my ob was trying to talk me into. I am so glad I decided not to go for that. My baby would have been 4 weeks old or so by now, we would have missed out on a whole glorious month of pregnancy!

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

My Dream Birth

Today, I was walking in our neighborhood, on my way to the beaver pond, when a huge contraction hit me. A 'wow!' one. A having to stand still and wait and wonder one. A 'hmmmm, maybe I'll have this baby today after all' one. I stopped for a moment, and then walked on. More contractions were hitting me, but not as strong as that first one.

I walked on to the woods, where the beaver pond is. I entered the woods and a feeling of peace and rightness descended on me. This was where it all started, this was where I was being led to now. I walked on and arrived at the beaver pond. It was quiet. I sat down and soaked up the atmosphere. A turtle was climbing on a rock. Insects were flying low over the water. Trees were surrounding and protecting me. An ant was climbing my leg. Black flies were biting my neck.

I put my hand on my belly and told her that this is where it all started, that now she could finish it and come out. That this would be the perfect day for a birthday, and that I was ready for her. Labor picked up, contractions were stronger and closer together. I couldn't sit anymore, had to be upright and move around. This went on for a while. Time didn't have much meaning at that point, even although I knew it must be passing.

Gradually, the contractions started changing. They got more of a pushy feeling to them, not really pushing yet, but like the baby was moving down. I took off my t-shirt so that I would have something to put her on. It felt like it couldn't be long now. It wasn't. About 15 minutes later, she came down fast, and I squatted and caught her over the t-shirt. A perfect baby girl. A perfect birth. I felt like deer must have been close by, watching over us.


No, this wasn't what really happened, apart from the strong contraction in the beginning and the talk to my baby at the beaver pond. And the turtle and black flies ;-) But I found myself fantasizing and visualizing this and I wanted to share my fantasies. I did have a few more good strong contractions during my walk though, so there is hope! And tonight I walked for an hour and had quite some contractions, but not as strong as the afternoon ones. Had even more contractions when I came back home, so my uterus is doing something. I wouldn't be surprised if I went into real labor tomorrow. I wouldn't be surprised either if it was going to take another few days or weeks though :-) We'll see.

Baby is still nice and active, mil-s are still cleaning and driving me batty at times, and I am still gardening and getting as much as possible in the ground before the baby is here.