Saturday, January 30, 2010

baby r gets color

Today I went to a cloth diapering demo. Baby R made out with lots of goodies from it. I've decided to use organic, unbleached, pre-fold diapers. I got twenty-four of the 0-6 month size and six larger ones. I got one orange cover. Little Sammy Bear is so cute modeling the diaper.

I got an array of other things as well. On the left is the patch quilt that I am sewing for Baby R. The orange bag on top is the bag for the diaper pale. The blue, brown, and green bag with shapes is the to-go dirty diaper bag. Both the bags have a water proof lining and are washable. I am so excited about them. I also got some Snappis to fasten the diapers, a small bottle of detergent for the diapers, and some washcloths for bottom wipes.

Scott has decided to take on yet another project in my massage room. Our house was built in 1959 and unfortunately is not insulated. Since my massage room will be Baby R's room, Scott took down the bead board and put insulation behind it. He replaced the sheet rock with wood and then he will put back the bead board when he is finished. I am wondering if I will have a massage room by Wednesday??? The plumbers are still at our house. They were here Tuesday-Friday. They have yet more work to do still. They found one more leak at the end of the day on Friday. Once they fix it, they will start filling back the foundation with concrete. My house is in disarray. I am trying not to panic about it.

We are painting Baby R's room green. We got samples at Lowe's and I taped up 11 options. Once we pick a color, I will send the details to Heidi and she will have her "people" match the paint color and send it to us. I am so excited because it is eco-friendly, non-toxic, fume free paint from a company she uses in their business dealings. We are also going to replace our kitchen floor with eco-friendly, wood flooring from Eco Timber Flooring, another company my sister and Jacob get their products from. Thankfully it will all be covered by insurance since they had to dig up the middle of our kitchen to get to the underground leaks.

Our latest thought is that Baby R is a BOY! It was kind of weird. Last night I asked Scott if had any hunches this week. He said he thinks boy and I said I had been getting that feeling too. Baby R is very low in my belly. I feel little kicks and movements way down there. They say boys are low and girls are high. Who knows...just God who sent the little angel to us. :)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

great expectations

Two posts in one day!

I have been sharing my recent postpartum doula experiences on Facebook and the blog, but a friend of mine was so intrigued by the steam ironing that I did last night until 2:30am that she requested more stories. Thus, I titled this post....Great Expectations.

To get you up to speed...

I had a woman call me about four weeks ago inquiring about my postpartum doula services. She was a referral from the lactation consultant at one of the area hospitals. Her first daughter is 14 months and she was going in for a scheduled c-section for her second daughter. Because of the surgery and not having much help from family, she was wanting to hire me to care for her children during her c-section and recovery. Last Thursday she went in for her surgery and I cared for the 14 month old for four days. I stayed at the hotel attached to the hospital at Baylor Dallas. Now that they are home, I am working at nights caring for the newborn so she can recover.

The work of a postpartum doula can include: taking care of the newborn and other siblings, light cleaning, baby laundry, breastfeeding support, and so on. I have done this type of work one other time last spring when caring for a newborn baby boy as the parents adjusted to their life with a new baby. I am grateful for the knowledge and mothering intuition to be able to support these families in their postpartum time. Most postpartum doulas are older women who no longer have children in the house. I know that once I have my own family that I will not be doing postpartum doula work as much, if any. I cannot justify leaving my young family to care for another. But, back to this situation I have gotten into.

May I just highlight a few of the random and interesting things I have observed and experiences I have had to this point:

At the hospital...
  • 14 month old weighs at least 30 lbs. First day, I thought I my back was going to give out on me. She drinks 3 cups of whole milk a day!
  • Baby has a $880 Bugaboo Chameleon stroller. I fell in love with it and it would be so nice to have one, but I'll settle for hand me downs.
  • The 14 month old has lesson plans and a curriculum that she routinely does each day. Normally she has a teacher that comes to the house to work with her three times a week. While we were in Dallas, I was given an itinerary/schedule for her day. This included waking, eating, bathing, bottle, Baby Einstein DVD and a lesson plan to go along with the DVD, nap, snack, bottle, cat nap, dinner, play time, sleep. Um, well, most of that did not pan out each day since she was not in her element or familiar surrounding and she was hanging out with a stranger....ME. I didn't even try and stick to the itinerary. I tried to keep baby happy, fed, played with, and changed. Instead, I took her on nature walks, read books, played puzzles and blocks....She is still alive and happy.

Back at the house...

  • Everything from the kitchen cabinets to ALL of the light switches in the entire house are labeled with what is in them or what they go to.
  • They have the latest new thing for each baby. From hydraulic high chair to 42 different kids of bottles and pacis to ensure happiness. (Funny how I just wrote "happiness" and rethought that one for a second...)
  • At nights I have been steaming and sterilizing bottles, pacis, and other baby items. Last night I steam ironed baby clothes for two hours until Baby R told me to go to bed at 2:30am. The steam iron is definitely a cool invention, but not so sure that bibs, pj's, and socks need ironed. Do you iron your baby's every day clothes?
  • Baby and I are occupying the downstairs main floor for now. I am sleeping on a three inch foam mat on the hard wood floor. Baby R is unsure of that one as well. Can you say chiropractor at the end of all this?!
I have to say, though, that I really enjoy doing it all. The baby is such a good baby and she is so precious. She likes to sleep on my chest to fall asleep. I know she can hear my heart beat. Although, I believe "breast is best" and that it is too early to introduce pacis, I put my opinions aside and I feed her a bottle each time she wakes, swaddle her tightly and she goes right back to sleep at night with her white noise machine. Sometimes when she has a hard time going back to sleep, I talk to her and tell her all kinds of things. I know she would rather that it be here mommy there with her than me though. I tell her that I am only temporary, but I am there to take good care of her while her mommy recovers.

Once the mother recovers from her surgery enough to care for the baby at night, my work will be done.

I'll keep you updated on my bazaar and crazy adventures!

Naming Baby R

Pregnancy is such a joyous and happy time for many families, especially those of us who have had a loss or have tried for some time to get pregnant. I realize people are excited for you when you get pregnant and want all the details. And, I also know that we are being a bit unconventional with our pregnancy and Baby R by not finding out the gender, not sharing the name, and having our baby at home.


Here's my etiquette question...

Do most people these days assume that you are sharing the name of your baby with everyone?

I know most people find out what they are having and choose a name and tell the world. But, we have chosen to keep the name to ourselves. The more often I get asked what names we have picked, the more I wonder if we should just share. But, I like the surprise aspect. I want to see my baby for the first time and call her/him by the name we chose. When I get asked what names we have picked, I often respond with "we aren't for sure yet" or "we are still tossing around a few names".

When I think of naming Baby R, I am reminded of how fun it is for a family to chose a special name for each child. When my mom was pregnant with my brother 12 years ago, we would go around and name the baby at the dinner table. Nathan was 6 years old at the time and when it came to his turn, he would say "pass" each time. We joke that Daniel was almost named Pass because Nathan couldn't think of a name for him. We still didn't know Daniel's name until he after he was born. If I remember correctly, I don't recall that my parents told us the name of any my siblings before they were born. I didn't think that was weird though. It was, after all, their kid, right? Plus, when Henry was born, they got a lot of flack about his name. I am sure that is why they kept it to themselves until he was born. I can't imagine if he wasn't a Henry though. It just suits him. I suppose it is easier for people to give you their opinion before the baby is born then after when the name is legally confirmed on paper.

We are pretty confident in the names we have chosen for Baby R. I wanted names that had good meanings and sentimental value to us. I guess I am kind of old fashioned that way. I am quite sure we won't get any odd looks or comments for the names we picked. Yet, we would like to wait and share with everyone in June when Baby R has made the grand arrival.

What are your thoughts?
What made you share your baby's name or keep it to yourself?
How do you respond to the questions "What names have you chosen?" when you aren't sharing the name?

OH, and don't forget to vote on whether you think Baby R will wear Pink for Girl or Blue for Boy! :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

and the demo begins

This week I am watching Baby Emma at nights while her mom recovers from the c-section she had last Thursday. Last night I got there at midnight and Emma wanted to hang out until 2:45am. I finally got her to sleep and then she woke up at 3:30 to eat and then every two hours after that. She really is a good baby. And, it is good practice for me. But, today when I got home I wasn't able to get much sleep with all the demo going. They jack hammered into the floor for several hours. I have been taking cat naps all day in between the hammering to prepare for another long night.

I freaked out just a little bit when I woke up and saw this in the middle of the kitchen floor!!!

As they were working, they discovered more damage then originally expected so they will be digging under the dishwasher and under the cabinets under the sink. Won't be cooking dinner tonight. We have no water and no dishwasher and a disaster on the counters.

This was my massage room and soon to be Baby R's room. This wall backs up to the master shower that has a leak. Interesting methods they have of fixing the leaks. Next, they will dig up the other spare room to get to the hall bathroom. I think after the demo is complete we will go ahead and switch my massage room to next door and start decorating for Baby!!! :)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

stick a fork in me

...I'm done.

What a crazy few days!

I have been back and forth to Dallas all weekend. Can I just say that I am not a fan of Dallas or the traffic? A GPS would be very helpful these days. But, back to the reason I have been in Dallas in the first place. I have put my birth doula work on hold to do postpartum doula work while I am pregnant. I am not sure what is more exhausting though. As a birth doula you get called at crazy, unexpected hours at any moment day or night. Births can last hours or even days. As a postpartum doula the work is scheduled (more like nanny work), but still exhausting.

I was hired by a client who was having a scheduled c-section with her second baby on Thursday. She needed me to help her care for her other child while she had surgery. Her first daughter turned 14 months the day the second was born. At 14 months, she is over 30 lbs. and wears 2T and some 3T clothes. And, the kicker.....she doesn't walk yet. Ugh. I am one exhausted mommy-to-be. I don't know how women do it when they have kids so close together. This new mom with two kids has her work cut out for her. They are headed back home from the hospital today. Now my job is to help care for the two little ones while she recovers from her surgery until she is able to manage on her own. I think this will be about 10-14 days.

Tomorrow marks the halfway mark of my pregnancy....20 weeks! I am feeling good, for the most part. My new favorite thing, though, is my hot and cold water bottle. My whole back has been generally tight. I have been using it in place of my electric heating pad since I am not sure that is good for the baby. Because I have a sacralization (a fusion that I was born with of my 5th lumbar vertebra to the sacrum that causes limited flexibility and movement in my pelvis), I have been getting chiropractic care from my friend Rachel to keep the discomfort under control. My low back started bothering me at 10 weeks :(. I just keep praying it won't get more uncomfortable as my belly grows outward.

I started feeling Baby R move about 2 weeks ago. It is a strange feeling, yet makes me so happy at the same time. I love those little movements and I look forward to feeling them every day. I feel like Baby R is telling me things when he/she moves.

I have also been talking to Baby a lot. Sometimes when I can't talk out loud, I just talk in my head. Baby R still hears, right? I tell Baby R the things that I am doing all day long, especially when he/she moves a lot. I think Baby R wonders what I am doing so I just tell the story of my day. My parents gave lots of books to Baby R for Christmas and I am going to start reading to Baby now that he/she can hear.

We are curious about the gender but still like the surprise of it. It is like Baby R has a secret. I put up a poll. What do you think Baby R will wear? Pink? Blue? Be sure and vote! Oh, and I think we have officially decided on names now....but you will have to wait until June to find out.

  • Baby R will be the as long as a banana this week. About 10 1/2 ounces and 10 inches long (on average). Or, if Daddy R's genes have anything to do with it, probably longer.
  • My sniffer is EXTRA sensitive. Pretty much everything stinks.
  • The hair on my legs is barely growing. I could totally get used to this.
  • I am craving fresh squeezed lemonade and baked goods. One night I started making scones at 9pm because I HAD to have them.
  • I am extra emotional.
  • I have been nesting like crazy. Getting organized seems to be top priority these days.
  • I am thankful for two new comfy bras that don't have under wires. It was like a breath of fresh air.
  • Natural Childbirth class starts March 5th.
  • Been doing a lot of reading for fun. Sometimes the pregnancy and childbirth books can get overwhelming and unnerving.
  • Started working out again last week. It is minimal though, because the walking makes my back ache.
  • Daddy R likes to give Baby kisses and talk to him/her too.
  • Even though I have been trying to drink 100 oz. of water a day, I have been waking up with leg cramps at night.
This afternoon I took the Gladney girls to Build A Bear. Thanks to the perk of working there, I got to make a bear for Baby R! I named this little guy Sammy. I guess it could be a Samuel or Samantha depending on what Baby R wants/is.
When I got home from Build A Bear, I found the hubs under the sink installing our new garbage disposal. I cannot tell you how excited I am about this! Thanks Mom and Dad for much needed Christmas gift. Just one more thing that will make our house a home.

Thanks Babe! What a great handy man you are!

Monday, January 11, 2010 promised

This week marks Baby R at 18 weeks. I have to admit, I haven't been keeping up with belly pictures. My husband doesn't seem to have much interest in taking pictures of my belly (although he gives it kisses a lot). I find it a bit awkward to take my own pics. I look like death warmed over today because I have been sick, but here is a belly shot just for you. There hadn't been much of a belly bump until we got to Kansas and I seemed to pop right out. I think all the food we were eating contributed to some of that.

Scott's Grandmother made Baby R this beautiful crocheted blanket. I can't wait to put it in the baby's room. That project is on hold though. A few days before Christmas, we discovered we have three major leaks under our house. It is going to involve serious demolition to take care of them. One is in our room, one in the guest/sewing room, and one in the kitchen. They will have to dig into the foundation to fix the pipes. This is a major project considering we have the same tile floor throughout most of our house and they will have to ruin the flooring to fix the pipes. Looks like we will be looking into getting some new flooring as well. Kind of a lot for this pregnant mommy be thinking about right now. I just want that part to be over. Then we can work on the fun things like decorating the bedrooms, finishing the upstairs, and getting the nursery ready.

Santa made a special visit to my parents house on Christmas Eve just to visit the kids. Andrew was so excited and told him that he was leaving cookies, milk, and carrots for when their stop by later that night. Joely wasn't as eager to be on Santa's lap as Andrew was.

"Oh ya, Santa is coming tonight and I am awesome because I left him a snack!"

Christmas morning. The little elf couldn't wait to open his presents.

Of course, Joely had to snack on a smoothie while opening presents.

Big grins!

Getting ready to head back to Arkansas. Joely spots Papa just as I snap the picture.


Mommy and Baby Joely. Couldn't get a smile out of her though.

Papa and Mama saying good-bye to Andrew.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Baby R - 17 weeks

I promise a post with Christmas and belly pics soon. I have yet to hook all my gadgets back up from our trip to Kansas.

Pregnancy has made my blogs almost non-existent. Sorry for the few and far between posts. I will make an effort to do better.

Yesterday I had my first "official" appointment with the midwives at the birthing center. They did a medical review and took blood (as if they hadn't taken enough already!), and reviewed the mother and newborn testing that we could consent or refuse. I thought I knew a lot about that stuff, but apparently we will be doing a bit more research on a couple of the tests. Being a mommy and daddy is a tough job. You just want the best for your baby, you know?

Some highlights from the visit:
* Good strong heartbeat! She put the Doppler on my belly and Baby R was right there ready to perform! Then she called Baby R a "he" and suddenly it was gone....hehehe! Guess Baby R didn't like being called the "wrong gender". We still have a hunch it is a girl, but still aren't going to find out. But, we are compiling a list of names. We are set with a girl name (sorry not sharing). And we have a couple of boy first names, but the middle name is a source of dispute around here.

*I got a little slap on the wrist for only gaining 4-5 lbs. I can't believe it, considering we just came off the holidays and I didn't have to cook and there were food and sweets everywhere all the time. I have to eat 80-100 grams of protein a day and up the water. They sent me home with a food diary to journal for keeping track of breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack, and water intake. Um, that is a lot of times to eat.

*Still on for a mid-June due date. Depending on the source you use for detecting the due date, there is a three day difference. But, I am not going to get hung up on it. I already know that due dates are just "guess dates", although I know the exact day I ovulated thanks to charting and the awareness I have of what is going on with my body. No surprises around here! Plus, the later the date they give, the better off we are to avoid anything invasive (not that the midwives do anything invasive). I think they will let me go 2 and a half weeks past my due date.

That seems to be all for now. Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year! Again, pics coming soon....I promise.