Birth Prep Classes

Thursday, January 31, 2013
If you follow me on Facebook you may have seen that we have been looking into birth prep classes.

Yes, yes. I know I've already given birth once, I should know what I'm doing, blah blah blah.

Here is how I see it.

You cannot be too prepared for birthing your baby

Just my humble opinion on the subject matter. However, us personally... well we could use the refresher.

See.... when I was pregnant with Turtle-Love we took some birth classes offered through the hospital we were using. The classes were actually amazing. They were taught by a local doula who was also an OB nurse, with two natural births under her own belt - one outside of the country while her family was on some type of mission? To be honest those details are hazey... We went over not only the basic information of how birth happens, but the hospitals policies, how to get what you want from them, and several coping and relaxation techniques - the class was designed with natural birth in mind. We learned a ton and felt fairly prepared. I had also done some light reading about ideas for labor, and we constructed a birth plan.

Que in the unforeseen issues..... like our house foreclosing. Which lead to us moving. Which was when we realized there was no way  we were moving out of a substantially sized house I had lived in for 10+ years of my life and into something much smaller and in our price range. With a giant dog. Oh yeah.... we also had to be out a month before my due date. Anyone wanna guess what happened next? No? Oh.. its okay.. I'll tell you.

I of course went into labor a couple days before our move out deadline, while we were in a mad rush to get moved into a place we finally found with less than a third of the square footage we were used to because we recently with a stroke of luck found the place, qualified for it, and signed the dang lease. I had also jinxed myself because it snowed the night before and I stupidly made a comment about how Turtle-Love would come now just because of the weather. -_________- (That is a very unamused face in case you were wondering). 

And so, we of course ended up going to the hospital after waking up in a giant pool of liquid which we determined was my water that had broken. We left sans anything we meant to take with us. I had no bag packed, we forgot the birth plan or anything else for that matter, I was in my dang pajamas with messy hair, leaking fluid with every little wiggle, and wondering if that slight tingle in my mid section was my first contraction. Skip to the hospital where we were told we might be there for weeks before the baby is actually born... blah blah blah.... and ... drum roll please....
I sent my husband home.

Yep. Idiot.... a long story kind of shortened ... Toad missed all of my labor, which was super fast. I got lost in what was happening and forgot most of my coping techniques, but at least I had my sister! Who has never been pregnant or attended a birth class, ever. No worries, she did well. The birth went well aside from the being 5 weeks early part and somethings that go with that ... yada yada..... SO. Because of all that, and I like to keep my self informed, and... HELLLOOOOO that was over 2 years ago.... we are taking another class.

We tried for the same class, because we liked it. But of course by the time we got our schedules together the class was booked. I started doing research online to find a class that would work for us. I created a birth board on Pinterest even! It was after a few pins and a recommendation from one of my Facebook page followers (and hopeful readers, lol) that I reached out to Birth Boot Camp.

Their program seems amazing. Check them out HERE <-- That would be my affiliate link :-)
We are doing the online course. We don't live anywhere near any of the current in-person classes, but because their program includes videos I think we will do really well with it. You get access to all of the information for 3 months, including being able to chat with them whenever about whatever comes up along the way. BONUS... I found this blog post by Mama Birth that got me an awesome discount! All pregnant bloggers.. check that out! SO.. what this all means is we are going to be awesomely educated, well prepared for birth, and you guys get to read my review when it is all said and done with! I'll likely blog along the way too :-)

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Planning for our second birth

Wednesday, January 30, 2013
I've seen this blog post making the rounds on the Facebook pages I follow the past couple days.

Five Ways to Prepare for Natural Birth in a Hospital

Initially I was just going to share it on my own Facebook page, but when I went to type my own little remark about it I realized I was writing several paragraphs. And so... this blog post was born, naturally. (bahahahahahaha, funny!)

Turtle-Love was a natural hospital birth. I'm certain that I've written his birth story - but I'm pretty sure it has not been published here. That is on my to-do list in the next couple weeks. Anyhow, I've never wanted any birth other than a non-medicated vaginal delivery. At the very most basic of planning, that has always been it. The details of shots and goop and interventions and cord cutting and the labor and the delivery positions and whatever else were always extras, extras I hadn't ever considered until becoming pregnant. Even as a child playing doctor though, I delivered my babies as naturally as one can with a stuffed animal tucked under your t-shirt - au-natural.

Turtle-Love's birth was a bit more complicated than I hoped it would be. Being 5 weeks early will do that. We forgot our birth plan, which we had only just finished. Toad (the hubz) missed the majority of my labor (saving the details for the birth story people) and only arrived in time for the actual delivery. I was on IV antibiotics because my strep test hadn't come back yet, and my labor progressed much faster than the doctors and nurses thought it would. I went from broken water (it broke at home - which is why we went in) and no contractions to delivering my baby in about 8 hours. Just 3 days before at my prenatal exam I had a soft cervix, but the baby was high and I was not at all dilated. As I had hoped, I was able to labor and birth without pain medications and delivered my child vaginally - without tearing even, and in just one push. Though, I'm pretty sure I had been ready to push for a few contractions at the least. Even though Toad was absent for my labor, he made it for the birth and my little sister did a great job of helping me during labor.

Anyhow - the point of all this is....
We are planning another natural hospital birth.

I had really really wanted to deliver our second child at a birth center, attended by a midwife and have a doula present to help with labor. I looked into the birth center we have here - and it is a fantastic facility. One I was really excited about using! However, Neither Toad nor myself have insurance. Turtle-Love and I are receiving medical assistance through FAMIS. It is like medicaid but you have a co-pay, we didn't qualify for medicaid this time because we are married. At least I assume that is why because our income hasn't changed since our last pregnancy and birth, which I received medicaid coverage for. Anyhow, the birth center doesn't take FAMIS and we couldn't afford the expense out of pocket. I tried to come up with ways that we could afford it, but it never really worked out in my favor. So, we - or rather I, because this is my body and Toad supports that - decided to go back to the same OB office, through which we would deliver at the hospital.

There was another big factor in this decision though, and that is the possibility of delivering early again. The birth center wont let you deliver there unless you are at least 36 weeks. I delivered Turtle-Love at 35 weeks, and there is a chance I could deliver earlier this time around. I don't know the percentage of that potentially happening but it is a reality I have to face. As it stands the hospital we are using will not allow you to deliver there unless you have reached at least 34 weeks. If I go into labor prior to 34 weeks, I'll have to go to the other hospital in town. Don't get me wrong - that hospital is great! In fact, Turtle-Love was transferred to their amazing NICU the day after he was born, and stayed there for close to 2 weeks. I have plenty of friends who have delivered there and very few of them have poor things to say. But it is a teaching hospital meaning there would be multiple medical students present. The hospital we are planning to use is a private facility and is known to be natural birth friendly.

And so... we are planning a natural hospital birth.

We are taking a number of steps to get ready for this go round. In fact, all five of the steps listed in the above blog post at Natural Parents Network.

We are educating ourselves. I have researched and pinned a ton of things onto a "Birth board" on Pinterest - let me know if you want a link! Of course I'm looking at multiple resources, books, websites, videos, etc. Hubz and I started watch The Business of Being Born last night and will continue it tonight.

I know that while someone attending our birth may have an opinion that differs from mine, I don't necessarily need to make waves about it. If it isn't effecting my care, or support, or myself or my child - that person's opinion is just an opinion and nothing more. Anything more than that and I know it is MY CHOICE. I will be at a facility that is working for me. These doctors and nurses will be working for me and my baby. If at anytime I'm not comfortable with them, I can request new care attendants.

We are making a birth plan - and having it handy in multiple formats. Including, a quick and concise version that fits on a dang index card for quick reference. Have you guys seen these? I found them both on Pinterest... PS I ♥ Plus Size Birth and Plus Size Mommy Memoirs

This is on the PSMM Facebook page as well as their Pinterest

I'm not sure where this one came from at all, but I found it on Pinterest
I have a fantastic support team. Every single one of them knows what I want, and how badly I want it, and are learning how to help me advocate for it when the time comes. ♥

We are also going to be taking a child birth prep course. I'll tell you which one very soon! Some people think this is silly because we have done this already - classes and actually birthing of a child - but I think it is important to learn as much as possible and have a refresher course. After all, I gave birth over 2 years ago now. You cannot be too prepared for birth.

Gender Reveal + Party details

Thursday, January 17, 2013
Hey guys!

So my sisters threw us a big Gender Reveal Party, and it was great. We thought it would be a great idea to have a gender reveal party, mostly because it looked like fun and I like parties! Also because my little sister is apparently a stickler for tradition and thinks you shouldn't have baby showers for your second baby - unless it is a different sex from your first child or there is a significant age gap. -_- Meh. I say parties for all! Buuut, just in case we were having a boy I didn't want my baby to get skipped on the festivites and celebrations... so a gender reveal party was the most awesome idea ever.

Here are the details::

My little sister threw this together after what I'm sure amounted to more than several inspiration hours on sites like Pinterest and Etsy. Oh, we are BIG Pinterest and Etsy fans over here folks, just so you know. Isn't this adorable?! I'm not the biggest supporter of traditional gender roles and colors etc. However, I agreed with her that somethings are better to conform to society with for the sake of the party. Woot for her decision to go with a blue and pink that aren't so pastel-y baby-licious ♥

Aside from deciding I liked the mustache vs bow idea, my older sister wanted to keep nearly everything else about the party a secret. So I didn't get to see anything or know anything about the party! We didn't even get to find out the sex at our ultrasound, only my older sister did! I have to admit, it made things pretty exciting :-)

Anyhow - let's dive into the party details! NOTE: These pictures were taken with a not-so-awesome camera phone. I'm still waiting to find out if anyone else at the party got better shots but these will do for sharing. I'm impatient and didn't want to wait any longer to tell you all!

When the guests walked in they were faced with a choice: If they thought I was having a boy they chose a mustache, and is they thought I was having a girl they chose a bow. They also had to write their names on the board so we could keep score, of course. Also on the table were tiny wooden clothes pins for the "Don't say baby" game, booklets full of the other games to play, as well as pens. PS: The containers the booklets and pens are in are definitely little claw foot bathtubs. Cute!
It is hard to see, but there were more people on Team Bow than Team Mustache. The hubz and I grabbed one of each, he a bow and I a mustache, just for the heck of it. I wasn't telling anyone what my motherly intuition told me. At least, not at the party ;-)

One of the games we played had everyone write down up to three old wives tales about gender prediction. Some of them included baby's heart rate, activity level, the one about having your "beauty stolen", being sick all the time, the wedding ring suspended over your belly button bit, and the list goes on. Finally tally was 7 Mustache, and 6 Bow.

Other games included the one pictured above, Name That 'Stache! (or lips) where you had to name the celebrity the 'stache or lips belonged to; a bottle chugging contest, celebrity baby name match up (match the baby's name to the celebrity parent), three separate diaper games - The first blind folded with flat cloth diapers and diaper pins, five women (actually 3 women 1 preteen girl and an honorary dad) had to put the diaper on a balloon without popping it, while blind folded. The second blind folded with disposable diapers and baby dolls, for the men (actually 4 men and 1 preteen boy) to compete with. The third was that game where you melt different chocolate bars into a diaper and everyone has to guess "what baby ate". I think that was all of the games, but I may be missing one or two.

My older sister made these "Baby Game Trophies" for the game winners to receive along with their winning prize. They were pretty dang cute actually, and made me giggle.

Of course no party is complete without food! Here is the spread, pre aditional pinwheel wraps, veggie tray, fruit tray, and chocolate dip.The table was split into to sides...

"Snips and snails and puppy dog tails, that's what little boys are made of"
On the boy's side we had pinwheel wraps to represent the snails portion. Chicken salad with apple, plain chicken salad, and this chicken taco style one? It has chicken, cream cheese, and taco seasoning in it. All delicious. We also had pigs in a blanket - or hot dogs rolled in crescent roll like bread for the puppy dog tails bit. Note the more masculine food stands -> cake stands my little sister made for my bridal shower last September out of ceramic plates and candlesticks.

 "Sugar and spice and all things nice, that's what little girls are made of"
On the girl's side we had powdered sugar donuts, of course for the sugar portion, and Boston Cream Pie cupcakes made by yours truly (me) for the all things nice bit. Chocolate, cake..... what isn't nice about that?! Note the more decadent and feminine food stands on this side, something my older sister had on hand from previous functions.

Of course in the center was the drinks. Water and punch, complete with striped straws, green on the boys side and purple on the girls. (Two of my favorite colors!)
The water bottles were covered in duck tape - lips for girls and mustaches for boys. Cute!

Party favors were also provided, sets of magnets my little sister made. Everyone got a bow and a mustache magnet, and they are freaking adorable.

After fun, games, socializing, and delicious food and cake there was only one thing left to do....
This is the box my older sister and her boyfriend built for the occasion. She filled it with balloons and had it placed at the top of our stairs....







Are you ready?!



We are having a little girl!!!

The hubz and I are both very excited! In fact, nearly everyone is excited. We keep hearing how we are "so lucky to get one of each" etc. etc. .... it is great to feel all the excitement from everyone. Of course, our biggest thing isn't the sex of our child... we are just hoping for a full term, healthy, baby.

But you know adorably cute tiny dresses don't hurt.....