The Big Boy Bed Adventures: Night 1

Thursday, March 28, 2013
In case you guys didn't know, we are avid co-sleepers, bed sharers, family bed style people.
We did not start off this way.

I grew up in a family bed. My mom had a crib for me and my little sister, but neither of us ever slept in it. Maybe she (my sister) did a time or two for a nap, but not so much. As we got bigger we also got our own beds in our own room (we shared a room in those early years) and we were free to travel between them. We were still living in that house when I started Kindergarden, but I couldn't for the life of me tell you where I slept most nights. I remember braiding my own very long hair in my bedroom, and playing in my bedroom. I remember my mom snuggling my little sister on our couch taking a nap while I camped out behind the crooks of her knees and watched TV, or dozed leaned on her butt. Or my sister sleeping near by, and not in Mom's arms, while Mom napped on the couch and I hung out in the space behind her knees warm and cozy. My mom worked nights while my dad worked days so they didn't have to try and afford a sitter too very often, so Mom's day sleep was vital to her sanity I'm sure. She tells me I was always excellent as a small child and very helpful with my baby sister (we are two years apart, almost to the day). We have tons of pictures of us sleeping in Mom and Dad's bed when we were little. We moved the summer I turned 6, and when we moved we moved in to a much larger house. Both of my sisters (I have an older half sister who mostly spent the weekends with us) and I got our own rooms. I remember sleeping in my own bed, and sleeping in the family bed. Especially if we were sick, but even if we were just lonely, or hadn't cleaned off our beds to be able to sleep on them - we were welcomed into the family bed. Even now, as an adult, one of the most comforting places I can find in our house is my mother's bed. She doesn't have to be in it of course, but her sheets are always warmer and her pillows are always softer. I haven't slept in my mother's bed in many many years - after all I am 26 years old and married - but that place of safety and comfort is engrained deeply in me. It doesn't matter that her bed is actually a couch now (it is more comfortable and convenient for her) or that we have moved several times and her bedroom isn't what I remember. The atmosphere in general is completely different. However, on those really tough days - those high stress days - I know what my mother is going to recommend to me. Hugs, a shoulder to cry on, and relaxing in her bed while I regroup. Oh man, does it work Every. Single. Time. The perks of co-inhabiting with your mother ;-) (PS writing that and reading it back to myself totally makes me cry. Stupid hormones...)

Slightly off topic but not really. My bad on that. Anyhow - so I obviously grew up with co-sleeping. That was the point, to stress that it is very normal to me.

When Toad and I found out we were pregnant with Turtle-Love, our first, we of course talked about a thousand or so parenting decisions that had to be made. One that we had decided on quickly was that co-sleeping was not for us. The bed sharing variety anyhow. Before we moved we had set up Turtle-Love's room with his crib and furniture, etc. and a day bed that I would sleep on for at least the first few weeks in his room. (Which, by the way, is a form of co-sleeping). We thought that this way I could get up with the baby, and Toad could still sleep so he could be functional for work. No point in having two sleep deprived parents. My mother tried to convince us we shouldn't spend the money on a crib - but we were very firm in our decision that we would not bed share. We did not want our child in the bed with us. Ohhhhh how things change. Turtle-Love was born early. You all probably know that story by now. He spent his first two weeks sleeping alone in a bassinet in the NICU. Our first night sleeping together, in a family suite in the NICU, he slept alone in his bassinet next to my side of the bed. To my surprise I actually did wake up to every single sound he made, even though I doubted my ability to hear him in my sleep. (After all, I perfected the art of missing my alarm clock over the years) So when we brought him home we planned to put him to sleep in his crib, alone. We had moved though, and his crib was actually in our bedroom. We got home and he just seemed so tiny in his very large crib, I couldn't leave him there. I was really happy a friend had given us a bassinet. I pulled it up close to our bed, and put him to sleep in it. Over the next few nights...

Scratch that just remembered I already wrote this part of the story! Two years ago! You can read it here: We bedshare - do you?

Anyhow... we tried a couple times and a couple different things in that first year of life to transition Turtle-Love into his own sleeping space, but nothing worked. Part of that was probably that we just weren't that committed to it. I didn't mind bedsharing after all, and it meant we actually got sleep. I've come to very much enjoy bedsharing with our son. I love the cuddles, and the snuggles, and having him lay next to me at night while I sing him the moon song, or we read books to the moon. (Our bed is under a sky light). However, in the past month I've woken up numerous times to my husband sleeping on the couch because Turtle-Love kicked him out of the bed. Toad doesn't mind, sometimes he sleeps better on the couch that he can spread out in compared to the measly edge of bed he grips each night with us. A few nights I actually woke up to Turtle-Love whining, and then pushing on Toad with his feet telling him to move, to get out of the bed. While it is actually really funny to witness that and have Toad listen, it was a big sign to us that Turtle-Love is looking for more space. I can't blame him. Our set up is pretty crowded right now. Toad, then Turtle-Love, then me and my pregnant belly, then my pregnancy body pillow. We planned to side car the crib to make more space when Little Bean arrives. With this new realization from Turtle-Love however, we needed to make new plans. Recently, our family also experienced a tragedy that has shaken us to the core, and it has helped us to open our eyes up to things that we have become a bit laxed in - areas we need improvement as all people do over time. So between this and Turtle-Love's obvious need for more space, we decided to put the crib up, converted as a toddler day bed.

We put Turtle-Love's big boy bed off my side of our bed, against the wall. There is maybe 1.5 - 2 feet of space between the edge of his bed and the edge of our bed. We put his bed together Tuesday night, but with having an early morning appointment the next day we didn't want to risk not sleeping and decided to try out the big boy bed for the first time at night last night - mainly because Toad is off today and could be up with him if need be. Turtle-Love has slept on his mattress in the floor for naps a handful of times, but never as a bed off the ground, and never at night. Turtle-Love, and Toad, fell asleep together while cuddling on the couch last night. He hadn't been asleep long when I decided to risk picking him up and moving him to his bed. Turtle-Love, not Toad ;-) On the way to the bedroom he barely woke up, just long enough for me to steal a kiss and he promptly laid down on my shoulder. The transition to his bed went smoothly too and he snuggled right in. I had made his bed up the same way I make ours so the weight would feel familiar - fitted sheet, flat sheet, blanket, comforter, pillow case on his pillow (which is actually super flat and used to be mine, I got it at a birthday party when I was 5). I had Toad move to the bed too, and then I got in bed myself. I decided to leave our light on, but dimmed down. Just in case Turtle-Love woke up so he could see us. I also moved his bean bag chair in front of his bed in case he rolled. I didn't think he would, but didn't want him to just crash to the ground either if he did.

I then laid down in bed myself, facing Turtle-Love and snuggling my body pillow. I got really sad and a little anxious. What if something happened? He seemed so far away. There were no little toes in the backs of my knees. No little fingers on my back. No little wisps of hair tickling me. No leg thrown over my side. No tiny hot breaths on my skin. I tried distracting myself on my phone, which didn't work. I ended up just laying there, watching Turtle-Love sleep for what felt like a really long time before I finally drifted off with tears threatening my eyes the whole time. My baby boy is getting so big!

I woke up in the middle of the night - as most pregnant women do - and Turtle-Love had barely moved. His covers were undisturbed, he had only turned his head the other direction and I could now see his little face. I drifted between awake and asleep from then til it was time to get ready for work. I waited as long as I could, laying in bed, just in case he woke up. I really wanted to be there if he did, but he didn't and I had to leave.

I got a Tango (its a video chat program for smart phones - free!) from Toad a little while ago. Turtle-Love was all smiles and happy voice and in the best mood. He had just woken up about ten minutes before they called. Toad report Turtle-Love walked into the living room looking for him, and when he called out "Daddy?" Toad answered - from the bed - and he quickly climbed in with him, but carrying their matching baseball caps. All smiles. All happy boy.

My baby boy is so big!
Did I mention he didn't even nurse last night? 
No one warns you the hard part of this transition is your own emotions when your baby is ready!

This was just the first night. It went great but I know the following nights might not. It just seems like Turtle-Love is so happy today already. My little guy who isn't so much a morning person lately. My mom even called to tell me how chipper and non-whiney Turtle-Love is this morning for breakfast. ♥

 Toad and Turtle-Love immediately after falling asleep on the couch :: Turtle-Love immediately after being moved to his big boy bed (note the bean bag chair lol) :: Turtle-Love this morning, from where I lay to sleep the last moment before I had to get up for work

Cloth Diaper Stash Post

Monday, March 25, 2013
I have decided that I want to get almost everything ready for our new addition by the time I hit 35 weeks. Two reasons - 1, Turtle Love was born at 35 weeks so it's kind of a precaution. 2, I would like to relax and enjoy the last month of my pregnancy while crafting to my hearts content.

We may or may not be slightly behind on our task list now.... All last week we were out with a stomach bug and got pretty much nothing accomplished. Saturday I wore my self out entirely too much to do a whole lot yesterday. So I sat on my pregnant behind while Turtle-Love had a lazy, TV filled day (don't judge me!) and the hubz recovered from two days of hard work without sleep by napping in the recliner. While on my behind, I decided to be somewhat productive and went through and folded, organized, and cataloged our entire cloth diaper stash. Oh yeah, I did that! In fact, this may be the first time... ever that I have taken a picture of our entire stash. Every single cloth diaper we own was clean, and I hadn't put them together or folded them since they came out of the drier a week... maybe two... ago and I was tired of watching them scatter further and further in our bedroom. We had also just dug out all of the sized diapers Turtle-Love outgrew, so I literally had every piece in our stash right there in front of me.

**I'd like to quickly mention that nearly every diaper in this stash was purchased on-sale, or second hand. I like good deals :-)**

You want the pic first, or the list first?
Yeah, yeah... pic. Duh.

There you have it.... Our cloth diaper stash - currently. There are a handful of things not pictured, including fleece liners, some disposable inserts, trainers, snappis, and a few diapers that need repair. Let's go ahead and break down what is in the picture...

1- 4 Target Flour Sack Towels
2- 10 Diaper Rite 27x27 Flats
3- 6 Mother-Ease doublers
14 Mama's Simple Solutions zorb inserts
 5 Mama's Simple Solution's nighttime inserts
4- Mabu Baby
 4 Newborn outters
 4 Newborn washable pads
 4 Newborn disposable pads
 8 Size 1 washable pads
 4 Size 3/4 washable pads
 10 liners
5- 7 Flip covers
 8 Flip Stay-Dry inserts
6- 3 BumGenius Freetimes
 1 BottomBumpers - Small
 1 BottomBumpers - Medium
 1 Bummis AIO - Medium
 1 Kissaluvs Marvel
7- GroVia
 3 Newborn AIOs
 5 OS AIOs
 6 Shells
 2 soakers
8- 1 Alva Baby
 2 Fuzzibunz Elites (Diaper Talk series)
 2 FuzziBunz OS
 1 Thirsties Duo Diaper - Size 2
 2 Mommy's Touch Tape pocket diapers
9- 8 itti bitti tuttos
10- 3 Sunbaby 2.0s
 5 Sunbaby 3.0s
11- Oeko Popo
 2 covers - Size 2
 2 beltable prefolds - Medium
 1 pre/flat
 1 belt - Medium
12- Rumparooz
 3 OS pocket diapers with 6r Soakers
 4 Lil Joeys AIOs
13- AppleCheeks
 4 envelope covers - Size 1
 5 envelope covers - Size 2
 7 microterry inserts
 6 bamboo inserts
14- 1 Mama's Simple Solution fitted
 2 BagShotRowBaby fitteds
15- 2 Econobum covers with prefolds
16- 1 GoodMama fitted - Newborn
 1 Dream-Eze fitted - Small
 1 Dream-Eze fitted - Medium
 2 Bumboo fitteds - Size 1
17- 5 Kissaluvs fitteds - Size 0
 2 Kissaluvs fitteds - Size1
 1 Sandy's Mother-Ease fitted - Small
18- 2 unknown WAHM fitteds, sized
19- 3 unknown WAHM fitteds with doublers, one size
20- 2 Baby SoftWraps - Small
 2 Bummis Super Whisper Wraps - Newborn
 1 Bummis Super Whisper Wrap - Small
 1 Thirsties wrap - X-small
 3 Thirsties Duo Wraps - Size 1
 2 Thirsties Duo Wraps - Size 2

Missing from picture
50 Grovia Biosoakers
22 Mabu Baby disposable pads - Size 3/4
1 Bummis Swim Diaper - Large
1 Fuzzibunz Trickle-Free Trainer - Small
1 Flip Trainer with 3 inserts
2 EcoPosh Trainers - Small (Easter basket goodie!)
2 AppleCheeks doublers
1 AppleCheeks extender tabs set
2 Fuzzibunz Elite minkee inserts
2 Fuzzibunz microfiber inserts
4 Fuzzibunz replacement leg elastic sets
1 unknown microfiber insert (appeared out of no where, I suspect it belongs to a friend who stripped my diapers for me a while ago)
13 fleece liners
1 roll disposable liners
5 Mama's Simple Solutions zorb squares
1 PlanetWise pail liner
1 GoGreenPocketDiapers vinyl pail liner
2 GoGreenPocketDiapers wet bags
1 KangaCare/Rumparooz wet bag
1 itti bitti luxury wet bag
2 Bubu Bibi wet bags (One we are actually using to hold Turtle-Love's inhaler and spacer)
4 Snappis
Missing from stash entirely
3 Diaper Rite 27x27 flats
1 Flip cover
1 Bumboo fitted - Size 1
1 Fuzzibunz Trickle-Free Trainer - Small
1 EcoPosh Trainer - Medium
1 AppleCheeks Swim Diaper - Size 1
1 Bubu Bibi Wet Bag
2 Snappis
In need of repair
2 BumGenius 2/3.0s (not sure, very worn)
3 Sunbaby 2.0s (de-laminated)

So there we have it! Our cloth diaper stash. I'll admit we aren't done. After all, we will be diapering 2 soon. I'd like to have more tiny diapers for the newborn phase, and I'd like to add a couple of girlie diapers to the mix - we are lacking a splash of pink and purple. Also, I'll be participating in the Flats & Handwashing Challenge for the third year in a row, and I'll have two then. Need to add a few more flats to the stash! Some newborn size and some toddler size. I'd also like to get 2 sets of boingos to try out, and maybe a couple newborn covers :-)

Any suggestions for WAHM shops I should try? Brands I don't have that you recommend? Trainer recommendations? I'll take 'em!

Planning Our Natural Hospital Birth: The Tour

Wednesday, March 13, 2013
I should say, our second natural hospital birth.

You may remember my post a couple weeks ago, Struggle, where I talked about how I was struggling with where we are birthing. I really wanted a birth center birth the second time around. Unfortunately it just isn't in the cards for us between our finances and my insurance coverage. So,I'm we are doing everything we can to give us the best opportunity for a completely intervention free hospital birth. (Last time I had an IV for antibiotics - my strep test hadn't come back and he was 5 weeks early - but that was my only intervention)

Last night we went on a tour of the hospital we will be birthing at. I was delivered at this hospital, as were both of my sisters, my niece, a couple of my cousins, several of my friend's children, and I delivered Turtle-Love at this hospital too. We are lucky enough to have two amazing hospitals in town, but I've always loved this one. Of course, the other hospital has a special place in our hearts as their NICU took care of Turtle-Love his first two weeks.You may be wondering why on earth we were touring a hospital I've already spent so much time in, and that we already have experience with. Oh, well in the last two years the new building for the hospital has been completed and they have moved. So technically, we have no experience in this actual building - just with the hospital as a business now. Which has also changed, as they switched.... uhh I'll say powers? owners? Something like that. Anyhow - even if they hadn't we would have still taken the tour just to re-familiarize ourselves and brush up on any new policies.

Before going to the tour I took the time to come up with a list of questions I wanted answered. Then I checked the hospital's website to make sure some of them couldn't be answered there. Some of them could! Like... (What I had a question about is in bold, the answer is in italics. Of course, not every hospital will have the same answers.)

•Labor Support
You may have 2-3 support people with you during labor.
•Visiting Hours and Policy
No one under 14 is allowed to visit unless they are a sibling. Specific hours are encouraged abut exceptions can be made.
•Can Turtle-Love stay over-night with me? This was a big question for us, especially since we co-sleep. (Dang I forgot to ask about co-sleeping with Bean)
No. They of course use more expressive language to soften that lol
•Do you have showers or baths I can use during labor?
Yes, whirlpool tubs are available. 

They have other information that I already knew was policy that you may want to ask your hospital...
Are doulas allowed? Yes
Can my baby room-in with me 24/7? Yes, it is highly encouraged though the nursery is available and nearby.
Are there conveniences like cable, wireless internet, etc.? In labor and delivery as well as postpartum? Yes, though DVD players, CD players, docking stations etc. need to be brought.
Are you supportive of breastfeeding? How do you support mothers with this? Yes, very. You will not be offered formula unless there is a medical reason or you request it. A lactation consultant will visit you to make sure you are doing well and answer any questions you have. One is always available as well. Pumping supplies are also available.
Do I go through the Emergency Room or the main entrance? In the middle of the night? The main entrance is always available for use. Valet parking is offered during standard hours, and after hours you can park in the drop off circle and leave your keys with security - they will park your car for you and your keys will be brought to your room.

We were late arriving for the tour. Yoga lasted a little longer than I thought, and hubz was late leaving a family night for a friend's grandfather. Everyone was really friendly and helpful in assisting us to find the tour in progress. Little did we know the tour was being conducted by the woman who taught our last birthing class that we adored! It was nice catching up with her, hugs all around. (She is also a doula!) The first thing we noticed though, which was a nice turn around to a rough start (I was cranky because we were late)... the wing of the hospital for labor, delivery, and postpartum is actually called The Birthing Center.

Some nifty things I learned on the tour (that I did not ask/have to ask)
•The Birthing Center is located behind a locked door. All postpartum and birthing suites are located behind the locked door with the waiting room NOT behind the locked door. Before allowing anyone in to see you you are called and asked if you are available, and if you would like to see whoever it is.
•You are allowed to have up to 3 labor support people. Each person is provided a band that allows them access behind the doors at anytime during your birth - so food runs, store trips, etc. can go smoothly and quickly.
•They have a snack kitchen, equipped with ice cream, water, ice, dry goods, etc.
•They will not keep you from eating or drinking during labor. She did mention that there may be times clear liquids are best and suggested.
•Each birthing suite has it's own whirlpool tub that is very large and deep, as well as handheld showers.
•A variety of birthing balls are available.
•The bed drops down and a squat bar is available for pushing in a squatted position, or for mom's who are too tired or having a hard time finding the right muscles.
•The number of people who visit you at one time in postpartum is unlimited, though they do recommend you limit your visits so you can rest and bond.

Things that I did ask
•What is the monitoring policy?
A standard belt monitor is available - usually upon arrival they like to get a solid 20 minute reading though it isn't mandatory to be that way. Then and every other time tele-monitors are available, as well as just a hand held doplar. Monitoring can be done in whatever position you like as long as the baby's heart beat can be found. 
•What is the IV policy?
Not mandatory or procedure unless medically necessary. If you must receive antibiotics, a Hep lock can be used after administration.
•What birthing positions are permitted?
This one is up to your delivering doctor. The hospital it self doesn't mind any position or place - though in your own birthing suite rather than the hall is encouraged.
•Can my son(or other siblings) be present during birth?
Absolutely, he just needs one specific person that is not Mom or Dad assigned to him. He will get his own band (not part of the three) as will his person (is apart of the three).
•Baby care policy immediately following birth?
Baby is placed directly on Mom's chest.
•Does baby ever have to be separated from me?
No. All tests can be done with baby on your chest.
•Can we delay cord clamping?
Absolutely, just make sure it is in your birth plan and that your doctor and the pediatrician know. Dad - this is a good job for you, remind them as soon as baby is out.
•What about the placenta? Can we bring it home?
Yep! Make sure you bring a cooler it needs to go on ice immediately and be taken home soon after.
•Policy regarding vitamin K shot, eye goop, vaccines?
They are all standard procedure but you can absolutely decline them. You just have to sign a waiver, we have no problems with any of that.
•How long is labor allowed to go before interventions are pushed?
As long as it takes. If baby is doing fine there is no reason to intervene. That doesn't mean it wont be offered or suggested by your doctor. If your water has been broken for 24 hours antibiotics will likely be administered but you are free to labor for as long as it takes. 
•What is the video and photo policy?
Video is not permitted, and photos have to be from above the legs perspective.
•Are there ever breech births here?
•Can we bring and use cloth diapers right away?

So all of our questions got answered. I was really impressed by the actual facility and how friendly everyone was. There was a nurse actually snuggling a baby in the nursery, so the babies that are taken there aren't just left to hang out which makes me feel good too. We left the hospital feel much better about our decision, happy about it actually. We realize that these are just words and things that sound good now - and it will be the people we have contact with when the time comes and testing the policies rather than smiling at the theory of them. But we are hopeful, and happy.

Now to ask my doctor's office a ton of questions at our next visit!

Our unusual living arrangement

Monday, March 11, 2013
Of course as soon as I posted my last entry we lost power where I am. Sooo I'm writing this via my phone while I wait to see if my day resumes here or I head out to pick up my lovey.

Hubz and I have always lived with my mom. First because that is where I was living and it made sense for him to move in with me in town. Then because we were unexpectedly expecting Turtle-Love and needed all the help we could get. Then we all needed each other while during my pregnancy my mom's house,  the one I grew up in, was foreclosed on because one thing after the other kept falling apart and financially things couldn't keep up. I ended up delivering Turtle-Love a month early from all of this stress and we needed my mom more than ever.
When our lease was up at the rental place we decided to find somewhere affordable where we could continue living with my mom but have more separated space. We found that, and then soon after circumstances changed and my aunt (my mom's sister) her oldest daughter with her three kids, and her son came to stay with us while my cousin waited to accept a job in town. They looked for their own place but couldn't find anything suitable. A joke was made that we should all live together in one big house (our current house was feeling very very cramped) and the funny thing was, we found one. The house we found had several separate living areas, including a walk out basement that was very large that Hubz, Turtle-Love and I, along with our large dog, could occupy. Away from everyone else so we could build our family relationships further. We were in our first year of marriage after all, but still with my family.
Unfortunately the day after we signed the lease and terminated our previous one we discovered mold in the basement. We ended up living in the formal dinning room while everyone else settled in and we waited to hear what would be done about the basement. I had enough and was increasingly irritated with our single space and we made the decision to move to the top floor, the converted attic space. The attic apartment we live in is great! We have a sky light directly over our bed that makes going to sleep so calming and wonderful. Turtle-Love loves finding and saying goodnight to the moon and stars. We have our own kitchen(ette), living room, bathroom, and ample storage space. It is only one bedroom but it is spacious and all we need considering we co-sleep. There are two big disadvantages though. Our dog isn't allowed in the house (he was going to be allowed in the basement) and it is a steep walk up 36 stairs from the main living area we all share. Realistically we need the exercise, and Char (our pup) has a friend that he stays with - my cousins dog - in the garage. We have a fenced yard they play in, so we figured we would make the best of it. We've been here since June of last year. In January our landlord wanted our (the whole family's) decision about our lease renewal. As I'm pregnant, I refused to move anywhere near my due date (early May) this time - just in case. We would either move in February or not at all. Our family decided they wanted to stay as well, and so our lease has been renewed.

There are several advantages to living with so many people. Decreased financial burden, help with Turtle-Love when hubz is out of town or at work, my aunt cooks dinner nearly every night and does the majority of the grocery shopping. My mom does most of the laundry (I wash our cloth diapers), after dinner clean up is split among those who did not cook while someone else watches the kids. Turtle-Love has play mates, my cousin's kids are 10, 4, and 3. His vocabulary has skyrocketed with her little chatterboxes around! The list goes on, it really does. I'm grateful for this opportunity and generally enjoy our "village" lifestyle. That doesn't mean it doesn't come with it's woes. Unfortunately that is most of the point of this particular blog post.

There is a really big difference between the ideal village lifestyle - where you live in very close proximity to your support system but in separate houses - and the all-in-one house village lifestyle we currently participate it.

We are having trouble establishing and maintaining our individual family dynamic. Turtle-Love knows who each of us are. He knows his relationship beyond a doubt with me, with hubz, and with my mom. The other roles and influences in his life though I'm not so sure of. We spend a lot of time downstairs with everyone. Turtle-Love plays with the other kids every day. He really enjoys the time he spends with them, and talks about them often when we aren't with them. The trouble is that I'm worried about how he identifies himself with them.

*Okay, so I wrote all of that from my phone Friday afternoon. I've obviously lost some of my gusto but I'll keep expressing my point from here

I am concerned that if we do not separate ourselves from the rest of the family more that Turtle-Love wont bond with our baby the same way. That he will see himself as the same as the other kids in the house and how they relate to the child I am carrying, rather than seeing himself as the big brother, a sibling. The four of us will make up our individual family, but I am worried about how he will perceive that if we don't make the effort to separate ourselves, relationally and spatially, from the rest of the family. Going further - I'm not sure how to create balance in this situation.

Does anyone reading this happen to have experience with village style living? Ideas on how to help build our individual family's relationships without creating a rift with the rest of the household? Does anyone else even live like this?!

A Quickish Update

Friday, March 8, 2013
Alright - a quickish update and then on to THE POST.

I'm 30 weeks (31 by ultrasound) and doing well! My blood pressure is good, Bean's heart rate has been good. No real complaints, nothing major happening. The ultrasound I had a couple weeks ago showed no premature cervical shortening which is awesome. It did, however, show us that Little Bean was breech. She was hanging out yogi style, with at least one heal near her bum, sitting on my right side facing my left. I had an appointment the following Friday, at which her heart beat was found below my belly button (which to me says she is transverse or head down, not breech) but the OB I saw said that if she hadn't turned by 37 weeks we would talk about external versions and then a c-section at 39 weeks. Aaawwweeesssooommmmeeee. NOT.

The day after was a local birth expo which worked out great for us. We found some awesome places to take Turtle-Love for play time, met an acupuncturist, two chiropractors, a doula in training who I happen to know (but didn't know was a doula!), and a bunch of other local resources for families and pregnant women. We also each scored an Under The Nile cloth teething toy for visiting 10 vendors, and my name was drawn during a "Grand Prize Drawing" so I got to pick a prize from the good stuff. I chose a gift bag put together by another local doula, who happened to be the birth class instructor we loved from our last pregnancy. The bag included two Earth Mama Angel Baby gift packs, one set of newborn goodies and one set of pregnant mama goodies, a lavender and flax seed eye pillow for stress relief, two ribbon edged burp rags, and a rice sock. Very sweet and super helpful!

I really liked one of the chiropractors we met. She not only explained to me how my sciatic nerve pain could be telling us that my pelvis is out of alignment likely adding to or even causing the breech issue (and explained it awesomely well I will add) but also offered to work with us on payment if my insurance doesn't cover her office. In fact, her business card actually says "Insurance - Cash - Charity" as payment options. She said there was no reason to let something like money get in the way of helping me with the sciatic pain and hopefully preventing a c-section. So, I now have an appointment with her next week. Also, my doula friend is currently in the process of completing her training and offered her services to us gratis. These are the kind of people I like meeting in the world. Can we please have more of them? Okay, great! We had an official meeting with her at our place yesterday and I'll be contacting her in just a bit to let her know we would love to have her on our "birth team". And before everyone wonders, no it isn't just because her services will not cost us in cash. We actually feel that we connected well with her. And HELLO she actually swayed hubz to team doula and got him on board! Ummm, big score there. I also love the idea that we can help her get the hands on experience she needs for her certification. I actually hope to complete doula certification myself in the nearish future (potentially through where she is - the program sounded pretty awesome) and hope that other people will grant me the same kindness. Plus, the one birth she has already attended as a doula was with my OB's practice and at the hospital we will be going to, which is excellent luck.

We've fallen behind on our birth classes through Birth Boot Camp, but we are determined to catch up! PS - go check them out. Use the buttons up there ^ (see top of post) and over there --> (see side bar next to post). So far we are LOVING these classes. Very informative, hubz is staying focused and learning, and there was a bunch of stuff I didn't really know - or at least didn't know this much about! 

Turtle-Love is doing excellently and enjoys singing, dancing, playing with his matchbox cars, the occasional movie, and generally shocking us with his adorable banter and delighted playfulness. Of course it isn't all peaches, but the good and fun far outweighs the tough and rough spots. He is also addicted to my belly. If he can see any belly skin he has to touch my belly, hold my belly, kiss my belly, poke my belly button and exclaim "Baaayyy Beeee! I kiss baby. Hi baby! Mama baby belly!" Sometimes he tells us he has a baby in his belly too *snicker*. Sure thing kiddo, sure thing. He has also gained an interest in princesses, including dressing up as one, and now owns a pink lady bug shirt with red glitter on it. *shrug* Hey, the kid likes what he likes and we wont stand in the way of that. I think he is rather well rounded :-) I suppose that is what happens when you spend a ton of your time with girls your age but really admire your daddy. ;-)
In other news, the babywearing group a good friend of mine and I are starting up locally is having our first meeting on St. Patrick's Day. So excited! If you are in or near central VA contact me for specifics!

Alright, so that actually wasn't terribly quick was it? Oops. Oh well. On to The Post. Actually. I'm going to write it as a separate post. I'll link it up here when I'm done.

For giggles... a picture of hubz and Turtle-Love the other morning...

My co-sleeping ninja Turtle-Love, and Daddy