Saturday, November 18, 2017

Loved Baby WINNER (s)

I updated the post, but haven't heard from either winner, so I thought I would post an update here!

Since I have 2 copies of Loved Baby and 2 entrants I decided to give away both!

So - SLM and ldybugdancer shoot me an email @ rodman.angela@gmail.com with your address and I will ship it out to you!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

23 weeks // hospital tour


 I was going through "next steps" with my therapist when I mentioned the paperwork I need to fill out and the childbirth classes / hospital tours that are offered.

She told me to take a hospital tour. We had a long conversation, but what it boiled down to was this: you need to walk in and see if you have a panic attack before you are in labor. And if you really struggle you need to walk through at least once more.

Therapists are annoyingly practical.

So I asked my doula if there was any way to have a private tour, because touring the birthing center with a passel of happy / first time / not panicking parents sounded like absolute hell. I am very lucky that my doula teaches birthing classes and gives tours at the hospital, so I was able to walk through with her and one other doula instead of a big group. Thank you, Jesus.

Good news: I didn't have a panic attack! In fact, I felt fine throughout the entire tour and I was able to get all of my questions answered. I still don't want to have another baby, but .... I think I can get through it.

AND

the local hospital now offers nitrous oxide for pain relief / help with labor anxiety. Talk to me about this, friends! Please! I need more information. It sounds very intriguing, but I'm hesitant because I don't think I've ever used it before. Maybe once at the dentist ...? but I'm not sure.

I am not thrilled about getting an epidural, but I am also not interested in stalling out at 8 cm for the third time because the PTSD kicks in and I. just. can't. go. forward. So maybe nitrous is a good option to have on the table.

Little babe is 23 weeks along now and things are progressing as usual: the kids have felt her kick, which is very exciting, I'm super uncomfortable / in pain, and next week brings another round of OB and MFM appointments.

I feel like the holidays are going to come and go quickly and then I'll be faced with the baby coming a fast couple months after that.

SO - if you've had experience with nitrous in labor, tell me! (Unless it's a super awful horror story. I just can't go there right now). I want to be as prepared as possible for this completely unpredictable event. 


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

loved baby: book review & giveaway




I had intentions of posting this review during pregnancy and infant loss week, but I forgot about how turtle-like I become during October when I'm pregnant.

Loved Baby by Sarah Philpott is a well written book of devotions about pregnancy and infant loss. Philpott covers topics from miscarriage to stillbirth to pregnancy after loss to living a childless life to adoption. She takes the many strands of pregnancy and infant loss and weaves them together to include all who have lost under an umbrella of hope and love. And each devotion is full of reminders of the hope and love of Jesus Christ.

I wish I had a copy of Loved Baby after Charlotte died, but even now, 7 years after she died, it has been a helpful and comforting read. Loved Baby is a thoughtful, meaningful book to gift to someone after they have lost a baby.

Thanks to the Blog About Blogger Network I have a copy of Loved Baby to give to you.


Leave a comment if you would like to enter to win. I'll select a winner on Sunday November 5th.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

pregnancy after loss {the third time around}


I'd like to tell you it gets easier - and in some ways it does - but in many of the big ways it's hard because the trauma is still very much there.

This pregnancy I'm working with my therapist on managing my cortisol levels so I go into the labor / delivery situation calm and able to remain so. I think this is a very lofty goal, but we are working towards making at least some progress before the baby comes. I've been in therapy since January so I hope I am at least slightly better at managing my anxiety and stress.

I am slowly getting used to the idea of having another baby. I bought a car seat because it was on sale, and I found the baby swing I really wanted so I bought that as well - more on that later as it is a good story - but then my therapist tells me to tour the hospital where I'm going to deliver and I'm like, Oh no, that is NOT happening. This one is going to magically appear. Jesus and I have talked about this.

And then she's like, "No really, you need to tour the hospital."


So while I was wrapping my mind around that idea I put on my brave girl pants and began putting together a small baby registry and looked on Craigslist to see if the swing / seat I was hoping to find used was for sale.

I saw this swing at a friend's house and it was the most interesting / futuristic baby seat swing I have seen. It was fascinating and I said, "What is this? Where did you find it? I need one!" And then she told me she had bought it used because the retail price is $$$$$ and I immediately began looking for one. I can't even explain how different it is - look up the Mamaroo and watch a video.



Yesterday was my lucky day because I found one nearby and it was a reasonable price. I began e-mailing the seller and we agreed to meet up this morning. And then she sent another e-mail:

Just wanted to say, I saw the link in your signature of your email and it caught my eye because I lost 2 babies- I delivered twins at 21 weeks in 2015 and  just went through a very high risk/stressful pregnancy with my 8 month old little girl.  Congrats to you and hang in there, I know how stressful it is.


We e-mailed back and forth a bit about our experiences, and it reminded me that pregnancy and infant loss is everywhere. While I have felt like I'm meeting with a long series of compassion-less providers this pregnancy there are a lot of people who understand and are willing to spare a moment to send encouragement and kindness my way.

There's the friends and family who are excited and hopeful for us because we can't find the emotional wherewithal to get to that place yet.

There's the providers who are extremely caring and willing to receive my desperate texts about the possibility of private hospital tours because I am not interested in hanging out with shiny happy first time moms.

There's the sweet elderly lady from our old neighborhood who checks in every couple weeks via a phone call to see how the baby is and how I'm doing. She tells me she is praying for me, she says she is thrilled we are having another baby because we are wonderful parents, she tosses out name ideas and tells me the same few stories over and over again. Her phone calls lift my spirits immensely.

And there's the kids: B and Ains are over the moon about having a sibling. They love babies, they're excited to change diapers and love on a sister. Their excitement is carrying me through the darker moments of this pregnancy; the moments when I doubt if I can do this again - the whole shebang, birth to newborn days to raising another one - because it feels too overwhelming and hard.

Pregnancy after loss is hard, but it's worth it. I promise. Even though this is not what we planned. Even though we're still reeling a bit and trying to figure out what exactly we need and how exactly it's all going to work. Even though we can't agree on a name and it doesn't seem likely that we will. Even though being pregnant and facing another birth brings up a lot of trauma ....

It will all be worth it when we meet our new baby girl.


Friday, October 13, 2017

We're having another ...



GIRL!

I knew it!

That's 4/4 I've known the gender of from the beginning.

Baby girl is very healthy and growing as she should. I'm 19.5 weeks now, which I'm declaring as halfway through this pregnancy. 

I have a lot of thoughts and feelings about this, but I'm not ready to go there today so I am just going to leave this as a very quick and short update.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

it's so different {what it's like to try every type of prenatal care available}


My pregnancy and birth history is complicated, which means I have never delivered with the same person or in the same location more than once. The constants at my birth have been Jonathan and my first midwife, but my first midwife has acted as a doula / support person / shoulder to cry on during my subsequent births.

Here's a quick outline of who I've seen and where I've delivered:

Birth # 1: Midwives only, stand alone birth center, all natural

Birth #2: Prenatal care from midwife and maternal fetal medicine doctor (high risk OB), hospital, MFM doc delivered, Pitoicin given, zero pain meds

Birth #3: Prenatal care from midwives and maternal fetal medicine doctor, different hospital from #2, midwife delivered, Pitoicin and epidural used

Pregnancy #4: Prenatal care from OB and completely new maternal fetal medicine doctors and clinic, hospital delivery (different from birth # 2 & 3) and ... who knows the rest. We'll see what happens, but as of this moment I am not planning on a natural birth because this mama has had enough birth trauma / let's try all natural / I can get through this with prayer and deep breathing etc.

This week I had an OB appointment and it was so impersonal. I went through the whole vitals check thing with the medical assistant and then after a while the doctor came in. She spent the visit reading the maternal fetal medicine doctor's notes, asking how I was feeling, checking the heartbeat and then that was it - after she asked if I had any questions.

I feel like I am floating out in the ocean by myself, guys. I know I'm not, but it sure feels like it. I have a GREAT doula and my midwife is going to do her best to be at the birth. Both are available for support via text, which I do require and use, but it's just not the same. I need tea, hugs, shoulder rubs, and heaps of understanding during a prenatal appointment. Ten minutes of interaction where the doctor mostly looks at her computer screen doesn't equal my favorite appointment.

If you need emotional support in pregnancy is that the best environment to receive it in? I'm not even trying because I have others to lean on, but if you don't have that is the ten minutes you get with the OB enough time to get out all the thoughts and feelings you have? And my next appointment isn't even with the OB! I see the nurse practitioner next. AND when I deliver I get the OB who is on call, NOT the one I've been seeing for my prenatal appointments. This system just seems all out of whack to me.

I'm sure some of you are reading this and thinking, I have the best relationship with my OB! We talk for hours and I feel so amazing after every appointment.

For me that is not the feeling I carry out of the office with me. I feel relieved the appointment is over (I hate that still moment - or ten - when the doctor is looking for the heartbeat) and surprised I was only at the clinic for thirty minutes.

This is my first pregnancy where the doctors I am rotating between don't know me and my story. They haven't walked with me for years. They don't understand just how anxiety inducing pregnancy and birth is for me. In fact, in the middle of our first consult the maternal fetal medicine doctor said, "Then we'll start non-stress tests, because that often helps with anxiety, but you, well, you seem remarkably calm."

I am excellent at pretending I am calm during appointments, but inside I just want to be done and get OUT, so there's a good chance the doctors will never know how anxious I am. (Well, until birth. Then I just lose my ever loving mind and any sense that all will be well) Holding all my feelings in is on me. I know that, but I am not a person who is going to open up about all my feelings during a twenty minute consult so I'm not sure that is going to change.

Now that I've vented for a solid twelve paragraphs I do have to say this:

I am so grateful for access to medical care, specialist doctors, insurance and hospitals. Thank you Jesus for options and help and doctors who care. It sounds like I think they don't care, but I know the ability to connect gets lost in the mess of our medical system. Doctors today are incredibly busy and under intense stress because our insurance system makes practicing medicine difficult and hard to navigate.

So yes, I am at sea here, but it's not like I'm going to have to deliver this baby in my backyard fifty miles from the nearest clinic with no way to get there other than my own two feet. I recognize and am very grateful for that.

This is just way more difficult to navigate than I thought it would be. I always try to be a normal pregnant mama, but that goes out the window as soon as I start the journey, because the truth is I have had a difficult relationship with birth and pregnancy. I hope as time progresses I connect with the OB a bit more, and maybe develop a relationship with the maternal fetal medicine doctor. I'll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

here we go {homeschool / kindergarten}


Here is the thing about homsechool: I'll probably never know what I am doing and/or feel completely confident.

The first day I had to jettison the Bible curriculum I picked out. I read through the first lesson and Bennett said, "Huh?" And I said, "Huh?" Then I decided since he chose to participate in AWANA this year at our church that was enough Bible curriculum for his age and put the book in the back of the school cupboard.

We're keeping it simple this year, because Bennett is just 6, but I do want him to learn a few things and begin to enjoy learning.

To get an idea of what curriculum I wanted to teach from I read through the kindergarten chapter in The Well Trained Mind. The thing about The Well Trained Mind is that it appears daunting at 800 pages, but you don't have to read it all in one go.


I was planning on teaching Bennett how to read when he turned 7, which is late, I know, but I've done a lot of research and later tends to be better when it comes to teaching reading. However, when Bennett was finished with his second year of preschool he knew all of his phonics sounds and was beginning to blend words so I decided to keep the momentum going. We did a reading lesson every week or so during the summer, and he played the computer game Teach Your Monster to Read quite a bit, but we didn't start one reading lesson per day until the second week of September.

I tried Phonics Pathways and Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, but I struggled with the concepts. We switched over to The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading and the program just clicked for me. Bennett is doing really well with it too. The lessons don't take very long and require very little aside from index cards and the book. Having an alphabet board with letters does help. I put off buying one at first, but since I added it in last week the concepts are setting in a bit more. I am adding in sight word memorization as well because the book covers so few. I also read aloud from a long chapter book on school days.


Bennett's handwriting book is from Zaner-Bloser. I chose it because it's a continuous stroke program, which helps kids switch over to cursive writing. He is beyond the kindergarten book, which I did not realize when I bought it, so we are almost done with the first book. I think we will focus on copy work for the rest of the year and then move up to the first or second grade book the following year. Teaching a left handed child how to write has been challenging, but we're managing!




I also included a math program called Right Start, which the book does not recommend starting at the kindergarten level, but Bennett was very ready to jump into a math program. It was really hard to choose a math curriculum, and this one has him starting on really easy concepts he already knows, but the overall program seems like it will be a great way to approach math. I feel like it might even help me begin to grasp math, which has always been a difficult subject for me. I bought this curriculum from Rainbow Resource which has great prices. It has a LOT of manipulatives, so brace yourself for that!

Some days we do mazes, dot to dot or drawing to help with his fine motor skills, and I have a preschool science experiment book I want to start using once a week, but our core work right now is handwriting, reading and math.

Most days we complete Bennett's schoolwork in 1-2 hours (we can often get it done in about an hour on the days Ainsleigh is at preschool).

It's been a fairly easy transition. I know it's only going to get harder, but right now we both love it.

When I was going back and forth on whether or not to homeschool I wasn't sure it would be the right fit for us, but seeing where Bennett is at right now in his life, and what his needs are, I am certain it is right this year.

I'll let you know how we fare as the year progresses!

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
 
Design by Small Bird Studios | All Rights Reserved