Monthly Archives: September 2016

Book Review: the 300 Squats a Day Lady

Every once and a while I feel it’s important to put my money where my mouth is. Proverbially, of course. I’ve spent weeks harping about non-medically trained mommy bloggers instilling fear in new mothers that their doctors are out to poison them, based on their mistaken belief that correlation means causation gleaned from some extremely subpar understandings of abstracts of medical journals.mmd-2016-reading-challenge-page

But at the same time, I know I need to brush up on some coping strategies for the whole labour and delivery thing since I kind of lost my cool with C’s delivery. So I went to THE expert: Ina May Gaskin and her Ina May’s Guide to Birth and it fits nicely as a “book that intimidates me”. While the assertion (backed by Stephen King of all people) that the pain women feel in labour is just fear, and therefore is all in their head, made me snort my tea out of my nose, I do agree that there is a general obsession with labour horror stories, and therefore understandable that Gaskin starts the book with what she deems “Positive Birth Stories”.

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While I recognize that there is a right of all women to share their birth stories in their own cathartic way, I was shocked how many birth stories were prefaced with the mommy-blogger style reporting of terrible first births that needed to be “corrected” with the birth of the next child.

Telling me that your 3-4 days labour was “exhausting” is an understatement. To say the whole things was “pure joy” is a lie. The most honest part of the birth stories is when one of the midwives admits to having been an English Lit grad student who decided contractions were a negative term because they implied tension, and instead, chose to name them “rushes.” Indeed, this whole book is about putting a positive spin on any potential disastrous situation which, if presented in the context of a hospital would have been “traumatic” but because it was set on “The Farm,” it is seen as empowering.

Part two was strange. It started off with some of Gaskin’s suggestions of how to best work through various difficulties of labour. Some were reasonable — the benefits of squatting, the benefits of birthing on all fours — some were not quite up my alley — um, I’m not going to get all frisky with my husband in the presence of birthing staff, thank you very much. But it was very proactive. However, the further in the book I read, the less it became a practical guide and more of it a statistically based version of the fear-mongering that she railed against in the first chapter. If they augment your labour, you could end up with a hysterectomy. If you try to have a VBAC in a hospital, you’ll have a uterine embolism. If you agree to a c-section, you will die.

Maybe I’m exaggerating.  Not as much as I wish, though.

There were important points I did take to heart. It’s the first book that I’ve read that made me realize the level of pressure that the current labour environment places on the father. The untrained, inexperienced male bears the burden of supporting the mother through the labour process after decades in some cultural situations, and centuries in others, of being shunned from the labour and delivery rooms all together. It also made me sit back and think about what caused me to go from a relatively calm labouring woman to the tense, worked up, not really progressing woman minutes later.

But it also made me appreciate my “traumatic” birth with C. Yes, the 8-ish hours spent being shuffled around in triage, from the waiting room to a bed, and the waiting room to a bed and back certainly did not help, but I don’t regret a single decision I made. My plan for this kid is not to “outdo” or “correct” the last one. Yes, there are things I would like to do differently. But with meltdown after meltdown, epidurals and cyntocin, a beautiful, healthy baby came into this world, and she was mine.

Categories: The new identity | 2 Comments

Currently: In September

All right my friends, we are in September. This is the month that has signified the start of a new year for the last 27 years of my life and while there are no big changes happening this September (no starting at a new school, no new baby, “first day back at work” or “first day of daycare”), I’m still feeling the itch to buy the whole family new shoes, new jeans and new backpacks.

Thank you to Anne and Beth for hosting this month!!

Currently September.jpegReading: too many mommy blogs telling me that my doctor, and every doctor in the world, is only interested in giving me drugs, slicing me open and then heading out to the golf course. It triggers my rage button because that is the exact opposite experience than I had. And almost everyone else I know. I mean, they laughed when I was like: “Just cut the baby out of me! Do it now!” And then when the anesthesiologist was in the room prepping my epidural, the nurses were still like: “But are you really sure you need it?” And you know, I didn’t really think to ask the doctor as she was delivering my baby what she would rather be doing, and she didn’t really seem too distracted either. Someone should very likely take away my internets because the rage doesn’t seem to stop me from reading every click-bait titled blog post on Pinterest (today’s gem? Doctors may not know how to prevent pre-eclampsia, IUGR, or gestational diabetes, but one writer knows it can be prevented by drinking probiotic smoothies, and we should trust her because she links to scholarly journal abstracts that suggest there *may* be a slight correlation, but stop WAY short of saying there is a causation).

Trying: to summon all my energy. Rainy days and a stomach bug running through the family are really killing my energy levels. Sure, long weekends are supposed to be somewhat relaxing, but there is just so much to do to just get this house back to “liveable” state. Everyone is so much happier when the house is clean, and yet no one is happy when they’re cleaning.

Hoping: To get back into good sleep patterns. We are in the thick of it at work, and will be for the next two weeks. I’ve spent nights awake panicking about emails that I shouldn’t have read before bed. I’ve spent nights awake panicking about the sleep I’m not getting. I’ve spent nights awake panicking that I’m panicking about work and not this next baby. I think once I can get rested again, then I can go back to processing this whole having a kid thing, and all those things that I currently have no emotional reaction to.

Decorating: C’s bedroom and C’s birthday. Having people coming over is good to make sure I get projects tied up. Of course, it means I’m spending far too much time on pinterest (which likely explains that first answer, eh?). We finally have all the furniture for C’s room, and I’ve decided on the art for her room. Yes, it would be nice to have her closet painted (I didn’t paint it when I painted the room two years ago because I was pregnant and feared the fumes / running into walls, and we wouldn’t need the room until we had another kid which would be “years away”), and the closet door, but those will get done when they get done.

To-Do Listing: Have you even noticed that the minute you get one thing checked off your to-do list, it makes you think about all the other things that need to be done. We are *almost* done our patio project, and so now I’m looking very critically at our backyard. New sandbox. Pull up the bad mulch and railroad ties along the garage and put in sod. Then figure out how to make the garage look less of a giant stucco covered eyesore. Oh, and someday redo the driveway. And the garage. Yes, those were all vaguely on our horizon for sometime in the distant future, but now having something sparkly and new makes them seem twice as dingy and old.

Categories: The new identity | 5 Comments

Second Trimester Second Time Around

I would love to say, like I do every time I have a calendar-based post, that time has flown through this trimester, but no siree it hasn’t.  It has dragged so slowly. Yet somehow summer has still gone by too quickly, and there just hasn’t been enough time for my to-do list to even look decently done. If I had the energy and wit, I’d make some comment about something to do with the space time continuum in relation to my rapidly expanding body, but I don’t have enough of a grasp of basic physics to even attempt that so close to bedtime. And I’m not sure it would work at all.

The good: Charlotte is really getting on board with this whole “baby” thing. She can’t sleep without tucking in her babies. She reads them bedtime stories, gives them bottles, and put them to bed. She knows a baby cries “Waa! Waa!” and that when they do, they need hugs, or kisses, or food or clean diapers. Fortunately, I’m jaded enough to think: “She’s just lulling me into a false sense of confidence over how well she’ll take this whole baby thing”.  And just like her mama and her confusing logical gymnastics, she tells everyone she’s having a baby brother, even though she wants a baby sister (for the record, we still don’t know if it’s a boy or girl and as of right now, I am too exhausted to even think about which I think we’re having. Indicators based on kidney drainage and clubbed foot development suggest boy, but maybe feeling slightly more girl now?). She did transition into her new big girl room with its big girl bed with shockingly little issue, so at least that’s all settled. For now. She’s been great about letting mama sleep, understanding that sometimes mama is sick, and giving “baby-brother-baby-sister” kisses. In turn, that’s made me hate being pregnant just a little bit less. I mean, I’m excited for this kid and all, but next life? If I have to come back as a female, I’m coming back as a female seahorse.

The bad: I seem to have a rotating wheel of complaints this pregnancy. I’ll have a day where my hips will kill me. The next day, the hips will be fine, but the heartburn will be difficult to manage, even after nothing more than a couple of slices of dry toast. I keep thinking “If one of these symptoms just stuck around for more than one day, I could research, plan and create strategies to manage it” but the only thing that keeps going on is the random rotation of symptoms. Oh, and a terrible attitude. I actually left work early one day because I recognized I was being a poison in the workplace, and I told myself I had to get that under control before I came back. It worked. For a couple days. Being positive is hard when you never know what is going to hurt next.

The ugly: Yes, finding out there was some “Serious Condition” that our child may have was pretty rough, but now that we know it’s the best case scenario for something being wrong, and we’ve educated ourselves on what clubbed feet are, and what the treatment will look like, we’re just rolling with it, pretty calmly (that is weirding me out a bit). Part of me thinks that the reason I have stopped stressing out over it is because I’m so freaking exhausted. Almost fell asleep at work today. Almost fell asleep on the bus, but that level of exhaustion often turns into nausea which, in turn, prevents sleeping and exacerbates the exhaustion. I know that summer is the busiest, most stressful time at work, and that likely is playing a huge role in everything. But man, oh man, I am jealous of the women that say they get their energy back in their second trimester. At least I’m sleeping better most nights? Great. Now I’m sure I’ve jinxed myself.

Categories: The new identity | 1 Comment

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