Saturday, December 31, 2011

A New Year and With It, Resolutions...

Today is New Year's Eve. I'm planning on grocery shopping, then heading up to San Francisco for an evening of post-Christmas gift giving, snackies, games, movies, henna and some sparkling cider to ring in the new year.

It's also that time of year when everyone is reflecting on the past year and making resolutions for the new one.

To be honest, I will be happy to say good bye to 2011 and hello to 2012. 2011 was a rough year for our family--we lost a couple of beloved family and friends (two grandparents and a friend who died way too young), we experienced 2 miscarriages (ok, one at the end of 2010, but really, it was close enough), my aunt had a stroke that she is slowly recovering from, my step-niece was born, but airlifted to the NICU at Children's Hospital Oakland, we've been dealing with a particularly annoying and tenacious lawsuit...suffice it to say, it's been a rough year.

Of course, 2011 also had it's great highs: finishing my first year of teaching at the JCC, getting pregnant for real and experiencing my body and the body inside me changing, watching my sister-in-law get married and getting to take a part of that wedding celebration, growing closer to both Mel and Stephanie--my sisters-in-law--and Barbara--my mother-in-law--because of the joy of putting together a wedding and the sadness of losing family members (we've spent a lot of time together this year!)

I generally don't make New Year's Resolutions. They are usually about exercising more and eating healthier, both of which are things I usually fail to do. Last year, I kept my New Year's Resolution. Or, that is to say, I accomplished it. My 2011 Resolution was to have a successful pregnancy. Check.

I've been thinking of New Year's Resolutions for 2012. Do I want to exercise and eat healthier? Well, yes, of course. But there are other, more important, resolutions out there. I've narrowed it down to 3:

#1 Survive. With our minds and sense of humor intact. In about a month (maybe less, maybe more) Brian and I are going to become real live parents with a real live baby. We are going to be dealing with sleepless nights, sore nipples, a crying baby--all while trying to maintain two careers, one in-home business, and *hopefully* seeing the end of the annoying, money-draining lawsuit. We are going to be getting a lot of advice. Some helpful. Some not so much. Our parenting choices are going to be questioned. Some challenged. It's going to take a lot of work.

#2 Don't Sweat the Small Stuff. Some people say I have a touch of OCD. I prefer to think of myself as just being very very organized. It's not like I have to touch the light switch 3 times before I can leave a room. This year, I want to remember that I am not perfect. No one expects me to be perfect. I am going to screw up--probably a lot. I have people to ask for help. Most importantly, DO NOT BE A HELICOPTER MOM! Probably, I don't need to keep track of every feeding, nap and bowel movement this child makes. She's going to eat, sleep and poop. That's a given. Try to relax a bit with the lists this year.

#3 Take Time For Myself and Allow Brian To Do The Same. The one thing I have really been enjoying these last few weeks--more than I have in my entire life, in fact--are my nightly showers. These days, they are necessary, since they are the only way I can sleep at night. But they've also been a way to give me time to reflect on my day, plan for the next day and relax. This year, I want to give myself that time. Maybe it's only 10 minutes. Maybe it's 30 minutes or an hour. But I want to give myself that me time where I can sit, read a few pages of a book, check my blogs. I want to make sure Brian gets that time too. Once I go back to work, Brian is going to be staying home with the baby two days a week. But he will also be working. I don't want to begrudge him his time for himself, either.

OK, and here's one more:

#4  Take Time For Each Other. I've heard--and seen--how easy it is to get so wrapped up in a baby that you lose that connection with your partner. I would like to strive to have a date night or maybe a date afternoon or morning, once a month, where we don't talk solely about the baby. A time where we can reconnect. This may not happen at first. I get that. But it will at least be a goal we have.

And I want to remember to get dressed--even if that means yoga pants and a t-shirt--brush my hair and my teeth, and put on some makeup each day. A little eyeliner and lip gloss always makes me feel less frumpy and a bit more capable of taking on the rest of my day.

And to end this end of the old year/beginning of the new year right, here are some of my favorite pics from 2011:
Me with my puppy

Getting to meet the Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond at her book signing!

Brian's 28th Birthday Party
Mel's Wedding Shower (and the last time I had anything alcoholic to drink!)

Bonnie and I waiting for Florence + the Machine

Brian and I at my 29th birthday party
Getting Girly for the wedding!
The girls of the Bridal Party
Being silly in the bridal room

The newly marrieds!

The old marrieds!
All preggers with the dogs

What an exhausting year!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

34 Weeks!

How far along: 34 Weeks
Weight: 169 
Baby size: 18 inches. And she weighs 4.75 pounds. About the size of a cantaloupe.
Movement: Especially when music--Christmas Carols or Big Band--is playing!
Feeling: OK. Tired. I think the excitement of the past couple of days has gotten to me!
What I miss: Oranges and orange juice. What I wouldn't give for a nice glass of OJ!
What I am looking forward to: Our home visit with our midwife is next Monday!
Milestone: Apparently, if I give birth now (fingers crossed I don't) while baby would be premature, she would probably do just fine after a stint in the NICU.
To Do: Got a call back from the pediatrician, we'll try to schedule and appointment with her in the next week or so.
Food Cravings: Still loving that applesauce!



34 Weeks, 5 Days!
For some reason, this picture really seems to demonstrate just how BIG that baby belly is!

New Traditions

This year, Brian and I decided to test out some new traditions for the holidays. We'll see how they go next year. Now in the past, we always did Christmas Eve with Brian's family--homemade soup and Christmas Eve church service; Christmas morning with Brian's family; Christmas lunch with my Dad and step-mom Janet's famil; Christmas dinner with Brian's family and my mom. It was crazy! There was never any time to simply sit and relax. I can't imagine how we would do it with an infant!

New Tradition #1: Christmas Eve at our house.

Growing up, we always had our big family dinner with aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents on Christmas Eve. We always had a big turkey dinner with gifts, games and lots of laughter. This year, we decided to do Christmas Eve at our house. I would make the turkey, gravy, stuffing and cranberry sauce. Anyone who wanted to come could come--especially people we normally would not have seen--and could bring side dishes and dessert. So, it started off with our friends Tina and Don. Then our friends May and her daughter Erika. Then Brian's parents Barbara and Jeff. Then his sister Stephanie and practically sister Lisa. Then Barbara's sister Susan. Then Barbara's brother Steven and his wife Jennifer. Then Jennifer's parents. The Don's parents. Then my best friend Bonnie. Are you keeping track? Because, including us, that made 18 people! 18! That's a lot of people for our tiny house! It actually turned out just to be 16 people. But, I cooked everything up on Friday, cleaned a bit on Saturday, Bonnie came and helped haul out the kitchen table, moved the couch and chair from the dining room, and helped set up card tables, a banquet table and chairs. Everyone brought food. And, in the end, it all worked out pretty great! It was very cozy, but it was a lot of fun!
Just an idea of what our living room looked like!
What we learned: Let's limit the number of people to 12 next year!

New Tradition #2: Christmas Eve Church Service

One of Brian's family's traditions is going to Christmas Eve Service. At first, I reluctantly went, since I rarely went to church as a child. However, through the years, I came to look forward to the Christmas Eve church service. It kept us mindful of the reason for the season, as it were, and I always loved the music and stories. I found a church here in Menlo Park that was supposed to have a wonderful Christmas Eve service, so we went. Unfortunately, we were late. Instead of sitting in the main church, we ended up in an overflow room--a small meeting room with a big screen tv and about 20 people in it. I was bummed, but we were still able to enjoy the sermon and the music (FYI: Lorelei LOVES her some Christmas music. She was kicking and moving whenever any music started playing). The sermons were really engaging--entertaining, but also mindful of what people were going through. The pastor didn't try to sugarcoat the year, saying "What a great year we've had!" instead he pretty much said "This year kind of sucked. Let's hope 2012 will be better!" One funny memory: the usher in our room brought his adorable French Bulldog, who kept wandering around to visit with the parishioners, snortle and finally to lay down and snore in the corner. It was pretty hilarious.

What we learned: #1 know where the church is. #2 Come EARLY. People started showing up for the next service 45 minutes before that service started!

New Tradition #3: Christmas morning at our house

 Much as I love having Christmas morning with all of our family around us, it was wonderful to have Christmas morning just be Brian, the dogs and I. We were able to relax, drink tea and open gifts at our own pace. I even started a new breakfast tradition: Aebleskievers--delicious ball-shaped pancakes filled with yummy things. This year, we did sausage and green onion, cheese and strawberry jam. It was a break from my family's tradition--pie--and Brian's family's tradition--French toast or eggs Benedict. Oh, and my favorite gift this year: Brian got me a ring with "Lorelei" hand stamped on it. He even said that he wouldn't mind having one for himself (watch out, his birthday AND Father's day are both coming!)

What we learned: Have the Aebleskiever batter and fillings made the night before a for quick and easy breakfast!
Finny is not sure about what's going on this morning!

Our stockings and mantle--post gift unwrapping!

Our Christmas tree on Christmas morning--post gift unwrapping!

My favorite gift!

Bummer and Finny enjoying one of their Christmas gifts!
New Tradition #4: Christmas Dinner with just ONE family!
Normally, we try to hit everyone on Christmas Day. I mean, my Dad and step-mom and Brian's parents are all in the same town, after all! But it always ends up being too busy. We can never enjoy ourselves fully since we are always watching the clock, trying not to eat too much because we are going to be getting two delicious meals, etc. This year, we only went to my Dad's house. It was wonderful. Again, we just hung out, talked with my step-brothers, -sisters, -neices and -nephews. We had a big lunch/dinner of roast beef, deep fried turkey, and all the trimmings. We opened gifts and had an overall excellent time. Next year, we will go to Brian's parents' house for Christmas Day dinner and hopefully Dad and Janet will come to our house for Christmas Eve!

So there you have it, our new traditions that hopefully will continue through the years!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Visions of the Future

I was walking through Target today, when I saw this on the endcap of the kids section:




This is "Cookie, My Playful Pup" and apparently, she barks and wags her tail. When you talk to her she "talks" back and you can use her squeaky toy to "play" with her.

In the 30 seconds it took me to look at this toy, I had a vision of the future:
Lorelei: Ooh! Mommy, I want one!
Me: But...you already HAVE two REAL puppies at home.
Lorelei: But, this one barks and wags her tail and you can play with her squeaky toy.
Me: But you have two REAL LIVE puppies at home. You can play with THEIR squeaky toy!
Lorelei: But this one is FLUFFY!

Then she will give me her sad face. I can see it. I can see it now and SHE'S NOT EVEN BORN YET!

33 Weeks!

How far along: 33 Weeks
Weight: 169  (as of Thursday morning)
Baby size: 17 inches. And she weighs 4 pounds. About the size of a pineapple.
Movement: All the time--especially with the hiccups! I was trying to read the other night, but she was making it VERY difficult. My book kept jumping!
Feeling: OK. Unfortunately, my sore throat from last week did not go away. Instead, it waited and turned into a cough and nasal congestion this week :( Fortunately, it's really only bothersome first thing in the morning and at late at night.
What I miss: Citrus. I can't drink orange juice, eat clementines and have to be very cautious with tomatoes--they all give me wretched heartburn!
What I am looking forward to: Today I am getting a pedicure AND a fancy 2 hour massage tonight! Woot woot!
Milestone: Picked up the rest of the big stuff I need for the birth!
To Do: Continue looking for pediatricians. The one my midwife recommended hasn't called me back yet. I'll try to schedule an appointment to meet with the one at my OB's office.
Food Cravings: Apples and applesauce.
Bonus: Heartburn solution: drink a glass of milk or chocolate milk before bed. No problems the last two nights!

33 Weeks and 5 Days!

Compared with 15 Weeks. Same shirt, WAY different body! What a difference!

Monday, December 19, 2011

We're Famous!

OK. Not really. But I did submit some of our maternity pictures from Kurt to one of my favorite blogs: Spearmint Baby. It's a neat resource for expecting and new moms. Lots of nursery/baby/toddler ideas to be had!

Anyway, today they have a post with our pics on it (plus a little plug for Kurt!)

Check it out here: http://www.spearmintbaby.com/2011/12/32-week-belly-pics-2/

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Bloggity Blog Blog Blog

Lately, I've been reading a few blog entries that have ranged from being really interesting to blow-my-mind. Here are 3 such blogs:

http://offbeatmama.com/2011/12/ready-to-have-baby
Now, while this starts off with abortion (which I am not even getting into here), my favorite part is when she says:

"Brilliant people aren't magically created by two other brilliant people… they take work. A lot of work. So rather than regret the decision to have a baby, or regress back to a place of worry or concern about being a parent, I've decided to do the opposite. I've decided to become a superhero."

I want to be a superhero.

http://leahandmark.com/blog/2011/11/16/wednesday-leah-jonahs-birthday/
This one is about a home birth, from the mom's perspective. There were two parts that left me reeling and excited for this journey ahead of us:

"Labor was not some horrific, pain-worse-than-death experience for me. It was painful, yes. But it was a totally manageable pain. A temporary pain. A pain with a beautiful purpose. A pain that drove me deeper inside myself than I’ve ever been, that made me realize the strength of my mind and spirit…and the strength of my physical body. I don’t want to be in labor every day, that’s for sure. But would I do it again in a heartbeat? Heck yeah. Labor wasn’t easy, but it also wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it might be."

and

"The next morning Mark and Jonah and I were snuggled up on our ComfySack. I had some hot cocoa, Mark had a cup of coffee, our kitties were curled up next to us, we were staring at our beautiful son…it was a perfect lazy morning with an impossibly perfect new family member…and I sat up and said, 'OMG, if I had given birth in a hospital, we would still be there now!'"

That last bit, well, that's the feeling I'm hoping for, except you know, replace cats with dogs and beautiful son with beautiful daughter.

This is the same home birth, written from Dad's perspective. Again, here is my favorite part (and an experience I think Brian is also hoping for):

"I’m so glad that Leah wanted a home birth. Partly because I don’t really like hospitals and then also because the home birth WAS AMAZING. Seriously. I had great coffee, good food, my computer, and the absolute best part was that a few hours after BabyRoX was born – everyone left and it was just US THREE (plus our cats!)

One night we went to bed without a baby, the next night hey, WE HAVE A BABY! And we’re home. No spending the night in the hospital, no hanging out with strangers that just tell us to do things that we probably don’t want to do (doctors/nurses and their medical interventions.) I know the whole ‘birth experience’ is all about the mother since well, they’re the ones physically giving birth – but damn – I had a pretty great home birth experience."

So...if you have a minute or you're interested, check out these blog posts. They're pretty cool.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Starboard, ho!

This weekend, Brian and I took maternity photos with my amazing cousin Kurt (of Kemling Images). It was cold and overcast and actually started raining on our drive back home. BUT...we got some really awesome shots! By the end of the shoot, we were racing to beat the sunset.

And on a weird/hilarious note, Kurt made me give him directions to the park using only nautical terms. Starboard, ho!

Here are a few of my favorites:
And yes, those used to be my baby shoes!

My favorite of Brian and I together.

Loving the depth of field on this one! Also the giant baby bump!

For some reason, I really loved the pics of Brian and I without our heads. Odd...

Planning on putting this one in the nursery!

Probably my favorite. I feel like I look huge, but in a good way! I want to blow this one up and mount it on a canvas for our bedroom!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

32 Weeks!

How far along: 32 Weeks
Weight: 167 on the nose
Baby size: 16.7 inches. And she weighs 3.75 pounds. About the size of a jicama.
Movement: Yep. Her new trick this week: shoving her butt into my ribcage. It's super fun! Especially when she shoves my ribcage into my back!
Feeling: This week I've been super tired. My schedule was thrown off for a two day seminar Monday and  Tuesday of this week (and why this blog is late). Had to be at work by 7:30 am. And I got no sleep Sunday night. So I was like a zombie yesterday. And I felt like I was getting a sore throat. Drank a lot of water, got more rest last night and felt a lot better today. No sore throat, thankfully!
What I miss: Foodwise, not so much. But I can't wait for my first taste of sushi!
What I am looking forward to: For this week to be over! It's been a weird week. I'm definitely looking forward to my baby shower in January!
Milestone: Nothing too exciting this week.
To Do: Research pediatricians for the first month (then we're switching to Kaiser, so I'll get to research NEW pediatricians. Yay!), finally get going on that birth plan/preferences.
Food Cravings: Still loving that chocolate milk!
Bonus: Midwife report: Looks like I'm borderline anemic. So I'm going to be eating a lot more food rich in iron!

32 Weeks, 5 Days. This was last night when I was crazy tired. Which is why I look kinda zoned out...

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Labor Process for Gamers

Now, I will warn you now, this is not a perfect analogy. It did however amuse me when I came up with it during birthing class today. (Clearly, I am joking and having fun with this. Please don't take it seriously. If you do, I may have to reevaluate our friendship.)

The labor process/stages of labor seems rather reminiscent of Super Mario Bros. 1, 2, and 3.


So first, you have Early Labor, which is kind of like the beginning of the level. It's not too hard, but there are contractions--kinda like goombas--that you have to deal with.


Then you start Active Labor. This part gets a little harder. Contractions are stronger and closer together. There are more goombas, a lot of those turtle guys--even some who throw shit at you, and some fireball spitting flowers.





Now you have Transition. This part is hard. Contractions are faster, harder and closer together. It's like the bad guy before you get to the boss. Or those super annoying ghosts in the ghost level (I hate those frigging ghosts!) Or the jellyfish in the water level.



If you're lucky, after transition you'll get a rest stage. Not everyone gets this. It's a good time to try to take a nap or relax before the big show. Kind of like getting a power up before the big boss.


Finally, you're onto descent and pushing. This is the big boss. Bowser, if you will. It takes awhile and is pretty hard.


In the end, though, you slide down the flagpole, get the bonus points and the baby.


Hmm...again, not the greatest analogy. But when you are in a 4 hour birthing class after a two hour group midwife appointment, your mind starts to wander...

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

31 Weeks!

How far along: 31 Weeks
Weight: 167.
Baby size: 16 inches. And she weighs 3.3 pounds. Just as if I were carrying 4 navel oranges.
Movement: Totally. Especially after I eat some protein!
Feeling: Tired. Lots of heartburn. I tried DGL--a recommendation from my midwife. But it tastes like black licorice, so it makes me want to puke. Also tried papaya enzyme--a recommendation from my birthing class instructor. It seems to work pretty well thus far! 
What I miss: Sitting comfortably. I can only sit in the chairs at work backwards (you know, straddling the chair). At home, I need to have the pillows in just the right spot...
What I am looking forward to: Sleeping? I'm super tired. Actually, I'm really looking forward to taking pregnancy pictures with my cousin Kurt this Sunday.
Milestone: Nothing too big this week. Started picking up supplies for the birth.
To Do: On my list this week: picking up a few more supplies for the birth, check out a different location for pregnancy pictures before Sunday, look into Kaiser Health insurance vs. United Healthcare insurance.
Food Cravings: Chocolate milk. Mmmm...
31 Weeks, 5 Days. I swear I wore this sweater last week and it buttoned!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Do You Have a Plan B?

Due to a concern that I may sound more judgmental regarding medical practices than I actually am, I've added a few things to this blog--all in italics. 

Again, I am not making a judgment about people who have a hospital birth AT ALL. Hospitals are amazing and important facilities that save lives. I have known so many children who are here ONLY because of a life-saving intervention. However, having had a very low-risk pregnancy thus far (the only kind of pregnancy where a home birth is a good idea), Brian and I have decided to take a different path. This blog is about OUR research, OUR choices and OUR decision--not about the research, choices and decisions of others.

This is a question I get fairly frequently when people hear we are planning a home birth. Actually, I try to head people off the pass by telling them that we are planning a home birth with a midwife, but that we have an OB and will transfer to a local hospital if necessary.

Today, I made a random post on my Facebook page with the realization that I need to start collecting stuff for the actual birth. Unbeknownst to me, since I was at work, quite a few of my friends started posting about home birth and having a Plan B.  It was then that I remembered that in all the talk on this blog about this pregnancy and barnacle-like baby, that I have talked about my midwife and alluded to planning a home birth, I have never actually talked about WHY we are planning a home birth.

On the one hand, I tend to think "why is it anyone's business why we are planning a home birth?" On the other hand, everyone who is reading this is a concerned friend or family member. Plus, if it helps open the eyes of at least one person to the possibility of home birth, then so much the better!

So, to answer some questions I (or Brian) have been asked:

Why a Home Birth? 
First off, home birth is not for everyone. I get that. In fact, before I started reading about it, I would NEVER have considered it. I didn't even understand why you would want a natural birth. I mean, everyone knows that birth is painful. Why be a martyr?

But as I started reading, watching films and talking to people, I realized that people who are planning a natural birth are NOT martyrs. They are only doing what they feel is right for them and their baby. We spend 9 months avoiding things like sushi, caffeine, nitrates and nitrites and most medications and painkillers so as not to harm the baby. Then just as the baby is about to be born, we start pumping them full of painkillers? Many babies who are born with an epidural are sluggish when born or have difficulty breastfeeding.

In addition, epidurals can start a vicious cycle of interventions. Epidurals block the pain, but they also dull the contractions, which make it difficult to push. So, the doctor prescribes pitocin. Pitocin is a synthetic drug that mimics Oxytocin (a hormone that promotes that "love" feeling, helps with bonding and even causes uterine contractions which helps you heal faster after giving birth--you make it when you give birth, breastfeed and when you have an orgasm). Unfortunately, pitocin mimics the uterine contractions but not the whole "love/bonding" part of oxytocin. So to recap, you get an epidural. The epidural numbs the pain, but you can't feel the contractions. So you get pitocin to speed up labor and help with contractions. But now, instead of having slower contractions, you get fast and hard contractions, one on top of the other. Each contraction is squeezing the umbilical cord, squeezing the baby, causing a stressed out baby. Oh no. No the baby is in distress! What do you do? In many cases, you get a C-Section.

Now, I'm not saying this happens to every birth. But it happens a lot. In the bay area, there is a 40% C-Section rate. There is an 80-90% epidural rate. I also want to say that there is definitely a time and a place for medical interventions. We are so lucky that we have these interventions available to us--there are so many births that could end in tragedy without them! I just know that Brian and I want to try to this without medical interventions, if possible!

OK. But why a home birth? Why not just have a natural birth in a hospital?
Reason #1: timetables
Actually, I originally considered just giving birth at a hospital or birthing center. However, there is one problem with hospitals and hospital birthing centers that I just could not get over: timetables. Say you start having early labor contractions on Monday at 10 pm. Maybe your water breaks at around 6 am the next morning. You have 24 hours to have that baby before the doctor wants to induce you (start you on pitocin) for fear of infection (starting that vicious cycle).

Alternately, maybe you are 40 weeks pregnant and haven't started having contractions yet. Maybe you are 41 weeks pregnant.  If you go past that date, many doctors want to induce you. They worry that the baby is in distress. So then you get membranes stripped (doesn't that sound like fun) and hopefully you start contractions. Then if it still doesn't work, the doctor wants break your water for you, which will hopefully jump start those contractions. If THAT doesn't happen, then you get the pitocin...I think you see where I am heading here. Estimated due dates are just that: ESTIMATES. A  baby can be born anywhere from 37 to 42 weeks. And as MANY people have told me, babies are on their own schedule. You can't predict them.

So timetables. If you are in a hospital or a hospital birthing center, the doctors and nurses are required to follow them. Midwives, in general, let nature take it's course. Of course, if we get close or go past that 42 week mark and it looks like the baby is in distress, then clearly there is a problem and we need to go to the hospital.

Reason #2: Who are you again?
In most hospitals and birthing centers, you may get your OB. You may not. You may get your midwife. You may not. It often depends on who is on rotation that day/night. Maybe you start with an awesome nurse or midwife--she meshes well with you and your partner, understands your needs, etc--but then her shift ends. Now you are further in labor, maybe active labor or transition, and you get a brand new nurse or midwife that you don't know. Maybe you have an amazing OB (and I do)--they are on board with your birth plan, you have been seeing them every month for the last 9--but he or she is not on rotation that night, so you get someone who is not supportive of your birth plan or just has a sucky bedside manner or just isn't the same doctor you have been working with.

Now with a home birth midwife, unless someone else is giving birth at the exact same time or she is out of town for some reason, you will have that same midwife at your birth. You will have that prior relationship with a person who knows you, your partner, your kids, your dogs and your home.

Reason #3: Fight or Flight
Where are you most comfortable? In your quiet living room or bedroom, maybe with the lights turned low, with your partner next to you, or in a brightly lit room with (gasp!) florescent lights, lots of beeping machines, weird smells and half a dozen or more doctors and nurses you may or may not know in and out of the room?

When you are tense and uncomfortable, it is harder to labor. When you are comfortable and relaxed, it is easier to labor. In fact, at my last birthing class, the instructor told everyone to stay at home as long as possible, since that is where you will be more comfortable and will be easier to progress. Many people have 4-1-1 contractions (a contraction every 4 minutes) at home, then go to the hospital and then contractions slow down. In that vein, why go to the hospital at all, if it is easier to labor and give birth at home?

In the end, I know me. Brian knows me. I am most relaxed at home. At this point, I plan on staying home with Brian and my dogs (they relax me, too), with low lights. Maybe we'll watch a movie (we've been cuing movies just for when I'm home during maternity leave. When labor gets a lot harder, we'll call our midwife and get our birthing tub set up. We'll kick the dogs out into the backyard or maybe call a friend to take them to her house. We'll time contractions by how many music videos we can watch between contractions. Women have been doing this for years. I can too.

Again, a recap. We chose a home birth because we want to have this baby on her time, we want to have our own midwife--not a potential stranger--deliver her, and we want to be comfortable in our own home.

But do you have a Plan B?
Yes. You know me. I research and plan. Not only do I look before I leap, I look, then I look again, then maybe I read a review on Yelp. Then I cross-reference with a review on Amazon. Then I ask opinions of people who have leaped before. Then, when I am confident in my decision, I leap.

So Plan A: home birth with my midwife.
Plan B: Transfer to our hospital with my OB. If the issue is induction, we try natural methods first. If that doesn't work, then we'll try something else. If we have to have pitocin, so be it. If we have to have a C-section, well that sucks, but so be it. But rest assured, Brian will be there asking questions the whole way (those poor poor doctors and nurses!)

Our plan is to have a home birth, but our goal is a healthy baby.

So does this answer the question of Why Home Birth and Do You Have a Plan B? God I hope so. This is the longest blog I've ever written!