Saturday, May 26, 2007

From the Mouths of Babes

Thing 2: Where are we going Mommy?

Me: To Leigh's house.

Thing 1 and Thing 2: Why?

Me: I'm going to make a cast of her belly.

Thing 1 and Thing 2: Why?

Me: Because she as a baby in there and...

Thing 2: When is her baby gonna come out, Mommy?

Me: I'm not sure.

Thing 1: When it's ready. Her baby is gonna come out when it's ready, right Mommy?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


After a jam packed day of running errands and hitting the gym yesterday, I left the house around 3pm to go to a birth. I got home from the birth at 5:30 this morning. Of course I haven't been able to get more than a couple of hours of sleep thanks to Thing 1 and Thing 2.
The birth went well. It was another VBAC (yipee!) I will write more about it after I've had some rest (and after I finally post the rest of the first VBAC story I started writing about).
It doesn't look like I'll be resting anytime soon. I'm supposed to be doing a belly cast for my darling friend Leigh today, and then heading up North to see my Mother in law. I have an all day Birthing from Within class I am supposed to attend tomorrow so the Things and I are gonna spend the night at her place. My Mother in law lives 90 minutes away but they haven't seen her in a while and she's one of the few people who can handle all four of the Things for more than a couple of hours. I'm so tired, I'm not sure if I can make the drive. I wonder if I should just wake up at the crack of dawn and drive up there in the morning. Ugh, that probably won't work. Maybe I should just get off of the computer and make Thing 1 and 2 take a nap with me.
Yep, that sounds like the perfect plan.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Snake in the Grass!

More like snake in my house!!! UGH, I'm still all freaked out by it!
When Hubby got home this evening I left the Things in his care and went off to a prenatal visit with my new doula client. After that, I had a present for Jane so I stopped by her house to give it to her and then headed to Costco. From there I went to a smaller grocery store to pick up a few items that I either couldn't find at the warehouse store or I just don't need in bulk. Hubby called me on the way home and asked me to pick up something from Wendy's for him. After doing the gathering for my little tribe I headed home, anxious to put the food away, eat the side salad I got myself and go to bed. As I was turning on my street I got a call from another doula's client. She couldn't get a hold of her doula and she just needed to talk. She was 42 weeks yesterday and she is starting to worry that her body doesn't work properly. We talked a bit, I listened to her worries, told her to drink some tea, take a deep breath and rest up tonight (I really feel that she'll be in labor tonight or tomorrow). As we were chatting I pulled into my driveway and saw what looked like a snake but it didn't concern me because Thing 1 had been playing with his sister's toy snake earlier today. I figured he dropped it over the balcony and I would pick it up in the morning.
I finished my conversation, took some groceries in the house, kicked off my shoes and asked Hubby to help me finish bringing the stuff in. As we were making our second trip from the car to our house, he stopped in his tracks and said something like "Oh Sh*t, a snake!" At first it didn't dawn on me that he was looking in the direction of our front door and not in front of his car where I originally saw the "toy". I was about to laugh at him for being scared by a toy until I saw the snake slither it's way into our home.
Of course I screamed, not caring if I disturbed the neighbors. I ran back to the car, got in and shut the door. Knowing that Hubby is more afraid of snakes than I am, I wondered what he would do to get rid of the critter. I got back out of the car to check on his progress.
Original Thing and Thing 1 were sleeping but Thing 2 and GirlThing ran out to see what was going on. Hubby ordered them to get out of the house via the back door. The more obedient of the two, Girl Thing, ran outside crying because she couldn't understand why Hubby was yelling at her to get out. Thing 2 practically walked right into the snake as he walked closer and closer to Hubby, trying to figure out why he was at the front door, in his boxers, yelling with a golf club in his hand. Finally he looked down, saw the snake, started screaming and ran out the back door too.
I gathered the two of them up and we locked ourselves in the car, leaving Hubby to slay the dragon all on his own.
Poor guy, I didn't really know how much he hates snakes until I peeked out the window and saw him pounding and pounding the reptile into the ground. Finally, using two golf clubs and a floor scraper, he killed the snake and got it into a garbage bag. Once we had been given the all clear, the kids and I got out of the car. Hubby and I finished putting the groceries away and put the kids to bed.
Unfortunately, we are both too creeped out to sleep. I keep wondering what would have happened if he hadn't noticed the snake going into our house! Yikes!
I have lived in this state for 17 years and I've never seen a snake outside of a confined setting. I'm assuming it was someone's pet that wound up in the wrong place at the wrong time. I did a little research and I think it was a Desert Rosy Boa Snake
Hopefully when/if I sleep tonight I won't be dreaming about red reptiles. I think GirlThing is going to have to get rid of her toy. Every time I see it I will be reminded of how unsafe it is to unload groceries after dark.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Cesarean Awareness Month (pt. 2 of who knows how many)

Before I finish I have to say that I have always had a very bad memory that has only gotten worse since I had the Things. This is exactly why I need to stop procrastinating when it comes to writing these birth stories. Especially in this case, when at least 2 or more of my readers were actually at this birth. I'm having a hard time remembering the timing of certain events. If I get something wrong, leave something out, or add stuff in that didn't even happen, please forgive me and just pretend I'm writing fiction.

Now, back to the story...

After getting home, I slept off and on and got as much rest as I could while letting Thing 1 and Thing 2 watch as much Nick Jr as they wanted. Around 3pm I hadn't heard much from L & J so I called to check in. J said that L was able to rest a little bit. She was still contracting but things hadn't changed a whole lot. He asked if I would come to the hotel and stay with her while he went home to check on their daughter. I told him I would come as soon as Hubby got home.
I called Jenny to give her an update. We were both convinced that she was still in very early labor and that it could be at least a day or more before she had the baby. Our plan was to get her to accept that too so she could relax and get some real rest. Boy were we wrong!
I got to the hotel around 5pm. J left not long after I got there and things quickly changed. L went into a zone and started working with her body perfectly. This felt right, so different from the night before where we were trying to tell hew how to work with her body. All she needed from me was to sit there, hold her hand and occasionally say some reassuring words. J called to ask me how our game plan was working, had I been able to convince L that she still had a long way to go? I told her "not exactly". She could tell by the sound of my voice that something had changed so she decided to head over too.
At some point we called Jane, who happens to be a wonderful doula, apprentice midwife, and reiki master. We asked her to come to the hotel, thinking that L could benefit from some energy work. I think we called her before we realized that L didn't need much help at all.
It turns out that even though we didn't really need the energy work, we still needed her gifts. Once Jane, Jenny, and I were together we quickly fell into a grove of supporting L.
When J came back from checking on their daughter, he was probably surprised to see this hotel room full of women. I remember L saying "Hi Honey, I guess two doulas wasn't enough."
L's labor progressed beautifully. I loved watching her be so in tune with her body. She didn't need much from us other than our presence. One of us would hold her hand while the other would place cold washcloths on her head and neck.

Edited 6/8/07: I'm still having a hard time finishing this story. I figured It's better to post what I have instead of letting this get lost in draft land. Obviously this will be told in at least 3 parts.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Cesarean Awareness Month (pt. 1)

I started this post almost a month ago. If you read my Crazy/Lazy post you shouldn't surprised that it's taken me this long to finish it.

Most of my readers already know that April is (was) Cesarean Awareness Month.
For those of you who don't please take a little time to check out ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network). In honor of this (last) month, I'm finally getting around to writing about the amazing VBAC I was able to be a part of a few months ago.

I met L a few years ago at a meeting of our local Birth network. She had recently given birth to her daughter via cesarean. It was obvious, to anyone who who listened to her tell her story, that the birth had been a traumatic experience. During the many months she attended Birth Circles we were able to watch her heal and grow stronger.
I was beyond thrilled when I got an email from her with "Won't you be my doula?" in the subject line. My good friend Jenny was the doula at her last birth and the plan was for her to have both of us there this time. At first her husband J thought it was a bit excessive to have two doulas (she actually wound up with 3 at her birth but I'll get to that later) but we quickly won him over with our charm and good looks ;-)
We spent the next few months preparing for her birth, attending Hypnobirthing classes, and just getting to know each other better. During this time I realized that she and my sister were due around the same time. I was so torn, there was no way I was going to miss my sister's birth but I really wanted to be there for L.
Towards the end of her pregnancy L was convinced that this baby was going to be born early. When she hadn't given birth by the time I left for OH, I started to worry that I wouldn't get to be there. My sister had her baby early and I wound up coming home a week sooner than planned. It's a good thing I did. L went into labor less than two days after I got home.
I was at the movies with my friend Elf the night L called. She said she wasn't in labor but by the time I got home from the movies, she called and said she and J were getting ready to head to the hospital.
I originally thought that the plan was to labor at home as long as possible so I was surprised that things had changed so quickly. I called Jenny to find out if she had more information about what was going on. We both thought that she may have been going in too soon but we decided to follow L's lead and meet them there.
When we got to the hospital L was being monitored in triage. The nurse told her that they would monitor her for while to see how often she was contracting. If she wasn't contracting frequently enough, she would have to "get behind" all the other laboring moms they were dealing with. I think L and her baby started to feel a bit of performance anxiety. She mentioned someting about being put on the clock "just like last time". That was the first of a few times that we would have to gently remind L that this birth wasn't going to be like last time. The contractions slowed down so we were told to labor in the waiting room until they called her name.
We spent a few hours in the waiting room. That night it was full of non-laboring pregnant women. L seemed like the only one who was working. We assumed that all the other women we waiting for their inductions.
Right around the time L started needing help working through her contractions, they called her name. Perfect timing, we thought. When she was checked she was just barely dilated. She was pretty discouraged. She was having contractions pretty consistantly, they just didn't seem to be doing a whole lot. Jenny and I figured we needed to do everything we could to help get this labor going. We were given the OK to walk the halls to try and get things moving. During this time, Jenny and I pulled out every trick in the book. We made suggestions about positions, we rubbed, we massaged, we made her do "sumo stomps" up and down the halls. The whole time we were doing all this "stuff" I was cringing inside (I found out later that Jenny was too). I'm more of a "listen to your body" type doula and not a "now do it this or that way" one. After a few more hours doing everything we could think of, we went back to triage to see if any of it worked.
When she was checked, we found out that not much progress had been made. Understandably, L broke down. She was very tired and had been working so hard. The news that things were pretty much the same was hard to take.
Fortunately, we had an incredible triage nurse (who had previously been a doula). She told L that the best way for her to have a successful VBAC was to get out of the hospital and get some rest. L and J agreed but they didn't want to go home because they didn't want to disturb their daughter and the people at their house who were caring for her. Someone provided us with a list of hotels that were close by and offered discounts to patients of the hospital. The only problem was that there a big event going on & most of the hotels were completely booked. After lots of calling around we finally found a hotel about 6 miles from the hospital. The awesome doula nurse gave L a sleeping pill and sent us on our way. As the sun was coming up, Jenny and I went home and L and J went to the hotel.
I tried to get some sleep but I had to take care of Thing 1 and Thing 2 (the other Things were at school).

I'm getting really sleepy but I know that if I save this as a draft it may be another month before I finish it. I'll post what I have and write the rest in the next day or two.