Saturday, August 30, 2008

Highlights

Last week of August highlights:

Breastfeeding:
Americans' Attitudes Toward Breastfeeding Are Making Our Kids Sick

Birth:
Mother-friendly cesareans? Is it possible?
Ripped off in childbirth
If you give a woman an epidural...

Knitting:
I saw these soakers, then Lyste Popp proceeded to link to a dozen or so more soaker patterns! Get those needles ready!


Cool Site of the week:
Little MissMatched


Not as many posts this week. I think people are still getting over the Democratic National Convention and McCain's new runningmate....

Friday, August 29, 2008

5 months later

5 months ago, I gave birth. I loved it. I still love it. I was looking at our birth pictures yesterday and remembering everything. Oh, I love giving birth. I should do it again sometime... Too bad I'm not ovulating. :)

TopHat! It's been 5 months! Aren't you over this yet?

I've thought about that... and nope. I'm not over this yet. I hope to never be "over it". When I was pregnant, I met Laura Shanley. I remember thinking, "She's done with her childbearing years- why is she so still into this?" I understand now. When you have an experience that is so powerful, encompassing, life-changing, and empowering, you aren't going to let it go- and you're going to want everybody to have that experience.


Thinking about "guts," I know I still need to get some when it comes to this. So often here in Provo you run into pregnant women. It's pretty inevitable. And so often I've listened to people tell their birth horror stories. I want to chime in and say, "I had this wonderful birth!" but I don't have the guts. Partly, like a friend of mine has said, it's because no one wants to hear good birth stories- there's no drama. And partly because I'd be in the minority- it's hard to tackle a group of ladies with horror stories- you're usually outnumbered 5 (or more):1 and they'll just downplay your excitement and dismiss your feelings. And partly because people get so defensive when you try to mention "natural birth" or any other topic that's even remotely crunchy.

But I did have this wonderful birth- and you can too! It's amazing how good you feel after birth when your hormones are uninterrupted by chemicals. (Speaking of, here's a post about the long-term effects of pitocin- can you tell I love reading Rixa's blog?) I didn't realize how good I felt the night of the birth until the next morning when I realized I could barely walk, having pulled a muscle/tendon in my never-ending squatting. I was feeling so great that I didn't notice the pain until the next day when the oxytocin wore off. Hooray for oxytocin!

Actually, I've re-written my birth story- it's amazing how much you realize you forgot! Birth stories are so multi-dimensional! I'm still wondering if I should post my updated version. It will be published in a book- which is why I re-wrote it. I'm guessing it'll publish sometime next year, but the author/compiler hasn't let me know.

So- new resolution. Finding my "ask people about their birth" guts. A friend of mine said she thinks she'll just start asking right out, "Oh! Are you planning on doing it at home?" when she finds out when people are pregnant. Just skip to the good stuff! Plus, it normalizes home birth.

Was it empowering? Was it wonderful?

Lots of Thoughts

We're going to play "stream of thought." There's lots of stuff in my head and it's just going to all come out.

Would you believe that I actually censor myself on this blog? HAHAHA. I do. Really. Sure, this blog has once been referred to as "gutsy" but I look over to all the other blogs in blogland, and I see people who are far more gutsy than me. I idolize them. They seem to just post whatever, no matter who reads their blog: friends, family, ward members, probably ex-boyfriends, some other random stranger.

And to be honest, I don't post whatever- and I think that's got to change. When I first learned that my family reads my blog, I had to decide that I wasn't going to water things down- well, they have to love me anyway, right? And I shouldn't have to hide my real opinions from people who supposedly love me unconditionally. And then I learned that my in-laws read this blog. Actually, it's not the parents- or siblings-in-law that I wonder about (I did, once upon a time, but I've become comfortable with it). They're like my family; they have to love me. :) It's the random cousins-in-law/obscure relatives I've never met/only met once that I don't know about. But I guess, they'll fall in the "have to love me" category- and if I've really not had that much contact with them, then does it matter? And then random people in my ward read my blog.

Actually, I was anonymously threatened/blackmailed by someone in my ward earlier this year about what I put on this blog. It makes you wonder at church who "anonymous" is. But then, ward is like family, right? They always say, "ward family." They have to love me anyway. At least, they can't keep me from going to church or activities. I love church.

And then there's random friends from high school/my past. If they get upset, then I guess we weren't that great of friends to start with, huh? And then random strangers- and who cares what they think.

So conclusion- I shouldn't care.

But yet, sometimes I feel like the proverbial bridges might be burning- which makes me wonder why proverbial bridges haven't caught up with the times and become steel cable bridges...

So, I'm going to attempt to be gutsy again. It might not happen right away, but then again, it might.

Whipping out the guts. You can hate mine if you like. I don't mind because I love my guts.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Friday Fill-ins

1. When I'm sick I'm cranky and achey.

2. When I take a walk, I think about what Margaret must be thinking. I like to put her in the sling facing out so she can see everything.

3. Money can't buy happiness but it can buy yarn and hats- and yarn to make hats.

4. Cotton makes me want to knit and leather makes me wonder if I should use a more animal-friendly material.

5. The strangest person/character I've had lewd thoughts about was _um. right. I try to stay away from the "lewd thoughts" realm. And while I don't have "lewd thoughts" in my dreams about random people, I did dream the other day that I was a teenager still and this guy liked me.

6. My favorite color these days is red because it's so vibrant.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to the ward campout, tomorrow my plans include hiking and Sunday, I want to knit some more (how is this different from any other Sunday?)!

Post 401

So yesterday's post was #400. Sorry it wasn't that special.

Today's is a tag from Meg. Figured I'd do it since tomorrow is Margaret's 5 month birthday

Name and meaning: Margaret Lynn. "Margaret" means pearl. She's named after my grandma (first name) and my grandpa (second name).
Age: Turns 5 months tomorrow
Birthday: March 29, 2008
Favorite activities: Army crawling, singing, going for walks
Favorite foods: Breastmilk
Least favorite foods: Breastmilk after I eat limes- gives her a diaper rash and colic.
Favorite music: Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog, but that's because I play it a lot in the background. She really likes songs with hand motions: Popcorn, Wise Man Foolish Man, Itsy Bitsy Spider
Favorite toys: Pink Snoopy Rattle. If I had known that 50 cents would make her so happy...
Favorite item of clothing: Dresses. She eats them. It's one of the few items of clothing that she can grab and then get into her mouth while still wearing it.
What makes her happy: Other people acknowledging her. She loves other people. We were at the grocery store yesterday and every time we passed someone, she'd get exciting and wave her arms. It was sad when they didn't acknowledge her.
What makes her sad: Getting bumps. She's great at sitting up, but occasionally it ends with a bump on the ground or bath tub. And teething. Her first tooth is at gum-level now; it's not under the gum any more, but it's not up, either.


Back to my regularly planned soap box tomorrow. :)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Getting some rest, a quest, and breast

TopHat? Why haven't you been blogging?

REST
haven't been feeling well lately. I've come down with something. I need sleep! I tried sleeping with Margaret this afternoon- she got a 3 hour nap. I got maybe 45 minutes. For some reason, I just can't relax enough to sleep, but I can't stay awake enough to do anything.

QUEST
But my knitting life has been great. Unfortunately, I haven't posted updates about it because I finished a gift (top secret) and I'm working on another gift (top secret). One is for a swap and I promised it'd be done by the end of the month. And the other is for a lady who needs some cheering- hence my quest.

BREAST
And in the meantime, I need to knit some breasts. I'm being commissioned to knit 10 breasts for a lady who's going to be teaching breastfeeding classes. Maybe I'll knit my way out of this sickness.

And I might type the worst thing ever thought: I might not be able to go to LLL tonight.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

WTEWYEA

I love the Order of the Stick (OotS). It's a gaming DnD-based comic.

Anyway, I loved today's comic. It works pretty well as a stand-alone, so you don't need to know the over-arching plot to enjoy this comic. You can click on the image to make it bigger or go here.




Oh and the title for the strip, is "What to Expect When You're Expecting Assassins." Beautiful!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Posts I've enjoyed this Week

So I love reading blogs and sometimes I come across posts I've particularly enjoyed. Instead of re-blogging what everyone else has already blogged, I've decided to link some of my favorites here.

If I really like this I might do this every week.


Early in this week, I read a lot about sad things. If you click on these links, I'm not responsible for you crying. Ok?
First sad post
Beautiful essay
Reading about miscarriages brought me here- things to say/not say
And here

And how could I not read about birth?
This inspired my doula post
A friend had a baby! Many congrats to her!
Vocalizing during birth helps you!
I've been meaning to mention the Birth Survey- you can take it even if you had a homebirth. Take it if you've had a baby in the past 3 years. Seriously. It'll be a great help for future mommas. Seriously. TAKE IT!

AP Topics (babywearing, breastfeeding, etc)
There's a Babywearing Blogroll- did you know that?
Jesus was Breastfed (and born UC)
Didn't see this coming!
Breastfeeding shirt- I love the Wilson Clan- all three babes were UC! She's awesome and inspiring.

Dairy-free recipes
Taco Pie
Rice Crispy Treats

Things I covet
Stitch markers!
Pretty homemade onesie

Funniest thing I read all week: Laser Bazooka!

Friday Fill-ins

1. Dancing to the song "I Like to Move It, Move It" while in labor makes me give birth (it was playing at some point during my pushing stage at the end).

2. The last time I slept in I nearly slept 'til 9.

3. When I drive I make an effort to take advantage of going down hill.

4. I saw two grasshoppers standing by my front door.

5. Give me yarn, give me time, give me a party.

6. Next week I am looking forward to knitting some breasts for a lady who teaches classes in breastfeeding!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to having the house clean, tomorrow my plans include the farmer's market and Sunday, I want to sleep in!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Birthing Autonomy

I've been thinking about birth lately- not because I'm pregnant or anything. I just really really love it. It's so happy- there aren't many things happier than a new baby.


I read a book lately, "Birthing Autonomy: Women's Experiences in Planning Homebirths." I really enjoyed it. Really.

It was a very well done book: discussing feminist theory, doctor/women relationships, midwife/women relationships (and doesn't necessarily display these as golden). It even mentions UC as an option, but states that none of the women interviewed chose that route, so it didn't involve it in discussion.

I love how there are references for EVERYTHING. You can look up all the studies that indicate homebirth is safer than hospital birth- even for women of higher risk. It discusses interventions, history, and all kinds of feminist theory.

I'm a sucker for feminist theory.

It seemed that on every page there was a sentence that I wanted to share with someone. I really liked how she discusses why female bodies are considered to be more "problematic". The word she used was "leaky." Basically, if a man's body is leaky, he is either sweating or bleeding. Ignoring the sweating part, men "leak" due to an injury- leaking means something is wrong. Women on the other hand leak as part of their normal body processes: menstruation, ovulation, lochia, lactation. These don't need to be "fixed" but because the male body is the cookie cutter for human bodies, it "does". When a man's body leaks, it needs to be controlled, so when a woman's body leaks, it "needs" to be controlled.

I just thought it was interesting to think of my body as being "leaky" because, well, it is. And it doesn't mean it needs to be fixed. Leaky is one of the natural states for the female body. Just leave it alone.

I have a little rant about bodily fluids and feminism and dealing with women being taught to be ashamed of their body's natural processes. I actually think I've blogged about this a year and a half ago. Well, I'll save it for another day, just in case. :)

I also loved reading about what the other women had gone through to have homebirths and why they chose homebirth. It was very thorough.

Now, this was a tough book to get through. It's very dense. It kind of reminded me of a PhD dissertation. But it was fun. If you feel like reading a dense book, read it. And for those of you in Provo, it's at the BYU library. Well, maybe I'll check it out again...

Like I said, I'm a sucker for feminist theory.

And side note, Rixa, I know you don't actually know me but I was thinking of you the entire time I read this book. I was thinking, "I wonder if Rixa's dissertation will sound like this book, except with more UC!"

And Jennie, autonomous birth is completely alone. UC is simply without professional medical assistance such as a doctor or midwife. You can UC and still have 50 of your closest friends in the room. Well, some UCers would say that's pushing it. Anyway, autonomous birth would be completely solo- no friends, no family, no spouse.

hmm

Life get suddenly more interesting when your husband has the phone and you find that you locked your keys in the car last night. Can't go anywhere because I can't lock the house up when I leave. Can't call anyone either.

I guess my plans for today have changed.

The Best 2 Years

Corny, I know, but today is our two year anniversary!


Now I must return to my knitting.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Block

Blogger's block. Enjoy this picture, though.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Do it with a Doula

I've been thinking about doulas. Rixa posted about a study where it is shown that having a doula at your birth can reduce the chances of needing an epidural and the chances of a cesarean section. A couple of friends of mine are training to be doulas.


I probably won't ever use a doula- except in an extreme situation. If it were inevitable that I would need to be in a hospital for birth, then for sure I would get one. I'd use her as my voice and arms to make sure the birth goes how I want. And because it'd be nice to have someone you can roll your eyes with when the nurse/doctor leaves. :)

But doulas are more than hench(wo)men. A lot of them know ways to help you relax and have all sorts of information about interventions, procedures, positions, etc. They can even sneak food into your room if your hospital is anal about stuff like that- not that I'm thinking of any hospital in particular. (Glares in the direction of Utah Valley).

As you can read from the blogs I've linked to, some doulas even know massage. Cool.

I don't think I'd ever use one at home though I'm sure they'd be helpful to many women. This is partly because I've done it once. I've given birth on my own and I can do it again (this is actually what was going through my head when I was up in church right before I gave my talk today- "I've given birth at home without any help! So why am I so nervous about a 10 minute talk?)

Also, I'm not planning on using a doula because I have a secret desire for an autonomous birth. Ok. Well, not so secret. During Margaret's early days, I read lots of birth stories and was completely enamored with autonomous births. They sound so empowering. I want one. McKay's not so on board with that idea, but then again he wasn't on board with UC either until mid-December.

Would I be a doula? Probably not. I'd definitely go to a birth if I was invited, but be a professional doula? No. While I love the idea of helping women find the strength to birth, there's no denying the hard truth: you can't do it for them. In birth, the only one that can really help you is you. You have to find that strength yourself because you're the only one in that place. Also, I wouldn't want a woman to feel like I was the reason for her successful birth- she is the reason- she went to that tough place and succeeded and there's nothing I could have possibly done.

But would I recommend getting a doula? Yeah. If you're pregnant, get a doula, or at least talk to one about what they do and consider it. It's the least you can do. And who doesn't want to avoid a cesarean?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Friday Fill-ins

1. The last meal I had at a restaurant was salad and breads from Sweet Tomatoes.

2. Anonymous comments is something I intensely dislike.

3. The full moon doesn't affect me anymore due to lactation amenorrhea.

4. "Less effective" is one of my favorite local expressions.

5. Sometimes it's best to just do things yourself.

6. Wall*E is the best movie I've seen so far this year!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to surprising McKay with a fun evening for our anniversary, tomorrow my plans include a birthday party and Sunday, I want to give a talk in church!

The Front Lawn

why didn't I think of that?

Story here.

McKay sent me the story- thought I'd share it. I'm glad that they didn't say that she was in any grave danger giving birth or make it sound like an emergency.

Maybe I'll try the front lawn next time. One lady I showed this to commented that she'll try to go into labor at a car dealer's- maybe they'll give her a free car to congratulate her!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Dating

If we had pics, I'd have posted this on our family blog.

I love dating. We have some friends that we've been hanging out with a lot and hanging out with them means we date more. I guess it's like a double date, then, with 2 babies.

This weekend we saw Wall*E (I now make a better effort to walk and recycle and spend more time dreaming about my off-the-grid dream home). And we went to the Aquarium! And then last night we went up to Soldier Hollow and watched the meteor shower (which continues tonight).

There were some mighty awesome meteors; I like the orange ones. It was chilly up in the mountains. We put Margaret in this great knit outfit that I got from the Baby A Baby swap, and I wore her in the sling, under my jacket. She fell asleep there. We left before the peak of the shower (2-3am), but not as soon as we'd liked, because, well, McKay tripped an alarm and got the cops on us.

He needed to use the restroom, and there was a building nearby. After going in and not finding the lights to the restroom, he decided it would be better to not go if he can't see. Frankly, I don't get that because he's a guy and has more control of such aiming, but whatever. Anyway, as we decide to leave, the state park police guy comes driving up because McKay tripped some kind of alarm and wanted to make sure we weren't some hooligans. Oh yes, a couple of married couples with baby girls. We are on the edge here!

Well, he runs McKay and Sea_Guy's licenses and inspects the building and discovers that no, we did not graffiti the walls and eventually let us go. But we got back later than we planned.

So much later, in fact, that it's a quarter to 10 and Margaret is still asleep. Woohoo!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Co-sleeping Happiness

I love waking up to Margaret in the morning.

Yesterday, we all woke up around the same time- about 8:30. Hooray! Margaret is back on Utah time and off of the "let's wake up at 7:30 because of Chicago time" habit. :)

Margaret rolled to her tummy, turned to McKay, smiled, turned to me, smiled. I love moments like that!

Then last night, I woke up, trying to find Margaret. She wasn't anywhere! (This is scary because she's now rolling, but I guess if my logic was working I would have realized that if she had rolled off the bed, she would have let us know!) So I pat, pat, pat around. I find her sleeping all snuggled close to McKay. Aww.

I love love love sleeping with Margaret. I credit my full 8 hours of sleep since 2 weeks to it. I credit sleeping in until 8:30 to it. Sure, she doesn't sleep through the night, but I can feed her at night without either of us fully waking up- and I feel like I've gotten a great night's sleep and I'm ready for the day! I definitely recommend it to every new parent. It's hard to get sleep- why make it harder on yourslef? Sleep with your baby.

Need co-sleeping resources? I love Alisa's collection of quotes and studies.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Friday Fill-ins

1. You know you're old when your favorite sitcoms are on "Nick at Nite".

2. My heart is divided between Project: Pigeon Hole and knitting.

3. A clean house and motivation is what I need RIGHT NOW!

4. I have felt the excitement, I have known the depths of anticipation (hey, it can run deep).

5. Gah, won't these people just be nice.

6. Apologize as soon as you can!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to Wall*E, tomorrow my plans include shaping up the house and Sunday, I want to knit knit knit and nap!

Do your own fill-ins!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

B-I-N-G-O

Today is the last day of World Breastfeeding Week. Unfortunately, many people still see breastfeeding as gross, lewd, or undesirable. In a society where breasts are solely sexual, a child breastfeeding is offensive- this can put moms in tight places. They'll put off feeding their child until getting home and breastfeeding may seem like a hindrance.

But it's not. It's mobile, easy. You just have to get over the "breast for sex only" concept.

So here, at the end of breastfeeding week, I'd like to encourage all mothers to breastfeed where you are seen. Get the idea out there that it's not gross. It's what breasts were made for.


And to help you along, I've added here a Breastfeeding Bingo Card. Where have you breastfed?




(as if the squares are numbered left to right, top to bottom)
1. At the Pool 2. On a Plane 3. In a Restaurant 4. At the Fair 5. In a Cave 6. While Knitting 7. At a Waterpark 8. On the Lawn 9. At Church 10. In the Great Outdoors 11. On a Train 12. At a Celebration 13. FREE SPACE! 14. On a Boat 15. At a Party 16. At a Sporting Event 17. In a Car 18. In a Classroom 19. At the Library 20. While Cooking 21. At the Theater 22. On a Beach 23. On the Computer 24. On a Bus 25. In the Store


Make your own Bingo Card at Mosaic Maker.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

How I Celebrated

So I've been gone for a week. I'm back now. The posts that posted on the weekend I made up early and scheduled to post. I hope you enjoyed them.

Ooh. What did I do for WBW?

Well, Friday was the start! Since I was visiting my parents in Chicago, I decided to look up if there were any LLL meetings in the area. And behold! The one in Schaumburg (where the LLLI headquarters are) is on the first Friday of the month! August 1st! Hooray!

And who's going to skip an opportunity like that? Unfortunately, I didn't get pictures, but I did get support and confidence. There's nothing like an LLL meeting to boost you. I've been struggling with Margaret- she prefers to eat lying down, but I got some practice time sitting up. It's nice to practice with people watching who aren't going to freak out about a nipple or areola showing.

Then that day, Margaret and I headed down to Chicago with a friend and met up with more friends. There was some beach volleyballing, but Margaret was tired, so we tried a different sport: beach breastfeeding. Speaking of sports, I have a friend who went spelunking and breastfeeding that day.

It was really nice to just sit with her on the beach.

Yesterday, we came home and stopped by the Salt Lake City Public Library to check out the breastfeeding cafe. That was fun, too. Margaret got a little gold medal that said, "I got the golden opportunity, I was breastfed!" I'll have to take a picture.

But happy World Breastfeeding Week! Let the parties continue!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Blog Pending

I just got back from a week in Chicago and I have 312 things in my RSS reader (and I had checked it a couple times on my vacation).

Blogging will ensue. Pictures will probably be at our family blog.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

101 Reasons

World Breastfeeding Week is now in full force! Enjoy your weekend. If you have some down time in the midst of your celebrations, check out these 101 reasons to breastfeed.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Myths Busted

Happy World Breastfeeding Week!

I chose to breastfeed because formula is so detrimental to babies (also see here and here).

I knew some women have trouble with it, and I did NOT want to be one of those women, so I researched and researched. I went to LLL and learned what a correct latch was. I watched videos on latch from youtube. I vowed I'd never buy a bottle- I don't own one at all.

But I still had some trouble. My nipples were sore from Margaret's suckling the first few weeks. It sometimes took 45 minutes to get a good latch- well, to get her to latch period. Margaret was very picky and would only latch if it was perfect, which meant I never had cracked or bleeding nipples, nor blisters, but it did mean that I would get frustrated trying to get her on- a couple of times to frustrated tears. I was engorged every morning for weeks because she eats less at night and my breasts fill up so much. I still occasionally (even 2 days ago) deal with this when she goes from growth spurt to eating practically nothing. I had, and still have, overactive letdown, which causes Margaret to pop off and wait until the flow slows, getting me and her and everything around us very wet. I've had a small bout with mastitis. She prefers to lie down to nurse- to the point where she has refused to nurse with me sitting up, crying very loudly, until I was able to get home and lie down with her.

But I still do it. And I love it. I love milk dribbling down her lips. It's amazing to look at her and think that the 7 pounds she's gained and all her energy since birth has come from me and my calories. It's nice to know that I can always comfort her. There is so much I don't have to worry about when we're out and about- I've still yet to buy a diaper bag.

I want all mothers to erase their preconceived notions of breastfeeding. It doesn't have to hurt. It doesn't tie you down.

So, here are some sites that deal with breastfeeding myths. Check them out!
25 Breastfeeding myths
15 More Breastfeeding myths
Answers from the LLL
Concerns addressed

And I like this article about guilt.