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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

6 Months and Counting...

Well today marks 24 weeks! Crazy to think 6 months has come and gone since this whole baby thing started. I look at all I have gone through physically & emotionally, and all I have learned and researched and in some ways it seems like more than that, some ways far less...

Ryan and I went to the "Meet the Midwives" presentation at UCSD last night. My midwife, Rita was not there, since she is on vaca in Mexico this week, but it was really great. I kind of made this whole decision to go the BC (Birthing Center) route without really discussing with him, so he had a number of questions and concerns that he was hoping to have answered. They did a great job. They presented a slideshow, then the head of the program spoke a little about it, then each of the midwives introduced themselves, and answered a FAQ, then they opened it up to Q&A. All of Ryan's questions seemed to be answered, and then they did a tour of the facilities.

I AM SO EXCITED; I almost can't wait to deliver, I am so excited about the whole thing. First of all, it completely secured how I felt about the decision. Basically what their whole thing is, is that they specialize in normal deliveries (and their experience and training is as such), and that physicians specialize in high-risk or abnormal deliveries, and that they all work as a team for the best outcome for you and your baby. And the two priorities are 1. to make sure the baby is ok and 2. that the experience is as positive for you as it can be. I just love that. It is such a stark difference from the glimpse of care that I received at Kaiser for the first 5 months; the RN who saw me there was nice enough, but it was very clear that it was just business as usual when she saw me, and she was following through the daily motions, and I was just another person moving through there; no personalization of care at all. The BC at UCSD is so obviously different, just from the initial apt with the RN at Perlman and from this presentation; you are an individual person, with individual needs; and they concentrate on the here and now with who you are and what you are going through, not on the next person in line behind you. The rooms are so amazing too; they are as large as a large bedroom, not a closet like most hospital delivery rooms, and have a more "home like" feel, so there is more space to move around, you can have more friends and family there if you want... I just cant stop saying enough about it; it is truly the only BC of it's kind in Southern California. Check it out if you want,

So my first apt with my midwife Rita is on Friday. It is one of Ryan's scheduled Fridays off, so he will be able to come, which I am super excited about. The appointments start to get more frequent at this point (every 2 weeks soon, then at some point they go to every week) it will be here the next time I turn around.

Other than that, last week I was dealing with some serious allergies/cold/congestion. It was about the most miserable week for sleep so far in the pregnancy; between my heartburn and my congestion, I was tossing and turning every 10 min it seemed like, and between getting up to go to the bathroom or take more tums or blow my nose, I dont know how I got enough sleep to make it through each day. But I made it through, and besides some residual congestion (which I dont think will go away now, I think this is just plain old pregnancy congestion), I am back up and running... or at least waddling quickly. Less quickly the bigger my tummy gets; small tasks like putting lotion on my legs or putting on shoes and socks are becoming more and more of a feat. Can't wait until I am twice as big!

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Well Ryan and I finally decided on the name, and our little girl is going to be Aurora Lynn Cross. Ella coming in at #17 on the top baby names list of 2008 kind of sealed the deal for me. That being said, Aurora has been moving around, letting me know that she is having fun exploring around. I can even see my belly move if I look at it when she is moving. Ryan doesn't have the patience to wait for 30 seconds for it, and thinks I am making it all up in my head and figures he can just wait until she is "really" moving in a few weeks and he can feel and see her then.

Now that we are past the "basic" baby books (what to expect when you are expecting) I am moving on to the advanced ones on techniques, theories, etc. I am currently reading "On Becoming Baby Wise" which was recommended by one of our faculty at work here, and it was also recommended to Nicole by someone. It is loosely a book on getting your baby on a schedule for sleeping, eating and wake time, ultimately to get them to sleep through the night as early as 8 weeks old. The underlying theme is based on parent-directed behavior, not child-centered or parent-centered. So the focus is that baby is a wonderful addition to the family and that parents take cues from baby but also that baby takes cues back from you too. A family with a strict and ridged schedule with no room for flexibility is not ideal, nor is a family centered solely around the baby with no structure. I am very excited about it and think that it will not only be a lifesaver since we will be working parents and a schedule will be necessary for us to rely on, but also because it is 100% in alignment with the kind of person I want to raise; one who is not selfish or self centered, or is the one who directs every move the family makes, but instead one who understands the meaning of family, and is a happy, content and contributing member of our family. It is amazing to realize that you can can start teaching those kinds of values so young in their life with something as simple as a sleep/eat/awake time schedule.

Recently, as I have been getting recommendations for books, reading up online, finding studies, etc. it dawned on me how scary of an experience having a baby can be for someone who doesn't have any resources... no one to give them advice, no books to read, no google bar to type in whatever thought or symptom pops up for that day. For instance, my Mom. She was a 30 something woman who on a whim bought and moved out to the ranch, in the middle of nowhere to up and run a property. And before she really has it all figured out, she gets pregnant with her first baby. The father is a free spirit, one not to be held down, and one who has no real experience or support to offer his "partner" (if you can even call it that; he was more like a sperm donor at the time and has been a wonderful but non-traditional father figure my whole life). She has no close friends to rely on, or at least any that are within a 10 mile radius for help. Her own mother is estranged and lives on the opposite coast, and is not exactly "open minded" to her lifestyle and choices (the same mother that told her that she should never have kids since she couldn't even keep a fish alive). There is no such thing as the Internet, no easy access to recent studies or sites to have any number of books delivered within days to your doorstep. So with nothing more than a copy of what to expect and a book on spiritual midwifery, she goes through pregnancy and birth and has me on her own. WOW. What a woman. Here we are this day and age being bombarded with advice and info, and all we have to do is pick and choose what we want to accept and what we think is best. Imagine not having any of it, and how scared you would be NOT having that. I am so confident as I go through this because I have read every book, gone to every website, and investigated every study done on every topic that has to do with pregnancy and childbirth. It makes me realize how blessed I am, but also makes me appreciate so very much what people like my Mom may have gone through to get us here.... So here's to you Mom, a big thank you for getting me here and helping to create who I am today, in the face of the unknown!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Big Long Update

Week 22 (as of Tuesday). Well it's been a while, this might be long... I have been meaning to get something up, but things have been pretty busy at work and home since we got back in full swing after the holidays. And I feel like it's been a bunch of little things, not any one of them enough for a whole entry. So here they all are.

First of all I dyed my hair. For all the haters, I used a no ammonia, semi-permanent dye. I went back to my "roots" (or at least my Dad's) and am once again a redhead. I probably match Nicole pretty good, but mine does have that bright funky look (aka fake). I love it, I think it brings out my eyes, which are usually too dark blue (more of a grey blue) to look really nice.

Christmas was fun; our little girl got her first gifts. She got a blanket that Cheryl got before we knew the sex so it is neutral colored, a crib set as well as a picture frame and a bunch of adorable clothes from Venissa and more clothes from her sister Cindy. Along with the little collection of stuff that Blake and Alyssa have already given us, we really needed to make some headway in the baby's room. So we finally got rid of the bed (FYI, if you ever want to get rid of something, post it for free on Craig's List... within LITERALLY 30 seconds of posting the bed, there were 3 people calling us about it, and while I was getting back on the computer to delete the posting 2 more people called and someone emailed me.) That sort of spurned a cleanup burst, and our good family friend Steve came over and cleaned our carpets to give us a "clean start". So now we have some room to work with and need to finish sorting out all the rest of the room and the stuff in it, find places for it all somewhere else in the house and go from there.

We registered at BabiesR'Us this last weekend too. That was an experience. I took insisted that Cheryl come with us, even though Ryan wanted to do it on our own. Thank God I had her along, because I would have A. Been lost with what to get (even if you talk to your friends and stuff, it is not the same as going down your checklist of items and having someone right there with you to figure it all out), and B. Would have registered for 5 items in the 2 hours we were there. So it was really good that she came! We figured out the carseat/stroller system, the breastpump/bottle thing, and a lot of basics. We still have a lot to do, but it's at least a start. Anyway, I was really really tired after all this and by the time we got to the furniture section, there were the glider/rockers. I sat down and sank into heaven. Now I was at odds with myself because for my birthday, my Mom had brought down the family solid wood old-school rocker that her and my Dad had used for me, and I had wanted to use it and keep it in the family, etc. Well after sitting in these modern gliders, my body said, "Screw you, this is where it's at." all the while my heart said, "That glider has no sentimental meaning!" Well I ended up deciding that at 3am when I am trying to breastfeed the baby, my heart will be asleep still, and my body will be very angry after a few months if it doesn' t get it's way, so I broke the news to my Mom (I was surprised she was so understanding) and will be sending it back up to the Ranch, and registered for the glider. It will always be there for me at least.

Moving on to baby showers... so excited! After talking with Cheryl about it, we realized there were like 70 people all from different groups, which is way too much for one shower, even a lot for two, so I made up a spreadsheet of all the groups and how many people were in each. We grouped them together in the best way that made sense, and ended up with 3 groups, all 20-25 people each. Awkward, but I had to ask some of my dear friends if they would throw 2 of them, since Cheryl couldn't do all 3 and I was afraid everyone would think someone else was doing one then nothing would actually happen. Lucky me, they were happy to do so, so it is all set now! Cheryl will be doing the shower with her side of the family, Melinda will be doing Rick's side of the family, the ladies from the Medical Center and some ladies from Cheryl's church that know me from the yearly women's retreat, and the 3rd shower for my family and my friends will be planned by Grace (with help from my Mom). I am so happy. March and April are pretty much all filled up now, between all the showers and other events, so the next few months will FLY by.

Then we get to the healthcare front. I switched to UCSD, and had my first appointment last week. I was sooo very happy. It was with a wonderful RN over at Perlman. It was completely different from Kaiser. First of all she took a lot of time with me, went over my records, made sure to answer any questions I had and really made the visit feel personalized. Kaiser (although the RN I was seeing there was very nice) made me feel like just another number, and the visit and how it was handled was clearly "assembly line". My last apt with Kaiser was actually really disappointing; they told me I was gaining weight too fast based on one weigh in at 14 weeks and then this one at 20 weeks, and didnt ask me anything about my diet or exercise before she told me that. I had to remind her that we had the results back from the second big blood test, and also had to remind her that I was switching to UCSD and needed my records. Back to UCSD, the RN was wonderful. The big thing that came out of the appointment was that I didn't realize I really had to choose between the birthing center and picking a midwife, vs. a physician and delivering in labor & delivery. After talking it over with the RN, I still definitely wanted to go with the birthing center. When it comes down to it, my baby is the number one priority, but if my pregnancy is healthy and normal, I want to experience it as raw and natural as possible, at least this first one. I want to see what it is like as it was meant to be. I may make a different decision for subsequent children I birth, but if I didn't do it this way this time, I would always wonder and be disappointed I didn't take the opportunity. Cheryl was with me for this appointment, and we ran into Cory, one of the wonderful lactation nurses at UCSD that we know and love and she made some suggestions for great midwives in the center. Over the next few days, I signed Ryan & I up for some classes, found out when the next "meet the midwives/tour the birthing center" event was and scheduled my first apt with my new midwife, Rita. From everything I have heard from everyone she is high energy, and really wonderful. I think it will be a great fit. I will have to go down to Hillcrest to see her, but that is a small price to pay for good care. My next scheduled apt with UCSD is at 24 weeks, and it is with Rita so we will see how it goes!

Oh, and important to note, I have for sure been feeling her move and kick the last week and a half. It is really wonderful, like my own little inside joke with her (pun intended.) She isn't as active as Luke is for Nicole (maybe it is the difference between boy and girl, or maybe she is just destined to have a night owl for a child and our little girl is just going to sleep all the time like her Daddy) but I can't wait until Ryan can feel the movement and can share it with me.

Well I think that pretty much gets me all caught up. Ok I don't want to go that long again, it is past my bedtime and Ryan has been complaining about the "clickity-click" for the last hour. Good night!