Sunday, November 14, 2010

Where we're at

Life has changed.

November has been a busy month, full of our very tightly packed schedules and very full adventures. The husband started his new job at the beginning of the month and it has proved to be, well, interesting. He heads to work at 5 pm on Friday night and arrives back home at 5pm on Sunday night. He gets a 4 hour break during his shift, which he takes on Saturday from 3pm to 7pm, so we can have dinner as a family, and he can put Rockford to sleep. But other than that, he doesn't get to leave work - for any reason. And so I've begun life as a single mother on the weekends.

-Rockford at seven months-

With Andy at work all weekend, it also means we don't have an entire day off together to spend as a family. And that I don't have a day off from work where I have him to help with the babe. It will be interesting to see how we all adapt. What will change? What will stay the same? What will morph into something we couldn't even imagine?

I assume these next couple of months will keep me busy with the holidays. My mom will visit for Thanksgiving, and we'll head South for Rockford's first Christmas. And then, before you know it he'll be turning ONE.

I think the blogs, both this one, and the one dedicated to the boy, will see more action. I'll get sewing, knitting and home projects done. I'll occupy myself with reading, and hobbies and housework and get through each weekend without a moment of boredom. We will dedicate days for lunch dates and nights for family time. We'll figure out time to be off work together, and to take time for us. We'll adapt.

-On a lunch date at our favorite Sushi place-

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

CSA Details

We picked up our first CSA box of the season last night, and by 'we' I mean me and Rockford. Boxes started one week earlier and our farmer anticipates this season will last a few weeks longer than last year. Last year we picked up our last box the first week of December.

Last night, Scott mentioned that he still had boxes available for this season and that I should spread the word. So this is me doing that.

Up and Down CSA Farm
Scott Buttinghausen 541-434-9127 scottb1[at]

Our CSA farmer is unique in that he offers pay as you go billing. Most CSA's make you pay for the year up front...that's a lot of mullah all at once for vegetables! The farmer is still asking you to commit to purchasing the box all season, but the financial investment isn't so much up front. I think it's a win win.

Last year we ended up throwing stuff into our compost bin almost every week. But that was our fault. Poor planning and poor use of our abundant salad greens contributed to that. I will say though, if you're not into salad at all, this may not be the farm for you. Every week there's a large bag of mixed greens and potentially a head of lettuce or a bag of spinach too.

But, as the season went on we learned to eat salad every day, and to have yummy new dressings or things to top them with. And I also started blanching items that would freeze, like tomatoes, peas, squash, and beets.

It's definitely an adjustment at first to cook or eat what you're given instead of what you pick out, but in the long run, we actually liked it much better. Every week when we'd get home and open the box it was an enjoyable surprise. Plus for $16/week it's way cheaper than going to Farmer's Market every week.

Pick ups are available Monday, Wednesday or Friday - either at the farm or at Monroe and Broadway Alley
Harvest Boxes come in two sizes: $16/week gets you 7-9 items, $26/week gets you the 7-9 plus 2-4 additional items not found in the smaller box

Scott, the farmer, has a brochure that lists specifics about this year's crops and more info about him and the farm. I'm trying to get a digital copy of it so I can post it here. If it comes I'll pass it along. But if you're really interested, don't be shy, just give him a call. He's a real nice guy.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Baby blogs and photographs have a new home

If you're like me and you can't get enough of our little boy, have no fear. You can find photographs, stories and videos of his little life at:

That's right. The boy has his own website.

Please note:
Some of the pages/posts will be password protected. So please let me know if you'd like the password. You only need one, it won't change from page to page or post to post, so let me know by emailing or leaving me a comment on this post with your contact info.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Commencing countdown

We had a tough couple of days this past week. I cried. Kind of a lot. At least for me.

The boy is growing, and thus, eating...every hour on the hour, for 30 to 45 minutes each time and then dozing for 15-20 before waking, with a dry diaper and crying until the next feeding started - meaning until I could whip it out and stick it in.

And then relief hit. Friday was a great day. He nursed for a good 20-25 minutes on each side and then slept...for real amounts of time - at least an hour, and then woke up happy, or slightly irritated cause of a wet diaper, he was awake and alert, nursed again like he'd done before and then hit dreamland. I felt spoiled.

Then last night he slept for just under 6 hours. The only trouble was it started right before 9pm, so we stayed up - obviously- and waiting for him to wake in a couple of hours before hitting dreamland ourselves. But time wore on and he didn't stir. I can't say I regret it though. I haven't cuddled with my husband on the couch without "something" between us in a really long time. I even fell asleep in his arms. A moment I will cherish as they are few and far between.

The tough times are only tough in the moment, and when they're over we're over it and on to the next moment. We're learning and adapting and hopefully becoming better parents every day. Rockford is amazing. We are so in love and blessed to have him in our care.

I can't believe he's been alive less than two weeks. He really is super.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Ch ch ch changes...

Things sure are changing around here, and we couldn't be happier.

The office has now become the Man Cave, since both the boy and the man of the house have furniture and fart in here.

Our seating has changed too, and if I'm at home, you can be sure the boppie and a burp cloth are near by. That thing is genius and even though we haven't had a need for the burp cloth yet, I can bet that the day I don't have it near will be the first day he spits up all over me.

And of course, here's an adorable photo of the boy.

The story goes, he woke up fussing, way too early for his nap to be over, so my mom took him in to change his diaper - typically a wet diaper is the ONLY thing that will wake him from a nap early. She set him on the changing table, in the warm sun and he stretched out and fell back asleep. I just happened to capture him mid dream smile.

Sometimes he likes to be bundled up, sometimes he'd rather stretch out and relax in the sun. He's a boy of many moods.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A short introduction to our Boy

April 5th first day home

The Basics:

Rockford Judah Weber

Born April 5th, 2010
1:14 am
8 lbs. 4 oz.
22 1/2 inches long

A short and sweet version of the labor story:
We labored at home Sunday afternoon from about 3pm - 6pm, and made our way to the Birth Center, where the midwife checked me at around 6:30pm and we were between 1-2cmm dialted. We started off in the room, standing and squatting, but decided pretty early on to get in the tub. Marianne arrived shortly after, and Andy and her were with me through every contraction (except as I recall one, and I didn't like doing it alone at all). The placed pressure on my hips and sacrem to releave the pain and ease the boy down into my pelvis. We labored in the big tub for some time and then transitioned to laying on my side on the bed, where the midwife checked me again. This time, we were all shocked to hear I was dialted to 8cmm, and getting very close to 9cmm. So, I moved off the bed to let gravity help me achieve the next stages. After dialating to 10cmm, my waters broke and I made my way back to the bed to lay on my back for push labor. Less than an hour later, our boy had arrived.

The umbilical cord was so long and had wrapped around his neck once, then around his body and under his arm, but the second after his head was born, the midwife moved the cord off and he wasn't in any danger. In seconds, the rest of his body had delivered and I opened my eyes for the first time all hour and looked directly into his wide open eyes. He laid on the bed looking up at us, reached out his arms and grasped his hands toward us. Andy reached out and picked him up and we both brought his warm body to my chest. He didn't cry. He just curled into my arms and cooed.

Then Andy and I were left alone with our boy. One midwife remained in the room, but at a distance, it was an amazing time for the three of us.
Five hours after he had arrived, Andy cut his umbilical cord and the midwives completed his exam. Then they left us alone again, checking in to check our vitals every so often, and the three of us slept. We left the birth center that evening and spent his first night at home.

We are in awe and completely in love with him.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

A little talk about induction

Now for the word on everyone's mind: INDUCTION

A few things for everyone to remember:

1. We didn't have an ultrasound to determine a due date until well after the 12-14 week cut off - but for reference, the ultrasound due date was March 22nd

2. Based on my cycle, which I charted for almost 2 years prior to getting pregnant, I don't have a typical 28 day cycle, which is how they determine a due date when basing it on the first day of your last period.

So here's the deal.

The first day of my last period - based on a 28 day cycle - would have landed us at a March 24th due date. BUT, because my cycles are longer than 28 days, we have to add 5-7 days to that date - make sense? This puts our due date between March 29th and March 31st.

Which means that since it's now April 3rd, we are most likely only 3 days past due.

During our first BPP ultrasound, Friday March 26th the baby's head measured at 39 weeks, 3 days - which would also align with the late March due date.

There have been no signs of fetal distress, low levels of amniotic fluid, or any placenta degradation.

For us, we are focused on educating ourselves before being scared into doing something that isn't necessary for our son, and at this stage, there isn't any medical reason to induce labor.

As I mentioned in the last post, we had another BPP yesterday and saw more improvement on his position and no signs of anything to cause concern. Next week we're potentially going to go see an obgyn with our midwife and he will conduct a stress test to provide us with more information on the boy.

But until then, we're readjusting our thoughts and resting in the peace of the knowledge that he is healthy and thriving and it's just not his birth day yet.

April 3rd Pregnant and Updating

It's been a few days, and frankly the reason there's been no updates is cause there's been nothing to update. Really. Nothing. No contractions, no news. Just a whole lot of nothing.

Alright, technically we've been kind of just hasn't affected labor or anything.

After last friday's BPP and the knowledge that the boys head was down and engaged, but facing out to the right, we scheduled time with Anita to do some baby adjusting.

Basically, she pushed his head out of the pelvis and then we used gravity and some soft rocking of his body to help re-engage him...and it worked, pretty quickly too.

Then yesterday, Friday April 2nd, we went in for another BPP. This time the technician didn't exactly inspire confidence in any of us...for one she said she measured the baby's head smaller that it measured last week, and put his weight around 7 lbs...totally not possible at this stage. And don't worry, it's not as though he is shrinking, these ultrasounds are not accurate in anyone's book, the technicians make disclaimers throughout the exam about how it isn't accurate for determining gestation, weight or size in any way. But it left us with a few good bits of information.

1. He remains in a head down, engaged position
2. He is now facing my spine - a perfect birthing position
3. He passed the test's requirements for healthy and thriving
4. His heartbeat is strong
5. Amniotic fluid is at good levels

He didn't really move a ton for her, it was 8am and I was squishing him with a bladder full of 40 ounces of water so I don't blame him, but he's moving and shakin for me all the time so there's that.

We've done a lot of walking, up hills, around bends and in the pouring rain. I've tried to stay busy, which sometimes means taking naps and other times means going into work and gettin things done. The past 3 days I've actually felt really good, physically and emotionally. He will arrive when he's ready and it will be glorious and I will be awesome at it.

Stay tuned: Next up, a talk about INDUCTION

Monday, March 29, 2010

March 29th Mid-day Pregnancy Update

So. Who's tired of updates that don't include news of a birth?...Me for one, but that's not the attitude we're trying to nurture, so I'll turn off the sarcastic anxiousness and get down to the facts.

Sunday was good. We relaxed most of the day at home, with walks sprinkled throughout.

I had a good bout of contractions in the morning for a few hours, then each time we walked they would pick up a bit again for an hour or two, but then subsided fairly soon. They were not very strong and only lasted 20-40 seconds.

In the afternoon from about 5pm till 7:30pm there was another round of very promising contractions every 8-10 minutes, but again, they were not very intense and only lasted for about 30-45 seconds.

Side Note: I can be totally accurate on these figures because of a free app I downloaded to my phone. All we do is press a start contraction or end contraction button and the app does the rest, calculates the time, intervals, averages...and then throws it into a little chart....all very useful and for this purpose, makes the details of the update easy peasy.

Then, last night for about 2 hours, around 10pm-12am I experienced some very strong rushes that lasted between 1:30-2 minutes each and hit every 12-15 minutes. I had to breath through them and block out anything outside of myself....meaning the episode of Buffy we were watching at the time.

I went to sleep fairly quickly after these and was woken up a few times, but didn't check the time or focus on the contraction, cause I was in sleep mode. But when I woke up this morning my back muscles were really sore, like they had been worked out pretty hard, so I suspect I may have experienced more contractions that didn't wake me up.

BUT - I woke up at 7am and haven't had a contraction all day - it's noon now. So. I cleaned the kitchen, made a big breakfast, went for a 45 minute walk in the pouring rain and now we're going to meet some friends at the bowling alley. I'm in need of some getting out of the house and laughing with good people, so what better place to do it than the bowling alley?

We'll see Anita, our midwife, this afternoon and she check what's going on in there, but until then...I'm off to root for some friends and make some outrageous bets on skill as people throw big balls at misshapen wood.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

March 28th AM Pregnancy Update

This is an update, mostly so peeps know what's going on...which in a nutshell is a lot of preparation.

Saturday was a great day! Mid-morning, we pulled in a good stretch of contractions happening 10-12 minutes apart for about 3 hours.

Then nothing.

We went out to Trader Joe's, and just as we pulled up, a nice contraction hit. (This was around 5:45pm.)

We decided not to time them exactly and just let them occur without inhibition, but they were coming less than 10 minutes apart and lasting between 1 min 30 and just under 2 minutes.

This period lasted until around 8:30/9:00pm, and although there were some very strong and progressively longer contractions, things pretty much ceased for the night after that.

I was awoken during the early hours of the morning, beginning around 4:30am, with yet more contractions, but I was able to go back to sleep after they would pass. So far the last one I was awake for was at about 7:45am.

I spoke to Anita, our midwife, this morning and she was very encouraging, things are getting ready and I need to remain in a feeling of 'blessed' that I have hours of rest. All of this is preparation for the main event, and from what I'm hearing from other mothers - days of bouts of contractions have made their births easier and faster.

We are positive and hopeful...and since the boy is moving like a champ in there, there's nothing to worry about.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Pregnancy Update

I've been silent on the blog for a bit and that's mostly because I've been going through the toughest part of this whole pregnancy, the end, which is accompanied with the waiting. And for the record, I hate it.

I mostly hate the fact that with our due date being moved up by the ultrasound technician in January from March 22nd to March 14th, it forced me to get things ready more than a week ahead of schedule, in case he were to arrive in the "2 weeks early" window.

38 weeks

Last night, March 25th, from about 6pm till midnight, I charted some great contractions. They were strong and what I would describe as uncomfortable most of the time and a little more intense and a tad painful at other times. They averaged about every 20 minutes and lasted between 30 - 40 seconds.

39 weeks

Then this morning, from around 9:30am - 1:30pm, I charted more contractions. These were a bit stronger than what I experienced last night and averaged about every 14 minutes and lasted more around 2+ minutes each.

Anita. our midwife, has told me that these contractions are all good and mean that my body is most likely taking it slow in preparing for full non-stop labor.

40 weeks

Also this morning I met Anita, at the Oregon Imaging Center for a Biophysical Profile (BPP) Ultrasound.

Due to the discrepancy in the baby's ETA, and because the State insurance we have won't allow Anita to treat us if we go over 43 weeks without it, they offer a BPP to rule out any cause for concern once you've passed the due date on record - their due date on record is March 14th.

The Biophysical Exam checks for 4 things:

Heart rate variability
Volume of Amniotic Fluid
Fetal body movement - both kicks and response to pokes
Fetal breathing movement of the chest and stomach muscles

The test is scored and the baby rated for health and well-being. Our boy scored 8/8

This is all good information, and even more so, better news that he is healthy and thriving and there is no concern that he hasn't made his appearance yet. But the best part in all this was getting to see his little sleeping face, half covered up by his arm, but so precious non the less. (sorry no pictures, it wasn't that kind of ultrasound.)

In other news from the Ultrasound, the tech kept stressing to me that Ultrasounds past 12 weeks are unpredictable at depicting due dates and that the results should always be taken as estimates. When I asked how much of an estimate when it came to the ETA, the reply was "It's off typically from 1 to 3 weeks in either direction." Which means it's typically off by 2-6 weeks! Crazy.

With the "estimate only" in mind here's the ultrasound stats from today:
He measures at 39 weeks 4 days, and around 8lbs

I'm feeling really good, and am in a happy place. My stress and worry that he won't ever be here has been silenced by listening to my body and paying attention to the work that it is doing to be prepared for his arrival. I can say in all honesty that whenever he arrives it will be the right time and we will learn patience until he's here...and then we'll learn a whole new kind of patience.

Thank you all for your love, I certainly feel it!
Whoa - there went another little contraction...things are definitely working in there!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Final Countdown
and how it really doesn't mean anything

An update of the pregnancy kind.

37 weeks

37 1/2 weeks

38 weeks

The countdown.

The countdown is tricky. For starters, the weeks listed under all my photos is based on the March 22nd due date that we've been counting down to since October. But the 'let's be prepared' countdown (due date of March 14th) puts us at 39 weeks as of today.

Both of these numbers give me some anxious thoughts. I know he will come in his time and when the moment is the most perfect for him and at this moment he is very content in my womb, so that is where I think he should be.

The anxiousness comes in to play because of the unexpected. I'm not worried about the birth, and conversely I'm not hating being pregnant (as you know from my last post, this pregnancy has been pretty much a breeze.)

The unexpected simply means that I think a lot - when will it all begin? When will my body and his body become in sync and start the process?
When will the first contraction hit me? I don't worry about how long my labor will be, or how tough or if he'll be alright. I wonder when it will finally start. So every day, I get prepared. I settle things at work at the end of each day, in case I won't return the next. I make sure there is food in the house and that things are cleanish and organized before I go to bed, in case I'm not able to do it in the morning. But, I also make plans and schedule things for the next day or the week to come. I have to-do lists and things on the calendar. I don't like limbo, and I certainly don't like not going ahead with life and letting anxiety take over.

I don't want to be disappointed when a date comes and goes. I don't want to feel discouraged or concerned, cause let's face it, the whole due date thing it's kind of arbitrary to begin with and having a countdown seems really counter productive, especially to me and my desire to never fail.

This whole last part of pregnancy is really teaching me something major. I am not in control. And this doesn't equal failure. Usually I set a goal and work until my fingers bleed to accomplish it and to accomplish it over and above what is called for. I work hard to achieve success and complete a goal. But that's not up to me in this situation...the end goal may have something to do with me, my determination and the preparation to get me through the labor to the birth. But I don't get to say when and start it when I'm ready. And I'm learning to be good with that.

In the end I think I may be terrible at waiting, but I'm super great at being prepared. And if you haven't heard, I'm going to be so awesome at birth. Just wait. So awesome.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Men of Science

There has been a lot going on around here (both in the physical world and in the internet world) that has nothing to do with preparing for a baby. Er, I guess in a way, it's the preparation of the birth of a different sort of baby. The first full-length album of Science Heroes was released today. 2.27.10 Transmission Zero Hour.

album design by PUNCH

If you're a friend of mine of FB or twitter, then you've no doubt already heard the lead up announcments to the release and tonight's big show. But in case you've missed's what's what.

The Register-Guard article appeared in this Friday's paper (shown below), the same article from the paper was posted online here, and with a full-length piece online here

On a side note, no one is credited for taking the photo, but in case you're was me, I was pregnant and stood on a ladder to get it. I'm proud.

If you're not already a follower of M.Christine Weber, check out her blog about the new album first and then peruse her previous posts for some much needed bookworm literary discussion and comic relief.

I highly recommend becoming a follower of Science Heroes on twitter, if you're in to that sort of thing, to stay up to date with all the interesting things they have planned for release throughout the upcoming months.

Otherwise, become a follower of their blog and find out everything you've ever wanted to know on their website:

Name your price and immediately download the album:

The show, with headliners The Slants, and opening band Archeology starts at 8:00P tonight, Saturday February 27th 2010 at The Muse Lounge in Eugene 21 W. Sixth Ave. No Cover. 21 and over.

Friday, February 26, 2010

These are definetly not the blues

I've become accustomed to replying that I feel great and this pregnancy has been super easy with not much for me to complain about whenever asked. And it's the truth. I know so many women that have experienced such discomfort and their bodies betraying them during pregnancy that I feel like the little things that I've endured have been nothing to talk about, much less whoa is me about.

But I want to make a list, mostly for posterity not to bring out my complaint list for whiny purposes, of the discomforts or difficulties I have experienced (even though in my book they are reasonable and quite few and far between).

1. The first time I threw up and blamed being pregnant - thinking 'oh no, if it's starting this early there's no telling how bad it's going to be' - I wasn't even pregnant.

2. The second time I threw up, I was on an airplane. That in and of itself was a story for the books, but I couldn't really blame pregnancy since the timing of our flights had made eating lunch impossible, and I drank a bubbly ginger on an empty stomach then experienced some hefty turbulence. My poor body didn't have a chance!

3. The third time (there were only 3, well technically 2, but you get the idea) I haphazardly opened the kitchen garbage with my face way too close and some rotting meat bones hit me square in the nose. I ran to the bathroom. Yes, there was an open trash can a foot in front of my face, and I still ran to the bathroom, that's how bad the smell was, I couldn't even throw up on top of it.

4. During my second trimester, as my baby grew and my hips spread, my sacrum would scream in pain. Sometimes it would hurt if I was sitting, sometimes if I was walking, sometimes if I was standing for too hurt whenever it darn well wanted to. But...with a little time spent on the yoga mat with the best dvd for pregnant women everywhere, the pain would disappear and I would feel good as new. (See my point? Nothing really to complain about when there's a solution for a fix.)

5. There were some spurts here and there, most notably the week of February 10th, when I was starving every 2 hours and felt like I was either making something to eat or eating something 24 hours a day. The most recent baby growth spurt was accompanied with crazy headaches. If there wasn't something in my stomach at the 2 hour mark, I would freak out because of the pain. But again, as long as I anticipated and had a counter attack in mind (namely food at the ready) then I was fine.

6. Lack of brain power. How could I forget this life altering one? Oh right, I don't have a quick memory like I used to. The first trimester was tough for one reason. My brain felt like mush. The worst symptom was short term memory loss. It wasn't that I sat there thinking, "I'm forgetting
something, what is it, what is it, what is it?!?" No. It was worse than that. I had NO idea I had forgotten anything NO IDEA. It was terrible. I would have a conversation, commit to doing something, and then completely forget and never do it. Bless the people in my life for not throwing me off a cliff. I wasn't the me that was awesome...but I adapted. When I figured it out I just began carrying a big stack of paper with me. I would write everything down with little boxes for checking things off next to each to do, or different color pens or highlighters making me aware of important names or phone numbers and I would read over my papers over and over again all day to make sure nothing was lost.

The first day about 3 months ago that I remembered our business EIN number off the top of my head the second after someone asked for it was like a dream come true. I spouted it off (then looked on my phone to double check that it was correct) and was so relieved that my memory was coming back. It's not 100%. But I'm working on it.

7. Sleep. I've never been a very good sleeper, as you all must know, until I began taking nightly doses of melatonin. Then I read that because melatonin isn't a drug it isn't approved or even tested for use during pregnancy and side affects are unknown to the developing fetus. So, naturally, I stopped taking it. Surprisingly, I've slept quite well without it and have developed better habits for sleep all around. Sure I had a few stretches where I would wake up three times during the night to pee. But three times isn't that bad. Sure I fought sleeping on my side cause I loved to sleep on my tummy - and did for as long as possible. Sure, I've been woken up by a very active baby in the wee hours of the morning, or because I am starving and need a snack. But so what? I don't think it's all that bad, but maybe that's just the insomniac in me talking.

8. The car. Car rides are becoming more difficult. And driving is the worst, there's this darn steering wheel in the way of me and getting out of the door. But, it's not that bad. Just a little uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing when trying to exit the vehicle.

9. The hardest thing for me though has been the physical change in me - and the idea of your body betraying you. It's not that I'm super uncomfortable or that I can't do anything, I actually don't mind the very late state of pregnancy that I'm's actually pretty easy.

But I'm unable to accomplish the things I once could. I spent a day on set in December and by 8 hours in I couldn't get up from my chair because all my muscles were seizing from being over worked. I have to clean the house or organize things in little spurts, I can't just work for 3 hours straight and get it all done. If I exert myself for more than an hour, I'll most likely pay for it later with sore muscles. I am binding my tummy to help alleviate pressure on my uterine muscles and it's kind of obnoxious to have to do it. But I adapt, and then I can't complain, but I still can't wait for the day when the reason I can't get things done is cause I have a baby and not cause my body screams 'no'.

10. My relationships. I already miss that my friendships revolve more around my child then they do around the friendship, or shared interests. It's alright that Christmas brought gifts for me that were really gifts for the baby, I love that he is so loved.

But I talk so much about the baby, or baby things, or how I'm feeling because I'm pregnant, or if I'm prepared, or how I feel about the impending labor, that sometimes I just want to scream and talk about something else. I fear that all my conversations in the future will consist of stories about my child, or how my marriage is because of the addition, or about diapers or such things. I know there is a part of my past life that will never come back and I'm good with that, I think I just need to learn how to adapt to this in a way that doesn't mean I loose myself. I know I can. It will just take practice, and for me to have an ugly and dull kid so no one wants to talk about him...kidding.

Here's a get you ready preview of what we'll almost look like in less than a month (this is baby Atticus, born February 15th to our friends Tucker and Maricel).

Don't forget to place your bets on the last post...there could be a prize to win!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

It's time for some betting

Here are the facts:

Our original due date - March 22nd.
I've gained 15 lbs to date
Braxton-Hicks are in full swing, painful and doing 'something' down there
Our last ultrasound moved the due date up to March 14th

We're at 36's me

What's your guess, when will we meet the boy?

Bonus points for time, height and/or weight guesses.

I'd love to say the winner gets a prize, but I don't know what the prize will be yet or when you'd get it so don't play along for the prize, cause you may never get it.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Am I a mother?
part 3

I'd like to begin with a comment posted on Part 1 Stancie:

"Women who are pregnant with and responsible for the little life they carry - yet will not keep their baby are indeed mothers, though biological ones; but they will not be mothering the child after birth. And the woman who adopts a baby/child will become their mother when they begin mothering them and are responsible for caring for them after birth.
While I think both types are technically "mothers" with different roles and purposes - the one who raises, nurtures, teaches and loves a child is "the mother" of that child.

For someone who plays both roles (most women), I think the role and definition of "mother" takes on different meaning and responsibility once pregnancy ends and raising the child begins (mothering). So, while I think that a pregnant woman is "technically" a mother as soon as she conceives, I believe she "officially" becomes a (mothering) mother after she delivers and cares for and loves the child."

This is so right on with my attempt to explain my thoughts on becoming a mother. Whereas I distinguish between being a life source and being a mother, Stancie's distinguishing of being a mother verses the mothering that takes place when you become a parent speaks at the core to the same issue. So perhaps we can distinguish the role of a mother in two different ways: one mother as a life source, and one mother as a parent.

Where does that bring us? Can I get some feedback based on this assertion?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Am I a mother?
part 2

I received an email, I believe in response to this previous post
1) What is your definition of a mother
2) What do you believe a mother should or should not do?
3) What is the differences between your eating habits now vs when you were not pregnant? (other than your consumption of alcoholic beverages)
4) What does it look like to be a responsible pregnant woman (incubator)?

Well, since these are all things I'm working out in my conversations and blog posts, I figured posting my response here would help to clarify my thoughts to everyone out in internet land.

So, to answer somewhat simply, which I think may not do the questions or answers full goes

1. "What is your definition of a mother?"

I don't think the crux of my argument is determined by my definition of a mother as much as what my thoughts are on the role of a mother. I believe parents are the first people that define relationships to a child and I don't think this relationship begins at conception (this is not an abortion argument as my argument here is not about when life begins, rather it is about when the relationship begins.) I believe this relationship will begin upon my son's first breath, when he is cognitive and responsive to his surroundings, when he begins to equate his experiences with the world around him. Thus our relationship, and my role as his mother, begins at the same moment.

2. "What do you believe a mother should or should not do?"
This is a much weightier question. But I think in a nutshell...
I believe a mother's role in their child's life is to be a guide. To teach them morality, to seek knowledge and truth, and to protect them until they grow old enough to protect themselves.

I also believe it is not a mother's role to define their child, to live through their child, to give up their life and pursuits in the vein that their child's life is more important or of greater value than their own. With this in mind, I can not define my role right now as one of a mother. If I defined my role right now as a mother, than I would be creating expectations or ideas about our son before he has had an opportunity to show us who he is himself.

BUT, due to modern medicine, I felt for the first time a couple of weeks ago that I knew something about our son, a possible characteristic of his that will be shown to us after he is born. He slept during our ultrasound, with his fist up against his temple. It was the first moment that I felt I perhaps knew something about HIM. Not something I wanted from him, or something I conjured up about him from his reflexes, but something about him. Something that is unique to him, a habit perhaps, time will tell.

3. "What is the differences between your eating habits now vs when you were not pregnant?"

As far as I can tell this is in reference to my thoughts that I should not change my eating habits because I am someone's mother or incubator, I should change them for me, to be a healthier me, but also to provide an environment as an incubator that is healthier for the growing life inside me (since I feel that is the responsible thing to do given my current role).
My eating habits have changed dramatically over the past two years, not just since I became pregnant or began thinking of becoming pregnant. Some of the highlights:
Raw Milk
Organic fruit and veggies
no corn syrup
whole grains only - no refined flour, pasta or white rice
switching from being a vegetarian to eating seafood, chicken, turkey and beef
Eggs and meat with no hormones, antibiotics etc, not corn feed, if I can

Specifically in response to trying to get pregnant though, the differences include taking additional vitamins, including prenatal vitamins, a most notably a stricter adherence to no alcohol, no sugar, no refined flours, or second hand smoke.

p.s. I've officially gained negative 1.5 pounds since learning I was pregnant.

4. "What does it look like to be a responsible pregnant woman (incubator)?"

I think this is a personal decision made by each woman. My decisions were sparked much earlier than when I discovered I was pregnant, because I was planning and preparing to become pregnant, but that doesn't make it right or 'more' responsible. For some women this doesn't happen until after they learn they are pregnant, and for some this knowledge doesn't sway them to change anything about their lifestyle. Does this lead society to argue that if a woman does or doesn't make changes she is being a good or bad mother? Wait, that's a whole new can of worms isn't it?

So, that lead me to the idea of adoption or surrogacy. In these circumstances, who is the mother? Are both women the child's mother? Is one just a genetic donor and/or an incubator? Is the adopting mother more of a mother in some way? What makes one or both the child's mother? Are some mothers only mothers for 9 months?

I take the role of life source very, very seriously. The difficulty I find in defining this as the start of me being a 'mother' is because, as I stated previously, the concept I'm attempting to distinguish is more about my relationship with my son, the
roleI will play in his life as his mother verses the role I am playing now as his life source.

I don't want the idea that I'm cultivating to come across as me stating that I do not care for my child, when in reality I think this is the best way I can care for my child (meaning that our relationship will be defined by his birth not his conception).

I also don't think of being a mother as sacrificing a part of me. I think of it as a change in my life that I will learn to adapt to, without losing parts of me, which I believe is a healthier way to be a parent. Because if we all just lived to be parents and nothing else, then we would stop living and growing the moment we conceived...and then, I think, we would have a difficult time defining ourselves as anything different than a parent when our children grew up and moved on (which is a devastating time for a lot of parents, and perhaps topic for a different discussion on this subject).

This concept of distinguishing roles began long before I became pregnant, it began when we wrestled with the ideas behind
why we did or didn't want to become parents.
Some of the things I'm distinguishing are to me, not typically distinguished because they are societal norms, and I am perhaps just challenging us to look past what we're taught and seek a deeper understanding of what our role in our child's life could be.

I hope it's clear that I'm writing these things because I'm interested in working them out in preparation for the birth of our son. I'm not trying to challenge the role you may have in your child's life, I'm just seeking to be an active participant in the way I interact with my son, not just a reactive participant.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A simple request

If you know me at all, in any fashion in the real world, could you do me a favor? Could you help me out with a little confidence boost?

Let me explain.

As the months wind down into weeks, and soon days, I think of the birth and labor ahead of us with mixed feelings. I know it will be tough and painful, an endurance marathon, not a quick sprint, but I am confident that we can do it. More confident than I can express.

In preparing for that day, I think of the many strong women in my life that have labored ahead of me and birthed their children, whether it was natural, through c-section, or any combination of the way birth happens and of the husbands that have supported these women through hours and hours of labor, and they all inspire me. But as much as hearing other people's experiences and advice can assist in bringing confidence one way, hearing from people that know us and love us that we can do this, is a whole other confidence boost.

So I'm asking for your help. What do you know about us that will give us strength to labor and birth? What stories do you have to remind us that we are strong? What character traits do we exhibit that will carry us through the pain and long hours?

If you would take a moment to write down your thoughts or just make a list of things you see in us that will remind us we are strong and prepared and email them to me, I would be forever grateful.

eggandmandy [at] gmail [dot] com

Monday, February 8, 2010

Our last visit to California before two becomes three

34 weeks - in California

At the start of our 33rd week we were busy packing the cooler with frozen raw milk and snacks, loading up our bags and pillows, checking the oil and filling up the gas tank for our trip South to San Luis Obispo, thus, there is no 33 week photo.

The highlights of our trip:

1. all the time we were able to spend with both sides of the family
2. the fact that we only added 1.5 hours to our drive time on the way down, and only 1 hour on the way back - due to pee breaks and walking about
3. the blessing of a baby shower for our little Ant, complete with delish food and plenty of amazing women, and gifts, did I mention the gifts!
4. watching Andy hang out with our 5 year-old nephew and play G.I. Joes, which completely distracted me from taking a nap

It was during this time when Bridge loaded up a couple of GI Joe's into a spaceship (the Mario Cart Wii Wheel), flew by me as I lay on the couch, stopped for a moment, looked at me intently and said, "I like your hair Aunt Meg"

The low-lights of the trip:

1. the cold that hit me like a flu - without the fever - that took me out of commission for 3 days
2. the cancelled plans with family and friends, due to #1
3. the things I didn't get to check off my list of fun things to do, again, blame #1
4. cutting the trip a day short so I could get home and have an extra day to recoup before returning to real life

our other adventures:
1. Tess' water polo game
2. A visit with Cash
3. Sword fighting
4. Wrestling
5. Fabric shopping for the baby's quilt
6. lunch with Gramps 2 times
7. a visit from Yosemite with my brother and SIL
8. breakfast the morning we left with my mom, and inlaws

This is one of the kids that made me wonder what our boy will grow to be. He loves his Uncle Andy and his
Grandpa, it was so rad for me to see all week.

this is Cash - my brother's dog

After a week of much rest and a long drive, we left California behind and returned happily home to our little house to find our neighbor across the street still sporting her Christmas lights.
It's good to be back.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Am I a mother?
part 1 ?

32 weeks

This time around, being pregnant and anticipating becoming a mother has led me to a lot more existential thinking than the first time when I was 21. It could very well have to do with age, it being 9 years later and all, but I think it has more to do with the community that we've been a part of for most of those 9 years and the understanding I have that God does not just require of us to consider our spiritual existential beliefs, but our existential beliefs in all areas of our lives.

For me to be a good parent, I want to consider the potential reasons behind a decision we make that will affect our child and I want to look to the future and begin to understand now how our relationship with him and with one another will change, prior to the change just happening to us. I want to be an active participant in the changes.

This in no way means I want to control everything or anything crazy like that, I just think there is some wisdom in critically thinking about things. I mean, right? Common sense, no?

One of the things I've considered for a long time is the idea of losing myself when I become a mother, which led me to consider when is the moment I become a mother, as in when exactly does this happen? For some women I think this takes place the moment they find out they're pregnant. I am going to make an argument against this (which I began in a previous post 'deep thoughts, beware'), because it was obvious by my thoughts about 'losing myself' that I did not consider myself someone's mother yet, so I had to ask myself why and when.

1. Is the role of life source the role of a mother?

It is true, I am a life source for my son. I nourish him, I create a healthy environment for him to grow and thrive, I play a huge role in how his development occurs. But is this the role of a mother or not? Personally, I would rather look at this time a little differently.

For me to eat a healthy diet, and to make certain that I am consuming or supplementing the appropriate vitamins etc, may have something to do with growing another human - he needs more of or a different variety to grow - but it should not be the only reason I do this. I should do this for myself, to be a healthy human. But does doing this for his growth now fall under the category of being his mother? Or does it simply fall under the category of being an incubator?

For me this argument can be carried throughout decisions I seem to have made simply because I am pregnant, but they are because I am a life source, not because I am a mother.

Mostly I lean toward this argument because of something I've previously expressed. The bond of parent and child is essential, but the insane need for us all (me, Andy & boy) to be individuals is much greater (or I believe it should be, it is healthier for all parties). If I am not an individual or don't have a healthy self worth than how can I expect my son to? If I am not responsible for my actions or accountable for them because I can blame it on something (example: I'm a mother, I don't have time to take care of myself etc) then how does this teach my son that he is accountable and responsible for his actions?

This all brings me back to the idea that I am not someone's mother yet. There is no learning going on between my actions now and my son, I am not teaching him anything. But when he is born, that's exactly what will be happening. And in return he will help inform me of how to be his mother once he is here and interacting with me. I can think of nothing better than raising a son based on who he is rather than on my expectations of him.

Sure it's possible that one day he'll know (from me) about how his life began and what I did to help him grow, but if this is where I "begin" our relationship then it is purely a selfish act.

Obviously, this is not a closed discussion nor is it over, but I'd love to hear feedback, especially from all my young mother friends, and perhaps even more so from my friends who are not mothers as I think you may be able to lend an opinion from an outside perspective.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

How time goes by in just the right amount

30 weeks

31 weeks

As we round the corner to our 32nd week, the comments from people are a derivative of one of the following:
It seems like you've been pregnant forever
It has gone by so fast

I guess that all depends on perspective right?
I feel like it has been just the right amount of time. I'm not anxious either get it over with or to keep it going longer. I'm content where we're at and I have been this entire time. I hope this continues and I'm confident that with the right perspective, it will.

One of the strangest things I've discovered while being pregnant is the amount of statements rather than questions I hear in regards to my pregnancy. For instance, people don't ask how it has felt for me, long, short, just right? They just tell me how it's been for them. I find this peculiar at least.

But it doesn't end with this small area, it ripples throughout any comment I make online, or any person I speak to about the pregnancy. I have to say, some of the best advice I have been given was by another new mother. She said, don't take advice or listen to just one person, hear it all, but decide what's best for you and your baby. This wasn't some kind of epiphany, but it made me realize that this isn't an isolated occurrence, this happens to a lot of pregnant women. I know very well that no one knows me, or my diet, or my habits, or my history like I do, except for maybe Andy, and we all know that no two people are alike, so of course no two pregnancies are going to be alike. So what is this need to give advice when it isn't solicited?
Don't get me wrong, I hear it all, some of it is really helpful, I'm just pondering the reasoning behind it.

The advice I was given may seem like common sense, and typically to the person hearing the unsolicited advice or opinions, this is common sense, but I ponder more why this isn't common sense for the people handing out the advice or opinions. And I ponder even more why people are so quick to offer their advice or opinions about pregnancy when I don't even ask for them. Is this how it will be all during parenthood too? Will people always assume that you don't know what you're doing cause you're 'new at this'? That's kind of annoying.

I have a few ideas, but they're probably offensive, so I'd rather people just tell me why they do it instead of me pissing off everyone.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Opening thoughts

I have contemplated a lot this past year
what kind of wife will I be
what kind of friend will I be
what kind of mother will I be
what kind of wife and friend will I be when I'm a mother?
And such similar things as you may find any woman becoming a mother contemplating.

But today, this morning, I was contemplating what kind of me I will be. The me that has nothing to do with being a wife, friend or mother. It's not the fact that I'm entering a new 'chapter' in life, or a new decade. It's more that everything around me is changing and it's a good time to reflect on who I am, what is important in life, and who I am as a part of it. Age is, after all, just a number.

Obviously I don't have the answers to all these questions. But they're on my mind and forcing my thoughts to be retrospective and projective, which I think is a good thing. All I can say for now is, I seriously doubt this year will be anything but incredible.

Friday, January 1, 2010

A new me in the new year?

This baby thing is taking over my body.

29 weeks
- just barely on New Year's Eve

At 29 weeks I have exactly one more week of being 29. And then 30 weeks will arrive on my 30th, ehem, birthday. It's a sign, of what I don't know, but kind of amazing still.

One man that I haven't mentioned recently is my man. I don't want to bore anyone with all the mushy details, but no one could ever treat me better than he does. The details make him all that much more amazing, but they're mushy and lovey so I'll stop there. Just know, he's better than every other man on the planet. Hands down.

Christmas day in the snow (!) 28 weeks

Last night, New Year's Eve, after working from 8:30am till 8:15pm (with a break) and standing up at a party for hours, my baby belly started to feel big and heavy for the first time. I have tried binding three or four times over the last few weeks, after Marianne so graciously gave me hers to use, and I think it may have to become a more regular piece of my attire. I'm thinking that at least if I'm going to be up and about all day I should wear it to take the strain of my muscles. My only hesitation to wearing it all the time is that I feel like I'm taking away space from Ant and I don't know if that's fair to do to him this early.

In other news, we've officially applied for OHP (Oregon Health Plan) and have been told we will receive it, though the official word comes to us next week so I'm still a bit nervous. OHP will bring with it qualification for WIC, blood tests (including a glucose test for gestational diabetes), more midwife visits, and perhaps another ultrasound.

Which I hope will mean more Ant pictures to come, from the inside, not just the outside, something that makes me smile.