Friday, August 29, 2008

36 weeks

I'm officially in the home stretch - the final month (ok, maybe the final 5 weeks). But I can see the end more clearly now, and I'm finding myself doing a lot more thinking about the upcoming birth, as opposed to current aches and pains. Although trust me, there are plenty of those, too. :)

Some days I'm supremely confident. Some days I cry myself to sleep because I'm so scared. As my midwife pointed out, both make sense. I can be reasonably terrified of labor because I know what to expect. Whoever said that you forget what pain feels like apparently hadn't ever given birth. I remember just fine. But I can also be reasonably confident because I have already delivered a baby and I know that I can.

This baby is in a perfect position - head down, tiny butt centered above my belly button, anterior, and as of two days ago, dropped quite low into my pelvis. Somehow the very centered-ness of the baby is helping me feel more centered myself. I'm finding it easier to imagine him more-or-less gently emerging into the world.

September is crammed full of busyness. A wedding, a trip to Oak Glenn, Thomas' surgery, a meeting in Los Angeles, something else I can't remember right now, and all the usual daily things that need to get done. At some point it might be a good idea to get out some baby clothes, too. :) I looked at my calendar recently and thought "I did not plan this well!" because we are so busy that no matter when Josiah decides to show up, it will probably disrupt something! Still, in some ways I'd rather be busy and let things be disrupted, rather than clearing my schedule and waiting for a baby who refuses to show up. :)

As always, I'm having tons of contractions that really don't bear a lot of resemblence to the "painless tightening" described in the books as Braxton Hicks. When they're spaced far apart I remember that I'll likely have an October baby. Today they're about ever 15 minutes and I start thinking "well...?"

We'll see. I certainly wouldn't object to an early baby, although THIS early might not be so good. I'd rather get through Thomas' surgery first!

This is a rather rambling post, but that is the state of my brain right now so I'm afraid it is what you get!


A kinder, gentler c-section? I wonder under what circumstances this would be used. Scheduled surgeries? But usually women aren't in labor (and thus having contractions) if the surgery is scheduled. Emergency sections? Aren't those supposed to be, you know, emergencies? I'd like to read more about this, so if anyone else has more info, please comment and let me know.

Hat tip to pushedbirth for the link.

Monday, August 25, 2008


"Thomas, hear the siren? Should we pray for the people who are hurt?

Dear Jesus, help whoever is hurt; speed the paramedics on their way, amen."

Just like the Olympians

A few days ago we were watching some Olympic diving. Jonathan climbed up on the coffee table, jumped off, and proudly informed me that he was diving into the pool "just like the Olympics!" Then he paused a moment and added, "But I don't land on my head."

Friday, August 22, 2008

Suggestions needed!

I am trying to find a water bottle for Jonathan. He's getting too old for sippy cups, but obviously regular cups don't work well in the car! I'm looking for something that is:

1) BPA free
2) Smaller than usual (maybe about 12-16 oz)
3) Does not have a "sippy" lid (Nalgene's Grip n Gulp is not what I want)
4) Will not leak
5) Dishwasher safe
6) Pretty much indestructible :)

Any ideas for me?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Maybe, just maybe, I'm growing up?

Yesterday could have been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. It certainly started out that way. I was tired when I woke up. I had far more errands that needed to be done than hours to do them in between nap times. And somehow I was supposed to go to church, too!

Thomas woke up late from his morning nap, leaving us just barely enough time to get to mass. A tantruming child made us very late, and realizing that we had no gas left in the car made us late beyond repair. By the time we got to the freeway, the service was almost over.

So instead we went to the mall to start our errands. Shopping for nursing bras with fussy children in tow is NOT a good idea when you're already on edge. I ended up yelling at Thomas and giving him a spanking that, in retrospect, he didn't deserve. Not my finest parenting moment. In fact it was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad moment.

That was when God intervened. I had been reading Brother Lawrence's Practicing the Presence of God in the mornings, and in the midst of everything, I remembered. I'm supposed to talk to God, and when I sin, simply tell him so and that I can't do any better without him.

Oh. Right.

I prayed while I gave the kids a snack, vowed (to myself) that there would be no more yelling, and then discovered a nursing bra that fit. Not only that, there were three available, on sale for buy 2 get a third free. And I had three coupons, all of which the saleslady applied to my order. So instead of hours of frustration and spending a small fortune (which I'd been stressed about), I walked out in about 40 minutes with everything I needed for only $22. (This also meant that I didn't even have to walk in to the other two stores I'd been planning on!)

I'm pretty sure God was intervening there, too.

And then instead of racing off to our next errand, I took the kids over to a fountain and we had our picnic lunch there, and then we went to See's Candy for a treat, and then to the other fountain, and then we went home.

As we got into the car I gave Thomas a hug and apologized for losing my temper with him. I doubt he understood (or even remembered), but it was important just the same. And Jonathan and I had a good talk about asking forgiveness on the way home.

Most of the errands that I had planned to do didn't get done. The one that did, only did so with a hefty dose of God's help. But instead of having a stressed out, angry, awful day, we ended up making some memories and learning about forgiveness.

I think that maybe, just maybe, God is growing me up a little bit.

Like children

This morning I woke up to Jonathan, singing at the top of his lungs, "God made us, and we are HIS, God made us, and we are HIS!!!" Just a moment ago he ran in from playing outside to ask "Mom, Mom, did you hear me singing the B-I-L-I-E?" (He means B-I-B-L-E, but I haven't been able to convince him of this fact yet.) :) Indeed, I had been listening to him, practically shouting from the rooftops that he stands on the word of God!

Sometimes the simplest things can be the most profound. Sometimes the best reminders come from three year olds.

"Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." - Matthew 18:3

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Ordinary moments

It is easy to think that the ordinary moments that make up our day to day life don't matter very much. Jenn reminds us that while it might just be an ordinary moment to us, we should consider our words and actions with care because someone else may remember it forever.

Many of you may not read Jenn's blog. You should change that. She posts infrequently, but it is worth RSS-ing for when she does post. She writes thoughtful, reflective, make-you-examine-your-life posts that are always worth your time.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Obama, abortion champion

Regardless of what I think of Barack Obama's other policies, his stance on abortion truly makes me ill. Consider his proclamation (made in July 2007) that as president, "the first thing" he will do is sign the Freedom of Choice Act, which would remove all federal and state restrictions on abortion. All of them. Consider his argument that babies born alive after an abortion procedure should be left to die. Never mind that they are living, breathing, humans that could be saved given medical assistance. It is hard for me to believe that anyone in his right mind could think this; Obama apparently starts from abortion and end up at infanticide.

Most people, whatever their view on abortion, agree that the Constitution at least guarantees the rights of born and living human beings. Barack Obama does not agree. For him, the Constitution exists primarily in order to guarantee the right to abortion, and other rights of human persons — born and alive — are secondary. Beginning with abortion rights as his premise, he draws as his conclusion the unfortunate but necessary legality of infanticide.

Read the rest of David Freddoso's excellent article, and then consider carefully whether a man's positions on healthcare, wars, or the economy can make up for his intent to destroy the helpless in the name of "choice".

Children's literature

Some of you may have read my husband's blog. At least, you might have read it until he stopped posting on it months and months ago. :) But be not dismayed, because there is a new post up, and it is a good one - a list of favorite children's literature. If you have small children or are thinking about having small children in the future, it is worth checking out. My husband has very good taste. :)

I love NBC!

Has anyone else been watching olympic coverage on nbc's website? I am loving it. Instead of having a tv on constantly, trying to catch the bits that you care about, you can just search for what you want to see. And there it is, with only minor commercial time, and you can pause it. No missing the perfect floor routine because your child has a meltdown. No spending eight hours a day ignoring your children! I think they must have designed this for mothers. :)

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Why I don't like "making friends" at the park

I took the boys to the water park in Whittier today - a spur of the moment trip that just sounded fun. It didn't turn out to be as much fun as I had hoped. You see, there were a few other families there, and unfortunately, they didn't have anything like the same standards for their kids as I do for mine.

Initially I was happy to meet the mother camped out on the bench next to me. She is also pregnant (with her fourth) and due just a few weeks after me. She also mentioned, while introducing her children, that they all were named after saints. "Great!" I thought, "they're probably a nice Catholic family!"

Well, (nominally) Catholic they may be, but they certainly weren't nice.

The mother was friendly, but her language! And I hadn't brought a book or a magazine, so I couldn't be "occupied" and discourage her chatter. A bigger problem, though, was the way her children treated mine. Jonathan came running back to me in tears every few minutes because one of her children had thrown something at him, or kicked water in his face, or told him that he couldn't play. Three year olds just don't understand this kind of thing - he was so incredibly sad about it and there wasn't a good way for me to explain it to him. The frustrating thing was that the other mom sat and watched this all happen, and all she ever did was scream "stop it!" at her kids, along with various swear words. As I'm sure you can imagine, they paid no attention whatsoever.

We ended up leaving early, which also made Jonathan sad.

I came home sad about the whole encounter, and very grateful for the good friends we do have. I am so glad I'm not trying to navigate a generic community mom's group. There is much to be said for shared values in choosing your and your childrens' friends.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

On primates and holy orders

Conversation between Gabe and Jonathan:
Gabe: "We're going to a monastery."
Jonathan: "Who's going to be there?"
Gabe: "Monks."
Jonathan: (incredulous pause, then with great excitement) "MONKEYS?!?!?"

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Maternity fashions

While I'll admit that there are some very cute maternity clothes out there, doesn't it seem like they're mostly designed for pregnant 17 year olds?

Well, Veronica agrees with me, anyway. :) And her post on the topic is, as usual, beautifully written (not to mention hilarious)!

Letter to ACOG regarding VBAC

Birth is very much on my mind these days, as I'm probably less than two months away from delivering. I'm reading a lot, thinking a lot, and praying a lot. So please don't be surprised if I start posting more on the subject. :)

Today I want to bring your attention to the best letter writing attempt at policy change that I have ever seen. A woman named Amber wrote to the president of ACOG, politely, respectfully, and with incredible study documentation as back-up, requesting that ACOG change their highly restrictive policy on VBACs. Her original letter (complete with citations), ACOG's response (short, unhelpful, and full of misinformation) and her response letter (again, with citations) is posted here and should be read in its entirety. This woman is smart and I hope that more women will follow her example in pressuring the medical leadership in this country to actually use facts in their policy making.

Even if you've never had a c-section, or never yet given birth, this is still valuable information. You don't know (well, I certainly didn't!) when you might find yourself needing to know more than the doctor is telling you.

When you do read it, (and you're about to, right? Right?) start at the bottom of the page and work your way up. I'm not sure why they posted the letters in the order they did, as it is rather confusing, but just realize that the first letter is at the bottom of the page and the last is at the top.

Hat tip to pushedbirth for the link!