Thursday, October 28, 2010

Julia's Birth Story

I have waited too long to write this story down.  There are many details that I have already forgotten five months later.  There are even some details that are starting to come back to me that are bothering me.  So here it is, what I remember of the day that Julia was born.
I had a lot of regrets with Matthew's birth story (story to follow at a later date) and this time wanted the birth done my way.  I read some books, the best of these being "Birthing from Within".  I decided a long time ago that I would not use an obstetrician this time but would be going with a midwife.  A birth assisted by a midwife fitted my ideals much better than a doctor. 
At one of my appointments, the midwife mentioned something about a home birth.  I had thought of this before, but didn't think that my house was properly set up for a home birth.  I also thought it would be too much work to get all the materials together and to ensure it was a good space.  The midwife assured me that I didn't need anything special for a home birth.  Most of the items that I would need were things that I could find around the house and the others that I couldn't were inexpensive.  My midwife answered many questions for my husband.  His biggest question was what would happen if something went wrong and I needed surgury.  My midwife told us that we needed to live within twenty minutes from the hospital.  In Thunder Bay, our doctors who perform c-sections are on call and would not arrive at the hospital until we did or even shortly afterwards.  The midwife assured us that it would take the same amount of time to prep for surgury whether we were at home or at the hospital.  So, I convinced Mike that a home birth was a good idea.
My husband is not the most sensitive person around, so it became important to me that I have someone at the birth who could be supportive.  I found out about doula's and even found one that attended births on a volunteer basis.  Now that I know how helpful doula's are, I would not hesitate to pay for one if I ever choose to have another baby. 
On to the actual birth story:
After many days of false labour, my mother in law came over on the morning of the 18th.  Together we made Gnnochi.  For supper that night, I made chicken parmasan with egg plant because I had heard from someone else that it was a good labour starter.  That night I went to bed with no contractions and no hope of having my beautiful daughter anytime soon.  Then, at 2:00 am I woke up to my husband tossing and turning in bed.  I was lying there, trying to come up with some ways of getting labour going because I was just so uncomfortable when I felt a wave of pain overcome me.  This contraction was different than the ones I had during false labour.  Immediately I got up and went into the livingroom where I could time the contractions.  I believe that they immediatly started at five minutes apart and that I kept track for an hour before I called my doula.  She suggested that I go for a bath and told me not to worry about calling the midwife at this point.  She advised me that she was going to try and get some sleep and to call her when I needed her to come over. 
The contractions were a little strong for my liking and since Matthew was born in only four hours, I decided that I was going to call the midwife right away.  I got ahold of Diane who told me to go for a bath and to call her in two hours.  Apparently, I didn't sound like I was in labour and I don't think she really believed me.
So, I went for a bath.  This was the most painful thing I have ever done in my life.  I could not get comfortable at all.  I tried lying on my back and then tried to get on my side.  There is nothing comfortable about lying on your side in the bathtub.  My contractions got stronger and I did not feel like I could cope anymore.  I got out of the tub and called my doula again.  I told her that I needed her now.  She told me she would be right there.
At this point, I had not bothered Mike because if it was false labour he needed to sleep.  But, now knowing for sure that I was in labour, I went to wake him up.  Poor guy!  He didn't have a clue.  He came out and made some coffee and then realized that it was 3:30 in the morning.  He thought he was late for work!!  I told him that I was in labour, but I don't think he believed me either.
Finally my doula arrived.  I had already been sitting on my exercise ball since after I woke Mike up.  My contractions were still coming strong and regular.  I was talking through them just fine and having fun with Mike and Nadia.  Mike made him and Nadia breakfast and did some cleaning.  At some point, Nadia suggested that I call the midwife. She talked to her first saying that I was having trouble talking through my contractions now and then she put me on the phone.  I really don't think my midwife believed that I was in labour because I was so calm on the phone. But she said she would be at my house shortly.  Nadia asked me how many centimeters dialted I thought I was.  I told her that I thought I was 6 cm's.  She said I was too calm to be 6 and she thought I was 4.
The midwife arrived at around 5:00 am and evaluated me in the livingroom.  She suggested we move to the bedroom for an internal exam.  In the bedroom she checked me and I was 7 cm dialted!!  She said she could break my water for me if I wanted, as soon as the other midwife arrived.  She called the other midwife to come to assist the birth.
I think the other midwife arrived around 6:00 am, but I am not too sure.  I had tried to sit on the exercise ball in the bedroom, but the contracitons were getting more painful and I moved onto the bed.  The only comfortable position at this point was lying on my left side.  Nadia took her station beside me on the bed and Mike woke up the kids and got coffee for everyone.  The kids came in and out of the bedroom, but I think things were getting a little intense for them and I was starting to go into my own little world. 
Just after 7:00 am the midwife broke my water.  Nadia asked Mike what time he thought the baby would be born.  He said 7:20.  Everyone else thought that was too early.  Then the urge to push came.  The midwife said that if I wanted to push, to just do what my body wanted me to do.  So I did.  She then told me that I was fully dialted and the baby would be born soon.  I push and the baby got stuck because I had to stop pushing.  She got struck right as I was feeling the "ring of fire".  I was determined that the baby would NOT be inside me after the next push.  Sure enough, I was able to get her out on the next push.  Julia Marie was born at 7:20 am, just like her daddy said she would be.
The midwife placed her on my abdomen but was not able to move her any higher because my placenta cord was too short.  The midwife made a comment about letting Heather look down to find out the sex of the baby, and I remarked that it better be a girl.
This is were I have some regrets.  Julia was wrapped in blankets and given to me.  I did not have very much skin to skin contact with my daughter.  When I went to feed her for the first time, I cannot rememeber if I undressed her or not.  I wish I had savoured the moment longer and just held her against my body for an hour or more.  I actually feel robbed of this experience, that was my time to be close to her and I forgot the most important thing after a baby is born. was awesome being at home and being able to show her to my other children right away.  I loved being able to get up and sit on the couch shortly after she was born.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Natural Parenting or Attachment parenting

I have been there and done that with parenting.  I have a ten year old and know all too well how fast it can all go. 
I am often criticized for the way I am raising my daughter.  At first I was told "you're going to have to let her cry sometime".  I remember my mother and grandmother telling people that I got stressed out whenever Julia cried.  It was not was the fact that she did not need to cry, I was willing and able to pick her up and soothe her.  I want her to trust me to be there for her when she needs me.
Second:  Apparently, if you have to feed your child too often that means that you probably are not producing enough milk for her.  Actually, I feed her whenever she wants because she needs it in some way...sometimes for hunger, other times for comfort and still others, just to be close to me.  Sometimes I even feed my daughter when I feel the need to be close to her.  My Julia is gaining weight just fine, she is five months old and I still have not needed to introduce formula or solids at all to supplement what people think she must be missing from my breastmilk.  I am so happy that I did not let anyone guilt me into giving her a bottle.
Third:  I have been told that I hold my daughter way too much.  I carry her around in a sling when we go for walks, when we are shopping, and when I am doing my chores around the house.  She is happy when she is being held, why wouldn't I do this.  I am not making her any less independent by doing it...she is a very independent child in many aspects. 
Fourth:  I let her sleep with me occasionally.  My husband is even guilty for making me feel bad about this one.  She is comfortable sleeping with me.  I get more sleep when I can feed her in bed with me.  Why would I not do this?
So here is the point of my post today.  Like I said before, I have parented a child already.  These are my regrets with him:
First: I let him cry it out at night time.  I did not go in to comfort him when he needed me at night time.  It now makes me sad that I let an innocent little child suffer like that.  He did not grow independent enough to sleep by himself like the experts said he would because guess what?  Matthew still sleeps in my room almost every night because of nightmares.  Now, who's to say if he would have had nightmares if I had comforted him or not at night...but what if the nightmare could have been avoided.
Second: I was told that Matthew should be sleeping through the night very young.  I was told that if I supplemented with formula this would help Matthew sleep through the night.  I sacrificed our breastfeeding relationship because I listened to the advice that others gave me.  I wish I had never listened to people who did not know about breastfeeding and found people who could have provided me with the right kind of advice.
Third: I will never regret the amount of time that I hold my children.  They grow way too fast and there will be a point in their lives when they no longer need/want me to hold them.  Matthew has not grown out of being held.  I wish I had more time in my day to hold him more and I wish that I had held him close in a sling when he was little.  My children know that I love them because I love to cuddle with them.
Fourth:  I regret turning Cody away from our bed when he felt he needed to cuddle...I thought he was too old to be coming to bed with us.  How stupid was I...of course a five year old still needs to snuggle in bed with his parents.  I cannot have Matthew actually sleep in our bed anymore because there just is not enough room, but he does sleep on our floor when he needs the comfort of knowing we are there.  Just last year, Cody slept in the same bed as Mike...I slept on the fold down bed only because it was too squishy...he was thirteen.
The point is:  Our children grow up too fast.  We push them to be independent way too early and I think it just leads to more problems.  I don't think Julia will have the same kinds of problems that her brothers have because I am not in a rush for her to grow up.  I want her to slowly pass through all her stages.  I will not rush her to eat solids just so I can have a good night sleep or so that I can take pictures.  I will let her lead the way when it is time to crawl or walk.  She may have a hard time leaving me for a sleep over or school because we are so close, but she may be more ready to explore the world because of the way I have raised her.

My daughter was born at home with no medication.  I feel we got off to a good start in life. Her delivery was easy and I would do it all over again (birth story to come at a later time).  I do not think that there is anything wrong with my daughter being attached to my leg, and I do not think that she is going to be bratty because of what I am doing.  This time, I am going to do it right. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I have a teenager. I am only 30 but I have a teenager.  By choice actually.  My husband had Cody when he was ridiculously young.  When I fell in love with Mike, I also fell in love with Cody.  I don't feel prepared to raise a teenager, in fact,  I feel like I just finished being a teenager.  But here I am, trying to guide him down his path to become a respectful, productive member of society.
I am sure every mother feels the same way that I do...totally and completely unprepared each time a situation arises.  I have already dealt with many things that I NEVER thought I would have to deal with.  It is amazing how accepting I have become of things that I was completely against.  I have overcome issues that are apparently "common" these days.  I suppose they were common when I was a teenager too, I just didn't start as young as my teenager did. 
My teenager also amazes me each and every day, the same way Matthew and Julia do.  He is growing so independent and unbelievably thoughtful.  We are learning a new way to respect each other.  I am discovering how alike the two of us are.  I watch as he does things that mimic my personality.  He may not be my flesh and blood but somewhere along the way he became mine.  He may not realize this right now, but I hope when he is older he will understand that I was only being a mother to him and treating him exactly like a mother would treat their first born child.
We will continue to struggle with Cody for another many years but I hope that I can stand beside him and be what he needs me to be during that time.

Julia's trip to Southern Ontario

Well, Julia and I just returned last night from a six day adventure.  We went on an airplane to Toronto to stay with my cousin Charla, her husband and two children. 
We left early on the 14th of October.  Julia did really good on the plane until we were landing.  She cried for most of the landing but if her ears hurt as much as mine, I don't blame her.  I tried feeding her during the landing, but she was not interested. 
Julia fell in love with her cousin Scarlett.  Scarlett fell in love with Julia too!  Actually, Scarlett could not keep her hands off of Julia the whole time we were in Port Colbourne.  It was really cute!  It was even cuter when Julia would laugh hysterically at Scarlett when we were driving (Julia usually screams whenever we get into a vehicle). 
We got to visit alot of family during our trip and Julia was a ham for everyone.
My cousin was very pregnant during this trip..her due date is October 31st.  I was really hoping that she would have that baby while I was there, but no such luck.  Hopefully I will be able to see Dade before he gets too big. 
Julia and I bonded even more than before during this trip.  We were constantly with each other because daddy was not there to help me.  We even slept together which was great!  I think I got more sleep those six days than I have the last five months.
We went shopping a bit on this trip...I bought Julia a teething necklace, a book and a peppa doll.  I got myself a nursing necklace.  (the boys are a bit jealous that I didn't buy them anything...oops!)
I didn't take near enough pictures, but the day that I needed my camera, I forgot it at the house.  But here are some of Julia and her cousins.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

An Introduction to us

A friend started to document her children in a blog so that she did not forget the wonderful things that they did.  I thought it would be a great idea to do the same thing. 
So, this first post is an introduction to my family.
Cody:  Cody is 14 years old, and definitely the typical teenager.  Cody is actually my stepson, but I have been in his life for so long, it is just like he is my own.  We have had our struggles along the way, but as he gets older we get closer.  Cody enjoys biking and lately, free running. He loves cooking when he has the chance and of course, he loves his video games. He has just started high school and seems to like it. 
Matthew:  Matthew is 10 years old.  He is our sporty kid.  At the moment he is in hockey, playing with Northwood Hockey League, which is recreational hockey, for the Northwood Leafs.  Matthew joins all the intramural sports in school and plays soccer in the spring for Northwood Mini Soccer.  Matthew is obsessed with video games and loves to play Lego's.  Matthew was the baby in the family for ten years and then along came...
Julia:  Julia is almost five months old.  She is our little shrieker.  She is a busy baby who is not content unless she is being held or played with.  She spends alot of her time in the sling so that mommy can get her housework done.  She does nap well during the day though and sleeps pretty good during the night.  She is definitely going to keep mommy and daddy on their toes.  She is already trying to crawl...she likes to be up on her feet so that she can walk with assistance around the house.
Summer:  Summer is our 2 year old poodle.  Summer always makes us laugh and she has a wonderful personality. 
My husband Mike:  Mike is a wonderful husband and father.  He tries to bring out the best in his family.  Mike enjoys helping others and is very adventurous.  Last year Mike got into ice fishing and this year he is taking up hunting.
Me: I am a stay at home mom at the moment.  I love scrapbooking when I have the time.  I am addicted to the husband says I am going to turn into an internet, whatever that means.  I love my kids and only want the best for them.  I am very happy to finally have a girl to buy pink things for.
We are not perfect, we have many ups and downs...but we are a family.  A strong, happy family that is able to come out of every situation stronger than the last.