Saturday, March 26, 2011

Ina May Gaskin

Today I met the birth icon Ina May Gaskin. I never in my life thought I would ever 
get to meet this amazing woman....but I did....and I got my picture taken with her! For 
anyone who does not know who she is, she is America's leading midwife and has been 
working to bring birth back to women for most of her life. She is inspiring to me, 
and much of the reason why I became a Doula (and why many others do as well).

She was here for a weekend conference and I can NOT tell you how blessed I felt to 
have been in attendance as an expecting woman. I have read all her books and have
followed her career for years, but this was the first time I could listen to her speak 
and feel like I may actually be able to experience birth the way she talks about it. 

My hubby actually came to the event with me to learn how he could best assist me
though childbirth and to my surprise he actually enjoyed himself. He even took 
some notes (mental notes) about the way a baby should be treated right after the 
birth so he could be sure to talk to our midwife about it at our next appointment. 

I guess that is really all I have to say about the event. I adore Mrs. Ina May and if
your trying to get pregnant, or (fingers crossed) are pregnant I would highly 
recommend any of her books. The book she is most known for is 'Spiritual Midwifery'
but her newest (and the one I just got signed....eeeek!) is 'Birth Matters'.  I will 
probably finish it by morning. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patty's Day........and Anatomy Scan Day!

I had NO idea today was St. Patty's Day until I was on my way to teach my Prenatal
Aquafit class and noticed the huge lineups of green clothed people waiting to get in the 
pubs. I had been so focused on the scan that I did not notice much of anything, I've had 
only one thought and it was seeing the babe. I am a HUGE fan of the holiday Im secretly
happy to know the little one had its scan on St. Patty's Day :) Double the fun!

The scan went really well, the ultrasound technician was SO nice (which is something new 
for me!). She showed me every little bit and piece of the baby and explained to me how/
why it looked perfect. I know I still have to wait for the radiologist to take a look, but I 
am feeling really confident right now. 

We could see very clearly the spine, hands, toes, a beating heart, everything except for the
the bits that say boy or girl. Hubby decided he didn't want to know, so I guess I can't really 
find out either. I toyed with the idea of having the tech tell me and I would keep it a secret, 
but I think that secret is FAR to big for me to keep. 

The baby moved quite a bit more then I could feel and it changed positions quite a lot 
during the scan. At first it was stretched right out but curled into a ball by the end of it, 
I don't think it liked the noise very much. The very best part of the scan was seeing the 
baby suck on its thumb, you could even see the jaw moving up and down. ADORABLE!

So things seem to be going as planned, Its been a very happy St. Patty's day for me and 
my hubby. Now I think I may spend a little bit of time photoshop-ing a leprechaun hat or 
a clover into babe's photo.....too much? 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

1/2 Way There

I guess I should post a bit about my pregnancy as I tend to avoid the topic. Like every other blogger who managed to find themselves with a bun in the oven, I feel a bit odd writing about pregnancy. Am I supposed to sound happy? sound sad? complain? not complain? I am not really sure. I don't wish to upset anyone that has been following me but I also want to be truthful about my life. I think everyone comes to this crossroad once they begin their journey to the other-side and I remember reading posts much like this in the past. I know many bloggers decide to change their name when this happens but I very much wish to continue writing under my title "learning to swim in a sea of baby bumps" because (believe it or not) 
I still feel like I am. 

Tomorrow marks the 1/2 way point of my pregnancy, and to tell you the truth that is 
exactly how I feel, 1/2 way between two worlds. I still feel very much connected with the
IF community but I'm starting to have less to say on the topic, yet at the same time I am 
no where near the confident, blubbling, glowing baby bumps that I see all around me. I 
appear to be in some sort of pregnancy limbo, I am neither here nor there, just along for 
the ride until fate determines where I belong. 

I know better to complain about any pregnancy symptoms, that always made me crazy 
when I was TTC. All I will say is that other then some mild back aches, fatigue and a 
continuous stuffy nose I am feeling really good. I still get really nervous just before I 
get to hear the baby's heart beat and I refused to believe I could feel movement until 
my last appointment. I have been able to talk freely with others about my growing 
belly, and I even sound excited about it (as opposed to scared out of my mind). 

Thursday is my 20 week ultrasound, this is the big day I have been waiting for. I refused
the genetic testing at 12 weeks so I really have not seen the babe since my first ultrasound. 
I also know very little about the baby's health so I am really REALLY hoping that everything looks good. We have decided to keep the sex of the baby a surprise so we will probably get
some backlash from the grandparents on the weekend, oh well. 

So I guess while there are still some ups and downs I am feeling very good these days. 
I have been able to calm down about the pregnancy and have been trying to find my new
reality. Life without charting, timed sex and treatments has been so amazing and yet very
strange and erie at the same time. I am grateful everyday for this new way of living but sometimes this calm can start to feel like the calm before the storm. I think after so much 
bad news, were always waiting for the other shoe to drop so it becomes very difficult to let ourselves be happy when we can. It's something I work on everyday and I think I will 
continue to do so. 

What really matters is what is happening right now, and right now I am in a really good 
place and all of my fingers are crossed that this will continue. Please if you have any thoughts/
prayers left on Thursday afternoon please send them my way!! 

P.S. My nephew asked if my baby catches my food after I swallow :) 

Friday, March 4, 2011

If I Die Young

I have had this post kinda swarming around in my head for about 4 months now, but
I just cant seem to get it out on this page. For those of you who have been following this
blog you know that back in August I was home for a holiday. You would also know that while
I was there my little cousin died in a car crash, just a few miles ahead of us on the highway.

At the time we had no idea who was in the crash ahead of us, the police just sent us on an
alternate route to our destination. Not thinking much of it, we arrived at another cousins Adam's house for a night of dinner and drinks. Around the table was my hubby and I, my cousin Adam and his brand new fiance who I was meeting for the first time. We were eating and gabbing and toastin' the good life when we got the call that our 18 year old cousin Shelby had died in the crash.

The next few days were obviously a blur of sadness, questions of why and tributes to the
memory of an absolutely amazing young woman. I still think of her everyday, but what I
cant seem to shake is the idea that she has had something to do with my good fortune of late.
In fact, both Adam's new fiance and I are expecting in August, exactly one year after
our little cousin passed away.

I know Adam and I were toasting the good life at one point during that night, and we really
meant it but both Adam and I had been going through some hard times. He had recently lost his
dad in a car crash and his previous fiance had died of brain cancer. I had lost my uncle (his dad, and my dads best friend) and my hubby and I were desperately trying for a baby. Adam and I had spent our whole lives on family vacations together and wanted nothing more then to grow up, become parents and pass these traditions on to our children, but it just didn't seem to be happening for us.

Now here both of us are, after all the hardship, expecting our children just a short 6 months
from now. I can't help but think that Shelby has had something to do with these little miracles, like she is up there in heaven making sure that her family is happy and complete without her.
Maybe this is her way of helping us through the loss, or her way of letting us know she is watching us. This may sound crazy, and I'm ok with that, because something miraculous must have happened for me to be where I am today, especially after 2 doctors said there was no hope for us short of IVF with ICSI.

I guess I will never know if she is up there watching over us, but I will choose to believe and
thank her endlessly for sending us such blessings. I miss her and I know my family will never be the same without her but I hope I can live my life in a way that makes her proud.

Everytime I hear this song it stops me in my tracks to think of her.