Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The tough part about home birth

I have been looking around for a midwife so that I can have a PLANNED homebirth - as opposed to my first one. And now, more than halfway through this pregnancy, I'm still seeing my regular OB.

It seems it is much tougher to find one than I thought. I mean, the actual birth is supposed to be the challenging part, not finding the person to help me through it, right?

The first place I went, which gives you the option of birthing at their center or at your home, seemed okay. I was late to the appointment, but the midwife I met with was nice and informative, though I was aware I was on the clock (they also took my credit card number when I made the appointment, because I would be charged if I missed it).

Then I met with two women to talk to me about the cost. They explained how everything worked as far as pricing and my insurance coverage. There were two plans, and if I paid everything up front, I'd save $500.

"So which plan works best for you?"

Huh? I'm sorry, but was I buying a gym membership or new car or something? I just told her I wasn't going to be making any decisions at the moment (WHAT do I have to DO to get you in that CAR TODAY?!?!)and that I'd have to talk to my husband and think about it.

"Well, we only have one opening left in March, so you need to make your decision as soon as possible."

Right. So I went home and thought about it, and came to the conclusion that this is the last business that should be giving me the hard sell. Thanks, but no thanks.

The next midwife I called told me she'd love to work with me, but she was going out of town two days after my due date. She'd have back-up, but there was no guarantee she'd be there for the birth.

So today I called my doula, who delivered Sage, to vent. She told me that if I lived in San Diego or Northern California, I'd have no problem choosing from myriad midwives.

But the OC isn't quite so progressive. The one hospital that allowed midwife births closed their maternity ward earlier this year. There is an atmosphere of fear of alternative birthing here - frankly, not surprising given the redness of this county.

What's the opposite of viva la difference?

My doula told me not to give up, that something would work out.

Later in the day I spoke to another midwife, one my OB recommends. She is opening a birth center before the end of the year. So if I work with her, I'd have to deliver there. A scary proposition, given the speed with which Sage arrived. But better than a hospital birth, providing he doesn't pop out in the car on the way there.

Childbirth is surprising enough without the uncertainty that I'm delivering in the best possible atmosphere for me and my baby.

The search continues..

Sunday, October 26, 2008

On a lighter note...

Every year we go to the OC version of a pumpkin patch, which is set up, shockingly, in the parking lot of a mall. They bring in straw and pumpkins and rides that cost $4 a pop (which is $8 when you have two kids. Poor #3 is going to have to panhandle if he wants to ride with his sibs).

We started going with our mom's group when Sawyer was 10 months old. We do a group picture every year, and I'm sure herding feral cats would be an easier task. It is fun, though, to look at the pics each year and see how much they've grown - along with their siblings.

This year's edition had 12 kids:

I guess we'll keep doing it until the kids decide it's not cool anymore to dress up in a costume and sit on a pumpkin. As if!

Other photographic highlights (and a shout-out to EllieBellieKids, who provided my butterfly princess' tutu):

A rare picture of me. Well, at least an eye and some teeth...

And finally, my attempt at being an artiste..

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Prop H8

As many of you probably know, there is a proposition on next month's ballot that would overturn the legal right of gays to marry in California. Proponents of Proposition 8 have spent millions of dollars to convince you that, in order to PROTECT OUR CHILDREN, we must make sure that marriage stays a sacred rite between a man and a woman.

I mean, it could be TAUGHT IN SCHOOLS.

Apparently, it's better to explain that some people get to do something, but other people don't. Kind of like how women used to not have the right to vote. And blacks and whites couldn't intermarry.

Legislating hate and bigotry by hiding behind religious morals is the worst kind of blasphemy. I'm not Christian, but from what I gather, isn't there someone else who does the judging? I happen to believe that anyone can marry, regardless of gender. So why is it okay for someone else to put their beliefs on me? I think we call that a theocracy. And depsite the religious right's best efforts, this country is still a democracy. I'm astounded it's legal to deprive human beings of a basic right.

Some recent letters to the editor in the Orange County Register have made me physically ill:

I'm so tired of the No on Prop. 8 zealots calling for tolerance of gay marriage. Why can't they just tolerate what millions of people for thousands of years have defined as "marriage"? We've tolerated their agenda for the last 30 years and watched as they started by coming out of the closet, pushed for acceptance, pushed for changes in our laws and even our military to fit their agenda. They have forced changes in state laws to allow them to get all the rights that are afforded married couples, but all that is not enough. Now they can't tolerate traditional, moral people and their churches.

According to them we're all homophobic, bigoted, prejudiced and, of course, intolerant. They need to look in the mirror. The rest of us have been exceptionally tolerant of their lifestyles and choices, but enough is enough. "Marriage" is and always will be defined as being only between a man and a woman. Learn to tolerate that.

Jeff McPherson, Laguna Hills

Indeed! Of COURSE they should tolerate it, just like blacks should've tolerated having to drink out of the "colored" water fountain. How DARE they? That damn gay agenda. Who do they think they are?

On Nov. 4 we will see the people's power, not the judges' power. We must protect marriage for future generations to come, and not allow the word "marriage" to be cheapened by allowing same-sex marriages.

Lee Jay Meyers, Anaheim

Yes. Cheapened. As opposed to the union between heterosexuals, with a 50 percent failure rate.

I am thrilled that there are no "Vote Yes on 8" signs up on our street. Still, I feel like I want to go up to my married gay neighbors' house and apologize on behalf of the horrible people who populate this county.

The only thing I can really do is use my vote. Which I will. And when my kids are old enough to ask why their friend has two Mommys or why the nice guys with the awesome golden retriever up the street live together, it will be easy to answer.

"Love is love. Just like people, it comes in all shapes and sizes and colors. It knows no boundaries."

Unless, of course Prop 8 passes. Try explaining to your kids why THAT is okay.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The unfit pregnancy

This was going to be the one.

The third time around, I was going to be one of those women who ran 12 miles, uphill, in 95 degree heat, hours before giving birth. I would gain the minimum amount of weight. I would be back in my True Religions 27 minutes after delivery.

Basically, I would do what I hadn't done in my first two pregnancies: not come close to outweighing my husband.

Yes, in the span of two births less than two years apart, I gained 100 pounds.

Say that slowly. Onnnne Huuuuundred Pouuuuuuunds.

The good news is I lost it. All of it, and then some. The fact that I ran two marathons in the past year did help with the "and then some" part. And considering I ran San Diego Rock N Roll a month before getting knocked up, one would think I'd carry over that healthy living into this pregnancy.

One would be wrong.

First it was the fatigue, which slowed my pace. Then it was the bizarre nightmares that kept me up half the night, thereby making it impossible to make the 5 a.m. wakeup calls to go hit the pavement.

Next came the unrelenting nausea. I still worked out with my trainer for awhile, but then I realized I was just wasting money: any exertion made me have to sit down with my head between my knees and praying I didn't barf on the carpet. Then there was the morning someone was making cinnamon toast in the back room, which almost sent me running to fill the nearest wastebasket. I am still in mourning for my formerly awesome biceps that have slowly softened into mounds of soft-serve.

I did try to run on the treadmill once, but found that after already carrying two kids, those muscles that hold up your belly ain't what they used to be. All the bouncing was painful, to say nothing of my suddenly visible boobs that ached like someone was knifing them with each step.

I went through a phase of about a month where even thinking about water made me want to retch. So I drank Sprite morning, noon and night. Which is highly unusual, since I used to down 64 ounces of SmartWater a day (thankfully, I am off Sprite and back on water). But all those calories!

And as many of you moms know, when you feel nauseous, sometimes the only thing that makes you feel better is eating. So you do. Constantly. Not that your head is stuck in a half-gallon of Ben & Jerry's Coffee Heath Bar Crunch every night, but it's the small stuff: pretzels, goldfish crackers - anything carby - that add up. And up. And up.

The only thing that has happened recently to keep me from feeling like a complete blob is, when I went to get my amnio a few weeks ago, it actually hurt when they stuck the needle in - because I don't have any fat on my stomach. They also said I was easy to scan for the same reason.

So I guess I'm lucky they don't have to go through my ass (and no, not the poop chute, the cheeks) or my thighs. Because Lord knows, they'd still be trying to delve through mounds of fat.

The truth is, I believe in the total body pregnancy. Why let my stomach get all the glory? Why not spread it around? I like to be well balanced, so I figure I can let my butt grow exponentially.

Even at 20 weeks, women who didn't know me before will comment "You're pregnant?" if I happen to mention it. I'm all "Um, yeah, I don't normally walk around with a matching ass/belly set!"

Thankfully, the baby is perfectly healthy, despite my best efforts to drown him in mallowcreme pumpkins.

I do gaze longingly at my cute clothes. I am now into the stretchy-stuff only for non-maternity wear, and figure I will burn my black Lucy skirts after I lose this weight - unless they disintegrate before that.

Even seeing my running shorts make me nostalgic. I am aiming for the New York Marathon in 2010.

But first, I need to get through this marathon of pregnancy, delivery, recovery, sleepless nights, nursing, and - oh yeah - getting back into shape.

Until then...Popcorn, anyone?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Electra is Alive and Well

In our house, anyway.

I'm sure you're all familiar with the Electra complex. It's that lovely time when your baby, who was a total Mommy's girl, suddenly discovers Daddy. And then Mommy becomes Public Enemy #1.

Now it's all Daddy, all the time.

The other morning, I got her her milk. Then when David came downstairs, she said "Daddy? I want YOU to get me milk. Could you dump this out and get me milk?"

It's Daddy she calls for to get her out of her crib. When David was away for a few days, she said she didn't want me to get her out - she'd just wait for him to come back.

She only wants to cuddle with him. If she gets up, and David and I try to snuggle, she will scream and cry and push me out of the way. Then, when she is back in position, she will smirk at me.

It is Daddy who she tells me she's speaking to; Daddy who must pick her up when she cries; Daddy who seems to always say "yes" after Mommy has said "no."

I should be thankful that she allows only me to do her hair.

Now, when Daddy's not around, she will permit me to acknowledge her. I am asked to watch her dance or help her with a puzzle. We do have our one-on-one times when I actually enjoy being reminded of what an independent, spunky little girl she is.

I know I shouldn't take any of this personally. I want her to have a close relationship with her dad, who is an all-around good guy and great father. I try not to feel hurt when she wrinkles her nose at me like I just let out a big stinky fart.

According to Freud (and Jung) she will come back around to Mommy.

I know I'll be waiting with open arms.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

A Race Like No Other Arrives!

So, as I mentioned before, my good friend Liz Robbins has written an amazing book about the New York Marathon. And now it's out on the shelves! You don't have to be a runner to enjoy the stories Liz weaves around one glorious day, but all you marathoners out there will be ready to sign up for the race like no other!

Here's the Amazon.com link. Also check out her new blog.

Anyway, great book by a great writer and an even better friend!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Is that a wink? A WINK?!?

People! What IS this?

I mean, is she just letting us know we're all in on the joke with her? Maybe SHE's just as aware as we are that her being on the ticket for the White House is ridiculous.

At least, I hope so. Because blogosphere, this is scary.

I still do not understand her popularity. "She's just like us." Really? I can name a gazillion ways she's NOT like us. For instance, most of the people I know can name a newspaper or magazine that they read, even if it's Parenting.

Women aren't threatened by her like they are of Hillary, who, by the way, has also been a working mom throughout her daughter's life. Palin has pretty hair and was a former beauty queen. No bright orange pantsuits or sensible shoes for her. Or an Ivy League law degree, for that matter.

They bristle when anyone questions Palin's priorities, as she has a pregnant teenage daughter and an infant with Down Syndrome - but they are fine with Palin wnting to legislate how we make the most private decisions in our own home, whether it's the right to choose, or to marry someone of the same gender.

It seems some want a candidate they can have a beer with or sit next to at their kid's soccer game. And while it's nice to have those people in our lives, I don't necessarily need to have them in charge of the largest superpower in the free world. But that's just me.

I want a candidate who is MUCH smarter than me. And frankly, I'm no dummy. But just because I've had a passport for more than 20 years (and no, Sarah, my parents didn't hand me a passport and a backpack after college and send me off to Europe. Some of us worked two jobs, just like you, and, in order to expand our horizons, made it overseas on our own) and live in a state that borders Mexico doesn't make me an expert in foreign policy. Hell, I used to live in South Florida, and Cuba is RIGHT THERE!

I want someone who has actually spent much of their time researching, exploring and thinking about our country and its place in the world, not someone who relies on folksy sayings, doggone it, or acts like "governing" a state smaller than the county I live in is the same as being a U.S. Senator.

That she isn't interested in the cause of global warming, just a way to fix it, is telling not only of a lack of basic understanding of the environment but an inability to go beneath the surface of an issue. And, perhaps just as egregious - a complete lack of curiousity.

What else would she like to fix without regard for the cause of the problem? The economy? Health care? Terrorism?

We can do better. We deserve better.

And we should be offended that John McCain doesn't think so.
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