Friday, November 28, 2008

Queen B Mommy

First, let me apologize that the pics in my last post aren't working. I don't know why, actually. But it's irritating.


Check out this blog called Queen B Mommy. It's all about a mom living in the OC. At least, that's probably what 99 percent of the people who don't live here think our life is like. If only! Anyway, it's a fun read. Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

We're back


We just got back from a week spent at David's brother's house in Gainesville, Florida, where it actually got down to a brisk 29 degrees one night.

It was the first time the cousins had met (his brother and wife have two boys: one is three months younger than Sawyer and the other is six months younger than Sage) and thankfully they all got along. At least, the boys did. But the older one said he did not like girls and found various ways to torment Sage. Most of the time, Sawyer stuck up for her. When he wasn't trying to hit her with a light saber.

The three boys shared a room, with the two older ones on air mattresses on the floor. There is nothing like listening to two little boys giggle over who-knows-what before they fell asleep.

Meanwhile, Sage decided she needed to sleep between David and me, which left my large pregnant self clutching the half-inch of space left on one side of the bed.

Both kids were also sick (we delayed our trip a day in hopes Sawyer would recover) and we ended up taking them both to the doctor. Sawyer needed to do breathing treatments but luckily Sage just had a cold and no infection.

The kids spent a lot of time playing and coughing on each other. We show our love by passing on whatever hideous germs we have onto our family. Hopefully their boys have immune systems.

Saturday we had a Thanksgiving dinner and Sawyer sang all his Thanksgiving songs wearing his handcrafted, one-of-a-kind Indian head-dress.


I will spare you the drama of the plane ride home with my, shall we say, strong-lunged daughter, who enjoyed smacking me repeatedly in the face while I tried to buckle her seatbelt. I will instead remember her cuter moments, and once again, remain thankful the windows on the plane did not open.


Friday, November 14, 2008

The Breakup

I broke up with my OB today.

It was sad.

But I told her I guessed it was time to cut the cord. (Har har.)

As you loyal blogoreaders know, I want a planned homebirth for my third - and FINAL - child. And my OB, unfortunately, only delivers at the hospital. In the feet-in-the-stirrups position. IF she happens to be around that day.

So it had to end. We just couldn't make it work. I have finally found a midwife, which is great. Thing is, I really like my OB. Over the past six years, I feel we've really developed a nice rapport. She is Korean-American, so she can relate to my Korean mother-in-law stories.

She also now has three kids, and two of them had speech delay. She was the one who encouraged me to get Sage evaluated and directed me toward the proper resources.

A couple weeks ago I went in to have her look at a large, painful lump under my armpit. We chatted for 20 minutes before we got down to business. And she even took the time to advise me to get a new bra, as I was spilling out all over (one of the few side benies to being knocked up).

When I saw her today for my 24-week checkup, she said she'd just read this article in the New York Times. It's about, in part, how homebirths aren't just for crunchy granola treehuggers anymore.

More and more professional women are deciding that they want a different birth than one offered at the hospital, where the nurses want you to be quiet and still and flat on your back. And where after the birth, seemingly every employee wants to come in and poke you or your child - usually when you've just gotten the little bugger to figure out how to nurse.

I know that many of my friends think I'm brave for even considering a home birth. Turns out the medical establishment here also isn't in favor. According to the Times story:

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has had an official policy against home births since 1975, and this year it asked the American Medical Association to adopt a similar statement. The A.M.A. agreed, and in June also condemned home births.

“The A.M.A. supports a woman’s right to make an informed decision regarding her delivery and to choose a licensed health care provider” and “stresses that the safest setting for delivering a baby is in the hospital or a birthing center within a hospital complex,” Dr. Steven Stack, a board member, said in the statement. “Serious complications can arise with little or no warning even among women with low-risk pregnancies.”

In contrast, health authorities in Britain view home births as a safe option for women at low risk of complications. In April 2007 the United Kingdom Department of Health rolled out plans for a “national choice guarantee,” to be put in place by the end of 2009, ensuring that all women can choose among giving birth at home, or at a hospital or another facility, and still have access to midwifery care"

Kinda interesting that places with universal health care are more apt to support alternative births. I wonder if that's why the U.S. has the highest rate of Caesarian Section in the the industrialized world.

According to a story last year in the Washington Post, the rate of C-sections in the U.S. was at a record-high 29 percent of all births in 2004.

That's more than 1 in 4. Meanwhile, the rate of C-sections for those attempting home birth is well under 10 percent (2 percent of the births my midwife attends result in C-section).

My OB would prefer me to give birth in a hospital. Just in case. And I would, if there was one that allowed a midwife delivery. But there isn't, so my option is home birth - a service my OB can't provide.

In other words, it's not her, it's me.

Of course I'm nervous. Leaving security for the unknown is always a little scary. But I know it's the best decision for me.

Besides, my OB assured me she'd take me back if changed my mind. And she'll definitely take me back when she's just my GYN.

So it wasn't really goodbye, just so long for now.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Post-Election Buzzkill

There is nothing like knowing you can look your kids in the eye and tell them, unequivocally, they can be whatever they want. Because after watching last night's thrilling victory and speech by President-elect Barack Obama, there was no doubt yes, they can.

And that's still true this morning. That is, except in California, if they want to marry someone of the same gender.

Talk about a buzzkill.

I know there are bigger problems facing the country than the passage of Prop 8, which bans gay marriage. But the fact that I live in a county where more than half the people voted for intolerance is, quite frankly, sickening.

What I found stunning was, according to exit polls for The Associated Press, African American voters who came out in huge numbers to vote for Obama also voted in favor of Prop 8. So a race that was denied equal rights for so long voted to deny them to others. I don't get it.

So while I am full of hope for what our country can become in the next four years - a place of hope, action and renewed pride - it seems right here at home fear still has a stronghold.

I can only hope that by the time my children are old enough to decide whether - and to whom - they want to marry, Prop 8 will be as archaic as, say, laws banning African Americans from marrying whites.

Perhaps Obama's platform of unity for all will help turn the tide.

Yes, we can.


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

We Baracked the Vote

This morning Sawyer and I made a little detour at his school: we went to vote. I was thrilled there was no line, although I tried to look as pregnant as possible in case I had to clutch my belly and moan to get to the front of a potentially huge line.

Sawyer was pretty excited about the whole deal. We've been talking a little bit about the election. He knows who Barack Obama is. He likes to say his name, as does Sage. To them, it's happy and bouncy, not scary and radical.

Last week I took the kids to Borders, and on the main road, we passed hordes of people demonstrating for and against Prop 8. We were lucky enough to stop at a light near the much smaller group of "Vote No" supporters. I honked my horn, and the kids waved.

Sawyer of course asked what it was all about. I explained that some people want to tell other people who they can marry, and that Mommy doesn't think that's right.

He thought about that for a few minutes.

"But I want to marry YOU, Mommy!"

Yeah, but, see, there actually ARE laws against that. I just told him that Mommy was already married to Daddy. But it was very sweet.

Today on the walk to school he brought it up again, and became a little upset that everyone he mentioned was either 1) married, like when he suggested Barack Obama or Aunt Inga or 2) too young. I told him it wasn't something to be worried about, that there was some little girl (or boy?) out there who he might meet and marry when he's a grownup - just like Mommy and Daddy.

Luckily there was a lizard on the sidewalk and he found that more entertaining than our discussion.

I brought him into the booth with me. He was the one who pressed the button to vote for Obama. And to vote No on Prop 4, which wants to make minors get parental consent for abortion. And he almost hit the button too early on Prop 8, but I got the No in and I think he pressed the button extra hard.

My little guy then pressed the bright-red button to cast the ballot. I felt very proud. I told him someday he would be able to say he helped change the course of the country.

I swear I got a little teary-eyed on my way home.

Monday, November 03, 2008

It's all over but the candy

Another Halloween, another 5 gazillion calories waiting to be eaten. Probably by me.

I made a deal with the kids that if they turned in their Halloween candy to me, they'd get a toy in return. Not a tough deal to strike. Mostly I did it because I feel sad for Sawyer, who due to his peanut allergy, can't eat most of the stuff anyway. The kids got to keep a few safe things, like Skittles, but none of the chocolate.

Last year, this meant David and I waited til the kids went to bed and stuffed our faces with Reeses and Snickers. But this year, we gave most of it away to my mother-in-law as I don't eat nuts while pregnant. No one's ever definitively proven a link between eating nuts while pregnant and allergy, but I'm not taking chances. I ate peanut butter a lot while pregnant with Sawyer. I ate none with Sage, but we haven't had her tested yet. We just assume the allergy until proven otherwise (we hope to get her tested this week, but YOU try to stick a needle in that girl!).

Gad I miss peanut butter. Sigh. Given the choice, however, I'd pick my son over a large spoonful of crunchy heaven. Most days, anyway.

So the trick-or-treating went great. I have no clue how many houses the kids went to, but they were at it for more than two hours. All on foot. I was brilliant and brought along an extra bag to dump their candy into so they didn't get tired of holding their own little treat baskets.

Sawyer loved being Superman. Sage refused to wear her leotard and got tired of her wings, so she ended up in a pumpkin shirt and a tutu. I don't even have a picture of her. Doh!

But I do have a couple of random shots..

And, from a couple weeks ago, may I present the 20 Week Bump.

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