Tuesday, December 16, 2014

12 Weeks of Pregnancy Down

Ok. Well, here’s the thing. Week 11 was exciting because I thought I made it through the nausea woods. But Week 12 showed me a new patch of nausea woods to travel through. It was pretty disheartening. It felt like I went back to square one. I was glad I had gotten the little vacation from it, but I didn’t know I’d be going back, so when I did it really got me feeling disappointed and defeated. I guess my energy level was up a little, but it felt like a waste, since my nausea feels best lying down. It  was the very worst by evening.

I was back to eating whatever didn’t sound awful at the moment. Which is still lots of takeout foods. Thankfully, by the end of the week I had eaten two different salads and didn’t have much aftermath to deal with. I could tell it took longer to digest and it gave me more burps than normal (sorry, I’m not prettying this up better.) But I kept it down, and didn’t feel awful. I by no means think because of those two salads, I ate healthy this week, but the fact that I enjoyed some salad gives me hope. I’m hoping by Christmas or the New Year I will be feeling myself and can shoot for a much healthier diet. Thus far I am gaining weight much closer to my first pregnancy than my second (first pregnancy = junk food no activity, second pregnancy = healthiness.) I’ve come to terms with the idea that if I gain more weight than I want to this time, I will live and I will be fine, and I can lose it later. I know how. But I really do want to treat my body well, and I really don’t want to tempt fate into giving me a ten pound newborn. (I tend to grow me some hefty babies, especially since I tend to keep them growing inside for a LONG time.) So after I can stand food again, I want to do it better than I have been. Blah! You know you feel like crap when you actually get jealous of your former self-on-a-diet, a diet which made you feel like you were starving. When the idea that feeling starving hungry sounds like a nice sensation when pitted up against nonstop nausea -- that’s when I know I’m in a gross, gross place.

I did go to the Y once last week. The actual time spent in the Y wasn’t bad. I could tell my stamina is coming up a bit while swimming. I still took lots of breaks leaning back on the walls between laps. But I used the breaks to practice tuning everything out -- I figured may as well do something, why not practice that since it’s helpful for labor and good for me now (I wanted to feel uncomfortable looking wimpy in front of everyone around me -- but that’s dumb.) So I just sat and tried to tune out all my thoughts while I watched the water move until I was ready to do another lap.  So that was ok. But then when I got home I was worthless. I used all my energy for the day up in 20 mins of swimming. So I didn’t go again -- didn’t feel worth it. (This coming week I hope to do my faux-yoga here and there, just to kinda stretch out and feel like I did something with my body. And also to tune my thoughts to something healthier too.)

Speaking of thoughts, this week I started to face them. Actually, no --- they started to sneak into my blood stream. The only thing I can figure is that my hormonal state is getting closer to what it was once we moved last time. I was pregnant then, and once we moved I started really facing my fears of birth --- making major decisions and trying to grapple with them. I didn’t handle that with grace -- I handled it with white knuckles and tears. So I don’t know, this week I didn’t really face anything specific, but by Friday night I was starting to feel fear inside my body -- I was feeling shaky and my heart was pounding fight or flight style. The only thing I can figure is my body has come to associate this pregnancy hormonal cocktail with fear. It’s way too early for hypnobabies (they recommend starting that around 7 months pregnant) but I was feeling so stressed out that I told Blake, “Sorry but you are about to have a ‘beautiful peaceful pregnancy’ with me, I have to turn on hypnobabies tonight.” (He didn’t listen to them last time -- I wore headphones. But that night I had no headphones around.) He was super sweet about it, and after we got over some giggles, I listened to some fear clearing and some joyful pregnancy affirmations until I feel asleep.

Saturday morning our church had a Christmas Tea. Honestly, being a (sick-feeling) pregnant introvert, I really resisted the idea of going to this. But I signed up for it. And I’m so glad I did. It wasn’t easy for me. The initial smells of the brunch when I got there seriously had my questioning if I could stay or not, thankfully I was able to stay calm enough to let the sensations pass and the smells to feel less strong to me. And I was able to mostly enjoy the social time at my table (if you are an introvert, you hear me -- social time in groups -- no matter the group, no matter how awesome -- still a stain.) But what I was so so in love with was the speaker’s talk. I almost started crying when she introduced what she was going to talk about. (To be fair, I cry at the drop of a hat these days, but still.) It was about “Our Prince of Peace.” If there was ever a moment where I needed this talk, it was right that very second. Not only was the subject matter basically God saying, “Lydia, I know you. I saw you shaking in fear, but I’m right here with you. You are going to be ok.” But I really enjoyed the women who was speaking. She won me over pretty fast, but when she went on to talk about how when she paints a room she has 100 shades of the same green plastered all over the room, I felt like soul mates. (I have 100 shades of blue plastered all over my living room, and I actually feel like I don’t have anywhere near enough shades to pick from -- none of them seem like the one.)
That’s not the half of the colors…the rest are in a baggie! Picking a blue is hard!

I seriously had to hold back tears through most of the talk because it all just hit me so perfectly.

While listening to the talk at the tea, I started to process some of the points she went over. And I kinda felt like, for me to really be able to accomplish some of the ideas, at this point in my life and hormonal state, I think I need to really back off Facebook again. (I had done that for a while, and I felt great, but recently due to nausea and exhaustion related boredom I’ve been on it a lot again.) Actually I need less screen time in general. Beloved Pinterest too. I kinda think I just need to cocoon kinda early for this pregnancy. (I always like to shut the world out at the end of pregnancy, but I think I may be craving that sooner this time.) I still want to blog. I’ll still link it to my blog’s Facebook page. But I don’t want to spend much time on my Facebook news feed right now. (P.S. The speaker never mentioned Facebook/the internet -- this is just my own mental path of working things out.)

One other thing that stuck out to me me, I feel worth sharing. Was just the simple statement that it’s ok to enjoy the stage you are in. Anything from the stage of life you are in, or just the simpleness of your morning coffee without mentally rushing out of it. I don’t know, the simpleness of how she said it struck me. So many times people say it like a command, “Enjoy every second, it goes by so fast.” And that just confuses my over-thinking mind. I go into the fake future to try and understand that. I look back to try and see if I’m making any sense. And I rush around like crazy trying to make sure I’m obeying. But just the simple permission of hearing “It’s ok to enjoy the stage you are in.” felt like peace, felt like freedom to rest inside the moment.

And I think that’s part of why I liked my extrapolation of taking more time off Facebook again. Facebook never fails to confuse me out of enjoying my now -- in numerous different ways. I’d like the idea of freedom from too many thoughts -- so I have mental time to enjoy the stage I am in, instead of analyzing to death the stage I am in.

In other news, this week I read the book “Pushed: The painful truth about childbirth and modern Maternity Care” by Jennifer Block

The material is heavy. It was written in 2007, so I’m not sure if some of the hospital and c-section/VBAC rates are still accurate, but they were 7 years ago. And I don’t think they’ve changed a whole lot -- at least not as far as the experiences I’ve personally encountered would lead me to believe.
    I don’t think it’s for every pregnant mom to read. Just because it’s heavy. But in many ways it’s very freeing to read, because you can see where the scary statistics thrown at you as a pregnant women (especially a "had a c-section pregnant women") originate from. Explaining how often the studies that conclude these numbers are skewed by the inability to really do fair blind tests in terms of birth. And how often times many factors of the studies were wrongly interpreted. (The specifics are well laid out in the book, it’s not vague at all.) It feels like it gives you the strength to believe more than the scary words laid in your path, because you get to see how they aren’t really accurate, and you can see why they are laid in your path (Spoiler alert: malpractice suits happen pretty much any time, but after a c-section.) (Which by the way -- this isn’t really in the book, but, my beloved Iowa Midwife holds the belief that things won’t change in our birthing environment until women start suing over wrongful c-sections.)
    At other times though, the information in the book can be emotionally overwhelming as it really delves into the issues. There is a chapter that kinda just endlessly points out the downfalls of c-sections and the medical issues that can result from them. The point of the chapter being doctors need to do a better job of weighing pros and cons of c-sections instead of rushing into them so easily -- as it seems some hospitals do as many c-sections as possible. It’s not a fun read when you know your abdomen has been sectioned -- hearing side effects that result in something already done to you -- not easy. But for some reason I read on, and it doesn’t seem to add any fear to my plate. I think what it has done is shed some light on some of the more pointed things I’ve read online when people in forums seemed, to me, to be attacking moms who’ve had c-sections -- in reading this book I feel like I’m coming more and more to terms with the idea that (most) people in the forums are not addressing the moms who’ve had c-sections but a very broken medical field, and that us c-section mommas can just read the words as floating over us, knowing they are pointed towards people who have the chance to change.
   There have been times where I had to take breaks from reading this book. I almost returned it to the library when I started the chapter really diving into c-sections. It starts by describing a c-section the author was allowed to witness. I read that with hesitance. I read it muscles tensed up. I read it both very interested, and very cringingly. I read it with disappointment, and I read it with awe. (These are just my personal responses as my memory of my own c-section plays along side the read.)
    There was a chapter where it pointed out the way medical interventions where becoming more and more prevalent during the victorian ear. Which coincidentally, or not, was when women were wearing corsets which were crushing women’s bodies into having 21” waists --- deforming a lot of their internal organs, reproductive systems, even breaking ribs and altering pelvises. Women also continued wearing corsets during pregnancy as it was supposed to alleviate issues (which clearly wear created by it.) So the book points out that the pain in childbirth then was likely a much bigger issue at this time due to the deformation of women’s bodies. And during this time is when women started fighting for their right to pain relief in labor. So it’s an interesting phenomenon to behold in history.
    I started to relate to the book more and more towards the end. I myself, being a women who has had a c-section and had to face down the medical community in terms of my rights to labor and birth I really saw the statements in these chapters as truth -- truth that really truly affects women in big deal ways. The chapters felt like a voice of my own and women I have met. They aren’t over dramatized at all in my opinion. These chapter could fill libraries if women were to share more.
   The last chapter was especially interesting letting some new thoughts form in terms of women’s rights and how that affects our right to birth and how that’s sort of the last frontier of the feminist movement -- a frontier that’s still mostly ignored.

So it might be a good book for some expecting mommas. But if you don’t want to read it, don’t read it. Read something helpful to you. Not hurtful. For me it was helpful because it really truly does clear up where all the “fear statistics" arrived from and why they are still so heavily circulated. Having that kind of information allows my mind to relax and trust again.

     If you want a lighter look at the American History of Childbirth, I read this one while pregnant with my first and was not scared or scarred by it. It is an easier to follow history as it goes in very clear chronological order. My favorite chapter in it was actually the c-section chapter just due to the entertaining way it was written. And I enjoyed having those stories in my mind after I had my c-section.

     But if you would rather just read something encouraging towards natural birth, my personal all time favorite pregnant read was the birth stories in Ina May’s Spiritual Midwifery. (It has to be that book, not her other one. I didn’t read the rest of the book, just the birth stories.) They were life changing for me. And I totally plan on reading them again in the near future. Ina May’s take on the way your emotions can effect your labor really steered me in how I labored and I think it made my labor a very good one. Besides that, the concept of labor was presented in a way I’d literally never even heard of, and I found it so stunningly beautiful that I was able to say “Wow even if I never go into labor on my own, even if I never experience anything like these stories, I am thrilled to know this is something that happens. It is amazing what God made our bodies to do!” -- Which, if you ever entered my mind during my second pregnancy, you would never have thought I’d submit to the idea I wouldn’t do it myself and be ok. I was really moved by the beauty to be able to think that.
(But small soap box moment: Please don’t think that just reading good birth stories will get you a good birth. Your birth outcomes are heavily affected by your provider. Please search out a provider you feel comfortable with. You hire your provider -- you are allowed to be picky. And you are allowed to stand your ground on how you wish to be treated.)

Anyway, enough book talk.

Not much else to report. I feel some baby flutters sometimes. My belly feels big enough to touch and rub now,

but I feel goofy doing it because I think the baby is so much smaller than I look. (The internet says baby is the size of a peach now.)
Oh well. I do it now, because I can. And baby can feel me. And We love each other.

We all love each other.
They are tickling the baby. :)

This week is just kinda me deciding to get control of myself. The hardness level of the start of this pregnancy has been more than I anticipated, so I didn’t start this pregnancy with a very positive mental stance. I guess I must be feeling a little better, for me to get enough gumption to grab this bull by the horns. Or at least try to.

I’m really hoping week 13 starts to turn back out of nausea woods. But either way, I’m going to try and keep my mind in check.

In house news:
Blake got our gorgeous reading room light wired up and hooked up! Let there be light! It is wonderful!
The cushions stay on this couch only if the girls are in bed. :)
The light hangs a little low on our 8’ ceilings. But It doesn’t affect our not-so-tall family. If a tall person/family buys our house in the future they can decide if it matters to them enough to change it (and if they do, please give the light back to me!) 
(The light used to be lower in here before anyway because it was over a table.)
 But for me, this light is perfect. Couldn’t be happier with it.

He’s also been putting up insulation in the sunroom a little bit at a time. (We don’t use the room in the winter anyway.)

Belly comparisons:


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