Pregnancy Update #12: Thoughts on Blood Tests, Breech Home Birth & Solo-Parenting

4 Comments 14 April 2011

Yeah, the title of today’s pregnancy update is quite a doozie, but there’s a lot to fit in!

I’m 28 1/2 weeks now, and starting to get much more excited about welcoming this little bundle into our lives.

I’ve begun daydreaming about wearing my baby in our Moby wrap, although it will be hot in Michigan in July. Still, it’s been a long time since I’ve snuggled up close with a newborn. The wrap will just have to be my t-shirt, or I’ll just carry baby around in the crook of my arm. We’ll nap in the hammock looking out over the lake…<dreamy sigh>

Ella has shifted from simply saying “hi,” to the baby to yelling, “COME OUT!” at my belly. “Linda midwife help baby come out!” How awesome. Just a little longer…

My first at-home blood test

I had my first at-home blood test yesterday.

Oh my gosh I and can’t tell you how much better it was than sitting in the hospital watching a nurse fill one vile after the other. No, at home your midwife pricks the tip of your finger with a pin and pinches two (TWO) drops of blood onto test strips. They do their electronic thing and viola! Done. What a breeze!


So the baby is most likely breech right now with it’s back to mine.

No biggie. There is still plenty of time for him/her to move around. My midwife gave me a couple of exercises to try, and suggested a visit to the chiropractor, but other than that not to think about it very much.

Of course, that is easier said than done! Of course I’m going to think about it. I want to know where I stand on the issue.

It didn’t take much thought to realize I’m currently feeling very comfortable with the idea of breech home birth.

Especially the way this baby is right now with it’s butt down and feet off to the right side (no wonder I’ve been getting kicked so much over there!). My midwife has helped birth two breech babies in the past few months and feels confident overall with breech birth at home. I trust her and my body’s ability.

The solo-parenting gig is not for me!

The BBH Dad went on a business trip to Austin, TX last Thursday and arrived home Tuesday night.

I’m not gonna lie, it was a bit rough to be a (pregnant) solo-mom or 5 1/2 days! Granted it did get easier as the days went on and I did get a good amount of help, his being away taught me I don’t want to do this alone (and how much I love my family!).

Ella and I did have a blast

The weather was great and we took multiple trips to the park where she finally got to put her feet in the sand. I will say she and the d-a-d will need to spend a some one on one time together now that he’s back…she’s been clinging to me like a monkey.

Motherhood, Pregnancy

You Deserve a Medal for Birthing Naturally

19 Comments 07 April 2011

This post is dedicated to every single birthing woman out there, no matter where or how you gave birth. While I do stress natural birth in this article, I understand that any way you bring a baby into the world is hard work, and you should be proud of yourself for the achievement.

I am proud to have given birth naturally.

Having a natural birth is something I set out to achieve.

I did it for me, and I did it for my daughter. I did it for no one else.

I didn’t give birth naturally because I had anything to prove to anyone else. But I did have something to prove to myself.

I didn’t do it to show everyone how strong I was, but I was very surprised to discover my own strength.

“No is going to give you a medal for giving birth naturally.”

When I hear that statement, I feel incredibly sad for the person saying it.

When did they lose their power? When did they learn to feel so powerless that speaking that way to another human being became acceptable?

For those of you who had have this said to you, remember that people speak in projection. She was talking about herself, her own experience and what she has learned about birth.

It has nothing to do with you.

Just as important to remember, if not more-so, is actually the reverse is true.

You DO get a medal for giving birth naturally!

We get medals for running marathons. BIRTH IS A MARATHON!

The pride you feel from going through the experience of natural birth will live inside you for a lifetime. Your strength and confidence in yourself will only continue to grow.

You award yourself that medal when you choose to believe there is nothing wrong with being proud of yourself for accomplishing a positive and empowering birth experience!

No, you are not better or stronger than the next woman.

No, you do not condemn her for birthing differently than you did.

That’s not what it means to be proud. Being proud of yourself has nothing to do with other people (just as how you choose to birth has nothing to do with other people).

Hold your head high honey.

But we don’t always hold our heads high, do we?

It’s not always easy. Positive birth stories are not the norm in our society and we literally cater to the horror stories that so many women feel compelled to share again and again. Not that I blame them for wanting to talk about it!

But there also needs to be a space created for sharing the positive stories. You prepared for birth -literally studied it – learned about your options, chose the location and had a rewarding outcome.

You have nothing to be ashamed of.

Do not cower. Do not stop talking about how beautiful your birth was.

Of course there is a line, and therefore naturally a code of conduct we should all adhere to when discussing birth. It’s a very sensitive topic.

This is why it is imperative to understand and truly believe that you are no better for birthing naturally.

We have b.s. detectors for that.

Put your shoulders back and down and hold your head high.

You will never know what kind of response you’re going to get for sharing your plans to give birth naturally or sharing a beautiful birth story.

But for those of you who have accomplished a natural birth, you do know that you’re strong. You’ve proven that to yourself already.


Pregnancy Update #11: Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes!

5 Comments 31 March 2011

Good thing I didn’t cut the fabric for my curtains.

If you’re up to speed on reading this blog, you’d know that I was having a heck of a time last month dealing with the stress of wondering where we would be moving (and where I would be birthing).

Read the whole story here: “I Will Give Birth at Home. Even if I Don’t Have a House.”

I couldn’t stand the idea of having our baby in the cramped apartment we currently live in, not to mention actually living here once the baby was born.

Thank goodness we found a place! I liked it so much, (well, really I was just so glad to find a three bedroom we could afford) I bought fabric to make curtains.

Our move in date: April 1st. That’s this weekend!

But…we’re not moving after all.

Not yet.

Don’t worry, this story has a happy ending.

Okay, so here’s what happened…

We were going to move into my mom’s lake house for the summer and have the baby there. What a great place for a home birth, I tell ya. Right on the lake. Big porch overlooking the water on the second floor. Huge house. Jacuzzi tub. Sweet.

Then she and my step-dad separated, (are divorcing) and everything went up in the air. Who was going to get the house? Would they put it up for sale? We quickly understood that it was no longer an option to stay there.

We started looking for another place – and fast.

I wanted time to visualize. I wanted to nest. Got our butts into gear and found something within a month.

And then…

My mom got the house free and clear.



So yes. We are doing a 180 and moving in there May 1st. Aligning vision. Again.

Honestly, all of that stress, adjustment and readjustment was totally worth it to be able to move into that lake house. I am SO excited to birth there!

In other news:

I am 26 weeks now and feeling pretty good!

Just a little more tired at night. And shocked at how fast this pregnancy is going.

The weather is finally getting warmer in Michigan and I was able to take Ella to the park for the first time yesterday!

Speaking of Ella, she’s a wonderful, darling little girl. Curious about the baby and talking about “Linda, midwife.”

Her new thing is saying, “Oh Mom! You scared me!” at any loud noise.

Melt my heart.

I think my heart is literally going to burst when this other baby comes along.

p.s. I’ve been posting regular updates throughout this pregnancy. Consider the BBH Blog my real-deal pregnancy journal. Want to receive an email when a new blog post is published? Sign up here to receive Pregnancy Updates from BBH! I only have about 3 months of this pregnancy left!


Pregnancy Update #10: First Letter to Baby

1 Comment 17 March 2011

Written in my journal 3/15/2011 – 24 weeks – end of 2nd trimester

Dear Baby,

As I wrote “baby,” you moved inside me. I love to feel you stir.

This is your first letter, but in my mind, I have written you more often.

While I sometimes worry I haven’t dedicated enough of my one-on-one time to you, I realize, simultaneously, that you are always on my mind.

It’s impossible not to think of you.

I wonder what you’ll look like.

Are you a boy or a girl?

I am curious about your entrance into the world – our world as a growing family.

My fears are being replaced by a calm sense of knowing.

You will fit into our lives beautifully.

It won’t always be easy, of that I am aware. But I am ready for the challenges and lessons you will teach me.

Continue to grow and be comfortable in my womb. I am so honored to be your mother.

Goodnight little little one.


Home Birth Advocacy, Motherhood, Pregnancy

I Love My Natural, SAHM, Family Oriented, Home Birthing Life!

9 Comments 04 March 2011

The past month has been a little rough for me.

(read my most recent post, “I Will Give Birth at Home. Even if I Don’t Have a House” to understand why)

But suddenly, the shift occurred and it began to rain rather than snow.

I’m so ready for Spring. We’ve had such a snowy winter!

We also got the phone call we were waiting for and will be moving into our new (rental) house on April 1st. The stress is literally GONE. Yippee!

I am now able to revise and align my birthing vision with the new space we’ll be inhabiting.

(thanks again for all your well-wishes & positive vibes!)

Although we’re not expecting baby to come until late June or early July, I am already feeling the strong urge to nest.

Today, while making soup, I had this thought:

I love my life.

I love being a housewife, or better yet, a Domestic Goddess. This is my house, my family, my decor and my mess.

I love cooking. Man oh man do I ever! Thanks so much Grandma for teaching me both through example and your most delicious Italian recipes.

I love being a stay at home mom. I am grateful to be home with my daughter every single day. And I’m really glad I don’t have to work!

I love how much support I have from my family, friends and wonderful community for my upcoming home birth.

I love knowing we have a new home to move into (with a yard!). I am ready to begin the journey in this new chapter of our lives as a strong family.

I love my midwife & my doula.

I love that my beautiful partner Eric works from home. He’s sitting across the room from me on the couch working on his computer. We occasionally share sweet glances.

Speaking of support and family…how lucky am I that my mom, mother-in-law and grandmother help me out SO darn much by taking Ella during the week? The routine is so healthy for Ella and I, and I can actually get some things done for BBH and around the house! This will come in SO handy when the new baby comes.

I am truly blessed.

That is all. I just wanted to share in my excitement. Leave a comment below if you love your life too!

Motherhood, Pregnancy

I Will Give Birth at Home. Even If I Don’t Have a House.

14 Comments 03 March 2011

I’m planning a home birth and don’t have a home to give birth in.

Over the past month,
I’ve been waging a silent fight against pushing my panic button.

I was going to give birth at my mother’s lake house.

We were going to stay there for the summer. I was going to labor in the water on a beautiful, sunny July day.

Then I received word from my mother that the home I thought I would be giving birth in this summer was no longer available. Due to a rocky divorce where neither side can agree, she’s putting it up for sale.

First I was mad. Really mad.

Then I settled down and realized we were big kids and could get our own house. But before long, I got angry all over again, and with that came a great deal of anxiety.

Of course, we’re not homeless. I could give birth here if I needed to…in this tiny, second floor apartment bursting at the seams with our household items (and some of our stuff is in boxes in the carport – yeah, it’s cramped alright).

No, I refuse to give birth here.

Not only that, but I don’t want to live here after giving birth, hauling my two babies up two flights of stairs just to get in the door. And there are three flights of stairs down to the laundry room, which we share with the 5 other apartment’s tenants.

Also, no dishwasher.

I am not delusional enough to think Eric will wash the dishes AND do the laundry for the first month (or two) of our newborn’s life. There would be piles and they will stink and stress me out.

And if any of you stay at home moms are like me, you understand – I am the domestic goddess of this household. I am fortunate enough not to have to work, and with that comes the responsibilities that I have taken a liking to (and am actually pretty proud of to boot!). But if I don’t do it, it just plum doesn’t get done.

Looking for a three bedroom home to rent with a dishwasher, washer/dryer &  yard. Oh, and…I’ll be giving birth there, is that okay?

It didn’t take long to discover that our options were limited.

Not only were there few homes for rent, there were even less that met our ideal description without charging an arm and a leg. I thought times were tough right now?

Finally I sent out a massage Facebook message to all my friends in the Kalamazoo area, trying not to plead or sound too stressed out our situation. The response was good. Got a few leads. But they quickly faded out.

Back to square one. Ugh. Breathe…

That was about a week ago. Since then, we’ve had two promising leads!

We’ve seen both and liked what we saw (one more than the other). The prices are right. Now we’re just hoping our references check out and we’re cleared for move in. That shouldn’t be a problem.

And both owners know and are okay with our plans to birth at home! Yippee!

Since we’ve seen those two places that could work, I have slept so much better.

I knew I was bothered, but I honestly thought most of my night time restlessness was due to my sore hips and back. I didn’t realize just how much stress I was under until I saw that little light at the end of the tunnel.

Cross your fingers for us – we’re not in the clear yet. But by golly, you betcha I’ll be sharing the details about where we move as soon as it happens. Thank you for your positive thoughts!


UPDATE: We got the house we wanted! I’ll take photos as soon as we move in on April 1st! Thanks for all your positive comments and vibes coming our way!


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