wordless wednesday::peek-a-boo!

more wordless wednesday here and here.


labor of love

making a surprise appearance, we welcomed our newest addition 1 month early, jameson cash, saturday february 12 at 10:29 a.m.
8 lbs. and 21 inches of love, love, love
we were able to go home sunday afternoon since everything with him checked out fine.  blogging will be a little spotty as we take this time to enjoy our sweet boy and transition into a family of six.
2 days old


oh baby :: reflecting on the not so ordinary

way back when my belly wasn't so humongous, i posted about my own personal reasons to choose a natural childbirth.  i'm very thankful that i have been able to do that with my last two, and Lord-willing i hope to have an intervention-free birthing experience with this third one.

like i've mentioned before, a lot of research and reading on natural and medicated childbirth really steered me towards giving birth naturally.  and there is a lot out of information (and controversy) out there regarding both, but i firmly believe that a natural approach to labor and childbirth is the safest and healthiest for both mama and baby.  in the u.s., having a natural birth is not the norm.  i don't doubt that there are many pregnant women that perhaps choose to try the natural approach. but sometimes it's difficult to stand your ground (in the midst of laboring) when possible pressure from hospital staff, your caregiver, etc. can lead them down the road they had not planned on taking (of course the exception would be during a true medical complication).

if i could have a homebirth with this baby, i would do it in a heartbeat.  i know, homebirth??  it may seem extreme, but to me it would be wonderful.  i'm considered a low-risk pregnancy and there's a hospital less than 5 minutes away from our house.  to me, a homebirth would make sense, especially since we already have other kids.  we wouldn't have to worry about finding someone to watch them while we were at the hospital or bothered by hospital protocol about this and that or pack up our stuff to go home.  but we don't have the extra money for it since it's not covered by our insurance (believe it or not it's actually more cost-effective for us to use our insurance).  and i really, really, really like my midwife, and at this point she doesn't do home deliveries.

fortunately, the hospital where i'll be delivering has recently built a birthing center.  though it's associated and connected (literally) to the hospital (unlike a free-standing birth center), according to what i've read in the consent form the birth center philosophy is maintained. if i can't have a homebirth, then this comes in at a close second...and i can't tell you how excited i am to have the opportunity to try this place out.
photo source.
along the lines of maintaining a natural approach to labor and birth, i'm hoping to try a waterbirth...again.  research on the benefits of waterbirth are minimal in the u.s. though if i'm not mistaken there is plenty of positive evidence for hydrotherapy in europe.

is waterbirth risky?  i don't know how to answer that.  having a baby is risky.  what if you have complications during pregnancy, labor, childbirth, postpartum?  what if the baby experiences complications?  having a baby has its risks, but obviously that hasn't stopped women from having babies. 

i know my husband has questions about the waterbirth approach.  certainly for good reason.  he is fully supportive of hydrotherapy for the laboring mother and understands its benefits in offering a noninvasive option for pain relief.  but his biggest concern is how it benefits the baby.  many of the literature found on waterbirth suggests it provides a more peaceful and less stressful transition for the baby, and for me that makes sense.  but i don't think you can rule out the possibility that if the baby is stuck during the pushing stage that a waterbirth may make things more difficult. 

anyway, i don't really know where i was going with that or with this post in general.  i know the birth choices i'm making are unconventional according to the u.s. "standards."  but i do feel it's important for me to share a different approach, and that it is possible for women (and their babies) to experience a noninvasive, unmedicated birth.  if you read my birth plan, i might as well just deliver at home with the amount of things i'm forgoing: no hep-loc, no medication during labor or post partum, no fetal monitoring unless it's the old school way, baby checked while on me...

i have no idea what God has in store for me this time around.  i mean, i can guess and prepare myself according on my past experiences, but that's no guarantee that the outcome will be the same.  i had 2 very different laboring experiences with my first two kids, so it's hard to tell how this one will go.  we have a game plan in place and now all we can do is wait and put everything in God's hands.  i don't doubt that whatever happens will be according to His will.


information on homebirth, waterbirth, and natural childbirth (this list is mainly for me...so i have a place that i can easily refer to):

the homebirth choice from midwifery today.

homebirth from the american pregnancy association.

waterbirth FAQ and research information from waterbirth international.

waterbirth information from gentlebirth.org


school days: houses and homes

we started a new unit study the 2nd week of january revolving around houses and homes using this site, and finished it up a few days ago.  i'm taking the rest of this week to review the unit and plan for our next study.

we didn't cover all the lessons listed for the unit, which is okay since we also do other learning activities that don't necessarily relate to the unit study.

here are the books we read for this unit (i only managed to find 3 out of the 4 core books at the library:

we were tired of living in a house by liesel skorpen
a house is a house for me by mary ann hoberman
let's go home by cynthia rylant (this was gibson's favorite, despite the fact that it was quite a lengthy read)
a house for hermit crab by eric carle
three little pigs by james marshall
in a people house by dr. seuss/theo lesieg
if i ran the rainforest by bonnie worth
henry and mudge and the tall tree house by cynthia rylant

i love, love, love the reading aspect because it provides so many opportunities for open discussion.  some of the things we talked about after reading the books included our favorite part of our house and why, comparing and contrasting the images we see of homes in the books with our own home, different types of animal homes (and people homes), home maintenance and decor, and the different cities/states/countries that some of our family live in.

our lapbook for this unit was primarily based on a house for hermit crab:
i included some of the lapbook components listed here and also added some of my own.
i laminated the months of the year cards so that emma can trace the words to practice her writing.
i also laminated and added velcro for hermit crab's year so that emma could do the activity more than once.  it was helpful to read the story first and then do the activity so that the story sequence is fresh in her mind.  on a side note, another book to read to introduce kids to the months of the year is chicken soup with rice by maurice sendak.  it's a fun book and brings back some childhood memories for me!
other lessons/activities we did relating to the unit:

we discussed how we all have our part in helping around the home to keep it tidy, clean and well maintained.

we made a home out of blankets and chairs a few times.  the kids loved "decorating" the inside and filling it with books, toys and snacks.  they even got to have their lunch in there one time.
i found a simple picture of a house and glued it onto a large sheet.  then i had emma complete the picture (watercolors was her preferred medium).
one thing i had wanted to do but didn't get around to was to procure a large world map and mark where family members live around the world.  our family is so spread out that doing something like this might help give them some perspective on how far or close family members are to us.  i'll have to save this one for another time.

and here's what gibson did while big sister completed some of the lessons that were not yet suited for his age:

sticking stickers on paper and himself (and sometimes the floor and the furniture)...this is a popular one with him.

coloring.  in this photo he wanted to use markers like his big sister so i gave him some laminated number cards and a dry erase marker and let him go to town (clean up was very easy!).
putting coins (pretend and real ones) in an empty canister and emptying it back out.
 digging out the library bin and "reading" his books.

playing with this foamy thingy i got at pat catan's.
"sorting" shells in the muffin tin...which sometimes turned into throwing shells all over the floor.

and now on to our next study.  emma has specifically requested a unit study on winter so that is what we'll do next!


oh baby :: giant belly update

yesterday, i had my last monthly check up.
at 35 weeks i was measuring 1 week ahead of schedule (a.k.a. my big ball of a belly is measuring at 36 weeks instead of 35).  i guess i can throw out my hope of delivering a 7 lb. baby at this point. ha!  but, seriously...another possible chance of an 8 pounder?

i gained about 4 lbs. this past month, which has put me at 28 lbs. total weight gain through out this pregnancy so far.  but i feel like i gained double that every time i look at my belly.

i had my GBS testing done, but decided that if the results came back positive that i would forgo treating it with antibiotics.  after doing further research on the subject, i feel like there's a very, very, very low risk in me passing it to the baby upon delivery.  plus, gibson was not affected by it when i delivered him since i didn't receive the full dose during my labor with him. my midwife was fully supportive and was already aware of all the alternative treatments we can try (*sigh* i love her).

we are signed up to deliver at the new birth center based out of the hospital.  when i delivered gibson, the center was still under construction.  i'm hoping that we'll be able to try it out for this baby, as long as there isn't anyone using it already.  they have a nice giant tub in there, and i'm hoping this time around i'll actually get to go in it and deliver the baby.

i did have colleen check me to see if i've started dilating.  the past couple of weeks i've had this feeling that my cervix was changing.  nothing big, but the "practice" contractions felt different.  as if the braxton hicks were not really braxton hicks but they were all at the same time.  i know, that doesn't make any sense, but i don't know how to articulate it any better than that.  i could feel something was changing...it was weird.  it turns out i'm dilated at 1 cm (almost 2) and 25-30% effaced.  baby is head down (yes!) but not engaged yet.  which is good (since i'm not due until march), but it sure feels like he/she's about ready to come out already.

at home, we are so not prepared yet.  i haven't taken out any of the newborn stuff, the baby cradle or purchased any newborn diapers.  we still need to look over our birth plan and start putting a plan in place for people to contact when i do start labor.  on the plus side, gibson is moved into his new bedroom (right next to emma's room), and his old room has returned to our guest bedroom again.  we don't have a nursery for this baby since our plan is to have baby in our bedroom for at least the first 6 months.  after that, we'll decide if emma and gibson will end up sharing a room (emma's preference) or if the guest bedroom will end up being the baby's room (though we really like having a spare bedroom for company).  i'm not too worried about the whole sleeping arrangement issue.  it's hard to tell how gibson will respond to the new addition so i think it's probably best to play it by ear.

the baby's arrival seems so close, yet so far away at the same time.  some days i think i still have plenty of time, but other days i feel overwhelmed and behind after thinking about all the things i need to get done before the baby comes.  i think all i can do right now is to just take it day by day.  the baby is not going to have a fit if i don't get everything on my list done!
Related Posts with Thumbnails