We are home

Every single time Josh and I go back to Idaho to visit family we come home thinking "we've really done it this time...Zeke will take a billion years to get back on schedule THIS time". Seriously. It gets bad. The kid stayed up playing until 11 pm, 1 am, and 2:30 am respectively and his entire week was a yoyo of passing out cold into a complete coma once or twice a day and mad mad excitement wrestling with uncles, jumping on beds with cousins, and discovering duplo blocks for the first time. This is memory-making at its finest, don't get me wrong. And I love that he will be friendly with the other children of the family (you know, since he's still convinced all adults want to eat him). But every single time we drive back thinking, how oh how will we survive the next week, we went too far this time. And magically every single time he goes right back into his normal routine as soon as we arrive home. He went to bed at 9, he slept all night, and then he woke me up to the demand "book book" at 7:30.

Maybe its being back in his own enviroment and bed, I'm not sure, but I am so thankful for it. Because lets admit it, all my Waldorfian theories on the health of rythm and schedule for children aside, I personally not only thrive on a predictable rythm to my day but sort of depend on it for my sanity. I will admit that Zeke and I stick to a regular Monday-Friday routine because I need it, not because I necessarily think its better for him. I have my suspicions in that direction, dont get me wrong, but even if I didn't errands would be run in the morning, lunch would be served between noon and 1, and nap would directly follow.

It was a great trip, however. Zeke had a lot of fun, as did we all. And Josh and I's main concern, that the stress of travel would throw me into constant braxton-hicks, or even worse cause me to go into labor, really didn't pan out. I had a litte bit that very first night, I think just from dehydration and a long car ride, but was able to calm them down quickly. And after that I never had an issue again until around dinner time of the last night. I'm not sure what happened that fateful Saturday evening to set me off but it's Monday morning now and I'm still on the same set of contractions. They will calm down all the way to 2 hour breaks between and then build back up to "crap crap crap...this baby better not be coming for at least 2 more weeks" level at some point during the day. I'm starting to wonder if this is just going to be the new normal until the Blueberry is born. I am at 35 weeks this week so past any "danger" but 37 weeks would make me (and Cathy) a lot happier.

All of that to say that I probably still wont go into labor until mid January. Because that's the kind of luck I have.

We are home, however, and I have a giant to-do list including about 6 loads of laundry, grocery shopping, getting around to that blog about my Hypnobabies program finally, finishing up a few christmas crochet projects, and maybe even seeing my freinds at some point this week (call me because I have the entire week clear right now and you KNOW what THAT does to my sanity).

P.S. A shout-out to Zeke's Auntie Jen who sent us home with a big laundry basket full of hand-me-down toys including an entire set of Toddler Lego's. It was Christmas in November when we got home, let me tell you, and I've already started to wonder how in the heck to fit all my child's possessions in one tiny (and soon to be shared) bedroom. I can only hope he recieves a lot of clothing for Christmas. lol. He'll be a 2T this summer, folks, and that bedroom has got to last him a bit longer yet. Now when he moves upstairs and has a huge walk-in "toy" closet...THEN we can get out the big guns. ;)

It is that time again

Yep. It's happened. A little early this year, but the Nutcracker Army has been assembled. Another great thing about having a hypertonic uturus (or as I like to call it, a finicky uterus that may hate me) is that not only do I get to take a bath whenever I want but Josh will also allow or do just about anything if I tell him that it's affecting my stress levels. (Stress is a big trigger for baxton hicks contractions) Insert evil laugh here, folks. It is seriously seriously hard to not take advantage.

I mentioned that the fact that we weren't unpacked yet (Josh's "man cave" was still a box maze) and probably wouldnt be when the baby came was stressful for me, even though 1. I have promised that the basement is Josh's territory and 2. I almost never go down there. The next day, though, he completely unpacked the Laberynth (his name for it) and even went so far as to hang things on the walls. He just told me that he knew it was important for me to have this baby in a stress-free enviroment.

I said that I wanted to get out some of the Christmas decorations so that the house would be partly decorated when we got back from our Thanksgiving trip and I received the go ahead to release the Nutcrackers...even though we have a very strict "No Christmas Until After Thanksgiving" rule around here.

I'm having a very hard time not trying to get my long held dream of owning a miniature donkey out of this one... but also suspect Josh has a limit somewhere. I will probably find said limit if I try to get help filling out Christmas cards and envelopes. In all our years together the man has never adressed a single card, birthday invitation, graduation announcement, baby announcement, thank-you note, wedding invitation, or christmas card.

But still. I got my nutcrakers a week early.
And with only one small comment about how I had too many.
You cant ever have too many.
And Zekey agrees. He was soo excited to see all of mommy's "toys". I picked one of the larger, least breakable ones, to stay down where he could reach it and he just kept kissing and kissing it. Then when bath time came around he wanted to take it in with him.

Spokane seemed ready as well. It also snowed this weekend. I finished my hypnobabies program this week, so I will try to get a review up before we leave town on Tuesday. But at the same time, no promises...I've got a lot of packign to do.


"There is no way out of the experience except through it, becasue it is not really your experience at all, but the baby's. Your body is your child's instrument of birth"

I've been thinking about that line recently. (It's from the book Your Baby and Child btw) It's much the same sentiment that my midwife, Cathy, was trying to press on me a few weeks back when we talked about Zeke's birth and the pain I was still carrying from it. Well ONE of many sentiments, really. We talked for almost 2 hours after all and by the way, I cant remember if I ever wrote about it, but I walked away from that night feeling so healed. Just to hear that I had done nothing wrong, and had nothing to be ashamed of lifted such a weight off my chest that I cant express the lightness of the next few days. I am so thankful to have a midwife that is taking my whole health, including my emotional health, seriously. And for the fact that she is willing to spend that kind of time with me, outside normal scheduled appointments. It has made such a difference the last few months and I can only imagine the kind of impact it will have during the next 2.

But as I was trying to say, it has been so healing for me to understand that while birthing is definitely an experience for the mother, a transformation, and a huge one at that...at the HEART of it, it isnt about me at all. This is my baby's journey, not mine. Zeke's journey into this world was not perfectly what I had planned or wanted. It was not easy and it was not average but it IS what he needed.

I also really believe that if I can just fully grasp this simple fact, that I am merely an instrument for my baby, things will go so much easier for me. I am working so hard on not fighting it this time. So many people have told me that the only thing to do is buckle down and push thru labor, to fight thru it. I dont think so, though. If I learned anything from Zeke it is that labor was easiest when I merely allowed it. When I stepped aside, in a way and just let my baby have his process. And that makes so much sense. Becasue it isnt my journey. I am merely an instrument.

WFDW- fajitas

I don't have any pictures this week of the WFDW meal. I just plain forgot to take any. I blame pregnancy because, hey, when you are as pregnant as me you can pretty much blame everything on it.

But making fajitas is a super simple process. One that I am sure you can complete even without pictures of things in pans.

So the first step is to marinate some flank steak in a combination of oregano, lime, and orange juice. Sometimes I remember to do this the night before or the morning of. More often I just coat it on right before cooking. Either way is delicious and either way you want to cook your steak on a grill pan or in the oven, turning it once. I think it takes between 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in another skillet, heat up some oil and then add onion, red pepper, green pepper, garlic, and mushrooms. Saute it all until its all nice and soft.

When its cooked thinly slice your steak (remember against the grain, lol, Josh always forgets) and serve it over your veggies with tortillas. Of course you will also want to make sure your table is decked out with salsa, sour cream, cheddar cheese and any of your other favorite toppings!

Zeke, I have to admit, was none too impressed with fajita night. He took one look at that pan and then removed one by one everything on his plate that looked like it came from that. He then went on to eat a dinner completely made up of cheese, salsa, and enough sour cream to cause an overdose. I dont even think he ate any tortilla, rather he just used it as a sour cream delivery device unti I was forced to eat MY last fajita sour-cream-less because I had removed it from the table as an option.
Josh and I just shrugged our shoulders. By some combination of genetics and plain luck, Ezekiel has never been a picky eater. That has allowed us to never have to really push him on the whole trying new foods thing, which is great because I've always had rather serious doubts on the sucess of creating well balanced adult eaters by force-feeding children and am a big proponent of respecting my child's autonomy when I can. I am honest enough to admit this would be a lot harder for me if my son refused to eat anything but peanut butter, although I would probably still try.

Please dont ask me how I managed to create this, because like I said, I think its mostly genetics (neither Josh or I are picky eaters AT ALL) and luck. But I will say that we have always eaten meals as a family, so even before Zeke was old enough to partake, he saw Josh and I enjoying food. And enjoying food is a pretty big part of our day. Then when Zeke was old enough to try SOME foods I made an effort to always have SOMETHING included in our dinner that he could enjoy (like a veggie overcooked and mashed up, or a breadstick) so that way we were eating at least part of the same thing. Also, that was easier for me. I was cooking 1 meal instead of 2. This of course grew and grew until he was always being offered the exact same meal as the rest of the family. I'm not sure Zeke has ever realized that getting his OWN meal is even an option. Nowadays we just give him a little bit of everything that's being served and then praise him for what he eats and dont mention anything about what he doesnt eat. If he is hungry he will surely find SOMETHING palatable in those 2 or 3 choices...if he doesnt then we just assume he isnt hungry. Everything goes on his plate too, even things that dont seem like someting a toddler would enjoy, or things he has refused before. I've found sometimes Zeke will refuse something 2 or 3 times and then the 4th time magically eat a ton of it. If I gave up on lettuce after all those months of Zeke throwing it on the floor, I wouldnt know that he will eat it now.

So some of that above stuff might have helped out and might help you. But mostly? I tink I'm just lucky.

I hate snow

I hate snow. Snow is wet. Snow is cold. Snow impedes my ability to get out of my house to do fun things and causes everyone around me to drive 5 miles an hour with chains on their tires whether it's really necessary or not (and its usually not). My favorite state of being is dry, warm, and free to go wherever I please in a timely manner.

I'll admit that very first good snow, when you wake up in the morning and see 2 feet of gorgeous fluffy white in your yard, is really really pretty. Shoveling THAT morning is kind of fun and its nice to sit back and drink hot chocolate when you are finished. I've been known to say that I love snow that morning. But every morning after that can be skipped, as far as I'm concerned. Winter is by and far my LEAST favorite season.

Last Friday we had our first light snow. Just a little dusting. Zeke was pretty unimpressed as it was falling. He looked out the window and said "huh" when I called him into the living room to see it and then went back to whatever the heck he had been doing in his bedroom all afternoon. It was apparently important stuff, whatever he was doing in there. I will never know, as I have a strict rule to NEVER interrupt or distract him when he's being quiet in his bedroom.

The next morning there was still most of it on the ground, however. And since I am not a TOTAL scrooge I bundled Zeke up in his snow pants and gloves and hat and then pushed his dad out into the yard with him.

I took a few quick pictures from the porch and then ran back into the warm safety of my kitchen. But I found half of a bag of chocolate chips, so as soon as my boys came in they got to enjoy some warm cookies. See my un-scroogyness? It's an effort. Of course as soon as he was warmed up and full of cookie Zeke just wanted to go right back outside, and by then it was getting dark...so the whole not a total scrooge thing might depend on who you ask.

parenting overdose

I've often said that our kids (Josh and I's) will be part of the most over-raised generation yet. I don't mean it in a good way. I'm not sure all of this obsessing is really healthy...for them or us. Maybe this is just the natural backlash of our OWN generational difficulties. Josh and I are, after all, ourselves part of the "generation without a cause". With no draft to run from, no nazi's to fight, no great depression to rise above, we have in a way nothing to live for but ourselves. We often (again Josh and I) joke about the "new quarter life crisis" that seems so in vogue around our peers. It used to be a man woke up and realized that he wanted his youth back...now we just never leave it behind in the first place. But I digress.

But actually, to digress further before I get back on track, I am in no way trying to say we (Josh and I) are above any of that or that other people we know arent. And its not to say that there are no good fights left to fight, either. There are still causes to stand behind, it's just that it often seems that to our generation joining a cause means clicking a button on Facebook and then...oh wait, where is that funny youtube video again? And yes, I mean myself as much as anyone else. I am in no way above over-raising my child, either. I am a perfect example of obsessive child raising.

And I find that my digressions actually ran full circle and I am back to my point. Dont you love circuitous thinking?

My lastest venture into perhaps negative over-parenting began this Thursday when I found out that a local co-op preschool a few children I am aquainted with attend had a few spots open in Zeke's age group. I've thought about this co-op a lot, in fact, but always in a future-like way. The way the co-op works for Zeke's age group is you attend, both child and mother, for 2 hours one day a week. This would obviously work for us, as Zeke is in no way even NEAR ready to be seperated from me for any length of time, but usually does OK as long as I am in sight. It would also work for us as they dont mind baby siblings coming along at all, and it was even priced so that we could afford it.

Eager to provide Ezekiel with every possible opportunity and advantage, my mind filled with the positives. It would foster independance in a way that Zeke can handle, it will help him learn to socialize (something our very shy child struggles with greatly), it will help him begin to learn classroom behaviors and maybe even some colors and shapes while we are at it! Filled with all these thoughts of what a wonderful mom I will be for doing this, and how much Zeke will blossom with such an opportunity, I discussed it that night with Josh.

Josh does not suffer from the over-parenting syndrom nearly as much as I. He saw the disaster that this would most likely be as soon as the subject came up but, in case you havent heard, I married a great man, so he broke it to me gently.

Or at least he tried. He started out on shakey ground, bringing up the fact that I will have a newborn soon, one that will eat ALL THE TIME, and that maybe it was more than I could handle right now. Not a great angle, I didnt want to hear that my own abilities could somehow negatively affect Zeke. Seriously, just try to tell me that I cant fly in order to save my child from the deep seated trauma of such-and-such. I can fly mister and I will!

He switched tactics quickly, to quoting my own previous and often stated opinions. Good idea, couched in all that intelligence and good sense (I said it after all) all that mumbo jumbo about my biting off more than I can chew might go down easier. Because it is true, after all, that I've said this winter we really need to focus on our family and strengthening our relationships not only with the new baby when she comes but also with Zeke and each other. Adding a new family member can put stress on all bonds, after all, and will create a whole new balance within our family. We need this time to hunker down and make sure our marriage is on strong grounds, that Zeke is feeling safe in our love and his own position, and that on top of all of that we are bonding with our new child during these important first months. Its a big job.

It's also true that I've said we (and by that I really mean I, since Josh isnt guiltly of it) need to be careful not to push Zeke too hard. He is still a baby, no matter how easy it is to forget with him getting so big and learning new things everyday. And it will be even harder to remember with another baby in the house. But just because we have another child doesnt mean Zeke needs to grow up faster. They can BOTH be babies. Just ask Zeke. He still refers to himself as "baby Zeke" and just you try to tell him he's a big boy...it makes him VERY mad. And I have also said that I need to be careful not to push him towards independance and socialization that he isnt ready for. I want to be the kind of mother that accepts who my child is and the pace that he is ready to take, even if that is sometimes slower than another child. I never want Zeke to be ashamed of himself, or to think that I am ashamed of him.

After all of that, along with reminders that Zeke and I go to playdates and socialize that way all the time, and how he is not even 2 years old yet, and that new enviroments and schedules throw him off SO much right now and so much more...after all of THAT, the other stuff, you know, about there being a NEWBORN coming soon and how even if they are welcoming of it at the preschool, maybe I wont be so welcoming of having to get out of the house by 9 am once a week or so able to focus once I do make it there seemed a lot more logical, and also more kindly meant.

So it looks like co-op is out. For now, at least. We will bring the subject up again next fall when they start the 2010 "school year". By then Zeke will be 2, Blueberry will be 6 months, and everything will be different.

32 weeks and counting

Yep, I am now 32 weeks! Which means only 8 left to go (hopefully)! It seems kind of crazy actually, that I am so far along...you know...until I look down.
But updates: Blueberry is still spending most of her time in every possible position, sometimes head down, sometimes head up, usually sideways. She is a wiggler for sure. During my appointment she was horizontal, with her head against my left ribs and her feet pushing against my right side. I'm kind of amazed that she can still wiggle so much so easily, let alone fit in there sidways. This is either a smaller baby then Zeke or I have the biggest uterus ever... both are possibilities at this point. We've decided to start being pro-active about it (hence the annoying acupressure beads on my toes) but not worry yet since obviously she can still GET head down, she just needs to CHOOSE it when she finally gets too big to be playing contortionist.

As you can see, I am getting bigger and bigger. I now weight 170 pounds in fact (should I be admitting this on the internets?), which is what I weighed when I HAD Zeke. The stretching is also beginning. I have little tiny stretch marks inside many of my old stretch marks. I didnt know that this could actually happen, but apparently it can. Also, Josh was playing with my stomach and trying to make my belly button come out (h'es easily entertained) when suddenly all of his pulling made a little stretch mark. So THAT one is Josh's fault. I will remember forever. And he's not NEARLY as cute as a baby so I'm not sure he's worth it.

The braxton hicks continue, in fact they are just getting stronger. Nothing will stop them. Not upping my protein to the dreaded 100 grams a day (Do you know what that does to someone who's been anemic as long as I have? Can you say hyper-active?), not adding extra thistle to my pregnancy tea, not taking a nap everyday, not limiting my activity. These are apparently just going to be a fact of life, and so I've been really trying to be positive about them. I remind myself that they are healthy and normal, that it's my muscles getting toned for birth, that given my past trouble going into labor they are an excellent sign, ect. But honestly? Im having false contractions at least every 3rd day for anywhere from an hour to ALL DAY. I've been having them off and on right now since Wed night so that's 2 full days and counting. It's tiring, and I struggle at times to remain positive. It's worth it, don't get me wrong. And I love every contraction because it means I am THAT MUCH closer, and THAT MUCH stronger, and THAT MUCH more ready. I will have the strongest fricken uterus in all the land when we get down to it and pop that baby out in 45 minutes (actually, that would be awful). But at the same time, I am TIRED. With Zeke I was in labor for 38 hours...with this baby it is starting to feel like 24 weeks.

Thankfully, I have an amazing husband and son. I usually try not to bring them up when they are happening because there is really no point in us BOTH suffering. That and I know how tiring it can be to hear complaining all the time. But the other day at Costco when I asked Josh why we were walking so slow he said "oh, I thought it would help your contractions" so apparently I'm more transparant then I thought and he's been doing little things to help releive them all this time that I was trying to be so stoic. I guess the 20 second breaks in conversation every few minutes are a tell, who would have thought. I love him for it, though. For the little things like walking a bit slower. Josh also, God bless him, sees braxton-hicks as justification for taking a bath at any moment; right before dinner has to be made, in the middle of a Zeke tantrum; whatever the situation, I have a full right to excuse myself and take a bath. (for those of you without such knowledge, bathing almost always stops false labor and even when it doesnt stop it, its very relaxing)

Ezekiel is just as wonderful. If I lay down on the couch with them, he will bring me his blanket and rub the soft edge against my cheek (this is his comfort technique for himself) and say "oh mama". And if I happen to take a bath without Josh home, Zeke will climb in with me and pour cups of water over my stomach (which is too large to be submerged). He's a little labor coach in training. Maybe its all those birth videos I've been letting him watch with me.

Spinach Soup

I first got this recipe almost a year ago from my friend Kaitie. It was the first course at a dinner party that I still drool to remember, and I think that she ended up giving this recipe to every single person in attendance. Because it was THAT good.

I've changed a very few things, mostly substituting ingredients I don't keep in the house with ingredients that I do, and omitting the final cup of sour cream (even though it makes it better) because Josh wont eat the stuff (so add it if you like). The funny thing is, when Kaitie served it, he couldn't even taste the sour cream. But as soon as he KNEW there was sour cream in there, it was all over for me to try to repeat it. I dont really blame him. My husband is notoriously not-picky and I have had much the same reaction myself. I once ate, in fact, a full 3 helpings of a jello salad his mom made before I found out there was cottage cheese in it, and then I nearly threw up and couldnt eat the last bite that was on my plate. Too bad I found out because I was really enyoing it, lol. The human mind is a funny thing.

Anyways, with out any further ado...Spinach Soup.
Saute chopped onion and garlic in half a stick of butter. As you can see, I used green onion but only because it was what was in the house, white would work just fine as well.

Next add a box of chicken broth and around 3 chopped potatoes and let it simmer until the potatoes are soft. Then add a pound of spinach a bit at a time until it is all tender.

Pour the soup into a blender (probably best to let it cool a bit and do this in batches so you dont burn yourself) and puree until smooth. Return it to the saucepan and over low heat add 2 cups of milk (or 1 cup milk and 1 cup cream...or 2 cups half and half...lol, you get the idea) and plenty of salt and pepper.


An apology

This sort of thing is bound to happen when you are regularly letting loose a ton of opinion on the internet. And despite the fact that I usually re-read every post trying to pretend I am someone else and obsess in general about writing anything that can be taken hurtfully, it's not even the first time it's happened. For example, I wrote once about a test I took that told me I should be 125 pounds, and how upsetting that was to my self esteem, and also how gross I thought I would probably look at that weight. Well, I have a very beautiful friend around that very weight. To her great great credit she was able to quickly realize that it wasn't about her and that she knew me well enough to know I would never try to hurt her, but I came very close to insulting her in much the same way that test had me.

Well this time I've written about taking too many pictures, and ruining the fun of all by doing so. I have hurt someone's feelings, maybe even numerous someones and I feel very bad for it. Re-reading the post I see that obviously I didn't express myself either articulately or caringly, it does not take a stretch of imagination to assume that I am trying to "diss" someone. I used, for an example, a place that I had JUST attended where pictures had indeed been taken. I did that because it was there that I found myself in fear of becoming the dreaded "picture taking mom", not because there was any example of such a mother there with me. That trip was, in fact, lovely, and all the kids were having a wonderful time running and throwing leaves into the water and jumping in big piles.

Another friend of mine , when I talked to her about it, said it had even felt personal for her, because she is guilty of posing pictures, though she of course knew I meant no such thing. So let it be known I wasnt trying to hurt you or anyone else, lol. I'm not talking about ALL posed pictures. Goodness gracious we need a few after all! I was talking about takign too many, and worrying about them too much, and ruining your time because of it. Like I said, its a balance that many moms I know have found, and I have not.

Lets just please all asume from here on out that I have the best intentions?

Later on this week: A blueberry update, for I am 32 weeks.

Really? Already?

As I found myself this morning raking the last of the leaves, and buying a second snow shovel (in an effort to not repeat last years broke-our-only-shovel-and-have-to-move-4-feet-of-snow-with-a-short-handled-metal-shovel-because-there-are-no-shovels-in-all-of-Spokane-left-for-any-amount-of-money-fiasco) I realized that "hey, Fall is almost over!"

Even though its been a really ugly season around here, beset with far too much rain and a ridiculously early frost that rotted pumpkins everywhere and ruined most of the foilage, its still bittersweet. Fall is my favorite season and winter by far my least.

And anyways, Zeke just now learned to properly play with leaves!

Always before he would just point to them and say "yucky" if you encouraged him to touch them. That or say "wow" if it was a particularly large pile of leaves. But last week we went to the Arboretum (its like a tree museum, lol) with some friends and I think watching all those older kids jump in the leaves showed Zeke that maybe it wasn't so "yucky" after all because as you can see from the above pictures, he was all over them this weekend. That is until he got some mud on his hand...then it was ALL OVER.

My only good pics from the Arboretum:
I'm really torn on the whole picture thing lately, actually. On the one side I'm sad that I'm not getting the regular excellent quality pictures of Ezekiel that I once was. My kid is darn cute, and I want proof of that later on when he's say...12. On the other side, I don't want to take aforementioned regular excellent quality pictures anymore.

I blame too much exposure this summer (at festivals and fairs and parks) to mothers shrilly yelling at their children to not make that face or to do such and such pose. I suddenly now have this very real fear of being so intent on capturing the moment that I miss out on the moment. Or even worse so intent on creating a moment that we ALL miss out on having one in the first place.

I dont want my kid's only memories of Arboretum visits to be of the struggle to get a good picture. I want them to remember the leaves and the cool weather and chasing eachother around trees and climbing rocks and throwing leaves into the stream, not momma telling them to smile and throw the leaves exactly "now".

And I suppose its all a matter of balance, like all of motherhood. I just need to balance moment-making with moment-capturing because both are important to me. Much in the same way that this blog post has taken me over an hour to write, each snippet gotten down somewhere in between the 20th and 400th reading of Courderoy's Trick or Treat (Zeke doesnt care that its November now). But if I err in this balancing act, as I suppose I do in some way large or small in every balancing act, I would rather have too many memories not captured on film than dozens and dozens of beautiful pictures of days I hardly remember.


I know I said I wasnt going to talk about the hypnobabies a lot until I was finished with the program, and I still have 2 weeks left before I go into “maintanance” mode, but today I did a “fear release” session and surprisingly (to me) it actually brought up a lot of feelings and I now a very strong urge to talk about it. I really felt like I had processed Zeke's birth completely and “gotten over” it, but apparently no, that can of worms still had a few live ones.

So here goes. As I thought about my fears for this upcoming birth, trying to articulate to myself the things that I DON'T want to articulate, the things that I am, in fact, avoiding at all costs thinking about, there was one thing that came up right away and filled me with so much anxiety and shame, such weakness and remorse, regret and foreboarding, that I immediately burst out into tears. This might sound worse then it really was so let me take a little drama out of the situation by relating that I ALSO burst out into tears every time the song Josh and I got married to, the song I sang to Zekey on the very day of his birth, comes on. I also burst out into tears with a pitiful "I know I'm getting fat but I'm just so hungry!" a few days ago when Josh saw me eating a breakfast bar and said “Its ok, dinner was only 15 minutes ago after all” (What a newbie move right? Really, he should know better). So yeah, I'm a little emotional at the moment, but still, it was an intense moment and I am so thankful to have had it come to the surface (not the fat moment, the fear release moment, I realize I ramble).

The thing that had come up, though, was a very clear memory of being in labor with Zeke, a little over 24 hours in, when I just completely LOST MY SHIT. Until now I didn't realize how this memory has haunted me, how many times it has played over in my mind, how much it has affected my self esteem, my entire outlook on birth in general and Zeke's birth in particular. I've pushed this memory down, I've ignored it, I've buried it in cliché statements, I've pretended that I dont care, I've tried everything. But in my heart of hearts I still blame myself for that moment. I blame myself for my weakness and I honestly hate myself for that weakness.

Like I said, I was 24 hours into my labor and it was intense, and had been intense for an indeterminate amount of time. I had lost track of how long it had been like this but my contractions were 2 minutes on and 1 minute off, the kind of extra-long contraction that you only really get when induced. I was in the bathtub and actually handling everything beautifully. As beautifully as you can at that point, which is to say that I was silent, in a fetal position in the warm water, unable to talk or open my eyes and imagining punching Josh everything he so much as moved, let alone tried to say something or touch me.

Then it was nurse shift time, which meant the nurses had to come check me again (we had made a deal that progress would only be check at the end of each nurse shift, so every 9 hours or something like that). And it happened. The nurse checked my progress, my progress that I was sure was moving along just fine, and told me I was dilated to a 3. I had been dilated to a 3 for over a month at this point, literally, I was at a 3 the first time I was checked at 36 weeks. I think her exact words were “maybe a 3” and accompanied with such a grimace of disaproval...ah I remember her face so perfectly and it fills my eyes with tears again. And THAT my lovely readers is when I LOST MY SHIT.

All I could imagine was the nurse writing that in her book, that I was unable to have this baby, that I would be transferred to c-section, that this would last forever, and I started to hyperventilate. The nurses immidiatly starting freaking out, made me get out of the water and onto the bed, and shoved an oxegen mask on my face. I was trying to push the mask away, I was panicking, I was suddenly so much more uncomfortable on my back like that, and when I looked at Josh all I saw was the mirror of my own panic.

Within 10 minutes they had convinced me to get an epidural and I cried for maybe the next 3 hours at my failure. I have been, in a way, crying since then.

I felt and feel ashamed. And weak. And I feel even more ashamed and weak that it makes me feel ashamed and weak because I know 90% of you are like “get over it” and “your baby was born healthy so quit your whining” and I've tried that but I cant. So I am trying something new. I am accepting my feelings of shame and weakness, I am OWNING those feelings and they are ok. It's ok to feel that way. And at the same time I am doing something I NEVER EVER do. I am going to blame someone else. Because you know what? That WASNT my failure. That was the failure of my “support team”. Had they given me any reason to believe in myself I would have suceeded. And its ok to say that too.

And I talked to Josh about this, about how I love him but I feel like he failed me in a way. That I need him to be strong when I cant be, even if that's not fair. And I will be talking to midwife about this memory and the fear of it repeating. But I also already know...I just KNOW...that this wont, it cant, be repeated. Because, yes, while maybe I will hit a moment again where I just lose it, where I hyperventilate, where I panic, this time around, THIS time around, I will have the support I need. Josh now knows that in that moment, that temporary moment, that I need him to be strong, even if he has to fake it. And he is prepared. And Cathy is an amazingly experienced midwife and I know that she will not panic right along with me, that she has the ability to stay calm for me. And we will get thru that moment.

Another related and smaller memory came up as well. One that I had completely forgotten. This was earlier in labor. I was at that early stage of labor where you have to breath and close your eyes thru each contraction, concentration on releasing, but in between I was talking with Josh about the baby and laughing and moving around. A nurse came in to check up on me and ask how I was doing and I dont remember my exact words but I said something along the lines of “the contractions are getting much more powerful, I think we're making progress” and then I had a contraction right then, closed my eyes and moaned thru it. And the nurse said to me (again not exactly) “well you cant be making much progress, you smiled thru that contraction” and walked away.

I had forgotten. But now that I think about it, it was after that I started grimacing thru my contractions, I tried to tense up my stomach and make them hurt because that's the way “progress” was made, even though I knew no such thing was true. Maybe progress WASNT being made, obviously, actually it wasnt, since it was hours later that I was still at a 3. But its just a perfect example of the hospital attitude, a pefect example of why I am so happy to be having a home birth. There is no reason on earth why I cant smile thru EVERY contraction.

Post your bets

Ok everyone, time to post your bets. Here, for the record, and so there can be no changies later on, are Josh and I's thoughts:

January 15th, just after midnight
8 hours of labor
A girl
9 pounds 2 ounces, 20 inches long

December 31st, 9:45pm
15 hours of labor
A girl
8 pounds 3 ounces, 19.5 inches

facts that may shape your guesses (because I am soo nice that way):
My "official" estimated due date is Jan 6th
Zeke was 2 and a half weeks late
I was in labor with him for 38 hours
He weighed 9 pounds 7 ounces and was 22 inches long


Despite a wonderful weekend, this morning I was in a very crabby mood. It started with a little Zeke who crawled into bed with me around 6 (which isn't in itself a negative thing, it's often my favorite part of day) but decided instead of cuddling he would rather knead his little feet (and apparently too long toenails) against my tummy for an hour or two. A tummy already sore from a very active night of another pair of tiny feet kneading me from the OTHER side and of course as soon as the little blueberry felt her brother kicking she decided to start up again herself. So I got to enjoy kicking from both sides for a while.

THEN upon getting out of the shower I discovered that Zeke had gotten into the salt shaker...and poured salt just about all over the kitchen tile and living room carpet. Uhg. The salt mess only added to the already in existence lazy-weekend-parenting-that-equals-cracker-all-over-everything mess.

I kvetched to my husband online for a while and then attempted to re-start my day. Vacuuming and mopping and then a delicious left-over turkey lunch (I've decided to have turkey for every holiday from now on. Halloween-turkey. Christmas-turkey. Easter-turkey. 4th of july-why not? turkey! Although now come to think of it that WILL get in the way of delicious lamb, which I cant find/afford as often but is still a favorite holiday meal...) later I had turned it all around enough to be able to share some oreo dipping time with my son and appreciate how much I adore him. I love that he is beginning to be old enough for such side-by-side activities, that we can enjoy Oreo's together in their purest and best form (disintegrating in cold milk), kicking our legs under the table and smiling from time to time at one another.

So here's to days that you are able to turn around.

Anyways, Halloween!

It was a great success around here! Friday night we went trick or treating at Josh's office. The first couple rooms Zeke didn't really get it, he wanted to eat the candy right away not put it in his little bucket. But after he realized that EACH room held another bowl of candy, man was he OFF, running from office to office. He wouldn't say "trick or treat", but he WOULD give big eyes until offered candy, take one, place it in his bucket, and then wave and say "bye bye" before running to the next room. 2 floors later he was POOPED and daddy had to carry him for 3rd floor visiting but he still got quite a bit of candy...maybe too much candy...but more on that in a second.

Saturday my parents came to visit and that night they took us to Zeke's favorite restaurant, Red Robin. When we got home from dinner, around 6, we dressed Zeke back up and started passing out candy. It was dark and cold enough (and we had gotten enough candy the day before ) that I decided we'd just be givers this time around and skip the door to door bit. 3 entire bags we passed out before we ran out of candy and turned off our light! I will have to remember to buy more next year, I had no idea our neighborhood would be so hopping. Zeke liked passing out candy, though. And he also liked eating it. Remember that too much candy comment above? Well between the candy Grandma opened for him him, the candy mommy opened for him, and the candy daddy opened for him...Zeke ended up eating so much candy that he threw up.

Halloween tradition?
Our little darth vadar just LOVED this pumpkin set up in Josh's office foyer.

Running down the yellow brick road.

Picking a candy.


Even more.

Getting a feel for Daddy's day at his desk. And can I just say 4? 4!?! How many monitors does one man really need?