Saturday, July 30, 2011

Little Birth Book

I mentioned in the previous post that I was working on a project. It was a gift for a friend who is expecting a baby in a few short weeks. A little birth book for her to fill out after sweet baby Lenore is born. CUTE name, right?

 I bound the book with red thread and the sewing machine, and then used my VERY FAVORITE fabric, the leftovers from haze'ls sheets and quilt, as a faux cloth binding. I got the idea from a tutorial found HERE
It turned out BEAUTIFUL. Better than I even Imagined!

 On the first page I included a quote that I found to be pretty profound throughout my pregnancy and birth. It reads: "The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new"- Rajneesh

A little page for stats, birth date, time, weight, length, and place.
 An amazing excerpt from a book called The Red Tent. I posted it earlier on my blog HERE.
I was tormented for weeks, trying to find the words to express my feelings as a new mother, and when stumbled across the excerpt it expressed exactly what I was feeling.
 A few pages for photos

And some extra photo corners and optional prompts for the many blank pages.
I could have just bought a silly baby outfit, but after my birth, and all of the things I have been feeling, I really wanted to do something special. I put my heart and soul into it, and I think my friend could feel it. She absolutely loved it. I wish that Baby showers were less about the Baby. The baby will be celebrated plenty. It should be about birth. The most important, and difficult experience a woman will ever go through. It would be wonderful if it were more focused on encouragement and preparation, and celebration of her pregnancy, the growing season. Those are the kind of Baby showers I want to throw someday.

I am so excited to make one of these for Hazel, and improve on the design a little bit, and then I'm thinking of opening an Etsy shop to sell the little things, along with Some floral mobiles I have been working on like the one I made for Hazel HERE.
any thoughts?

Friday, July 29, 2011

LOOOONG Fulfilling Day

It is almost 2 AM and boy, it has been a LOOOONG dayI was planning on doing this little project today
a quick run to the craft store, then off to my brother's to use his photoshop
and do some printing ( I don't currently own photoshop, or, at least this morning, a printer)
but he said he didn't have any ink
so I went to my sister's
but after an hour of trying to install her printer
I concluded, along with the tech support form DELL, that the printer was incompatible with windows 7
So, extremely frustrated, around 2 PM already, I called Mike.
He suggested I buy a printer.
What a Saint.
So I bundled Hazel and I up in the car, and headed to Best Buy.
thirty minutes later, printer in hand, I drove back to Megan's
Only to face more frustration with the different programs on my computer (or lack thereof)
In the end, I had to settle for Microsoft works word processor. HAH
I headed home in the midst of a mental breakdown, ready to give up on this prject and buy a baby blanket.....
It worked out, with the help of my mom and her sewing machine :)
The "Project" is a gift for a friend's baby shower:
A little birth journal, completely home-made by me (and my mum). Even bound be me :)
And then I made some home-made sugar-coffee body scrub.
The Caffeine is SOOO good for your skin you know.
It turned out a little more abrasive than I would like. Maybe if i let it sit in its oils for a few days
it will soften up a bit.
All these things sure are a lot more time consuming
now that I have a small person to keep alive.
AND THEN after all of that, it was probably almost midnight
and I looked around and my house was a STY!
So I cleaned the Kitchen, switched over the laundry,
and folded the enormous pile of clean clothes that was
towering over a sleeping Hazel on our couch
and That is how I got to 2:00 AM AWAKE!
It took me the entire day to finish that one project, and finally Hazel went to sleep for good and I got a shload of stuff done. Perhaps I should stay up late more often. I feel a lot more productive this way.

The cover of the birth-day journal I made
It turned out SOOO great. Maybe I will sell them on Etsy.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Up here in the Mountains

Working on finding myself
Still not quite sure who I am, you know?
Who I will turn out to be
What I will accomplish
Will I ever learn to finish the things I start?
Will I ever choose one path, and stay on it?
I sure do change my mind a lot
I need to go to school, that's for sure
I need to just be me.
not what everyone else wants me to be
but who I want to be
so maybe I will get those dreadlocks someday
and maybe I will go get those tattoos I want
and I'm definitely getting my nose pierced FOR GOOD this time
no boss is gonna tell me I gotta take it out this time
and I'm not gonna be so shy anymore
and maybe that way I'll find friends up here
and I'm gonna put all those things I wanna do on the calendar
I'm not missing any more concerts or craft fairs or arts festivals
Really, I'm gonna go and poach those expensive red butte and deer valley concerts
with Hazel in the babybjorn
cuz I'm not missing good music just because tickets are a little out of my realm right now
And you know what else?
I'm gonna figure out how I like to dress.
You'd think at almost twenty-three a girl would know how to dress herself
Not me. Can't figure it out
and really really really I'm gonna learn to sew
and bake bread. Yeah, Bake Bread
and Pie.

But first I gotta feed Hazel.....

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I'll love you more than anybody can

Hazel, playing with her daddy, lying on the sweet sweet quilt her grandma made her
 This little girl sleeps and sleeps
until you put her down
then she promptly awakes
and if you are there, she is all smiles
but if you are not
she lets out the saddest, cutest little baby-girl/NOT newborn cry you ever did hear
so even though I JUST put her down
I run to pick her up
and then she just cuddles
and I love it

Yesterday was a long boring lonely day at home
so today I vowed I would get ready, go out, and do something
so I got up, got half way ready, made some food
fed myself, fed my baby
and now its already 2 in the afternoon
and Mike will be home in two hours
I am not going anywhere
and thats just how life goes sometimes

I wish I had something else to blog about.
things Im making
or doing
or seeing
but I don't
because pretty much all I do is take care of, love and marvel over this little one
so that is what I will blog about for now.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

music to my ears

You know when your favorite song comes on the radio
and then another favorite song
and then another?
Do you think it's a sign from the universe?

The Flood

 The road.

The Parking lot. There is not usually a river here. In fact it is more than fifty feet away. It ripped right through this birm.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Her Face

I've grown accustomed to her face.
She almost makes the day begin.
I've grown accustomed to the tune that
She whistles night and noon.
Her smiles, her frowns,
Her ups, her downs
Are second nature to me now;
Like breathing out and breathing in.
I was serenely independent and content before we met;
Surely I could always be that way again-
And yet
I've grown accustomed to her look;
Accustomed to her voice;
Accustomed to her face.

Henry Higgins, My Fair Lady


yes, yes i do


Nobody right, Nobody wrong....

Hazel and I went to Cathy's home for a little Momma party, lot's of homebirth mommas. Lots of happy babies. It's nice to be with people who get you. We are different. We had babies, and we loved every second of it. EVERY second. We can't wait to do it again. Most women these days don't feel that way. They want a baby, but they would happily skip the whole labor and birth part. Not us.

It seems to me, and this is my own observation, that the women who think that laboring naturally is so difficult, and excruciating are not the ones who actually did it. Generally, they are the ones who had induced, medicated hospital births. They call us crazy for even trying, and tell us good luck in a skeptical tone.

There are exceptions on all sides. Women who loved their hospital births, natural or not. Women who hated their homebirths, whether they were normal or complicated.

The real problem I think is that too many women face childbirth without having a complete understanding of their options. Me and the other homebirth mommas, we did our research. We asked questions. We knew very clearly the risks and benefits of EVERY option. We educated ourselves, and then we made the best decision for our baby first and foremost, as well as for ourselves. I'm sure there are many women who educate themselves just as well, weigh the risks vs. benefits of their options and choose differently. The fact is that whichever option we chose, we all made an EDUCATED decision.

If you did not do your research, If you do not understand the risks of induction, epidurals, and C-sections, episiotomies, and hospital protocols nor have you studied the benefits of natural uninterrupted comfortable labors, and you haven't looked at the actual maternal mortality rate comparisons, DO NOT feel like you have any right to criticise my decision. Question it, sure, but if you question it, do some research, find out why I might have done what I did, or actually be willing to listen to what I have to say.

I haven't had too many negative reactions towards our homebirth. More positive. More people have said that it is the best way to do it, or that women have been giving birth for thousands of years at home or in huts or in fields. When I do have a negative reaction though, it hurts. I don't mean when people openly tell me that I was taking a huge risk or being irresponsible. That has only been said once. I mean the reactions where people say I am so lucky that everything went well. When people tell me that their child, grandchild, friend's, sister's cousin's child would have died had they not been at the hospital. I know what these people are thinking. They think I am foolish. They think what I did was not only crazy, but they believe I risked mine, and my child's life. I feel attacked. I don't know how to respond to that.

I want to tell them all of the things I know about the mismanagement of Childbirth in Hospitals. Why some of these things that happened may actually have been a result of being in the hospital, or being induced. I want to tell them about our bodies innate ability to give birth. I want to tell them the risks and benefits of everything I want to tell them that C-sections are major surgeries that are done far too often, and that  Some hospitals are even banning elective C sections and early inductions due to scientific evidence confirming the risks. And I want to say that our babies are not too big for our bodies. An 11 lb baby used to be normal, and in some places still is. I want to tell them that hospitals and doctors save lives, but when they look so hard for a problem, they sometimes find one where there is none. They perform unnecessary procedures, which can lead to more and more complications. We should question the alternatives, the risks, the benefits. We should be involved in these decisions. We shouldn't blindly hand ourselves and our babies over to them, without asking questions. I want to tell them that birth can be wonderful beautiful amazing, wherever it takes place. I worry it is not my place, and I worry that they wouldn't believe me. wouldn't even give it a second thought.

Instead I don't say anything. I sit there while my momma gut curls it's tail under. I feel like I can't talk about my experience at this point, because they have just told me how horrible birth is. I feel  like if I did, I would be belittling their experience, like they have just belittled mine. And just MAYBE I think to myself, that this particular person really did need that C section, or that baby really was in trouble and it was good that they were at the hospital. Not likely though.

Another thing has been on my mind. Christians believe that we were given perfect bodies, created by God, in his own image. If God created these perfect bodies, he surely meant for them to give birth without help. He would not have made the enormous error resulting in childbirth being a dangerous medical event. On the contrary, it is a natural bodily function, more important and amazing than any other. It was meant to happen anywhere in any setting without intervention. God is the creator, and he created the process of conception, pregnancy, and childbirth. He did not make a mistake. He would not make us unable to give birth, and he would not have allowed our bodies to grow a baby too large to fit through our pelvis. Patience....Labor is a process. It takes time to enlarge your pelvic opening, and stretch your birth canal. Perhaps another reason so many suffer tearing. the birth process is rushed. Mine wasn't. It happened in its own time, and I did not tear.

My grandfather has something like 5 siblings. His mother had two sets of twins. ALL at home. The children were what today's society would view as too big. between 8-12 pounds. Even the twins were that big. she never lost her, or her child's life during childbirth......hmm....the likelihood that 30%-40% of women receiving emergency c-sections in the US these days actually need them is pretty slim when you look at those odds.

So many believe that life is full of difficult experiences and that those experiences teach us. It is how we learn and grow. They have a purpose. Perhaps the hardships we face in labor and birth have a purpose as well. It certainly made me a much more empowered young woman. It prepared me to be a happy, confident momma. Maybe this was meant to be felt in the transition from girlhood to motherhood. We are supposed to work hard to bring these little beings into the world. We cherish them all the more. We have an immediate connection. A bond that cannot be broken.

Childbirth was HARD WORK. Contractions were painful at times, but it was not excruciating. I handled it. I had to work hard to relax. I moved around, changed positions, and I handled it, and HONESTLY when Hazel was crowning, and when she slipped out there was NO PAIN. Only pressure. Then the pressure was gone, and I held my baby and I stared at her. That moment erased the exhaustion. I had a burst of energy. I felt like I could do anything! I am still riding that high.

Some people think that when it comes to big decisions in our lives we should ask god or the universe to help us make a decision. I didn't pray, but I sure did do my research, and i did listen to my gut. I entered this pregnancy afraid. Afraid of losing a baby. Afraid of the pain of childbirth. Confused at how something so large could fit through a small orifice. I completely trusted my health care provider. I read the books she gave me. I listened to what she said. I didn't feel good. So I read other books. I asked for recommendations from other mommas. I was asking the universe for help with MY decision. As I slowly started gravitating towards a more natural birth experience that fear and anxiety began to subside. I pressed on in that direction, following the peaceful promptings that some people might believe to be the spirit guiding them. When I met my midwife, and made my decision it was not only based on my knowledge, but on these peaceful promptings. At that point I knew my decision was the right one. I had faith in that feeling. I followed my Momma gut. Perhaps it is because the universe knew that my particular birth would be normal and natural and uncomplicated. Perhaps the experience I would have would be essential to my success as a mother, or in life. It sure is a good thing I followed it. Maybe next time it will tell me that despite my knowledge and previous experience, that I should go to the hospital for this one. If my gut said to, I would follow it.

So I guess what I am saying is that women should educate themselves. Find out EVERY option. Then when you feel you know all there is to know, follow your gut. If you do that, you will make the right decision no matter which one, and you will know it is right.

I'm going to try not to be so sensitive now. I know I made the right decision for me, and it absolutely doesn't matter what anyone else thinks about it. I am a good Momma. That is that.