Tuesday, November 30, 2010

mondays are good days (learning how to have an orgasmic birth)...

Lately I have been looking forward to Monday all weekend long. Monday is the night where Warren and I have an early supper, pop in to Starbucks for a London Fog or Americano, and hightail it up the mountain to our prenatal classes. We have an amazing instructor. Shannon is a certified Doula, is active in the local Le Leche League, and just generally so knowledgeable about birth and new babies. Somehow luck was on our side and we scored private classes. For three hours, Warren, Shannon and I talk about childbirth. It's riveting, I swear! As it turns out, I love talking about childbirth.

I always thought I would be afraid of giving birth; being in the hospital, being strapped to a bed and connected to fetal monitors, sweating, throwing up, and screaming... I think many women are afraid of childbirth, but we haven't been told the whole 'baby story'. Learning about natural childbirth (minimal or no medical interventions) has given me the confidence to not only know that I can do it, but actually look forward to it. Shannon has taught us a lot about what to expect, and why it happens. Childbirth (barring no serious complications) does not have to be seen as medicalized. It will be difficult at times, we have been advised, but we don't have to see it as just a terrible and traumatic means to an end. Childbirth can be a process that we experience at every moment, every contraction and every dose of those amazing natural chemicals. 

By the time our three hours is over, I am ready to go for three more. When we get in the car, Warren and I immediately start processing our feelings about what we have learned. We stop somewhere for a snack to bring home and spend the next couple of hours talking about how relevant it all is to us. Right now we are juggling with our feelings around where is the best place for our son to be born. We are open to a hospital tour, but are also open to the possibility of birthing him at home. We are also making decisions about what will happen to the baby once he is born (we don't want him taken away, bathed or swaddled until he has had enough time to bond with us and breastfeed), vaccinations, unnecessary procedures or interventions, co-sleeping... We have also learned that modern western medical practices are not always in the best interest of the baby, and that we don't have to do anything we don't want to. We have control over everything, and we want to do what feels right for our little family.

The really significant piece for me is that the information we learn about natural childbirth is not common knowledge among women or mothers. I have had lots and lots of women doubt my ability to have a natural childbirth without pain medication. I have been warned by well-meaning women that I have no idea what my pain threshold will be. Fortunately, we have the information and support from our Midwife and childbirth educator to make the right decisions for us and our son. I just know that Warren is going to be the best birth coach I could ever imagine, and a strong advocate for our baby.

Before I was pregnant I watched the documentary "The Business of Being Born" and I recommend it to anyone and everyone, not just people planning families. It's a documentary that everyone should be interested in about the perspective we have on childbirth in our society. We also watched "The Orgasmic Birth" which was amazing too. Do yourself a favour and watch both of these trailers. If you want more watch this and this (skip to 2:15 for the best part!)and this.

I am quickly learning that the topic of natural childbirth can be controversial for several reasons that I wont go into. It's a bit of a gamble to come out publicly about our decisions, especially because we have never given birth before. I appreciate that there are other perspectives, and think that they are all valid as long as people have been given all the information necessary to make their decisions. For this I am very thankful for our childbirth educator and her support and knowledge as we plan what I hope to be the best, most adventurous day(s) of our lives.

Thanks Shannon!

Friday, November 26, 2010

read this and tell me that we're not all connected...

remember this?


now read this.


"...but it is bittersweet to leave a place where I have the best memories of my entire life in. We may have been completely broke financially-- but I have never been happier in my life. I wouldn't change one moment."

We are never alone in our journey through life. Our feelings, thoughts and expectations are not unique to only ourselves. It's a small world and in many ways we are all the same...

Love Always,
Joan Blondina

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

there's always a silver lining...

... and I love to discover its whereabouts. 

Our recent re-location means that I can't walk to work anymore. Now I drive in every day to work, and it's certainly not as relaxing or enjoyable. However, driving means that I do get 10 minutes of either beloved a.m. public radio banter or some in-the-car-from-the-heart-belting-out of whatever CD I have laying around. So, there you have it: a silver lining!

Another amazing thing about driving to work is that if I make one small detour, Starbucks becomes part of my rout. How convenient! Few things lift my mood like a well made Soy Latte, and Starbucks makes one of the best. I am a bit of a Soy Latte connoisseur (if I thought about it I could probably list my top 5 favorite places in the world to get one). So once a week I dart in with the rest of the crazy people who love paying $8 for a coffee and slice of pumpkin loaf and arrive at work feeling luxurious and at peace with the world.

There's nothing like finding the silver lining.

Love Always,
Joan Blondina

Saturday, November 20, 2010

there's more than one way to make a baby...

I knit this little guy up for our little guy. At 6 months, I suspect this is about how big he is right now. I have made a few toys before, but this one is by far my biggest accomplishment. All those body parts to sew together made it feel like dolly surgery. It was knit with organic cotton, and feels so soft and squishy! I am super happy with how he turned out.

With the leftover yarn I had, I knit up a little hat and a puppy-dog. Cute!

Baby knitting aside, the knitting gifts continues as I have Christmas on the way. But, I can't promise that there wont be a whole ton of knit toys in this baby's future!

Love Always,
Joan Blondina

the question of the year...and an update

Is it a boy or a girl? If you don't already know by now... were having a little BOY!

Here are some photos from the day we found out. What a day!

our little one on screen

I'm a boy!!!

And boy, oh boy, is he a boy! ;) I saw with my own two eyes!

We weren't sure if we wanted to know the sex. We would have been happy not knowing... but come on! We just want to know everything we can about our little beeb, and until we meet him our knowledge is limited. We were just TOO CURIOUS not to find out. 

We did get a lot of 'boy' predictions, based on 'old wifes tales' like the speed of his heartbeat, my lack of morning sickness, and how long it took me to really look pregnant. 

Immediately after the ultrasound I hightailed it to the mall for some little outfits. Did you know how cute the baby clothes are at H&M? I can shop for the both of us in one go. Amazing! And for anyone who is interested, H&M has been my favorite place to buy clothes to fit my growing body. I just buy the biggest size they have and I can grow right into it. 

Since last writing, a lot of adjustments have been made. We are all moved out of our apartment, and all moved in to our transitional space. Things are going well, and we are eagerly awaiting everything that is ahead of us. 

packing up and feeling HUGE!

our (secret) little mark made on this home
Moving on and forward. Life is good, and we are so blessed to have support and love around us!

Love Always, 
Joan Blondina