Wednesday, February 23, 2011

gone fishing...

I am taking an unplanned break from my blog. Right now I have no interest in being connected, including catching up with e-mails, facebook, text messages... I am so much enjoying my resting time before baby comes and logging on is not high on my list of priorities. Please rest assured that everything is going wonderfully and I am peacefully gestating until this little one decides to come earthside...

Until next time, Love Always
Joan Blondina

Thursday, February 10, 2011

a beautiful birthing story...

With only weeks away from childbirth I love to hear a good birthing story, and this one is so unique and beautiful I had to share it. It comes from a woman on a facebook group that I read. The story is told by her 15 year old daughter who, among the other children in the household, witnessed her monther's unnasisted childbirth (unasisted childbirth means that there is no OB or Midwife present at the birth). I just really think that there are others out there that will enjoy this as much as I did.

Titled: My Daughters Version of My Wonderful Unassisted Birth

"The beautiful birth of my little brother: Elliott Risdon

I'm writing this story for my mom who did a wonderful job delivering all of us. We kind of have a connection when it comes to birth and such even though I'm only 15 and have never experienced birth itself. But I witnessed my one and a half year old brother being born as well as the one I'm about to tell you about, my mom reads me TONS of birth stories and I've watched several birth videos.

I knew my mom was pregnant before she told us. I guess I just had this feeling cause I'm so close to her but that day when she sat us down, she looked around at my siblings and I and said, "I have to tell you guys something". My response to her statement? "You're pregnant, aren't you?'' lol. We were all so excited and my mom and I read every story we could get our hands on, watched videos, did research and she called up her old midwife. I was so excited and we spent endless nights outside, just imagining how wonderful the birth would be.

My mom's water "broke" about a week before she actually had the baby. My dad had come into my room and told me what was going on and to help with the kids as best as I could because we would probably be having a baby really soon. I was so excited and I helped as much as I could, all the while pretending for my other siblings that I had no idea what was going on. She had contractions but she said it was nothing serious. She would just groan for a little and go back to her conversation.

Then, after a while, she got used to them I guess. She kept saying she could feel pressure and that she was opening up but she didn't really think she was in labor. She would just pause and say "I just had one" and that was it for a while. I never thought anything of it.

The morning of December 17, 2010 at 1 in the morning my dad arrived in my room to wake me up. "Your mom's having contractions and feeling the urge to push. Get up!" I would like to say I jumped out of bed, full of energy but I just rubbed my eyes and tried to go back to sleep. I had had so many dreams of her birth during the pregnancy that I just assumed I was dreaming, but luckily my dad persisted and I got up.

My mom was in the hot tub and she looked just fine. She was talking and laughing like nothing was happening. I knew this happened a lot for homebirths but at one o'clock in the morning, being tired and all, I just figured she was having braxton hicks. But soon my mom started moaning and I did my best to offer help with my one and half year old brother. I then took him out of the room and put him to sleep. My dad told me later that I could go back to sleep.

I didn't get much sleep then either because I woke up to my mom screaming (vocalizing as my mom calls it, lol) in the bathroom across from my room. I thought about getting up just as my dad came in to get me again. He led me to the hot tub and I watched as my mom went through contractions and kept talking to us. The spaces were fewer between though but I still felt like it was Braxton-Hicks.

But suddenly she seemed to change, and this might sound weird but it was like her animal instinct kicked in. She wasn't talking or really even looking at anyone. She was focusing all her energy on the baby and getting it out. I remember staring at her and being amazed at how well she was doing. She begin throwing up into the cups and trash can my dad and I were constantly handing her and she kept saying things like "I can't do this!" "Does anyone want to trade places with me?" "I'm going to push my legs off!" and I knew that she'd hit transition. I eagerly pulled my 11 year old brother and my 5 year old sister to the side and whispered to them that mom would be having the baby soon. They had smiled excitedly at me and my little sister kicked into doula mood.

"Mommy, do you want a drink?" she would ask every five seconds, upset that my mom was too in the mode to answer. "Mommy, it's okay... you're just having a baby!" She would say. My little brother kept cold rags on her forehead and (I think) handled the birth surprisingly well... better than I expected, that is.

My mom then looked at my dad (they were both in the hot tub right now, I remember because right before my dad got in, I was thinking of getting in myself) and asked if gravity was helping, I think. My dad said something about it being neutral and my mom flew out of the hot tub onto the rug next to it. She got on her hands and knees and we all crowded around her. She asked for her birthing ball and she rocked herself through contractions on it. Then she pushed the ball away and remained without anything else. She was pushing and then suddenly she begin yelling/ moaning "MY PERINEUM!!! Get some olive oil and really hot water!!! And a rag!!!" My dad scrambled up like a meteor was about to hit him and he ran to the other room. I don't know how he did it, but it seemed like seconds before he was coming back with the steaming water. He held the scalding washcloth to her perineum and my mom told me to touch the baby's head because at this point she was crowning. I hesitated for a minute, I didn't want to get in the way but my poor mother saw that I wasn't moving and told me to touch it now or I wouldn't get to. I quickly hobbled on my knees over there and touched the squishy little head. It was one of the coolest, if not THE coolest things I have ever done.

I pulled my little brother over and my little sister came eagerly. We all sat and watched. Then, my mom grunted a little and the head came out. "Dad, take the time!" "Why? It's not born yet!" "They take the time when the head comes out!" I said. "Oh... " He checked his watch "Six till five! Remember that!" And trust me, I did.

My mom began touching his head and saying "My little baby. It's okay baby. I'm gonna see you soon" And I couldn't help but feel overwhelmingly lucky to be there. Birth really is a beautiful thing. My mom felt cord then and told my dad she'd need some help with the next push and as she pushed I watched as the baby came flying out. I heard my dad yell "Ha! I told you it was a boy!" And we all gathered around my mom to see the cute little baby boy. He was so beautiful and perfect. I don't know if I cried or not but I'm getting tears in my eyes just typing the story up.

I brought over the birth stool for my mom and she sat on it as my dad and I put wet pads underneath it so she could deliver the placenta. That was cool too. When it finally slid out, It was just a big red glob. I felt the desire to touch it or something but I figured they would've made fun of me. I placed a wet pad between her legs and she walked over to the office chair and sat down there. My dad put the placenta in a bowl and my mom had to carry that too since we were leaving the umbilical cord on until it turned white.

I don't know how long I stared at that baby boy but he was just so beautiful that it didn't seem natural. My mom then made me go to bed even though I wanted to stay up, knowing I wouldn't sleep anyway. I only went to bed because I had school in a couple hours.

The birth of my little brother was so amazing and I wouldn't have had any other way. It was the perfect, unassisted birth I'd always hoped my mom would have. She obviously hadn't called the midwife until after it was over because she didn't accept that she was in labor till she felt the head. I'm very close to my little brother now and everytime I watch my mom give birth, I realize how beautiful it is, how amazing she is, and how silly people are that do in the hospital.

No, it wasn't scarring. I'm not scared of birth. And I'm definitely not mad at my parents for including me. Birth is a beautiful natural thing and I'm so glad I participated in it. I can't wait to tell him the story from MY perspective when he gets older. :)"

I hope you enjoyed the story! I want this girl to attend my birth!

I don't know if I have to credit her, as facebook is public content. Either way the link is HERE

Love Always
Joan Blondina

Friday, February 4, 2011

hit a bit of a low point…

Let me start off by saying that I still love being pregnant. Today however is a bit of a low day. I am tired. I’ve been up since 4:30am for NO REASON. I am sore. I feel like a whale. I'm just getting over a winter cold. I want my body back. I am sick of struggling to get my socks and winter boots on. I am tired of being breathless and weezie. I long for jeans with a button and a fly…. I can feel my body changing and preparing to birth this baby and it’s a lot of work.

I have sewing projects to finish, laundry to do, a baby shower blog entry to finish (or alternatively a computer to throw out the window), this on my mind, e-mails to send, thank you letters to make and a long list of things to pick up before the baby comes. All while big and pregnant.

I still have one week of work left. As much as I love my job I can’t wait until I am done. At 37w it’s hard to be efficient at pregnancy and work. My mind is frantically noting all of the things I would like to have organized YESTERDAY. It’s all just a lot to take on. I know, I’m not the first woman to be in this place. I guess this is part of the beautiful, awkward, grunting process…

I must admit, the 3rd trimester, even with this basketball belly and raging heartburn, is still much better than that first, anxious trimester. The first trimester is full of isolation and secrets (don’t tell ANYONE until you safely reach 12w!?) and confusion (should we be buying diapers NOW?) and fear (what is going ON with my body?) and nausea (WHY does EVERYTHING smell like burnt onions?) all the while not looking pregnant; just bloated and sweaty. Compared to those first few months this is nothing.

I hope you don’t mind my rant. I guess it’s just honest. Things will look up tomorrow I’m sure (or maybe the next day). Realistically no one will mind if thank you cards are late. Baby won’t mind if when he gets here I don’t have a fancy nursing bra. Things will get done. Baby will come. All will be right with the world…

Love Always,
Joan Blondina

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

i can be found in lalaland...

...dreaming about dreams that someday will come true.

I have had the same dream for a while now. Ideas have been brewing in my head on and off. I have moments of obsessing about it's fruition, and longer moments of 'oh, I give up!'. I forgive myself because sometimes dreams happen on a time-line other than the one you would expect.

I dream about having a business on the side that revolves around creativity and inspiration; getting inspiration from the world around me; inspiring others to reach their creative potential.

This business has had several hypothetical business names and products. I have dreamed up various etsy shops and product tags and clientele.

Right now I am asking the universe to show me the next step in making this dream of mine real. I may have made some headway, thanks to a very inspirational person who has come into my life! But I put no pressure on anything. I want this to happen organically.

I don't know exactly what this dream will look like, but I suspect I'll know when the dream has come true.

Love Always,
Joan Blondina