Where the Bruised Cucumber meets the Sippy Cup!

A Loud Mama with a loud family, living imperfect lives glorified through God and breaking free of the bondage of politically correct Religion. We do things differently around the Viking Homestead, and hope that, by sharing our lives, we can help others feel more comfortable with their differences as well.

21 June, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Little Birdie's Birth Story

Wearin' mah sunglasses...I'm THAT cool! ;)
4/4/12.  I had a midwife appointment that afternoon.  I woke up mid-morning after a restless night with very little sleep.  I was having contractions, but I'd been having prodromal labor for WEEKS so thought nothing of it.  I cooked breakfast and tried to clean the house since I knew my in-laws would be over that afternoon to watch the kiddos while I went to see my midwife.  I was especially keen to get all the laundry done, since we'd just gotten a new washer and dryer!  I spent the day doing laundry and laying in bed with the kiddos and talking on the phone with my best friend.  Cranky Pirate was helping out, as he'd taken off work the last few midwife appointments 'just in case'.   While on the phone, I started feeling unwell, thinking I had to use the toilet.  It turned out that it was just a bit of bloody show.  I wasn't too worried as I'd had that with my prior pregnancy and didn't deliver for another two weeks.  I was REALLY dreading this appointment and considered rescheduling it, because I was to have an NST and I knew that the 'induction' talk would probably come up.  However, Cranky Pirate had already taken the day off and the kiddos were taken care of, so I figured that, at the very least, we could go get some really yummy ice cream or something.  We left for the midwife around 1:15.  At some point during the drive, I noticed Cranky Pirate giving me a look.  I asked him what was wrong, and he said 'nothing, but you're in labor'.  I told him to stop being silly, cranked the ac down some more, and tried to readjust so I could get comfortable.  I couldn't. I wanted a tylenol and a hot shower.  I wanted to go to bed.  I wanted to go home.  We finally got to the midwives office and he parked at the hospital 'just in case'. I got out of the car and, as I stood up, just felt like I couldn't walk.  I wasn't too bothered as this had happened before.  The baby would drop and boy would I feel it!  I just assumed, being this late in the pregnancy, that it was par for the course.  However, I had to keep stopping....it took over 15 minutes to walk from the hospital to the elevator.  Its about a 5 minute walk tops, but I just had to keep stopping.  We finally got to the office and I found out there was a bit of a hold up for the ultrasound, so I told them I was going to go lay down on the couch by the midwives office.  The minute I got back there, the receptionist took one look at me and asked me how long I had been in labor.  I told her that I wasn't in labor, Cranky Pirate told her since 10pm the prior evening, a midwife came out, looked at me, and told me she needed to check me straight away.  I was utterly shocked to find out that I was dilated 7cm and completely effaced.  I had never really gone into labor on my own, so I was amazed to see that I had done it.  So, we slowly made our way back to the hospital where I spent about 30 minutes messing about texting people while waiting to get a room and meet the midwife on call.  I finally got a room and started talking with the midwife.  She wanted to have me on a monitor for about 15 minutes so I could get that out of the way and get into the tub. I was happy with my progress and I felt REALLY good.  Now, the nurses, after taking 10 tries to place a heplock were causing me to lose my focus, so I had them get someone to come in and place it because at this point, I NEEDED to get in the tub.  I went in and got in the shower while the water was running, keep remembering my breathing and all the positive stories I had heard about childbirth.  And then I got MAD!  Thats right, MAD!  See, in so many natural childbirth classes, no one talks about pain or anxiety or anything like that.  They avoid it, because fear causes tension and tension causes pain.  Well, I think talking about the pain and giving lots of advice and time to deal with it would be WAY better than telling me its just pressure and can be done with NO pain.  Yeah, my contractions were pressure the way a tornado is an air current! It wasn't so much the pressure, it was feeling my baby fully engage in my pelvis and, subsequently, feeling my pelvis spread apart.  That was the crazy part.  I was in the tub and the contractions were really beyond me at this point.  I remember sitting there, in the tub and I just started crying.  I was wondering just exactly what in the hell I had gotten myself into.  That there was NO way I could do this.  Then, my midwife came it.  She was wonderful.  She got me out of the tub, dried me off and just started talking to me.  I don't really remember most of what she said, but I remember telling her how scared and upset I was.  That I was in so much pain, that I couldn't take it and that I felt bad because I wasn't coping very well.  She told me that I was coping just fine, that childbirth did hurt, but that it was fine and that I just needed to have the baby.  I was worried that I wouldn't be far enough along, even though I was feeling pushy.  Well, I decided to get back on the bed and, sure enough, not only was I 10 cm, but the baby was coming and how.  My midwife offered to break my water, and I let her.  3 pushes later, at 5:43 pm, Little Birdie arrived earthside, caught by Cranky Pirate and my midwife, and placed on my chest.  She cried very little and was very alert.  It was all just very surreal.  I look at pictures and don't remember anything going on around me.  I had just done so many things that so many people had said I couldn't do.  I couldn't carry a baby to term.  I couldn't deliver without medication.  Oh yeah?  Watch me! ;)  It was beautiful and brutal and empowering and traumatic all at once.  It was amazing.  Little Birdie is now 10 1/2 weeks old.  In some ways I can't believe she's only been here 10 1/2 weeks.  Its like she's always been here.  On the other hand, I can't believe its been that long already.  I firmly believe that I'm given each child I have to learn a lesson from them, and I can't wait to see just exactly what Little Birdie has to teach me!  We are so well and truly blessed!

18 June, 2012

Its Time To Get Real

About food, that is!  Also, nutrition, fitness and my health in general.  I had let my health slide DURING my pregnancy with my first child.  I know, talk about a heck of a time to let it go.  However, I was young and listening to several people who were completely ignorant to the subject of nutrition, especially how nutrition during pregnancy can affect your labor and delivery and the health of your baby.  I ate with reckless abandon and gained 60 lbs!  Yes, that's right...no typo there.  60 pounds, or one Kate Moss.  My recovery was slow and difficult, and, my poor daughter was a miserable baby.  She had reflux and gained weight VERY slowly. I suffered from horribly low milk supply(I was pumping and ONLY ever got blood, no milk) so my daughter, who was already having a rough go, had to be switched to formula as this was several years ago...there was no facebook, no social networking and so, no information about donor milk or things like that. I had no idea that my diet could have affected things so drastically.  I assumed that this was just one of those things and went about my life with my bad habits.   Then, when my daughter was about 2, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's Disease and PCOS.  I knew that something had to change.  I went to weight watchers and took medications prescribed by my doctor. The weight would fluctuate wildly.  I would alternate feeling great and feeling like hell.  During one of the periods when my weight was better, I became pregnant with my son.  I had a much more complicated pregnancy with my son and delivered him at 37 weeks.  It was a miserable pregnancy and, while my physical recovery was easier, I suffered from horrible postpartum depression.  Again, while I tried to breastfeed, I had no support and frequent pumping sessions again yielded only blood. About 4 months after giving birth, I saw my family doctor, who had done some blood work and felt that my thyroid hormones weren't being managed properly...my TSH was FAR too high and was probably what was causing my milk to dry up so quickly.  I was devastated.  My poor boy, who, at just 6 weeks of age was admitted to Children's Hospital, then suffered from a virus similar to RSV, and spent so much time sick, was not able to be breastfed, which is especially beneficial to babies prone to being sick.  I knew something had to give.  Several doctors wanted to start typical drugs for PCOS, mainly, Metformin.  I was NOT ok with this.  I was handed anti-inflammatory and diabetic diets...these diets just looked plain WRONG to me.  Why would any doctor hand me a diet recommending SOY?!  I have autoimmune thyroid disease and doctors were telling me to eat soy and LOTS of grains.  That artificial sweeteners were ok and to avoid strenuous exercises.  Then I found GOOD doctors.  One doctor piqued my interest when he mentioned that cutting grains(especially wheat) out of my diet would be FAR more beneficial for my health conditions than any medicine he could prescribe.  Another doctor ran tests and discovered that I had some vitamin deficiencies.  I was mildly overweight and had vitamin deficiencies, most notably, b-12 and D.  I was alternately appalled and amazed.  This was RIGHT before I became pregnant with #3.  Now, in that time I had started making some changes.  I had cut wheat out of my diet, gave up 'fake' foods: nothing low-fat or with artificial sweeteners.  I was eating butter, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar and taking a fermented cod liver oil/butter oil blend, as well as d-chiro inositol and heavy doses of probiotics.  Then, much to my surprise, I turned up pregnant.  And, amazingly, I felt much better this pregnancy.  I was tired but I managed much better and I carried MUCH longer than I ever had before!  I went two full weeks longer than I ever had before and gave birth to a baby that outweighed my others by 1 1/2 lbs!!  She was a completely different baby than I was used to.  Nursing has worked out better this time as well, however, due to her tongue and lip tie, she ended up dehydrated and my supply fell through the floor.  However, I was able to sort it out and start pumping and the older she gets, the better her latch is, so she is STILL nursing and getting breastmilk.  I had no issues with postpartum depression this time, just a minor return of anxiety attacks.  I DID start to notice though, a general funk through my house, and baby weight that won't go anywhere.  I was feeling the stress and the kids were acting horribly.  Then I came across this FASCINATING post over at Holistic Kid discussing the possibility of children being born with sugar sensitivities and some inherent behavior struggles that these kids may have!  This described my kids to a tee.  Then I realized that, from about 37 weeks pregnant, I really had just thrown in the towel.  I was lax about giving the kids their supplements.  We stopped going anywhere and I wasn't taking them out to play.  I was letting their grandparents take them out for fast food all.the.time.  Then the baby came and it didn't get any better.  After reading the post at Holistic Kid, I realized that I knew better and so I have to DO better.  Its time to clean up the diet, get back on the supplements, get active and get back on track.  SO, every week I will be posting meal plans, workout routines and progress reports!  Its always hard to get back on track after falling off, but now I've got a greater motivation than ever!!