Thursday, December 30, 2010

Our Little Peanut Bean

I went with a friend yesterday to my 24 weeks ultra sound. It was wonderful, I absolutely love hearing the sound of his heartbeat and seeing him wiggle around in there. Thanks to all of our handy dandy technology these days, I was able to video tape the ultra sound and will get to watch it "with" my husband later today  Skype. I love Skype, I absolutely can't imagine going through this deployment without it. All of you woman who had only phone and email, those who only had phone, and even further back, those who only had letters... You are amazing!

Back to the ultra sound! I was hoping to get one of those cute and adorable ultra sound pics where you can see the shape of their face or they are sucking their thumb... Well, instead, what you are looking at above these words is the back of his head and back. He decided to face backwards the whole time. What a little stinker!  Still, it was amazing to not just hear, but see his heart beating, and I was happy to hear that it was, in fact a boy. The next time I see my little one he will be in my arms...I can hardly wait!

I hope you enjoyed seeing the back of my baby's head ;)

Bea and little bean~

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Diaper Bag Dilemma

As you all know, I am about to become a first time mama. I'm trying not to get swept into the wonderful whirlwind of fantastical baby supplies. Through much work and self control I believe I have succeeded. Except for this one thing...I have this fascination with Diaper Bags. I find this to be a little odd because I only own one purse at a time, and I buy a new one every 3 or 4 years... I thought I would put the same lack of care into a Diaper Bag as I do my handy dandy purse. I was wrong. So, so wrong!

I have shopped at Target, WalMart, Babies R Us, KMart... I found nothing. Either they were sturdy, organized but were ugly, or they were really cute and completely impractical. So, I decided to maybe broaden my horizons a bit (aka my budget). I found an amazing bag, sturdy, practical, reliable, organizational, washable, beautiful, spacious and a whopping $169.00.I think I actually gasped when I was shown the price tag. In fact, since I immediately had to cough, I'm pretty sure it was a very violent gasp.

This brings me to ask myself:  Is it so much to ask that I have the best of both worlds? Since when have woman ever NOT wanted to have practical and affordable matched with attractive and fashionable??? THIS IS NOT A NEW CONCEPT!"  I will step off of my soap box now...

I am still searching for a practical yet attractive diaper far there are a couple candidates, but I'm still trying to find something that fit's our budget. I will report back to you when and if I find one deserving of our money. Feel free to offer any suggestions you may have, I am very open to any and all wise and knowledgeable council.


Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Slightly Long Book Review!

I'd like to start the week off with a book review on my current favorite. It is an inspiring and informative book that I believe every woman should read. It has given me such insight on pregnancy and birth! I already knew what I wanted, but reading this really helped me to become strong in my decision and, I believe, has armed me with the knowledge I need to succeed. What is this amazing book? 

"Ina May's Guide to Childbirth" By: Ina May Gaskin

I'll give you a bit of history, Ina May is one of the leading midwives in our country. She has brought many women back to the basics of birth. She is the founder of a place called "The Farm". This is a whole community of people who live as naturally as possible, but they are known for their amazing birthing center. So thorough is their knowledge and so wonderful is the experience of birthing at The Farm, many women travel from all over the country to birth there. Although I will not pretend to be quite the hippy Ina May is, I value her knowledge and appreciate the truth that she speaks so openly.

Now, on to the book!

The first section is several birth stories. The purpose of this is to show us that birth does not have to be like what you see on TV. There doesn't need to be panic or fear, even intense or unbearable pain. She wanted us to know that we can have a peaceful, beautiful and low pain birthing experience. All of them are real women, real situations from all walks of life. I found all of these to be so inspiring and reassuring. Some of them did not start with good past birth experiences; they talk about unpleasant things that happened to them while receiving care from an OBGYN at a hospital, there are others that have had wonderful experiences from the beginning. Despite how all of their stories began, they all ended with them embracing their bodies ability to birth on it's own, without the help of the constant interventions you find yourself receiving at a hospital or with an OB. They tell you why they came to choose natural med free birthing vs medicated intervention filled birthing.Ina May describes this part of the book with these words:

" It almost goes without saying that the birth stories told in Part 1 differ from those of most American women. Overall, the stories are too positive; there is too much talk of joy, ecstasy, and fulfillment. These stories do not describe the usual proportions of forceps, vacuum extractor, or cesarean deliveries that are representative of these interventions." Ina May Gaskin~

The second section is more informative. She mentions that the women who have given birth with the midwives at The Farm Midwifery Center (FMC) had a 2% rate of interventions (cesarean, vacuum and forceps...) vs above 30% for those who birthed in a hospital with an OB (The national ceserean rate is over 30% in the US, it is supposed to be between 10-15%). The rest of section 2 is an explanation for why that is and how you can prevent unnecessary interventions happening to you.

She begins by talking about the "mind/body connection". One of the things that has resounded with me and helped to change my view of labor is when she talks about contractions. She talks about our interpretation of pain, and how our mind set can affect how we feel and how it affects us. The idea being, if you go in with the preconceived notion that this is going to be the most painful thing you've ever experienced, than most likely it will be. Not to say that labor is not hard, intense and painful. Just that maybe that pain is different than what we have seen on TV. Maybe it is not unbearable. This part is not just about pain, but also about your ability to have a quicker and easier birth.

The next bit is about what happens to your body during labor. What hormones your body is producing, why they are important, and the steps your uterus and cervix are taking to bring that baby into this world. This is a relatively short chapter that just talks about the basics of birth.

There are so many wonderful elements to this book, I want to right a review on every chapter...I suppose I shouldn't do that, this might get unbearably long... Soo, I'll just put the rest into a nutshell.

She talks about the sphincter law vs the law of the three P's. Ina May says :

" According to the Law of the Three Ps, if a woman;s labor doesn't produce a baby in the time allotted, it is her fault: She grew too big a baby, has too small a vagina or too weak a uterus. According to Sphincter Law, labors that don't result in a normal birth after a "reasonable" amount of time are often slowed or stalled because of lack of privacy, fear, and stimulation of the wrong part of the laboring woman's brain"

She goes into that much more than I am going to, but I assure you, it is worth reading! The chapter on prenatal care and what is truly important. What causes the now common complications during pregnancy and how to prevent them.  Something that women are becoming more aware of is the use of different birthing positions. why they are necessary and how they can make your labor and birth that much easier. She has a chapter on this that is quite interesting and talks about birthing history.

As if the wealth of knowledge she has already packed into this book were not already sufficient; she goes on to talk about what makes certain interventions necessary and how often they are necessary vs how often they are given. I know this is getting a bit long, but I would like to stress how vital the information in this part of the book is. I consider myself to be well informed already, and found that the information regarding certain risks that we have come to believe are "common" are maybe not so common or have become so because women and providers alike have forgotten what we are capable of. She talks about going into labor, about what your amazing capabilities are as a woman and about the healing time after. There is also a chapter on choosing a health care provider...

All in all, this is the most helpful and explanatory book on natural birthing that I have ever read. It is logical, it is simple and it is truth. I know that I have not given birth yet, but reading this has strengthened my belief that my body knows what it's doing. I believe that because I have selected a provider that has that very same belief that I have a much lower chance of having any complications. I believe that I will be able to discern between an impatient provider vs a true problem, if one arises. I am no longer frightened of the "pain" but prepared for the hard work ahead of me. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is pregnant, or ever hopes to be in the future.

I hope you have enjoyed my rather lengthy and winded review!

Oh Baby!

I am obsessed.
It could be that I am a first time mom to be, it could be that I have WAY to much time on my hands because my husband is currently deployed, it also could be that I am almost 6 months pregnant and "nesting" is in full swing or most likely, it is the combination of all 3. You probably guessed what I am referring to by now, but just in case, I will spell it out. No pun intended... My obsession is the little one growing inside of me.

Every second of every day I am going through my mental checklist of everything we have, what we need to get, what can be bought before the shower, what can be made, what is truly important vs. what is just a luxury... it goes on... and on.... and on....

To give myself a constructive outlet for my almost obsessive compulsive need to research and prepare, I am going to name this week "Baby Week". Creative huh? I thought so. I'll be talking about pretty much whatever pops into my head. It will be interesting, and scattered and a lot of fun!

I hope you all tune in!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!


I hope everyone is having a wonderful Christmas with all of there loved ones! I am making EggNog French Toast for breakfast, watched "A Christmas Story", talked to my amazing husband and will be topping off my day with more Christmas movie's and a mini version of Christmas dinner. I will be posting all the recipe's tomorrow.

Have a wonderful holiday!


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Egg Nog French Toast

One of my favorite things about the holidays are all the delicious foods that are served. I love hearing about everyone's different food traditions. In my family there are foods we only eat between Thanksgiving and New Year's. This is one of those recipes. A few year's ago my cousin C. made me EggNog French Toast, and let me tell was absolutely to die for! I now have adopted it as a little tradition I want to bring into my new little family. I hope you enjoy it!

EggNog French Toast

Texas Toast or other thickly sliced bread (as much as you will eat)
EggNog (home made is best, but store bought is fine to as long as it is thick and not really watery)
1 egg per 1 cup of EggNog (only if your using store bought EggNog, or thinly sliced bread)
Maple Syrup or Whipped Cream

One of the beautiful things about this delicious recipe is how little effort it takes to prepare. If you have time to butter a piece of toast, you have time to make this!

All you need to do is melt a little butter in your skillet, I keep my temp set between medium and low.
At this point you can add about a tsp. of nutmeg to your eggnog, or you can wait and sprinkle it on your french toast later. Or if you really love nutmeg, you can do both!
Dunk your bread into the eggnog. You want to make sure its really well covered, but you don't want to dunk so much that it is soggy.
Lay it into the pan and cook it just like you would regular french toast. About 2 minutes or so on each side depending on your temperature. You want it to be a golden color.

To serve, put a couple pieces on a plate, and put on a dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle it with nutmeg OR you can cover it with maple syrup. Either one is DELICIOUS!

I love this for the day after Thanksgiving, and am thinking about making it for myself and a friend on Christmas morning.

I hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Im Dreaming of a White Christmas...

For as long as I can remember I have always had snow for Christmas. I grew up in Colorado and than moved to Iowa and both of those places are known for snow! Now I am somewhere new and am facing the possibility of a rainy Christmas instead.

This leaves me to think about what one does with a rainy Christmas? Do you throw water balloons instead of snow balls? Will Christmas be the same without 5 inches of beautiful white fluffy snow to go play in?

Growing up we always went and looked at Christmas lights on Christmas eve in our pajamas while drinking LOTS of hot chocolate. This is one of my sweetest memories, literally. We would sing Christmas carol's and as a small child my parents would end the trip by telling me that Santa would be there soon so I better head to bed! I always slept on my floor, I really don't know why or how that got started, but that is what I did. I remember always waking up around 2 in the morning every time... and having to wait until at least 7 before waking up my parents. Than of course, we run out to open our stockings, than our presents and would top the morning off with a delicious breakfast. Later in the day we would watch Christmas movies and go play in the snow.

I am curious to see how this Christmas plays out. It will be the first Christmas I have spent without some kind of family around... I can't help but think that a white Christmas would help make it special even though all those I hold dear to my heart will not be together this year. I think I will spend the day doing ridiculous amounts of baking for my husband while waiting around for a phone call, watch tons of Christmas movies and hopefully...go play in the snow.

"I'm dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones I used to know..."

Time for an update!

Hello everyone!
I know I haven't been on for several months, it's been quite eventful and I just haven't been able to sit down and write. Now that things are slowing down, I thought I would give you an update :)

The first bit of news is my husband and I are expecting our first baby in April! It was a completely unplanned surprise, but we couldn't be happier. We are excited that it is a boy, although, we found out pretty early so we have another ultra sound to confirm it later this month. The second bit that's kept me so busy is my wonderful husband whom I love with all my being, is deployed to Iraq as of November. I have been helping him get ready to deploy, getting ready for our little one and after he left I went and visited family for a few weeks. This first month has been tough, I miss him more than I could ever have imagined possible. Thankfully we have been able to talk on a regular basis, and because of the genius who invented Skype, he has been able to watch my belly grow over the last month. He is scheduled to come home for his 2 weeks of R&R around my due date so we are praying that he will be able to experience the birth of our first child.

SO! There is your update! I will be posting on a regular basis again. I have all sorts of fun things to write about in the next few months and I can't wait to get started!

Bea ~