Monday, September 29, 2014

Guest Entry! The Joys of Pregnancy

If you haven't read my post The Perfectly Picturesque Pregnancy, do it. I believe in balance in all things. And who better to balance my entry on the untold horrors of pregnancy than my older sister? She is pretty experienced in the whole baby making area. This month after the birth of her baby girl, she will have had four babies in four years. And as far as I know, there is no plan on slowing down. It is pretty lengthy but actually a fast read. I didn't want to take anything out of it, so here it is for all you ladies who need a different attitude towards your pregnancy woes. I know I do!

Why I Love Being Pregnant

I realize that most women don’t enjoy being pregnant because of the many symptoms that come along with it. However, having been pregnant for 35 months out of the last 49 months, and always trying to find the best of any situation, I have come to discover a few reasons why I actually enjoy being pregnant.

Enhanced Sensitivity- I have found that when I am pregnant, I am more sensitive to everything. I am more sensitive to violence, anger, contention, and vulgarity. Movies that I use to be fine watching that had certain acts of violence, really bother me when I am pregnant. I can’t handle watching movies that even have smaller amounts of fighting and violence. I really don’t like being in situations where people are angry or there is a feeling of contention. Bad words, dirty jokes, and other vulgar acts tend to bother me more when I am pregnant than when I am not pregnant. On the one hand, you might just say being pregnant has turned me into a sissy. But, as I have thought a lot about these things, I realize that it is not our nature to be comfortable with violence, anger, and vulgarity. In this fallen world, these things, weather we choose to expose ourselves to them through entertainment or we are exposed merely by our circumstances of life., surround us and we have grown comfortable with them. It is not natural, or godly, to watch someone hitting and hurting someone else without feeling sorrow, sadness, or empathy for the person being hurt. Small children respond with concern in such situations, even if it is “just a movie”, whereas most adults have learned to not feel sadness and empathy. Violence in movies, though simulated simply reminds me of all the real violence that happens in the world.
I believe that a major purpose of this life is to become more Christlike. Christ is a man who would never take lightly another person’s pain. Christ loves each of us, and never likes to see us suffer. How can we take pleasure, or at least claim mere indifference, when we see the suffering of another person? Christ suffers with each of us, and has indeed suffered everything that we will ever suffer. When I am pregnant and witness violence, anger, or vulgarity I am reminded of the charity/love that our Savior Jesus Christ has for each of God’s children, and feel a desire to be more like Him. I want to rid the world of these terrible things, and look forward to a world of peace and love among all of God’s children. While we are here in this mortal world, I believe strongly in the old fashioned teaching that women and children should be spared from having to experience and deal with as much of these evils as possible.
Slow to Anger- Mostly talking about the first trimester of pregnancy, I do experience nausea and feel very tired. I don’t usually throw up, and I don’t feel ridiculously nauseated, but I definitely have a nice blanket of mild to moderate nausea that covers every day of my first trimester. Let me first just declare that I do not like feeling sick. I don’t like feeling nauseated. I don’t like feeling exhausted and having no energy. But since I have experienced this during the first trimester of each of my pregnancies, I have observed some positive things that come from it. I feel like I am a more Christlike parent when I don’t feel good. I’m a lot more laid back and tend not to freak out about stuff that doesn’t really matter that much. I am slower to anger. I don’t yell. I tend to try to parent more through “persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; by kindness.” (Doctrine and Covenants 121:41-42) I don’t necessarily act this way because I am purposefully trying to be more Christlike, it is usually because I am too exhausted or lazy to get up and yell at my children. But I feel like experiencing it has helped me to be a more Christlike parent when I do feel good. Because my kids are young, I really don’t want to get into bad parenting habits of yelling, spanking, and physically forcing things upon my kids. I want to be a Christlike teacher and example.
Excuse to sit and do nothing/play with kids- When I don’t feel good, and all I want to do is sit and veg on the floor, I have the excuse that I am pregnant. I don’t feel guilty about playing with my kids instead of cleaning house, because I’m pregnant and so I’m supposed to be “taking it easy” and getting lots of “rest.” I believe I have played with my kids more, given them more attention, read them more books, and just spent more time with them because when I don’t feel good I don’t want to clean house or run errands. I have the type of personality that likes to always be busy and doing something. I get bored easily. Being pregnant/not feeling good has forced me to slow down my life and take the time to enjoy my children.
Never feel alone/ feel baby move- I feel like with each of my pregnancies, I’ve become more sensitive and aware of when my baby’s spirit is with their body. Once my baby’s spirit joins his/her body, I enjoy the feeling that I am never alone. I feel like there is always somebody with me. I also like feeling my baby move inside of me because it reminds me that there is somebody else with me all the time.
Always feel special- People always talk about how pregnant women just have “this glow” about them that makes them a little bit special. I don’t really know how to describe it, but I feel that “glow.” I feel like I am beautiful and special just because I am pregnant—because I am creating a life.
People treat you differently- People tend to smile at you more when you are pregnant. They are kind, and often go out of their way to help you or give you some kind of special privilege. People are often friendlier and feel like they have something to talk to you about even if they don’t know you. (ie. When is your baby due? Are you having a boy or a girl? Congratulations!) It seems that people feel a bit of happiness just in seeing that you are going to have a baby. It’s like seeing someone thoroughly enjoying a delicious, soft Bavarian cream-filled chocolate donut. It makes you happy just to see them enjoying that donut because you know how good it is, even though you are not eating one at the moment.
Always have a very defined purpose in life/life has meaning- Sometimes I get in a rut where I just feel like I’m going through the motions of life so robotically and life has little purpose. It’s usually when I am living quite selfishly and only thinking about myself. I know the answer to getting out of this kind of rut is serving others. When I am pregnant, at the very least I am helping my new baby to grow and develop. It is important for me to take care of myself and eat right because it helps my baby. You can’t just decide to throw your life away because this baby’s life depends on your life. For example, I feel more motivated to wear my seatbelt when I am in the car because I know that if I am in an accident, the best way to protect my baby is to protect myself. There is someone else in the world that really REALLY cares if and how you live because his/her life depends on it. Which leads perfectly into my next point.
Forces you to eat healthy/crave good food- When I am not pregnant my body can handle a lot more junk food without feeling sick. But when I am pregnant, I feel sick if I eat more than one brownie, or cookie, or donut. Sugar just zaps my energy. I don’t really get weird cravings like ice cream and pickles, I usually just crave good solid, healthy food like vegetables and meat. So even though I would like to be able to eat half a pan of brownies sometimes without feeling sick, I like that being pregnant helps me to make better choices about my diet that will affect me and my baby. This somewhat leads to my next point, but in an opposite kind of way.
Eat as much as you want, nobody judges you- Everybody knows that when you’re pregnant (or nursing) you’re “eating for two.” So I feel very comfortable going back for seconds or thirds, and don’t have to worry about anybody judging you for being a little porker because you’re eating too much.
Perfect mom to your baby- Another thing I like about being pregnant is that I get to feel like a perfect mom to at least one of my children. I have come to feel more and more with each of my pregnancies that I really actually do have a baby already even though they are still inside of me. But it is nice because this baby is always fed, never cries, is always safe, always comfortable and close to me, and best of all, I can carry her around with me all the time but still have the freedom to use both of my hands!

In conclusion, I like being pregnant because I feel like it makes me a better person. I know that my personal circumstances and situation make it easier for me to be pregnant than a lot of women experience. I have relatively easy pregnancies. I know that a lot of women have significantly harder pregnancies and I don’t know if I would feel the same way about pregnancy if I experienced it the way that they do. I still experience a number of difficulties—I get leg cramps, nausea, hemorrhoids, lower back pain, aches in my hips and pelvis, having to waddle, extreme tiredness, difficulty sleeping, waking up to pee, having to pee ALL the time even if you just did two minutes ago. I don’t enjoy experiencing any of these things. But there are many difficulties and sicknesses (even some on this list) that people experience even when they’re not pregnant. I figure if I’m going to be experiencing some kind of unpleasant symptom I’d rather do it because I’m pregnant. I’d rather have a headache because I’m pregnant, than just have a headache for no reason. Then at least it gives purpose and meaning to my discomfort. In my never-ending journey to become more Christlike, I feel like pregnancy has given me a little push in the right direction; although I, of course, still have a very long way to continue on my journey. I think a lot of people have the tendency to try to rid their lives of trials and difficulties. They believe that they will be happiest when they have the least amount of troubles, aches, and pains. I believe that we must learn how to find happiness and peace amidst the difficulties we experience. Life is never going to be perfect (in this world). Our purpose is to learn how to make the best of what we are experiencing and use it to help us become more Christlike. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said in his most recent conference address:
“When we are grateful to God in our circumstances, we can experience gentle peace in the midst of tribulation. In grief, we can still lift up our hearts in praise. In pain, we can glory in Christ’s Atonement. In the cold of bitter sorrow, we can experience the closeness and warmth of heaven’s embrace.

We sometimes think that being grateful is what we do after our problems are solved, but how terribly shortsighted that is. How much of life do we miss by waiting to see the rainbow before thanking God that there is rain?

Being grateful in times of distress does not mean that we are pleased with our circumstances. It does mean that through the eyes of faith we look beyond our present-day challenges.”
(April 2014 General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Grateful in Any Circumstances)

I don’t claim to be perfect at this, but it is something I am trying to do in my life. I am very grateful for the gift of pregnancy we have been given as women. It is a miracle to me that Heavenly Father has allowed me to join in His work of creating physical bodies for His children so that they can come to Earth.
My angel sister and her family(one baby girl coming this month!)
My first, her second.
                                          


What do you think? How do you feel about pregnancy? 


Friday, September 19, 2014

On Hate and Forever Families

Sometimes hate is heavy. I feel it a lot and have felt it a lot throughout my entire life, even as a child. But, I don't think that you can just stop at the feeling, because hate does more than just feel heavy. It is heavy. It is a weight that brings down anyone who stands in the realm of its large umbrella and everyone and anyone that is even semi-close to that person. It ripples throughout the world like a drop in a pond, and well, with so many drops going into the ocean of a world, it was no surprise to me that I had started to feel it crushing my body, my mind and my spirit as I sat next to my two year old daughter who lay trying to fall asleep. I was so anxious I literally couldn't hold still. Thoughts of hate all around the world were getting to me. ISIS. Hitler You Camps. Israel and Palestine. Father murders his children. Man found dead in park. I-15 washed out. I felt like I was going to explode under the weights of everything becoming so negative in our world. I started breathing deep in and out, telling myself to relax and calm down. Anxiety attacks are nothing new to me. But it wasn't doing anything. I asked Heavenly Father to please help me feel some light and ease from all the stress, and I turned and looked at my two year old daughter. Angel face. Her two hands smashed together in a prayer position underneath her cheek, making her lips pop off of her face like a kissy fish. Her perfect porcelain skin and the peace that was visible throughout the entire frame of her little body. How was I going to protect her from that hate? How, when I know that extreme hate is only growing even in my own country, can I have enough faith in myself to know I will do the best by her? I can't. I started thinking what was the worst that could happen? We all die. No, the worst would be being separated from my family and not knowing where my children were. Then what could I have faith in? It hit me hard. I could have faith in her. I could have faith in Heavenly Father. The tension in me released like the air in an untied balloon. Who am I to only have faith in myself? Why do I have to think I am the only one that can prevent things or make things okay or protect my kids from hate? I need to learn to give credit where credit is due. Regardless of parenting, my daughter was born with a character unlike any other. She will grow to be brave, strong, independent, smart, helpful, hardworking, peaceful, passionate and loving. They are gifts she was born with. They were given to her and can never be taken away. And who am I to forget about Heavenly Father and His plan? Christ will return for the second time, and he will rule all of the earth. Hate will never triumph over love, no matter how loud it screams, destroys and kills for attention. The love of Christ is what will heal the earth and the hearts of men. After death, I will see my family again. I know I will be with them forever. Life and work will continue in the afterlife and things will only get better. I believe that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints is true and I am so thankful for a knowledge that brings so much more comfort than anything else. Heavenly Father knows us and what we need, and I am so grateful that he knew I needed angel children to teach me more about life than I could have ever learned on my own.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Between Testimonies

I have always had a testimony of God. I've always just known deep inside of me that He exists and that he loves everyone and that He made this beautiful earth for all of us to live on and enjoy. I've never once questioned that. Whether Jesus Christ lived and died for me is a different story. Whether the church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) is true is a very different story.And whether Joseph Smith was a true prophet, well that is a very very different story.
Right now things are changing on a rapid scale and everything seems to be screaming out at you from every social media, internet article, newscast, family member and friend saying, "pick your side---no fence sitting allowed. Oh yeah, and also you're wrong and I'm right." After reading articles like this, I spend my day stressing out about my life and my religion and who I am and who I'm not and what I believe and what I don't. After reading articles like that one I get angry, frustrated and stressed out. Why? Because I have heard the same things they have about the church. I have had the same questions as they have. I have had the same thoughts as they have. I  have NEVER had an easy time being a member of the church and obeying all of its guidelines and rules and I have NEVER had all of my questions answered. I get angry and frustrated and stressed because I read what these people write and I relate to it, and then it ends with them leaving the church and/or being anti-Mormon. Then I have this weight on my shoulders that feels like it is forcing me to decide, forcing me to discover and get an an
swer to that question or that doubt right then or right now, and if not, I am a blind follower. A lemming following the crowd I was born into and throwing myself over a cliff because of my ignorance and refusal to believe the truth in front of me.
In the church they always compare your testimony to a muscle. Once you get your testimony you need to exercise it and continue to build it and work it out everyday. You do this by bearing your testimony, reading scriptures, praying, keeping your covenants, and trying to be more Christ-like. I gained a testimony once of Jesus Christ and that He is my Savior. I gained a testimony of the Atonement. I think that our church has the fully restored gospel on this earth. But sometimes, I feel like I lose that testimony. Not completely, but I question it. It becomes weak, just like a muscle that has not been utilized and exercised....sometimes when it has really been a long time since I last worked out. I feel shaky. My body is physically asking me for exercise. My testimony is the same, it gets shaky and is asking me to feed it and strengthen it, but I get too busy or too distracted. It is always at that time that I hear stories about someone I know or some random person leaving the church because of their doubts or disbelief. I feel like I have to leave the church because I am "between testimonies" at that time, meaning, I'm at a low point with some of the things the church teaches, and I am not sure if they are true.
Who has a place in the church that doesn't know how they feel about Joseph Smith? I have discovered that I DO. I have a place in this church, regardless how I feel about its members or some of its teachings. Because truthfully I love its gospel. We lived before we were born. We came to earth to learn, challenge ourselves and become better and stronger and happier and to return to the Heavenly Father that loves us. There is life after death, and most importantly we can be with our families forever. No "until death do we part." I am willing and I WANT to give the church the benefit of the doubt. I want to give Joseph Smith the benefit of the doubt. Who would ever want somebody to read everything bad they had done in their life and base their character and who they are off of it? I wouldn't. I would want people to look at the righteous labors I had done and the FRUITS of those labors. This doesn't make me blind and it doesn't make me ignorant.
I want to stay a member of the church and continue to work for my answers and not be so demanding of God. And solely because of the fact that  I want to be a member of this church, I can be, whether I'm between testimonies at the time or not. God still loves me and I know that Christ does too. And as long as they are willing to work with me on my questions and doubts, I will be a member of this church.



                                                                                       

Thursday, July 17, 2014

NATURAL BIRTH W/ MIDWIFE v. EPIDURAL IN HOSPITAL


I hope this post is helpful to someone out there who is debating between a natural birth or a medicated one and who also might feel nervous about delivering with a midwife outside of a hospital. All I am going to do is tell my two birth experiences and you can take from them what you want or need.

First Labor and Birth: Aida Mariana Klein

A few hours after delivery
I wanted to do a natural birth for my first child. Everyone is my family does natural labor and are pros at it, so I thought I would naturally be good at it too. I also try to keep my body healthy and stay in shape which they say makes natural labor much easier and go a lot faster, so NATURALLY I thought I had it in the basket without much work. I signed up to take Hypnobirthing the Mongan Method because it was MUCH cheaper than the popular Hypnobabies classes and teaches much of the same thing.
Hypnosis Birthing Classes
These turned out much differently than I had originally thought they were going to be, and though there were a lot of things I really liked about the classes, I can honestly say they didn't help me at all in being able to deliver naturally. I know that for some people they work really great, but for me they didn't. It's kind of the same thing as when your at a show with a real hypnotist and random people go up on the stage. He goes through a series of things to find out who there is actually prone to hypnosis, the ones who aren't are asked to leave the stage. I think it is the same with women and birth. Some people can go into that deep hypnosis (an extreme state of relaxation and peace) when qued by their parenter or themselves, and some people might have a harder time. Some people feel more pain during labor and some people feel less. The things that I did like about hypnosis birthing classes were all informational lectures. They teach you about your body and about how labor and delivery work and about how it is a natural and perfect process and about how you can control yourself and your emotions and your pain to do it naturally. Today, labor and birth are talked about like you will never survive them without that oh so stealthy yet painful insertion of the plastic epidural tube into your spinal chord. But guess what? You can. Women have been doing it for ages and continue to do so around the world. Most women can give birth naturally without any life or death problems. But, the medical world has brainwashed us into thinking that our bodies either can't do it without problems, or that it is just to plain painful to go through and survive. At the same time, there are many people who are blessed regularly with the modern technologies of the medical world. Some people suffer from health problems that can't allow their bodies to work as they should and sometimes it is the baby that is having the problem. In those cases, a hospital is definitely the place to deliver a baby.Anyways, I was saying that what I loved about the classes is that they teach you the truth: your body was meant for this and you can do it. What I didn't love about the classes is all of the stories about the women who sneeze and their baby comes out (I didn't actually hear that in the classes, but a lot of the stories are like that) and the scripts and CDs given. They are just not my thing, but maybe they might be yours.

Now for the actual labor and birth story. Aida was due the 15th and was two days late. I went into labor at midnight on the 17th of May. I had eaten lentil bean soup for dinner (don't do that if your near your due date) and went to bed at about 11:45. Obviously I was NOT preparing to have my baby. After taking the courses I was convinced I would feel light contractions start and they would be ten minutes apart. I'd throw in my CD of birth affirmations that I got from my class and float pain free through my labor and delivery. That didn't happen. I laugh even thinking about the fact that I could have believed that. I felt my first contraction around midnight and woke up to what I like to call pain. It wasn't pressure. I didn't wake up from pressure, it was definitely pain. The next one came on just a few short minutes after. My contractions were 2-3 minutes apart and I was in very bad pain. I would try walking through them but would pretty much just collapse onto the thing nearest to me. The walking didn't help me that much. I stayed home until about two and then we decided to go to the hospital. Contractions were still 2-3 minutes apart (which is exhausting). We got to the hospital and right before going in I puked into the hospital's plants outside the door. Lentil soup straight up my nose. I couldn't get all the lentils out. Yeah......So I was admitted. They put the IV tip into my hand(I forget what it's called but you have to at least have that in your hand if you deliver in Provo, its annoying but still allows you to move around freely. My nurse was really nice at the beginning but it was the end of her shift. I sat there on the bed writhing in pain. She said, “so you took hypno-birthing classes I'm guessing because of the list of things you want and don't want? My sister did that. It worked for her but it didn't work for me.”
“Yeah. I took them” I said still writhing in pain.
“Well it looks like you aren't using the techniques right? I know you don't want anyone to ask you if you want it. But just so you know, you can ask for it whenever you want.”
She was talking about an epidural. It was two hours later that I asked for it. Contractions still 2 minutes apart and they stayed that way the entire labor. I finally got to go to sleep which was amazing. But I definitely couldn't move around anywhere and by that time I had more than one thing that I was plugged up to. My legs were so numb I could not feel ANYTHING from the waist down. When it came time to deliver my husband had to come hold my legs while the nurse sat there silent with us (she had been in a nasty mood the entire time) and right before my baby came out my doctor came in (who is so freakin' awesome....Shelly Savage in Provo. Go to her.) and caught the baby. I got to hold her right after they wiped her off and she pooped and peed all over my arms. I loved it! She immediately started sucking her little fist and cuddled me. Then they took her away for all of her cleaning and shots and tests. Staying in the hospital sucked. Husbands, don't plan on staying with your wives. It's really boring. I really wanted to get the needle tip out of my hand for the I.V. because it was aching. Something had hit it and moved it around my hand. It was aching bad! They told me they would take it out in an hour.....take it out when they switched my rooms....take it out after I take some medicine...etc....I had it in for probably four hours after I had delivered her. Super annoying. One really awesome pro of delivering in the hospital is the nursery. They take your baby away and let you sleep all you want and bring them back whenever you want or when they want to eat. The first couple of nights are always hard with a newborn. At least for me they are. The total labor and delivery was 13 hours and I don't regret getting that epidural at all. I was not prepared at all mentally for what labor and delivery actually was. I decided to get it because I decided I cared more about being happy throughout my laboring process and happy when my baby came instead of exhausted and depressed about everything that I had just gone through. I loved getting the epidural, even though there was still a lot of things I didn't like about that day (nurses, my hand, throwing up, the hospital in general,etc.)
Second Labor and Birth: Cypress Sky Klein
Cypress just born
0 birthdays are the best!
We moved south, so I was in St. George for this baby. I decided to deliver with a Certified Nurse Midwife, Liz Smith, who runs a birth suite with another Certified Nurse Midwife. Liz is awesome. I decided to go with them because they are literally 5 minutes away from the hospital AND as certified nurse midwives they are able to administer drugs that a traditional midwife can't in case of emergency (i.e. petocin in case of hemorrhaging...numbing meds for stitching if you tear badly). The big reason I chose Liz is because I told her I needed a lot of help throughout the laboring process with actively trying to move it along and help me through the pain. This time, I was going to be prepared. With my first baby I thought it was a lot like doing weights or running. You give it all you got and just push through the pain and give it more power. In movies when women are delivering naturally they are always beat red and screaming and same thing for going through labor. That's how I thought of it....push through power through. That does NOT work. Its quite the opposite. It's still very mental like any workout that is pushing you. But, you do the opposite, you are not supposed to exert at all...this is “hypnosis” for me. And it was still painful.
I wasn't due until the 23 of March and luckily I ended up going to St. George earlier than I had planned ( we had moved up North and I had planned on going up a week before my due date). Never think you can know when your baby is going to come.We got into Parowan on Saturday night and I woke up Monday morning a few times through the night thinking I had peed the bed. I changed pants. It happened again. I changed again. Then it happened while I was awake so I decided I definitely wasn't wetting the bed (haha. I was depressed when I thought I kept wetting the bed). I called my midwife and she was at a different delivery. She said to call her when I started feeling mild contractions and head to St. George. At that point I had no pain at all. Half an hour later the contractions started coming. They were 3-5 minutes apart each time and that was SOOOOOOO nice to have a little more time inbetween them. My husband got our little girl and everything loaded and ready into the car...and he heated it up (which is nice cause it sucks being cold and in labor). All the while I just laid on the bed and tried to relax completely and breathe through each contraction. No way I was trying to walk through them like the last time. I still felt the same but I wasn't falling all over everything. After a contraction would end I'd concentrate how there wasn't any pain. Id close my eyes and relax my head, my neck my shoulders, my chest, my arms my fingers, and everything else all the way down to the toes. Then another contraction would come. Same routine over and over, but boy did it help. I wasn't powering through anything, I was pretending that I was flubber melting onto the bed or something. The hour drive to St. George was a bit rough but overall pretty great. When I got to the birth suite the other midwife let us in and helped set me up because Liz was still at the other delivery. The other midwife was great and helped me as much as she could for the short time she was there. I laid on the floor. I laid on the bed. Throughout this my husband would massage my legs and arms (that helps take your mind off of the contractions while going through them). My midwife got there and I got into the bathtub with hot water. That is great. Some people call it a water-dural or aqua-dural. My sister told me when she was going through transition she got in the water and her contractions almost completely subsided. My didn't do that, but the warmth definitely helped me to relax. EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT. If you hear a story, don't expect it will happen for you. It creates a lot of disappointment which makes it harder. My midwife thought I was going to drown cause I was getting water in my mouth while breathing through contractions. It felt so good in there. My husband would poor warm water over my belly the whole time. One of the things I was most grateful for was that when I would go through a hard contraction, my midwife would tell me what to do to make the best of that contraction....how to make the most progress. She would remind me verbally of what my body was doing and how that pain was good and it meant everything was right and productive. When in the hospital you are left by yourself. No one is there to talk you through it or help you. You end up on the bed writhing in pain just thinking you are going to die. You forget there is a whole purpose to the labor and to the pain. Having someone remind you that your baby is coming and that there is purpose to the pain is TREMENDOUSLY helpful. It gives you a huge mental break. I got out of the tub when I finally dilated to a ten and began to push, first squatting and then laying on my back on the bed. I delivered my baby perfectly posterior. It was amazing and fast and awesome and she bawled and bawled, but she didn't pee and poop on me. My midwife made us blueberry smoothies and egg croissant sandwiches and sat with us and talked with us while we all ate. My husband and her took the baby while I slept for a couple of hours. Bam! We left. Cypress Sky Klein attended her 0 birthday party with about 11 people at a house having a St. Patricks Day celebration. Music blasting, kids dancing around and holding her, and me feeling great, not groggy or drained.

I enjoyed both of my labor and deliveries. I enjoyed my first because I brought Aida into the world and she is one spunky, playful, loving, helpful, intense, dramamama, touchy little girl(does that make sense? She makes it work.) She blew my mind and my world into pieces and helped me realize I needed to shape a new one. And she is patient with me and my process in doing that every single day. She is amazing. I'm thankful for the modern medicine that helped me get through my lack of preparation and utter despair(that's what it was). I enjoyed my second labor because it was awesome! I love Cypress. She is so different than Aida. For starters she is mild. She is sensitive and cuddly and loving and a bit of a scaredy cat. She is smiley and happy.I loved that my labor was only four hours(due to her being posterior. My midwife said if she hadn't had been I would have delivered on the road...blessings in disguise). I loved everything that I went through for her and that I was able to do it. People make it seem impossible and it is completely possible. It is a gift from our Heavenly Father to deliver our babies. Labor and delivery is only the beginning of pains and trials we will experience in raising them and I don't want to numb myself through those experiences either. I think there are certain things in life that have to be experienced. Traveling to Paris or the Bahamas is not one of them. Delivering a child that you created from love and that is being lent to you to teach from your Heavenly Father definitely is one of those things. Harder things bring greater rewards. I have experienced natural labor and loved it and that I did it, but who knows. Maybe on number six I'll do the epidural as my celebration? Haha.

I also want to make it clear. I'm not anti-epidural. Even just the beginning of labor is hard. And even if I had known what labor was going to be like, no way I would want to go through that for 13 hours. I bet I'd still choose an epidural for my first one.That is some tough stuff. Four hours is a completely different story. But, I loved everything about a natural labor, more. I enjoyed it more and I bet you would too.


Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Perfectly Picturesque Pregnancy

YEAH. RIGHT. Let's cut the crap ladies. Okay okay, so it's not really crap for some women. I know women who don't ache, don't feel sick,  and in fact they feel more healthy and energetic than normal, but I have quickly come to terms with the fact that I am not one of those women. Making a baby for me is like...like...creating some little alien monster that is destroying me from the inside out and taking away all of my imunity! I'm pregnant with my second now and it really was a lot different from my first pregnancy in a lot of ways. Most of all, I don't feel like barfing every morning and have to tilt my head backwards while walking around my school breathing in and out telling myself "I'm fine, I don't feel anything coming up my throat". I also don't have as superman-ish smelling senses which is A.W.E.S.O.M.E. Hello ability of public restroom usage (is that good or bad, though?) This post is going to be somewhat similar to my Breastfeeding post that I did a while back. I'm here to lay it out. My mom and sisters (bless their hearts) never told me anything about what pregnancy does to your body. I don't blame them though, who would want to talk about it? Plus, before ever being pregnant I doubt I would have been too excited to converse with either of my sisters had the conversation started, "So, this morning I like could hardly walk and I am pretty sure that something is falling out of my butt..."Yeah. I'da given no response. So, I guess thank you to my sisters.
But, ALAS, I am not them. I am here to give you THE LIST. And honestly, I could care less what people think about this list because its reality and if you don't like it, well then just pray that you're one of the women we talked about in the beginning of this entry who glows about pregnancy.Plus, there are going to be plenty of things missing from this list and since I've never experienced or heard of those things, I wouldn't know about them.
THE LIST
-Hyper sensitive smelling ability---have you ever read the book Perfume? I hated it. But, after being pregnant with Yogurt Drop I felt deeply connected in a very strange way to the main character.
-Nausea...this comes at all different levels for different women. Never feeling sick to barfing a couple of times a day. That's one way to keep baby weight off (totally just kidding. Gain that weight!)
-Exhaustion...no not feeling tired. I'm talking fully knocked out and drooling on the public sofas of your university or just all over the comfort of your husbands pillow (because his just is that much more comfy during nap times)
-Hemroids...yeah.Not pretty. Not comfy. Not anything but your baby trying to push his/her way out of your bum hole instead of the other one. And no, this isn't just at the end. I got these pretty puppies within about two months of my first pregnancy. Depending on where you carry highly impacts whether or not you'll be spending your hang out time with these or not.
-Back pain...this comes at different levels for everyone as well. Mine led me to find out that I actually have a bulging disc in the lowest vertebrae that you have, right before you tail bone begins, which just happens to be where my babies usually chill. That leads to all sorts of unbearable bearable pain.
-Varicose veins...I'm 24 and yeah they are there. Magically appearing all over my legs sporadically and whenever they want. They didn't hurt at the beginning but now they do and they just keep on coming! More and more.
-Vulvar Varicosities...You think you feel pressure down there? Unless you have these things, yeah.YOU DON'T.
-Bed wetting...You might be joining your two year old for potty training. I like to tell myself that its the deadly combo of trying to stay hydrated, having a squished bladder and being so knocked out at night that a dam breaking wouldn't wake you. Because obviously, it doesn't.
-Sensitive breasts...Bra? Not happening.

-Gallbladder attacks...this is the first one on the list I haven't experienced, but know about from a couple of people. Apparently EXTREMELY painful and happens a lot when pregnancy sneaks up on you. Most people get it taken out.
-Diabetes...this is the only other thing on the list I haven't experienced. But, you can get it while you are pregnant and then it goes away after you deliver. Can be pretty dangerous.

That's all I can think of now off of the top of my head as far as my list goes. Now, just to cheer you up a little glimpse into pregnancy with a story. Go ahead and share one of yours! We all need to not feel alone. And, boy I hope I am not alone. Maybe I am though, and that would be depressing.

I had just spent a great day and evening at a friends house with my husband and Aida. I ate this delicious tomato basil soup which was my favorite and felt great. We played cards and talked. Then my stomach started feeling a little bit sick so I told my husband that I wanted to go. By the time we reached the house we were staying at (my sister-in-law's(we were on a trip)) I was NOT feeling okay. I just went straight to my make-shift bed and laid down. But, little baby girl down under would not stop kicking my everywhere and making me feel even more sick! I knew I was going to throw up and just wanted to get it over with. Finally, the time came. I felt it coming up and and I ran like a cheetah to that shiny white bowl. Perfect timing. Too bad I had to pee like no other once I got up and ran to that bathroom. But, puking and using the bathroom at the same time is a talent not anyone in the world has, at least that I know of. PRESSURE. It all had to do with the pressure. Too much of it I tell you! With every cup of warmed tomato basil soup that shot out of my mouth, something warm shot out as well. Yep. Peed my pants, little by little. By the time I finally felt better because absolutely nothing was in my stomach, I was completely wet. Good thing there was a shower right next to me, eh?
I got teary eyed.
But, at the end of the day, my husband still loves me, Yogurt Drop still loves me, and I got one other little cocoa bean growing inside of me that will love me, and I already love her. THAT and only that is what makes pregnancy perfect and picturesque. At least for me :)

Sunday, September 15, 2013

LOVE SCENES CAN EAT IT

Growing up, every time a scene came on, my parents would say "don't look!" and all of us kids would turn our heads and cover our eyes and go "eww!grossss!". Now, I'm not much different. If I'm sitting in a movie theater or at home watching something on my own, my reaction remains the same. Well, kinda. Maybe subtracting the "eww" and "gross", but sometimes not! There is some nasty stuff out there people! Sometimes I just end up skipping that scene. It wouldn't have been worth my time anyways.

And yet, when I turn my head at the movie theater or cover my eyes at home while watching movies with other friends or family, people react like I am immature, or "prude" as one person put it. Well guess what world, I don't like watching people making out or be stripping their way into heated sex! If someone was making out in public(which actually happens quite often...high school anyone?), would you stop and stare at them? Or, turn your head and walk away? And, if people were having sex in public, well, that would just be an OUTRAGE. As it should be. At least our society hasn't lost all of its sense. So, what is the difference between watching it on a big screen or on your computer at home than watching it in public? There is no difference. I see it becoming more and more common, people gluing their eyes to the screen during a sensual scene, and the thing is, you can FEEL that they don't want to watch it either. But, they don't want to be the one that turns their head and gets labeled as "childish" or "immature". Immaturity is not being able to see your natural morals and help strengthen them, but instead try to wish them into non-existence.

So, what does this all have to do with family and motherhood? Teaching your children. I believe that my parents taught me well. I believe that even one kiss is something intimate, but that can properly show affection in public. I believe that making out is definitely not something even adults should want to be "mature" enough to watch. Why would we want to? Most PG-13 movies have heated scenes that, in all honesty, are too much for 13 year old's to see. They are already losing their innocence at a rate that blows each past generation out of the water. And, there are plenty of children under the age of 13 watching those movies, and they DEFINITELY don't need to be thinking that is what is normal for a relationship between a man and a woman. Especially when that man and woman don't even have a relationship.

My point? Let's teach our children morals. Let's teach our children what real relationships are made of. Let's teach our children that physicality is definitely a big part in important relationships, but NOT the only part of it. And, that it is something that does not need to be publicized. Once again, if we wouldn't feel comfortable behaving that way in public with our significant other, why do we need to feel okay about watching a different couple do it? Even if it is just for a movie? Let's teach our children to cover their eyes, turn their heads, skip the scene, or WALK OUT OF THE MOVIE. I believe that each time they do that on their own, they are protecting their maturity, their morals, and their God-given innocence that all of us adults say we apparently admire and love. Then, when they get their first boyfriend/girlfriend and they are alone together, maybe they will be romantic. Maybe they will just hold hands for the first time instead of mounting each other because that's what they think they are supposed to do in relationships.

GROSS.

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Truth About Breastfeeding

Yes, let's talk about it. I want to get this out there. This post is one that is going to be very close to me. BREASTFEEDING. To new mother's and even seasoned ones, it can sound dreadful and bring on a panic session of crying. At least that is what it did to me after little Yogurt Drop was born.

There were always amazing women that would come to me once that they saw that I was pregnant and say, "I'm going to tell you what I wish someone had told me." Boy, am I forever grateful for all of that information. But, it turns out that the one thing no one ever told me about turned out to be my greatest struggle for the first few months of being a new mother.

After Yogurt Drop was born, they put her on my chest and said, "She needs to be fed, now. Feed her." And I did just that. I just stuck her on my chest and she sucked away! I didn't feel any pain in the hospital from feeding her, which I thought was odd because everyone told me that feeding makes you pretty sore. After my first feeding, they told me that a lactation specialist would be sent into my recovery room to help me learn how to feed her properly. I fed my baby a few times before the specialist actually came in, and luck would have it that I was feeding her just as she entered.

She watched me feed her for a little bit and said something about how her jaw was moving up and down so she knew I was doing it correctly and then she left.
                             

                                    but guess what? I WASN'T.I was not doing it correctly.

It was only a day later that I could not STAND anything touching my chest. It was too painful to wear a bra, even with the gel pads that the hospital had given me. So, I spent a few days walking around like a person with TERRIBLE posture just so that my shirt wouldn't touch my cracked bleeding nipples. After about a week, my girls looked like THE PLANET MARS!!! They had crevices and were swollen to like triple their size(ok, maybe not triple. That'd be weird). I had been doing what everyone said to. After every feeding I was LATHERING them up with Lanolin oil. Everyone said that stuff is magical and will keep anything bad from happening. That was a lie. If you are feeding wrong, Lanolin won't do anything for you. But, I kept telling myself the pain would go away and that it was normal, because everyone said that it is supposed to hurt at the beginning.

But, it wasn't getting easier as the days went on, only worse.One day, I was so desperate that I went to a friend for some help. I was literally going insane. Having to go through extreme pain every two hours to feed your baby is NO BUENO. My armpits would literally be dripping sweat while I fed her. I went to my friend in hopes of comfort. But, I kind of got the exact opposite. I thought my nipples were going to fall off. No joke. The cuts were so deep and it was so swollen with so much dead skin everywhere, I thought they were just going to fall off. So, I told her that. She then went on to tell me a story about how she actually has a friend that it happened to.

I kept a straight face and listened, but inside I was DYING. I didn't need a horror story about it. I just needed help and understanding.

I called my best friend the next day telling her all of my troubles and how I just couldn't do it anymore, and just her listening and relating to me helped me out a lot. I was 95% ready to call it quits and become a formula momma. I had never wanted to do that. I don't think that it is bad to use formula. Formula is great for those who can't produce enough milk or for children who spit up everything they drink, only to be starving 3 minutes after it all comes up. But, I had no problems with my milk supply. I wanted to nurse my baby because I heard it was amazing, not to mention pretty dang convenient. But, I was at my breaking point. It wasn't until around then that I remembered that a nurse had given me a discount coupon for a lactation specialist clinic.

I remember that I was so angry while sitting and waiting to go into my appointment. On every wall there were posters that showed pictures of a baby and its mother together, nursing. All of the posters made feeding look SO EASY, so natural, so calming, so loving. YEAH FREAKING RIGHT! Nursing was what caused me to have a complete mental and emotional break down, which really does not happen very often. Nursing is what made my husband think I was a psychopath(not really, though.) It was the bane of my existence. At that point, I hated it. I wanted to never try to feed again. I was then called into the back room.

The specialist was exactly what I needed. She listened to me and told me she knew it was hard and she told me that yes, the pain and severity of cracks that I was experiencing was NOT normal. She helped show me easier ways to latch for beginners and prescribed me medication called Newton's Nipple Ointment(heaven on earth!) and after the appointment I went straight to Target and bought the Lanolin brand double pump(best price for quality). After only like 3 days of using the prescription and the pump, my girls were looking like normal again. They were healed enough that I could handle the little bit of pain to try latching and feeding her correctly. I discovered that the cradle position works best for me.

About ten months down the road and I am remembering how I told myself I'd have her weened by one. WHAT!?!? It came up so fast. She did it beautifully though and was totally ready. Two weeks later and she was drinking two sippy cups of banana milk a day. AWESOME. The truth is, it was harder for me than for her to ween. I missed her and I missed cuddling her and I missed her needing me in a way that I would never be needed again. I wanted to cry when I could tell that she wanted to nurse and then be totally fine with a glass of milk. Now two months later and we're both doing awesome. I will always nurse my children. What a truly magnificent and unique our Father in heaven has given us as mothers to be able to feed our own children from our bodies. WHOA.

So here it is, the TRUTH about breastfeeding. It is definitely one of the hardest things that some mother's will ever have to go through, but in the end, it is also one of the biggest paybacks of motherhood.
This is kind of like the pictures in the lobby of the lactation specialist's office I went to.
My baby yogurt drop during our most difficult nursing experience. We made it through, together!