Saturday, July 31, 2010

MW dilemma & pre-UC fears

i have been having mixed feelings about my upcoming birth (november). very excited and liberated about UC'ing, but scared, too, as it seems that each of my pgcys has come with some sort of minor complications that for the most part, in a medical setting, are not really a big deal. like GD (which i don't have this least yet), getting rx's for infections and other issues (UTI and sinus probs are common for me while pg, and i had severe bronchitis last time toward the end which almost landed me in the hospital). i don't have a problem self-treating most things, either naturally or with rx's that i already have on hand if natural stuff isn't cutting it after a while (but it usually does). this time around i'm having kidney issues (treating with D-mannose, cranberry, and vit c, but it's taking a looong time to resolve) and what seems like arrhythmia/tachycardia (which my father has had, but may be normal due to increased blood volume, but my lack of "medical care" makes it more noticeable and worrisome, because i am SO not looking forward to having to go see the awful back-up OB again - see why below). but i am afraid if i mention my concerns to my HB MWs that they will insist on it, and maybe i have a real, serious heart problem that will truly "risk" me out of their care altogether. so now i'm all paranoid about my kidneys shutting down :roll: or having a heart attack :yeah: :roll: *SIGH* yeah, i'm paranoid.

i'm starting to feel like i should go ahead and "get in" with the hospital MWs for these things, and just not show up for the birth ;) but i'm already 24 wks and i don't want to insult my HB MWs (i love them, whereas my fave hosp MW who is very traditional has since retired from midwifery in favor of teaching obstetrics at the teaching hospital <---THAT will be a very good thing for up-coming OBs and L&D RNs in this area!! :D but i don't really know and/or like the remaining MWs at that hosp)'s just that they are CPMs and can't prescribe treatments, so if i need any "medical attention" i have to go to their back-up OB, who works alone and has a TON of patients (he is the only HB MW back-up in town, and the only OB left in town that accepts medicaid without being a pre-existing patient -- which i am for the hosp MWs, btw). so, anyway, the wait in his office is RIDICULOUS. i have been there twice, once for a consult and 20wk u/s, and then again for a colposcopy/biopsy (i know!!) and repeat gender u/s ("she" keeps crossing her legs :mad: ). i was there for 4 hrs the first time and 9 hrs the second time. both visits brought me to tears for various reasons. not to mention that his practicing rights exist only at our town's teaching hospital, which is a HORRIBLE place to have a baby, for the impersonal, over-reactive, intervention-happy, traditional-hospital medical atmosphere so....i do NOT want to go back to him, which is why i am contemplating going to the hosp MWs for certain things.

so my dilemma is that i don't think medicaid will allow me to have more than one set of caretakers for my pregnancy...??? i know if i were to completely SWITCH from the HB MWs to hosp MWs it would be okay, but the fact that the back-up OB has STILL not decided whether to sign off on my HB, and if not, then whether to "allow" my HB MWs to continue with my prenatal and PP care. I really want to do a "sneaky" UC where i call the MWs AFTER baby is out (or at least hubby calls while i'm pushing, giving them no time to get there "in time" :D ) so they can come check us out after (for my own peace of mind). e.g. if babe is "slow to start" it would be nice to have the MWs show up with their deep-suction and oxygen if necessary, just to make sure things are okay (my first born had juicy lungs and was transferred to NICU for 2 days :( ). if i am with hosp MWs, i'd have to go to the hospital for a relatively immediate PP check, and i'd be afraid they'd want to admit us "for observation". that's another problem for medicaid pts around here. AMA = medicaid refuses the bill. :mad: and if i wait until 24 hrs later or whatever, then it's pointless to go anyway.

i don't mind just taking babe to ped asap for an assessment (depending on the time of day of delivery -- i've had 3 "after hours" babies and 1 "lunch hour" one :lol: ). it's ME i'm worried about...i have a history of blood-loss (PPH after the twins that caused me to nearly faint when i tried to go for a walk a few hours later -- but then again i was pumped full of fluids and pitocin during labor AND my uterus was double-stretched; and borderline PPH after my last babe), and although i have not torn since my first born (nuchal arm), i am concerned that without "proper" perineal/urethral support during delivery (i think i will be squeamish about feeling the stretching from the outside), i might end up with a tear that requires more than just rest to fix...unlikely, i know, but i have a SERIOUS aversion to hospital admission, which is what i'm afraid they'd try to force on me...or maybe they can take care of all this in the office if it's daytime? is it true that if the baby is not born under their care that it is not their "right" to demand to assess and "treat" her post birth? even if it's <24hrs later? i just don't need another AMA on my "record". they assigned a social worker to us last time, when i took my 2yo home from the ER AMA last month...

so, i have a history of, um, let's say "obstacles" with my labors, births, and newborns, so i would like the reassurance of a quasi-medical PP assessment without having to leave home, if at all possible.

i know these are probably all normal first-time UC'er fears.  btw, i do have an affirmation that i am repeating constantly, and i truly believe it (okay, so maybe 99% ;) ). "i believe that this labor will be quick and easy and uncomplicated, and that baby and i will be healthy." it's just all the "what ifs" that are dragging me down. :ooer:

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day

no novel today as i am tired and should be sleeping, but must vent.

yesterday i had an appt w/ dr. b for a colposcopy due to atypical cells pap result :( and to discuss whether he's decided to sign off on my homebirth or not. and to collect my u/s pics from a month ago. and beg for another look at gender.

neither of my midwives show up, ever, at all, because they are both at births. i am alone. :(

my ILs called at hour 3 asking when i'd be done cuz they had no dinner to feed my children. i say "...i...don't know...what to tell you..." kids are ending up with mcd's drive-thru. hang up, and start to cry, feeling irresponsible and neglectful and burdensome. :cry:

hour 7, finally my turn. he has not yet decided whether to sign off. it's already been a month of waiting. i'm crying again. :cry:

atypical area SO atypical that cervical biopsy is necessary (and supposedly they try to avoid doing those on pg mamas). it causes bleeding that requires silver nitrate to halt. i'm weeping the whole time, feeling violated and scared and in pain from the biopsy. i have male dr issues. :cry:

i then sob and beg for him to at least take a peak at baby with u/s to try and confirm gender, so i might have something to smile about. yes, i played the crying lady card, and i am not ashamed.

i wait another hour. hubby is out of class by now and finally picks up our 4 tired, cranky children from grandma's, instead of rushing over to join me for the u/s (he missed the other one too).

u/s shows breech baby with legs still crossed, but she flashes us a few times and doc says 80% girl. yay.

i wait another hour for him to upload the pics from my 20wk onto my usb stick.

yes, there are 3 other patients in the office still and it's nearly midnight.

i don't want to go back there. ever. ever ever EVER. 9 frickin hours, and for what? for him to tell me i have pre-cancerous cells on my cervix (i already knew that from 9 years ago...but it hasn't shown up on a pap since now it's back all of a sudden??), he's not sure yet if i'll be "allowed" my homebirth, and he's not quite sure if my baby's a girl. fuckin A. seriously. what a waste of my time and energy. and tears. :cry: :cry: :cry:

i get home and look at the pics, and they suck. not one worth sharing. the one 3D pic of her face (from a month ago) is not in the file. :evil:

connor has gotten progressively sick over the day. he has a swollen, goopy eye (that's NOT bloodshot), snotty nose, post-nasal-drip cough, but no fever (yet). not acting like himself. he woke me up around 5:30am with his sniffling and snorting and rolling all over me, and i couldn't go back to sleep due to full bladder and hunger.

still processing yesterday. i cried so much at the doc's office i felt dizzy and numb on the drive home. still feeling let down and sad and weepy and hopeless.

yes, it's dr b. i don't think his bedside manner is bad at all, but maybe that's because i'd heard it was awful before i ever met him, so in comparison to my imagination, he's really quite gentle :lol:

it's not the pre-cancerous cells (it's "high risk" HPV, btw) that are a problem for my homebirth. i outright asked if they would pose a problem during birth (bleeding, infection, etc) and he said "oh, no, no". and there is nothing more they can do until postpartum anyway (probably cryotherapy at some point, if necessary). i had robby with atypical cells on my cervix and delivered him at a birth center no prob, but the cells disappeared on their own and have been dormant for 9 years. i thought my body had "taken care of it" as is common with HPV, but apparently not. :( he said he'd only do a biopsy if necessary. i guess it was.

there is a homebirth risk assessment scale, and i score high due to what i think are some ridiculous "risk factors" including history of twins (risk of prematurity? this is only one, and i've had a full term singleton since i had twins...and, um, i'd go to the hospital anyway if i were in labor prematurely - duh), history of gest. diabetes (only with the twins, which is common, and i already passed my 1 hr test with flying colors this time around), the abnormal pap (nothing we can do, doesn't pose a problem for birth <--out of his own mouth)...

but mostly, he's concerned about a medication that i take that's category D for pregnancy. i take it with informed consent, the risk of birth defects is "not significantly greater" than everyone's 3-5% risk of birth defects, regardless of anything, and the possibility of cleft lip and/or heart defects have been ruled out by u/s (unless it's a very mild heart defect). this defect risk warning, btw, is based on studies where rats received enormous amounts of the drug. :roll: anyway, i am not too concerned with the drug. it is medically necessary and the benefits outweigh the risks in my case, so what's the point in stressing about it???

oh, and then there are all of the "complications" i had in all my births. all were random, unppredictable, and not uncommon...and none of them were anything that being in a hospital made better. in fact, the most serious of my "complications" occurred outside a hospital. oooOOOoooh. robby's cord prolapsed ("hidden prolapse" -- not hanging out of the cervix) when my water broke, and we were at a birth center. his heart rate dropped to the 60's and did not recover. my midwives followed protocol for it, since i was already 9-10cm and birth was "imminent" (quoting emergency childbirth texts here -- i've done lots of research since then), they had me squat on the floor and push as hard as i could. once his head got through my cervix the pressure was lifted and his heart rate returned to normal. had i been in a hospital, they surely would have whisked me off to surgery.

the twins had their heads locked together (very rare, apparently), which prevented devin's descent (and thus dilation beyond 6-7cm), and i was about a minute away from begrudgingly consenting to a c/s (stupid!!) when i got up to pee and *bloop!* their heads dislodged and i went from 6-7--->10cm in a split second (thank you, gravity!). but, uhhhhh.... that's not going to happen this time because THERE'S ONLY ONE BABY!

connor was misdiagnosed with fetal distress. his cord was around his neck twice, so his heart rate dropped with each contraction. they diagnosed fetal distress and kept me strapped to the monitors and gave me oxygen because of it. i don't mind oxygen, but they instilled false fear in me. i have since learned that it is only a variation of normal for the heart rate to drop during contractions, as long as it comes right back up after (and guess what? his was doing just that!). fetal distress my ass.

there. those are my complications and risk factors. i won't even go into the other reasons why i refuse to have another baby in a hospital, because that would take all day. but let's just say i have a valid fear of infection, and serious modesty and privacy issues.

and afaik, there's absolutely nothing anyone can do about the horrible schedule management at dr. b's office. all i hear is "he's a specialist" and "he works alone and has no back-up" for why he has to be in a million places at once. did i mention that his poor daughter (probably 5 or 6 years old) was at the office, unattended, at least as long as i was? at first i wondered why the tv in the waiting room was always tuned in to disney (like, wow, there must be a lot of pregnant teenagers coming here??). then i figured out who that little girl was, and realized that was her babysitter. she was still there, awake eating a tv dinner, when i left close to midnight. :roll:

Thursday, July 22, 2010

On Benign Neglect...and other musings of a tired pregnant mama

Here I sit in the rocking chair, in the rec room, semi-watching my children play in the enormous water slide/pool that I dropped $500 on at the beginning of the summer (so, May?).  It is over 100'F out, taking heat index into account.  They cannot see me, as the sliding doors are closed and the rec room is dark(-ish); and I cannot hear them, other than loud screams, hoots, and hollers...most of which are happy.  If they are choosing to use potty words, I don't care, because I can't hear it.  I know children like to play with naughty words --we all did it, right?  But I at least knew better than to use them in front of adults.  I am trying to have my children follow that same protocol.

This is about as close to supervising this activity as I am comfortable with.  I am available to them if there is an injury, or a conflict/assault that needs attention.  I have already pulled Robby out for a 5 min time-out after witnessing him yank back on his sister's hair and then shove her down, face-first, into the water.  Daddy forgot to give Robby his morning meds -- the one that helps with his ADHD symptoms (impulsivity and hyperactivity) -- but it's actually hypomania.  I gave it to him when we got home, but it hasn't kicked in yet.  There's something to be said about a chemical imbalance, and whether to blame the person or the lack of meds for any given indiscretion.  I went easy on him, even though I wanted to break his friggin arms, because I know that kind of action would probably not have occurred if he'd had his meds this morning. 

I experience the same things myself when I forget my Klonopin.  It is a wonderful addition to my med cocktail, but I sure wish it came in extended release form.  I usually remember my morning dose, which is taken with whatever caffeinated beverage I choose for the day.  Usually.  The afternoon dose is harder to remember.  It needs to come 4 hours after the morning dose, so the time is a little different every day.  I am most often reminded to take it when I start to feel very angered and agitated by my children.  The kind where I start to shake and grit my teeth and want to cause physical harm to anyone who irritates me.  No fun. I am infinitely more patient with my Klonopin on board. 
And then another tricky thing is that i never know when my 2nd dose is doing to wear off until i take it.  Today, for example, it will wear off around 6pm.  That's 2 hours before kiddie bedtime.  I fear I will have to take a 3rd dose in order to make it through with us all in one piece.  I take a very small dose each time (0.5mg), but it's still a category D for pregnancy.  It's like the anxiety over taking it while pregnant just fuels my need to take it even more!!  Can't win.

I envy the mamas I know that truly seem to enjoy their motherhood -- their lives, really.  I have not been enjoying life recently.  I would love a vacation all alone, but would fear what kind of mess I would face upon return.  I'm stuck like that.  A prisoner in my own life, in my own home, and by my own choice, no less!  I am trying desperately to take one day at a time, one hour at a time, one MINUTE at a time.  I recognize my need (and my kids' need) for more social interaction and mroe variety in general in our daily lives, and it's been difficult, being summer time.  People are out of town, and we are having heatwaves that keep me fearfully holed up in the house.  Even one hour outside is enough to put me down for the rest of the day, and how is that helpful with 4 little ones to care for?  What good am I if I am a comatose vegetable laid out on the couch or in my bed, not supervising OR doing anything productive.  My children have literally eaten bread and water for dinner.  Or apples and saltines (and water), as was the case the other day.  And it's not because the cupboard is bare -- it's because I am unable to do my job.  Last time a pregnancy was along this same time-line, season-wise, was 9 years ago, and I didn't have anything but a full-time desk job to attend to.  No children to take care of.  This time I have 4 little ones, and a mental illness that has evolved significantly over the 9 years since.  Pretty sure my heat intolerance has evolved, too.  I do have more body fat now, and global warming has come a long way in 9 years, I'm sure. 

So, it's been hard, especially these past 2-3 weeks.  Things had fallen stagnant, on more than one level, but 3 main ones that stick out:  I haven't been to therapy in over a month, my cleaning helper moved away and I have not replaced her, and we haven't been going on as many social outings as before.  Forget having people over -- after losing my cleaning helper, the house went to shit and my spoiled brat children are responsible for most of that.  I have baskets and baskets of unfolded clean(?) laundry.  Hubby and I have been working very hard on the rec room and living room, and it's finally to a point where I feel okay to have "casual" company over again.  This week has been busy, and that's a good thing.  I need to remember that.  I was down so low the past few weeks, it was hard to imagine a light being at the end of that tunnel...

Monday, July 19, 2010

uncooperative children vs. hormonal preggo mama

copied from a FB comment:

MAMAS (and papas) AND TEACHERS: please give me some examples of EMPATHY that 5 year olds can understand (or 4 year olds, as Kieran's cognitive/social development dictates). our first venture as a one-room schoolhouse will be virtues training, and lesson 1 is empathy. my book seems geared more toward older children, so HELP ME PLEASE. TIA :)

i'm not trying to "teach" it, per se, i know it can't be taught, and i know they all have it (or are on their way to it). what i want to do is draw attention to it and encourage them to think about it consciously. i suppose you could say that this "virtue training" is more of a glorified vocabulary lesson :roll:

the thing that spurred me wanting to start this ASAP (i've had the book for months and have been putting it off due to the older-child aim of it) is when my hormonal preggo self went off and sobbed/screamed to them the other day about how sometimes their actions/words/decisions hurt other people, and that they should think about how it effects others -- like the messes they make and then don't want to help clean up, and using their bodies instead of their words when they are angry. i have been an emotional mess lately, and being alone with all of them for 50 hrs a week is starting to break me down... and that wasn't the first time i have cried in front of them because their behavior pushed me over an emotional cliff.

incidentally, when i told robby's therapist about this, she cut me off in the middle of an earnest explanation and said, very firmly, "now THAT'S gotta stop." my jaw dropped -- it made me feel like a naughty child myself. i don't like her very much. glad she's resigning :twisted: . i don't think there's anything wrong with telling my children that their actions are hurting me - or others - and apparently the easiest time for me to explain these things is when they've driven me to tears.

there has been disobedience left and right, downright ignorance of my requests and rules -- and i reserve the word "rule" for essential, safety-related things whose reasons i explain thoroughly to them... like if you're playing with neighbors, you must stay where you can see the house and you can hear me holler for you at dinnertime, MUST wear shoes and helmet to ride your bike...sticks and toy weapons stay outside, keep the kitchen door closed so connor won't go dump my purse again or make a mess of the pantry or open (a childproof top!) and eat an entire bottle of omega-3 gummy fish :roll: :oops:...or worse :shock: [by the way, i have one kitchen entry blocked with a self-closing/self-latching walk thru gate (thanks sarah r!), and i have since ordered another one for where the door is]... blah, blah.
so, there really aren't that many "rules", but several expectations that, even after being lowered, are not being met -- e.g. when you wake up at the crack of dawn, be courteous and play quietly, get some breakfast, watch PBS quietly, etc.

...oh! and the constant "it's not fair!" and i keep correcting them with "no, what's not fair is that *i* end up cleaning up messes i didn't make because no one will help!" or "no, what's not fair is that i bought a special treat for dessert and i didn't get a single bit because you all snuck it and ate it ALL for breakfast before i woke up!" ridiculous. there i go again with the vocabulary lesson; trying to teach the correct usage of "it's not fair"...

this would be yet another opportunity for my mother to inform me that i have too many children. :cry: like that helps. thanks for the support, mom, love ya! :evil:

the weird thing is that robby's behavior has been much better lately than it has been for...ever? at least the past few years. he's starting to act a little more mature, responsible, and obedient. only about half the time, of course. :roll:

kieran is another problem, though. his autistic brain cannot wrap around the majority of the things that i'm trying to get through to them all. his stereotypical "parroting" is starting to seriously annoy me. he repeats things that don't apply, and insists upon them, even as i try to explain things on his level, to the point where i (in order to avoid stimulating a meltdown) just throw up my hands, say "whatever, nevermind" and walk away to someone else who actually understands me.

i feel like i have NO PATIENCE or energy for the gentle, patient get-them-to-help methods -- i can't even think of any that would work at this point. it turns into begging or threatening (to throw their things away) or yelling (which usually turns to tears on my part, as of late) ... i'm at the end of my rope here...


"I know this isn't "virtue training" , but the rule in our house (not ALWAYS applied, but when needed) is, if I put it away, I'm putting it up. That means, what ever is in my hand, goes on the mantle, not back in the bin. It motivates R to get to work and I always offer to help. Most of the time." -HS

we do that occasionally, too. the problem is that the mess slowly accumulates. not the everyday stuff; we (i) pick up pretty much every day, but the little things. things that get kicked under furniture or stuck in corners, apple cores that are dropped and not noticed until there are fruit flies swarming around :oops: ... all of a sudden one day i look around and my jaw drops in horror at how bad the mess has gotten. by that point, threatening to throw away anything that they don't pick up is a ridiculous, overwhelming threat to follow through on, and i'll never do it (okay, i HAVE done it, but i just can't these days). when daddy takes over clean-up supervision, it's drill instructor's effective, but not pleasant AT ALL.

in general, i don't mind a little mess in their rooms -- it is their space, and i don't tend to hang out in there too often. i don't require them to clean up their rooms every day. i don't have the discipline or energy to enforce that. but when it gets to the point where there are clothes everywhere and you can hardly walk through due to fort remnants, etc., i want them to clean up. and they think i'm kidding. i've spent too long doing it for them (on occasion) that they just won't do it themselves. robby is getting better at it, but then again, none of them have very much left that "lives" in their rooms (in fact, robby isn't allowed to keep anything in his room at this point (except his journals, pokemon cards, lego creations, etc). he can play in there, but toys do not live in there. he can take in 5 books, but has to exchange them for new ones at the bookshelf in the hallway.

we did a great purge about 6 months ago, and if i think about it, it has helped, but there is still so much CRAP. i have 4 kids in a 2 kids sized house, so of course there will be a lot of toys. i have had people with one child tell me (after i have purged) that there's too much stuff, and i'm incredulous. how am i supposed to have one kid's worth of toys with four kids with different abilities and interests?? i'm all about simplicity, but it's an uphill battle, especially with overly doting grandparents who apparently don't understand the meaning of "only one gift per child, please" :roll: :evil:

i dream of a home where things are organized and stay that way. i am a meticulous organizer by nature. the chaos of 4 children (and a hubby) who care nothing for organization is excruciating for me. day in and day out. i wish they would put some big messy thing back before taking out another one. or at least put SOMETHING back, period. i would literally have to hover over them 24/7 to make sure these things got done. and i'm busy, and they're busy with their play, and our house is not laid out very well for supervising from any other room... so that's just impossible. there are "locked-up" activities that require permission to use, and they just ignore that request and break right on in. we have put away (like, in the garage) nearly-new games because the pieces got scattered and lost and there's no point in trying to locate them all in order to ever play the game correctly. it's now junk. and let me just say, it's a good thing playing cards are so cheap. cuz if they play with a new deck, it's as good as garbage.

it's always a hassle to get them to pick up their own crap, and the reason why i have given in and done it for them so many times is that i'm just tired of fighting about it. it's exhausting and i feel like it grates on our relationship. however, letting them walk all over me certainly causes a bit of resentment toward them on my part... i just can't win. on one hand, i feel if we lived an extremely minimalist lifestyle, this would not be a problem, heheh. but i like them to have toys. i like to have games to play. it's seriously a daily internal struggle for me...


"Honestly I think you need a little break. Sell something and get a sitter for 1-2 hrs and do something for you. Mothers must take care of themselves to take care of the kids, if you are getting that frazzled (and you are pregnant) you may only need a rest or a break. Kids aren't going to be quiet in the morning so that is probably an unreasonable expectation given their ages and number of kids (1 kid might be quiet, but 3 or 4, forgettaboutit).

What do some of the moms of more than 2 have to say? Will that mother of yours come over and play with them for a bit, so you can just lay down or put your feet up?" -JP

i wish i could afford a sitter. drew is home in the mornings, so that's not a big deal. it's from noon until bedtime that i'm alone with them every day.

as for the mornings, i know they CAN do it. they have. and it's wonderful. it just seems like they forget almost every day... that running up and down the hallway and yelling might actually wake someone up :shock: OMG. and that if they let connor out of our room, they have to make double sure the kitchen stays closed, or there's gonna be a BIG mess. the only other option is for me to drag my booty out of bed as soon as they wake up, and i just can't do that every day. not that early, and not fast enough. esp since i know i don't go to bed early enough to get up that early, because i spend all the "me" time i have after they go to bed catching up on things i didn't get done while they were awake (or simply decompressing after the day -- a much needed ritual).

my mother is NO help at all. she and i have been butting heads for nearly 10 years. she pretty much thinks i need to just lie in the bed that i made by choosing to have lotsa babies. she doesn't even want to try and IMAGINE what my life is like. every explanation i have for anything i do (or don't do) is "just an excuse". we had a huge argument from january-april (yeah), and i have spoken to her twice and seen her once since then. i have chosen to walk away from that toxic relationship, because frankly, she makes me feel like a worthless piece of shit excuse for a mother/wife/daughter/sister/granddaughter/niece/friend/human being. :D :evil:

my dad retired last month and they are in the process of moving to georgia. my mom has already started her new job at brunswick memorial hospital, so she is living up there more often than down here. when they are here, they are working on getting their house ready to sell, or tending to other appts in town. they might as well not be here at all, ever, for all the help they are. never really were much help, but somehow it feels better knowing that their first excuse these days is "i don't live there anymore". oh, do i have some mommy issues... :cry:


"One thing thing I have started doing is trying to combine toys for the kids, like even though I have a lot of girls, we still only really need a couple dolls. We only need one or two containers of blocks, we only need a few books per kid (everything else comes from the library), etc. If each one of the kids has as many toys as an only, than we become seriously overrun with toys, books, etc.

Things like puzzles, art supplies, and board games get put up high and out of reach so that even my oldest has to ask. Then I make sure that they put it up before getting anything else out." -JH

we pretty much already do that. Robby and Kieran have pretty much the same interests. legos, blocks, toy weapons, pokemon/yu-gi-oh cards, etc. i suppose we have more than one child would need of some of those things, but not much, and it's not all in rotation at the same time (e.g. legos and blocks). Devin is into pretend play (dolls, dress-up, kitchen), so we have that stuff too. not an excessive amount either. Connor is pretty much into cars. and cars. and cars. he has quite a collection, but they are mostly small and could easily fit into a file box. as i type this, i think of the actual volume of these things, and it really doesn't seem that bad. okay, that's not including all the confiscated/purged stuff that clutters the garage and is either waiting to be gotten rid of or brought back into rotation eventually (e.g. 80% of the dress up stuff that was taken away after being dragged out and not picked up EVERY DAY for far too long). i really think, as far as toys in the house, the real problem is keeping it organized and picked up.

puzzles and art/craft supplies are already "locked up". i put that in quotes because the lock is a child-proofing thing. only robby can open it, although lately he says kieran has learned how. the problem is when robby thinks he can sneak in and grab something without asking, and then he forgets to lock it back. both of those actions piss me off. he has left kid scissors out and devin has cut her hair or connor has cut holes in our brand new, very expensive slipcovers :evil: :evil: :evil: i swear, i need to get a chain and combination lock! that seems so extreme, but is apparently necessary. we actually did that to the twins' closet, because they kept dragging clean clothes out and they'd get mixed with dirty ones and i'd end up washing things over and over... it didn't last long, and that's not such a problem anymore...hmmm, i think i will have to re-purpose that lock now... i just hate the thought of treating them like inmates like that -- a "real" lock just looks so...i don't know. but i guess it's the only way until things shape up a bit. on the other hand, teachers tend to keep cabinets locked in their classrooms, right???

i am a huge fan of the duggars. not that i would EVER have that many children, but i have taken a lot from them. i just wish i had begun instilling some of these expectations more firmly/consistently in my children when they were younger. maybe the fact that we don't have regular cable anymore (and thus i don't watch the duggars' show anymore) has something to do with me losing my way, haha! i used to TiVo the show, and so i was constantly inspired by them...


"My parents didn't have any regular expectations of us; it was all random and arbitrary, and so nothing really stuck, and we didn't develop HABITS like some of my friends did whose parents had very clear and systematic rules about maintaining order in the house. I wouldn't ever want to be obsessive or overly anxious about it, but I *would* like to give my children the gift of basic life management skills - like cleaning up one thing before you start another, taking care of your belongings, taking pride in your environment, noticing when something needs to be cleaned and doing it without being asked......The one thing I will say is that I think consistency is really critical in this endeavor (and I know this because my parents were lacking in it!) We can't enforce things only periodically, when we get overwhelmed. We need daily rituals, and once they become automatic, it's not a struggle anymore." -SM

i have struggled to establish rituals for my entire motherhood! :lol: some things have stuck over the years, but most haven't. or we/i'll do something for a while, and then it slowly slips out of the routine. i guess that's just my nature -- i'm inconsistent, heh.

i think my main obstacle is exhaustion. my back problems pose so many more problems than one would makes the physical side of homemaking and parenting impossible at times, so i have had to be very careful in picking my battles so i don't wind up pulling my back out and on pain killers and in physical therapy for weeks/months. it has been a long time since that happened, but i had to learn the hard way 3 times (majorly, and multiple minor incidents) before finally surrendering to listening to my body and recognizing what i really can and cannot do. that causes the deep-cleaning spurts to come in waves...the mess gets horrible, i go nuts taking care of it, strain my back, have to take it easy for several days, rinse, repeat... and there is a firm connection between physical pain and emotional pain. i feel inadequate and lazy when i can't keep do things the way i want or as often as i want (and this includes assisting the children in establishing said "life management skills"), and this causes lowered self-esteem, shame, and depression. this vicious cycle is one of the things my mother dismisses as "just an excuse" (seriously, i have become a psychological cliche lately with all my mommy issues :roll: ).

it does seem like it would be much simpler to just divide everything evenly and tackle a little every day. on most days, i do a good bit; it's just never enough. and there are days that i do next to nothing to get ahead, whether we are away from the house, or someone doesn't feel well, or i'm just plain tired. when the children were younger and i was in and out of college, they went to campus childcare from about 18 months on. i had plenty of time to get the housework done and it was amazing how put-together i was. now, i have more children, and have chosen to homeschool. i will not go back on that choice again -- i tried public school with robby twice, and it was disastrous. even the preschool, while not interfering academically, caused problems with the bonds i had with my children. i chose to have lots of babies, yes, and i need to act like a mama. my mother also used to wonder aloud why it was that i would "pawn them off" when i wasn't doing so to go to work or school. uuuugh. wow, guilt trip, mom? okay, i'm laughing at myself for bringing up my mom so much, but a lot of crap has been laid out on the table with her over the past 6 months, old wounds reopened, blinders ripped away, etc. very heartbreaking; i'm still processing...

ANYHOO, since the big changes have happened over the past few months for us (Drew starting police academy and pre-k ending for the twins -- so, me suddenly alone with all the kids full time...and i'm pregnant to boot :lol: :roll: ----also my choice! you're right, mom, i made my bed!). the cycle has been: mess---> mama freak-out---> kids reflecting my mood---> uncooperative rebellion---> more mama freak out---> no progress on anyone's part---> more mess (rinse and repeat again). *SIGH* for a while there, i had someone coming to help clean and fold laundry once a week. i justified the expense as medical :wink: , because really, it is preventive medicine for me, on a few levels. but that's been over for several weeks now. and my therapist resigned to spend more time with her children (go figure), so i haven't had that to rely on as a sounding board/venting opportunity in well over a month now -- i'm waiting to be placed with a new one as soon as they find the right fit for me. hmmm... i think i am starting to figure this out, haha!

the only problem is that having someone else come clean does not help the children acquire habits and responsibilities in this department. my long-time friend was supposed to replace our helper (and for cheaper!), but she's now in a play in orlando, which she is balancing with a full-time job here in gainesville, so she is not available until the play is over, really (and i don't know when that will be). being the childless, doting "aunt" that she is, she would be great in helping motivate the children in a fun, patient way, but i'm just WAAAAAITING for that to start now.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Planning something daring... ;)

I am pg with #5 (due in November) and planning a UC this time around in order to finally get the birth I want.  Too many past birth traumas, fears, unnecessary interventions, and serious modesty/privacy issues.  My children are 8, 5, 5, and 2.  We are a co-sleeping, baby-wearing, extended breastfeeding, cloth-diapering, non-circin', no-longer-vaxin', urban-homesteading (chickens and garden) family...although our parenting style has evolved over the past 8 years from 75% mainstream (I started off "going by the book" while fighting my natural AP instincts), became progressively "lazier" (i.e. more AP ;)) when my twins came along, to about 90% AP by the time baby #4 was born (the gentle discipline part is an extreme challenge for us due to "pre-programming" from my abusive childhood, and my husband's war-induced PTSD, which manifests as anger/short temper... :().

My first was born at a birth center.  Very traumatic (I was 9cm when I GOT there), and baby was transferred to NICU for 2 days due to transient tachypnea (fluid in lungs causing too frequent respirations).  My twins were going to be born at the town's OTHER birth center, but when we discovered it was twins, I had to go with hospital MWs and deliver them in an operating room full of strangers.  My fourth was born in the same hospital as well, because I had such a wonderful relationship with my previous midwife, I wanted her again, and I also wanted to "treat" myself to a pudendal block to avoid the "ring of fire" (my breaking point).  My midwife had just finished a 50 hr shift when I went into labor, so I didn't even get her anyway.  :(  I contracted a severe waterborne bacterial infection during that brief (28 hr) stay, and had an excruciating nursing experience with that baby (11+ months of painkillers, antibiotics, and antifungals before temporarily weaning to let raw nipples heal, followed by a 4 wk nursing strike during which I lost the majority of my milk supply).  Can you imagine why I don't want to go back to that place?  And that's the "good" maternity hospital in town.  The alternative is a teaching hospital, which is a REALLY HORRIBLE place to attempt a private, natural childbirth.  They'll do anything there to facilitate a "learning experience" for the students.  NO THANK YOU.

Anyway...I was originally going with HB MWs, but the OB who backs them is reluctant to "sign off" on me for what I consider to be ridiculous "risk factors" (about which I have done thorough research and am comfortable with).  These risks include: history of twins (this one is a singleton), history of GD (only with the twins, and I have already passed my 1hr GTT this time around), I take an rx that is class D for pregnancy (very very small chance of defects that have been essentially ruled out during 20wk u/s), my most recent pap was abnormal (probably yeast or HPV [which I've had for 9+ years with no complications] flare-up, but I have a colposcopy scheduled in 2 wks and do not, at this point, believe this will cause a problem for UC). All of these "risk factors" give me an enormous score on the HB risk assessment scale, but at the same time, I would be considered "low risk" in a hospital setting.  Phooey. 

As soon as I found out that I may not be getting my homebirth with MWs, I began researching UC.  I know of one local mama who had a successful UC last year (she may even be a member on here), and the more I learn about it, the more it feels right for me, for every possible reason.  Privacy, I believe, is the simple answer to most of my childbirth fears. 
I believe I am a good candidate because: I have had 4 vaginal births (even my twins!), I have never had any postpartum complications (although I am aware that my risk of PPH increases with each child, and I am also not excited about NOT having percocet for afterbirth cramps, which are nearly incapacitating for me), any labor or newborn "complications" I have had have been unpredictable and not anything serious enough that being in a hospital made much difference (all can be dealt with well enough at home without specialized equipment).  I have purchased a cheap doppler for heart rate monitoring during labor, because 2 of my babies had decels due to cord compression, but I have since learned (through research) that the decels were not, in fact, life-threatening.  Just another example of the over-invasiveness of the medical model. 

I believe that this birth will be fast, easy, and uncomplicated.  I have done research and am prepared for the worst, but in my heart do not feel like any "worst" will happen.  I feel very confident and empowered and excited to be planning this.  I feel I must also mention that my mother is a 30 yr L&D nurse, natural childbirth educator, and certified doula, so I was raised knowing all about birth (I would seriously sit there and read her books as a child).  The process is ingrained in my brain.  My hubby is awesome and supportive and relaxed about this whole thing as well, and is a former Marine, so he knows first aid and CPR and all that (so do I, but two heads are better than one, esp if it's ME that needs it!).  We have a fire dept 2 min from our house, and the hospital is 10 min away.

I have purchased the essential contents of a birth kit, as well as a birth pool (I really need the aquadural experience ;)).  I have also done research on herbs to be used during labor and after the birth in order to ensure a smooth experience, and will be purchasing them closer to the time.

That's all for now.  :)