Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Birth Plan

I thought I'd share my birth plan. You may not want to read it if you get the heebie-jeebies at words like "perineum" but I would give it a G rating. The midwife center suggested writing out the things that I value about birth, what I found helpful or not so helpful with my previous births, and what I am hoping for during this birth experience.

The Midwife Center already does pretty much everything that I would have on my birth plan anyway--delayed cord cutting, walking around freely, pushing in any position, non-continuous fetal monitoring, no IVs, eating and drinking as I feel led etc.... so it felt redundant to have a giant list of things that I want that they already do.

At my appointment this past week one of the midwives went over it and thought it looked great. Her only comment was, "We see things very similarly". That is what I like to hear!

Birth Plan for Amelia and Jon Parker

I believe that birth is a beautiful, challenging, empowering and normal event. I am excited about having our 3rd baby at The Midwife Center. I love the thought of being in a more home-like environment and being able to take advantage of all that the birth center offers.

I love midwifery care and the values that midwifery care holds for their clients. One thing that has stood out to me about The Midwife Center is that you are strong advocates for women and their healthcare. I am very excited about partnering with you for this birth.

I am thankful for technology and medical interventions when they are needed but I strongly believe that routine and unnecessary interventions take away from the empowering effect that birth has on a mother. I realize that this birth may not go perfectly and things may happen that are out of my control. I am ready to make informed decisions for needed interventions for this labor and birth.

My previous two babies were born naturally and I prefer to not be offered any pain medication. I prefer to use natural techniques for dealing with the discomfort/pain of labor. My husband is a great labor support and I am really looking forward to using the Jacuzzi tub at the birth center.

I greatly appreciate that you encourage siblings to be at the birth and this will be the first time for one of my children to attend a birth. My oldest son, Ewan (pronounced you-an), will be with us. My mother will be there to keep watch over him. We are very excited for Ewan to experience this part of our family life. I would love it if he could be part of the activities as much as he wants to. (i.e. He has really enjoyed getting to put the doppler on my tummy and listen to the baby’s heartbeat.) I realize that as much as we have tried to prepare him here at home that he may have a different response than we expected, however it is important to us that he is there at the birth.

One thing I enjoyed from my second birth that I am wanting to re-create this time as well is a calm and relaxed atmosphere as I push out the baby. We were so excited with our first (Ewan) that I didn’t take the time to really watch Ewan come out and was more caught up in getting him out than taking time to enjoy the moment. I remember the midwife at my 2nd birth (Isaac’s) saying very calmly, “Okay, Amelia, breathe out the baby and watch him turn.” That was a very special moment to me and I remember it vividly to this day. I would love to repeat that calm environment during second stage. During my first birth I had hot compresses placed on my perineum and that felt marvelous. If it is possible to do that again—it would be well received!

Because my only experience of birth has been in the hospital, I am more familiar with birthing in a hospital bed (rather than a birth chair, floor etc.). With this birth I want to feel free to do what feels right to my body but I may need some encouragement to do that. I am open to suggestions and help. The birth rocking chair looked really inviting to me when we looked at all the rooms so I am interested in trying that during second stage.

My second birth was so unexpected and my labor so short that we didn’t get any pictures of me laboring. We are planning on bringing the camera to the birth and are open to any suggestions for good picture taking. Feel free to pick up the camera and take pictures!

Thank you so much for all you do and we are looking forward to experiencing this birth with you!

Amelia and Jon Parker

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Baby Update

I had my appointment at "The Baby Shop" (as the boys like to call it). I am 35.5 weeks now. Ewan came with me to the exam room while Jon stayed out in the waiting room with Isaac. They have some very cool toys to play with and Isaac prefers to play.

When it was time to measure my belly Ewan helped me lay down and then said, "Mom, I am going to lift your shirt now" and lifted my shirt over my belly. He was standing on his special helper stool the midwife had for "special little helpers". She squirted the belly gel on my tummy and let Ewan turn on the doppler and put it on my tummy where the baby was sitting. He found the heartbeat (with a little guidance) and got to hold the doppler while we listened to the heartbeat. The midwife asked him if he had any plans to teach the baby something. Ewan told her, "Yes, I am going to teach the baby how to walk and eat baby food." She said that was wonderful and asked him if he knew what kind of food was best for the baby. He was a little confused so I clarified and asked him what kind of food is best for baby to eat before he can eat baby food. Ewan pointed to my breast and said, "Milk!" She agreed with him and told him that he was very smart and such a great helper. Ewan was beeming.

When she measured me (from pubic bone to top of the uterus) I was at 38 centimeters which is considered a little on the big side but BabyTex's head is still up high so it isn't a concern. (+ or - 2cm of how many weeks you are is considered "normal".) It is actually nice that his head is still high and not low in my pelvis. It gives me comfort because it means that he probably isn't planning on making his descent into the world anytime soon. Anything can happen but even if it gives me a false sense of comfort, I'll take it for now. My blood pressure has been consistently about 100/55 the whole pregnancy so that is always a good report. It is nice to be over the 34 week mark. I only have a week and a half until I am "full term" and can birth at The Midwife Center. Woo-hoo!!! Praise the Lord! I am one thankful mama!

Move Over Johnny Cash, Elvis is in the Building!

As you may remember I have posted about how both the boys LOVE Johnny Cash. For the past 18 months the most frequent request in the car other than Veggie Tales was Johnny.

Ever since our trip to Graceland--where you remember we spent 36 dollars in 36 minutes, paying for parking and buying a CD--Elvis has been a hit. NOW the most requested music in the car is Elvis (click on Elvis to see what CD we got)-even over Veggie Tales.

I have enjoyed listening to Elvis a lot myself. I am struck by how versatile his music is--blues, gospel, rock...and so many of the songs are fun to sing along with or dance to. We do a lot of car dancing (You should try it sometime--have a contest to see who can be the silliest--I guarantee a lot of laughter. Jon usually wins.) After listening to the CD I can see why he was such a hit back in his day. His music was ahead of its time and some of the love songs are really good. His voice is quite pleasant to listen to. In fact I think I am going to put a few songs on my labor CD that I bring with me to the birth center.

We were on our way to Party City yesterday and when "All Shook Up" came on Isaac was singing along getting almost every word. It is almost like that kid has an old music soul or something!

The kids favorites are:
Thats All Right Mama
Baby, Let's Play House (The best part is in the beginning Elvis sings: Baby, baby, baby, oh, baby, baby, baby in that cool funky Elvis way. It gets a laugh every time!)
Return To Sender
I'm All Shook Up
Devil in Disguise

My added favorites:
Fever **My #1 favorite song**
A Little More Conversation
Bossa Nova Baby
Little Sister
(also one of Jon's favorites)

(The link I provided above will let you hear a snippet of the songs listed.)

I think we all enjoy the "old Elvis" selection more than the "new Elvis"--aka 50's and 60's Elvis over 70's Elvis.

We were at Half Price Books and I pointed out an Elvis record and asked the boys if they knew who was on the picture. "Elvis!" That's my boys!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Ahhhhhh.....I went to the chiropractor today and found some more relief in my symptoms since my fall. He did a slightly different adjustment on my sacrum from what he had been doing and I am feeling better by the hour.

Thanks everyone for praying--I know it made a HUGE difference. I was feeling pretty good yesterday and knew that I would be fine. The chiropractor I go to is very nice and so helpful. His wife works the desk and their sweet daughter is often there when I go. When I told them that I had fallen and had called on Friday to find out they were closed they were both apologetic (like it was their fault!) and gave me their cell phone number in case something like that happened again and I needed help on a day they are closed. Apparently they used to give out a cell phone number on their answering machine but people started abusing their ability to get in touch with them so they don't do that anymore. I promised I wouldn't abuse their number. They are pregnant with their second baby and also going to the same birth center I am going to. They are also Christians so when I told them I had people praying for me they were glad to hear that God had been answering!

One thing I love about Tuesdays is that I get to go to the chiropractor. It is one of the few things that I do "just for me". It is something that feels luxurious because I know it is taking care of me--kind of like a massage but not quite as extravagant. Sometimes Jon and the boys will drop me off and go run an errand but it still feels like a special time. Today I went by myself and drove in the car with no music on. I enjoyed the silence and allowed my mind to wander to whatever it wanted to. After my appointment I walked to the preschool program we are wanting Ewan to go to this year to drop off the registration. It was about 70 degrees and cloudy. Perfect weather to walk in. I took my time and enjoyed the walk. On my way back to the car I stopped at Starbucks and got my favorite; a tall, decaf (when pregnant) caramel macchiato and again enjoyed a silent drive home. It was just 1 hour all to myself and I loved every minute of it!

When I got home Jon was helping one of the guys from the "frat house" (a house of single seminarian guys) load his stuff onto a moving truck. He just graduated and is off to San Diego. The kids were at the neighbors playing. I went to our friends to go get the kids and we ended up chatting for a bit. They weren't sure what they were going to do for dinner so we invited their family to our house. I made enchiladas last night and had plenty of food for our two families. We had a great dinner. It was the icing on the cake for my special Tuesday afternoon and evening.

Now I get to spend the rest of the night working on making superhero capes for Ewan's birthday party this Sunday. Being that I am not very proficient at sewing this should be an adventure--wish me luck!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Need Some Prayer

This past Thursday Ewan spilled some baby oil on the bathroom floor and when I went to clean up the mess some of the oil apparently got on the bottom of my foot. As I was going downstairs I slipped down about 5 stairs and fell square on my bum. I immediately felt a jarring of my pelvis/pubic bone and tailbone.

I tried calling the chiropractor I have been seeing on Friday but his office is closed on Fridays. Basically it hurts to walk, roll over in bed, get up from sitting, put on pants--pretty much any activity causes my pubic bone to hurt. This is called Symphysis Pubis Dysfuction. Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction is something that many women struggle with during pregnancy. I have experienced SPD with both previous pregnancies but not this severe.

I started having SPD pain early on with this pregnancy but had a chiropractor friend recommend a supplement called Ligaplex I which did WONDERS for my symptoms (which were fairly minor). It totally reversed my symptoms and I had no problems until Thursday when I fell.

I started going to a chiropractor that specializes in working with pregnant women about a month ago. I wanted to make sure that my pelvis was properly aligned during this pregnancy to prevent any other problems that might arise with my propensity to get SPD. I also ran out of Ligaplex I about 3 weeks ago and decided not to buy anymore since I was feeling so well and I am supposed to stop taking it around 36 or 37 weeks.

I have my next chiropractor appointment scheduled this coming Tuesday but I am in such terrible pain now that I need some extra prayer in the meantime. I am trying not to worry about everything being out of whack with my pelvis and am certainly limited in what activities I can do. The pain is bad enough at night when I roll over that it makes me tear up. I need some of God's healing and endurance. Any prayers would certainly be appreciated!


Sunday, July 15, 2007

What is Your Job?

Ewan has this really cool book called Richard Scary's What Do People Do All Day? (As a side note this is his favorite book and has been for about 5 months. I put a link for amazon in case you are looking for a cool gift for a small child. He also has this other Richard Scary book that he loves too.)

Isaac found it today and wanted to read it before his naptime. The first segment talks about how everyone is a worker and tells you about some of the different jobs that the characters in the book have.

One part asks what YOUR mommy and daddy do. Ewan was reading with us so when I asked what is daddy's job Ewan answered:

"Cleaning the basement." Jon spent all day yesterday vacuuming the cobwebs and scrubbing the basement floor. (Another side note--I got teary when I saw him working on the basement because the dirtiness of it kind of creeps me out and I was so happy that he was cleaning it--AND to top it off I didn't even ask him to do it!)

And what is mommy's job?
"Cleaning the floors." I was hoping for something a little more glorious like teaching birth classes or taking care of us but for now it apparently is cleaning floors.

Ewan, what is your job?
"Picking up my toys." Good answer!

Isaac, what is your job?
He responded so matter of factly--"Watching TV."

I just laughed and said I think you
wish that was your job!

When I told Jon about our little conversation he said that in that scenario Isaac is the king of the house and we are his servants. Wishful thinking, kid, wishful thinking. I wish I could get some of these funny moments on video though because they are so funny and cute!

Signs We Are Not in Texas Anymore

So, a lot of these have to do with food--but hey, I spend a lot of time cooking.

** There are 8 brands of baked beans and NO Ranch Style beans.

** Avacados cost over $1 all the time (so far anyway).

** Limes range from .50 cents EACH on up. No more 5-10 for $1.

** The speed limit for STATE highways ranges from 25-45 MPH not 55-60.

** Church bells are heard at 10am, 12pm, 6pm daily. A sign we aren't surrounded by Baptist churches on every corner.

** Our neighborhood is surrounded by Coptic (Egyptian) churches, Greek Orothodox, Russian Orthodox, Episcopalian, and Methodist churches.

** I have seen Croatian gathering clubs in several of the towns we pass through regularly.

** So far it is normal for July to be filled with days in the low-mid 80s NOT the mid-high 90s.

** Flour tortillas are kept in the refrigerated section of the grocery store, not the bread aisle.

** The "Latin Foods" aisle consists of salsa--mostly Pace Picante Sauce (yuck!)--not Goya or Fiesta food brands. You have to go to the Strip District to get more specialty Latin foods.

** There are parks everywhere.

** For some reason street signs are not top priority here. In some places you have to know your way around already which makes it a wee bit tricky to find where you want to go.

** The best Mexican food around is Chipotle or Qdoba.

** Everyone has a basement.

** The sermon at church today talked about how our life must be built on the "basement of the grace of Christ" whereas in Texas it would have been the "foundation".

** "Y'all" is not part of the vernacular.

I might send out another one here in a few months as we get to know the area better but for now these are the things that make me say that we definitely aren't in Texas anymore.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

A Moment of Sadness

I am pretty sure that Ewan's nap is on its way outta here. It has been getting harder for him to go to sleep during nap time. Even today at almost 1:30 he is still not asleep. He did not take a nap yesterday or the day before and woke up at 6:30 this morning--about an hour earlier than he should have. Not taking a nap two days in a row is difficult for him--and his parents. Yesterday, by dinner time everything was fit worthy.

(Screaming and crying)

Knowing how tired he is makes it a little easier to have patience with his attitude. We told him that all he needed to do was to ask Isaac for the orange cup.


Isaac was being very sweet about the whole thing, as if he knew that Ewan was running on fumes, sweetly handed Ewan the orange cup.


Oh bother.

We have been invited to a neighbor's house for dinner and I wanted Ewan to get a little snooze in to recharge his very low batteries. I finally had to leave after he was literally laying down moving his legs and bobbing his head up and down to keep himself awake. I told him that I was afraid I was going to say or do something in sin and that I would be leaving. He knows today is not rest time, but nap time and that if he gets out of bed he will quickly receive the proper consequences.

I was hoping that the nap would hold out for about 6 more months so that I could have some guaranteed sleep after the baby comes. But alas, it does not seem to be the case. Luckily, we have installed mandatory rest time where he stays in his room and can look at books and play with puzzles. Inevitably, he will get out his tools at some point and play with them but I choose not to fight that. As long as he is quiet, stays in his room, and does not try to come out then I am happy. I will still get a little nap in I think but I am more alert to any mischievous behavior which makes it hard to sleep.

Some days it is harder to determine which is worse, no nap and uber crankiness or having him better rested with a nap but then bed time becomes more of a battle. If we let him sleep through his nap cycle (about 2 hours) then we won't fall asleep until 9 or sometimes even later. I definitely like him having an earlier bedtime at 7pm but sometimes the crankiness seems more costly and harder to deal with. I have never been fond of nap transitions--from 3 naps to 2 naps to 1 nap and now to 0 naps. This is the hardest one for sure. Blech!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Why I Will Never Own a Yippie Dog...

I have lived in two houses where small, hyper, and obnoxious dogs live 2 doors down. At both houses these small dogs (yippie dogs) have had terrible habits of barking NONSTOP for hours on end in the middle of the night.

At our house in Anna our neighbor 2 doors down was a state trooper so it was a little intimidating to complain about their dogs. One night their dogs were barking at some ungodly hour in the middle of the night for well over an hour. Neither Jon nor I could sleep so he went down to their house and rang the doorbell and knocked several times but they never answered. We decided called the police and file a complaint. The police came by and had no luck getting them to answer the door either but he did leave a notice of complaint on their door. I heard a few months later that they got dog bark collars on their dogs. Every now and then their dogs would get out and go out in the corn fields behind out our house. If we were outside then the yippie dogs would come and bark at us from the other side of the fence.

Here in Pennsylvania, our neighbors 2 doors down apparently have a great love for shitzus because they have 8 or 9 of them. When one of the dogs gets out at the crack it decides to go into our backyard (which we have no fence) and bark incessantly at the houses or the wind or whatever. It seems as though it wants back inside its yard. This has happened a small handful of times. The other morning at 5:00 Jon and I were awakened by one of these shitzus barking: yap, yap, yap, yap, yap, yap, yap, yap, yap....literally non-stop for over 30 minutes. I looked at him and said that someone should shoot that dog. We tried going back to sleep but couldn't and of course we were worried that the dog would wake up the boys. Jon decided to go and do something about it. He went to the house and tried calling the dog to him so he could plop it over the fence but of course the dog would have nothing to do with Jon. It just yapped at him. Then Jon noticed a gate and thought, "maybe if I open the gate the dog will go in and shut up...". So he opened the gate and guess what happened?

8 more dogs came running out the house yapping their eyeballs out. Finally, after all the commotion the lady that lives there came out and said, "What is going on?". She took one look at Jon and said, "Oh, did one of the dogs get out?" Jon just nodded his head and walked off. Why is it that (some) yippie dog owners can't hear their own dogs waking up everyone in the neighborhood?

It is true that any dog barking for hours on end is terribly annoying but for some reason the yippie dog bark makes my spine curl. I love dogs and am really wanting to get one--but I guarantee that it will not be a small yippie dog!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

The Belly at 33 Weeks

Well, there it is--The Belly. It is definitely bigger.

You can see how my bellybutton is popped out in the second picture.

I love how you see Isaac's little eyes poking through in the top picture.

No new stretch marks yet--but I still got 7 weeks left. We'll see if I get any. I only got a couple on my sides with Ewan and Isaac so I am hoping that I don't get any new ones--but if I do I will wear them proudly as my initiation into being a mom of 3.

I am one week away from 34 weeks--which is when Isaac was born. I find myself praying a lot that this baby will stay comfy until after August 17th. I am trying not to get nervous or worry about going early again. I don't think it will be an issue but every once in a while the fear creeps in.

I can't wait to see how much bigger the belly gets with this baby! I am going to try to take weekly pictures of the belly growth. I always wanted to have a picture every week but I am terrible about remembering to do it. Now that I am so close to the end, hopefully it won't be as hard.

What a Weekend!

Jon's Hebrew teacher invited his whole class (all 6 of 'em) to come to their house this Saturday to celebrate the 4th. They live on Lake Latonka in Mercer, PA. We decided to go for it even though it would be another late night for the boys but sometimes making memories overrules sticking to bedtimes. It was free fun!

Their house is about an hour from our house so we drove out there after the boys got up from their naps. We decided to let them sleep longer than normal since we knew they would be up super late. Being at the lake was much like being

at the cottage except the water was much warmer. The boys haven't been swimming as much as we would like in their lifetime so it still takes them a little bit to warm up to the idea of swimming--especially for Isaac. After about 20 minutes they were having a grand time. Jon took both the boys out in a kayak (see pics) which they loved. It made me as nervous as standing in front of a rattlesnake--I kept having flashes of it tipping over. The boys did very well following all the directions and sitting still in the kayak. Whew! I loved being in the water and feeling lighter. I gotta find a way to go swimming more during the week.

We went for a boat ride in the Richards' boat and that was very relaxing. Mr. Richards (or Captain Jack as we liked calling him) told us about the lake and gave us a tour. It seems like an awesome place to live. It is a private lake and it even has a community center with a "beach" and a park--a great place for families. Rosalee, Jon's Hebrew teacher, cooked some wonderful food and after dinner and dessert we went back out on the boat to go see the fireworks show from the lake. It was beautiful! That was the first time I have ever seen fireworks from a boat.

The boys really liked Captain Jack and he took to them too. The Richards have grandchildren but none of them live nearby. Captain Jack said multiple times, "they are so cute" or "thank you so much for bringing them, I need my grandkid fix". That is a picture of them below sitting with Captain Jack. He also let them drive the boat which scored him some extra points with the boys.

The two Africans from Jon's class came as well as Elias' roommate, Ferdinand, who joined us for dinner earlier this week.

Elias and Ferdinand told us they thought that the 4th of July celebration was very festive and they were surprised at how much people do for the holiday. They shared that in Kenya and Tanzania only Christmas is celebrated as long.

I am looking forward to more cultural conversations with them. When the topic of birth came up (I wish we could have talked longer about that!) Ferdinand told me that in Kenya women will put a towel with warm water on their stomachs after the baby is born to help remove the extra blood (lochia) and to help the stomach go back to its original size. I thought that was an interesting practice--especially when he said they keep applying the towel for a whole month!

We left the Richards' at 11pm and got home around midnight. Amazingly, the boys were pleasant the whole time we were there. No whining or fussing at all. I think they made up for it this morning when they were both crabby from a short night of sleep.

We decided to skip church this morning and had a relaxing day. One of our neighbors called this afternoon to see if we wanted to go swimming at his mom's house. Sure! We took the boys swimming and had a great time. Isaac was soooo much more comfortable in his swim vest that he wanted to just float in the water whereas before he would cling to me like a baby koala bear holding on to his mamma. When Isaac wanted to float by himself he would say, "Can I swim like a turtle?". Where he got this idea, I don't know but it sure was cute and I was proud of him for being brave and trying swimming a little on his own. Ewan was so comfortable in his swim vest the he was swimming all around the pool by himself. We were always nearby to get him but I was amazed at how well he was doing. His Mimi would be so proud. I realized that swimming around in a swim vest is very different than learning how to swim without any kind of flotation device but we will get there. For now this works and he is still learning the basics of kicking and holding his breath. We swam for almost 2 hours and Ewan was very sad to leave the pool. Thankfully it wore him out enough that I think bedtime will be a breeze tonight. Woo-hoo!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Thomas the Train Recall

In case you haven't heard red and yellow trains and other accessories from the wooden Thomas the Train sets have been recalled due to higher than recommended levels of lead in the paint. Here is a list of all the recalled items and the procedure to send them back.

Thanks! And Good News....And A Mystery Solved

Hey friends and family,

I just want to thank you all for all the sweet words of exhortation and encouragement you have given me. I woke up today feeling more like my normal self but I know that more transition sadness will creep up. Dawn, I am going to take your advice and spend 30 minutes a day with God. Well, at least aim for Monday-Friday :). I feel very much loved by you all and so thankful for the extra prayers.

The good news is that all of us now have healthcare insurance! Woo-Hoo and praise the Lord! I just enrolled us all in the state medical assistance program. We are fully covered for dental, eye, and medical coverage. I had to pick a primary care physician for Jon and the boys without talking to anyone but I got the names of the doctors on good recommendations. It feels soooo good to have that taken care of!

The solved mystery (I never posted about the mystery) is that Ewan does not have a worsened form of Keratosis Pilaris but rather a case of Fifths Disease. We are pretty sure that Jon's mysterious illness last week was the same thing. We are also fairly sure that I had it not too long after we arrived in Pennsylvania. I felt achy and very tired for a couple of days but it passed quickly. Jon ran a fever and felt bad for about 5 days with bad aches and pains. Ewan never seemed to show any signs of fever or malaise but has the telling red slapped cheek look on his face. I thought his Keratosis was getting worse as a result of food sensitivities. I finally figured it out this morning when the rash spread to his arms and now, this afternoon, his legs.

If you remember how the boys had a fever on our big drive up here, it is possible that is when they had the contagious part of the illness and somehow it has taken this long for the rash to appear on Ewan. The stupid part about the disease is that you don't really know what it is until the rash shows up and by then it is too late because you aren't contagious anymore. The result is that you have no idea you are spreading the disease around. Apparently it was going around in Anna before we left and the incubation period can be up to 28 days. My two good friends Kim and Darlene got it.

About a week after we got to Pennsylvania I started feeling feverish and achy. When I checked my temperature it was normal. I felt sluggish and tired for about 3 days. I think that I probably had fifths disease first. The downer is that is can be harmful for the fetus of a pregnant woman. It can cause fetal anemia although it is very rare. Once I figured out that Ewan had the rash then I knew that I had been exposed and that it was probably what I had a few weeks ago. I called the midwives today and left a message letting them know that I had been exposed to it and that I probably had it but I have not heard back from them yet. After Darlene (who is also pregnant) was diagnosed with fifths her OB sent her to a perinatologist. She will have to go every week and get a sonogram to monitor the baby. I don't know if the midwives here will follow the same protocol. I don't know how they can tell from a sonogram whether or not the baby is anemic but if they discover the baby is they will do a in-utero blood transfusion. Sounds pretty invasive and serious. I have read that it tends to be more serious of a woman is in her first trimester when she is exposed to fifths. I do not feel concerned about the health of the baby but I am nervous about whether or not I will be booted into the "high risk" category of pregnancy and will have to birth at the hospital with the midwives and not at the birth center. Please pray for baby "Tex" that he is and will be completely healthy and that I won't be labeled high risk.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy 4th of July!

We did most of our celebrating the 4th yesterday. We were invited to a neighbor's house to a dessert party before the local fireworks show. We invited one of Jon's fellow Hebrew classmates to come to our house before the party so we could walk over together. Jon's new friend, Elias, is from Tanzania and is here for 1 year. He has 6 children and a wife back at home! It is not uncommon for African internationals to come to Trinity for 1 or 2 years while their families are back at home. What a great sacrifice for them to make! I don't know that I could do it. Elias brought one of his roommates, Ferdinand, who is from Kenya. We made them eat with us (haha--I think they had just eaten but we gave them a place at the table and they ate some). It was wonderful to have some guests at our dinner table. We didn't get to do that as much when we were living in Anna as we did in San Antonio and I really missed it. I think we will get to host more here since we are living so close to the community we are a part of.

I made a rhubarb pie from a Williams-Sonoma recipe that was tasty and brought that to the party. At one point there were probably about 20 kids running around the backyard and playing together. When all the fireflys came out the kids ran around chasing them and putting them in jars. There was a huge table loaded with all kinds of different desserts--you can bet I was glad I passed my glucose tolerance test! I chowed down on some awesome chocolate chip cookies and some homemade angelfood cake. The boys got dirty from running around--there is more exposed dirt around here so by the end of the day of playing outside their feet are black with dirt along with their hands.

We waited until about 9:30 and headed out to find a place to watch the fireworks being shot off from the high school. All we had to do was go to the end of our block and turn the corner! I love being so close to the action. We happened to be standing next to our next door neighbors whom we hadn't met yet. I had a nice talk with the lady and met her kids. They are older but it was nice to finally meet our other next door neighbors. The fireworks started a 10pm and it was a good show. It was the first time we let the boys stay up that late for fireworks. They enjoyed it but they were getting pretty tired. By the time we got home and wiped them down, got jammies on and put them in bed it was 11pm. Of course they got up at the same time they always do-- 7am! They took super long naps this afternoon to make up for their lack of sleep.

Today Jon worked and when the kids got up at 4 we headed out to Frick Park. I found it yesterday on the way home from a food co-op store. The park has 2 playgrounds and hiking trails. I am proud to say that at 32 weeks pregnant I accomplished a good hike where the last part was completly up a very large and somewhat steep hill. It was a bit of a challenge but I didn't have to stop and rest. Then we went and ate at Qdobo and came home for bedtimes. The boys still got to bed a little later than their usual bedtime but it was worth it to have some good family time.

On a personal note:
I woke up this morning feeling sad. I miss my friends and long for a deeper connection with other women. I think my sadness was triggered from the party last night. It was fun to talk to other seminarians although I have to admit that I was a little sad I didn't get a chance to talk (very much) to other women who were there. Many of the women already knew each other and had relationships with each other. There was only one other new seminarian at the party (most people don't move here until August right before classes start). I felt my shyness come out and felt awkward at butting in on conversations already going on which made it easy to just play (okay, hide) with the kids and help them. I guess I just have to get over my shyness and insecurity and go up to introduce myself to people even if they don't seem all that interested. It is easy to revert back to the wallflower in me when I am in a new social situation.

Now that most of the unpacking is done and things are starting to settle into a routine I think my emotional constipation is getting unclogged (there's an image for ya). Things don't feel quite as busy so lonliness is able to creep up. I have been thinking more about the birth of the baby and am realizing what fears and anxieties I have that I need to pray about. There are a lot of things tempting me to live in fear right now (the biggest one is that we are currently uninsured--we are working on it though!).

I think the prescription for my sadness and fear is to spend some extra time being quiet before the Lord on our porch swing. When my mind is swirling with so many thoughts and emotions that seem to blitz me out of nowhere I think some silence will help. Now, if I could just have some discipline to actually follow through with it......

Monday, July 02, 2007

The Results Are....

I passed the 3 hour glucose test! Praise the Lord for that!

I am excited to see the lab results at my next visit. The Midwife Center gives you your chart at every visit so you can fill in your weight and urine dip results. They also encourage you to know your chart and to read it. The birth center believes that women should have access to their charts because it empowers them.

Have you ever noticed that most places keep your chart from you and that you would feel like you were violating some unwritten code to ask to see your chart? Most doctors prefer their patients NOT to have access to their medical charts and files. When they handed me my chart I felt like I was doing something sneaky by looking through it even though it was clearly available for me to peruse. They find it helpful for women to know their medical history and lab results because it helps women to feel included in the process of birth and not just some kind of patient. I love that about this place!