The Big Decision

While nothing is final, me and Juan have come to a tentative decision on the path I’ll take after the navy. I’m going to start working on 3 (maybe 4) certifications.
1) Bradley Birth instructor- I took this class and without it, I would have begged for the epidural immediately. I would have taken my laboring behind straight to a hospital and begged to get cut open. Not only did the class give me the confidence to go through with a natural birth but I got the endorsement that I was doing the right thing for myself and my baby girl. I want to be that instructor for someone else. I want to empower other women to do what they were designed to do. 🙂
2) IBCLC (lactation consultant)- these professionals are so crucial to successful breastfeeding. I will be able to use my skills to help a mom attain her goals for breastfeeding and feed her baby the all natural way.
3) DONA doula- my doula was actually a last minute volunteer from the birth center. She helped so much in labor and I wish she was there from the start. I can’t wait to be able to support women in the most life changing moment of their lives.
4) CPST (carseat technician)- I hate hate HATE seeing carseats installed incorrectly. I’m hoping that having this certification means at the very least, my friends and family will always have someone to check their seats for them.

So why the assortment of certifications? Well the ultimate goal is an all natural mom and baby store. I’ll be a pregnancy concierge of sorts and will be able to meet almost every need for a new mom. The store will sell everything you need! Cloth diapers (still debating on doing a service as well), wraps/slings, nursing tops, baby food makers, and so much more. I’ll offer classes and workshops and I’ll be available for house calls.

I really feel like this is my calling. This is everything I’ve wanted! I want to teach, that will get fulfilled. I want to own a business, that will get fulfilled. I want to make my own hours, definitely fulfilled. It’s everything I’ve been searching for in a job. I can’t wait!!

Sweet potatoes

Josie’s first thanksgiving!

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Insanity?

Well. I tend to change my mind. A lot. Sometimes it all works out and it’s no big deal but others it has the potential for being disastrous. Right now I’m going back and forth on what I want to go to school for. The truth is it isn’t an easy decision. I have three options I’m weighing right now. Each one has it’s pros and cons so I’m going to try to convey all the details.

Electrical Engineering
Pretty self explanatory, I’d use the degree to be an electrical engineer.
Pros: Really good chance of getting a big salary. With my background in the navy I could more than likely be picky about the jobs I take. The schooling I got in the military translates over to quite a few college credits towards this degree. We would definitely be okay for money.
Cons: I’m probably looking at a big commitment to working hours. My goal when deciding to get out of the military is to spend more time with my family. I don’t think my pay could justify the time I’d spend away. Also, I’m just not that great at working with electronics. I’ve never been able to retain anything I’ve learned and it leaves me feeling like an idiot. I don’t think that’s just going to change. I just don’t see me loving this career and feeling like I’m doing what I love.

Music
I’d use the degree and teaching credentials to be a music teacher.
Pros: I can definitely see me loving this career path. I absolutely love music and I love to teach. Bonus: summers off!
Cons: the salary. I know teachers aren’t broke. But they’re still not paid as much as they’re worth and it’s a damn shame. I want to make sure that no matter what I can take care of us. Just in case things don’t always go the way they should with Juan’s job opportunities.

Business Management
I’d use the degree to open my own business centered around pregnancy and babies.
Pros: The current plan is for me to teach the Bradley method while I’m in school anyway. I am so passionate about natural childbirth and I talk to anyone who will listen about the benefits. I figured it would be a great way to get paid to do this. The business would more than likely be a store that sells natural parenting stuff. Cloth diapers, breast feeding supplies, homebirth supplies etc. I’d offer classes and workshops too. I think that it could really be a success if I play my cards right. I could be doing something I love and possibly be a big success! On top of that I’d be able to make my own hours and that means time for family.
Cons: it’s really risky. The chance of it flopping is high but the chance for it to be a huge hit is high too! I know he potential for income but it’s just potential. I do know there is only a few cloth diaper stores in the Houston area but I don’t know if it’s because no one has tried or if it’s because they all failed.

So you see my dilemma. Take a risk to do something that would make me so happy? Or take the safe routes and choose money or happiness? It’s such a difficult decision.

Now I’d like you to weigh in. What would you do in my situation?

UPDATE!

Sorry I don’t post often. Especially now with the new baby, it’s difficult to get on.

Josie is doing great! She’s breastfeeding like a champ but I just started the painful stage. We nursed with a breast shield for a little while to help her out but I got rid of them so it would be one less thing for me to forget. So I’m just going through the beginning feeding pains. I’ll be much happier when we’re past this painful stage. She’s not on any kind of schedule but she does great with her bedtime routine. Most nights, after doing the things we do every night, she will sleep for her longest stretch. She also sleeps at night, she did that on her own.

We’ve decided that the style of parenting we’re doing is called attachment parenting. It’s something we have decided on after a lot of thought and consideration. I’m telling you this as our friends and family because I’d like to have your understanding. We often hear fears of us “spoiling” her. Since we know now that you can not spoil someone who is incapable of manipulation (that comes in a couple months) we know we’re doing what is best. I’d love it if you could look at this link on Dr. Sears website outlining the gist of AP. It has a lot of subsequent articles on the page answering any questions you may have. As you may know, I have a different way of doing things. As always, I ask that you be supportive. We all want what’s best for our children and I believe this is the best way for us and our family. That is not to say I think any other choices are necessarily wrong, but I just don’t want to implement certain practices.

Well, it is 4am and I’m sure my baby girl will be waking up soon. 🙂

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WOW! and update

I logged into my blog today expecting to be at a little over a hundred views. I usually get around 60 when I post so I figured with the link being on babycenter I’d get a few more. My hit count is officially 800! That is just amazing. I hope that some of you readers will continue to follow my blog. I plan (as you can see, I’m not the best planner) to write a bit more often. At least while I’m on maternity leave I can write while Josie sleeps.

So an update on me in general. I am currently waiting to hear word on my early out. Towards the end of pregnancy all I could think about is that I only get a year with my baby girl before they’re going to ship me off to a deployment. I can’t bear to think what it will be like without my baby girl. Now more than ever, I don’t want to leave her. I know women are doing it everyday and their strength is something I envy. I just can’t do it. The thought of missing out on 6-8 months of her life is killing me. So I’ve put in to get out early. My plan is to get out in December and move back to Texas City. I’ll live with my mom for a few months (if possible) and save up some money to buy a house. I’ll start school as soon as possible at the community college and transfer to U of H in the fall. Right now I’m leaning towards teaching. I’m still iffy on the grade exactly but for some reason 5th, 8th and 9th grade is calling to me. It’s something about those transitional  years that’s appealing.

If you’re the praying type, please pray for me. I really want this and I think it could be good as long as I stay motivated. If you’re not the praying type, well you need Jesus. 😛 Just put out some positive thoughts for me if that’s your thing. 🙂

Josephine’s birth

This is the recount of my natural unmedicated birth. It’s a bit long but I wanted to be sure that everything is here. I want to add the disclaimer that while I think my birth was perfect and how it should be, it is no reflection of my view of your birth experience. It never fails that someone takes it a bit personally when I talk about unmedicated birth. This is my story.

Early Labor
On Saturday, 6/4, I started to have contractions around noon. They weren’t consistent at all so I convinced the hubby to go for a walk at the Balboa Park. We walked the whole thing and went inside the free art museum too. The whole time I was stopping for the contractions. I had a timer on my phone and before I could get to an hour’s worth of consistent contractions, they would stop for 15-30 minutes. So frustrating! We got home around 4 and he asked me if he should go to work. I told him yes because I was pretty sure this wasn’t the real thing at all. While at home I continued to have contractions that weren’t bad at all. But they were about 4-5 minutes apart. I called the midwife and told her what was going on and expected her to dismiss it. I tried to eat, sleep, walk, shower and change positions to get them to stop for good but they weren’t stopping. I called Pancho to come home and told the midwife they were starting to get more intense. It was the bitchy midwife on call that night and she kept telling me to just try to get some sleep. Ugh. I was definitely holding this baby in until she was off shift. Hubby came home and we made sure my bag was ready but I was still not completely convinced I was really in labor. I hadn’t lost my mucus plug, my water hadn’t broken and the contractions were still inconsistent. Juan actually went to sleep but, as sure as I was that I wasn’t in labor, some part of me knew I was and I was not able to sleep. Around 1am I woke him up and told him the contractions were getting much more intense but they were still inconsistent.

Water Breaking
He sat with me on the couch and rubbed my back since that’s where I was feeling the most pressure. In the middle of a contraction, at 1:21 am, I felt a rumble low in my pelvis. It kind of felt like when you hold in a fart, LOL, except in the wrong spot. Then I felt the water… I was still on the couch so I rolled off onto the floor and on the carpet. I crawled across the carpet to the kitchen so I wouldn’t make a mess (HAHA.) When I felt like it was done I told Juan to call the midwife and tell her what happened. I was still waiting on my aunt to show up anyway, but I wanted her to know what was happening. The midwife (again) told me to relax (she’s starting to get annoying) and that the contractions would be coming more intensely now. I mumbled “no shit” but I don’t think she heard me. She sounded half asleep and I was kind of pissed off she was seemingly dismissing me. At this point, I noticed my contractions were still no where near consistent. We stayed home for a while longer but by 3am, I was ready to go. I didn’t want to be at home, I wanted to be in that tub I forked over the cash to use. I called Brooke one last time and said I felt like I needed to come in. She finally said we could meet her there at 3:30.

Active Labor
We got to the birth center at 3:15 and waited for Brooke. When she arrived, I made a bee-line for the stairs. I wanted that upstairs room. LOL. We got upstairs and started to fill the tub. Brooke did an initial cervical check (first one all pregnancy!) I was 5 cm and 100% effaced. (You’ll have to forgive me, I lost track of time here and am going off my labor log from my midwife) At 5:05, I told Brooke I felt like I had to push. Every now and then, not every contraction, my body would push. I was not doing anything but responding to it. She checked me again and said that I was only 6 cm. So I continued to labor moving around in the room. I tried to lay in bed but it only mad things worse. Brooke told me to stick it out for 2 contractions and then I would “own” that position… I did not own it, it kicked my ass. So I got up after 2 contractions and took my heiny back to the tub. At 6:25, Brooke told me she had a surprise for me and Julie walked in. Julie is a volunteer doula and came to help me through labor. At this point I was pretty introverted and only thought to myself how I didn’t want anyone there. I was actually thinking a lot of smart ass remarks, but I was not in the mindset to actually vocalize anything. 😛

Transistion
At 7:05, I told Brooke I felt like pushing hard. I really did. My body was basically pushing the baby out on its own. So she checked me one last time and sure enough, I was a 10. YAY! Oh goodness… As I’m reading the birth log, it looks like Brooke thinks I was coping well. I on the other hand felt like running to a hospital for a c-section. My pain level was nothing like I’ve ever felt and I really didn’t want to finish. I knew I didn’t have a choice, no matter how bad it hurt. At 8am, Susan showed up along with a whole team. I had Susan, Jessica, Sunshine (yes, Sunshine!) and Jessica. They were the certified nurse midwife, student nurse midwife, licensed midwife (birth attendant) and RN, respectively. This is when labor got really bad.

Atmosphere
Starting just after the team showed up, I started pushing with each contraction. I was not told to hold it for any certain amount of time or to push any certain amount of times through a contraction. (Usually, a woman is told to count to ten while holding a push and try to get at least 3 pushes in per contraction) This was really helpful to me because, wait for it… MY CONTRACTIONS WERE STILL NOT CONSISTENT!!! At this point in labor this was a blessing more than anything. Those extra couple of minutes that my inconsistent contractions were giving me equaled rest. I actually fell asleep in between some of them. The pain was really like nothing I’ve ever felt. I distinctly remember crying through some contractions and Julie kept telling me to breathe. I was very primal throughout the process. I’m not sure I ever want to hear some of those noises out of a human being again. 🙂 I am very thankful for the freedom to choose how I wanted to labor. Being on my back was absolute torture and I found that the weirdest positions were most effective, like straddling the side of the tub but resting on my right side. Most of labor I stayed on my hands and knees in the tub and I still have the bruises to prove it! I really felt supported throughout the process. 

Delivery
ANYWHO, back to the story. I started pushing at 7:50. I didn’t push effectively the whole time but they wanted me pushing. I loved that I wasn’t being rushed into anything.  At 9:08, I was told to feel if I could feel the baby’s head. I definitely could feel her coming out with each push. I continued to push but I was exhausted. I had been up almost 24 hours and I was worn out. At some point Robyn showed up and she tells me when she saw me in the tub she knew I was damn near done. She said that I looked so tired. Eventually I could feel Josie’s head really close to the edge. Juan shifted so that he was in a good position to catch Josie when she came out. I wanted him to be the first person to touch his baby. Robyn moved behind me so she could hold me up while I squatted. When I started to crown it really hurt. I was told to hold the pushes to let her all the way out but I was scared of tearing. Julie let me know that the way I was pushing should keep me from tearing. At 10:36, I finally pushed my baby girl into her daddy’s hands. She was immediately placed on my chest and I got to see her face for the first time. My baby girl was finally here. After waiting for the cord to stop pulsing, my husband cut the cord and I got out of the tub.

Reflections
In the first few days I was kind of angry and bitter. I knew it wasn’t going to be a walk in the park but it was so painful. I didn’t ever want to have kids again. I thought every person that ever told me I’d forget the pain when I saw her was a big liar.  I loved my baby girl, but in those first few days, the only thing I remembered was the pain. I did have two small tears and that only made my anger worse. I hated that I had to get in the shower to pee (that peri-bottle did NOTHING!) and that I couldn’t walk normally. On top of that, she was not latching on good enough and I couldn’t even express colostrum. I started giving her a little bit of formula because I was terrified of her starving. Again, this furthered my anger. My natural birth was not easy. But now that it’s been a week and nursing is also going well, I can say it was well worth it. I’m reading the birth stories on babycenter from girls who were also due in June and I’m reading nightmares. I can’t imagine birth any other way. The support in the room and the peaceful way everyone was, it was definitely perfect. Suffice to say, I’m proud of myself. I did what I set out to do, have an intervention-free unmedicated natural birth. And yes, her butt is in cloth!

Josephine Antoinette Moran
6lbs 9oz, 21″
June 5, 2011 @ 10:36am

 

Day 7 (YES I forgot again!)

So much for trying to post everyday. LOL!

Day 5. A picture of your favorite memory

The day I saw Josie’s heartbeat for the first time. OMG, I never thought it would sound so beautiful! I can’t believe she’s almost here after all that we’ve been through!

Day 6. A picture of a person you’d love to trade places with for a day

Katy Perry. Hands down. I wish I could be a singer, I just don’t have the chops for it. That and she’s freaking GORGEOUS! I love her!

Day 7. A picture of your most treasured item

My wedding ring. I actually picked it out (kind of) it reminds me everyday that I married the man of my dreams. Even though some of those dreams are nightmares. 😛

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