The Breastfeeding Diaries

I'm excited to announce my very first ever guest post.  I'm sharing my breastfeeding story over at The Girl in the Red Shoes.  Jack and I had to overcome a lot of obstacles in the beginning in order to breastfeed, but once we both learned how he's been nursing like a champ.  My original goal was to breastfeed him for 12 months, but the more I learn and the fact that he was a preemie have made me want to make it to the 24 month mark.  Go check out our story, and all the other fabulous mommas who have shared their stories.


Jack's Birth Story, Part Two: The Birth Center

Yesterday I finally started sharing Jack's birth story.  It's a long story, so I decided to break it up into parts.  I'm not sure how many chapters there will be.  I hope you stick around to hear the whole thing.  Read part one here.

I'm a mummy.....get it???

I remember sitting in the passenger seat of Den's car watching the city fly by as we drove to the birth center. We didn't say much to each other; I think we were both nervous, but were trying to put on brave faces.  My mind was both blank and racing at the same time.  I kept thinking, "....lungs, are the baby's lungs ready?  Please not the hospital. hospital, please no hospital, please healthy lungs..."  My panic and anxiety had lessened, but I felt numb.  I felt like I was sitting still and the world was racing past me.

We arrived at the birth center.  I remember being nervous, but trying to put on a calm everything's okay face for the world.  I didn't want to freak out any other expecting moms in the waiting room.  The receptionist checked me in and I sat down and waited to be called back.  One of the midwives came and got me.  She asked me what had happened and I told her about my morning.  I tried to tell her all the details, but my brain was foggy.  I was still trying to keep it together so I don't know if what I was telling her seemed calm and rational or just paranoid nervousness, but she seemed nonchalant and flippant.  Maybe that was her way of trying to keep me calm.  I remember a little voice in my head wondering why she wasn't showing more concern and compassion.

The midwife examined me.  Almost immediately she said, "Yup, your water broke."  She felt my belly, "And you're having contractions.  Do you feel that?"  I wasn't feeling anything.  "No, I don't feel anything."  She tried not to roll her eyes and sigh.  "Give me your hand."  She puts my hand on my belly, "Feel that?  How your stomach is getting hard?"  I still didn't feel anything, "I think so?"  I was in a whirlwind.  She confirmed my water break so quickly I was still processing it.  The pit of dread in my stomach had dropped.  I was speechless and my mind was racing.  I couldn't believe I was having contractions.  Everything was happening too fast.  The only thing I could manage to say was, "Fire up the hot tub?"

The midwife gave me a blank stare.  I think she thought I was an idiot.  I knew I was too early to deliver at the birth center, but I still didn't know what, if any, options were open to me.  My mind was racing, trying to remember anything and everything I had read about PPROM.  I had questions and worries and was still holding on to the hope that something could be done so I could delay labor long enough to be admitted to the birth center.  In my mind I was grasping at straws to keep me out of the dreaded hospital.  Things were happening too fast and I couldn't find the words to say anything.  The midwife said (almost sarcastically), "I hate to break it to you, but you're not delivering here.  What hospital do you want to go to?"

What hospital did I want to go to???  Why would I have a hospital when I was seeing a midwife?  Wasn't the whole reason for a midwife was to keep me out of a hospital?  I chose a birth center so I wouldn't have to think about a hospital.  I immediately felt like I was being given a pop quiz on a topic I had never been schooled on.  I felt like a failure.  I felt unprepared.  I felt panicked.  It had only been about 30 seconds since she told me my water broke, but it felt like a lifetime ago.  I couldn't hold onto a clear thought and I didn't know how to answer.  I was desperately trying to form a coherent sentence; to give her an acceptable answer.  All I managed was, "Somewhere with midwives?  I know some hospitals have midwives."

She was getting frustrated with me.  I don't know why she was getting frustrated, but she was.  I guess I was failing her pop quiz.  Oh, gee, I'm sorry.  I broke my water just to ruin your day.  I had no time to process any of the things she was saying to me and she wanted me to give her the name of a hospital, off the top of my head, out of the dozens of places in Houston to have a baby?!?  As a midwife, as a medical professional, shouldn't she know a place for me to go? She threw out the names of some hospitals.  I tried to remember where my fertility doctor had privileges.  He was my friend.  Maybe he could at least be there so I would have a familiar face there.  I was dumbfounded and couldn't answer her.  She sighed and said, "I'll be right back."

When she walked out of the room, the full weight of what was happening hit me like a freight train and I burst into tears.  More than anything I did not want to have this baby at a hospital.  I knew the baby was fine, I don't know how I knew it, but I did, so I couldn't comprehend why I had to go to the hospital (logically I understood, but there was part of me that knew we would be fine if we delivered at the center).  I was scared.  I was angry.  I was just plain freaked out.  And there was nothing I could do about any of it.  I had so many questions, but no words to ask them.

The midwife spend almost two hours on the phone calling different hospitals.  She started with ones that had practicing midwives, but none of them would take me because they considered me too high risk.  She couldn't reach any doctors directly and kept getting the runaround from receptionists that didn't actually know anything and couldn't accept me as a patient.  The midwife may have been callous, rude, and unkind to me, but she really did everything she could to find me an appropriate doctor and hospital to transfer to.  I spent the entire two hours crying uncontrollably.  She spent the two hours on the phone and avoiding answering the questions Dennis had for her that I couldn't manage to articulate.  Finally she found a doctor willing to accept me as a patient.  It amazes me that doctors and hospitals were actually refusing to accept me as a patient since I didn't receive any prior prenatal care from them.  If I had just shown up at their doorstep they couldn't have refused me, but since I wasn't actually there, they told me not to show up.

She came back into the exam room and told me which hospital to go to.  She told me under no circumstances was I to let them check my cervix for dilation since I was at high risk of developing an infection in my uterus since my amniotic sac had ruptured.  She told me to stick to my guns about having a natural birth and to try to refuse as many unnecessary interventions as possible.  She told me to hurry, but to stop for food first since the hospital wouldn't allow me to eat.  She had a sense of urgency in her voice (not because I think she was concerned about me but because I think she finally wanted us out of her hair).  We thanked her for finding a hospital and left.

And just like that we were headed to the effing hospital.

I'll be back tomorrow with more of Jack's story.  I warned you this would be long......

Jack's Birth Story, Part One: My Water Breaks

I've been trying to write Jack's birth story for months now.  I've started, stopped, changed, and deleted his story several times.  I'm not quite sure how to capture our story.  His birth wasn't anything like I hoped or planned, but that doesn't mean it's not an incredible, life changing, epic moment.  It was scary, unexpected, and turbulent   I'm just not sure how to convey all that his birth was.  I'm terrible about writing about my emotions.  I can write about what happened, but I never seem to fully convey all that I was feeling.  Some moments are blurry, some moments I wish I could change, and some moments I'll never, ever forget.  But I've been putting this off for too long and so I'm just going to write it already.  It may be long....grab a drink and make yourself comfortable.

36 hours before my water broke; my friend Bug is ready to catch the baby

I don't trust doctors.  Especially when it comes to the business of delivering babies.  I don't trust them at all.  Before getting pregnant, I did A LOT of research about what birth in America is like and I didn't like anything I learned.  Our nation's cesarean rate is alarmingly high, our infant/mother mortality rate is alarmingly high (for a developed country), the number of "necessary" medical interventions during birth is alarmingly high, what women actually know about labor and delivery is painfully inadequate, and I feel like the whole industry puts profits before the well being of mother and baby.  I could write an entire blog about how awful I think the American birth industry is, so let's just say that I don't trust doctors and didn't want to be anywhere near a hospital for the birth of my child and leave it at that.

After the highly medicalized start to my pregnancy, I desperately wanted a more natural and holistic experience of pregnancy and prenatal care.  I didn't want any more (what I deemed to be but felt pressured into) unnecessary ultrasounds.  I didn't want any more invasive checks of my body.  I didn't want any more blood draws.  I was healthy, the baby was healthy, and I just wanted to be left alone to be pregnant.  Instead of transferring from my fertility doctor to a regular OB/GYN, I decided to see a midwife for my prenatal care and planned a water birth at a birth center.  I always knew I wanted a natural, intervention free birth (even more so after all the research I'd done).  A birth center would provide me with all the care baby and I would need, and since no interventions were available through a midwife, our chances of complications were greatly reduced.  I was so looking forward to my water birth.  But that's not what happened.

At 7 am on October 22, 2012, my water broke.  I was rushing home after taking my Mom to the Greyhound station, and I really had to go to the bathroom.  I put my key in my back door when I felt something warm and wet running down my leg; I hoped it was just incontinence and I had wet myself because I was only thirty-three weeks and three days along in my pregnancy.  It was seven weeks too early for my water to be breaking.  This simply could not be my water breaking.  No way.

I went inside with a pit of dread in my stomach, rather confused about the warm and wet sensation at the back door.  There wasn't a lot of fluid like you see in the movies and the pressure on my bladder seemed to have let up, so I assumed it was time for me to go to the store and buy some Depends if I was going to be wetting myself for the next 7 weeks.  Certainly this wasn't my water breaking.  I decided to pay closer attention to what my body was doing, just in case I hadn't actually wet myself, but I was trying to stay optimistic obviously in complete denial.  Dennis had already left for work, and I didn't have to go in until 10 am, so I decided to ignore what had just happened and take a power nap.  Surely my water hadn't broken.

I got up at 8:30 am and had to pee (if you've ever been pregnant, you know that running to the bathroom constantly is a recurring theme to your days).  I took two steps from the couch when a small gush of fluid came out of me, this time just like in the movies.  I froze, in shock.  This couldn't possibly be my water breaking.  Surely, surely I had peed myself.  I stood there, in the middle of my living room, frozen in place not sure what to do and all I could think was please be pee, please be pee, please be pee.   After a few seconds of dumbfoundedness, I ran to the bathroom chanting, "Please be pee, please be pee, please be pee..."  I ran back to the living room, "Please be pee, please be pee, please be pee..."  I ran back to the bathroom, not sure what to do.

I stood in the bathroom doorway completely panicked.  I didn't know if I should run to the car and drive somewhere (not sure where), or run to the street and flag someone down (not sure why - help, I think my water broke! - it's not like I was dying), or if I should call 911 (really?!? - again, not a life threatening situation).  I took a deep breath and tried to slow my pulse; my heart was trying to beat it's way out of my chest.  I grabbed my phone and called Dennis:

D:  Good morning, Honey.
J:, um, yeah, I think my water (burst into tears) just (sob) broke (uncontrollable crying).
D:  Okay, so we're having a baby.
J:  (sob, gag, sob) But it's too soon! (sob) I'm not ready yet (sob) I haven't even packed my hospital bag (sob, gag, sob).  We haven't finished our (sob) childbirth class! (gag, sob, gag)
D:  It'll be okay.  People have babies early.  We'll be fine, calm down, call the Midwife, and let me know what she says.
J:  (sob, sob, sob)
D:  Honey, calm down.  Take a deep breath.  We're having a baby!!!

He's always so calm in these situations.

I call the Midwife and tell her what happened.  She tells me to stay calm and that it could be any number of things that aren't my water breaking.  I feel pretty skeptical about her answers, but am so deep in shock and denial at this point that I cling to the hope that my water did not, in fact, just break.  Since I wasn't having any contractions, she told me to come in that afternoon to get checked out.  I'm still so in shock that I ask if I should go to work, or lie down and rest (or stand on my head - maybe that would help); I really wanted her to tell me to call in from work (I never call in - I even worked through 3 months of horrible morning sickness), but she doesn't.  She tells me I can go to work if I feel like it, so I decide to go in to work.  Honestly, if she had told me to sit down and learn to knit, that's what I would've done at this point.

Since she said I could work, I decided to go to work (did I mention I was in denial?).  Getting ready and going to work was normal.  Normal meant my water did not break.  Normal meant there was some other explanation.  Normal meant we'd all have a good laugh at the morning hysterics I had just gone through.  Normal meant I had only peed myself.  I called Dennis and told him what the Midwife said and that I was headed to work.  He was going to get me at lunch time and take me for my checkup.  Everything was not normal.

I shower and get ready for work, by which point it is incredibly obvious that, yes, my water has broken because I'm STILL LEAKING AMNIOTIC FLUID!  And I'm leaking so much that I have to put on a pad to contain it.  So you would think at this point I would call in from work and head straight to the birth center, but no, that's not at all what I do.  I figure since I'm not having any contractions that I can make it through until lunch and get checked out then.  Denial, denial, denial.  I was in shock.  My brain was fuzzy, my hands were shaking, and I was probably driving 30 mph on the freeway trying to maintain control of myself.  I get half way to work when I come to my senses.  I call Dennis back:

D:  How's everything?
J:  I'm halfway to work, and it's pretty obvious to me now that my water broke.  I don't think it could be any of the other things the Midwife said.  I'm not having any contractions, but I don't think I should be working today.  How sanitary can it be for me to be leaking fluid all over the place, anyway?
D:  Probably not very sanitary.  I thought it was kinda strange that you decided to go in.  Call the Midwife when you get there and tell her we're coming straight to the birth center.  I'll meet you at work. (laugh)  Well, you did always say you'd work until your water broke.
J:  (laugh) True.  I guess this is a good enough reason to call in! (nervous laugh)

I get to work and it still hasn't fully sunk in that I will most likely be having a baby in the next 24 hours.  I call my bosses and let them know what's happening, but tell them there's a chance it's nothing and I'll be back at work the next day - always the optimist still in denial.  I get hugs from my coworkers.  I try not to cry.  My client (who is a regular client of mine) arrives:

C:  Good morning!  How's the baby?
J:  Soooo, my water broke this morning on the way in (white lie to cover my stupidity for coming in anyway).
C:  Get in my truck, I'm taking you to the hospital.
J:  My husband is on the way to get me.
C:  Well, okay, if you're sure I don't need to take you in.
J:  I'm sure; everything's fine.
C:  Okay, see you after the baby.  Good luck with everything!

I call the Midwife again, and stress to her that I really think my water has broken and I need to come in.  She agrees; if I feel that strongly I should come in, but it could be nothing.  Better to be safe than sorry.  I get off the phone with her and wait for Dennis, wondering what's going to happen next.  By this time I've pretty much accepted the fact that my water broke, but I'm hoping something can be done to delay delivery.  I know I'm not far enough along to deliver at the birth center and don't want to go to a hospital.  I'm bargaining with Fate to not let me go into labor until I can deliver at the birth center.  Please not the hospital, please not the hospital, please not the hospital.   I'm trying to stay calm and not panic.  I pace back and forth around the lobby at work, my hands shaking and my breath short trying to burn my nervous energy instead of breaking down in tears.

Dennis shows up and gives me a big hug and I start to feel a little better.  We don't have much to say to each other.  I think we were both pretty nervous, but he is always pragmatic and sensible where I am always an emotional wreck.  He says something that makes me laugh, but I can't remember what it was that was so funny.  We get in his car and head to the birth center.

Like I said, this is a long story.  Now that I'm into the story I realize I'm going to need to break it down into parts so your eyes don't get tired and you don't get too bored reading this.  I'll finish up all the posts today, so I guarantee I'll have the rest of the story autoposted in the next day(s).

Schlitterbahn Fun Facts

This post is sponsored by Schlitterbahn.  All opinions are my own.

As you know, I've been behind on my posting schedule.  July just slipped through my fingers and I had a couple more Schlitterbahn posts I wanted to write before the end of the month.  I also wanted to visit Schlitterbahn Galveston before the end of July, but that trip had to be pushed back until next weekend (and I am so excited to be going!!!).  In preparation for our visit to the waterpark I came across some of these fun facts and thought I would share them with you.

Schlitterbahn Galveston Island:

  • 26 Acres of Waterpark Fun!:   More than 33 attractions are packed into those 26 acres including a Transportainment river system, 2 uphill water coasters (yes, you read that right, uphill water coasters!), a wave pool, whitewater rapids, and the Boogie Bahn surf ride.
  • Voted Best Indoor Waterpark for Five Years Straight: Schlitterbahn Galveston Island opens early for Spring Break and stays open late through December. How is that possible?  Convertible technology! The Wasserfest area transforms to create an indoor waterpark retreat for guests all-year-long.  This is great for fair skinned people like me who burn easliy; yay for indoor water fun!
  • The Soaring Eagle:  A two person, 1/4 mile long, 100 foot high zip line.  Need I say more?

In case you haven't had a chance to get to Schlitterbahn this summer (or if you just want to go again), I'm still offering a special discount to all my readers, but it expires soon, so go get your tix!!! Click here to purchase and use one of these codes:

  • The promo code for the 2 day $7 off is 299000334
  • The promo code for the $5 off discount is 299000335
  • Valid at all Texas waterparks


Day in the Life, August 1, 2013

This is my first photo an hour post where Dennis and I were both off work at the same time!  I realized this a couple of days before the first and was super excited that we were going to get to spend the day together (and I was going to get to capture the whole day an hour at a time).  Only we didn't.  We were both so busy with our individual projects that we hardly saw each other all day!  That's okay, though.  We were both super productive.  That's got to count for something, right?  Dennis just about finished up the garage doors he's making, and I met a major deadline with the contract work I've been doing.  As usual, I took all my photos on Instagram.  And my profile is still private, surprise, surprise.  If you ask nicely, you can follow along!  Without further ado, here's my day:

5 am
already up and working

6 am
my support staff

7 am

8 am
Dennis makes breakfast tacos

9 am
still working - the plant on my table

10 am
shower time

11 am
time for errands

12 pm
on the road

1 pm

2 pm
back in the car

3 pm
feeding the baby at Kroger

4 pm
done with groceries

5 pm
Den's handiwork

6 pm
keeping Jack busy while I work

7 pm
still working

8 pm
on the move

9 pm
hosing off the baby

10 pm

I did a little more work after Jack went to bed, but I couldn't stomach trying to creatively take another 2 pictures of my laptop.  

5 am
back at it
I'm not sure these pictures fully capture everything that went on yesterday.  So much happened in between!  Maybe I should've been taking pictures every 20 minuets instead of every hour!  Here's to an equally productive, but not so tiring day next month.

Monthly Wrap-Up: July

This month was, as usual, a busy month for me.  I'm still taking on contract work which has been taking up a lot of the time I would normally spend blogging (and that's okay -- momma's got to get paid!).  On top of all the contract work, Dennis and I have been super busy doing house projects.  We didn't end up having a house warming party, but that's okay.  We spent so much time doing stuff around the house I just didn't have any energy left to write about it.

What I did manage to write about this month:  Jack's first time in the pool, how to maintain your sanity with a toddler at a waterpark, and I had a great time at the NKOTB concert (even though we went in June).  I also gave away some cool stuff and won some cool stuff.  I celebrated my birthday at the circus (post to come), and we had our first house-iversary.

I'm sure August promises to be just as busy.  We're still working like crazy on the house, and I'm still working like crazy on my contract stuff.  Jack's birthday is fast approaching and I feel like I seriously need to start planning things if I'm going to actually have a first birthday party for him.  And maybe, just maybe, I'll catch up with some blog posts.  I'm not sure how to handle all the posts I've thought about writing but haven't yet.  I have things from back in March (or earlier) I want to catch up on!!!  Any suggestions on how to handle that???
Back to Top