Monthly Archives: April 2010

DS and his tricks

Walking in the orange grove

I woke up this morning and scrolled through my facebook page and found a link to this blog, and the blogger is blogging about Gentle Discipline.

This is something that I can really relate to, and something that I definitely aspire to, and something that inspires my parenting. Yes, lots of very non-committal stuff. As a disclaimer, I definitely will never hit my children and I hope to be a stronger, better person and not loose my temper with the resulting raised voice and feelings of intense anger.

But, I am not a 100% perfect parent 100% of the time. And it worries me that at first glance Gentle Discipline can come off as holier than thou and give the impression of parents who have endless patience and time to handle the whims of babies and toddlers, while ensuring that their own needs are met.

Sometimes I do. Like this morning DS took my car keys as he wanted to press the button to unlock the car doors and then would not give me back my keys. He was strapped in his car seat, I was sitting in the drivers seat and he still would not give them back. Now, I was not in a particular hurry to get anywhere, we were off to the park to meet up with friends. So we waited. I patiently explained that we would sit in the car going nowhere until I got the keys and eventually (about 10 minutes later) he gave them to me. I decided that whatever his reason for needing to hold onto my keys, it was sufficiently good enough for me to not take them back forcefully. It was not in immediate conflict with my needs. Had I needed to be somewhere, I would not have been able to give him the time to decide to give me back my keys.

I never thought I would be a parent stuck in my car while my toddler won’t give me my keys. I was sure only the weakest parents would allow such a situation to happen. And yet, today, that was a perfectly acceptable experience for both of us. I don’t like power struggles with him, unless they are needed. Like when he is running around with a knitting needle that he has found, I will take it away from him. Or like when he wants to pull the keys off my laptop and I close to to protect the remaining keys.

However, I do not always have the time, energy or reserves to be patient and understanding. Sometimes I NEED to sleep, go the the loo, cook, get somewhere, etc. And those times I cannot entertain the same level of flexibility in my planning and response.

Another trick is that he is imitating his grandfathers smoking. Any long cylindrical object he finds become a kada-ran (his word for a cigarette). And he ‘smokes’ it. 😦 I know he is just imitating, and that he is not about to start smoking, but it makes me a little sad and a little angry that this is something he values (I know it’s his grandfather he values, but still).

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Back to normal – kind of

Story time with uncle

My brother and his grilfriend left last night. I have my home back to myself and now I have some time to think about being pregnant and preparing to bring our second child into the world.

I have set myself the task of looking into nutritional requirements for pregnant mothers, and started with zinc However, it is a much larger project that I initially thought. I do hope to get it done. It is facinating to see what one mineral is responsible for throughout pregnancy.

I am still quite amazed that I am  pregnant. My life is so intense right now, I still do not really know how to integrate this news. Yesterday I was 7 weeks pregnant, I can feel a small swell over my pubic bone and I look very pregnant thanks to bloating and gas (despite no complex carbs). But I can’t get my head around the reality yet. I am not doing ultrasound, and have not yet been to any doctor for ‘confirmation’. It’s kinda weird to just own it, me and my husband. No one else butting in just yet. I am glad we are doing it that way this time.

In other developments – it turns out that I REALLY am not ready for my father to get married. I am angry at him for rushing it, and I do not trust their reasons. She is Catholic, so no living together or even touching each other until they are married. Hence the rushed marriage. They really do want to be together. I just think that it is artificial to put that kind of pressure on an older couple. My father has hardly mourned my mother, and now he is getting married. Her girls do not want them married now, but there is no way for my father and her to be together without being married. ARGH! I have never been a fan of organised religion, and I wish that people could be more in tune with their needs emotionally without sticking the whole church/religion thing into the decicion.

He is getting married on the 7th of July. I will meet her one day before they get married. I will have to accept this. And get on with my own life and leave them to get on with theirs. I cannot help but feel this is driving us apart. However, I am not an adolescent, and my father must do as he sees fit.

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My body

This may turn out to be quite a heavy blog entry. I have had much on my mind in the last days, and I have been thinking, feeling and reading so much.

Firstly, I had a wonderful chat with the assistant of a midwife who lives fairly close to us. The midwife is on holiday, but we’ll be in touch in the next month. It was wonderful to share hopes, experiences and commiserate with a woman who has made similar choices to the choices I have made.

However, this is in the context of me being rather concerned about not finding a midwife who will support me, or be open to doing things my way. Put more honestly, I am terrified I won’t find a midwife who will support me and my birthing body. I have control issues.

There are three things that are weighing on my mind when it comes to this pregnancy and birth.

One, I will never, ever, ever have a transvaginal ultrasound again in my life. The last one was the most painful and intrusive experience for me, for absolutely no gain. I need to find someone who is OK with no ultrasound for calculating the EDD.

Two, I am concerned that I will have problems birthing my placenta, after the previous attempt. And subsequent mismanagement.

Three, it all boils down to childhood sexual abuse, and me being unable to succumb physically to all the tests and procedures that are expected from pregnant women.

In my previous pregnancy I was not honest about my terror of loosing control of my body *to another person*. I had no issues going with the flow of my birthing body. I even relished the experience of being able to trust my body. However, I could not contemplate my body being under anyone elses control other than my own.

And this is all much more intense right now. I will not give up control of my body, or allow anything to happen to my body that I am not in agreement with (unless my life is in immediate danger of course 😉 ). I feel very strongly about this.

And I am taking myself off for counselling. This has been all much more intense than I thought it would  be.  I know that I need emotional support through this pregnancy, and I will find it.

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My health plan for this pregnancy.

I have been exploring diet, exercise and my mental and physical health prior to conceiving, and have put myself on essentially the GAPS diet. No grains, or complex carbohydrates. Plenty of fresh vegetable, some fruit, meats, liver, eggs, fermented milk, fermented veggies, butter, olive oil. I also started to take fermented cod liver oil and will start with a broad spectrum pro biotic.

I walk every 2nd day, alternating with my husband who is still running. (I am very proud of him). I have been doing sprints, and will see how I feel with it this pregancy. Due to holidays, my brother visiting, our dog dying, there has been a miriad of reasons why I have not had my morning walk since testing positive for being pregnant. I plan to add some yoga at home.

The book Rebuild From Depression started my quest more serisouly into how to support myself through diet. I knew we wanted to conceive some time this year, and I have been anxious about having a second child with so little support aroud me, especially without my mother. I wanted to prepare in such a way that at least there would not be a nutritional reason to suffer with depression during the pregnancy or after the birth.

Then, after worrying about phytic acid and oxalic acid, I decided to try not eating grains for a while, and see how that impacted on me physically and emotionally. After a couple of rough days, I felt much better. No more bloating, cramping, gas. My mood is still not what I would like, with me being quite impatient and overreacting to life events, obsessing about details most people don’t even register…. I am hoping that will stabilise too, although being pregnant might not help right now LOL.

After about a month now of not eating grains, I find myself eating more according to the GAPS diet. I mostly just take the cue from my body, if I am bloating or gassy, I cut back on whatever new food I tried out, like strawberries.

There is no insurance that I will indeed have a stressfree pregnancy, birth and post partum period. However I am sure that this gives me a better chance than filling up on pasta an bread.

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DS’s birth (part 2)

My water’s broke early on the 17th of February 2008, at week 39+3 (or 4, I can’t remember now).

The rest of that day we busied ourselves with last minute shopping, and our last hours together as just the two of us.

In the evening my contractions started at 15 minutes apart. We sipped on red wine, I was on my birthing ball, and then I went to sleep for a while. DH kept timing my contractions through my sleep. Some time in the middle of the night, we drove the +20km to the OBGYN’s birthing cabin (I do not recommend driving in labour – it was very uncomfortable driving through a contraction. DH had to stop the car for each contraction).

I tried being in the Hydrotherapy pool, but was getting tired with there being no way to support myself. I was also vomiting a lot and really just wanted to be alone with DH.

We moved over to the birthing area, me lying on my side with DH with me, holding me and giving me a contra to push against for each contraction. If I needed the loo, he was there with me, if a contraction arrived while I was on the loo, he supported me. He was my rock.

I completely gave my body up to the process and was supported by the doula and my husband – lots of lower back rubbing, and quiet candle light. The OB stayed out of the room, other than for an occasional monitor of the baby using doppler.

I found myself birthing in the birthing pool. I did not like being told to reach down to touch my baby’s head. I was deeply concentrated on what was going on with my body, and I was not rushing anything. We would meet soon enough, and I would birth him, even if it took one or two more pushes than the OBGYN thought necessary.

The moments after the  birth were extatic. I had done it, we had done it! Our baby was alive and well, I felt fantastic. It was just awesome.

I did not pay attention to when the cord was cut, or even notice that they took my son to weigh and dress him, I was getting out of the pool and being helped to the bed to lie down.

As time passed, the OBGYN was looking at the clock, and worrying about my placenta not arriving.He started to inject me with pitocin, into the umbilical cord, and something into my thigh. He catheterised me. He pulled on the cord, causing me excruciating pain, enough for me to physically push him off me. And then transferred me to the hospital, a 30 minute dive that was horrific. My son and husband followed in another car and my beautiful birth fell apart.

In the more than two years that have passed from that day, I have refused to think about it.

I told myself to be grateful I am alive and I have a healthy child.

And yet, as I already start thinking about giving birth again, reading up on how I will make different choices this time, I know that it might not have needed to end quite like that. I need t acknowledge the ugly side of what happened, not hide behind the beautiful parts of the birth.

I know I did not require a blood transfusion, which I have interpreted as there being no serious post partum heamorrage. I do not think I was actually at risk for post partum heamorrage. The birth of the placenta was mismanaged by a doctor who was following a protocol, not my clicical picture. Yes, retained placenta can be very serious. Yes, post partum heamorrage is very dangerous to the mother. But 30 minutes is not a magical number. If the mother is well, and there is not abundant bleeding, there is no medical reason to manage the birth of the placenta so aggresively.

I am ordering my medical file, just to see what went on that day. I never got a satisfactory explanation from the OBGYN.

The unpleasantness of trying to get myself discharged, the bureaucracy of discharging a new born and a mother was a nightmare. I had to endure staff telling me I am risking my babies life and all I wanted was to be at home.

I am definitely not a good candidate for hospital birth, or being in a hospital at all. I cannot abide someone else trying to control my body.

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DS’s birth revisited (part one)

I was so proud of how much time and energy I put into preparing for my birth and my baby. I was making choices that I felt were in informed. I was certainly more informed than my peers around me, but in retrospect I was hardly informed beyond 1st and 2nd stages of labour, and what to do with a newborn other than breastfeed.

I was doing the unheard of – I was birthing my first baby in a homebirth, with the option for a waterbirth. I was not administering vit K, no HepB vaccine, no drugs for me or baby. I felt that what I was doing was so radical anyway, that it didn’t matter too much that I kept having ultrasounds, that I agreed to the glucose screening test, that I agreed to more and more blood tests. I would do anything to ‘be allowed’ to birth out of the hospital.I even felt like I could compromise on the eye goop, and let them have ‘something’. It seemed the least dangerous of all the intervention offered, and I could not  be called fanatical.

During our pregnancy, me and DH bounced between health care providers, interviewing two midwives, a private OB and seeing a number of OB’s through the National Health.

I could not give birth in a hospital. I knew that I just would not be able to. DH was very worried, and had a huge amount of pressure from his medical father and step mother. Homebirth was seen as the ultimate in selfishness on my part, with all the risk on the homebirth and all the advantage on the hospital birth (this has become a theme I am all too familiar with now when it comes to this side of the family. Technology and modern medicine only ever seem to do good and natural is to be mistrusted).

We settled on the OB when I was about 33 weeks pregnant. We had looked into every hospital birthing option available, even considering travelling to Jerusalem (about an hours drive) as they had the best rooming in options for newborns. However, when I understood that if I needed the loo while in labour, and I was attached to the fetal monitor, I would be given a bedpan, and not allowed to go to the loo – any hope of me birthing in a hospital folded. If I could not go to the loo in private (and lock myself in there if the medical team were being interferring with my birth ), I was not birthing in a hospital.

My fear of requiring a transfer during my homebirth helped settle us on the private OB. I ignored his love affair with his ultrasound machine, his crass humour and his egotistical way of managing to talk almost exclusively about himself whenever we came for a checkup. I was getting to birth out of the hospital, and that was my bottom line. Should I require a transfer, I would be with a doctor who knew me and who would not harras me for trying to birth at home. This also reassured DH who was worried about birthing without an experienced doctor.

I hired a doula (well, she was part of the package with this OB), unsure as to just what I was paying for, and too shy to ask her to clarify. Not wanting to bother her, I took her lead and spoke to her when she initiated it. I did not feel comfortable calling her. She was very sweet, supportive and encouraging.

Everything was set for an amazing birth.

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New beginnings

Our new vegetable garden (well, the neighbouring plot)

We have joined a community vegetable garden, and took my brother to see it this morning. As of yet, we have not done anything there, other than attend the opening course on how to build the beds for the vegetables, and how to take the sun movement into consideration when planting, how to set up our reticulation and when to add compost etc.

The view out east from the community garden

I look forward to posting more pics as this project grows…. although I will be relying much more on DH to help me with this now, as yes, I am pregnant. I know, I know, it’s at the moment, and all manner of things can still happen between now and July, but right now I have a nice clear line, twinges in my pelvis every time I get up too quickly and as of yet, no nausea or anything horrid. But I am 4+2 weeks, so that is hardly anything to be too excited about just yet.

I am more and more excited about this. It feels right.

So, here it is:

My 2nd BFP

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