July 20, 2009

To those who inspire me

My sister Stephanie just had a baby boy on July 4th. Although Stephanie's pregnancy was considered high-risk and she had to be monitored very closely to make sure she didn't have her baby too early, the little boy turned out perfectly healthy and was only 2 weeks early. She had one of the easiest labors that I've ever heard of (and I've read a LOT of birth stories). I thought she'd be a good inspiration for anyone else interested in natural childbirth. You can read her story here.

After hearing about Steph's experience, I realized that I never wrote about the people who inspired me when I was preparing for a natural childbirth. It's a little late, but I'd like to give credit where it's due. I first heard about hypnosis for childbirth from Sarah (the cousin who did our previous photo shoot). Although she had a great labor experience, at the time I thought an unmedicated labor wasn't for me. After reading about a dozen books on childbirth, I decided to give it a second thought. Around this time I came across Amy's story. She was so easy to relate to that I contacted her and we went out to lunch. What inspired me about her experience was the simplicity. She was honest and straightforward. She did a Hypnobabies course, but she didn't feel the need to use the techniques during her labor. I imagined that I'd probably be that way too, which ended up being the case.

Although he ended up being my number one support, the hardest part was convincing Jared. He thought I was going off the deep end when I said, "You know, I'm thinking about not getting an epidural." Then, when I admitted I was interested in hypnobirthing, I think he heard something akin to "I've decided to become a stripper." Exaggerating? Well, maybe a little. I realized later it's because of the way childbirth is viewed in our society. That's what Jared had mostly been exposed to, so he thought childbirth without an epidural was the equivalent of a root canal without anesthesia. Surely only crazy granola women who shun modern medicine would choose that, right? Anyway, he ended up saying he'd support me in whatever I chose, and he definitely did.

A month before I had Ivy, my cousin Jen had her baby. She, like me, was induced at two weeks past her due date. This was the final test for me; if she went without an epidural, I knew I would too. She was ecstatic after her experience, so I wanted even more to do it myself. A few days later, her husband even said he was sad it was over because it was such an amazing thing for him as well.

Jen and her baby. Check out those natural highlights.

Now that I've had the experience of natural childbirth, I feel like I should pass on the inspiration to anyone else who could benefit. I know not everyone wants to know what its like, and that's totally fine because I don't think it makes you superior (but it does make you feel strong). So, I will encourage and support my sisters Michelle and Ashley (I'm just going to call her a sister now instead of sister-in-law, because she's as much a sister to me as the rest of them) when they're pregnant with their next babies because they've both expressed an interest in natural childbirth. Funny girls, they can run miles and miles, but think that a few contractions will be painful. Alright, they might be, unless you're Stephanie.

Now I need to be inspired by others again to accomplish my future endeavors. If only I could look and dress like Jared's stunning sisters. Or play the piano like my little sister Jamie. I totally admire my cousin Becca and sister-in-law Jen, who have both climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa. This one is on my list of goals--as soon as I can conquer waking up in the morning.

July 18, 2009

A few of her favorite things

Now that Ivy's 2 months old, I have her figured out just a little. I know, at the moment at least, what makes her happy. Here's the countdown:

10. Burp cloths & bibs: Just look how happy she is! OK . . . so this is more accurately one of MY favorites. It saves our clothes from spit-up catastrophes at least half the time.

9. Blankets: A swaddled baby is a happy baby--some of the time.

8. Water: Ivy already loves the bath, the shower, and the pool. Now I just need to get her a swimsuit so she doesn't look like a boy.

7. The swing: I can rarely put Ivy down without her protesting, but when she lets me, it's usually in the swing, but music must be playing. Does the video make you dizzy?

6. Diaper changing: For some reason, the minute we lay Ivy down on the changing table, she gives us enormous smiles. I guess she likes her bum wiped.

At a baseball game

5. Outdoors: If I can't make her happy any other way, taking Ivy outside nearly always cheers her up.

4. Music: Car rides just aren't happy without a little rhythm to them. Sometimes she'll fall asleep within moments of a song starting. She especially loves to hear Jared play his bass guitar.

Watching fireworks on the 4th of July. She stared intently at the sky the entire time.
3. Wraps & Slings: The best baby accessory. Ever. My back is saved because of these and Ivy is much happier being carried around like this than in my clumsy arms. It also frees my hands so I can eat, clean, and use the computer every now and then.

2. Daddy: What more can I say? Jared is so good at cheering up our little baby. He has impressive bouncing endurance too, which is helpful when I'm worn out after bouncing Ivy 4+ hours a day.

1. Breasts: No picture necessary here. Let's just say that our little chunk LOVES to eat.

July 11, 2009

A Fussy Baby Photo Shoot

When Ivy was three weeks old, my cousin Sarah took some pictures for us. I'm a little late posting these, considering that she's now eight weeks old, but at least I'm updating my blog. You've got to give me credit for that much. By the way, I've been forced to accept the fact that I am a Mormon mom with a mom blog. Yikes. That was hard to write. However, I'm pretty sure my grandma (who has given all her grandkids journals for Christmas for as long as we can remember) would approve.

We started outside, but soon were being attacked by swarms of mosquitoes. I felt pretty guilty watching them land on Ivy's head, so we soon headed inside for safety.

While there, we got a few nice calm pictures.

Until she got tired.

Then we got about 80 pictures that looked like this, so we gave up. Since then I've been waiting for her baby acne to clear up a bit so we can try again.

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