Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Interesting Blog Post Link on Natural Childbirth

This is why I tell people that our "current plan" (stress on "current") is to birth naturally in a birth center. And why I say that we'll see how it all turns out, whether I'll really make it through labor without pain meds, without any interventions, etc. Because this fallen world is unpredictable (and so is my ability to handle pain!).

I am a huge supporter of natural birth (though I'm sort of an unqualified supporter until I've gone through it myself), but I think many - and I'm not saying all - in the natural birth camp are missing one piece of the puzzle in the perspective. We women are told to "believe in our body" and "believe in God's natural design for birth", or whatever other variation on the natural childbirth mantra. I believe that God did design a woman's body for birth, and that it doesn't usually have to be a medical event.

(and that's a big but) this earth is not the perfect "good" world that God originally created. As a Christian I have to remember that this world is darkened by sin, which affects every aspect. Childbirth, of all things, even got individual note in the curse recorded in Genesis! That means that our bodies do not always work according to their perfect original design, that means that childbirth is painful, and that means that we can't guarantee that childbirth will be a "a natural, nonmedical event". Tragic events happen, and more simply, some women don't have the ability or desire (or in some cases, haven't been prepared) to handle pain.

There is a lot of controversy over interventions in labor and delivery, and I think the general obstetrician needs to seriously reconsider a lot of her practices. But the fact is that managed care, pain meds, etc. usually still result in healthy, happy babies. And that's a much bigger thing than whether or not a woman chooses to have an ultrasound in pregnancy, or had an episiotomy in labor, or an epidural, or an induction, or any of the other many intervention options. It's good to remember the big picture - in this case a picture of a cute little baby :-D.

On the flip side, I do highly recommend Natural Childbirth: The Bradley Way and The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth for education on obstetric care and alternatives. Just keep it all in perspective, please.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Fun Visit

Yesterday I finally got to meet Zan in person! When Adrian got the job here in Connecticut I started mapquesting New England blogger friends, and I was happy that Becky and Zan were both only about 2 hours away. Yesterday I drove up to New Hampshire to see Zan. It was a beautiful day, so a nice relaxing drive all the way up (except for the half hour where I turned down the wrong road - totally my fault. . . ) and we had a good visit together, eating lunch, talking, and spending some time outside while her older two boys played. I got to hold Owen (2 months, about) some :-), even though the poor guy was so fussy most of the time I was there. I did get him to smile a few times, though! It was fun to finally meet Zan after communicating online for almost 3 years(!).

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

An Ode to Craigs List

Okay, I'm really not going to write an ode. That would be my sister's line of work. I haven't the talent (or current desire to lay aside self-respect ;-D). But I do really like Craigs List. It's become a sort of replacement to my garage sale thriftiness.

Growing up we'd often spend Saturdays March-October hopping from garage sale to garage sale, and saving a lot of money in the process, buying needed household items for much cheaper than we could get them new, or even at a thrift store. There were also the dud purchases, like the CD player that didn't actually eject, or the money wasters like those dust-collecting purple peacocks, or the pink poodle trinkets (I'm not making this up), but we won't go there :-D. Overall, though, garage sales saved us a lot of money.

But the sky-high gas prices make weekend-ly (I decided that's a word) garage sale jaunts a really pricey way to find things. I am planning to go to two larger rummage sales ("tag sales" in New England) next weekend, hosted by a historical society and a church, but those are more gas-efficient.

Craigs List has proved to be a more gas-efficient way overall to find bargains. I got frustrated with the Atlanta Craigs List because everything listed was in mid-town or Marietta, and I did not live near either. But here in Hartford, everything is much closer together, and a lot of the things listed are within a 15 minute drive. I've been keeping three Hartford Craigs List categories minimized (baby/kids, furniture, free), and will check them several times throughout the day. I've found a washer/dryer set, a sleeper sofa, some maternity clothes, a mini-cosleeper, and a free(!) window air conditioner, just to name some of the main items. And I got them for pretty good deals :-).

The key is to be willing to wait. I've been looking for a dresser for Baby and a stroller for weeks (literally), but haven't found something for the price I'm looking for, and in a close enough drive. But because I started looking a while ago, I'm not in a rush and can wait out a better deal.

One amusing note on Craigs List, Freecyle, and other online exchange/selling/giving sites. Mainly this is a random thought I've had about Freecycle. Freecycle is a great site that is designed to recycle unwanted items, instead of tossing them in landfills, etc; you subscribe to the Yahoo group for your area, and receive e-mails of offers and requests. Everything is free. But I do wonder how ecologically efficient some of the exchanges are (just to be cynical :-D). Some of the items posted are only worth a few dollars, and let's face it, with the price of gas in New England, there are some things that I'd like but wouldn't bother to make a separate trip for 10 minutes away, because I'd end up breaking even between gas cost and the benefit of a free item, when I could just pick the same item up at another store when I'm already there buying other items. And if Freecycle is about saving the environment, it'd be amusing if someone made such a monetarily illogical extra trip and on the way added polution to the air :-). Hehe. Just my random thought. Overall I think Freecyle is a great idea.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

30 weeks (one week shy of 7 months)

After much pestering from various family and friends ;-), here is an updated pregnancy picture, taken this morning before church. It is getting so pretty and warm outside, which I am loving, although I am getting overheated more easily, with this extra weight :-P.

The skirt in the picture is just a regular elastic waist skirt I made a while ago, and I made the light green top using Simplicity 3762. I love the way it turned out - such a pretty pattern :-). I'd like to make a few more maternity tops soon, but I've also been working on various other projects, like general clothing alterations and repairs, baby gifts for other women in the church (3 babies born since we came in January, and 2 more due any day). My windows still don't have curtains on them! I am determined those will get done soon, and I have all the material for them. And I think I'm going to make a quilted diaper bag; I couldn't bring myself to register for a $30 one, when I could make one for free using material I already had.

I've been finding myself napping a little more frequently, but still not completely feeling weighed down yet. My only complaint really is achy hips, which come and go, but they're manageable if I'm careful with posture et al. Midwife visits are every two weeks now, since I'm in the third trimester, which means two 45-minute drives out to the birth center per month :-P, but I do want to make sure I get to meet with each of the midwives at least a few times a piece before the birth. Adrian and I have been taking Bradley method classes and finding them very informative. I hope I can give a more authoritative recommendation on Bradley after putting it into practice ;-), but for now I'll just say that we're definitely benefiting from the course. We've had 7 or 8 classes, and a few more to go.

April 2nd was a year since Adrian proposed :-). What a lot has changed in a year! Lots of good things, I think ;-).