Friday, December 31, 2010

not in labor yet

It is 3:30 in the morning. I've been having that pregnancy induced insomnia for maybe a week now and finally gave up on trying to go back to sleep immediately. I've been up for close to two hours now. I'm going to knit a few rows on a hat I'm working on then try again to go back to sleep. Unlike with first baby, my girls will need me tomorrow.

This waiting game is not easy. I keep having all these indicators that baby is coming SOON but no real active labor has happened yet. Lots of contractions. Lots of mood swings. Insomnia. Wanting to retreat to that safe, private place to labor from. I get my hopes up, then everything fizzles out and I get disappointed and discouraged. It's a bit of a roller coaster. I know baby has to be born and I'm trying to release my fears that it will be in a way that I don't want - like being induced or having to have a c-section. I'm working on staying in the moment and allowing the process to be what it will be and trusting that my body will do exactly what it needs to do and that it will be, in retrospect, at the exact right time.

I guess this is nature's way of making you really WANT to be in labor. Come on baby! Your Daddy will still be home next week but has to go back to work the week after. It would be so nice to have him home for the first week of your life!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

39 weeks

We've made it past Christmas (which was overall good) and my focus has shifted from getting ready for Christmas and then surviving, I mean enjoying, the chaos of Christmas to thinking about when labor is going to start and when will the baby be born. I love Christmas, don't get my wrong, but there is a certain amount of stress that goes along with it - disappointed hopes, let down after all the excitement and build up, too much weird food, overstimulated kids.

Yesterday I had quite a few relatively strong contractions but they completely fizzled out into nothing. So frustrating! It was nice to have the distraction of Christmas so as to not obsess about when I will go into labor (is this contraction the beginning?) and when the baby will be born. Did I do the right amount of activity today? Did I eat right? Did I rest enough? You know, trying to control a situation that is completely out of your control. I've had a New Agey type (a man, too, who has an adopted son but none of his own) tell me that I can just manifest when the baby will be born. At the time, I just nodded and said sure while in my head I was thinking, "Ha! You give it a try!" Thinking about that more, as I wish I could have some control over when I go into labor, I come back to isn't it true that you can only manifest for yourself and not for anybody else? And if you believe in astrology and that the baby picks it's birth time, you can't manifest the baby's birth time to satisfy your need to know when the show is going to happen? I think there must be something to the baby choosing his birth time, reflecting my belief that there is more to the world than just the material. And the mother must wait. The mother's emotions play a role, too, it is a joint and collaborative effort, but there is only so much you can do before you drive yourself crazy wondering if maybe something you did was the wrong thing and that is why you haven't gone into labor yet.

Patience and tolerating discomfort with the best interests of your children at heart is one of the earliest lessons of motherhood. Waiting, wondering whether this next contraction will be the one that gets the ball rolling, trying your best to balance out your day to help create the best scenario for the birth of your baby while at the same time trying to be a good parent to your older children - that is my current challenge.

Waiting, wondering, waiting some more, and some more, and some more...

Friday, December 17, 2010

Officially full term

I am officially full term today, according to the day of my last period. I can't tell you how good it feels to be full term (well, besides the discomforts of being hugely pregnant). Of course, it's still that the baby will be born any time in the next four weeks. But that background anxiety is gone and won't return unless I go past my due date (January 7 according to the hospital) which then will bring up anxiety about being induced. But we're not going to think about that for now... I can tell my body is changing and preparing - more open, more relaxin. I feel like I've dilated some more and that my cervix is changing position. There's more pressure in my pelvis. Contractions are getting stronger, though definitely not active labor yet. I assumed that I would have five minute contractions at this point since I did with both of the girls. But they've been more of a comfortable fifteen to twenty minutes apart.

The nesting urge is going strong down to wanting to scrub all my floors and clean out all my closets. We'll see what I end up having the energy for.

I'm almost done sewing up some fleecy items for baby boy - some hats, sleepy sacks, kimono style sweaters. I have a little tiny sweater on the knitting needles.

I'm also really glad Christmas is coming so soon. The distraction from being pregnant - having something else to think about and focus on - is very welcome. We're getting our tree today. I'm done shopping but have a lot of wrapping to do. I alternate between feeling like I haven't done enough shopping and feeling like I've way over done it - trying to find that happy medium. I'm pretty sure everybody will be happy come Christmas morning.

I've told baby boy that being born on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day is not really an option. The week after would be perfect. We'll see if he listens...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

36 weeks

Yesterday, the date was circled on my calendar with the words "the magic day." I've been waiting since April to get to that day. For a long time, it had seemed impossibly far away but now it has come and gone. Now I just have a little background anxiety, not wanting to go into labor until I'm 37 week which won't be until the 17th according to the date my mid-wife has on record and so according to the hospital. Somebody told me that any baby born before that "magic day" at the hospital I'll be delivering at has to go to the NICU regardless of how they're doing. (I'm pretty sure that's true, but I haven't been told that officially by my mid-wife or anything. Maybe I should ask to be sure. Then if it's not true, I could let go of that piece of anxiety.) I'd really really really like to have a healthy baby that does not go to the NICU. So when I have a couple hours of five to ten minute contractions, that date looms in the back of my mind and I have a hard time relaxing and trusting my body to do the right thing. Baby boy is still transverse so chances of me going into active labor are pretty slim with no head engaged.

I've been up a lot at night and try to do my hypnobirthing techniques during that time. The words trust and receive and faith and allow are the ones that keep coming up as I work on releasing fear and anxiety. As much as I believe in hypnobirthing and that it is possible to create your own birth experience, there's a part of me that also believes that there are things outside of our control and that what we think will be perfect may not actually be what is perfect. If we always knew what was best for us, then we'd be omniscient and I'm not omniscient though I wish I were at times. So I'm working on setting the intention but not being attached to outcome.

Here's my intention. I would go into active labor in the evening after the girls are in bed which means we can leave before our care provider gets here (the boys will be home)and I don't have to worry about coordinating my departure with the arrival of somebody who can watch the girls. The roads are passable which makes it easy for all people involved to be able to get to where they need to be. I'm able to stay in my hypnobirthing space, everything goes smoothly, and before I know it, I'm holding a baby boy in my arms. I had a kind of vision of a bridge and a being of light bringing baby boy across the bridge and placing him in my arms. Then Eric can stay the night with me. The girls will wake up in the morning and have a new baby brother. Eric can go pick the girls and boys up and they can come visit me and the baby while I'm resting at the hospital.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

gemma and oona

The girls decided to have a pajama day today and wanted some pictures. Then I meant to post the other picture of them holding hands while watching a movie a couple weeks ago. I threw it in because it was just too cute.

my belly

at 35 weeks. plus pictures with a sweater my twin sister made for me. she calls it a twin hug for mama of 3+2. it will fit better, i think, after baby is born...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Big girl in progress

Shhh... don't tell anybody but Oona has been putting most of her pees and poops in the potty. On the other hand, she hasn't napped for about a week. I guess both are signs that she's getting to be a big girl...

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Here's a recipe for Pumpkin Cheesecake made with stevia. I miss pumpkin pie but it is just too many carbs and has too much sugar. I can't be specific on the amount of stevia because it really can vary from jar to jar and the kind you get can make a difference. My current jar doesn't have much sweetness and is the kind mixed with maltodextrin. I probably used about 1/4 to 1/3 of a cup.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

crust -
1/2 cup butter
2 cups pecans

4 8 oz packages cream cheese
1 T brown sugar (opt)
stevia to taste (depends on brand, type, jar, etc)
5 eggs
2 cups pumpkin
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 t pumpkin pie spice
1 t vanilla (or 1/2 t vanilla, 1/2 t lemon)

In food processor, blender, or nut grinder/chopper, chop pecans very fine. Melt butter in skillet. Add chopped pecans and cook until toasted. They will become very aromatic. Press into bottom of spring form pan. Refrigerate.

Preheat oven to 350.

Blend cream cheese, brown sugar, and stevia until well blended. Add eggs one at a time, blending after each addition. In a small bowl, combine pumpkin, flour, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla. Add pumpkin mixture to cream cheese mixture and blend until well blended. Pour into spring form pan.

Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes or 1 and a half hours or until center is set. Place a pan with an inch of hot water on the shelve below the cake . Turn oven off, leaving the cheesecake in the oven and leave oven door open for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely on a cooling rack. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Why do I even try?

So far, there are two parenting of toddler challenges that severely try my patience. Excuse me while I vent for a moment. First - Potty traing. Oona refuses to go for me. There is some sort of power struggle or something there. I so desparately want her to be potty trained. We've tried many different things and all I get is "no." She'll go for her teachers at school. But for some reason she won't go at home. Praise doesn't work. Suggestions don't work. Bribery doesn't work. I don't think telling her she has to sit on the potty chair until she goes would work either. She would just hold it and I would be bald from tearing all my hair out. Making her wear soiled underwear wouldn't work either because I would have to hold and wrestle her until the requisite time was up.

Second - napping. Why do I even try to get Oona down for a nap? Except that she's entirely way too cranky by dinner time and the other night she fell asleep before dinner and when she woke up she was super duper cranky. I get so infuriated, though, putting in all the effort to get her to go to sleep - the same techniques that have worked previously and the only ones that I've tried that were at all effective - and then she refuses to sleep even though it is so clearly obviously that she is tired and needs a nap. A week or so ago, I decided to give up. But then she surprised me and fell asleep several days in a row with super long naps. So I thought to myself, well, then I should at least try to get her down for a nap. I'm thinking now, that since it reduces me to grinding my teeth and pulling my hair and biting my clothing, that I should go back to giving up. I just won't have much sympathy for her when she's crying and cranky come 5 o'clock.

Luckily, I don't have super picky eaters. I think that would be the third thing.

We can't force them to pee or poop when we want them to and where we want them to. We also can't force them to fall asleep when and where we think they should. And you can't force them to eat something. I've had moments of gagging and wretching and tears at the table from older children and it is not pleasant. Oh, the frustrations!

Teenager parenting challenges that really get me are talking back, the teenager feeling the need to teach the parent a lesson, the parent being the stupidest person ever because teenagers know everything. You know - boundary issues. Teenagers and toddlers together? You get a lot of "You're not going to tell ME what to do!" You wanna bet? There are consequences.

Monday, November 15, 2010


My friend Chelsea has been writing about her choices for how she lives which has been very thought provoking in a good way. Her posts have gotten me thinking about choices and priorities and how difficult it can be to make those choices and set those priorities.

First, I'm one of those people who says that I don't buy all organic because it is too expensive for me - I can't afford it. I realize that that isn't true. But if I chose to afford it, I would have to change other financial and dietary priorities.

I find the excuses "I can't afford it," or "I don't have the time" are usually cover ups for other reasons that you don't make a particular choice. Neither statement is actually true. If you so wished, you would find the time or the money to make it happen, just as Chelsea has with her choices in spite of hardship.

We are faced with so many choices in this world. How do we choose? Sometimes, we just follow along somewhat unreflectively with what our mothers did, or what our friends are doing. Ultimately, we are forced to prioritize. As true as it is that we could afford it or could have enough time, most of us don't have infinite financial resources and there are only twenty-four hours in a day. We have to decide what is the most important and what we can let go of. These priorities inform the choices we make and the excuses we make for not making other choices.

I think eating organically is ideal, but my priorities of following a lower carb diet including plenty of meat protein, feeding two teenage step-sons whose tastes in food were established before I arrived on the scene, and having the primary financial goal of becoming completely debt free all mean that eating organic cannot be my top priority at the moment. Organic meats are significantly more expensive than non and our grocery bill would double if we stuck to organic only. This would make paying off those pesky student loans take way longer than we are currently committed too.

See, priorities. Sometimes we make them consciously, sometimes unreflectively, and sometimes there are physical, emotional, or spiritual reasons for them, either positive and expansive or negative and limiting. It is interesting and most likely good to think about why you make the choices you make. The challenge, I think, is to make the choices without being defensive about them, to allow your choices to change as priorities shift, and to be as non-judgmental as possible of others choices and priorities.

I, personally, am never insecure (ha!) and am never defensive (ha, again!) about the choices I make. I always worry that I have made the wrong choice. So, for me, the challenge is also to feel good about my choices. You do the best you can with what you have and what you know, right?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

"marriage is a verb"

My maternal grandparents will celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary in January (knock on wood). My grandmother is almost 92 and has dementia and has good and bad days but really has no short term memory. Some days all she knows is her husband and I've heard stories of her sitting and holding his hand, talking about "her Gerry." My grandfather is 89, has congestive heart failure, and can't walk because of knee and hip pain (three hip replacements in the same hip over his lifetime). Recently, my cousin, who is getting married in the spring, asked my grandfather about his philosophy on marriage. She reported back the results, the most intriguing of which is that marriage is a verb.

Marriage as a verb is a wonderful way of looking at it. I like that. And it's nice and refreshing to hear stories of long lasting marriages and the commitment it takes to have one.

One of my teenage boys went on a sleepover the other night and had the privilege (?) of hearing his friend's Dad call his friend's Mom a whore. We had a talk about verbal abuse and how NOT okay it is. I secretly hope that this woman can find a way out of her marriage. Divorce, imo, should not be the first answer for any marriage. But abuse should also never be tolerated and that is when I appreciate that society does allow for divorce these days.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

32 weeks

I had a mid-wife appointment yesterday. As you may remember, I was worried about this one because I really didn't want to have so many ultrasounds, etc, etc, and was feeling like my mid-wife was under the thumb of the OB and what was the point of being with a mid-wife anyway? Yesterday's appointment was a complete about face, 180 degree turn around. My mid-wife was really happy with my blood sugar numbers and was completely unworried about the placenta. I might have one more ultrasound which is a HUGE difference from weekly ultrasounds from 34 weeks on. So that is good news. Baby is obviously growing. I wasn't going to look at the scale when I got weighed yesterday, but I did and I've already gained over forty pounds, yikes. I've been told that I'm all belly but just my belly can't account for forty pounds. I'm trying to focus on keeping my blood sugars balanced and not on freaking out about how much weight I'll want to lose once the baby is born.

I think I need to obsess about numbers less, don't you think?

Baby boy is usually in a funny half breech, half transverse position with his head up by my liver (upper right), his butt by my sigmoid colon (lower left) and his feet kind of up by his face, kicking away. It's too soon to worry about that, though, and at least with him not head down, pre-term labor is much less likely. I'll start worrying if he hasn't turned by 38 weeks and that is six weeks away. Almost everybody else feels like this is a very short time. For me, if I think about it too much, I feel like I'm going to be pregnant forever.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

halloween baby belly

I'm nearing the 31 week mark. The third trimester exhaustion has definitely set in, as well as ligament pain and just plain old tired belly. Just over two months to go. I didn't make a jack-o-lantern face for my belly, but thought it was kind of fun to "dress up" in an orange shirt for halloween. It's not every day that you have a pumpkin belly on halloween.

And this was me a week ago Friday. I feel like little baby boy went through a growth spurt over the last week. I had so many people think I was about two months further along than I actually am. I feel like I look that big, too.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


There was a MOOSE in our back yard! Those things are HUGE!

This is, btw, not an everyday occurence and has caused much excitement and barking.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

27 weeks

The pregnancy focus of the week is incredulity at having three more months to go. Pregnancy time is bizarre. Everybody else marvels at how fast it goes. Pregnancy is an extremely slow time for me.

I really enjoyed this book recently - a loaner from a friend. I think I need to get my own copy. Donna Eden's "Energy Medicine for Women" has a lot of cool pointers in it. I've said before that western medicine is still mystified about the female cycle. The main solutions are birth control pill and surgery, neither of which really address the cause. I guess many pharmaceuticals fall under that category. I'm not anti-western medicine by any means but I do acknowledge its limitations. Eden gives a lot of mini-exercises to do, mostly based in acupuncture, that can help with female symptoms - PMS, difficult periods, pregnancy, menopause.

The connection between the book and the way I experience pregnancy is that Eden writes about having very difficult PMS (though she was fortunate to have easy pregnancies) and how in some ways each month, she receives the gift of needing to go inward - PMS as a spiritual journey so to speak. I'm the opposite - my PMS symptoms are quite manageable (knock on wood) but pregnancy is a test, a huge test, of endurance and patience. So I guess pregnancy is a gift. The obvious is the baby at the end of the journey. The less obvious is the required slowing down, going inward. I'm forced to live each day in a very different way than I would have other wise. Isn't that some sort of spiritual journey?

Friday, October 1, 2010

monsters at bed time

This is either a terrible parenting moment that I'll deeply regret or a genius parenting moment which uses the power of the fairy tale in a magical and effective way.

Gemma (nearly four years old) has been resisting bed time with every ounce of her being. I've once before told her that monsters will come after bed time and check to make sure she's in bed. If she's in bed, they'll leave her alone. She brought the subject up again. She was refusing to change into her pajamas and said "will the monsters come?" I said, "Oh yes. Monsters come and check to make sure you have your pajamas on." (desperate parenting maneuver on my part.) The discussion continued about what the monsters will do, etc, etc. The end of the conversation was this:

Me: "The monsters come after Mommy and Daddy leave your room and they check to make sure that you're in bed and have your pajamas on. If you don't, they will scare you. If you're in bed and have your pajamas on, they leave you alone and go check the next little girl to make sure she's in bed."

My husband comes in the room and Gemma tells him, "Mommy said that monsters will come to make sure I'm in bed and have my pajamas on."

He says, "Oh, I'm sure she didn't say that. There's no monsters."

I said, "Well, um, yeah, I kind of did say that."

Miracle of miracles, Gemma and Oona were in bed by seven o'clock - light out and pajamas on. I'm sure the monsters were both disappointed they couldn't scare them and happy that they were being good little girls.

(And my apologies go out to friends if Gemma tells them that monsters come at bed time. What works for one little girl may completely backfire for another.)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

26 weeks

this is when

i could still see my toes.

i can't see my toes anymore.

and after enjoying some cake, my blood sugar the next morning was high. no more sweet indulgences for me.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

24 weeks

I've made it to 24 weeks now. I had an ultrasound this morning and besides a little extra weight gain, everything looks good. No change in the placenta, and baby's growth is right on track. He has super long fingers. Wonder if he'll have my hands? Or a masculine version, that is.

It's amazing how tired I get but I'm still hanging in there. I have good days and hard days, but isn't that true anyway?

I've been thinking a lot about the challenges of being a good mother and wanting a career. Being "only a Mom" isn't very valued by many and the expectation to be both super Mom and super career woman is a hard one to live up to. My career is very important to me as are my kids. It's hard not to feel like your life is on hold in these pregnant and early baby years. Career is such a huge part of definition of self - the ego especially thinks so. I keep trying to think of it from what my perspective might be as an eighty year old. Something tells me family and children and grand children will be much more important than any career accomplishments (those will be important, too, but family connections will trump them).

I've been sitting and knitting and crocheting a lot. We got a new lap top so I have to figure out getting the camera hooked up to it. Once I do that, I'll post about those kinds of happenings, too. Pictures have been missing too much from this blog.

Monday, August 30, 2010

almost twenty two weeks

Tuesday marks twenty-two weeks. This is the time in Oona's pregnancy when I went on partial bed rest. I use the term bed rest loosely. I never actually had to stay in bed. Instead I had to sit on the couch. Riding in the car, folding laundry, picking up, etc, would all cause five to ten minute contractions - not something you really look for at twenty-two and a half weeks. Even if you have a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions, having them that frequently and regularly isn't very typical.

Last week we took a family trip to a lake about an hour and a half away. That took some recovery time. I could barely move by the end of the day. Luckily regular contractions haven't set in but I'd rather be cautious then go through what I did with Oona. Having your bum glued to the couch for three months is not easy.

Even as a whine about being pregnant, I keep reminding myself that it's not as bad as it was with Oona. First of all, that winter we had a ton of snow. I don't think I went further than the front porch for about six weeks. Doctor's appointments were the only place I went. Second, I had left my job under bizarre circumstances a couple months before I got pregnant. My work friends ended up being just that - friends you are happy to see when you see them but that you don't really see outside work. Those three months on the couch were nearly completely isolated months. Phone calls to my sister and knitting every couple weeks with a knitting friend I had made were all that kept me sane. Conversations with my husband were reserved for the end of the day and I was lucky if he could stay awake. Those three months were some of the hardest I've ever had.

Approaching twenty two and a half weeks has made me think about that time quite a bit. This time around, though, my contractions haven't settled into any frequency or regularity, thanks, I think, to taking Prometrium. I have friends that I can count on and knowing that is sanity saving. I'm sitting a lot (and my bum is growing as a result) but I'm not glued to the couch. The hour and a half in the car was really too long but shorter trips are manageable - tiring but they don't lead to hours and hours of regularly spaced contractions. Pregnancy is not an easy state for me but as I know from experience, could be worse! Even if I do have to go on bed rest (heaven forbid), I know I won't be so isolated like I was. I'm hoping that I can keep it at just taking it easy and avoid the whole bed rest concept.

Did I mention I was taking care of a one year old when I was on bed rest with Oona? Gemma went from 14 months to 17 months during that time. This time around I'd have a two year old and a three or four year old. That just sounds too nutty to even think about.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

week 20

I've made it half way. 20 or so more weeks to go, knock on wood. I had my ultrasound on Monday. Good news is that it's a healthy boy! Possibly good or possibly bad news is that I have a circumvallate placenta which either causes no problems or some pretty serious complications. If you google it, you get lots of worst case scenario cases including mention of it causing infant or maternal mortality - just what a pregnant person should be thinking about. I was given the advice today to stay far far far away from the internet. Anyways, there are also a lot of women who safely deliver healthy babies with no complications in spite of this particular abnormality in the placenta. I admit to being thrown for a loop by the diagnosis. All the ghosts of pregnancies past reared their ugly heads again as well as feeling jinxed when it comes to pregnancy. Why can't I have a completely normal low risk pregnancy? Am I going to have third trimester bleeding? Will I have to be on bed rest? Will I have pre-term labor with hospitalized bed rest - very scary thought? C-section? Hemmorhaging? Placental abruption?

After a restless night, I'm able to kind of accept it as a what is and am less caught up with the what ifs. I could potentially have a full term pregnancy and a crisis free delivery. Or I could not, which I will deal with if that possibility becomes an actuality. Worrying about it will not help and will not change anything - besides adding more adrenaline to my system and causing the baby to be more stressed out, too. I tell Gemma that it is okay to have an ow-ie. She's okay, the world is not ending. The same advice goes to me. Even if things don't turn out exactly as I hope, I will be okay. Still, I'll rest much more easily once I've crossed that finish line and am holding a baby in my arms.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

pregnancy furnace

Does anybody know how to stop the Chinese comments? My husband can kind of read them and they're spam of some sort. I'm getting really annoyed with constantly deleting them.

Last night the pregnancy furnace turned on. I've been doing pretty well temperature wise up until now. In fact I've been more cold than not cold. Last night, I had to get up and take a cold shower and then sleep with no pajamas trying to catch the breeze coming from the window. My head is right next to the window so the breeze blew on my wet head and I was finally able to fall back asleep. A couple hours later, it got chilly enough, I had to get up and put my pajamas back on.

I'm finding it really stressful to be at home right now. It's just a constant reminder of what needs to get done and isn't. I'm scared to overdo it and end up with contractions so I get to look at dust bunnies, disgusting carpet, piles of toys, and unmopped up spills. I'm wondering how the boys would react if I wrote up a list of chores...

Monday, August 2, 2010

nearly eighteen weeks

Tomorrow will be eighteen weeks, twenty-two (or so) to go. I have not been successful at being a cheerful pregnant person. Thank goodness the girls are playing right now instead of climbing on me. It's a nice break.

The progesterone (Prometrium) supplements are really helping with the contractions. I sleep more soundly, too, even though I have plenty of crazy dreams. I'm able to do a lot more than I could before I was taking it. I'm still pretty exhausted by the end of the day, though, even with the little that I do manage to do. I think that contributes to the crankiness. I don't like feeling unproductive. Growing a baby is technically productive, but it's hard to feel that way sometimes.

I was talking to another pregnant Mom the other day. She was saying the part she was dreading the most is going through labor. I'm the exact opposite. I'm dreading pregnancy and am looking forward to labor and birth and no longer being pregnant any more. At least in labor you're actively doing something instead of passively gestating. Once you're in labor and then the baby is born, then you can feel like you can get on with things. Pregnancy is such a time of waiting, getting bigger and bigger, growing more and more uncomfortable. I keep whining to myself about how much I hate being pregnant, then a quick reminder to myself and the baby that even though I hate being pregnant, it is much much better to stay pregnant until January. I don't want to manifest a miscarriage or pre-term baby because of my negative thoughts about being pregnant. That wouldn't be good.

Sorry for the whiney post. Twenty-two weeks (or so) to go... I think I can, I think I can, I think I can - just like the little blue engine.

Friday, July 23, 2010

ghosts of pregnancies past

The return of contractions, most likely Braxton Hicks, has brought back the ghost of my pregnancy with Oona. It's my job to make those ghosts go away and be confident in this pregnancy as its own unique thing. I have to say that that is much easier said than done. After Oona, I swore I would never do this pregnant thing again. Semi-regular contractions, some Braxton-Hicks, some real, from 22 and a half weeks on was emotionally and physically exhausting. With Gemma, I pretty much had five minute contractions, real ones even if they weren't producing much of change, from 34 weeks until she was born at close to 41 weeks. It's easy to say that since I carried both girls to term in spite of the contractions that they're really not a big deal. But a baby's life is in the balance and it seems wrong to gamble it. And maybe if I hadn't rested, I wouldn't have carried to term. Is it possible to know for sure? So here I am, needing to rest to keep my uterus in check and the ghost of bed rest is taunting me. I so hope that it stays far far away and doesn't become a reality. Right now it's hard not to resent this little one for asking me to be his Mom and then I feel guilty about that. My job, now, is to keep those fears and ghosts at bay, forgive myself for the resentment and move on. I'm confident that once this is all over and I meet the little guy that it will have been all worth it.

I think one lesson of motherhood is that there are times when your agenda and how you think things should be is not the most important thing in the world and may be the least important. I'm not advocating the erasure of self that can happen with some Moms. There are times when self care needs to come first. And there are times, and this is probably one of them, that the desires of my self and my ego need to come last. Sometimes other things and other little beings are more important.

Pregnancies past... with Gemma, then me in my spot on the couch with Oona.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

16 weeks

What is it about pregnancy that forces you to face all sorts of things you would rather not? There's something about bringing a new life into the world and all the change that entails. I was talking to a friend about how for some women, pregnancy and motherhood is paramount to doing a spirit quest. For me, it is like that.

First, it was the boy conflict. How could I be a boy Mom? How does that relate to being a step-mom to boys? Will it be different? What does it mean to be a step-parent? Do I play a parenting role at all with the boys? (Yes, though it's half Mom, half the woman their Dad lives with.)

After I mostly resolved that conflict, I've been dealing with the conflict of being attached to Plan A which did not involve being pregnant again. It's been hard not to get mad at God and the Universe for asking me to have another baby. I liked Plan A, and Plan B with baby is not clear to me yet. Do I keep the girls in daycare/at school? Do I take them out? How soon will I return to work? Do I try to take the baby with me? Do I try to find a babysitter? What will having another baby mean in terms of timing for my career plans and aspirations? School? How? When?

Then, to top it all off, I start getting a lot of Braxton-Hicks contractions (or could they be real ones?) right at fifteen weeks. They eventually go away with rest but all the fears of bed rest and having my butt glued to the couch and having almost no control over my immediate environment all rear their ugly heads. I just can't tell the difference between Braxton-Hicks and real contractions. Part of me wants to just say that it's completely normal to get Braxton-Hicks contractions and I should just ignore them and have faith that they're no big deal. The other part of me sees the roulette wheel and I'm betting this baby's life if I ignore contractions that could possibly turn into pre-term labor. I'll be 36 weeks on December 7. I don't worry so much about contractions after 36 weeks.

So now, I get to find the balance between doing enough to not go crazy, and not doing too much so that I don't get too many contractions. Another quest? Probably...

Saturday, July 3, 2010

13 plus weeks

Phew! Only one in there. I have to say that I'm very relieved that I'm not having twins. I know that babies don't really like ultrasounds, but I also have to say, that I, personally, get a lot out of seeing the little one in there. With all the negatives of pregnancy, it is so nice to see a picture of the goal of it all - a little sweet baby with all ten fingers and all ten toes, heart beating, everything in the right place. They couldn't confirm it definitively, but it sure looked like a little boy! I'm both excited partly because my intuition has told me that it is a little boy, complete with name to be disclosed at a later date (though some already know it), and I'm nervous about being a Mom to a little boy baby. Boys are very foreign to me and I just don't get a lot of boy stuff. I have two step-sons and we have a pretty good relationship but I'm very grateful their Dad is around to understand the boy stuff. Will it be the same with this little one that I give birth to? Will there still be the foreign-ness of his boy-ness? Girls, now, I understand most girl stuff. I understand the thrill of dress-up and playing with dolls, and screeching around bugs, and not being interested in the rough and tumble, play fighting, extreme sports, and other types of super-physical adventuring. I had such an instant bond with my girls and love to be able to do girl stuff with them. How will it be different with a boy? Will I be any good as a boy Mom? Well, only one way to find out, right?

Yesterday, with the ultrasound, was a good pregnant day. Today is another story. I couldn't sleep last night because my heart was racing. I probably had too many simple carbs yesterday and all the stress from the ultrasound and we had a busy afternoon with a picnic. I'm extremely tired, cranky, exhausted, nothing sounds good to eat - especially things that I should be eating, and I feel completely and utterly behind with household chores. My house feels like it has exploded with dirt and chaos and I have to write a three page paper. And all I want to do is sit and stare at the wall. Even watching TV is too much energy. I really hope that no more spirit babies are out there wanting me to be their Mom. I'm not sure I could do this pregnant thing again.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

twelve weeks plus some

Random pregnancy craving, and it was very very tasty. Sweet potato cut up, tossed with olive oil, rosemary, salt and a little pepper, oven roasted until melts in the mouth. Yum. Probably too many carbs, though. It hasn't been a good week for me for carb counts. Tomorrow is another day and I'm planning on being good starting tomorrow. I have another yogurt attempt on my counter this time made with extra dry milk powder and whole milk greek yogurt which I found at Huckleberry's. I hope it is successful. That whole milk greek yogurt is not cheap! But it is super super super creamy and yummy.

Twelve weeks. I had my mid-wife appointment yesterday. Somehow I lost two pounds first trimester. Not complaining too much. I've been careful to make sure I was eating enough and I'm not sure where the two pounds went. I definitely don't look smaller than six weeks ago. Not worried at this point. I am scheduled for an ultrasound next Friday, though. I wasn't going to have one this early, but my mid-wife's eyes got really big when feeling my uterus, while noting that it was pretty large for date. I'm a twin, though most likely not fraternal. I'm 90% sure I'm not having twins. My brain can't even go there. We do not have seat belts for six kids. The 10% of me will be comforted by the ultrasound when it decidedly says that I'm not having twins. First of all, there was only one spirit baby. Second of all, I measured large for date with Oona early on. Third of all, it is my third pregnancy and my uterus could just be stretching really easily. Little guy has plenty of room in there. But it will be nice not to have a small niggling doubt in the back of my head. Could you imagine if I was having twins? That would be a huge joke on me...

Saturday, June 12, 2010

ten and a half weeks

Two weeks of nausea and exhaustion and my house is showing it. I keep hoping each day that I'll have enough energy to vacuum but that also involves picking up everything off the floor and just sounds like entirely too much effort. I've had a couple good days with less nausea but usually those have been work days. I've also discovered that something about the smell of my house, especially the kitchen, really is a huge trigger for me. So maybe I feel better when I'm at work because I'm not at home and because I can focus on one thing at a time instead of all the multi-tasking required of being a Mom. It's hard to multi-task when you're just trying to function. With baby number one, when you feel this way, you can lose yourself in a movie or in a book or take a nap or a long shower. Baby number 3 or 5? Not so much. Those opportunities are few and far between and usually happen when the girls are in bed which means that I am exhausted.

In an attempt to find some high protein foods that I can eat without gagging, I made this yogurt. It turned out pretty good though a little soupy and lumpy. I'm going to try again. This time, I might try Greek yogurt if I can find whole milk Greek. They didn't have it at my usual grocery store. I will also let it sit longer. And I will stir some of the hot milk into the yogurt start before adding it to the whole bowl of milk. I think maybe I didn't stir enough and maybe that is where the lumps came from. Still, I've been able to eat yogurt pretty easily. It's a bit high carb which is why I do whole milk because that increases the protein. I put vanilla and stevia in it.

Chips and salsa... that is one of the only things that doesn't make me remotely nauseous. I found multi-grain chips at Costco which have three grams of protein per serving. They also have flax seed. A little omega-3, or whichever omega it is, can't hurt.

Too much life happening right at the moment. Water spills, etc. This post may not be fully edited but don't want to save it for later.

Friday, May 28, 2010

eight weeks

Something about turning eight weeks has left me completely exhausted. I'm twice as nauseous as last week and absolutely nothing sounds remotely appetizing though I've been able to choke my meals down in the attempt to keep my protein intake high and my blood sugar level. Take that back, chocolate cake with white frosting with lots of frosting roses and swirls all over it sounds absolutely delicious. In fact I had a dream last night about having one in my refrigerator. I was inhaling it and confessing to my husband that I had already eaten ten pieces. The dream sugar rush felt sooo good and the dream cake tasted soooo wonderful. Unfortunately, cake is not in the cards, and as with many pregnancy cravings, there are no adequate substitutes. But the thought of possibly not having gestational diabetes wins out over the thought of how delicious cake would taste. And as much as I complain about feeling nauseous, it could be way way way worse. I'm not needing to be hospitalized for dehydration because I can't even keep water down. That is good news, indeed.

I'd lay on the couch, but I don't have the energy to be climbed on and my girls do not need to be snapped at one more time today. I don't handle not feeling well very well and I have a hard time remaining cheerful. Maybe I would feel better if I did try to be cheerful? Hmmmmm... Might be a worthy experiment. I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

seven weeks

Seven weeks is really early, but at my appointment Friday I heard little spirit baby's heart beat. He (?) was in the perfect position so the mid-wife thought she'd give it a try. Isn't it amazing that a seven week embryo (technically speaking) has a heart beat? It was pretty neat and just made me love the little guy that much more - something about the reality making of hearing that little heart beating, if only for a brief moment.

This little one is either number three or number five depending on how you're counting. Since I count myself as Mom to the boys, even if only step-mom, it's number five. But it is also my third pregnancy and the three younger ones will have a really different life than the two older ones. I hope they'll still know each other when they're older, in spite of the boys being out of the house when the little ones will be so young. I'll only have five at home for two and a half years.

A friend posted a link to this poem and it made me think of this fifth child.

Song for a Fifth Child

Mother, oh mother, come shake out your cloth!
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing and butter the bread,
Sew on a button and make up a bed.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking!

Oh, I’ve grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue
(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
(Pat- a- cake, darling and peek, peekaboo).
The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
And out in the yard and there’s a hullabaloo
But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Aren’t her eyes the most wonderful hue?
(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).

Oh, cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
But children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I’m rocking my baby. Babies don’t keep.

1958 Ruth Hulburt Hamilton

Friday, May 21, 2010


Today I will have my first appointment with my mid-wife for my pregnancy. So far my friend who said this pregnancy would be a lot easier than Oona's and Gemma's has been right on. I get tired easily and have some nausea, especially if remotely dehydrated. But if I rest when I need to rest and if I drink a lot of water, it's really not bad. I have soooo much more energy than I did with Oona. That is good news. Every now and again I worry that the lack of symptoms means that I have a higher risk of miscarrying, but whenever I worry about that, I get worse symptoms. So I think I shouldn't worry.

Being pregnant again is surreal. Every time my belly bumps into something, I'm like, oh yeah, I'm pregnant. My husband gets tired of me talking about pregnancy symptoms. But sometimes it's so hard to believe that I'm actually pregnant, each symptom is a reminder and pregnancy seems to create a one track mind in me. Even though this pregnancy isn't *exactly* a surprise, it is still a surprise. It wasn't necessarily in my five year plan or even my ten year plan. But here we go and welcome to the spirit baby. I will find out the gender and I hope it's the one he's told me it will be.

Monday, May 17, 2010

spirit baby

There is no hiding it now. I was waiting to make an announcement, which is why I haven't posted in awhile, but there is no keeping it a secret anymore. Yes, I'm pregnant and am due the first week of January which puts me at between six and seven weeks. I could have hidden it with my first pregnancy, but baby number three? Not so much. You know how you can only think about baby and pregnancy and food when you're pregnant? That made it hard to do a blog post about anything else.

To put it into perspective, this is my sister and I at about five months pregnant, me with Gemma.

This is a side view of my sister and me, again at five months pregnant. My sister has a bit of a goofy look on her face but the belly is what is important. I carried soooo low with the girls. I'm carrying much higher this time. My sister had a boy and as you can see she was carrying much higher than me. So maybe this is a boy? I have warnings about heart burn but I'll take that over early contractions.

It's been a bit of a roller coaster emotionally. I'm still working up to excepting congratulations and even congratulating myself. I keep getting stuck with the thought, "who in their right mind has five kids???" Plus, I was done. I had no maternity clothes (thanks, friends!) and gave away most of my baby stuff. So it is pretty big for me to be pregnant again. Spirit baby was pretty persuasive...

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Oona turned two today

And she is two, with on her belly temper tantrums, and saying more and more words, and fighting with her sister, and giggling and screaming and running with her sister. Big brother, Patrick, took the video and is asking Oona all the questions.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

First, an update about doing low technology during Lent... It's now a couple weeks past Easter and it seems everybody is back in their old habits of movie and TV watching and it seems there are very few moments in the day that somebody is not on the computer. Sigh. It was nice while it lasted. I kind of liked the break. I don't like having the TV on all the time. And I don't like staring at the back of people's heads while they're sucked into the computer screen. Of course, I'm forcing the girls to do that with me right at the moment.

Part of why the blog has been quiet was that the boys didn't feel it was fair for me to be on the blog during Lent. They did seem to have to give up the most so I didn't post anymore. It was nice to see the boys outside and reading and hanging out with friends instead of hanging out with the computer. Lent has been over for a couple of weeks and I've been working up to post, not managing it, though, until this morning.

The subject of what you would do if you weren't doing what you were doing came up with my family recently. One sister said she would drive a metallic purple convertible volkswagon beetle instead of the minivan she uses to taxi her kids around. An aunt thought she'd get a tattoo, dye her hair magenta, and move out of her house in addition to the purple convertible. My fantasy included a Mini-Cooper, getting my hair and nails done and having a shopping trip where I buy frivolities like non-Mom clothes, shoes that aren't sensible, jewelry that you can't wear with toddlers, etc. I would also eat lunch out and get coffee and maybe even stay in a hotel (so that I'm not woken up before 5:30 a.m by wiggly and bouncy girls which has happened two mornings in a row, now). My fantasy then developed into a weekend in San Francisco with lots of yummy food and lots of fun shopping. I told my husband this fantasy and he just gave me that look which made me immediately realize how materialist and frivolous I was being. Ah well. I definitely could not live a life of constant shopping and pampering - that would be so empty feeling. But how freeing to have one weekend where you don't have to be the sensible Mom in sensible shoes with a pony tail because showering and doing your hair on a daily basis gets shunted to the end of the to do list, and where you don't have to be the Mom who cooks whatever was on sale and falls out of the refrigerator. How freeing it would be to be cooked for, to have somebody do my hair, to have somebody else clean my bathroom and make my bed for just one weekend, and to wear clothes without worrying about the next sticky hand print. Just for a weekend.

I think my husband would stay as far away as possible from anything to do with shopping. A biking and camping trip might top his list. That sounds fun in it's own way (as long as I'm the one driving the car or RV with all the extra camping gear like all of my pillows and extra blankets) but, it doesn't match the completely girly satisfaction of finding the perfect outfit and having a good hair day. And eating food cooked over a campfire or on a barbecue while nice and enjoyable, doesn't compare to the anticipation of the delicious food cooked by somebody else when eating out in San Francisco.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

a few pics

I thought were too funny. They kind of capture a certain part of each of the girl's personalities.

happy belated birthday and other miscellaneous tidbits

My birthday was Monday this week. I had a lovely celebration with friends the day before. Another friend had her birthday on Sunday so it was a co-celebration. Then by Sunday night my stomach didn't feel well. So I got a stomach bug for my birthday, yay! Except for that, I had a pretty good birthday. I talked on the phone with family and received some well wishes. And I managed to eat a few bites of birthday dinner. I'm thinking of having a secondary birthday celebration on one of my quarter birthdays or on my half birthday. Since we have moved here, my birthday has been during a stressful time of year, especially for my husband, and one or more of us have been sick on my birthday. That's just no fun! June 1 is usually relatively stress free. Hmmmmm... Something to think about.

This morning I was able to eat some breakfast so I think I might be on the mend, fingers crossed and knock on wood.

The technology fast seems to be going well. I have to admit to cheating a tiny bit a few times, but overall I've been good. It's amazing how many times a day I would go on-line and just putz around. The most remarkable difference has been for the kids. The boys are playing outside way more and reading books we gave them for Christmas two years ago. The girls struggle with only one movie a day and I've caved a couple times when one of them or I was feeling sick. Even one movie a day seems like a lot in my head but when Gemma asks for a movie every five minutes, it's a good compromise.

I think the Schwarzbein diet is working and I'm easing out of what she calls the transition. The nice thing is that I don't crave sugar like I used to. I'm also shrinking and fit into jeans I was wearing last fall. I passed up the spiced jelly beans, cadbury cream eggs, and cadbury mini-eggs at the grocery store. While I feel sad about missing out on that holiday yummyness, it is so not worth it in the end. I wonder if alcoholics feel that way about holidays like New Years and stuff. I'll have to find some sugar free holiday traditions that will at least partially fill that hole. It is hard not to want those holiday sweets.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


February has been a full month. Life has been in full swing with some extras added in, like weekend classes, conferences and other extra engagements as well as fighting colds and sore throats. My class this term, towards my long term goal of being a Certified Nurse Midwife/craniosacral therapist, is New Testament and I'm finding the class challenging especially in regards to being reasonably respectful towards my professor who daily comes out with something that just doesn't add up for me logically. Anyways, this is not the location to vent on that score. I'll just say that hours have been taken up with ranting and raving and thinking and doing assignments which all seem to miss the goal of being worthwhile from a learning perspective.

Today is the first day of Lent. Our family has decided to severely limit technology time for Lent. For me, I'm only allowing myself to go on the computer once a day, which also means that I will most likely be quiet here. My husband will spend less time on news sites, etc, only using the internet for what's necessary for his work. The boys won't be able to spend their evenings watching videos on youtube or playing computer games while simultaneously having a movie playing on the TV. The girls are so young and won't understand the concept of Lent but we're limiting their video watching time to one a day. I think this will be good for us. It's so easy to get sucked into internet land and tv land and forget about the world that is your home. I wonder how it will be 40 days from now when we return to "normal." Will we resume our habits or will we have gained a perspective that keeps us more present in our lives?

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Revenge of the little sister

During bath time tonight, Oona exacted her revenge on her big sister Gemma. Now Gemma, despite being admonished by her mother that maybe Oona didn't like it, would dump buckets of water over Oona's head. Most of the time, Oona took it quietly, only whimpering after a couple of buckets - not tonight, though. Oona took that bucket, filled it with water and dumped it over Gemma's head while laughing her little head off. Gemma, on the other hand, did not take it as calmly as her little sister and did not find it at all funny. How dare this little interloper challenge her authority as dictator of the bath tub??? Oh, the screams! Her mother sat there intent on her knitting trying not to laugh. The revenge of the little sister. Watch out!

Seriously, though, it was hilarious which made it really hard to figure out what to do as a good parent.

On another sisterly note, the other day Gemma and Oona went into their room, closed the door, and played together for more than half an hour. My emotions were mixed - relief at not being climbed on, relief and happy that they were getting along and nobody was fighting, but also some sadness of feeling a little shut out and unimportant. Funny how that works. You want them to leave you alone for five minutes already and then you're like, what, you don't love me anymore? You want to go in your room and be by yourselves? Ah, the trials of motherhood... lol.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

disappearing fabric mystery


A week and a day ago (I think) I was given a kitchen garbage bag full of very nice fabric including some very nice velvet and some girls size 7-8-10 patterns. I took everything out and looked at it and it didn't go back in immediately. Then Monday (I think), I finally got around to putting it all back in the bag. I left it in the kitchen (I think) not knowing where I was going to put it.

I had a brain fuzzy week and I thought no more of it.

The cleaning and putting things away bug bit me this afternoon. I thought to myself, "Oh yeah, where is that bag of fabric anyways?"

Eric and the boys are gone and I can't ask them. I can't find it. I looked everywhere I could think of. I started thinking. It looked an awful lot like a bag of kitchen garbage and it was sitting in the kitchen. No, of course, nobody would throw it away. Would they? And garbage day has come and gone. So...

I'm waiting for Eric and the boys to return and then this blog post will be completed. Until then...

Well, they're back and nobody knows or is willing to claim it. So for now it remains a complete mystery. Either it's gone or it will magically appear where I least expect it.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

good news

Three weeks and three days in, my depression has finally lifted. I was able to really feel present with myself and my girls this afternoon when I got home from work instead of feeling overwhelmed and like I was hanging on for dear life one moment at a time.

It feels good.

Now for my added inches, to shrink... What is strange is the scale at my office still says I'm the same weight. I don't think I trust scales anymore.

And now I'm off for a shower while Eric puts the girls to bed. Ended is the ritual of me sitting at the computer holding Oona while she falls asleep. She has joined the ranks of big girls and goes to sleep with Gemma and her Daddy. And I get a few moments to myself. Heaven.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

further diet update

I'm doing better today. Yesterday was a bit of a low point. I was depressed about everything but especially about my size and my body. All of my old body image demons were appearing and taunting me with images of myself as repulsive and gargantuan and just plain old fat. Those that know me know that those demons are not telling me the truth, but it is hard for me to not hear them and to not believe them. I realized yesterday that I've been struggling with sugar addiction and figuring out how to cut it out for the past five years. Five years! I hadn't realized that it had been so long. Then if you add the previous ten years to that. It's not a pretty picture. If I had a scanner I'd put in a picture of myself from my senior year in college. I'm skeletal, barely a hundred pounds and remember thinking it was a compliment when somebody told me they could blow and I'd fall over because I was so thin. Yay me! I had accomplished the feat of being thin. That was all I could think. I did better through grad school but still not that great and I've been trying really hard for the past five years to silence those demons.

One good thing about this diet, is that I'm not craving sweets. No other low carb diet that I've tried have I been this successful at quieting those cravings. It would take me six weeks into a no sugar challenge before I could feel like I wasn't thinking constantly about not eating sweets and when I could eat them again. It was really hard to keep sweets out of my diet. I'm three weeks into this plan and sweet wise, I'm doing good. I would be happier if I could manage to lose weight like Schwarzbein says happens once you're in balance. I'm trying to focus on improving my metabolism and my health. It feels weird saying that when most people would find aspects of the Schwarzbein plan unhealthy - especially fat content. But it's not Atkins by any stretch of the imagination. You eat a lot of vegetables and protein and you still can have fruit and whole grain carbs. In some ways it feels really strange and in some ways perfectly normal. I'm still willing to give it more time.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

diet update

Well, I'm 2 and a half weeks into the Schwarzbein diet - low carb but not low fat. I need to eat more vegetables, I think. The update? Well, I'm having what she calls in her book and on her web-site a healing crisis. She says people who are more out of balance can have an adjustment period including weight gain, mood shifts, hormone shifts, etc. I feel like my butt is growing an inch everyday. My clothes are getting really tight. Do I need to get some a size up? I'm having mood swings. My face is breaking out. I must have been really out of balance.

Her explanation (or my understanding of it) basically is that on a low fat high carb diet, your blood insulin level is high and your metabolism is slowed down - which is why you often feel like you have to eat less and less to maintain weight loss on long term low fat diets. So when you change over, your metabolism is still slowed down and your insulin is still high and so the insulin makes you deposit the extra fat you're not used to eating around your middle - thus the growing butt. This is supposed to shift over time. With lower blood insulin levels, your metabolism gets faster and you lose the fat that you've been depositing. It takes time. I hope it doesn't take too much time. I'm finding the weight gain a bit demoralizing. Do I ditch the diet or do I keep believing that it will work and keep plugging away? It's too soon to say, I think. If she's right, and my hormones will be more balanced by following the diet and since I had gestational diabetes twice my risk of Type II diabetes is higher and this should definitely prevent that, then it will be worth it in the end. Here's hoping.

Then since all hormones are interrelated and since insulin is a hormone, insulin levels effect other hormone levels - like seratonin and estrogen and progesterone. Another reason, is that many of our hormones are made out of fat so long term low fat diets can mess with your hormone levels because your body has a harder time finding the building blocks to make your hormones. My hormones feel very wonky and I've been more on the depressed side of things. Feeling fat, ugly, depressed and useless is not so much fun even if you know it's temporary, in your imagination, and because of your dietary changes. I've been dreaming of white bread and sweets and other forbidden goodies. I almost didn't eat lunch yesterday because all I wanted was the forbidden and because I felt fat and ugly. Warning bells harkening back to my eating disorder days rang in my head and so I did eat. (Note: anybody that knows me, I imagine, laughs at the idea of my feeling fat which is both true and also makes me feel bad that I feel fat when I shouldn't.) Here's hoping that feeling shifts, too.

Some yummy things I've found on the diet: Creamy baked eggs (two eggs into a lightly buttered ramekin, pepper to taste, parmesan cheese, and 2 T heavy all dairy cream - bake in the oven at 325 until set to your liking) and faux steamer (2 T heavy all dairy cream, vanilla to taste, stevia to taste, hot water to fill up cup) because milk has carbohydrates in it and sometimes you just need something with a little sweet taste.

And some pants I'm thinking would be good. Comfortable, stretchy and still nice enough to wear out and about. Or these. If I haven't started to shrink by four weeks into the diet, I think I'll have to find something.

Monday, January 4, 2010

war paint

Oona had fun with the markers Santa brought. Belly buttons have also been very important as have binkies and wearing your pajamas most of the morning if not all day.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Year

I had a blue start to my new year that matched the blue moon, I guess. I think it was because I had a sugar binge and then I stopped cold turkey and my seratonin levels plunged. I also gained several inches to my waist in the process which I'm not happy about. In the past, I've lost those inches two to four weeks into the no sugar campaign. I'm really really hoping I do because if I don't, I will need to go out and by clothes the next size up. And I'm already having a hard enough time being the size I am which is one size bigger than I was before babies. So to be two sizes bigger than the clothes I had to get rid of because I gave up believing that I'd ever fit into them again. I struggle with negative body image and feeling fat. So this is an opportunity to change that.

To help that struggle, my main new years resolution is to eat well. My chiropracter recommended The Schwarzbein Principle. I've read it and it makes a lot of sense with my experience. So that is what I'm going to try for this year. And I'm really hoping it works for me. Schwarzbein says that it can take time for the program to work. But I like that. Too many of the quick fix diets don't last. If this one works, then I'll be following it for the rest of my life.

I was originally going to write a lovely post of New Year's resolutions. But my low feeling has left me feeling negative and sarcastic about myself. I'll stick with three:

- eat well
- be present
- be patient

Happy New Year! I'm sure I will de-funk soon and be more optimistic and cheerful. :)


I took a picture of the guys in their Christmas robes. I'm happy that I actually took a picture. And I'm happy that they're happy with their robes. They're getting a lot of wear. Yay! They're not perfect. And I'm jealous and want one too but can't justify it because I have two other perfectly good robes. Ta da!

Eric's has tie-dye flannel lining. Patrick's has skateboard print flannel inside. And Jack's has space ship and outer space print flannel inside.