Sunday, March 18, 2012

My latest creation!

So wanted to share the latest creation I knitted up! I'm quite happy with it!
I want to do a pair of socks.. But I want to do them on 9" circs rather than dpns... I found a few patterns to do it but if you have one you like then please leave it in the comments!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

I feel like it needs to be said..

The way I parent my children is in no way an attack on how you parent yours. I'm not the mother of your children- do what you wish! I simply am sharing my knowledge/experience here...

Also. The way I birthed my children is my way of birthing, it's what makes me happy and comfortable and feel safe. You should do your research and birth how you feel happy/comfortable/safe..

Each parent must make choices on how to raise their children, if you are comfortable with YOUR choices, mine should not feel like an attack. I am VERY comfortable with my parenting decisions since they came after much research and experience... So... Do what you will with yours! Just as long as your loving them!!

Rant. Over.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Midwives vs. OB's

This post has been a long time in the making... I've had it in my head for some time, and have really wanted to share my experiences with OB's Vs. Midwives.

Two different OB's delivered my first two children, and a group of midwives delivered my last two. The differences are really poignant. I wouldn't call the differences subtle or slight at all. Night and Day is what I'd use to describe them.. Even with the best OB in the world, you aren't going to get the experience you will get with a midwife. Just isn't going to happen.

First , your appointments, Midwives (At least mine) set up appointments to really be able to put in the time with you. I've never spent less than an hour WITH my midwives (And not sitting in their waiting room either- actually WITH them!) Their office is so much more family friendly than any OB I've EVER been to (Including the ones I delivered my first two children with) The atmosphere is laid back, comfortable , and relaxed, and for someone with as much "white coat anxiety" as myself- this is a great thing. I never feel like my children shouldn't be touching something, or are bothering anyone because a midwives office is TRULY a place for mothers. A place for children, a WELCOMING place!!!!! Instead of uniformed office seating, there are comfy couches with pillows and bright colors! And the "exam" rooms themselves if you want to call them that are filled with day beds, bright colors, and beautiful decor (And a special toy box in each room for the kiddos) My oldest daughter asked the first time we went if it was a hotel! The doulas on staff often watched my older children for me while I met with my midwives.. What an awesome service is that?! For free! And my kids love them. As do I!

The visit itself is filled with chat about how your doing, anything going on, and tons and tons and TONS of information. not a "Do this" scenario at ALL. My midwives became friends over the years. They KNOW me. I'm not a number, I'm not another patient, They know ME. I can't say the same as my OB's I dealt with. And the first OB was very nice actually. But they way their schedules are set up,they can't offer this type of care and time.

I like the fact I'm in charge of my own care with my Midwives, taking my own weight and testing my own urine at appointments, It's nice to have control. Anything that is done (or not done) is completely up to me. I make ALL the decisions. I call all the shots. After all... My pregnancy. My baby. My choice. I wish more Doctors would follow suit on this.

Birth plans!!! Ahh the wonderful birth plan. It can be an awesome guide for how you want your birth to go! My OB's never suggested I make one, never asked me how I wanted things to go during my birth, and therefore, should I take that as they didn't really care? They had a picture in THEIR head how my birth would go, and I found myself FIGHTING the entire time during labor and delivery for what I wanted. It shouldn't have been that way.
My Midwives took the time to go over my birth plan with me. Not only discussing it, but committing to memory what I wanted and keeping a hard copy in my file so at the time, they would know any details I wouldn't be able to discuss , or had we forgotten anything. They KNEW what kind of birth I was wanting down to the last detail therefore , they were more able to readily support me in the birth I wanted. I think if doctors don't take the time to know what a patient wants from their birth it becomes impossible to assist them in it, Because that it what they SHOULD be doing, assisting, not dictating. Unfortunately too many OB's become dictators to our births. It's not fair. It's robbery. They are taking something so important from us. The power. The power we have as women is being stolen! As women we should all be angry about this!!!!! Your power is being stolen ladies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Take it BACK!

During the labor and delivery your midwives stay with you pretty much the entire time. I think we all know OB's will check on you every now and then, but really they are just there to deliver the baby. Your midwife does not abandon you in this way. They stay with you, give you compassion, love, and respect. I remember while in labor with my third child, sitting in the birthing tub, hearing my midwives calming voice. She was speaking loving, supportive words to me, and she was there. She was present. I can't say that about my OB's. I can't at all. It's such a human experience. Such a beautiful experience.

After care... Gosh totally different than what my OB's did. See ya in six weeks, call with any questions, don't let the door hit ya in the you know where. My midwives were constantly checking in... For my home birth she returned the next day... And the day after, we talked, laughed and she made sure I was fine, with both of my kids delivered with my midwives they called in the week... and two weeks following. Making sure I was okay, how was I feeling.. No PPD was popping up, etc. And just to chat. They called me personally. No assistants, staff, or nurses. THEY cared how I was doing!!!! And of course the six week visit, a time to laugh, oooh and ahhh over the new baby and catch up....

So different. Of course, as women, we all must have that right to decide whats' best for us, but... Unless your high risk... After knowing all the facts... I can't see why anyone would choose an OB over a Midwife...

But maybe that's just crazy ol' me ;-)

ETA- Midwives are also MUCH more supportive than OB's when it comes to breastfeeding. I nursed all my children (Am still nursing) well into toddlerhood. If it were up to either of my OB's I'd have failed miserably. One admitted she knows nothing about nursing and would never have nursed had she had children , and the other told me my body was failing me, which was NOT true!! They never supported my nursing through pregnancy, or tandem nursing. My midwives were behind me 100% on both fronts.. I think it's an important topic to share.. See what I get for writing this the Monday after day light savings!? More coffee please!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Spring has Sprung!

Well it appears Spring has sprung here in New Jersey! This has been one of the mildest winters I can ever remember! Last year we were slammed with several feet of snow.. I remember the last storm bought nearly 2 feet alone.. And it followed a storm that had just dropped over a foot. It was miserable and late in the winter.. I'm thinking mid-March.. You know, that point where your really ready for winter to be over!!!

But this year we really didn't have any snow at all.. We had one freak storm in October and that was basically it.. No white Christmas.. The ski resorts had an awful season... But I'm not complaining. If you know me. I hate snow!!! I hate winter!! The only good things about winter were the births of the two youngest kiddos :-) Samirah and Maya were both born in the winter xoxo.

So. Everything here is going good. My days are super busy with the kids, and at night time I try to sit and knit.. I'm working on a really cute pattern actually! I found it on ravelry.. I bought it too.. which I rarely do. I always feel i can find something similar for free... But it was such a cute skirt pattern that I went for it! It's pleated and I'm hoping it comes out well.. I finished the waistband on it, but am waiting for some new yarns to come in the mail so I can finish it.

What else?? We're preparing for a return trip to Disney in April for Sami's 4th birthday! To say the kids are excited would be an understatement! We were there last November and everyone had so much fun. This will be Maya's first trip! I'm a little worried how the car ride will go for her, but hopefully it wont be bad.

Still tandem nursing Samirah and Maya.. Though Samirah is really only nursing Mornings and Evenings.. though sometimes she'll even forget one... She's 26 months now, so weaning is up to her at this point. 2 years old is always my goal then I let them do the weaning after that point.

I don't have anything else terribly exciting to report, but don't want to leave my blog quiet for so long anymore, I'm working to post more. I do have some serious actual informative posts I want to make, but they will require me to be more well rested lol.

So just saying "Hi!" Blog-o-sphere! Talk to you soon!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Home Birth of Maya Husam!

Well.. Maya is 2 months old.. So yea.. Perhaps i should post a blog?! Its really hard to blog with four kids by the way... It's hard to do lots of things with four kids.. lol

So, as I had discussed before going on blog hiatus, I was planning (Very excitedly) for a home birth of our fourth and final child. Our precious Maya.. Also known as, Mayalou, May-leen, My-leen, Mayleenie... you get it.

On Christmas Eve contractions began late at night, they continued on into Christmas day.. Nothing crazy, but consistent.. I wanted to get through that
day for the kids. Make them special Christmas dinner as I always do, presents, etc. I got through it!

On the 26th the contractions continued, 5-7 minutes apart. I was losing it! Days of the same.. I couldn't sleep because of them and I was going a bit nutty. The next day on the morning of the 27th, I called my midwives and explained the situation. I needed someone to talk me down from the ledge! lol. I was 40+ 2 days at that point and was content to be pregnant for WEEKS more of that is what Maya wanted, but please, get these contractions to STOP!!!!

My midwife Roxie did a non stress test and Maya was fantastic, she checked me- there was tons of "Bloody show" Which I had never experienced before with any of the three other kids but I had confirmed to her it had been happening for two days now.. She felt my pain, she gave me such a good talk that I was content to go home and wait. For however long it would be. She was confident it would be "In the next day or two!"

I went home and the contractions continued.. The same as they had been for the past few days. I sat on my yoga ball on the computer and played games for awhile, stopping and leaning over it with each contraction, Still, I wasn't convinced "This was it" .. I am quite a drive for my midwives and I didn't want to call them until I was "Sure" but with labor like this.. How would I be sure!?

My husband felt that this was it so he went up to get some rest. I stayed downstairs for awhile more, then went up to bed. Couldn't sleep, so I decided to run a bath.. I got in and the contractions continued. I just honestly didn't know what to think.. With my fourth you'd think I'd just know.. But it didn't work out that way. So sitting in the tub I swayed back and forth.. I sang to Maya.. I moaned.. And then..

I prayed.

I said "Please God. If this is "it" please let my water break. Please because otherwise I just don't know if I should call anyone" It wasn't two minutes later that I felt POP. POP. And my water broke. I yelled from the bathroom to Husam to please call my midwives. This was it. My water had broken !! IT was 11 pm. My midwife got immediately in her car and headed over (Thank Goodness) My other midwife and doula in the practice headed over too (though they didn't make it in time for the actual birth they were fantastic after the fact!)

Husam told me to stay in the tub and just relax and he'd start setting up my birthing tub. It took him awhile to get it blown up, and then he slowly began to fill it. I was desperate to get in it. I knew I was getting closer as the contractions picked up. There was no denying it. I was in transition..

I got out of the tub because I had to use the bathroom and i paced around.. I had called my sister while Husam was on the phone with my midwife and she arrived shortly after. She came in and asked me if I was okay, and then went in the kids room to lie down (She didn't want to see the actual birth- just not her thing)

I went and laid down on the bed and knew she was coming. Fast. I could feel her moving down the birth canal and though "no no no! I want to get in that tub!!! I want my midwife!!! " I called to Husam and he was nervous, clearly... He knew it was almost time too and I don't think he mentally prepared himself to deliver the baby on his own... I yelled at him to call my midwife and see how far she was.. She told him she was about 10 minutes away.. I think she made it there in about 5.. But it seemed like the longest five minutes of my life.

I heard her car come up our hill.. I told Husam that I thought she was here .. (My midwife was shocked at my calm for the given situation)
He went downstairs to meet her and i felt so relieved when I heard her voice downstairs.. She rushed up and found me on my side on my bed holding the babies head in.. yeah... She really should have been out. lol. She leaned over and felt the water and the birthing pool on the walk to my bed.. It was way too hot.. And only a quarter of the way full. She told me it just wasn't going to happen and she was sorry...

She sat down on the bed and told me "Let your baby out" It was very intense.. Birthing a baby outside of the water is much more intense than having a water birth. Husam walked up and held out both of his hands to me.. I remember thinking I didn't want to hold his hands, but reconsidered in those few seconds that I would need the support. So I grabbed onto his hands.. I pushed and I felt her emerging .. Though not comfortable, always an amazing exhilarating feeling none the less. It burned, for sure, but it was also a warm feeling. My midwife told me to stop pushing and just breath her out the rest of the way so I wouldn't tear ... I remember saying that I just wanted to get her out at that point. Even though I had only pushed once really.. But I resigned and said okay and began to pant. I felt her slip and slide the rest of the way. The entire time I remember Husam in the backround (Though right next to me) shouting encouragement. I could hear the excitement in his voice and it was nice, but I had really been concentrating on getting her out!!!

It took her a moment to cry, my midwife had to give her a breath... She had sat for a few minutes in the birth canal and the cord around her next, but before I could even realize anything she was pinked up and crying! My midwife is amazing, and calming, and I love her so much. She handed me Maya, and I looked and pronounced it was a girl! Husam had said all along she would be, and he was right. My midwife told me to be careful as her cord was short. We left it attached until it stopped pulsing, and probably for some time after..

I held her and looked at her. She was so beautiful... She was born just as the clock turned over to December 28th... at 12:10 am. She weighed 7 lbs 8 oz,. (Husam guessed exactly right) And was 20 inches long. So beautiful..

After Husam cut the cord and I got cleaned up a little we had my sister wake up Nadia to come meet her new baby sister.. She was so excited.. She came in while I was nursing Maya for the first time. And it was very special.

For me. Being at home for my birth was wonderful. Maya was born and conceived in the same spot. I think it's very special.. Made with love, and born into love. Our angel. I didn't have anyone waking us up in the middle of the night or bothering us, just my husband taking care of me (He did a fantastic job btw!) and my beautiful children loving over the new addition... It was wonderful... Not how i planned my home birth to go, but happened exactly as it was supposed to... I wish I had more pictures of the labor and the actual birth, but it just happened so fast!!

But there it is. The birth of our beautiful baby girl Maya..