Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What I Wore Wednesday

I am so honored to be featured on Megan's blog, SortaCrunchy, today for her What I Wore Wednesday feature. She asked a while back for brave volunteers to share outfits and I decided to send her some of my postpartum transition outfits. This is a really difficult phase of life for a lot of reasons and often cute clothes are the last thing on my mind. Megan's blog challenged me to step out of my comfort zone, pull together some cute outfits, and post the pictures. I can only hope that my outfits help other mamas get some inspiration for their postpartum wardrobes! The best tip I can offer is: thrift shop! There is nothing better than finding a great deal on a piece of clothing that will only be worn for a short time. Click here to see her post and my transition outfits!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Baby steps toward a greener life, or how I became an earthy-crunchy mama

It all started with cloth diapers.

My initial interest in cloth diapers has led me down a path toward being counter-cultural and "earthy-crunchy" in many areas of my life. The more I learned about how cloth diapers would save me money, keep waste out of landfills, and keep chemicals off of my baby's bum, the more I realized that those were goals that could be achieved in other areas of my household as well. Through wonderful bloggers who I respect and read faithfully I learned about reducing waste in my house, using natural solutions instead of products with chemicals, and saving money by reusing things or re-prioritizing what is truly important.

My home has less toxins, we waste less, and throw away less since I first heard about cloth diapers. I've become passionate about things like extended breastfeeding, natural childbirth, cloth diapers, baby-wearing, un-paper towels, reusable alternatives to disposable products, natural alternatives to chemical-based products, and real food. Every little change takes us one step further toward helping our environment and our budget, and every time I fold a load of cloth diapers I am so thankful that I discovered this wonderful doorway to a more eco-friendly lifestyle. I'm going to start writing a few posts here and there on some of the things I've changed around my household to be more environmentally conscious and I'll occasionally post reviews on some of the products I've found that I just love.

After all... how do you not fall in love with a cute fluffy bum?!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A new beginning and a fresh start

It seems fitting that I restart this blog with the story of Ava's birth. She is after all, most of the reason that I gave up writing here for a while. My preggo tiredness didn't leave me with much energy to care about the garden or my blog. This year though I'm hoping to be more organized and more motivated. The garden is cleaned up and our seedlings are all planted in starter trays and I am ready for a fresh start. So with no further ado, here is Ava Josephine's birth story.

My labor with Ava was long, difficult, and not quite as I had planned. It began at midnight on a Wednesday right as we were heading to bed. I never really had a slow start with contractions. They started off close together and stayed that way most of the labor. I labored with Ben's help all night, and our doula came in the morning to our house. We continued just taking them one at a time and worked through the day until about 6 pm when our doula thought that I was getting close to transition. My contractions were almost on top of each other at that point, coming every two minutes and lasting for a minute and a half each! We headed to the hospital and after we got all checked into our room a nurse checked my dilation and we discovered that I was only at 3 cm. I was disappointed, but I was determined to keep going without pain meds. Ben and our doula were so fantastic and helped me focus on working through each contraction.

A few hours later I was still only at a 4 and we got more bad news: I was positive for Group B and no one had noticed it in my records until right then. We had to quickly decide if we wanted the antibiotic IV and then it took three nurses and five different veins before they got me all hooked up to it. When they checked me just after midnight and I was still at 5 cm, I knew I needed some help. I had been at it for 24 hours so far and been awake for 42 hours, and I knew that I needed to sleep and get some energy back so that I could still push her out! They had the epidural in by 1 am and we all settled in to get some sleep.

I woke up around 4 am and a nurse checked me and found that I was at a 6. The doctor on call told us that she wanted to either break my water or start Pitocin, but I was still hoping to avoid any further interventions. We told them that we would prefer to wait a bit longer, so we were told that they would come back at 6 am to check on me and then would want to start some interventions. One of our dear friends from church was praying in the hallway for us, so I asked our doula to go get her so that we could pray for things to start moving. Ben, our doula, and our friend all gathered around to pray that God would bring our baby out in His timing, and then we settled back in to sleep, pray, and wait.

What an answer to prayer we got! No one bothered us again until 8 am and when they did finally come in to check me, I was at 9.5 cm! My OB was there since I was now laboring during business hours, and at 9:45 am she was ready to have me push. My water broke on its own during my first few pushes, and after that my body took over. Ava was turned sunny-side up, which we think is why she was taking so long, and so my OB had me try some different positions to get her to rotate. They finally worked and through back labor and feeling everything despite my epidural, Ava was born at 11:56 am on a Friday after two hours of pushing and a total of 36 hours of labor! She was 9 pounds even, and 21 inches long. She was limp when she came out and had swallowed some meconium, but after a little bit of the doctors working on her she was all cleared out and had a good loud cry going on. She has been a champion nurser from the start and such a strong girl, able to hold her head up on her own since birth.

Learning to do this whole Mom thing has been awesome, challenging, exhausting, and a huge blessing. Even though the birth didn't go how I had planned, I don't regret anything. We have our girl here now and that's all that matters.