Our Sweet Baby Boy

Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Urban Knitters

How cool!!

Once again....

I dropped the ball on the blog once again. I apologize. November was uneventful month though.

We have had one big major my milestone hit that is very exciting to everyone... At 20 months Cooper is finally TALKING!! Actual words that we can understand!! YAY!!! His vocabul
ary has grown very quickly over the past few weeks, he learns a few new w
ords a day. Some of his favo
rite words are -

Da-ee (daddy)
Wa-wa (water)
Ow (as in owie)
Bee (as in honey bee - theres a picture of a bee in his room)

While he does say "mommy" sometimes he says "daddy" A LOT more. Little stinker butt.

We had a pretty fun Thanksgiving. We went to Aunti Beth's and had lots of yummy foo
d. After dinner there we
came home and put the tree up. <3>

Paul finally go the playroom painted and we have started putting things in there. We made a trip to Ikea in the middle of November to get some toy storage for the room and are starting to get that put together. The room looks great! I can't wait for Cooper to see it Christmas morning.

Here are some pictures for you.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Martimas Lantern Playdate

Yesterday we went to a friends house and made lanterns for a Martinmas Lantern Walk on Nov 9th. We had so much fun with wonderful friends and got our hands sticky with the craft!!

Here is our end result!!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

For Uncle Lee

You are passing soon.

Your soul will be free to roam the Earth again, to roam this beautiful world again.

You can cross the forest roads as a porcupine and help an uncle teach his young niece about nature. And you will be just as patient as that porcupine was for them that warm day in Wyoming as they drove through the forest. You will let them get close enough to see the colors of your quills, to hear your squeaks, to smell your musty scent. You will let them gently touch you with a stick and curl up into a ball so the uncle can teach her about your defenses. You will roll over onto your back for them so the uncle can teach her about your soft underbelly. You will quietly and calmly sit there so the girl can get a good look at your face... that cute little nose and beady little eyes. You'll even stick your tongue out for her to see its bright pink color. You will be patient, you will realize that this is a learning experience for the girl, that they aren't trying to harm you in any way and never would. When the uncle is done teaching his niece you will slowly waddle off into the deep woods and go about your day while they drive away in the old blue Ford.

You can howl at the moon as a wolf while an uncle teaches his young niece what your sound means. You will howl for hours and scare the little girl. But don't worry the uncle will tell her that your sounds are telling all your wolf friends that it's safe to come out and play, that your sound is warning other predators of your presence, that you're sound is actually keeping them very safe. Knowing that you are close by means that other predators won't likely move in on the two tent camp they have set up in the middle of no where. The little girl will fall asleep listening to your howls in the night.

You can stand as mighty as a fir tree for hundreds of years as an uncle watches his niece dance around your trunk. You will be patient and kind to the little girl. You won't trip her with your roots or snag her with your twigs. You'll let her gallop and jump around your base as the uncle tells her about your history. The young girl will walk away smelling like fir for days and her mother will complain about having to wash her clothes again because "that smell just won't come out".

You can be the rattlesnake that seeks comfort and coolness between the rocks in the warm desert of Wyoming. You will teach the young niece what rattlesnake really tastes like. You will scare the girls aunt and make them run. You will cause the uncle to pull his hand gun that he always carries and shoot you before you can spring at the young girl. The uncle will then start a fire in the desert and cook you as a meal for his wife and niece. The young girl will taste your flesh for the very first time and say "it tastes like chicken" and make the aunt and uncle laugh. The little girl will play with your rattle for years to come before she loses it in the woods in Arkansas. Your skin is still hanging in the uncles house right above his favorite chair. Your soul will move on again to something just as nice.

You can be the antelope leaping over the plains of Wyoming. You will be cautious but patient as the uncle and young girl slowly approach you. You will not let them get within 35 feet of you but you stand there and watch as the uncle tells her about your antlers and body markings. He tells her that you eat the grass they are standing on that you run in packs. And then later that night, the uncle and young girl will have antelope for dinner, they will eat one of your friends or family members, but know that nothing was wasted, every last piece of your friend was used.

You can soar as an eagle and watch over the home land.

You can stretch as a grizzly bear waking from his long winters sleep.

You can saunter as a moose through the deep green forests.

You can swim as an otter in the cool river waters.

You can build as a beaver to protect your family.

Your soul can be anything it wants... I know your soul will do great things and teach great things in the years to come. Your soul has already taught me so much while you were living in this body that you've inhabited for so many years. I know you have touched others the same way you have touched me, I know you have taught others so much in your time as my uncle.

The body that you have inhabited for many years will now become a part of the Earth. You're body will now become the grass that the antelope eat. The antelope will become the food that the bear or wolves eat. Your physical being will become part of this great Earth all over again.

You have always been one with this beautiful Earth and you will always continue to be.

I know you will visit me again in some form, I truly look forward to that moment.

The passing of a great soul

I received a phone call this morning telling me that my Great Uncle is in the hospital and they were getting ready to take him off of the machines and let him pass.

I'm having a very hard time with this as I have always been very close to him. I've spent the day either crying or in a pure daze. My first reaction was to find a way to go to the funeral in Wyoming. So I started pricing flights, bus, trains, etc. Only to find that everything is extremely expensive and I won't be able to go. This set me off into another hysteric of knowing that I won't be there with my Aunt.

My Aunt and I have a very special relationship as well. When her mother passed I was there with her and helped her through everything. When her father passed several years ago we just happened to be visiting in AR (they were still living in AR at the time) so I was there with her through that too. I hate that I can't be with my Aunt during this sad time in her life. My aunt and uncle have been together forever, their kids are in the mid 40's so they've been together for a very long time. I really just want to be able to be with my aunt during this time and I can't. I think that's the hardest thing for me.

I knew today was coming, I was actually waiting for the phone call when I woke up. My uncle and I have always had a "weird" connection. He's been in pretty bad health for a very long time (I remember being 7ish and sitting in hospitals waiting for him to come out of heart surgery). But every time, just before or right after (but before I found out), something happened to him I would have a dream about cancer. The dream has always been a family member or some faceless person in the dream being diagnosed with cancer. Well last night I had a dream that *I* was diagnosed with cancer. I just knew something was wrong and was waiting to hear the news. I was terrified to call my mom cause I knew it wouldn't be good. I only had to wait about 10 minutes before my moms boyfriend called me to tell me what was going on. When you answer the phone and the first thing they say is "are you sitting down" you know it's not good.

So now we wait. I wait for the phone that will wake me up in the middle of the night telling me that he has passed, telling me that his body is no longer suffering, telling me that his soul has been set free. I wait for that news, I hope that news comes quickly. I hope he passes quickly and easily for his sake and my Aunts. I know my aunt, grandma (uncle sister), and his sons are sitting by his side waiting. I hope he passes quickly so they aren't having to suffer through watching and waiting for a long time.


I started knitting back in July and absolutely love it! I am 100% addicted to it. The magic of making something with my own hands (yarn and needles as well of course :P) is pure joy. I spend my time playing with my son and knitting... yep the house work has been neglected some lol but not completely I swear!!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

My first doula birth!!!

Obviously for legal reason I can not go into details but I will say that my first doula experience was AMAZING!!!! They OB gave me all 5's (out of 5) for my certification questionnaire and wrote "We love having supportive, encouraging doulas at births". I am literally floating on air and can not wait until my next client (which I don't currently have).

I arrived at the hospital on Oct --th at 10:15 p.m .and left on Oct --th at 6:15 a.m. It made for a very long night but it actually wasn't that bad because I was so excited. Jane (name changed) did an amazing job!!! It truly was amazing to see a baby being born literally a foot away from me!!!

I have definitely found my calling in life!!!! W00T!!!

Upland Hills Farm

On October 8th we went on a field trip with a bunch of mama friends and their kiddos to Upland Hills Farm. We had a BLAST!!! Cooper
LOVED chasing those poor ducks around! We saw ducks, a bunny, a chick, pigs, sheep, a piglet, goats, horses, cows, etc. We got to go on a hay ride and a hike through the woods as well. So much fun packed into a few hours!!!

Here's some pics from the day!

The goat pics are some of my faves. You can notice in the first goat pic he doesn't even see it. And then after it licked his hand he is very excited about it!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Family Pictures

On September 27th we met a dear friend at a park so she could take our family/18mo photos. These we extra special to me since the last time we had family photos done I still had braces... These would be my first professional pictures without braces and I was super excited!!! We ran around the park, played with giant leaves and pine cones, blew bubbles, played on the slide, etc all while Toni was taking candid pics (with a couple posed ones but not many!).

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

September has been busy!!

I updated the milestone list (see below) if you want to check it out.

This month we have gone to the zoo where our good friend Vada gave him kissies in front of the snake exhibit. And Cooper got pulled around in his wagon while he chowed down on pretzels.

We also went to down town Detroit with Auntie Beth and Uncle Mike and stared at Canada across the Detroit River

Then we went to the park with a friend and learned to walk part way up the slide, then slide back down on our bottom. Cooper also fell down and got a boo-boo, to which our friend Julia promptly hugged and made better!

Then we had some friends over for dinner. I get the feeling we're going to have to keep an eye on these two when they get older! LOL First kissies at the zoo and now conspiring together in the chair... uh oh!

Updated Milestone list

1 hour - held head up for the first time
4 weeks - slept in crib
8 weeks - first smile
3 months - slept through the
10 weeks - first laugh
3 months - first tooth bud (below the gums)
3.5 months - started teething
4 months - stopped sleeping through the night
4 months - rolled over for the first time
5 months 1 week - pushed up on hands5 months 2 weeks - sat up with little to no support
6 months - started crawling, army crawl
6 months 2 weeks - first tooth popped through

7 months - Cooper reached out for me.
7.5 months - He is "talking" so much.
8 months - He cruised around the furniture.
9 months - He stood unassisted for a few seconds
9.5 months - He said "Mama".

9.5 months (Christmas Eve actually) - He took his first step
9.5 months - He's hand-knee crawling.
10 months - He stacks large
10.5 months - walking on his own without assistance
11 months - feeding himself with his hands
12 months - added "digga digga digga" to his vocabulary. No clue what it means but it's frikkin cute!
13 months - walks backwards
14 months - we have a runner!
15 months - holds hands up so we can undress him
15 months - knows where
mommy/daddy's nose, eyes, and teeth are.
15 months - we have a climber!
15.5 months - he's now laughing at his own farts lol
16 months - knows where mommy/daddy's belly button is.
16 months - bit me for the first
16 months - first real illness with a high fever (105.2) but he was a trooper and pulled through!!!
16 months - first skinned knees
16.5 months - first trip to the Detroit Science Center
16.5 months - day weaned from bottles
17 months - one year molars popped through
17 months - he can "click" his tongue
17 months - repeatedly says "I di dit" (I did it)
17 months - sticks his tongue out and pants like a dog when asked what sound a dog makes
18 months - knows where his body parts are (nose, eyes, hair,
feet, belly butt, hands, tongue, ears and penis)
18 months - says "mooooo" when asked what sound a cow makes
18 months - 12th tooth popped through

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Some August Pics

Momma snuggles

Arts N Crafts at Evans Bday party
Markers are yummy!
Gotta have the orange balloon, and yes, only the orange one will work for my lil guy.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Paul's Version of the birth story

Paul finally wrote his version of our birth story a couple of weeks ago. Actually I typed it (word for word) while he spoke... Here is it!

We were up late Friday night visiting Janelle and Benjamin. It was starting to snow when we left their place, it was after midnight. Mandy was starting to have labor pains, I was getting nervous because it was snowy and we were tired. Labor pains were continuing and we didn't go to bed. We called the midwife and Jenny. Midwife suggested the warm bath to try to slow things down. A few calls going back and forth. This lasted roughly until 3 a.m. After the bath we were laying in bed and just fell asleep. I remember distinctly thinking it was going to happen and it didnt.

On Saturday we just hung out at home all day, we knew the Coop was going to come at any point. I don't remember what we did that day. Did we rent a movie? We couldn't have rented a movie because we didn't go out. I don't remember what we did, but we stayed home all day. Then we went to bed around midnight. We were watching All My Children before bed. About 3 o'clock Mandy started having labor pains, called the midwife, ran bath. The pains were really bad compared to the night before. Mandy just wanted to run the bath but the midwife said "come on in" so I told Mandy we were going in. We were rushing around getting everything Mandy had packed into the car. She had everything packed we just had to put it in the car.

I remember it was kind of an icy night that night. I was nervous as hell. I didn't know what else to do. We started driving and Mandy was telling me to drive faster and faster and it was icy and I saw I police car. We heard a Little River Band song on the radio. It was either Lonesome Loser or Cool Breeze. I think it was Lonesome Loser. That's the song that makes us thing of Cooper. It couldn't have been Cool Breeze, had to be Lonesome Loser.

The pains didn't seem to be as bad in the car, but they were at regular intervals. You wanted out (Looking at Coop). We got to the hospital and got checked in very quickly. It was very quick. We went to triage, I don't think we were there that long. Mandy was 7 cm dilated. Then we went to the labor and delivery room.

i was standing to mandys right, jenny was to my right. The midwife was to Mandy's left. all of us were coaching Mandy. The midwife tells us to shut up and let her coach mandy. I remember looking around the room seeing a lot of ppl standing around the room, and some people are yawning. i remember thinking "who the hell are these people that are yawning?" Then the dr. came in. We didn't know who he was. They were telling Mandy to push and count to 10 three times every minute, something like that, it seemed like a lot. Mandy was dozing between pushes, sleeping pretty much. Gave her enough energy to push, and she was really trying to push, her face was really turning red while pushing. Jenny suggested squating but the midwife came up with some reason why it wasn't going to be effective. They all just seemed to be in such a hurry. The midwife kept saying "The baby wants to come out" of course the baby wants to come out damnit, we knew that. That's not a medical term. She also kept telling Mandy to get angry, just to make her push harder.

The dr. wanted to use the vacuum extraction. I think I asked about the pressure that is used and he responded annoyingly, like I was an annoyance. They had to do the episiotomy, I remember that, just before coop came out. Jenny said she saw the head. before we knew it we saw the coop come out. I was so excited to see him. I remember him coming out.

Mandy had him for a few minutes and they took him away. I went with Cooper, they had him over there too long, doing this and that, Vita K shot, stuff in eyes, foot prints. I got foot prints on my arm. Mandy kept asking when the baby was coming back. I kept asking when they were taking him back to my wife, they kept saying they had to do all this stuff. Mommy tried to breastfeed Coop.

Oh, I cut the cord. that's right. That was before they whisked the baby away. It wasn't that big of a deal, not like I thought. I cut the life blood to mommy.

It was nice to have peace and quiet, which was nice.

First Doula Client

I went to Ann Arbor last Monday again for orientation into the Doula's Care program. Doulas Care is a non-profit organization that matches low income mother's-to-be with doula's.

Anyways, on Friday I received a call that they had a mother-to-be due on Oct 15 at R.O. Beaumont and was I available to take the birth. Heck yea!! I totally snatched it up immediately! I contacted the mom-to-be Friday afternoon and set up 3 pre-natals with her.

I'm super excited about this but incredibly nervous at the same time. I spent the weekend trying to get everything together for our first prenatal (even though it's still over a week away lol). I think I'm just about ready for our first prenatal... I hope so anyways!

Now I just need to gather some supplies for my doula bag (I have NOTHING). That will have to wait until the 15th of Sept. though (payday). Then I will stock it full!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Cooper's Birth Story

I just realized the I never posted Cooper's birth story. THIS is why I am becoming a doula and ultimately a CPM!!! Here it is -

New additions are in red. (red stuff was added on July 20, 2008)

On Friday, March 7th I lost part of my mucus plug in the shower. I thought it was the whole thing, but wasn’t sure because I didn’t know how big it was supposed to be. I had my midwife appointment that morning so I figured she would check me to see if I was dilated any. At the appointment I told her that I thought I lost my mucus plug and of course she wanted to check me. Come to find out I was 2 centimeters dilated and 50% effaced (thinned). She told me that she thought I would have the baby that weekend. Thinking about this now I believe she scraped my cervix. How else could she tell me (literally without a doubt) that I would have the baby that weekend? Altho she did assure me she did no such thing... Roll Eyes

I went home from my appointment a little freaked out by the thought of having the baby within a couple days. It was the moment I had been waiting for forever, or so it seemed, and here it was so close and I was freaking out. But I worked through it and knew that in the end it would be worth it and the baby would be here perfect as can be.

So I did some last minute shopping, not knowing when I would go into labor, I didn’t want to leave the cupboards empty, and when I got home I did some cleaning.

Friday night Paul and I went to a friend’s house to see her new baby and hung out there until almost midnight. The whole time we were there I was having slight contractions, nothing painful – just tightening and uncomfortable a little. When we got in the car to go home I started having painful contractions. Of course I started timing them and noticed they were about five minutes apart and lasting a minute long. Now I realize these contrax weren't painful at all compared to what was coming Snicker

When we got home we decided that we should try to get some sleep in case this was it. However, Paul couldn’t settle down. He was totally freaking out on me and started cleaning the kitchen, vacuuming, etc. It was so funny to see him so nervous and not know what to do.

Finally we went to bed around one a.m. I was still having painful contractions every five minutes lasting about 45 seconds. Paul kept telling me to call the midwife and doula to see what they thought. So I called Jenny first. She of course told me to call the midwife and then call her back. So I did. Carol was on call Friday night and told me to drink a lot of water, lie on my side for 15 minutes, and take a relaxing bath. Since it was so early in the morning she was trying to help me become more comfortable and possibly stop the contractions long enough for us to get some sleep.

I drank two bottles of water and lay on my left side for 15 minutes, and that didn’t help the contractions at all. Then I decided to take a bath. The bath helped slow my contractions to seven minutes but they were still about 45 seconds long. I was begging baby not to come that night because I didn't want Carol to deliver I had a bad feeling about her and should have followed my instincts when I first met her. My midwives office had 4 midwives and it was a who,ever was on call is who you got. Carol was the only one I was nervous about.

We of course called Jenny back and she recommended the same things the midwife did. She told me that when I was ready for her to come she would, and to call her back every thirty minutes to keep her updated.

Since my contractions slowed down and became less intense I decided to get out of the bath tub. When I got into bed though they became five minutes apart again. I called the midwife back and told her this, of course she said I could come to the hospital anytime I wanted, but to try to get some rest and relax a little. I called Jenny told her that we were going to try to get some sleep.

We were finally able to fall asleep around 3:30 a.m. We didn’t even realize we had fallen asleep until we woke up at 5:30 a.m. and realized that my contractions had stopped. I got out of bed, very cautiously, to go to the bathroom. I was so afraid that my contractions would come back if I got up, but they didn’t… Until I got into bed! Then I had two more contractions and fell back asleep. We slept until almost 9:30 a.m.

When we woke up we called Jenny to let her know that the contractions had stopped. Of course she figured this when she didn’t hear back from us after 3:30 and didn’t want to call us in case we had fallen asleep. The midwife called at 10 a.m. to see how I was doing. I told her what had happened and she was happy that we were able to sleep and the contractions had stopped. Now Kathy was on call and she was the one that called. I started begging baby to come that day so Kathy would be the one on call. Kathy also told me that Carol would be on call Sat. night, Sun morning. I told baby it was now or never.

I was terrified to get out of bed! I was so afraid that the second I got up my contractions would come back. But eventually I had to get up to pee, so I slowly got out of bed and trekked my way to the bathroom. The contractions were gone, so I slowly ventured down stairs. After a while I concluded that they were gone for good, and started to feel more relaxed.

Paul and I spent our last Saturday alone cleaning the house – doing some laundry, cleaned out the fish tank, relaxed together, etc. We wanted to make sure we enjoyed our day. It was a wonderful day, doing nothing in particular, but accomplishing stuff at the same time. I was trying so hard to get labor started again. I was doing deep squats in the kitchen, braced on the counter. I even shoveled the snow off the drive way! Walked up and down the stairs, etc. Nothing was working to bring the contrx back.

We decided to go to bed around midnight Saturday night (technically Sunday morning). We slept really well until I woke up at 3:37 Sunday morning with the worse contraction ever. I had one, and laid there for a couple minutes waiting to see if I would have more, but I didn’t. So I got up to go to the bathroom.Ever contraction made me feel like I had to pee sooooo bad. For me that was the worst part, feeling like I had to pee but not being able to.

While on the toilet I felt a little pressure down below and thought “hmmm what was that?” When I wiped I saw this huge dark brown (old blood) ball of mucus. I was like “Oh my god, that’s my mucus plug!” I started freaking out. I screamed for Paul and of course it scared the crap out of him. He came running into the bathroom with this horrified look on his face and I showed him my mucus plug. Of course he didn’t know what to think. I suggested that we should get in bed and try to get some sleep because the baby was going to be here soon. Little did I know that “soon” was less than three hours!!! Paul thought my water had broken and was terrified. I wanted to keep my mucus plug, but Paul made me flush it Snicker

As soon as we got into bed and all comfy I started having extremely intense contractions every minute lasting a minute. I was screaming in pain and constantly felt like I had to pee. I’m not going to lie, those contractions freaking hurt! I kept trying to breath through them like Jenny had taught us, but I it seemed impossible to do. All I was doing was screaming and sitting on the toilet trying to pee. Paul was freaking out. I told him that I wanted to get into the tub and he should call Jenny and the midwife. So he ran me a bath while I was still screaming (thinking back I was grunting more then screaming) every minute on the toilet. Lol! As I was taking my gown off to get into the tub Paul came into the bathroom and said we were going to the hospital. The midwife had told him to bring me in right away and Jenny was already on her way to the hospital to meet us there.

So between contractions we made our way out to the car. It took us about 15 minutes to make our way to the car and leave because Paul had to put our bags in the car, make sure the pets were okay, etc.

It felt like the drive took forever. In reality it really was about 40 minutes, but it felt like hours. There was snow on the roads, so of course Paul was taking it really slow. I kept telling him to drive faster between screaming during my contractions. LOL! Of course he drove carefully. As we were going over the railroad tracks (Groesbeck and Hall) he suggested turning on the radio and having me concentrate on the music. I remember hearing “Lonesome Loser” by Little River Band. I don’t know why, but that is the only song I remember hearing. I should remember more songs because that song played while we were still 20 minutes away from the hospital, but I don’t.

We arrived at the hospital around 4:30 a.m. on March 9th; I don’t remember the exact time. We walked right into Triage and they checked me to see how dilated I was and asked for a urine sample. I couldn’t pee, so they never got their urine sample. When the nurse checked me she found that I was 7 centimeters dilated and fully effaced!!! As soon as she was done checking me Jenny arrived. I was so happy to see her. After she checked me, they put me in a wheel chair and wheeled me down to labor and delivery. That was the bumpiest wheel chair ride ever!!! Seriously, once Jenny arrived I was able to breath easier... just seeing her helped me relax.

When we arrived at labor and delivery they checked me again to see how dilated I was. Now remember, it had been less then 5 minutes since the last time I had been check, but I was already at 9 centimeters. The midwife (Carol O'Neil) came in and said she wanted to break my water. I wasn’t happy about this, but was so out of it from the contractions that I let her do it. I remember saying "No" when she said she wanted to break my water, but she gave me some "it'll help things so smoother/quicker" crap line so I relented.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but when the midwife broke my water she inserted an internal fetal monitor. I thought I felt a cord taped to my leg later on, but wasn’t sure. And Jenny saw her insert the IFM. I am not happy about this at all. I was never told they were going to do this procedure, and still haven’t been told. There was no “Informed Consent” involved in this decision because I was never told about it.

I don’t really remember a whole lot after she broke my water. The next thing I knew there was a man standing at the foot of the bed. He never introduced himself, never told anyone who he was, or anything like that. And the midwife was standing on my left side next to my head. I found out in the end that the man was Dr. McBride, brought in by the midwife to deliver Cooper with a vacuum extraction.

I remember them saying they were going to do a vacuum extraction. Paul asked a question about the procedure and Dr. McBride was pretty rude with him when he answered. I don’t remember what the question was, let alone the answer, but I do remember that Dr. McBride was very rude with his answer.

I also remember Jenny asking if we could try the squatting position to bring the baby down and Dr. McBride was very rude and condescending with her in his answer as well.

I remember the midwife telling Paul and Jenny to be quiet at one point. Paul was trying to get me to calm down and was calmly talking to me, so was Jenny. Carol literally told them to hush up because too many people were trying to talk to me and she was going to be the only one to coach me through the delivery. Now I would think if anyone could calm me down when I was fearful or upset it would be my husband, and a midwife should know this.

The next thing I knew they were telling me to push for ten seconds 3 times a contraction. Now there are a couple things wrong with this. First, that pushing like that is causing me to hold my breath for 30 seconds per contraction, which means Cooper was being deprived of oxygen. Second, that was just plain difficult (impossible) to do. I remember counting to ten in my head and ready to release my push and Dr. McBride still counting 6-7-8, I was so pissed every time I heard him doing this.

I remember that between pushes/contractions I was so relaxed and so exhausted that I was literally falling asleep. I thought it was only about 20 seconds between pushes and I was just resting my eyes, but Jenny and Paul assure me that it was about 2 minutes between pushes. So I must have been dozing off between pushes.

I remember at one point groping for Paul (he was at my right shoulder). When I grabbed him I pulled him close and gave him a kiss and told him that I loved him. I remember Jenny saying "aww how sweet" and Dr. McBride and Carol looking pissed.

I remember them telling me to stop pushing with my face and to stop grunting so much. I paid the price for pushing with my face though, in the end I burst a lot of blood vessels in my face and therefore had red spots all over my face for about 24 hours. And as for the grunting, I did have a sore throat for a few hours after Cooper was born. Carol pissed me off when she told me to be quiet. She literally said "be quiet. the grunting and noises aren't helping"...

I remember Dr. McBride finally talking to me. He told me they were going to do a vacuum extraction to help the baby come out. That I could push for an hour and have the baby or they could do the vacuum and the baby would be here in five minutes. I remember saying I wanted to push, of course this was completely ignored by him and everyone else in the room except Jenny and Paul.

At one point Dr. McBride asked for an IV to be placed in my arm. I said I didn’t want and IV but they did it anyways. (without me even realizing it) I’m sure this was in preparation for an “emergency” C-Section… Emergency my ass! He also asked for some Lidocaine to numb my perineum for the episiotomy he was about to perform. Again, we all told him that I did NOT want an episiotomy, but were completely ignored. Literally, every time we said we didn’t want something he didn’t even acknowledge that we had spoken. Such an ass! Sometimes he would just glare at Jenny, Paul, and I when we would protest, but for the most part we were just ignored.

I can remember him trying to stretch me in preparation for the vacuum placement. He placed the vacuum without needing to perform the episiotomy, and I thought this meant that he wasn’t going to do one. But when the babies head started to crown he snipped me, which was completely unnecessary.

So lets recap – My birth plan has been thrown completely out the window! I now have an IV in my arm, an episiotomy has been performed, they are using a vacuum to SUCK my baby out of me, we can’t try any pushing positions except flat on my back, the midwife is no longer me, there is an OBGYN in the room (not to mention about 20 other people just standing around), and my water has been artificially ruptured. Yea, I would say my birth plan was thrown out the window. I honestly believe that NO ONE in that room ever even read my birth plan, including the Carol O’Neil, and she should have been the one that had it memorized. There really were over 20 people standing around the room... doing nothing, just watching. I remember one girl sitting in a chair at the foot of the bed watching, and Paul said there was a guy leaning on the door frame YAWNING while I was delivering Cooper. looking back I know they were on call for an emergency c.

Moving on - the babies head is crowing, and yes it burned like hell! Jenny told me that the babies head was out and to reach down and touch it. Dr. McBride did not look happy when I reached down and touched Coopers head, but honestly I don’t give a shit what he thinks! It was the most amazing thing to feel Coopers head, to know that was my baby, and in a matter of minutes he would be laying on my tummy.

The next thing I knew Cooper was here. I don’t remember any sensations or feelings when his body was delivered, don’t remember any pain. I just remember them placing Cooper on my stomach and hearing Paul cry out “It’s a boy. Coopers here, he made it! We have our little boy! Coopers here.” Paul was actually crying, I don’t remember seeing the tears because honestly I didn’t look at him for a while; I was staring at my baby for the longest time! But I remember hearing the tears in his voice. It was a great feeling to hear the happiness in his voice and hear the excitement.

Cooper had a little bit of blood on him, but that was from the episiotomy Dr. McBride performed. It was such a great feeling to look down and see Cooper, to feel his body in my arms after feeling him in my belly for all those months. I remember Jenny taking some pictures – thank god she remembered her camera because we totally forgot ours! Paul was standing next to my head and we were admiring Cooper so much. He latched on to my breast almost immediately. It was great!

I remember Paul cutting the cord – again this was done BEFORE it stopped pulsing. It was plainly written in my birth plan that we wanted to wait until the cord stopped pulsing before it was cut. But I was in such bliss and admiration that I didn’t think anything of it at the time.

The next thing I knew they were taking Cooper. I totally put up a fight on this though! I kept yelling for them to bring my baby back. Paul went over to the table with Cooper while they were doing whatever the hell they thought was so damn important that it couldn’t wait. I remember yelling for Cooper to come back to me. I remember hearing the nurse say they had to finish what they were doing and that Cooper’s Apgar scores were 8 and 9 (10 in the best). With his Apgars being so high there was NO reason for them to not bring him back to me. I was ready to get up and go get my baby, still bleeding or not, I didn’t care, I just wanted my baby brought back to me. I told Paul to just pick him up and bring him to me (what were they going to do about it?! Lol) when I said that they finally brought him back to me. I guess they realized I meant what I was saying.

I later found out that they deep suctioned him… Again no one told me about this procedure being done, and still haven’t. I believe this is the reason he has not latched on very well since his initial latch. He tried to latch on when they finally brought him back to me and his throat was sore he couldn’t do it. They also put the anitbiotics in Cooper's eyes, again this was something that was clearly stated in my birth plan that we did not want to happen. I immediately wiped it off, which of course made me get very nasty looks from the nurses and sternly told them I did NOT want it.

In the meantime, Dr. McBride was pushing on my tummy trying to deliver the placenta. He was getting frustrated that it wasn’t coming out on his time schedule. In reality, if they would have left Cooper with me to nurse the placenta would have been delivered much sooner… Breast feeding causes the uterus to contract and has been medically proven to deliver the placenta in a shorter amount of time… Stupid doctor. (As you can tell, I have absolutely no respect for the doctor OR the midwife that was on call when I gave birth to Cooper.)

Finally Cooper was brought back to me. We tried breast feeding but he wasn’t happy about it because of the deep suction. I remember when they first took him away from me he was so calm, but as soon as the nurse picked him up he started screaming and he screamed the whole time he was away from me. As soon as he was laid back on my chest he stopped crying! It was amazing. He knew who his mommy was and knew that he wanted to be with me! Truly amazing.

After about 20 minutes my placenta came out. I didn’t really care for the feeling of it being delivered. It didn’t hurt because the placenta is soft and mushy; it was more like a big plop, like taking a big poop out of your vagina. And Dr. McBride finally left, not even saying that he was leaving, he was just gone. He never did introduce himself though. Some doctor huh? Paul says that he did shake his hand and say "congratulations" but he never spoke, let alone looked, at me.

Finally everyone was gone from my delivery room and we were left alone, just Jenny, Paul, Cooper and I, and a nurse was typing on a computer in there. Carol came back in about an hour after the delivery to talk to me (I had her remove my IV immediately, it was not necessary to begin with). I feel that everything she said was a load of crap. She even told Jenny that she wasn’t a good Doula! I still can’t believe she was so rude to everyone. If she had an issue with Jenny she should have talked to her in private, not in front of the clients (we were clients of Carol AND Jenny). That was completely inappropriate. I don’t really remember everything she said – it was something like this “Cooper is here and healthy, we did what we had to do.” It has never been explained to me why Dr. McBride was brought in, why a vacuum extraction was needed (especially for a 5 lb baby!), why an episiotomy was done (again, for a 5 lb baby!), etc.

Jenny believes that they were embarrassed by all the procedures they did on myself and Cooper when they saw how small Cooper was. And I agree. That would be embarrassing to do a vacuum extraction, episiotomy, IV, etc when I had only been in labor for a couple of hours and my baby turned out to only weigh 5 pounds and was 18 inches long. Very embarrassing for them. Maybe they need some more training – wait, God no, that’s the last thing they need! Maybe they need to lose their license because they obviously lack bedside manor, Informed Consent knowledge, etc.

So that is my birth story. Scary huh? And here I thought changing from an OBGYN to a Certified Nurse Midwife would allow us to have the birth we wanted, boy was I wrong. I can make one promise right now; our next baby will be born at a water home birth! Our Doula, Jenny, is now starting her journey to become a home-birth midwife; we will definitely be using her for the delivery of our next child! I am never stepping foot in a hospital again. And after my 6 week check up I doubt I’ll be returning to the midwives office, which is a shame because I really liked the other 4 midwives that work there, but I am not giving that practice anymore of our money!

While I believe I received exceptional prenatal care, I believe our birth was a total sham. We were disrespected, ignored, and belittled throughout the whole process. I will never again be made to feel that way. Fortunately, I am a strong woman and will not let them bring me down! I am not letting this experience depress me; instead I am using it as a learning experience. Jenny tried to warn us against a hospital birth and we wouldn’t listen (well Paul wouldn’t, I was on board for a home birth from the beginning).

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Mommy is home!!!

Last weekend I traveld to Ann Arbor for my doula training. It was the first time I was away from Cooper for more then 6 hours. I left Friday morning at 10:30 and got hom Sunday night at 7:30. 57 hours without my baby!!!! It was so hard on me. Being in class wasn't that bad because I was busy but when class was over and I was in the hotel room by myself, well that was torture! I wanted so bad to hold, kiss, touch, tickle, laugh with, toss in the hair, tossle his hair, chase, etc my beautiful baby boy and I couldn't. But I managed to make it through the weekend and Paul said that Cooper did okay too. Everytime they would come down the stairs Cooper would see the family protait and point to my picture. (Talk about a tear jerker when he told me that!)

When I got home Sunday Paul and Cooper were just getting back from Kroger. I literally pulled into the driveway right behind them. Paul got out of his car and gave me a hug and then I went to Coopers door and opened it. At frist he just looked at me and then it hit him that I was. The look on his face, the smile, the laughs, the screech!! Absolutely amazing. I couldn't get him out of the car seat fast enough. Cooper and I sat on the couch for about 40 minutes just snuggling after I got home. It was so perfect.

It might be silly but I was so worried about him forgetting about me, or even worse - not caring that I was home again. I was so happy to see that he cared and loved me just as much as he did when I left Friday morning!

I really enjoyed the doula training. I will say that I didn't learn a lot though. It seemed like I knew everything she said. I mostly learned more about the business aspects of it (tax exemptions, tax forms, contracts, etc.) then I did about the actual doula process. I even said a couple things that instructor didn't know!! I think the reason I knew so much is because this has been my passion since I had Cooper. I have read SO many books, articles, magazines on birth and am so deeply involved in BirthNetwork National. But the training course was required for my DONA certification. And all in all I'm glad I went.

I have to go back to Ann Arbor on Monday night. Fortunately this won't be an overnight stay. I have Doulas Care Orientation from 6:30-9:30 on Monday night. I am actually very excited about this. Doulas Care is a non profit organization that matches volunteer doulas up with clients that can't afford a doula. It's a great way to get your DONA certification (since you need three births to be certified) and I also plan to continue to do at least 2 volunteer births a year. I only plan to do about 5 -10 births a year for a while since I have Cooper and we will be planning to have more kids in the (hopefully near) future.

I'll leave you with a cutie pic of Coop!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Milestone List

I realized I haven't updated Cooper's mileston list in a long time so here goes...

1 hour - held head up for the first time
4 weeks - slept in crib
8 weeks - first smile
3 months - slept through the night
10 weeks - first laugh
3 months - first tooth bud (below the gums)
3.5 months - started teething
4 months - stopped sleeping through the night
4 months - rolled over for the first time
5 months 1 week - pushed up on hands
5 months 2 weeks - sat up with little to no support
6 months - started crawling, army crawl
6 months 2 weeks - first tooth popped through

7 months - Cooper reached out for me.
7.5 months - He is "talking" so much.
8 months - He cruised around the furniture.
9 months - He stood unassisted for a few seconds
9.5 months - He said "Mama".
9.5 months (Christmas Eve actually) - He took his first step
9.5 months - He's hand-knee crawling.
10 months - He stacks large objects.
10.5 months - walking on his own without assistance
11 months - feeding himself with his hands
12 months - added "digga digga digga" to his vocabulary. No clue what it means but it's frikkin cute!
13 months - walks backwards
14 months - we have a runner!
15 months - holds hands up so we can undress him
15 months - knows where mommy/daddy's nose, eyes, and teeth are.
15 months - we have a climber!
15.5 months - he's now laughing at his own farts lol
16 months - knows where mommy/daddy's belly button is.
16 months - bit me for the first time
16 months - first real illness with a high fever (105.2) but he was a trooper and pulled through!!!
16 months - first skinned knees
16.5 months - first trip to the Detroit Science Center
16.5 months - day weaned from bottles
17 months - one year molars popped through
17 months - he can "click" his tongue
17 months - repeatedly says "I di dit" (I did it)

"I di dit!!!"

Cooper has said a few words before but has never said them again. Once he said "all done" and "fish" but just once.

Today he repeated himself. He stacked a block and I said "You did it!" and he shouted back "I di dit!!" (I did it). He was so proud of himself, it was so wonderful to see that.

After reading this Alfie Kohn article we don't use the words "Good job" here. We say "You did it" or "Yay! Look at what you did" or we just repeat back what he did. So it was really great to hear him being proud of HIMSELF not looking to me for praise but looking at himself for it.

So proud of my big boy!!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Doulahood... here I come!!!

I'm not sure how much I have posted about my journey to become a birth doula so here is some info on it.

If you don't know what a birth doula is you can start here - www.dona.org Short version though - A doula is a labor support person. A doula gives informational, emotional, and physical support to a woman before, during, and after labor and delivery.

I decided to become a birth doula after hiring a doula for my labor and deliver with Cooper. Jenny was absolutely fabulous and invaluable to me during my pregnancy and delivery... and even post partum! We have become great friends in life and still talk and see each other often. You truly do form a lifelong bond with your doula.

I started my journy to become a doula in January. I had my DONA certification packet on my birthday wish list and that is what my wonderful husband got me. Since then I have done all of my reading (actually had most of it done before I started because I read the books when I was pregnant), I have taken a 12 week Bradley Child Birth Class (from my doula Jenny actually!!!), and am getting ready to take my 2 days training next weekend. I was going to take the training in June but wasn't able to because Paul had to go out of town for work.

I am extremely excited about my training next weekend and can't wait for it to start. But at the same time I'm sad about it. I will be staying in a hotel for 2 night... away from my baby. This is the first time I'll be away from Cooper longer then 6-7 hours. I'm very nervous about being away from him. I know he will be in great hands with Dad but I just worry about how I'm going to handle being away from him. Maybe I'll get some sleep!!! lol

Tonight I am going to a tea shop with some fellow doula friends (my doula included) to talk doula stuff with them. It should be fun!

My tattoo

On Thursday, July 23 I finally got my "Cooper" tattoo. I absolutely LOVE it!