Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Bradley Class - Class Four

This class was all about review. We reviewed the stages of labor, techniques to keep you calm and help you through labor and honestly, it was in this class that I really thought....you know what, I can do this! It is all about working with your body, not against and it was also when I had a lightbulb moment and really understood and grasped the Bradley Method!

Relaxation is KEY!

An engaged and supportive coach are also crucial but relaxation is where it is at. It is so important to practice this before too because while you can talk about relaxing all you want, think about all that goes on mentally and physcially during labor...the chances of you being relaxed without really working at are slim to none. Practice alone, practice with your coach, practice often and practice for real. Dont just go through the motions. Really try and think about what labor will be like and what you will be and what you should be thinking about. If you practice before hand, it will help it become more automatic and routine when that time actually comes!

Happy Birthing!

Friday, May 21, 2010


So my bestie totally threw me the most rockin' baby shower EVER last Sunday. I mean she out did herself. Frankly I am already stressing and thinking I need to start planning for HER shower even though she isn't even pregnant yet!

She had a book theme, so everyone was asked on their invitation to bring their favorite childhood book. Such a neat idea! We got so many amazing books!

When you walked in, she had tables set up with food and sweet treats, and each dish was themed around a book!
We had nachos for "Nacho the Party Puppy" and chili cheesecake for "Chilies for Benito".

"I Eat Vegetables" for veggies with hummus dip and "A is for Salad" for Cobb salad!


For dessert, we had...
"Cupcake" with cupcakes of course!

And a Candy Bar (what?!) for "The Yum-Yum House". She knows me too well!!

One of our gifts from Jamie was a bookshelf to put all the books on! AWESOME! It matches the room perfectly and is just what we needed!!

For activities we played two games, and she had tables set up for everyone to decorate onesies for "Punkin"!

So cute! I cant wait to put him in them and take his picture and send them to everyone!
Everyone was so creative!!

My mother-in-law also had this AMAZING diaper cake made for us. I have never seen anything like it. When Hubby and I took it apart, stuff just kept appearing! So cute and SO thoughtful!

Then it was time to upwrap gifts, which makes me SUPER uncomfortable because I never feel like I am grateful enough. I am...I SO am...I just dont feel like I show it in the best ways sometimes. I know people would think I was a bit strange if after every pair of mittens or after every onesie I screamed with delight and ran up and gave them a hug BUT still...being the center of attention and knowing that people spent money on us is less than ideal for me BUT that being said, we got a lot of amazing things for "Punkin" and we are seriously, SERIOUSLY blessed.

For me though, the star of the show was our honorary niece making an appearence.

I mean COME ON! I cant even handle how freaking cute she is!! Her mom, Ashley is going to be a doctor. She is pretty much amazing and has a blog now, you should read it! Mom, M.D. Oh and that is Christina holding her by the way, another amazing friend of mine!

The shower was incredible. More than I could have EVER imagined. We are so blessed to have such wonderful people in our lives that love us and our little one!

Happy Shower!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Bradley Class - Class Three

I know, I know...a lot about babies and Bradley this week...just trying to catch y'all up! Tonight is actually class five and our last class!!

By anyways...class three discussed a lot of "what ifs" and how to be okay with them.
  • What if I am overdue?
  • What if the baby is breech?
  • What if labor is taking longer than expected?
  • What if it is taking less time than expected?
Basically all of those things that you should THINK about but not worry about.

We also discussed a lot about c-sections. Why they may be necessary. Why they shouldn't always be seen as the worst choice. And why if you have to have one, it doesn't mean you are a bad mother. It was good class to just get you thinking and to help us write our birth plan even more.

While this was supposed to be in Class Two, this was also the class that we watched a video, cerca 1982, of an actual birth and where the couple is using the Bradley method. I wont go into details but ummm....wow? Ouch? Is it too take to change my mind about wanting a baby? Eek! I just have to stop thinking about it or...I might cry.

If you want a more positive and less...ummm...close up view of birth, I HIGHLY recommend the documentary "The Business of Being Born". It was made by Ricky Lake (yep...same one..."GO RICKY, GO RICKY") and although it is definitely leaning towards the side of natural birth, it is really great and makes labor look a little less...ummm...close up. Enough said.

Happy Birthing!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

My Princess

Our computer crapped out on us awhile back and our awesome neighbor helped us fix it. When he did, we got a window upgrade. With that, Hubby turned on this neat feature that instead of having one constant background, it scrolls through all your pictures! So cool! Often times Hubby and I will just get distracted looking at the pictures and "ohhhing and ahhhing" over memories and how old I look now!

This picture popped up the other day. I felt the world needed to see it. She is just about the cutest thing ever, let's be honest with ourselves.

And yes, for those of you paying attention, those are the stairs that Hubby built.

Happy Vegas!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Bradley Class - Class Two (Part Two)

Class two is also when we discussed writing our birth plan. For those of you not familiar, a birth plan is basically a written out plan of what you want to happen (or not happen) during your baby's birth. This doesnt necessarily mean:

9:00AM - ice chips given
9: 15AM - contraction
9:30AM - baby born

It is more things like:
  • I want these people [insert names here] present during the labor only
  • I do not want any meds whatsoever
  • I only want meds when I have discussed them in length with the doctor and my husband or partner
  • When I am screaming "GIVE ME DRUGS!!!!", please give me drugs
Those kind of things. Everyone who will be present at or apart of your labor should have a copy of the birth plan. Does having a birth plan mean you cant change your mind the day of...ABSOLUTELY NOT. This is not a contact, this is not set in stone, and this is something you are writing to have your desires known prior, not necessarily what you will want the day of.

Some people think they are silly and/or pointless but I look at it as if people dont know what you want, how can they help you achieve the birth you desire.

Hubby and I are working on ours now. I havent decided if I am going to share it with the world. I dont know that everyone REALLY wants to know my plans and expectations or even needs to visual my lady bits. Enough said.

Oh and it was also during this class that I cried during relaxation. I wish I could find what our Bradley coach read to us, it was really amazing but it just talked about relaxing the muscles and helped you invision everything relaxing and then it talked about actually pushing the baby out and how exciting of a moment that is and how this is what you and your husband (or partner) have been waiting for and this is the start to a new chapter in your life. *Sniff Sniff. Just thinking about it makes me teary. I am just so excited and ready for this event. Although we have been a family for quite awhile now, I am ready for this next stage and I can not wait to see what an amazing father Hubby is!

Happy Birthing!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Bradley Class - Class Two (Part One)

Aka...the class that scares the shit out of you.

I say that in the nicest way possible. Basically I think this class is thrown in there for all the doubters, middle of the roaders, and maybe ever for those of us with a tiny thread of self doubt. Just kidding....kinda. Although I am still on the natural band wagon, this class will make you question your decision, or at least it did for me BUT just for a minute.

First thing we discussed were some basics about pregnancy. We labeled some pictures, talked about ways of keeping yourself comfortable during pregnancy, and started going over the coach's role in this whole ordeal. It started out, as you can tell, harmless enough. Then we introduced the stages of labor...here is where things started to get a little nerve racking.

Labor (according to the Bradley Method) can be broken up into 5, sometimes 6 stages.

Stage One: Early First Stage
This is when the excitement sets in that this might be the real thing. You are still able to walk around, do things like normal, and while contractions may be about 10 minutes apart and lasting 45-60 seconds, they are nothing that you cant work through. You are expected to dilate 0-3 cm during this stage and if at all possible, you should eat, drink, sleep, walk, and/or shower during this stage. This sounds do able.

Stage Two: First Stage
This stage is marked by the realization that this is really it and it is going to be hard but you can do it. You will go from a 3 to about a 6 during this stage and although the contractions are getting stronger and then may come more frequently, you can still talk and move during them. If you are hungry during this stage, you want to eat foods that will stay with you as you have a long road ahead. Getting harder but still do able.

Stage Three: Late First Stage (Hard Labor)
This, for some woman is the shortest part of labor and when you body takes you from a 6 to a 10. You should be at the place you are giving birth at this point and this is when the contractions are going to get a little rough. It is imperative at this point that your coach is reminding you of what you practiced and how important relaxation is. You must let your body go and remember that it is working towards your ultimate goal! Use this time to get comfortable and prepare for the next stages to come.

Stage Four: Transition (aka the part that made me doubt)
This is the last stage before pushing and doesn't necessarily happen to everyone. It is this stage that self doubt can set in and you might think "I can't do this" or "I can't take it anymore". You might be scared, confused, and you may want to give up but it is your job and especially your coach's job to remind you that you are almost there. When you hit this stage, that means pushing is next and you are almost done!

Stage Five: Second Stage
You are 10 cm dilated, you have a new calmness and determination about you and it is time to push! Just because you are told that you should be pushing, doesn't mean you have to. Listen to your body and push when you feel the urge and rest completely between contractions. You may feel a stretching or a burning but that means the baby is getting close. Coach's should keep encouraging during this stage and remind you to take two breaths in, hold your breath on the third and push to the point of comfort during each contraction. For some this takes only a few pushes, for others it may take hours but the end result is the baby!

Stage Six: Third Stage
Some people do not consider delivering the placenta a stage of labor but it definitely can be. It does not come out automatically and can sometimes take up to 30 minutes before it is ready to be labored.

So those...in a nutshell are the stages of labor...are you scared yet? Just kidding. While it sounds difficult, and honestly did REALLY scare me a lot, knowing what to expect has helped ease a lot of my fears and I hope it does the same for others. I really believe a lot of the "fear" that comes with labor, comes from not knowing what the hell is going on and what the hell is happening down south. If you know what to expect, it makes it a lot easier to prepare for.

We also discussed writing our birth plan in class two...oh and I cried during relaxation time...but this post is long enough so tune in tomorrow!

Happy Birthing!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Garden Update!

So as you may or may not remember, Hubby decided to start a garden. Well people, we are officially in business! I have recently cut lettuce for salads, snipped cilantro and basil for dinner, and oh...my...word...

we are growing cucumbers! I know, I know...they look more like gerkins right now BUT wow...who knew?! And so cool to see how these veggies actually grow in nature. I had no idea that my cucumbers were born out of beautiful yellow flowers!

And check this out...

two out of our three tomato plants are starting to sprout tomatoes! SO CUTE!

Also, did you know that cilantro grows flowers??

I had no idea!

This is what we started with...and this is what we have now!

Happy Gardening!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Bradley Classes - Class One

The Bradley Method is broken down into 12 classes. Our instructor has formatted her classes to be 5 classes, we just cover more information per classes.

Class One was focused on the importance of nutrition and exercise throughout your pregnancy. Not only is good nutrition imperative for the baby's development but it helps keep mom healthy too! We also started working on relaxation techniques with our partners (insert Hubby) and solo relaxation techniques as well.

One thing that is SUPER important during pregnancy is protein. PROTEIN, PROTEIN, PROTEIN. During pregnancy, you should be working to get at least 75-80 grams of protein a day. WHAT?! I know...that is a lot, right?! I thought I was doing so good until I started actually writing them down and then I realized I was seriously lacking in that department. Dairy/Milk products, eggs, and meat are some of the main areas where you can get it. I have also developed a rockin recipe for a smoothie:

1 small container strawberry Greek Yogurt (yoplait makes flavored ones now...yum)
1-2 cup frozen peaches
1 scoop protein powder (I got an egg white one at a health food store...23 grams of protein per scoop)
Orange Juice
A few ice cubes

Blend to taste and add more juice if it is still a little chalky.

We also learned a few exercises that you can do to get your body ready for labor.

Tailor Sitting - sitting "Indian style". (I apologize for offending anyone...I am not sure what the kids are calling it these days)
Squatting - pretty self explanatory (this helps opens the pelvis and is also a good technique to give birth in...just saying...HELLO GRAVITY)
Pelvic Rocking - get on all fours and arch your back and then relax, allowing your pelvis to rock forward. ROCKIN!
Butterfly - sit with your back against a wall and your knees up and feet together. Push your knees out against your partner's hands.
Kegels - enough said ladies...enough said.
Side Relaxation and Sleep Position - also pretty self explanatory and pretty much my favorite technique.

Bradley Method also focuses on teaching your partner or birth coach how to help you relax. This is the best part. I get to lay there and relax and Hubby has to massage me. Ummm YES PLEASE!

Our instructor says it is important to practice so when you are in actual labor, those instincts come back. I make Hubby rub me down nightly. It's for the baby!

Happy Baby!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Bradley Classes

So I have debated whether or not to blog about this but I have decided what the heck...so here is goes. As you may remember me talking about when discussing our decision to choose nature child birth, the decision came with a lot of research. One topic in particular was that of Bradley Classes. I wont bore you with the details but if you are really interested, I would encourage you to check out this site to learn more about The Bradley Method. In a nutshell though, they are basically classes that help guide you through the process of natural childbirth. Do you have to be going drug free to take them, absolutely not, but that is what the classes are tailored towards so you definitely discuss the ins and outs of labor and techniques to help you through it.

Okay...that being said, the birth center we are using HIGHLY recommended one Bradley instructor. Hubby and I debated back and forth because she was more expensive, the only classes we could attend were on Saturdays (which meant no more working with my dad...aka no more extra dough), and they were REALLY far from our house. Ultimately we decided to just suck it up and go with who the birth center suggested.

We had our first class about 4 weeks ago and let's just say we have since then found a new instructor. I wont go into the gory details but I will just say the house was stinky, kinda dirty, and the dogs outside were being kept in less than awesome conditions. When I say "less than awesome conditions", I mean that Hubby and I almost immediately left as soon as we arrived. We stuck it out for the first class but after discussing matters further with each other, my parents, and one of the midwives at the birth center, we decided to switch.

We ended up finding an AWESOME woman that lived MUCH closer to us, had a much smaller class size, and we were able to do the classes during the week which meant Hubby could work on Saturdays and we wouldn't have to stop in the middle of our day to drive an hour away. All in all, it was a good move. We have had two classes so far, three more to go and I would really love to share what we have learned so far!

That being said...you know I can't just give it to you all at once so check back tomorrow to find out what we discussed in our first class! : )

Happy Baby!