mangofandango: (art/ selluinaer/ b&w)
Adventures in preparing one's almost-5 year old for theoretically being present for the birth...my doula and Kelly came over and we watched some birth videos with Sophie. I wrote this to Abigail (the doula) and Kelly after, and I am pasting it here for posterity, because I think it is interesting. Sophie still has some processing to do and she is worried about seeing me in pain, but we've been talking about it over the past few days and I think she's handling it well. Last night, she reminded me of what the mother in the video "Birth Day" says about contractions - that for her, when she was looking at her partner during them, they felt less like pain and more like "love bursting out". Sophie suggested I think of them that way, and that I focus on happy things - which shows me she is taking in what I said about how it will hurt, but I am okay with that because it is something I am happy about. Anyway, here is the email I wrote a couple days ago about it:

So Ryan says good night and turns off the light and leaves, and Sophie and I are in her bed. She immediately says "Let's talk about pregnancy." I asked what she wanted to talk about and she said "pain". Heh.

So we talked a little bit and she mentioned the yelling and screaming she heard in the video, and I asked how she felt about having heard that. She started out saying "happy and kind of funny". (If you ask her how she feels about something and she is uncomfortable, that's kind of where she always starts. Like, happy is safe and "funny" is a euphemism, I guess?) I asked why she thought she felt those things, and she said "Happy because there was a baby being born!" We broke down "funny" a little bit and she started out saying "I don't know why I thought the screeching was a little bit exciting, I guess because it meant the baby was coming out." But after that she got around to saying that it upset her to hear it and it was hard for her to think of me screaming or being in pain.

We talked about a few aspects of that: that I'd done it before to have her and that I was okay even though it was hard, and that I'd have a lot of people to help me when Raspberry is being born, and things like that, and also about her experiences with pain - she seemed to relax a little when she remembered that she screams and cries and yells when she is hurt, as a way of letting the feelings out - I am not sure why that was comforting exactly, but it seemed to be. She said "I have scraped my knees, and I think knee scraping might be the most painful kind of pain because the bones are so hard...but I don't know." I didn't disabuse her of that notion, just agreed that it is quite painful. ;) She talked about the different kinds of pain she has felt. I also acknowledged that it would be hard for her to see me in pain, but asked her how she thought my heart would feel about it while I was in labor. She said "Happy, because you are having a baby!" So okay, we have that part clear I think. ;)

I asked her how she felt about watching our baby's birth now that she had seen some recorded births. She said she still wanted to be there and watch but wanted to know if she could hide for a while if she felt scared. ("if it were in a stream, I could hide behind some bushes! But in the hospital I could hide behind some furniture.") I reminded her she would be with Kelly, so she could hide, or she could get a hug, or she could leave the room if she wanted to. She seemed to feel better being reminded of all of that. :) Before she actually went to sleep, she wanted me to talk about all the good things that would happen after the baby is born, like she will get to see him and tell him who she is and say hi. Heh. :) And then she basically passed out!

So! I think there is a LOT there and it's good we did this now, so that she has lots of time to keep processing it and talking about it - and it'll work in conjunction with the sibling-to-be class we're doing on Sunday. I expect it will keep coming up a lot, but it was interesting to see the floodgates of discussion open INSTANTLY once we were ready for bed. I think this is good stuff!
mangofandango: (dollhouse/inthesunshine/i say we drink)
Oh hey the PUPPP. I broke down and started using the topical steroids, and was on them for 2 weeks. After 2 weeks, you have to take a week off, and this was that week. Now when I was on the steroids, I thought they were only helping a little, because while the rash was less violent I was still really itchy. Now I have clarity - the steroids were doing A LOT. Just a couple of days ago I was telling a friend who asked if I was having meltdowns about it that I wasn't, I was doing okay, the week off has been rough but so far I'm holding it together, etc. Last night? I totally had a meltdown about it. Because it is SO BAD now that I have been off the steroids for nearly a week, and it both hurts and itches...wearing clothes is uncomfortable, but so is not wearing them, being touched is hard unless it's with oil, my hands are awful...and I achieved the 26 week mark yesterday, which did not feel like a victory. It was like, oh, it's this bad NOW? And we have HOW MANY WEEKS LEFT? So yeah, it is rough. I cannot freaking wait until tonight, when I apply steroids again. I didn't want to get into this cycle, but...here we are.

Other than that particular misery, things are good. We celebrated Ryan's birthday this weekend (it was actually last weekend, but we were visiting family for Easter, so), saw our friends with new baby and went out to dinner with them, and Ryan and Sophie went biking for the first time this season - they had hoped to do Cycle the City with the organized group tour, but it was cold and rainy so they set off with them and came back after a mile or so when Sophie said she couldn't take it anymore. (She speaks very highly of the biking though, it was her first time out in the WeeHoo!)

Raspberry seems well, with his wiggling and kicking. He jumps around a lot when I'm really itchy (mostly when I scratch - I hope he is feeling the happy brain chemicals that come from scratching, and not the distress of the itch). I was almost diagnosed with gestational diabetes, but in the end, I wasn't. I did the breakfast screen, and I failed it by a few points the first time and tested precisely on the line the second time. This should be a relief but honestly, I'm a little paranoid about my blood sugar now!

OK, I have granola in the oven that needs a stir. I just wanted to complain for a minute, and stuff. Thanks for reading, if you made it this far. :)
mangofandango: (ff/drankmywar/problematic)
So I temporarily cut out gluten this past week, just because my chiropractor suggested it might be helpful to let up on the wheat a bit for a while and see if that is supportive of my skin condition, and I felt like I'd been eating a ton of wheat anyway so it felt like a good plan to back off a little. I'll add it back in a little bit probably next week. It hasn't made any difference really, but it's causing me to diversify my food choices a bit and that's nice. Today Sophie and I tried a (gluten-free AND Sophie-safe) gluten free pasta that wasn't gross! (I am sorry, gluten-free people, but as a semolina lover I have historically found gluten-free pastas pretty sad.) It is made from beans - just beans. Red lentils to be exact. Plain, it was kind of weird and beany, but we put butter and pesto on it and then it was a reasonable fascilime of pasta with pesto, and Sophie consumed her whole bowl. So hey, red lentils! (I have never found gluten-free pasta to remotely resemble semolina pasta texture-wise. Neither does this one, exactly, but it is the closest I've ever had - sort of like a firm al dente pasta.)

Anyway, the reason for my post was this: I am noticing that without gluten, I'm all like GIVE ME THE FAT, SUGAR, AND PROTEIN. I am not sure what this means, except perhaps that I was relying on wheat for a lot of my calories? We are a big veggie-and-fruit-eating people, with a fair amount of beans, but we do eat a lot of pasta, bread, flour tortillas, etc., and also a lot of oats (which I cut out this week too, but will add back in soon). I'm also really into the spicy almonds I very carefully eat after Sophie goes to bed lately (she's allergic, so it requires being careful, washing hands and face after, and so on, and until I was pregnant I just generally didn't bring them into the house). Annnnd Talenti salted caramel gelato. Also not Sophie safe, also eaten carefully at night. I feel like some kind of food outlaw.

ANyway, still itchy. But also having interesting eating experiences. Also ALSO looking forward to eating a croissant again. ;)
mangofandango: (mango!)
Hey everybody. A bunch of you already know about this because of FILTERED POSTS but for those that do not: I am pregnant. Which is why the long silence, actually - my life has been sort of defined by the pregnancy because I have had super intense life-defining morning sickness, and it's hard to talk about other things without first acknowledging how terrible you feel in that situation, you know? But, it's gotten much much better - it lifted some a little after 9 weeks and it's lifted more since then. I'm not exactly reveling in wellness at this point but the improvement is so much that okay, I actually kind of am reveling in the *relative* wellness. I was on Zofran and benedryl all the time I was awake for the first few weeks I was sick. They worked well, I just Had to be on them all the time. Now I am down to usually one or sometimes two doses a day. I'm really really hungry, and I can eat whatever I want pretty much as long as it sounds good (that is the sometimes-tricky qualifier). So, it's a day by day thing, but it's better.

On to the exciting part - I am pregnant, whoa! Even though for years I said I wasn't sure if I was going to want another child (I said maybe when Sophie's 5, and lo, she will be 5 when this critter is born!), we eventually decided we did want one more, so this was a planned thing. I am excited to meet this new person, I hope they are growing well and happily in there. Sophie is over the moon, and I'm feeling all emotional about that too. I'm due in early August, and Sophie is a July birthday, so we'll have two summer babies!

We told Sophie about it just before Christmas, because we were about to tell other people - we were staying with Ryan's family and seeing mine for the holiday, and I wanted people to be aware that I was pregnant so they wouldn't think I had the flu or something. ;) (It went pretty well. No throwing up! I sat very still in a ball a lot, and I was not full of energy and spoons, but. :)) Since it was so early, we told her that I was trying to grow a baby, but we weren't sure if it was working yet because we had to have the doctor take a look and make sure it was growing in the right place and things like that. Her initial response was, nervously, "I don't know what I feel about that." And then after a couple of minutes of us saying things, she said "I am not ready to talk about this yet." So we told her that was okay, and we would talk again when she felt ready, but if she had any questions or wanted to talk about her feelings we could do that. And we left it alone. I told my family how she felt about it and no one said anything to her, so that was good. A couple weeks later I had my ultrasound, and she and Ryan came so she could see and hear the heartbeat and stuff. (I debated about this, because of the risk she'd be present for bad news...but in the end we decided that we would work through that if it happened.) She got to see the ultrasound and hear the heartbeat, and by the time we left the office she was ecstatic about everything. She has been ever since! I think she was either unsure how to feel because she was unsure if it was real, or it was something she really wanted and she was nervous it wasn't real...but either way, I ended up being glad we took her.

She has named the fetus Raspberry (because the picture of a zygote in her book sort of resembles one), and she tries to talk to it through my belly button. She whispered into my belly button "Raspberry, I am really going to be your sister." My heart simultanously grew three sizes, broke, and melted. :)

I do think she is suffering some anxiety because of the pregnancy...I was sick a long time and there's also the huge impending life change. She can't name it or talk about it, but she is definitely having more rigid, OCD-type behaviors in the past couple of weeks and we think that's why. I am hoping I can help her process a bit so that things calm down a little.

So I am 12 weeks now, and feeling much better in general. I have had more violent cravings this pregnancy than I remember having with Sophie, in that I do not remember ever being WOKEN IN THE NIGHT by a craving so intense I could not get back to sleep. That night it was a craving for drunken noodle (a spicy noodle dish from the Thai place 20 minutes away...not exactly available to me in the middle of the night!) The other day, I craved vegetables and fruit to the exclusion of all else. I ate brussel sprouts, turnips, starfruit, coconut, and a chia drink for dinner/snack, basically. And a teeny bit of salmon. :) Last night, I longed for watermelon. Today, my craving is for the ridiculously thick and gooey fettucine alfredo that you get from, like, chain Italian restaurants. It is SO INTENSE that I would totally go get some right this minute, except that it is 3:30 and there is nowhere reasonably close that is open and offers that particular thing I so desire...but I am finding it hard to move on. Really hard. A lot hard. OMG.

OK so now that that is out there, I feel like I can speak again. I was being quiet for a long time here because it was like, hanging there over everything. Hi everybody, I am pregnant. How are you? :)

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mangofandango

March 2016

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