Nursing Necklace/Labor Beads

For my shower, the hostesses did something I had never seen or heard of, and it was awesome! Included in the invitations that were sent, they crafted a lovely letter explaining the project at hand. The project was to collect a bead from each person, and to string these beads into a necklace to be worn while I was laboring and later breastfeeding. The idea of the necklace when worn during labor is to encircle the recipient in love and community, to act as a reminder of my extended support network, and of the strength of the women in my life. When you wear the necklace while breastfeeding, it can act again as reminder of your support group, but it also gives your baby something to focus on while nursing.

My shower here in SD was intimate, only 9 gals. But, the letter went out to more than my local peeps, it was sent to all of my friends and family asking for their support and contribution. Each person was also asked to include a note, or wish, or explanation of the bead that they sent.

The gals presented this gift to me at my shower, and I was speechless (a very rare event for me). They asked me to read some of the cards aloud, which I attempted and failed. I was so moved by the sentiment, and the words that people shared on their cards, and the overall thought of wearing this necklace while laboring and breastfeeding-knowing that the community of women that surround me are supporting me in my efforts and pains-well, it was overwhelming. I felt very loved by everyone.

I haven’t strung the beads yet, as there are a few more still trickling in. I also want to capture photos of each bead so I can remember who contributed each one, and of the project coming to completion. Lastly, of course I want to post a picture of the outcome for all to see and envy. Be on the look out!

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3 day weekend

Hubby and I decided to nix any and all planning this weekend, and just let it unfold as it should. We had a few things on the to-do list, but mostly fun things we wanted to perhaps do this weekend. Nothing to serious, and hardly any chores.

How nice it has been so far! Friday-we had a relaxing dinner out, and watched a movie at home. I didn’t sleep very well on Wednesday and Thursday night.
Saturday we got up and went to the local cafe, took our coffee with us for our typical neighborhood walk with the dog. I read through some recipe books, and picked out some things I wanted to try and prepare this weekend. Made a trip to the store, and set out in the kitchen to try my creations.
We invited some friends over to partake in the festivities and had a very nice relaxing evening.
I had on my list to make:
1. Chex mix
2. Macaroons
3. Horchata
4. Steak Fries
5. Banana Chips
The list seems a little odd now that I look at it. But, whatever, I am pregnant. I made 3 of the 5 things. And plan on making the other 2 tomorrow.
Today, we got up and walked for coffee, but didn’t do the neighborhood walk. Instead we went downtown to a baseball game. We sat in the Toyota Terrace, which was fancy and fun. We won the game, which made it even better. The seats in this section were much more comfortable and roomy that our other seats, and they provide food and bar service to your seat-if you wish.
The San Diego weather lived up to expectations and while overcast this AM, it cleared to a perfectly blue sky in the mid 70’s this afternoon.

I feel really happy and lucky these days. My third trimester has been by far the best. I am actually very much enjoying being pregnant. There are the physical limitations of course-it is getting more difficult to move, and more painful. I am having a harder time sitting without things starting to hurt, or go numb. I often times cant breath, and have to pee pretty much all the time. My round and broad ligaments are aching and constantly nagging. I think I felt my first wave of braxton hicks contractions late last night and through the early part of today. What I not feeling is emotional, unstable, sad, depressed, hungry, or hormonal. So, all in all — I feel great!

We hired a doula to assist with the labor, birth, and breast feeding. We went back and forth on whether we wanted to have someone with us during the labor and deliver. We have spoken with several people who opted for it on both sides. Some said that they wanted to keep it private and between husband and wife, and some were really grateful for the support that the doula offered to them both. I think all if all we opted for one because we want to be sure that we are doing all we can to have a natural childbirth with as little medical intervention as possible. We want the best possible experience, with the safest overall outcome.

I have even been giving thought to the idea that I wouldn’t mind if people were at the hospital while I was laboring or during delivery. And originally i didn’t want any one to visit us in the hospital, and I think I have changed my mind on that as well.

As it gets closer, and since we engaged a doula I have come to realize a few things. The first is that the key to a successful labor is to trust yourself and your body. I keep reminding myself that a woman’s body was made to bear children. I also keep telling myself that delivery is a one way path. It has a set time frame, and wont go on forever. The goal no matter the road is all the same. I just need to get there. So, having now watched multiple births in our childbirth class, and read about several on line…I feel a lot better about the possible outcomes. The last thing I realized is that I have little control over the physical outcome of the delivery. I cant control how easy or hard my labor will be, or how big the baby will be, or if I will have a tough time pushing him out, and my worst fear–how much or little I will tear. I just need to be ready for all of the possibilities and know that I did my best to assure the best possible outcome.

Lastly, I cant believe how fast the time has gone by since we first found out we were going to have a baby, and how much I have changed in the last several months.

I am lagging on posting pictures and baby shower details. But, I have all day tomorrow open and plan on handling some details then. Stay tuned my friends.

Could a girl be any luckier?

During my baby shower (more details and picture from the event soon!) this past Saturday, one of the very crafty games that we played was to determine if Elliott would take after hubby or I, given a list of pre-defined attributes. One of the attributes on the list was Luck. Most of the gals said that Elliott would take after hubby in this regard since hubby has lived a semi-charmed life. But, I said our son would take after me. I thought a bit about this after the shower, and hubby and I even talked about the reasons I choose myself over him in this category.

I want to affirm that I would want Elliott to take after my luck factor, and these 2 pictures attest to my good luck and fortune. I feel so lucky to be surrounded by such loving, kind, and generous women. I am constantly amazed at how lucky I am to have a circle of friends that are so selfless, open and willing to give (to me of all people!). And I can only hope that Elliott gets to know, appreciate, and experience the love and creativity of these gals. I am the luckiest girl I know!

This is my stop!

I have a long standing inside joke that there would come a time when I will jump off the fashion and music trains. I would always make mental notes of women who had reached a certain point in their lives where they no longer made fashion, music, CD’s and shopping a priority. I always looked at these women and secretly thought that it only happened when you were ‘older’.

Well, I think this is my stop. Apparently I am now ready to disembark. I stopped listening to the radio. My car stereo is permanently programmed to KPBS. I don’t carry a CD book in my car any longer. I used to find a day at the mall (alone) relaxing. Now I dread going to the mall. I no longer like shopping for clothes or shoes. I just don’t find it as enjoyable as i once did. I prefer to handle my shopping from the comfort of my office chair and my browsing is done on the web.

This has long term repercussions of course on my wardrobe. I am comfortable wearing the same clothes again and again. I don’t care as much about how I look, or how I am perceived. I have resigned myself to listening to the music that my hubby picks out. I couldn’t locate a particular CD or Album to save my life. I listen to whatever he puts on my laptop. Perhaps this is a function of maturity. Maybe I have finally become a grown up. *YUCK*

Spread the word

I often say that our children aren’t allowed to have toys at home. And as often as I espouse such ridiculous statements, I get looks of disbelief from family and friends.

I don’t really mean our kids literally cant have toys. But, I do want to limit the amount of toys, plastic, junk, and meaningless consumerism that comes with having children. I have already resigned myself to being a poor example of environmental awareness by opting for disposable diapers. I have tried to make up for the guilt of littering our landfills by gratefully accepting a ton of hand-me-down clothes, shoes, hats, and baby accoutrement’s from loving friends (which I am more than thrilled about).

What I want our generous family to adopt is the long term idea that I want to create memories, and not clutter. That it is more about the time that is put into something, than the money that is spent. This doesn’t mean that I am not 100% appreciative for everything that they do and share with us. But, I would much rather share a great collective memory than possess an item of material wealth.

I want to share this philosophy with my children too. I want them to appreciate the time that a family member spends with them, a special outing that they go on, a trip to the zoo just ‘Grandma and I’, or a handmade item. I want them to realize that the most important things in life are the relationships you create and nurture, the trust that you build and the love that is exchanged between friends and family.

I hope that I will be able to articulate this to our loved ones, without hurting any feelings or ego’s.

Moving foward

I pondered and thought deeply about what my friends said, and I have decided that if I am perceived as negative, a downer and a complainer…well then so be it. I am not mad, or disappointed, or angry. I am thankful that they were able to be honest with me.

People make choices all the time about how they want to spend their time, and who they want to spend it with. If they choose to spend their time with me, well then, they are going to hear about my aches and pains. They are also going to hear about a lot of other really cool stuff. They can decide if it is worth their time to listen to a few complaints every so often. I am a constantly evolving person, I work hard to be aware of my shortcomings, and strive daily to become a better person. You take the good with the bad (as they say).

A large component of friendship is loving the other person unconditionally. This is a difficult concept for many people. To love a spouse or a family member like this is hard enough, but to love a friend like this is often impossible. As I get older, I find making friends increasingly more difficult, and dedicating and spending quality time with my close friends even harder. However, I value the friendships that I have, I work at making sure my friends know how much I value them, and I try to be a good friend in return. I try to love those that are part of my inner circle unconditionally. I hope that my friends will try to do the same for me. But, if they cant-I will forgive them for being unable to and hope that they can either move on, or love me the way I am.

Distorted Self Image

Last night my girlfriend and I went to the 20th Anniversary screening of Dirty Dancing. What a great time I had–the nostalgia, the romance, the ideology of that movie. **big SIGH** I never saw this movie on the Big Screen, so it was great to see Patrick Swayze’s tight butt, as large as my head, sashaying around in tight black pants, all the while shirtless. Thrills come easy for me these days.

On a different note, and I am going to write more about my discovery soon. I was informed by two people that I love and trust within 24 hours of one another that I am negative, and sometimes I am a downer to be around. Oh, and that I complain ALOT.

Now, I never thought about myself as negative (sarcastic-YES!). I categorized myself as vocal, but with a positive, proactive spin. And I do voice my woes outwardly (I am acutely sensitive to aches, pains, and bodily changes), yet they hardly ever prohibit me from living my life. They are more just out there, for people to know about. Not that anyone needs to do anything about them, or feel bad, or respond in some way.

I guess the part that is getting me, is that I never SAW myself this way. Over the last few days, I have been pondering these statements, thinking about my interactions and relationships with others, and thinking about typical responses…and I just don’t see it.

So, that could mean a few of things (let me know if I missed anything here):

  1. I am totally unaware of my actions and how they effect others
  2. I am disconnected from reality
  3. I have a distorted self image
  4. I am misunderstood
  5. These people are just wrong

For now, I am going to soak it in, think about it, ponder, and of course be terribly insecure about my friendships and the image I am portraying. I will keep you posted on my efforts, and my inner most findings. (heeelllllloooooooo–hopefully someone from inside my cavernous empty heart will respond, and it will have a positive spin).

Oh, one last thing…does sarcasm equate to negative? Cause if so, I can stop searching the pits of my being for other answers.

The countdown has begun

Me and Hubby start our birth class tonight. I am a little nervous, not about the class content though. I am nervous because if we are starting the birth class, that means the birth is getting closer, and Elliott’s arrival is just that much more real! Up until this point, I realized his birth was eminent, but still far off. While he is safely nestled in my tummy, it is only partly real. I can still deny the fact that I am going to be a mother, that I am going to have a son. Once he is here, there is NO denying it. A mix of excitement and a tremendous amount of fear and anxiety. Whoo hoo for new things!!!