Sunday, July 29, 2012

I want

When I start to tell my man what sort of birth I want, he gets a bit eye rolly.  I see him shut down a bit and start to dismiss the conversation I haven't even begun to have.  I think he thinks I am swayed by the recent popularity of home births among our friends.  He's right.

I never wanted a home birth.  In fact, I am not sure that I do even now.  I would like to feel less alone, however.  While laboring with Rosanna, I moaned and winced through the wee morning hours.  Nurses would come in occasionally to gawk at the monitor, "So you're the one with the wild baby".  I guess they had been watching my monitor in their area outside of my room, sharing with each other how active my kid was.  Ethan slept (attempted to sleep?).  I felt resentment.  I was doing an extraordinary amount of work, sleeping through wrenching contractions was hardly an option.  It's not as if there was anything he could do.  We could both be exhausted, or one of us could sleep.

And so a big part of my memories from that night are lonely.  And painful.  I really want someone there who has a greater understanding of how to support me.  My husband was likely mortified at my pain, at the prospect of the job ahead.  A mid-wife or doula is what I want.  A woman who can work with my body and guide me through the intensity.  The nurses were useless in this aspect.  To them I was going through the normal process of laboring (which I was), and when it was time to push- that's when it got important.  Until then, I was left to writhe around on my own.

I'm looking for someone to mother me through the experience.  To talk sweetly to me and encourage me while also guiding me forward.  I want this person to know the birthing process as a perfect and awesome experience, not one to be dulled, feared and managed.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Family and a fetus

I really love family reunion time.  It's become even more special since Rosanna is our daughter.  I love sharing our wee-one, showing her off and watching her light up other people's lives like she does ours.  I may as well have birthed a beam of light (although it felt like more).

Family reunion time means seeing people I haven't seen in two years and being with them as if no time had passed.  This year it also meant setting my Rosie free into the wilds of cousin-land to tumble and romp through the grass, throw water balloons, crash legos and play hide-and-seek under a dark sky in the front yard.  This moment of 'letting go' could have been more traumatic for me, but the awesomeness of my family prevailed.  The other kiddos are much older than her, old enough that making space for a two year old during rough play (lots of boys) might have been annoying.  But they were amazing.  They slowed to show her the art of filling water balloons, they stood close enough to let her hit them with one, they were fabulous examples of kindness and love.  I was so touched.

It was perfect and tough to see my grandpa.  He is getting frailer each time I see him and it becomes more difficult to be in a conversation as he slows.  I do my best to avoid thinking of what the end game is.  I overhear my grandma talking about how she can't imagine what that will be like, how utterly incomprehensible it is.  I am so thankful each time I get to hug on him.

After our family beach day, when we were all home, showered and admiring each other's sunburns, I made a discovery that's been a month in the making (we work fast): I'm pregnant.  We told my aunt, uncle and cousin first since that's how it went down last time.  Silly tradition, and it was neat to be with them the day we found out again.  Then we, of course, told everyone else.

This was a momentary stall, however.  We are a bit spooked in the department of getting excited, last time was such a let down.  However, if something goes awry and we didn't tell anyone, then we'd be suffering alone.  I'm not good at hiding.  People can get a pretty good read on me just to look at my face.  And who wants to suffer alone?  So now you know.  We're not expecting the worst, and we're quiet in our happiness.

On a related note- I couldn't be more thankful that the last pregnancy didn't work out.  I'd have an infant right now, and I think that would be a bit too overwhelming.  Rosanna still is needy enough to deserve all of me.  When she's three (when this baby is due) I imagine she'll have pushed away even more and the spacing will be perfect.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Giving - it's addictive

Last night, after swim lessons, after the "Best of the Best" soiree (Old Town Pizza, we're #1!), after we all showed up at home a wee bit pooped from the heat, we decided to go out again.

It started with an urge to help.  The fire that is raging not far from us has transformed our town into a fire-truck town.  They are everywhere.  The fairgrounds is a staging area and looks like a small town itself.  Giant tents set up, emergency folk everywhere, generators, semis.  It's pretty incredible.

So here we are, contemplating our move.  My thought: go get some bread, peanut butter and jelly and hand out sandwiches to evacuees (which we would learn later would have never worked since the Red Cross won't accept it if we made it in our home).  Ethan, brilliant man that he is, suggested pizza.  And so it was.

We brought 15 pizzas to the firetruck staging area and gave them to a man who was a lot grateful and a bit overwhelmed.  They had just received a bunch of watermelons, he told us.  Apparently there is no shortage of generosity, well done community!

Next we made the trek out to Foresthill.  We found the Red Cross evacuee station and were met with smiles and plenty of thanks.  One woman was in awe that we had driven that far (it's about 30 minutes).  Others just looked in shock.  This location was a more sobering experience, watching people's faces all twisted in worry.  An older couple walked past us with blankets in hand to set up their cots in the sleeping room.  It all became very real.

Our drive back, past countless firetrucks, was an introspective one. There was a time when we had so much stuff that a request to get out with what we could fit into a car would have created a panic.  What would we save?  Ethan and I both agreed that our life is no longer so overrun with "stuff" and our list of must-haves is a short one.  I suppose talking about it and actually doing it are two very, very different things.
(don't ask me why this next section is in white..I don't know)
Arrive at today!  Rosanna and I brought cookie and bread plates to two fire stations.  First we went to Ophir.  What an amazingly friendly and grateful group of men!  They were working on their new truck when we arrived and they couldn't believe what we were up to.  I thanked them for taking on the job of 'fireman' and we were ushered in, out of the sun.  They urged us to sit in their new truck (they were quite proud), they took pictures of us and sent us off with a pencil, ruler, coloring book, erasure, sharpener and sticker badge.  They thanked us over and over, apologized for their sweatiness and made us feel like we made their day.  It was awesome.  We also brought a plate to the fire station up the street from the restaurant.  It was a fulfilling day.
My wee-one, driving the big new truck

 She REALLY didn't want to stand with the strange sweaty man, but I made her

 Momma's gotta see the inside too

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Swim lessons....solo

OMG you guys.  OMG.

A few weeks ago we signed up for "Parent/Tot" swim lessons.  We receive a gift of two sessions of swim lessons for Ro at christmas, and this was the applicable class.

The first session has come and gone.  It was ok.  Lots of singing, coddling, splashing and playing with toys.  It was perfect, for what it was.
I was left wanting, however.  So when we started this session in the parent/tot class again, I took action.  The next level is for 3-5 year olds (not 2 year olds), so my inquiry into moving her up a class was met with apprehension.  We agreed that if she went to the teacher for class (i.e. didn't throw a fit and  freak out because Mommy and Daddy weren't there) then that was it: she would be allowed to stay.  Otherwise, it was back down into baby-land for us.

People.  If you know my Ro, you know she had no problem heading off into the water without us.  She didn't even look for us until the half-hour lesson was minutes from being over.  After I handed over my beloved into the hands of people who I've never spoken to in my life, we made ourselves scarce behind a fence- close enough to watch, far enough to be out of sight.

Let me tell you- when I sat down upon the cement step and turned to see how my baby was doing in her first moments of un-parented swim lessons, she was perfect.  It was as if she'd been doing it all along.  No problem.  My Mommy heart got tight, my eyes burned and clear fluid pooled in my eyelids.  Oh, man.

She did AMAZING.  She jumped in with no quibbling (she quibbles with me, one reason I thought to move her up), she practiced floating on her back and front.  They kicked and scooped.  She and another little boy had to be separated because they were more interested in shenanigans than paying attention.  This made E and I giggle.

It was amazing.  I am SO stink'in proud.