Thursday, November 29, 2012

More Baby Products I love... and What I've acquired so far...

We are so close to the finish line.

This week my sister, Meghan, sent us the car seat. It's a Britax Chaperone. I had it on my baby registry in the cow print design, and sure enough Meghan couldn't resist. As she is a collector of all things cow... not her fault, it's a childhood nickname she got of "Moo" that stuck. Anyway, she was incredibly generous in giving us the baby's car seat, and it's a monster of a seat. Very large, very sturdy, and incredibly safe. It's gotten several awards and has been written up in several articles as the safest baby seat on the market.

Here's a photo of it:

Some may not agree that the cow print is the most awesome print ever to be made for a car seat but... I'm pretty sure this is one of the coolest car seats I've ever seen.

I also wanted to mention that I picked it because it holds babies up to 30 lbs, which is one of the highest weight limits for an infant carrier, meaning it will last us longer.

Also, this month, Susan and Scott (my in-laws) helped us out a LOT by purchasing the baby's stroller. I had it narrowed down to 3 choices with a 4th alternate... but then had to make a final decision between the Orbit G2 System and the UppaBaby Vista. I'll start out by saying the Orbit is at least $200 more than the UppaBaby, but after thorough research and weighing the pros and cons, we actually felt the UppaBaby Vista was the better stroller.

Here's what made us go with the Vista:

- First, the Vista can be converted from a one-seater to a two-seater very easily. All you have to do is purchase a rumble seat. This is fantastic news for us, since this is our first and likely not our last baby.

- The Vista has the best reviews on Amazon, most parental websites and threads I was able to find online. It also holds a lot of weight, as was demonstrated in this awesome YouTube video I found:

The video above pretty much explains why this stroller is great.

- The vista has more storage space, and comes with a great bassinet for the first few months when Baby can't sit up on her own

- The vista allows baby to sit forward or rear facing, also the company is supposed to be great to work with, an example being how many people complained that the seat didn't sit up enough, so their 2012 version sits up more.

- We felt the Orbit G2 was a bit gimmicky, didn't have enough storage, and I read a lot of complaints about how easily it broke, how badly it hopped curbs, and how cramped the kids in the stroller looked/felt.

An additional bonus, normally the stand that goes with the bassinet is upward of $130, we got ours on sale for $30. So instead of having to buy a separate bassinet for the first few months when the Baby sleeps in our room, I'm just going to use the UppaBaby bassinet for her to sleep in and stroll in. It's a win win. Here's a photo of the stroller we got:

We got a great deal on it too, because they are discontinuing this color, which is actually a lot better looking in person, kind of a deep opalescent grey/blue.

We also ordered our baby a dresser on Cyber Monday from We got a good deal on it, and though it is not a baby dresser, I think it will go nicely with what we already have. I may end up swapping out the knobs on the drawers to make the dresser more awesome, but I'm happy we got it for a lot cheaper than I thought we would have to spend.

This is the dresser we bought 

It should arrive by tomorrow.  Here are the knobs I'm thinking about getting:
They are on Etsy, sold by DaRosa who makes a lot of drawer knobs.

I also ordered a video monitor that was on sale marked down from $300 to $99 for cyber monday. It's pretty cool. I want to get the Snuza hero as well, which monitors the baby's breathing and alerts you if she stops, all you have to do is attach it to her diaper.
This is the Infant Optix DXR-5 2.4 GHz Digital Video Baby Monitor with Night Vision 
The Snuza Hero - a great addition if you are paranoid about SIDS and want peace of mind. 

All that is left to purchase for the baby is a small bookshelf which I'd like to turn into a changing table as well (the dresser is too tall), a changing pad, and a few smaller things. We're mostly ready.

Last night I finished washing all of her bedding, clothing, even a few of her stuffed animals. I packed a large purse of mine full of stuff I want to bring for her to the hospital (blankets, diapers, a few outfits, and a swaddler). I need a diaper bag still, but am encouraging Jeff to get me a Petunia PickleBottom purse from the Cake line as a Christmas/Push Present.

Isn't it sexy?

I think so...

I also like this Timi and Leslie bag:

It has good reviews. It's also cheaper. So if he won't let me have my cake bag, I may end up with this one instead.

I will post more when the nursery is finished. :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Ramblings on Motherhood

I'm not sure what it was that kept me awake last night, late into the early morning hours. Perhaps it's all the laying around I have had to do. I leaned forward to pick up my tennis shoes for a quick work out and ended up pulling a mid back muscle. It's not the first time I've hurt my back while pregnant, but it's the first time the pain was so bad I was afraid to walk. So I spent the day on my side, not moving a lot.

Last night, while I lay in the darkness of our room, I started thinking about my baby. I keep reading about trying to bond with your baby while she's still in the womb, talking to her, singing to her, and playing games (like poking at her and seeing if she'll poke back). But I don't know how a woman could carry a child in her belly and not feel bonded.

I had a friend who gave birth to a stillborn child. Before I ever experienced pregnancy, I could not understand her grief. But I understand it now, because if I lost my Sonja now... it would destroy me. The love that I feel for this baby is already so strong, and so powerful, that I'm afraid of how I will feel when I've got her in my arms. I'm afraid of the pain I will feel when anything bad happens to her. All I want to do is have my baby and know that she is safe, and know that I am doing what ever it takes to provide for her the best environment possible.

Last night I was trying to envision what my Sonja might look like. Will she be blonde, like Jeff and I were as babies? Will she have my eyes? Jeff's eyes? Her own random genetic combo? Will she get my lips or Jeff's? Will she have his nose? My freckles? I'm so incredibly curious. And what will her little personality be like? Will she be a sweetheart, or a stinker? Will she have her mother's ADD or her father's ADHD? Will she be smart? Will she be devious? Will she have my sense of humor? Or be more serious?

I'd love to design the perfect baby in my head and later find that Sonja embodies that perfectly, but it is not my job to decide who Sonja is. It is her job. My job is only to guide her on her path to self discovery, to nurture who she is, and the good aspects of her personality, to make sure she grows into a good person, a functioning member of society. I don't want to give myself any preconceived notions of who I want my daughter to be, because that never works out well. I don't want to live vicariously through my daughter. I want to live well, and have my daughter see her mother as a happy, independent woman whom she can look to as a guide and mentor. And I want Sonja to love the crap out of her Daddy. I have no fears that he will be a good example to her. Out of the two of us, I am the one who has to watch her step, watch her temper, and learn to be patient. Sonja is so lucky to have Jeff as a Daddy. He is going to be such an amazing father.

As I told Jeff the other day, if I do nothing else right as a mother, I want to make sure I raise my daughter to have confidence in herself. I want her to have high self esteem. The topic came up when I was listening to a Taylor Swift song about a guy who put her down all the time and she finally left him for someone who treats her well and appreciates her for who she is. I said to Jeff, "Never once did I date a guy who made me feel like crap about myself like that... no guy ever put me down." Granted, I have dated some Dousche Bags in my day, but I never put up with verbal abuse and I will be damned if I raised my daughter to do so. There's actually a concept called "negging" that some men use, they put girls down to lower their self esteem in an attempt to gain control over them and get a date. It's disgusting and unfortunately effective way too often. Make a girl feel self conscious and automatically she will want nothing but your approval. Daddy issues? Maybe. Or maybe a society where no one feels good about themselves anymore.

Well, maybe it's my childhood... I spent a good 14 years dealing with people putting me down for my looks, and sure, I am still a little sensitive about them. Maybe it's that my mother never let me take crap from other people. Maybe it's just my personality... but my self esteem is oddly really solid. Do I have insecurities? Sure. But for the most part, I feel pretty good about myself, and that's OK. People walk around like taking a compliment or feeling good about yourself is conceited. It's not. It's healthy. You shouldn't look in the mirror and hate yourself, you should look in the mirror and like what you see, you should love yourself. If you don't love yourself, how can you expect others to?

I'm rambling... my point is... I want my daughter to like who she is, and not be afraid to look herself in the eye and admit it. I'm not saying I want her to be conceited and narcissistic, but it's really not that big of a concern to me, because most narcissistic people, those who seem to have big egos and walk around all puffed up, are the most insecure of them all. In fact, I have never met someone I thought to be egotistical and not felt that deep down, they were incredibly insecure, and to crush their egos would be the easiest thing to do, even if you couldn't tell outwardly.

And thus, I want to raise a self-confident, self-loving, happy and healthy woman. In order to do that, I have to be that woman. I'm doing my best to steer myself in that direction. I'm 35 weeks pregnant, and as I type, my baby is kicking around inside me like crazy. I could have my baby anytime in the next 5-6 weeks, depending on if she feels like arriving early or late. Meanwhile, I am mentally preparing myself for motherhood. I'm reading books, but mostly, I am trying to communicate and bond with my baby. I am trying to ready myself for the difficulties, to remember to keep my temper in check (I imagine this will be more for when she's older and more defiant), to stay patient and loving, and to be the most nurturing and loving mother I can be.

Progress on my Pre-Baby Bucket List

Some of these just aren't going to happen, some of these have already happened, and some will hopefully happen soon. Here's the bucket list I made back in September, the ones crossed off in black are accomplished, the ones crossed off in red can no longer be accomplished.

1. Sell our house (closing 12/19/12)
2. Move in to our new apartment and completely finish unpacking(11/2012)
3. Visit San Francisco
4. Get a manicure
5. Get a pedicure
6. Stay up late and watch scary movies
7. Sleep in late while I still can
8. Road Trip with my Mom to California
9. Dress up as a Sumo Wrestler for Halloween
10. Make a new friend in California
11. Take a Lamaze or some sort of Birthing Class
12. Take a Hypnobirthing class
13. Do pre-natal yoga
14. Try Pre-natal Pilates
15. Swim
16. Spend a day out shopping for clothes, baby items, whatever I want
17. Get the Nursery completely decorated and set up for the baby
18. Install the carseat in my car, and put a carseat base in Jeff's car
19. Go to a Farmers Market in California
20. See a movie at the theater (while I still can)
21. See my Sister Valerie before I move
22. See my Sister Rebekah, my Dad and Bev before I move
23. See my Sister Meghan before I move

24. Make at least one thing I've pinned on Pinterest
25. Spend some quality time with my mom before I leave, painting or getting pampered
26. Spend some quality time with my niece Adelaide and my sister-in-law Liz

27. Have a Marathon Movie or TV show night (Lord of the Rings and Alias so far)
28. Have a Baby Shower
29. Find a Mommy and Me type play group to start integrating myself into California
30. Have a date night with Jeff somewhere fun or fancy
31. Find a Newborn Photographer to do photos of our baby
32. Get Maternity Photos taken??? I don't know if this one really needs to be professionally done but maybe by my mom or husband or something...
33. Enjoy a nice bath and a book
34. Read an entire book (I tend to stop reading 3/4ths of the way through most books.. ADD)
35. Read an entire pregnancy/baby prep book or two or 15
36. Find a new OBGYN in California that I actually like (Kinda sorta like... )
37. Write out a birth plan (did that today)
38. Make my own crib mobile
39. Start Playing the Piano again
40. Explore Petaluma
41. Go to the beach
42. Go on a mini babymoon with Jeff... even if it's just to San Fran
43. Have a girls night with Liz and Merideth and whoever else wants to join us
44. Play Just Dance 4 when it comes out
45. Try the crazy icecream flavors at Lick in Austin
46. Have a weird pregnancy craving and give in to it
47. Get a foot massage from Jeff
48. Find some comfortable pregnancy PJs
49. Get a 3D ultrasound
50. Go to South Congress one last time before I leave

not bad eh?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

34 weeks... 6 weeks to go

Today I am 34 weeks along. If I'm lucky I have 6 weeks or less until our little Sonja arrives, and I have been busy planning the nursery, learning hypnobirthing, and mentally preparing myself.

It was a common belief that the reason we carry babies only to 9 months, and therefore have one of the most helpless babies of all the species of animals on earth, is simply because the baby's brain cannot grow any larger and still fit through the birth canal of the mother.

However, recently a new theory has arisen. The newer theory is that the mother reaches her metabolic limit for carrying the child around the 40th week. It means the mother is no longer capable of supporting the baby and her own needs by the time 40 weeks comes along, therefore it is better for both mother and child if the child is born at a young, more helpless stage.

I'm pretty sure I believe the 2nd theory. I'm exhausted, my body hurts constantly, and making their grand debut this week... STRETCH MARKS!!!!!!! NOOOOOOOoooooOOOOOoooo.

I still have my innie belly button, but I now have a nice beautiful set of stretch marks, which really sucks. I was hoping I'd make it all the way without them, but my poor skin has reached it's elastic limit, my belly is huge.

I read, and was admonished that the 3rd trimester would be the hardest, especially since my nausea was mild, and my first trimester a lot easier than most women's. The 2nd trimester was a breeze, it was practically like I wasn't even pregnant at all. And now, I am ready to get this baby out. And I still have 6 weeks to go. Is it wrong to wish she'd come just a little early? Like in 3 or 4 weeks instead? Probably. And I'm not going to do anything to expedite the process, I am not going to pull out my castor oil and get to chugging. But should my body evacuate it's current (and I'm sure adorable) little guest slightly earlier than the estimated arrival time... I won't be sad about it.

We toured the 2nd hospital (my 1st choice after asking my OBGYN which one was better) last weekend and I am so glad.

The first hospital we toured was OLD, small, and looked dingy. But I loved their policies. The deal breaker for me, was that they have semi private rooms. Not acceptable. I will not be sharing my birthing nor my recovery room with any other woman and I'm sure she would feel the same way about me. Giving birth is a private time, a time you want to be alone.

So when I toured this other hospital, the one that is across the street from my OB's office, the one that's been doing renovations to it's ER, and apparently already finished renovations for the Maternity floor, well... it was awesome. First of all, there is a patio on the floor, it's also a helipad, so if helicopters land at the hospital, this is where they land. It's great because sometimes you need fresh air, especially if you're in pain, which I imagine labor will be somewhat painful, and distractions are essential. Each room is significantly larger than the rooms at the other hospital. The policies are great, you give birth, baby is placed on your chest, they give you time to get that skin to skin contact that is so important, and then they clean the baby up in the room, and take care of everything possible without ever taking your baby away. They have squatting bars, birthing balls, and tempurpedic mattresses. In Texas, when you gave birth you stayed in the same room to birth and recover, but here you get 2 hours after birth and then you are moved to a recovery suite. The difference is that the recovery suite has a tempurpedic couch bed for your husband, and not all of the rooms have bathrooms. Which kind of sucks. All the labor rooms have bathrooms. Some of the recovery rooms have to go to a community bathroom across the hall. I guess it's not a huge deal to me, but I'm just thinking if I have any issues going to the bathroom after I give birth, especially if I have a C-section or something (really hoping that doesn't happen), I want my own bathroom where I can be alone. Ya know? I can barely handle public restrooms as it is.

Anyway, it's a really nice, well updated place and I think I will be happy with my birth there. I guess we'll see.

This week I am looking forward to Friday, the day my Sister-in-Law, Liz, will be giving birth to a baby boy!!! I really can't wait to see what he looks like, I wish I could be there, but I am afraid that's not an option for me at the moment. Luckily my in-laws will both be there, so hopefully between the 2 of them I will get lots of text photos.

The birth of her baby means mine isn't far away! It's getting close! So excited!

Friday, November 16, 2012

More Craftiness... The letter "S" for the Nursery

So I decided after seeing numerous nurseries with the baby's first letter of their name on the wall, that my baby should also have an awesome letter on her wall.

I got a bunch of ideas off Pinterest to help me decide how I would go about making this letter.

Here are a few of the ideas that I liked:

This would involve using a string, however, and I didn't think it would fit the decor I have planned. I'm a little less likely to downplay things, so I had to glam hers up a bit.

I also liked this letter, which is available on Etsy, made by PerpetualPrep for a great price! :

But I really wanted to make my own, and I am not a great fabric manipulator, so I decided to to a flat wooden letter.

I started out just trying to modge podge a bunch of different craft papers onto a wooden letter I bought from the craft store. It's a relatively flat wooden letter, not cardboard, and not very 3D. It cost like $2.

I immediately realized it wasn't working. It looked sloppy. I traced the S on the back of my "base" cardstock paper, which was a bright yellow and blue, and then modgepodged it to the wooden letter.

By sheer stroke of GENIUS (seriously, I'm so glad I thought of this early) I decided it would be fun to wrap a ribbon around it, sort of like the string from the first letter, but more frilly. Instead of wrapping it, I cut the ribbon into small strips so that I could tuck the ends on the back and glue the whole thing down. So each time the ribbon wraps, its actually a separate piece. I hope that makes sense.

I liked the first ribbon so much I just went with ribbons for the rest of the project. I had bought some lace and made a few felt flowers but they looked stupid, so I ended up actually keeping those off, and taking the "less is more" approach to the letter. I chose to do it in mostly silver and blue because those are my main color choices for the nursery, but since the crib bedding is grey and yellow, I kept a little of the yellow in and added some really awesome scrapbook sticker birds I found (also $2). I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.

All it took was a wooden letter, craft paper, ribbons, Modge Podge, and those bird stickers!

I'm not sure if I love it as much as I love the letters from Anthropologie, but I love that I could customize the colors and the theme to my nursery, which currently is filled with all these colors and birds :).

Here's the final product:

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Craft Project: Cloud Baby Mobile

I fell in love with a cloud mobile I saw on etsy by leptitpapillon. You can check out her stuff at, or click on her name, which I linked to her Etsy profile.

Because I didn't want to spend that much on a baby mobile, and I have a LOT of time on my hands right now, I decided to try to make my own baby mobile. I wish I had taken more photos of the process, but I didn't. So I am just going to give you a verbal step-by-step account of how I made it, but here's a photo of the end result:

here we've got a dark grey, light grey, and white cloud. The grey clouds have black and blue rain drops, while the white cloud has pink and blue rain drops.

Here's a list of supplies needed:
- A silver hoop ring at least 8" diameter or larger
- ribbons in 1-3 different shades
- silver glitter glue
- felt in the color of clouds you want (in this case, I got 1 sheet of dark grey, 1 of light grey and 1 white felt sheet)
- silver chain
- chain cutter
- silver jewelry rings (disconnected) to connect chain to ring, cloud, and raindrops (I got a pack of 25 and a pack of 12)
- glue gun and glue sticks
- cotton balls
- scissors
- at least 9 rain drop shaped beads


1. Cut out a cloud shape with the felt, leaving enough room to make an identical cloud shape from same sheet of felt
2. Trace first cloud and cut to match first
3. Put cotton balls on the first felt piece, make sure you don't put too much on or the ends won't meet.
4. Glue the two pieces together with cotton balls in between, making a fluffy felt cloud.
5. Line the clouds with silver glitter glue to create "silver lining"
6. Repeat until you have at least 3 clouds
7. When everything is dry, take a needle, and create a hole in the top of the cloud.
8. Cut chain long enough to hang your cloud from the silver hoop. Connect the chain to silver jewelry ring, then connect that jewelry ring to the silver hoop.
9. Thread a 2nd jewelry ring through the needle hole in the top of the cloud, and connect that to the other end of the chain hanging from the hoop.
10. Make 3 needle holes in the bottom of the cloud, spaced how you like.
11. Thread jewelry rings through all three needle holes.
12. Cut chain, make sure you stagger the lengths so your rain drops don't hang at the exact same height.
13. String the chain to the jewelry loop threaded through the cloud.
14. Add another jewelry loop to one of your raindrop beads, and attach to the hanging end of the chain.  Repeat on all the other chains.
15. Repeat steps 7-14 with the other 2 clouds.
16. Cut 3-4 lengths of ribbon, make sure they are long enough to hang the mobile from the ceiling. Tie them together, and hang however you see fit.

Those directions might suck.. but here's how it looks.

Saving Money on Baby Stuff

I feel so thrifty right now! I am thrilled with how well I was able to save money today.

I would like to start with the crib mattress. The place my crib was sent to is called My Baby News. When I went to pick it up, I spent some time letting one of the employees show me cool baby gear and explain to me the difference between crib mattresses, features on strollers, car seats, etc. in order to get as educated as I could on different baby products I plan on purchasing before Sonja gets here.

When he showed me the crib mattresses, he told me about the different companies and what he recommended. There was an organic mattress, which I had originally believed I wanted, but it wasn't as waterproof as I wanted it to be. Sopora was the company that he recommended the most, even though it was comparable in price to the organic mattresses, it was slightly cheaper, which made me feel like he was being honest with me. What sold me on the Sopora Ultimate Select mattress was that they used this sealing method that ensured NOTHING could get into the seams of the mattress. So when our baby's diaper inevitably leaks, or she vomits in the night, it won't get into the seams and fester and grow bacteria. It's also made of hospital grade materials, because the woman who started the company actually started out making hospital mattresses until she got pregnant and found the baby mattress selection lacking.

According to the salesman, the woman who started Sopora was married and co-owned Sopora with her husband. When they divorced, she kept Sopora and he started his own company Moonlight Slumber. They stopped selling Moonlight Slumber at My Baby News, but I went online and found that the companies were almost identical, with identical products at identical prices. So I decided to go ahead and get the Sopora mattress. Much to my surprise and happiness, when we went to the 2nd floor (which is made up entirely of sale items) we found the few Moonlight Slumber mattresses they had left were significantly discounted, and ended up getting a Moonlight Slumber equivalent to the Sopora Ultimate Select, but for $60 cheaper than the Sopora, and $80 cheaper than it sells for online. Hooray!!!

here's the crib mattress covered in the bedding set my sister April sent me

I also got a belly support band because I'm having issues with my belly itching, feeling heavy, and I'm getting the beginnings of stretchmarks. We also got a crib sheet. Super cute. Anyway, the savings continued...

I researched a lot of baby swings, and it came down to 2 baby swings I wanted. The MamaRoo (made by 4moms) and the Snugabunny. The mamaRoo is actually my first choice, but price-wise I figured I would get a Snugabunny... until...

I remembered Craigslist.

MamaRoo's retail for around $200. I found a woman on Craigslist who bought the MamaRoo, her baby barely used it, and then grew out of it, and she put it on craigslist for half price. I tried to talk her down more, but even on ebay you can't get the stupid thing for less than $110. I got it for $100. And it looks great! As soon as I took it home, I wiped it down, washed the cover, and it looks brand new! It works perfectly, and I couldn't be happier.

the MamaRoo I bought

As for the baby mobile, I want to make a separate post about that, so I can explain exactly how I made it. I'm pretty proud of how it turned out.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Childbirthing Classes

This weekend Jeff and I took a weekend intensive childbirth class. We've also been taking a hypnobirthing class the last two weeks every Thursday. 

It wasn't what I expected, but it was definitely enlightening. I'll start by describing my two hypnobirthing class experiences. First of all if you don't know what hypnobirthing is, it's a techniques used by many women who want to have a natural drug-free child birth with as little pain as possible. In fact, in hypnobirthing lingo we don't use words like "pain" or "contractions" but instead use the words "pressure" and "surges." The idea is that we've been brought up to believe (through TV and horror stories told by other women) that childbirth is the most painful thing we will ever go through. In hypnobirthing we learn to let go of our preconceived notions of what birth will be like, to let go of the fear of birth, and learn to allow our bodies to do what they were designed to do. You learn relaxation techniques, coping mechanisms, and to not fight our bodies but allow them to push the baby out as they were designed to do. I really like and appreciate the methods, and have already noticed a significant difference in my ability to relax even at home using the techniques. Our teacher is also a hypnotist, she does all sorts of hypnosis, from therapy to fertility hypnosis, and also analyses handwriting and a few other cool things. I like her a lot, and since it's a private class, I don't feel as self conscious when she puts us under hypnosis. Hypnosis is not what it seems in the movies, when you cluck like a chicken and wake up without knowledge of what you did or where you were. You are still aware and awake, you simply go into a very deep level of relaxation and calm. It almost feels like you're floating.

This weekend we did the intensive child birth class because we are too late for the larger class which goes well past my due date. I enjoyed meeting other pregnant women, in fact I sat next to a girl due 4 days after me. What was really interesting was how similar the teacher's philosophies on child birth were to our hypnobirthing coach. I really loved our instructor, a very kind hearted, down to earth woman who was obviously a natural nurturer. She was more realistic about the pain side of things, telling us that it would not feel comfortable, it would still be difficult no matter what, but that there were ways to cope, breathing techniques, visualization techniques, and such. She also explained the different pain options and exactly how labor starts, progresses, etc. until you get your baby out. She showed us the different positions baby might be in, what would happen if the baby isn't head down, what to expect with a C-section if necessary, but also let us know that the C-section rate at her hospital (Sutter) was very low because of their late induction rule and hospital policies using C-Section as an emergency procedure or medical necessity only. They won't take any baby out more than a week before the due date unless medically necessary nor will they induce prior to 39 weeks unless there is due cause. 

Unfortunately, I am not giving birth at Sutter, I chose to go with St.Joseph's which is closer to where we live, and also has only private rooms, which is kind of a big deal to me. If my teacher was going to be at the birth, however, I would strongly consider going to Sutter any way. I really really like her. 

I also learned more about episiotomies, something I really don't want. Luckily they no longer do them, it's better if the perineum either tears on its own or doesn't tear at all. The slower you push the baby out, and the more you allow your body to open up for the baby, the less likely you will tear. Which is why my hypnobirthing coach strongly discourages "purple pushing" where you hold your breath and push the baby out. Instead you are supposed to try the pushing technique (if you feel so inclined to push) where you breath out as you push, much like the hardest part of the weight lifting technique, when you fight gravity you breath out. I actually found a lot of the breathing was consistent with weight lifting breathing techniques which made me really happy since I am naturally programmed now to breath that way. 

Jeff and I had fun. It was nice to see him learning and asking questions, he made a lot of jokes throughout the process, jokes I would've probably laughed at if I didn't feel like this is so serious. I mean, maybe if I wasn't the one pushing a baby out of my body I would think it was funnier, but somehow this class truly humbled me toward the birth process. It's not that I am more fearful of it, I am just more aware that this is going to be a hard thing for me, and I need to respect it and learn as much as I can before the time comes to do what I have to do to get my little Sonja here safely, while hopefully leaving my body as intact as I can. 

I am determined to have the following things happen for me at my birth:

1. No Pain Meds - I don't want to lose the ability to know when it's time to push, to lose the ability to feel my extremities. I don't even like going numb at the dentists office, I'd almost rather feel the pain. So I am planning on NOT getting the epidural. I also don't like the idea of a needle in my spine, the chance that I could leak spinal fluid and have a massive migraine the first few days of my baby's life doesn't sound good to me. The chance of paralysis, though slim, makes my decision more solid in my mind. 

2. Bonding Time - As soon as Sonja is born, barring complications beyond our control, I want her placed on my belly and I want to breast feed as soon as she's out. Breast feeding success rates soar when you do it this way. I want that first hour to be between me and Jeff, so that we can bond with our baby. I will not have any guests allowed into the room until after that first hour is passed. Though my mother will be there for the birth, I will probably make her wait to hold the baby until after the first hour. I feel it is vital that our baby bond with us first, and then she may meet her grand parents and family.

3. Waiting to Cut the Cord - The Umbilical Cord has historically been cut too early. Many hospitals now wait, and I will make sure mine waits, to cut the cord until it has stopped pulsing. This has shown to really help the baby's iron levels and blood volume to be higher, otherwise it takes the baby almost 3 weeks to make up for those levels on their own. So I will not be allowing the cutting of the cord until it stops pulsing, and then I want Jeff to cut it. 

4. Baby Will Stay With Us - Once she is born, unless medically necessary, I want my baby with me, in my room, at all times. I don't want her going to a nursery or anywhere else. If she needs medical help I am fine with them taking her away but otherwise she's going to be with me. 

5. Mobility - I don't want to lay on the bed laboring the whole time. I won't take an IV. The hospital I am going to has mobile and waterproof monitoring devices, so I plan on laboring standing, sitting, squatting, in the shower, wherever feels right until it's time to push. I even plan on attempting to push in a squatting position since I think it's more natural. But I'm not adamant about that. Just the thought of being tethered to a bed for 18 hours is horrifyingly suffocating to me.

Beyond that, I realize things change and circumstances cannot be predicted. But with such an easy pregnancy, I feel that these above things are doable. I guess we'll see. I've only got 7 weeks to go!