Friday, February 21, 2014

7 Quick Tired But Thankful Takes

Baby Martini has turned!!  

After about a month of being transverse, he/she is head down and ready to go, and so is this tired mom.  
Almost 36 weeks and my poor back is buckling from that front load.

Technically I have 4 weeks left from Sunday, but I've always been early, so here's hoping this baby is into following trends.  And you can bet I'm following Jenny's advice and learning some reflexology to start at 38 weeks.

How cool is it that my phone makes snow pictures look like this??

We have been getting hammered with snow all winter, so I am very very thankful that it's 50 degrees today (I don't even mind that it's overcast and rainy).

Basketball season is almost over!  We have one more week of games and then it will be time for swim lessons in the Spring.  Ah sports seasons, I love to see you come but I also love to watch you go.

Maggie is so funny playing basketball.  She comes up to me during the games to tell me her tooth is wiggly, she is thirsty, she needs to go to the bathroom, her ponytail is loose, etc.  In her last game, she got fouled, and had to take a foul shot.  She looked over at me and yelled "is fouling a good thing?"  I think she was scared she had done something wrong.  Oh my sweet girl, one day you will understand the game!  Or not, if you're anything like your mom whose best hoop victory came when I scored for the other team.  Whoops!


There's a new bakery near our work, and we just discovered that their cute and overpriced cupcakes are really yummy!  I had the strawberry chocolate with chocolate ganache filling, and Phil had the chocolate peanut butter cup after realizing that the coffee oreo was sold out.  Just another reason to go back!

Phil took the kids to see the Lego movie, and they all loved it.  Thanks to Kendra for the recommendation.

Gum is still considered a big treat to our kids!
That was the start of their February vacation week, they also went to the library, shot hoops at the rec center, played in the snow, went to the zoo, saw a kids band perform, had playdates, yada yada yada, they basically have the world's best stay at home Dad during vacation weeks.  

Potty training is the pits, right?  But I'm thankful for this little booger (2.5 years old) who took to it so easily (well for #1 anyway, #2 has been an issue for all our kids). 
Here he is asking for a diaper because he knows there's business to be done.
 We started it because he kept asking to sit on the potty, and figured why fight it?  Serendipitously, a friend came over around the same time with her 2 year old son who was completely potty trained, and I asked her for any training secrets.  She told me she finds that the child has to be naked from the waist down, and they will just go to the potty (without many reminders if they are physically ready).  

We have always done the underwear only approach while training, so I was skeptical, and a little grossed out for his highness to be running around naked all day, but it actually worked!  If he's naked, he runs to the potty to pee without any reminders.  The one time we put on underwear, he peed in it.  Amazing!  I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks - woof.

Now it's time for your advice.  Give me any and all of your tips for having a successful labor of the hopefully natural variety while not freaking out at the end.  

What can I do?  Essential oils?  Music?  IV drugs?  Specific prayers?  I'll try anything to make this birth a little less chaotic and traumatic (the chaos being in how fast the last two were, and the trauma being how painful it was). Thanks!

Have a wonderful last weekend of February (what?) everyone!


  1. My best labor advice is to walk, walk, walk walk. walk, walk, walk. walk. Walking through the contractions defintiely helps a ton. My easiest, fastet and best labor was by the far the one I walked though the whole thing. I even pushed standing up (my husband brought we a chair to hold onto for support duirng the pushing stage. Plus, since you exercise and are fit, walking is probably easy for you. Really, I think the most "natural' position for humans to give birth is in standing/squatting and just just pace/walk through labor. Plus, walking gives you something to do, so you don't focus on the pain and contractions so much. .

    And, can I just say you look great and I'm jealous of how awesome you look pregnant. You are just all belly, which is so cute.

  2. Ahhhh you are so close! I'm glad that baby Martini has turned! I don't have advice (I like my births good and medicated) but I will pray that you have a good experience, and that you and baby are safe and healthy.

  3. Yay for baby turning!!
    Glad the kids had a great Feb vacation.

    My best tip for the chaos is head to the hospital/birth center when you feel you need to (no second guessing) and once you are there ~ let people buzz around you but zone them out ~ you are where you need to be and the baby can come whether you have an IV (or not) or the bed is how they want (or not).

  4. First, and I am REALLY not just saying this. You look GREAT. Like, 'I am so jealous of your cute little pregnant self' great! Also, I am intimidated by potty training but I know we have to start it. And third, I am always very much numb and being cut during my births, BUT, one thing I heard works really well (from several friends who did the natural thing) is bringing a picture with you (maybe your favorite of the BVM) and use it to focus on. With Little Aaron, I have the sweetest picture of blessed mother, I was going to bring that, but God had other plans!

  5. I was talking about refelxology with a friend on Wednesday and she said that rubbing your wrists is supposed to help induce labor.

  6. Ohhhh those cupcakes look so good... So glad baby has turned!!! Is Maggie dying from the anticipation?

  7. Your baby bump looks beautiful!

    My last two babies I went with meds and it was so wonderful. Relaxing and I actually enjoyed it. That is my vote.

  8. Omg! Last weekend in February?!?! That's awesome! Yay for a turned Martini baby! You look great Colleen!

  9. Yay, baby! That's great news!

    Music is super helpful during if you have something that you know calms you and that you can enter into. Practice relaxation beforehand. Turn the music on in a quiet room and practice. Figure out what you will tell yourself, what to listen to, what Phil can say that most keeps you relaxed and able to take on the contraction rather than fight it. Write all this down so both you and he remember because it's so easy to forget in the moment.

    I use clary sage, peppermint, lavender with my clients for their own benefit but much of it is suited to you. What smells make you relax? For a long labor, something citrusy gives extra energy but for you, something to relax and calm is probably more important. It's amazing how much a smell can bring us to a different emotional state.

    Prayers...I find it helpful to have one prayer or word that you can focus on during transition at the end. Sometimes you have that picked out beforehand but sometimes it's just whatever He gives you in the moment. I usually just say His name over and over. Have a crucifix you can hold or see to focus on. A few clients of mine have really liked having the Benedict Groeschel Rosary playing during labor. It's super calming and meditative with music in between the decades.

    Start praying now with Phil every night for peace and for a happy, holy labor. It's so powerful to pray with your husband and how awesome is it to pray for those moments when you will literally be bringing that little embodiment of your love into the world!

    Also, a shot of whiskey or a glass of wine. I still stand by that advice ;)

    Praying for you all!

    1. Man, I love your advice Mary!

      And I'm so glad you said glass of wine/shot of whiskey, if you approve, then it makes it legit!

  10. Yippee for being head down! I'm just a little over 35 weeks and while I really would love to try for a natural VBAC all the drs at my practice are recommending a c-section due to all the complications I had giving birth to my daughter. (And yeah, there were a bunch of serious complications.) While I haven't actually been able to have a successful all natural birth, in all the research and advice I found the biggest things were mentally preparing for the birth and trying to relax. (Ha! Easy peasy, right?) ;-) Good luck and I hope you have a safe and happy birth!

  11. Oh, and fill your head with good birth stories. Stay away from the people who will make it something to fear. Whether it's true or not, it isn't going to help YOU have the best birth experience you can for this particular baby. I keep reminding myself that there are women I know for whom the fifth or sixth baby was a painless labor. Who knows...that could be one of us some day :)

    Okay, I'll stop now.

  12. We have had 2 natural births with zero intervention. My husband was in charge of keeping me hydrated with Gatorade and helping me focus on the job at hand. Peppermint oil & eucalyptus oils worked great for me during labor, when I would start to get panicky and try to give up a quick sniff would bring me back to focus. We also really focused on keeping my breaths from my diaphragm and not short, panicky chest breaths. For some reason the reminder to "watch my tummy" as our midwife would say, really helped me. I also read somewhere that pushing is two steps forward, one step back so I envisioned "rocking" the baby out that way and it helped too.

    I know each woman is different but I hope those things help a bit. We will be sending you prayers in your last few weeks and labor!

  13. Try to remember how fast the pains of labor leave your memory! God really had a plan with that one or none of us would do this again! Yes, they come flooding back in the moment, but as far as time goes, those moments are only a snippet of time. I had #7 three months ago, and while labor was fast and intense, I can't really remember the real physical feeling. Also, I love having the memory that with each contraction I offered it up for salvation, my kid's know all the big stuff. :)

  14. You look amazing and you are getting sooooo close! Wish I had some tips for the labor, but I ended up getting an epidural! Praying for a healthy end of pregnancy and delivery for you! I am sooo eager to find out if your baby is a girl or boy!

    And Maggie cracks me up! :)

  15. For labor get a really funny movie that will make you laugh. I read that laughing really helps to relax you and it is not as painful. I watched Bridesmaids, which is really crude, but hilarious. It actually helped me a lot.

  16. Nicely done, bebe! I knew you had enough time for that cutie to turn around . . . some kids you just can't rush. ;-)

    You know what a crisis my last labor and delivery turned into, and I'll tell you that what helped me was praying for specific people during the scariest/most painful parts. The key for me was in the specificity - I was actually saying people's names in my head. I prayed through other labors, but it was more generalized and I couldn't focus as well. Music always annoyed me and I don't like a lot of people talking either.

    For me, I have to just grit my teeth, set my mind, and get through it -- no way around it but through it kind of thing. I don't listen to negative people and people who always try to one-up you on the delivery drama. You don't have the time and energy for those shenanigans!

    If you are going with no meds, just remember that you've done it before and you can do it again. That really did help me. And also keep in mind that if you opt for drugs, there is no shame in that. I know you want to avoid them for physical reasons, but if it comes down to it, they might be the way to go.

    Getting close, lovely! Hang in there!

  17. You look so good! Like you are 20 and having your first for heaven's sake. It's funny how different all the advice is...with Janey I finally did exactly what I wanted to do-lay in a bed in a dark room with my eyes closed with no one talking to me or checking me or asking me questions and go to another place in my head. It was the best labor ever. Not completely painless near the end of course but I had no fear of the pain which made it totally manageable and quicker also. I really really concentrated on what my body was doing. It was so peaceful.
    Can't wait for you-hope the 4 weeks goes quickly-such a fun exciting time!

  18. First of all - you look great!!! You are all baby bump and nothing else. But I can't be too jealous because I know you have continued to work out and eat well and well, I haven't! So, kudos to you!!!

    Second of all - so happy baby Martini is in position! I know that's one less thing for you to worry about.

    And finally - I have no advice on the natural delivery but I will be praying that your delivery is calm, peaceful and everything you want it to be!

  19. Way to go Martini (and mama)! I still say baby is a stubborn girl. Oh wait, that's what I always end up having. lol.

    And for serious, could you be any cuter? You look like you are in your twenties and baby is just all in front. That baby weight is gonna fall off when Martini arrives. Enough said. YUM.

    Reed took the big kids to the Lego movie on opening weekend and they met up with their cousins. Had a blast! And of course we've now had to download "Everything is Awesome...." to the ipod and listen to it. Burned in my brain.forever.

    Natural has done me good in labor and delivery. I use it as (hopefully) my time to burn up some purgatory time. For reals. I walk as long as I can and do breathing to get through each contraction. For Gianna, the Divine Mercy chaplet was all that kept going through my head. For the sake of His sorrowful passion....have mercy on us and on the whole world....seemed to flow well in my head as the contraction got strong and then lessened. At the end, Hail Mary was about al that I kept going through in my head. M was like a walk in the park and I was already a 7 before going into the hospital. He broke my water, I walked for a half hour, sat down in a chair through a couple contractions and then insisted that people needed to be moving faster. Less than an hr after he broke my water, M was here. Easy peasy.

    I'm praying for you and cannot wait for news!! You better text, girl ;)

    Happy Weekend!!

  20. I think this might be my first time commenting here, and weird to do so in the context of birth experiences, but whatever. :) When my contractions got pretty intense, I crawled into the hospital's jetted tub and stayed there about until transition. The running water, white noise and heat helped me so much. Transition still sucked, but I was able to relax and dilate somewhat quickly in the tub from being so relaxed. Prayers for a safe delivery for your precious little one!

  21. You look amazing!!!
    I don't have advice ,but will be praying for you to have a fast labor and delivery.


    Second, I guess part of it depends on what you mean by "freaking out" at the end. You might be setting up an unfair expectation for yourself. Childbirth is hard work and it is painful. I don't do anything fancy, but I'm just a no nonsense girl. I face it the same way I would face any athletic goal which is to say, I assume it will suck but that I can do it. I just accept the suckiness. The goal of "painless" natural birth is fine except that for some women (myself included) the first sign of pain signals that I am failing, that I am not properly following my techniques and that is the reason I am in pain. As things progress and it becomes more intense the desperate white knuckling to "get back on track" with "performing" techniques can make you feel more and more desperate and out of control, which is a scary and defeating place to be. The more desperate, out of control, scared, and defeated you feel, the more likely it is you will think something is VERY WRONG and get more scared, feel more out of control, etc. I go in with the mind set that I will accept the pain and just enter into it. I usually have some intentions in mind to offer it up (mostly my husband's conversion, obviously with Avery my healing and her safety). Towards the end with Avery the doctor was checking me (ugh) during a massive transition contraction and I yelled "I CAN'T" which I didn't actually mean about the whole thing, just the getting checked during a transition contraction thing, and I started to apologize and muttering something about how I should handle that better because this is my 6th and blah blah but the doctor flew to my side and grabbed my hand and said "every Mom says that at this point, it means you're almost done" which means a lot since his wife has birthed 12! children. So I guess I'd say remember that too. At the point where you are really starting to lose your shit, you are almost done. It is so predictable that I vaguely remember in my last 2 births at a certain point my vocalizing gets really high pitched and I just start to lose it a bit and all the professionals get really busy because they know it means it's time for things to get Birthdayish. So don't set up an unfair expectation for yourself. You're an athlete. You would never prepare for a marathon with a goal of not getting winded or uncomfortable at all for 26 miles. You would prepare to accept the hurt and the suckiness because it's part of your body's process. I hope that makes sense. Sometimes just accepting the suckiness helps you let yourself off the hook and let your body do its work. the end, it's the 21st century so you can just decide that hey, I've had enough suckiness for one day let's help that anesthesiologist pay his mortgage! You're just thinking of the economy ;)

  23. Yay! I am so happy to hear your good news (way to go, baby!). I not one to dish out advice for childbirth, but if I had to share one remedy for preparation that I swear by its red raspberry leaf tea. I drink it in very strong concentration every day starting at my due date (5-6 tea bags steeped), or when the contractions begin, whichever comes first. It doesn't taste good, but it really eases the contractions, and seems to prime everything for action - I've had shorter easier labors for the last 3 births with this method. I honestly drink it all the way to the hospital, and then some when I get there!

  24. Colleen! You look amazing!

    And we're potty training too! You seem way more chill about it than me...hopefully I'll be that chill too someday.

    Natty birth advice: pressure on my lower back while I was in child's pose helped a ton. Singing - awkward but helpful. And the bath really slowed my labor down which was awesome.

  25. Yay for head-down babies and the Lego movie! And cupcakes, obviously.

  26. Yay for turning babies! Or baby.
    I went natural with my five and I used hypno-birthing. It wasn't pain free but the relaxation and breathing exercises really helped me. I also was determined to offer up my labor for a specific cause. That helped me try to get through the worst of it knowing it had a purpose (outside the whole bringing a new life into the world thing.)

  27. You look awesome!

    I've had one meds...but it ended in a C-section...all the rest were C's. (that's 6)

    SO, I have no advice. Can't wait to see that little baby though...

  28. I can't believe how cute you are! You amaze me, you know that.
    I keep hearing about hypnobabies but don't think i'm the type to really get into it. But I know it works for others who are good at the meditation type thing.
    I'm getting so excited and can't believe it's almost March… a few more weeks! Hope you are getting rest, if that's possible.

  29. I've had five natural hospital births. Last time around, I found birth affirmations to be really helpful. I picked a few and would repeat them over and over during the worst of the contractions.

  30. I've had five natural hospital births. Last time around, I found birth affirmations to be really helpful. I picked a few and would repeat them over and over during the worst of the contractions.

  31. I went natural with my last three. A couple things that helped me were walking around, sitting in a rocking chair and actually rocking (helps the baby come down in the right position), standing and leaning over the bed, and if I was in the bed, having it fully upright at an almost 90 degree angle and sitting indian style with my back straight up. I also know that when I hit transition and I think I can't handle it anymore, that I only have about 30 - 45 minutes to go. I push really fast, so if I can make it through that last little bit of time, I'm good to go. It's my husband's job when I start saying that I can't do it, to look me in the eye and quietly remind me "45 minutes". That's my mantra - I can do anything for 45 minutes. Glad the baby has turned. And I used the naked method with all 4 of my boys and it's really the best way. I think the sensation of underwear around the middle for some kids mimics the feeling of a diaper, so they don't remember to hold it. And mine ALL had trouble with #2. Such a battle. I don't know what's up with that. You look awesome - all baby!! And just remember on the labor - in the end, all that matters is a healthy baby and a decent delivery. So if you want to try natural, go for it. But don't be ashamed to use the epidural if you need it. That's what it's there for.

  32. So glad the baby turned! You look great!:) I can't believe baby Martin is almost here!

  33. You look great! So glad your babe turned. Way to go momma.

  34. You look so so great, Colleen. Is it weird that I think your belly looks a little different since baby turned?

    Calm, natural birth advice: walking, praying, breathing, so much of it has already been said so I will just say my one piece: Focus on the contraction at hand. Don't look ahead and wonder how long it will be, or behind and think about how long you've been doing it. One. Contraction. At. A. Time. I swear up down and sideways that this will prevent a lot of those panicky feelings.

    I'm so stinking excited about your baby. But I have one very important question: since you're not on Facebook how the heck am I supposed to know when to offer up labor prayers for you? Are you going to have Cari alert your fans??? This is a real and actual suggestion.

  35. Colleen! I can't believe you're that far along because you're looking so great! And I'm so happy the baby has flip-flopped the right way, what a load off your mind! I'm always the same as you and asking for advice near the end as well, and I can say that reading the hypnobirthing book for my last helped me with my mental anxiety. Maybe not so much the pain, I honestly can't understand how I've had 5 natural births...miracles do happen!

  36. You look amazing! Will be praying for you as the birth nears - I have no advice though :( I've had drugs with all mine!

  37. Colleen you are seriously the cutest pregnant person! All baby! I'm jealous- I just got wider everywhere :)
    So excited to hear about the newest baby Martins arrival- prayers for you!!


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