Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Five Favorites

Kate Middleton.

Dear Kate,
    Ever since you married Prince William, you have become my favorite Royal.  Which is impressive since I am quite fond of Prince Harry and his troublesome ways.  

And he was right.  Look at you...

And then you had a beautiful baby boy!  But what was even more beautiful was that baby bump you were still sporting like all of us normal moms:

You fell down a few notches when I saw this picture of you playing volleyball only 3 months after giving birth:

What the flat stomach?  But you won me over again with these Baptism pictures:

A girl who also married a prince


I never realized how much I loved them until they were all in the dishwasher at the same time and my kids had to eat out of (gasp!) regular bowls.  These bowls serve the perfect amount of cereal and let my kids drink up every last drop of milk without spilling it.

(click that link and sign up, and I'll get money to spend!)
We just scored a great deal on an overnight to a mountain resort in New Hampshire.  The kids are going to be so excited!

The Red Sox...
are winning!  I must admit to watching parts of the games since I found out there's an awesome rookie on the team named XANDER!
He just turned 21, and is as cute as a button.  It must be a requirement that comes with the name ;)

Now I need a favorite from you.  
What book did you read to help prepare you for labor?  Or maybe you prefer the unschooling approach to labor?  I'm specifically hoping for another natural labor, but scared as all get out to actually do it.  I'm thinking of trying hypnobirthing and don't know where to start.
This is how I want to feel.

Any advice?

Now off to Hallie Cute Jenny for more!


  1. I *heart* that Kate. I hadn't seen the baptism pics--how very sweet. I did, however, see her in the heels playing volleyball I had seen. And of course, looked at the belly first. *sigh* She's still a sweet gal and I love her.

    It seems that I read a book (very old and dated and um...graphic photos) before Gianna, but can't remember the title. Will see if I can recall it and let you know. For me it was a good refresher of techniques/breathing, etc for labor. Don't know that I remembered a whole lot of it in l&d, but it did help me remain calm and say 'I can do this. It won't be so bad.'

    Once again, Groupon isn't really in my area so I get no sweet deals at mountain resorts. :( I sure enjoy seeing all the fun you have with it though!

  2. Love those cereal bowls! I may have to get some of those! The kids would love the straw.

    And I'm an epidural kind of gal so no help from me on that one.

  3. Love those Christening pictures!!

    Birthing from Within by Pam England is my favorite before birth book.

  4. 1. KATE AND WILLS!!!!! LOVE her. LOVE them. My Grandma grew up in England and was a war bride at 16(!!!!!). We've always been steeped in the Royals. I have a Kate and Wills christmas ornament my Mom made me from a souvenir bell commemorating their wedding. My parents we in England visiting family right after the wedding. All that to say, HUGE Kate fan.

    2. My kids love those bowls too. I try not to think a lot about how clean the straw may or may not really get. They use them for soup and cereal (not at the same time).

    3. I've had some great luck with Groupon. I'd totally click your link if I wasn't already signed up.

    4. I'm a Yankees's fan...can we still be friends? BUT, the puppy predictor on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon DID predict a Boston win doesn't get more scientific than puppies.

    5. One book that really helped me and I didn't expect it to because it's SO hippy dippy is "Birthing from Within". Some of it is dumb (at least to me) like making art and crap, but a lot of what they say about pain management was helpful because they don't say do xyz and it won't hurt. They help you go through the pain and surrender to it. I felt like a failure before that because other books act like you follow their steps properly you'll have no pain. Which is dumb. You're really well prepared as a runner because you're used to things being horrible.

  5. Not to be a total weirdo, but it's really bugging me, why is that woman naked in that picture? 3:15 am, in labor and the woman is sleeping in the nude? Am I the only one who thought that was weird? yes? ok.

    1. I think she's wearing a totally modest off-the-shoulder nightgown.


  6. Kate is my favorite as well :) We watched their wedding the morning my lil' Aaron was born!
    No help with the book thing :( Lots of drugs and c-sections over here.
    Hope you are feeling well!

  7. I do love the Royals....especially Kate.

    My kids won't eat cereal for the most part...but those look cool.

    This year is a year I truly couldn't care less about the World Series. Dislike both teams. Yuck. (I still love you.)

    I did inductions and epidurals and was happy with them so I don't think I can help you with any books. good luck, though!

  8. Love Kate! Love!

    And I am a C-section gal, sooo nothing from me. : )

  9. Oh my goodness I had a great laugh at the last image, I hope you find the right resources and I know you'll share them when you do!

  10. I was a Bradley book gal - probably because it was the only one that I found that was firmly in the natural camp without laughing in the face of modern medicine (I really appreciated his "learn to swim, but have a lifeguard" analogy). I also thought it fit really well with my "God created my body to do this" mantra.

  11. From the little I know about the royals, I think I really like Kate, too.

    I used to do Groupon then they sponsored this REALLY grotesque perverted place (like a wax museum that depicted rape and stuff as art. Crazy gross) in another city and I wrote them and they refused to back down. And I'm sort of regretting my statement to them that they lost my business because they really do rock for other things. Thankfully our area has a few other companies now doing the same thing because it really is cool!

    Books - Ina May's Guide to Childbirth is helpful (albeit hippie-esque) if you find strength and confidence from good birth stories. Birthing From Within is okay and Nella is right. There's weird art stuff but I appreciate that it isn't based on a pain-free expectation. Hypnobirthing is helpful with finding great visuals and preparing your mind but I don't like with or agree that pain is a result of fear. Sure fear can make things feel way worse but I think it can set up some unrealistic expectations for women. It is a good book, though, if you can get around that stuff. The Bradley book is great with their focus on relaxation and preparation. I'm a mover during labor, though, and they tend toward just laying and deep relaxation which I've found slowing labor for a lot of women I've been with. I've heard great things about Christ-centered Childbirth, though I haven't read it. Some women I know really appreciated that it was focused outward rather than inward. I need to get that one and check it out.

    All that said, if we are blessed again, my plan is to not think about labor until it happens, down a glass of wine and hope for the best :)

    p.s. maybe get a doula? :)

  12. Oh my goodness have I read a whole library on natural birthing! Honestly, the Bradley book was the best in preparing my husband and I to KNOW what was going on with my baby and my body as I was housing him and then birthing him. But on my third little one (and you are a veteran too in this case) the Hynobirthing book I mentioned to you once, was the best. You already know what labor is like. You have a good idea of what to expect. This book just literally took me by the shoulders and said, “You know all that crap about birthing and pain and difficulty and everything else that you fear? Stop that. You can do this.”

    Seriously. It was so matter of fact and simple to understand that I would shake my head while reading it, wondering why I didn’t pick this up sooner. The best thing is also that it gave a great amount of advice and examples on what to do….um, like lay on your side, breathe and relax. No fear. (no fear).

    Good luck with whatever decision you choose :) Either way, we are praying for a happy and healthy little one!

  13. 1. Love those baptism photos.
    2. Need to try the cereal bowls. I've been worried about how the straw cleans up, but I think if they keep the milk mess down (especially on Sunday ams) then it'll be a win.
    3. I second Cynthia. Her sister recommended Hypnobirthing (the Mongan method) to both of us, and she is the reason that I even picked up the book (with baby number 2, I saw it at the library in Oregon and scoffed at allthehippies). Her sister really recommended the class but a) I'm cheap and b) I waited until a month before to look at it. Even still, the book was completely worth it. I practiced the relaxation techniques like mad in the month before. I downloaded the CD that came with it onto my phone and listened to it in the car. Only to realize, too late, that I had to turn it off because this baby was getting borned in the car! The other book that I, now, totally recommend is Mindful Birthing: Training the Mind, Body, and Heart for Childbirth and Beyond. It's a "take what you like and leave the rest behind" book, but was very beneficial for me. (WIth #1, I had said "how hard can it be?" with #2 I took a Bradley class. WIth both I ended up having epidurals. #3, despite the car birth, was THE most fantastic experience of my life.) I read Ina May, too, and enjoyed pieces of it.

  14. I've done drugs and natural.. I gotta say, I love me some epidural!

  15. Perhaps a good wine list and the latest Real Simple and Glamour? That's my plan for this birthing go-round ;)

  16. I second the recommendation of Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. I also really loved the affirmations that are on the Hypnobirthing CD. I listened to them frequently throughout the later parts of my pregnancies and recalled many of them in my homebirth labors. Some women like to listen to them during labor. Good luck!

  17. 1. I love Kate, flat stomach and all! And aren't those baptism pictures so precious?! I love little George's gown.

    2. My weird kids don't eat cereal. Not a single one of them. Not even the sugary kinds.

    3. I might as well root for the Sox since they have Shane Victorino, my fave former Phillie. I love him, and Philly fans miss him.

    4. Sorry, no book help from me. I never read a single one. Rob and I took classes with Francie and after that, I just sort of white-knuckled it through the rest. The biggest key for me is this: knowing that I've done it before and I can do it again. Seriously, that was my biggest hang-up to natural childbirth. I didn't have the confidence in myself to know I could really do it until Sally's birth. I'm not saying I love pain, but I do love how I feel after a drug free birth. And it sure as heck beats the urgent c-section with Septimus. You can do it, lady! Hope you can find a book that you can really use. :)

  18. Oh Kate! She sure is likable!
    And a few of my friends have tried hypnobabies and have liked it - except one didn't go into labor on her own and then she felt like everything was thrown off (it was her first). I hear it's pretty expensive but there are used dvds and videos or cds or whatever you buy that are a lot less...

  19. Love #1--such great pics! (esp. the last one). Also, cereal bowl--brilliant! I should get those for my kids.

    Re: birth. Done four natural, one emergency c-, and the best thing I can say is Birthing From Within is a good method. I mean, if you've done it once, you can do it again, and I get the panic before labor starts--I have that all through the pregnancy, and then once the party gets started, I'm all, bring it labor, let's do this. (All that is to say, grace for the moment). Good luck!

  20. Also: I found watching natural birth videos helpful.

  21. Absolutely my favorite 5 for the day! Oh, the volleyball picture cracked me up, then I was oooing over the baptism pics. I think I need to get some of those bowls, since my kitchen tabler is always covered with puddles of milk after breakfast!

  22. The birth book by Martha Sears.

  23. So, I've had 4 natural childbirths. The first 3 were really hard and painful and long. The fourth one was quick and practically painless and over before I knew it. The main differences as far as I can tell are that

    1) #4 was born as home, so not having to go anyplace was SO nice.
    2) she was born earlier than we were expecting so I was basically in denial that I was in labor for a good long while and just went about my regular day. From the time when I was actually convinced that I was in labor until birth was about 3 hours.
    3) I think this was the main factor. I discovered that I am a mover during labor and basically spent the entire labor moving (pacing). I even gave birth standing up. With the other 3, in the hospital, once I get into the hospital, I tended to settle down on the bed and not really move and I think that definitely made things harder.

    I'm not sure if we would have a homebirth again (probably not), but I do know that for the next one (whenever that may be), I plan to ignore early labor and just forget about it until it becomes undeniable and then keep moving and moving all during the labor...walking about the hospital room or whatever, but for me...movement is key.

  24. I am in love with hypnobirthing. I use the hypnobabies program and just gave birth to my 3rd three weeks ago. 4 hour labor, born ten minutes after stepping foot in the hospital room, and he was a whooping 10lbs 5 oz, 23 and 1/4 inches long! I honestly felt no pain, just intense pressure. The key is staying super relaxed and listening to the hypnosis scripts on my ipod allowed me to do just that. The original book on hypnobirthing my Marie Monogan is great and completely changed my view on labor and birth in general. With more research though I discovered hypnobabies which seemed to me to take what Marie Monogan started and made it easier to apply. I did the home study course and love having all the materials to re-read and scripts to listen to with each pregnancy. But they do have tracks available for single purchase and download on their website as well. Best of luck and will add you to my list of pregnant mama's I pray for! (oh and I just posted my son's birth story yesterday on my blog, in case you wanted to read :)

  25. Yes to Hypnobirthing !! Use the books/methods by Marie Monogan. We took an instructor led class at a birthing center, on how to use the method. It was great to be able to learn their breathing/relaxation exercises with an instructor. If homestudy is your only option, it would be perfect too.

  26. I'm big on birth books but I'm struggling with what to recommend to you. I feel like a know you a bit and that hippie stuff isn't going to sit well with you. However, Ina May's Guide really truly is the best book on the subject. I'd recommend it with the caveat that if you skip the stories that make up about the first half of the book, it will be a pretty good fit for you. I have two copies, so if you want to borrow one, let me know and I'll drop it in the mail. As to Hypnobirthing, I'm also not really sure how that will work for your specific personality. I'm a pretty pragmatic person, and when I heard my friend say she wasn't supposed to use the words "pain" or "contraction," it was a major turn-off for me. But since I've never officially used it and I don't officially know you, you'd better listen to someone who has and does. :)

    P.S. Will is my 14th cousin. Princess Di's maiden name was the same as mine: Spencer. My uncle did all the genealogy to prove it. I didn't get invited to the wedding OR the baptism, though. I suppose they had to draw the line somewhere. :)


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