Monday, August 22, 2011

My first VBAC birth

As you may know, I am a doula in my other life and working towards doula certification. I attended the most wonderful VBAC birth today and had to share!

What a beautiful and inspirational birth story I have to share! I met this couple for the first time about two months ago and I have enjoyed getting to know them as they prepared for this birth. Mom had a cesarean with her twins about two years ago, and I just knew that this birth was going to be great! I could tell by her determination and all the research and work that she was doing that this was going to be a wonderful experience for her and for me too. I was honored to be a part of this special day.

Mom called me at 12:06 am to let me know that her membranes ruptured, but she was not yet having contractions. We talked for a minute, and she decided she was going to take her time and try to get some rest. I attempted to do the same. Of course I tried in vain! I went to my baby's room for a little while to snuggle with her and that seemed to help calm me down, but I just could not fall into a deep sleep. I had a feeling that things would be pretty fast once they started going because she had been 4-5 cm dilated for at least the past week, and she also had a feeling things would progress quickly. She was worried that her birth wouldn't count towards my certification because she was already 4 cm dilated before labor even began and I assured her not to worry about that! I told her I am doing this for a living and not just to get a few births for certification and be done with it. I am honored to be there! Little did I know at the time what a truly amazing experience this would be.

She called again at 4:19 am to let me know that they made it to the hospital and that she was ready for me. I quickly brushed my teeth, changed clothes, packed my bags and drove the nearly one hour drive to the hospital. I made it to the hospital, checked in, went through security and made it to her room a little before 5:30 am. The lights were dim and everything was quiet and serene. It was just her and her husband at that time. They quickly showed me what he was doing to help her cope and I helped them out. Dad was able to sit for a few minutes and get a little break. He was doing so great! She was already at 8 cm when I arrived. Wow!

After a little while, Mom asked what we could do to relieve some of the back pain, so we had her move to her side. She was reclining on her back a little. Moving to her side made the contractions quite a bit stronger, but we had better access to apply counter pressure to her back as she needed it. I helped her with her vocalizations and we focused on relaxing a certain body part during each rush. Sometimes it was her shoulders, the next her neck, the next her jaw. Just one part at a time. She did so beautifully. I say I helped with her vocalizations, but she barely made any sounds at all!

Just an aside, I have a hard time filling out my certification paperwork as it is during a birth. I am pretty busy helping mom! This time was pretty liberating not to have to worry about filling out this or that form or worry about getting a doctor I never met to fill out a form when he didn't really see me in action. I could focus completely on mom and dad and the labor.

I finally had a chance to break out my essential oils! I applied cool cloths to her forehead and put a few drops of lavender to help her relax during labor. I would wave the cloth as a cool breeze too, which helped her be able to smell the oils. Dad told me that the doctor was supposed to arrive between 6-7 am. With the way she was progressing, they were a little bit worried. I teased Dad, "Well, YOU'RE here to catch the baby if he decides to come before the doctor!" It was halfway a joke because he really WAS planning to catch the baby.

As promised, the OB arrived about 6:15 am. I was impressed with him for two reasons. First, he arrived when he said he would! Second, he introduced himself to me and was so kind and gracious. I really appreciated that.

It became somewhat a flurry after that. The doctor wanted to have her checked. The nurse was trying to rush her somewhat, but I would whisper to her, "Take your time! Take your time! When you are ready, you can tell them when you are ready for them to check you." She did a great job with commanding respect of her body, and I was so very impressed and proud of her. However, I was also impressed that the staff graciously obeyed her wishes. Once they realized how much she was in control, they really worked with her. I loved that.

The doctor checked her and she was complete. They helped her try to push to see how the baby would handle it. According to the doctor, Baby did not seem to like that push, and he asked that she labor down for a little while. She was really having a hard time NOT pushing as she was feeling the urge. The nurse worked with her more actively to help her not push. Dad and I helped her stay comfortable with a cool cloth, encouragement and counter pressure. I was able to whip out the lemon essential oil to help energize her for pushing. Very cool.

After just a few contractions, the doctor came back and she began pushing. She did great! After 27 minutes of pushing, her sweet baby boy was born at 6:48 am! Daddy caught the baby! It was such a beautiful moment for that sweet family, with tears running down Dad's face and the most elated and joyful expression on Mom's. She did it!

Dad was able to place Baby immediately on mom's chest, with a little guidance from the staff, which was so wonderful! He was in such awe and shock. What a beautiful time for that family and such a pleasure, honor and joy to be able to witness this inspirational birth!

Congratulations to Mom for having a beautiful and successful unmedicated VBAC birth! I am so proud of you!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

C25K: Week 7

Day 1 and Day 2:

I completely forgot to blog those two days. Long story short, I did it! I successfully ran for 25 minutes straight both days, and I did it on the treadmill.

It wasn't very fun to run so long on the treadmill, and there is not much I can do to make it more interesting. I do not like to listen to music or watch TV while I exercise. It's really distracting. I suppose those are my only two options, but I prefer the solitude in the morning.

I would like to brag on myself. I weighed myself this morning and I weighed 147. I started this adventure at 155. Now, before I get too excited, I started this week at 153. My weight fluctuates by 5 pounds during the day a lot of the time, but this morning I weighed myself without clothes and first thing in the morning unlike on Monday. I know, tmi, but still. I'll take it! This is 3 pounds below my prepregnancy weight and I have not been in the 140s in years. Still, my goal is to get down to 140 before I get pregnant again.

I am looking forward to my outside run on Saturday! I have one more run to do on the treadmill tomorrow and then I will add a for fun run on Saturday. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that I would ever look forward to running trails on a Saturday morning for fun!

Day 3:

Yesterday was Day 3. I did it! However, it was very hard for me to get out of bed to go run. I am so tired. Robbie had to pretty much kick me out of bed. The hardest part is always just getting up and walking to the gym. Once I am there, I am usually fine.

I didn't bother trying not to watch the clock. I find that it helps me to just count with the clock. 1..2..3..4....59..60....1...2..3.. I like to break my jogs into five minute chunks now. I'll think, "One, down, four to go!" Then "Two down, three to go!" When I am at my last five minute chunk, I count down each minute the same way. I know most people probably hate watching the clock, but it keeps my mind busy to count while I run. There is definitely no room for Mr. Negative Poopy Pants when I am counting.

Day 4:

Today I do not really count my run as part of the C25K Week 7. However, I still ran 25 minutes but I ran outside. It was SO HOT! I did it though. Robbie and Lily went with me and as we were walking back to the apartment I said, "I am proud of me." I do not do that enough. I do not acknowledge my accomplishments because I am afraid of coming across as arrogant. However, I need validation and encouragement. I have been searching for approval and for people to be proud of me from the outside. I need to work on it from the inside. I think there is a lot of healing that needs to happen on the inside. The other day I was thinking, "People! Celebrate your kids! Really celebrate them. Celebrate their accomplishments and hard work. Pay attention to them." I hate to sound like a whiney adult, but I really did not get much of that as a kid. Words aren't enough. You have to mean it. I never really felt like anyone celebrated me, and I definitely don't celebrate myself. I need to because no one else will. Well, other than my sweet husband. He is such a doll. However, it's hard for me to truly believe him when I do not believe it myself. So, I decided to celebrate myself today. It felt weird, but perhaps it's a start. And all I did to celebrate myself was admit, "Hey! I'm doing a really good job! I'm proud of me." :o)

And that's okay.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

C25K: Week 6

Day 1:

I now understand why there is a 20 minute run in the middle of the program. The fact that I accomplished that and felt so empowered is what got me through today. I kept thinking, "You ran for 20 minutes! You can get through this. It's hard, but you ran for 20 minutes! You can do this!" Mr. Negative Poopy Pants was gone!

The workout was, as always, begin with a brisk 5 minute walk. Then run for five minutes, walk for three minutes, run for eight minutes, walk for three minutes and finally run one more time for five minutes.

When I began the first five minute run I thought, "It's only five minutes. That's easy!" And you know what? It was! Can you believe that? I had a thought like that! There has never been a time in my entire life where I thought any amount of running was EASY. Ha! So I got to the eight minute interval and I thought, "This is hard, but it is manageable. You can do this because you ran for 20 minutes!" So I did it. Finally, I made it to the last five minute interval and it was really hard the second time around. That's where I definitely had to draw on the fact that I ran 20 minutes on Friday.

Bad news: my knee hurt me really bad yesterday after I ran. I mean, really bad. Here's why. I left all my shoes in my trunk except for my bad tennis shoes. I wore those down to my car yesterday morning and pulled out what I thought were my new running shoes. When I got to the gym, I saw that I had two different shoes! That wasn't going to work. So I ran in my bad shoes. Big mistake and I am paying for it dearly. Hopefully running in some supportive running shoes will help my knee in no time because I do NOT want to quit this. I just started! And I am just now starting to like it.

Day 2:

Today's assignment was to jog 10 minutes, walk 3 minutes, and jog 10 minutes. This morning I walked to the gym, and when I arrived there was someone else using the treadmill. Ugh! Our apartment complex gym only has two treadmills: one that works and one that doesn't work. Naturally I like to use the one that works. So did this person.

Now I am all for people using the gym. It just aggravated me because this guy NEVER goes there at that time, so it threw me off. In the two months that I have been jogging in the early morning hours, no one, and I mean no one, has ever been in there. I've gone later in the day, and people show up. However, I've grown accustomed to my solitude in the mornings.

I decided to take my chances on the other treadmill to no avail. Then I tried to sit on the bike and wait a minute to see if he was almost done. Then I realized I did not have time to sit and wait so I hit the road. I ran outside today. The advantage of that is that I do not have a speedometer in my face measuring how fast I am going and I can maintain a pace that is comfortable. Because of that, I was able to do it. And it wasn't horrible! The disadvantage is that I know I slowed down. I jogged at a snail's pace and I do not feel as if I accomplished anything today. Did I burn a single calorie? I feel like I didn't. I feel like I worked, but at the same time I feel like I didn't. At least I kind of enjoyed myself today. I like running outside because of the breeze in my face and the sound of the wind rushing past my ears. Very nice feeling.

Day 3:

Yesterday I decided to jog in the park behind our apartment. If you would have told me 6 weeks ago that I would jog that ENTIRE trail without stopping and then jog a little more I would have laughed in your face. Looking at how far the trail goes is very intimidating, but it was so much fun for me to run outside. I can't imagine doing my longer runs on a treadmill now that I have experienced the outside. However, yesterday morning the sun was out and there were other joggers out there. Usually I go way too early for me to feel safe going to the park to run. Tomorrow I will have to try my long run on the treadmill because, for the rest of the program, I no longer run intervals! For the next three weeks it's all one straight run. Woohoo! I'm going to make it, y'all!

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Green-Eyed Monster

O, beware, my lord, of jealousy;
                     It is the green-ey'd monster, which doth mock

-Othello Act 3, Scene 3, 165-166

Do you ever feel jealous? Do you ever do battle with the Green-Eyed Monster? I do!

This particularly unpleasant emotion is one that I have struggled with for as long as I can remember. My husband has accused me of never wanting anything. That is so untrue! I want so many things, and I get jealous when I see other people have what I want but do not have. Sometimes I get jealous of people who receive what I already have, but that is very rare. This little green monster is so very nasty and ugly, and I hate when I experience this emotion!

Nothing productive ever comes from feeling jealous. What purpose does it serve? I could understand it a little if it served a purpose, but all that ever happens is I feel pretty miserable. It completely overtakes me as I brood over things that I do not have and miss out on the wonderful blessings in my life.

What makes me jealous? Opportunities, attention/recognition and rarely, stuff that other people have or receive that I would like to receive for myself.

Yes, that's right. I am rarely jealous of people over the stuff that they have, so at least I have that going for me! However, it DOES happen, but usually in combination with opportunities or attention. For example, if someone gets a really cool opportunity to ____________ , then I'll think, "But they already have everything they could ever want! Now they REALLY have everything!" Then I try to make myself feel better by saying, "Perhaps someone looking at me may think the same thing about me." The advantage to thinking about that is that I am able to reflect on the wonderful blessings in my life. There are several that immediately come to mind every time. I am fortunate that I have the gospel in my life and the knowledge that I have a Father in Heaven who knows me and loves me and my Savior, Jesus Christ, who knows and loves me. I have the best, most loving, most handsome husband a girl could ever want. I have the sweetest, darling angel of a baby girl. I have a comfortable, happy and safe home, food in my belly and clothes to keep me warm. I have countless other blessings.

Even though I have all these things and I go through them to try to kick jealousy out of my mind, sometimes it still gets the best of me. I'll start to think about how their blessings are better than mine. How horrible is that? Now, I do not mean their spiritual blessings such as a testimony of the gospel, an amazing husband and a sweet baby. Nothing is better than that! I mean temporal blessings. "She has a better car. He has better job and makes more money. She is prettier and skinnier. He has a bigger house. She has better clothes." You get the picture. I suppose my jealousy appears when I see someone who already has so many wonderful temporal blessings that they couldn't possibly need or want anything else and then on top of that, they receive these amazing spiritual blessings. Then they truly have everything.

It's a very difficult flaw to overcome. I feel as if I grew up with nothing. I was constantly shuffled between parents, so I never received very much love and attention from either of them growing up. Hence, the jealousy I feel when I see someone else getting praised and admired for their accomplishments. I feel as if I have missed out on several opportunities for which I worked extremely hard. Hence, the jealousy I feel when I see someone have an opportunity that I so desperately wanted, and worked even harder to obtain. Of course there is the jealousy I feel over stuff, but that is easy to dismiss.

I am not proud that I feel jealous sometimes, but I will admit that I work to conquer that green monster as soon as it starts to show its ugly face. Jealousy truly is ugly! It is selfish! When I am feeling jealous I am thinking only of myself and I am belittling the blessings that I have been given. There is no room for gratitude in my heart when I am feeling jealous. It is such a struggle, and I have yet to find a way that will completely rid my life of this horrible emotion. I've sent many prayers to Heavenly Father to help me overcome this issue, but it still comes back. Hopefully, one day, this aggravating, nagging and negative emotion will take a hike for good!

Have you ever felt jealous? Have you ever struggled with any negative feelings? What did you do to overcome them?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

C25K: Repeating week 5, Day 3

You may recall that week 5 kicked my behind so I decided to repeat it. I thought I might spend an entire week on each day, but I ended up spending two days on both Day 1 and Day 2. Today was the first day I attempted Day 3.

Day 1:

This week I am spending the week at my mom's house. Even though I am on vacation, I did not want to take an entire week off from my program. We all packed up early this morning and drove to North Park where I ran the track. This was the first time I attempted to run for 20 minutes straight and it was the first time I have tried to run outside.

Needless to say, I did not succeed at running 20 minutes in a row. I ran for 10 minutes though! I am not sure the last time I did that, or if I have ever run 10 minutes in a row in my entire life. I am proud of myself for even getting off my behind while on vacation in the first place. It was also very different feeling the sun beat down on my skin. It really felt like it was burning! I suppose I could have pushed myself a little longer, but I really did not have much confidence to begin with. After I walked a lap, I decided to sprint a few times. Just cuz I felt like it. I ran as fast as I could for one straight-away and it felt really good! I liked to push my muscles, and I really liked that it was only going to last for a few seconds. I walked the curve and then sprinted the other straight-away. Yes! I like this! However, that was about all I could do before my knee started killing me.

I haven't mentioned it, but my knee has been hurting for several weeks now. I'm not sure what the problem is, and it is not getting any better. My calves no longer bother me anymore, so I am hoping that my knee just needs to get used to what I am doing to it. We'll see. I don't want to let it stop me!

Day 2:

Yesterday I took a day off and got on a running forum to see if I could find some pointers for accomplishing the 20 minute jog. I learned that I should slow down, take it 5 minutes at a time, and buy some new shoes with good support to help with me knee. I bought the shoes, I slowed down, and I thought "Just one more lap!" and I DID IT! I jogged for 20 minutes straight for the first time in my life today. It was great. I feel so accomplished and empowered. I think I am finally becoming hooked on this because I keep thinking about the next time I GET to run instead of HAVE to run.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

C25K: Repeating week 5, Days 1 and 2

After last week kicking my behind so much, I came back from my final workout of that week feeling so defeated. I talked to my husband about this and how much this week was so hard for me, and he suggested I try the week again. He also said that he thought about doing each week twice so that he really conditions himself to run. I thought I would combine the two ideas and spend a week on day 1, a week on day 2, and a week on day 3. I know that's three extra weeks, but this is about a lifestyle change, right?

I've also been thinking about numbers a lot lately. I have a small fear of getting older and I have always put myself on a calendar of sorts. For example. I wanted to be married by the time I was 20. I wanted to have all my children by the time I was 30. Neither of those things happened. I got married at 25 and had my first baby at 27. Granted, I had just turned 27, but still. If I have all my kids (we're hoping for 3) 2 years apart like I'd like, then I'll have my last baby at 31. Merh. Besides that, I am terrified of my 30s. I just don't wanna do it! I feel like once I get to 30 I'll be old. That's it. Game over. It's not like I am the picture of hotness right now at 28, but at least it's not 30, right? My 30s really really really scare me. And let's not think about beyond my 30s.


Back to my original point, which I really don't know what it was anyway. I've been thinking about numbers. Why the timeline? Why worry about the numbers? I met a client the other day who is having a baby at 41. This is her 4th child. I'm in my childbearing years. I need to enjoy it as much as possible. I need to cherish every moment. This really is my favorite time of my life so far. I don't need to worry about my age. My body works, dadgummit! It really does! It's been so good to me so far, and it shows no signs of breaking down on me any time soon. (Knock on wood) So for a little while there, I did not worry about my age, deadlines, and numbers. I know I wanted to be down to 140 by Labor Day so we could start trying to conceive in September, but we don't HAVE to try to conceive in September. Maybe we shouldn't do that in September because Robbie has switched jobs. We want to make sure we can handle two children.

Day 1 and Day 2:

I did it!

I keep waiting for the point where this feels less like torture and more like something I can handle. I suppose I can handle it because I have been successful. However, when I am in the middle of it, I hate it. Then I have to remember how far I have come in such a short amount of time. I know I am only running 5 minutes at a time, but I have NEVER done that! Not in my entire life. Before I had Lily, I exercised on the elliptical machine and did a little weight training. I started to run on the track, but that was the week I found out I was pregnant. I promptly quit exercising! Plus the fatigue and nausea set it. There's something about knowing that I was pregnant that made me all of a sudden feel pregnant. By the second trimester I was back on the treadmill, but I was just walking. I definitely did not want to start any kind of running program halfway through my pregnancy.

I have one more day of this week, so I better do it!

Next week I will be in Denham Springs visiting family, so I will have to get a week guest pass to the 24 Hour Fitness that is at the end of the road. I am determined to complete this program, even if I have detours along the way.

Day 3:

Just kidding!

Yesterday I accidentally put on a pair of my "skinny" jeans thinking they were a different pair of jeans. When I put them on I noticed they were really long. Those weren't the jeans, but they fit anyway! Yay! So I went all day wearing some skinny jeans and showed my husband. He saw my smile and he said, "You better remember this smile because it PROVES you are making good progress!" What a sweetie.

So this morning I was really tired, but my husband kicked me out of bed. I went for my run and decided, "What the hey. I'll try day 2. No, just DO IT!" (Umm...Nike commercial anyone?) So.....I did it!

I'm going to do it again the day after tomorrow. I still plan to do Day 2 on Sunday, Day 3 on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday of next week even though I will be out of town.

As I was running my first 8 minute interval I noticed that I entered a zone for a few minutes. It was great! I hope that I learn how to stay in this zone for most of my runs pretty soon. I can't really describe the zone, but I could tell I was in another place. I have been waiting for this for the entire time and finally it happened today. I'm kinda thrilled right now.

Day 4:

I did it again! I completed day 2 for the second time. It felt a little more manageable, but it is still very hard. I am extra proud of myself because I am leaving today to go to my mom's house for the week. I am still determined to continue with my running while I am on vacation. We'll see how it works out.

Because I am most likely going to spend a lot of time on Day 3, which is run for 20 minutes straight) I am going to start a new post just for that endeavor.