A sassy, crafty mama bird from Los Angeles
raising a very sweet little girl with Autism
and a new baby boy in the Midwest... and other stuff, too.

Friday, November 29, 2013

*This Moment*

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. -SouleMama

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

On deciding *how* to give birth

So, here's one of those "opening myself up to being vulnerable" posts. Ugh, I know, right? Obviously, I've got a lot going on. I mean, I'm now 30+ weeks pregnant and there's very little that I say/do/eat/feel that isn't driven by this overabundance of hormones. So, I'm trying to cut myself some slack. I've made it pretty far into this experience without letting my anxiety get to me too much. And let me just say: I don't have the kind of anxiety that I can just will away or that I can just yoga pose my way out of. I have the kind of anxiety that has been with me my whole life, required medication on and off, and cost a lot of dollars in therapy! I'm incredibly impressed with my lack of panic during this pregnancy, thought I admit that the lack of panic might be in direct correlation to some kind of denial-induced bliss (or is it bliss-induced denial?).

Well, here I am with less than ten weeks to go until "baby brother" arrives. I'm swollen, lumpy, achy, and scared. A couple weeks ago, Ben and I took a childbirth education class and I did that which I should never have done… I watched the videos. I tried to turn away, I did! But, I SAW IT ALL. I walked out of there certain of two things: 1) under no circumstances do I want a C-Section, and 2) perhaps I should opt for that C-Section that's been suggested to me.

I heard things this time around that I must've missed last time. Let me explain something that I have shared with some people, but I'm not too sure I've ever really put this out there. I believe my little bird suffered a traumatic birth and that's contributed to some of the challenges that she faces today. Like, for reals. Like, should've been taken out, but wasn't. Should've been born breathing, but wasn't. Should've been placed on my belly and in my arms, but had to be whisked away and resuscitated, then sent away for observation. Those decelerating beeps on the monitors alerted everyone that something wasn't right. I remember asking my mom "why isn't my baby crying?" I did swear that if she would just cry, I promise to never complain about her crying too much. I believe it took me about a week to go back on that promise, by the way.

They let her go home with me. They said she was fine. It was less than 7 months later that we visited the neurologist for the first time to figure out why her tone was so low, why she couldn't move well, why she had no head/neck control and wasn't hitting milestones. That was the beginning of this journey. Is there a connection there? I really don't know. Really. Countless non-conclusive tests later, I'd be lying if I said I have stopped wondering almost nine years later.

So, this time around, I have been thinking of opting for a planned cesarean section. This is something that is very definitely not my first choice. If I could have my way, this baby would be born in a beautiful field with people dancing around me strumming guitars, banjos, maybe a mandolin, and twirling while tapping tambourines. Kumbaya and everything. But, I know that there may be a need for the medical intervention that I wish I'd seen more of the last time around. So, not only will "baby brother" be born in a hospital, but I'm truly considering just scheduling the operation.

I have found myself trying to reason it out, trying to justify it by explaining that I just can't risk having an experience like last time, etc. I want to explain that I'm not a selfish dick who wants to be able to plan when to get the mani/pedi and the say of the week we'll have his bris (side note: ugh, I can't believe I have to do that). But I'm also evolved enough to admit that I'm struggling with the ego part. Will it be the same for me as delivering vaginally?- not that it was so great last time, but still… I do know that if, gd forbid, something happened that echoed last time around, I'd never ever ever forgive myself for trying to be a hero. I might blame myself for putting my own ego and my own shit ahead of my baby boy's needs. Of course, I worry about the recovery and all the ramifications of having a surgery like this. Will I be on pain meds that can pass through my breast milk? Will I be able to take good care of him and Little Bird while recovering? How long will I have to be in the hospital and away from the bird? Can I go up and down the stairs in the house? How long until I feel normal? I can go on and on and on- and I do in my head.

So, I'm working through some stuff. Not just the incredibly intense decision I have to make about how to bring this baby boy into the world, but also about all these feelings that have come back up regarding my little bird's delivery. Sigh. Heavy stuff, I guess.

Got any experience or encouraging words to share with me??

30 weeks

Friday, November 22, 2013

*This Moment*

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. -SouleMama

Friday, November 15, 2013

*This Moment*

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. -SouleMama

Thursday, November 7, 2013


I wrote this post two weeks ago. 
It's taken me this long to calm down and publish it.

I can NOT believe this, but WE HAVE LICE.
I am completely freaking out. 
Somehow I've gone 36 years without ever having to deal with this.

The morning started out like any other. Little Bird came stumbling down the hallway to snuggle in my bed. She scratched her head twice and I said, "that's making me really nervous." Ben used the flashlight app on his phone and within ten seconds gave me the look and said, "yes. 100%, yes." 

So, I ran downstairs and got the package that's been sitting in the pantry for months after the note was sent home from summer camp about another camper having lice. We doused her head in it and dragged the comb through. There's NO denying it- the girl is infested. I immediately began to itch ALL over. 

After freaking out for a while (this hasn't stopped), I called The Lice Lady. I have no clue what I'm doing and I'm not afraid to ask for help. She came over within a couple hours. She went through my hair and, yes, I have it, too. UGH!!!! She started treating us with all these essential oils (who knows?) and helped us figure out what to do next. Hint: lots of cleaning.

Cutest lice-infested kid ever

As if I needed any more confirmation of his love for us, Ben spent hours combing through our hair and digging out eggs and bugs. Bugs, people, BUGS!!!

The more I've spoken to people about this, the more I realize that everyone has had to deal with this at some point. I called school (apparently, it's a known problem at school right now), called the therapist Little Bird saw yesterday, emailed everyone we've been with for the past week. Knowledge is power, gotta inform everyone. 

I am beyond blessed with the fact that Little Bird was able to remain calm and was very happy to sit and watch shows while having her hair combed through. I think she was afraid that if she'd protest, the TV would turn off. At some point, the combing through her hair might've begun feeling good and she actually let me do it every day for the next few days until we were sure everything was gone. Our house became spotless, our pillows and linens have never been cleaner. I swear, I put some nesting skills to work on the anti-lice crusade. While I never, ever, ever want to go through that again, I do know what to do should anything like that ever- nope not even gonna say it. I'm just glad we are no longer infested, because even just hitting publish on this post is making me itchy all over.

Admit it, after reading this, you're itching, aren't you?

Ed. note: Ben wants me to make sure everyone knows that he did not have it.

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