Wednesday, November 30, 2011

?? + 1 Weeks

We met with Stacia with Trillium Birth Services to discuss both her midwifery services if we elect a home birth and her doula services if we elect a hospital birth. She has been a part of close to 200 births, 50 of which for her doula services. She has also participated in 20 VBACs which is comforting.  She gave us all the facts we were looking for and didn't push us in one direction or another which I really liked. I also liked that she still has a lot of ties to the medical community, specifically UofM and as a result has relatively smooth transfers if they are necessary.

She asked me how far along I was and I gave her my story so she offered to do a quick external exam and see if she could feel my uterus. She said that if she could, it can mean I am 11-12 weeks along or that I have a full bladder. Well, she could feel it. Oh boy - if I am really that far along then Nick and I are one of the .01% that ends up with the faulty condom - go figure.

I still have an appointment with Taubman next Wednesday that will include an ultrasound for dating purposes so we shall see. Stay tuned!

**These are still posts from before we announced. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Madelyn's Twelfth Month

I can't believe she's 1! How did this happen? This past year has been a learning experience more than any other time in my life. The biggest thing I've learned is what it means to have a part of yourself walking around this world, separate from you. I can't get over how much I am madly in love with this baby girl - there are times I feel like I might actually burst! Watching her discover new things and grow into the person she will be are turning out to be the proudest moments of my life.

So let's recap - what happened this month?

Another tooth! #7 popped through. It was the other first molar so Madelyn's mouth is starting to look a little more symmetrical. This guy came through with relative ease, just some major fist knawing and a little drool.

Peek-a-boo. If I say "peek-a-boo!" Madelyn will cover the lower half of her face with her hands. I then say "peek!" and she will wait until I say "a-boo" before slowly moving her hands away. It is beyond adorable. At this moment I don't have a video but hopefully she will cooperate in the next few days and I'll be able to capture it.

Music - this girl loves to rock out! She has even started shaking her groove thang to the beat. She doesn't normally pay any attention to the TV when it is on...UNLESS they are breaking out in song in the newest Glee. She becomes mesmerized until the song ends and then moves back to whatever she was doing.

Technology - I don't know if it is because she sees us using it all the time or if there is a genuine interest there but she is fascinated by all things technology. Cell phones, lap tops, ipad, ipods, etc. I think the interest in cell phones is because she knows her pictures are on there and she wants you to show them to her. The ipod works with her love of music and she has figured out how to work it so she can listen when she wants. I think the lap tops are just because she can press on the keys. The ipad - well, duh - facetime! (This kid loves herself!)

Favorite foods right now - scrambled eggs, peas, corn, hummus, bread, yogurt, beans, meatballs and bananas. What I am so amazed by is how definitive she is in what she likes and more importantly, does not like. Mashed potatoes for example - it doesn't matter how we give them to her, they will be right back out of her mouth as quickly as they went in. I have to give her credit, she will try anything but will not eat it if she doesn't want to. Ziggy is loving her current phase of dropping food once she's done eating. Me, not so much.

Favorite things to do -

Wiggle worms - it is a group of similar aged babies that are all "crawling" but not yet walking. There is open play, a song period and then more open play. She absolutely loves it! She has begun recognizing the songs and will anticipate the actions that go along with them. They also work to calm a meltdown when we are at home. She loves playing with the other babies in a room that has more toys than she's ever seen!

Going to Capri - we've started a little tradition of going to Capri every Friday. The ladies expect us and absolutely fawn over Madelyn while I am able to eat a lunch uninterrupted! A couple times they have been pretty busy when we've been there so I will throw Madelyn in the Ergo, tie on an apron and help out a little. She loves interacting with the customers and let's be honest - she love love loves the food!

Shopping - I don't think it is the actual act of shopping that fascinates her. It is more sitting in the cart and flirting with the fellow shoppers. She will find a target about 3-4 feet away and start flirting. She will keep this up until this person acknowledges her, at which point she batts her eyelashes and looks down like she is a shy child. It is both adorable and ridiculous at the same time.

Books - still love 'em!

She is loving her Grandma (my mom) these days and it gives me a much needed break since there are times she would rather Grandma hold her than me.

Time to child proof! She has started opening cupboards and was originally just playing in cupboards that held "kid friendly" items. She loves the pantry and I thought I had organized it so that she could play on the bottom shelf. Well she figured out how to open the pita chips and I came into the kitchen to find Madelyn sitting among pita chips and snacking while she played. Oh my! Up onto a higher shelf went the pita chips. Next, she must have grown or figured out how to climb because she was able to reach the next shelf which included the powdered Nesquik. Next time I was into the kitchen she has pulled that down and is sticking her fist into the container and eating powdered Nesquik - oh baby girl! Time to lock up the pantry!

Sleep - we currently have a pretty good groove going! (I'm knocking on wood over here) She goes down around 7:30-8pm and will sleep until 7-7:30am. If she wakes up, she will fuss while she roots around for her pacifier. Once she finds it, back to sleep she goes. If she wakes up before I am ready to get her up, I will hear her playing in her crib and I've started sneaking her Laugh & Learn Puppy and a couple books in there after she falls asleep. These usually keep her entertained until I am ready to get her up.

Again - another good month! I'm loving it!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

?? Weeks

Please ignore my ridiculous hair in this picture. I didn't document my pregnancy with Madelyn very well and really wish I had (sorry kiddo) so I am attempting to do a better job this time around. I also am going to be doing a lot more research on VBAC and various birthing options so I intend to use this space as a place to sort my thoughts and possibly help someone else.

Pregnancy #2 so far:

1. Tougher with a mobile Madelyn at home already. I forgot how tired you are in the first trimester and there is no napping this time around. Nick has definitely stepped up and started taking Miss. M when he gets home from work. Even 30 minutes of being able to veg on the couch does wonders for my energy. I am pretty much following Madelyn to bed at night but oh well.

2. I'm predicting boy with this one. I know I said I thought Madelyn was a boy but that was because I wanted a girl so badly that I figured I would end up with a boy. To be honest, I never had a gut feeling with her. This one, I do. I just feel boy. That, and I feel nauseous which wasn't the case with M so maybe there's a little man swimming around in there. I can 100% say, I don't care if this baby is a boy or girl. And I don't even kind of have my fingers crossed one way or the other.

3. We are looking at alternative birthing options. I fully believe I was destined to fail when I walked into UofM 10 months ago. I believed my body would know what to do and that I would be strong enough to refuse all the medical interventions but 2 days of labor and not sleeping got to me and I ended up caving. I also fully believe, I will have to fight every step of the way in that hospital to VBAC with this baby. What does that leave us with? Birthing centers, a different hospital and home birth or a different avenue at UofM.

From what I have read, the #1 priority for those having successful VBACs was finding a supportive provider. Here is my beef with hospitals. Everyone has adopted this "team" approach with their pregnant patients. You will see one doctor throughout your pregnancy but then when you head into the hospital, your birth will be attended by one of the "team". Well your provider may be on board with a VBAC but who is to say the doctor on duty that day will feel the same way. The doctor who performed my c-section was ready to cut me open from the second she started her shift. I had never met her before and had no idea on her philosophies on birth. I believe, these issues will become even more apparant with a VBAC baby. The medical community is so split on this issue. This seems to be my biggest hang up with delivering at a hospital.

A big recommendation when delivering at a hospital and being a VBAC candidate is to labor at home as long as possible and then show up pushing. You can hire a doula to help keep you at home longer or even a monitrice who has the ability to check you to see how dialated you. My concern here is that a lot of uterine ruptures occur during labor, not during pushing. The best way to monitor for a rupture is to monitor the fetal heartrate. If I am at home for all of my labor, I'm not monitoring the baby's heartrate during that time. At least, I don't think a doula does that.

I like the idea of a birthing center. I don't like that the closest birthing center that does VBACs is over an hour away, in Okemos. I hated the 10 minute car ride to UofM last time, I can't see myself handling a hour+ car ride to Okemos. This left me wondering, how is it Ann Arbor doesn't have a freestanding birth center?

Last option is home birth. I keep going back and forth on this one. The only reason I would consider a home birth is because we live so close to UofM. In actuality, we are closer to the hospital at home than we would be if we went to the birth center in Okemos. I know all the numbers on safety of home birth and the risks as well as the safety and risks of a second c-section. Generally speaking, a c-section is safer for baby but not safer for mom. A VBAC is safer for mom but not safer for baby. In all of my research I came across a forum for VBAC moms and one lady was saying she opted for a VBAC because although it would break her heart to deal with the loss of a child, she couldn't imagine putting her first child through losing a mother. For some reason, this really stuck with me. I also hesitate to use the word "safer" because all this really relates to is mortality rates and we are also playing around with tenths of tenths of percents. In both scenarios the mortality rate is about 0.04%. However, when you take into account other risk factors such as blood loss and infection for mom as well as breathing problems for baby the idea of repeat c-section is not appealing to me.

Anyway, after that rambling trail of thought I come back to this. Although I know home birth is generally considered safe and in some circles it is considered safer than hospital birth, I can't seem to shake the what if scenario that creeps into my head.

At this point, Nick and I are planning on continuing care with the Taubman team that I saw during my pregnancy with Madelyn until we decide which route to go. We visited the birth center in Okemos and although we loved them, we ruled them out due to the distance. I have emailed several midwives in the surrounding area to interview them regarding home birth as well as set up an initial interview with a midwife the practices at UofM.

More to come....

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Oh boy!

2 under 2, here we come!

Due: ??
I realize that sound ridiculous and it probably isn't a very accurate statement but I don't have a last menstrual period to go off of. Nick and I stopped preventing once Madelyn was 9 months old. I had to wait at least 9 months to keep the deliveries 18 months apart, which is important for a VBAC. I hadn't gotten my period and figured it would still be a few months before I got pregnant. I have heard that breastfeeding moms usually get a "warning period" sort of a "hey, you can get knocked up now" type thing but we didn't get that. Obviously, I knew there was a possibility of not getting my period and was totally okay with that, I mean 3 years, no period - who can complain? That being said, I decided to pee on a stick once a month, just in case. I didn't want to end up being one of those ladies on I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant and since my pregnancy with Madelyn was pretty symptom free, it could happen.

Nick was stopping at the store for me on 9/10/11 (day of the UM vs Notre Dame night game) and asked if I needed anything. I told him yes - beer, shredded cheese and a pregnancy test. I wanted to drink a beer or two and figured it would be a good idea to make sure that was feasible. So Nick's in the shower and I decide to test. Surprise! Baby Barish #2 is on the way!!! We figure, due sometime in May.

Disclaimer - This was written awhile ago but I held off on posting until we announced to our families. There are a few posts lined up after this one as well.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

So much to be thankful for today and everyday! Happy Thanksgiving all!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Weekend Planning Blog Hop

I feel like I just wrote one of these - this week has been crazy! And this weekend will be even crazier! Let's see what's on the list -

  • finish shopping for Madelyn's party (Meijer and GFS)
  • check out Jo Ann's to see if they have a wreath cheaper than Michael's
  • deep clean my living room
  • find the best chili recipe ever
  • get Madelyn's 1 year picture printed for the party
  • quick clean my house (or talk Nick into it)
  • prep what I can for the party
  • playdate in South Lyon
  • set up the house for Madelyn's party
  • Frankenmuth Christmas tradition
  • Madelyn's First Birthday Party!
Make sure to share your weekend plans!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Happy Birthday Madelyn!

My sweet Madelyn Violet,

I am writing this to you at 3:43am on your first birthday. Although not in the plans, something forced me awake at 3:22am and I crept into your room to share with you the moment you came into this world one year ago. I am amazed at how far you have come little girl! You have grown from the squishiest little 8 pounder into an inquisitive, talkative, and hilarious little girl and I love that I have spent every minute of that time with you.

Big things happened in our family this year - one of those being me starting my own firm. I was blessed to stay home with you for 12 amazing weeks. My only job was to take care of my new baby. I went back to work and couldn't stand the idea of not being with you. If I were to miss any of those major milestones in your first year, I never would have gotten over it. Daddy and I talked about it and decided it was time for me to start my own business and also focus on my primary job - being your mom. I went back to work on February 14 and resigned on April 24. I never looked back and have never regretted a moment of being with you.

As beautiful as this past year has been, I know there are even bigger things in store for you in the future! I can't wait to see you experience them all!

All my love - forever and ever,

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Happy House Holiday Challenge - Week 5

This week was a little better in terms of my daily tasks. I only missed 2 days of sweeping my floor and making my bed (those are tricky for me!). Everything else was a perfect score.

I also finished the bedrooms but forgot to take pictures of the after during the daylight hours (oops!)

I am busting my booty to get the living spaces done this week since I have Madelyn's birthday party on Sunday. I don't want to wait until Wednesday to get it done so I am working overtime through the end of the week.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday Morning Check In

The weekend is over - were you productive?
I did a decent job getting through my list, thanks to Nick stepping in and helping me out a little. He took the job of wrangling Miss. Madelyn so I was able to power through cleaning my car and getting some of my deep cleaning done.

Let's see how I did:

  • get oil change and tires rotated
  • go to Whole Foods for the cheap chicken deal!
  • go visit Madelyn's fan club at Capri
  • go to Wiggle Worms
  • out to dinner with Nick and then hit up Bed, Bath &Beyond for some Keurig pods
  • finish the blinds in Madelyn's room (part of holiday challenge)
  • deep clean our bedroom (still need to change the sheets but everything else is done)
  • vacuum out my car
  • work on Madelyn's quiet book
  • finalize outfits for Madelyn's 1 yr pictures
  • go to the in-laws for dinner (make pumpkin pie)
  • deep clean Ben's bedroom
  • find a carwash or wash at home if not freezing
  • prep for work appointments on Monday
So I really slacked on Sunday's tasks. Mostly because I was making up for not finishing Saturday's stuff on Saturday. Maybe this has something to do with why....

Everything you see scattered in the background was cleaned up about 5 or 6 times.

How did you do?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Weekend Planning Blog Hop!

Part of the Holiday Happy House challenge this week is to write a daily todo list. Currently, my list is a sticky note on my laptop which works well but when no one else can see it I am much more likely to not finish my tasks. Miss. Madelyn is turning 1 next week! And her party is Sunday - which means I've gotta get my butt in gear! Here is my attempt at holding myself accountable. 

If you have some tasks you want to make sure you complete this weekend, be sure to join in the fun! Head on over to My Happy House to get the details!

Onto my tasks:

  • get oil change and tires rotated
  • go to Whole Foods for the cheap chicken deal!
  • go visit Madelyn's fan club at Capri
  • go to Wiggle Worms
  • out to dinner with Nick and then hit up Bed, Bath & Beyond for some Keurig pods
  • finish the blinds in Madelyn's room (part of holiday challenge)
  • deep clean our bedroom
  • vacuum out my car
  • work on Madelyn's quiet book
  • finalize outfits for Madelyn's 1 yr pictures
  • go to the in-laws for dinner (make pumpkin pie)
  • deep clean Ben's bedroom
  • find a carwash or wash at home if not freezing
  • prep for work appointments on Monday

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Happy House Challenge Week 4

This week was a little meh for me on my daily tasks. Mostly because I didn't really keep track of whether or not I did everything everyday. I know I get 7/7 on emptying the sink, sorting the mail and clearing the clutter. Those items were all either habits before or have become habits. Now the rest of 'em, my best guess is that I'm sitting at around 5-6/7. I think the first thing on my daily todo list for this week is to keep track of my daily tasks.

The bathrooms however, are 100% done! Another 2 full garbage bags of junk out the door and one large bag of old sheets and towels that I donated to the Humane Society. I found the couponer in me competing with the crunchy mama and had to make some tough decisions on a lot of the health and beauty products I have accumulated. I started couponing before getting pregnant with Madelyn and was able to score huge amounts of body wash, razors, shampoo, lotion, etc for free or next to free. Then I had Madelyn and began researching all the gunk that is actually in these products. I don't want to turn this post into a rant about chemicals so I will spare you the details but let's just say most of my stockpile consisted of products I wouldn't use on Madelyn. I also felt bad just throwing it all out. I decided to get rid of all the baby care products since I wasn't going to use them. I kept most of the adult products and just plan on integrating more "green" products as we run out. Fortunately, my family knows they can head into that closet at any time and help themselves so hopefully we won't be holding these products too long. The products I decided to get rid of, I just ended up donating rather than throwing away which made me feel better about it as well.

Anyway - onto pictures....
The bathrooms didn't look that much different overall so I'm just going to share the linen closet.



Monday, November 7, 2011

Being a Mom

This weekend tragedy struck my parent's next door neighbors. The details can be found here but I am not going to go into details as that isn't the point of this post.

I have experienced death in my lifetime. I have even been impacted by the deaths of people closer to me than my old neighbor but for some reason I can't seem to shake this gut wrenching emotion in the pit of my stomach.

I think about this and combine it with having to walk away from the TV when a show Nick and I watch (The Walking Dead) had an episode in which a young boy was shot.

I find myself thinking about and worrying about children of various blogs that are battling cancer and other serious illnesses.

Again, these aren't new experiences for me. I have watched these shows before and heard these stories and always felt for the people involved but it hasn't affected me the way it does now.

The big difference - Madelyn is here.

I am now able to put myself in these parents' shoes and I can't imagine what they are going through. I am able to hug and kiss my absolutely perfect, healthy baby girl and and incredibly grateful that she is happy and safe. It also makes me realize I would do everything in my power to protect her but there are things in life that you can't protect your children from and that is a terrifying prospect.

Being Madelyn's mother is an overwhelming feeling. I love her with every fiber of my being, more than I ever understood I could love another person. If at any time I find myself getting complacent and taking any part of parenting her for granted something happens that brings me back to the reality that every human life is precious and every moment is one to be cherished because there is so much in life that can't be controlled. I take these moments to squeeze on Miss. Madelyn and tell her how very much her mom loves her because at the end of the day that is all that matters.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Happy House Holiday Challenge - Week 3

This week was a little off for me when it came to the deep clean. I had already deep cleaned our dining area because it is attached to the kitchen and I didn't know where to draw the line. So I took this week to clear some clutter from the basement. I didn't take any pictures because you can't really tell the difference. I ended up clearing out about 7-8 garbage bags worth of junk stuff. Old toys Ben doesn't play with anymore, random appliances that were shoved down there to die ie: our old coffee maker, I purged my fall wardrobe and brought that bad boy upstairs, etc. We also created a storage space for most of the holiday totes in the garage so they are now taking up space out there rather than in my basement.

As far as the weekly tasks go, I did okay.
Empty the sink - 6/7
Make the bed - 6/7
Sweep the floor - 7/7
Clear the clutter - 6/7

Halloween was a tough one when it came to my daily tasks. I just didn't feel like getting everything done after everyone had left for the night.

I am also making a point to maintain the kitchen. I hate to think of doing all that hard work and then just letting it go. This means I have a few more daily tasks that I have given myself:
wipe the counters
wipe the stove
wipe the microwave
oh, and clean up after this little monster that thinks an organized pantry is a terrible idea

Onto the bathrooms!