Thursday, 31 January 2008

Britney's gonna die

Honestly, I don't ever go looking for Britney Spears "news". It's everywhere. I hate the media. There is SO MUCH going on in the world that is important, and at the very least, interesting, and yet these people feel their time is better spent hounding a woman in an already supremely stressful situation and villainizing her. I don't know all the ins and outs of her situation with her ex-husband, or her children, but a divorce and especially a custody case is never an easy thing and then on top of that you can't even walk out to your car without a pile of stalkers climbing all over you and broadcasting the worst moments of your life to the world? I think I'd be pretty mentally ill as well.

And sadly nothing is going to change (about how the paparazzi operates) until something really bad happens. This girl is going to end up dead or institutionalized for a very long time by this month next year, I have no doubts about it. No, she's not a role model, and in all likelihood at this point in her life it's best that she's nowhere near her children, but jesus christ. The woman is already a joke professionally and mentally unstable...they're going to push and push until she's utterly and completely destroyed. It's a sad world we live in.

I just don't understand the interest in celebrity gossip. What makes these people so much better or more interesting than anyone else? I can name, well gee, every person I know is a ton more interesting than some famous guys sex life or whether some singer (even one I like) is having a baby. I can understand a politician's personal life being a bit more in the spotlight, but who are these people that their personal lives even matter? Can't we go back to Paris Hiltons cooch? She's more than happy to live with a camera stuffed up her skirt.

Add to all this that the actors and actresses of today are (for the most part) hardly even talented! Think back to old movies, when the performers didn't get paid THAT much more than anyone else, and they could sing, dance, act, and had to memorize entire SCENES. Go watch a movie or a TV show right now and look at all the camera angles and think about how much of that show the actor is probably doing without the other actors even THERE! The dialogues are all a series of close ups as each person speaks, line by line. The conversations don't even have to be filmed on the same day with the celebrities together! Now on top of them being scarcely talented why do I care what car they drive or whether they like to eat a big mac once in a fucking while?


I mean shit, think of Princess Di. The poor woman still cannot rest in peace. Every month or two they dig up some new reason to put her in the news, claiming she had an illness, or a pregnancy, or an engagement, or OH NOES her boyfriend was muslim or whatever. Let her DIE. RIP. All that jazz.

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

And that quickly, it's over.

Well I didn't stick with it long, but I think I'm going to have to put off the screening business. (AKA, not do it.) I would so love to do it here but we have two months to get out of here and I'm already twitchy about that. Plus Ray and the house and well basically, I'm already in as deep as I can swim. I suppose my crusading will have to wait for another day.

Plus with the way this community is...only one real hospital and not alot of options as far as midwives go...the people I would need the most support from is the hospital and I think it'd be an awkward and difficult thing to get their help, add to the fact that it's a military hospital and officers and it's all so damned political.


Gypsy market was nice. It was fun to stroll a bit in the sun and look at all the nifty stuff. Quite a bit of fabric there but nothing that caught my eye. Ran a few other errands, came home for Ray to nap, and then ran some more this evening. Commissary, video rental and so on. I just put the Bug down at 9:30 (10pm now) and I don't know if he'll stay asleep. I'm sooooo tired. He went down at 11pm-ish last night but my mind was on overdrive and I couldn't fall asleep till 2am. Then Anthony was up before 7 (which woke me) and Ray woke to eat just after he left. I was in bed again at 8am but then Anthony came home twenty minutes later and I dozed till about 9:20 and then Ray was up.

I guess I'll go shower, try and unwind.

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Ah, the crusades!

Well, Anthony's officially done it. He encouraged me, and off I go!

I was ranting (again!) about The Business of Being Born. A site I frequent the forums of (well, one thread really) had a very short, rather sensational debate-starting article on the movie. If you can call three paragraphs headed by "IS C-SECTION BAD?" an article. (Please note my disgust here.) A bazillion women who know nothing about the movie took the title and ran with it and started the age old debate of "C-section is all about the outcome, be glad you have a healthy baby!" and the timeless favorite, "You don't get medals for natural (pain-med free) childbirth! It's all the same!!".

If I beat my head against a wall to show how much these kinds of statements drive me EFFING BATSHIT I think my head would vaporize, somehow. Don't ask me how, but I would achieve it.

So anyway, the movie is only showing in a very few select theaters (and community screenings) before its dvd/netflix release in March.

Anthony said, " a community screening!".

So now I'm pondering who to talk to to accomplish such a feat before we leave. I think it's totally doable and affordable. My one hiccup is if possible I'd like to do a Q & A afterwards but it'll take a little digging to find the right person to do that. Anyway, that's my excitement for the day.

Planning a trip with Stacy to the gypsy market tomorrow morning. It's right outside the gate and has a ton of nifty cheap stuff. Clothes, local olives (insert immense quantities of drool here), fabric, bedding, some other craft stuff, underwears, panty hose (VERY colorful, I need to just buy a ton of cool ones), kids clothes...and all very very cheap. I'm talking 2-3E for a bra or pair of shoes. Now of course, some of it is terribly cheap as far as craftsmanship as well but it's still fun to poke around.

After that I think I'll stop in at the maternity ward at the hospital and FINALLY hand over the picture I have of Ray for the 2007 Babies board. Been meaning to give it to them for, well, 5 months now and you know how it goes.

Ray has been alternately a fusspot and a crazy excited squirmy thing of joy today. He did very well at the Wings cook-off at Anthony's work earlier today, napped a little after...he's just so off and on with ME. I feel terrible but sometimes I have to leave the room with him on the floor just so he'll play! He plays happily, notices me, "Waaaaaaaaaaahhhh!" until I hold him and cuddle him. Completely fine if I stay out of sight. Blargh! I think he's teething again.

ETA: THIS is the offending article. The comments make me die a little inside, for the most part. *sigh* I don't even know why they mentioned the movie because the header and then the debate question are really a bit off the mark considering the supposed content of the movie. (Going by info from the movies site, numerous other reviews, and the trailer.)

Sunday, 27 January 2008

Let the crossposting begin!

Ray is mobile! He's been venturing off his rug and over to the kitchen, the hallway, under tables and chairs, agh! Time to buy some baby gates and really crack down on the babyproofing.

Movie recommendation of the week? Juno. I saw a preview and was intrigued. I d/led it (not available to rent here, figures) and felt pretty sure I'd either love it or hate it. And I was right, I LOVED it. Those of you that know me recently know that I pretty much hate any portrayal of pregnancy and birth on tv or in movies because 75% of the time it's just one big Hyuckfest (oh, she has weird CRAVINGS! LOLOLOL!!1!! Oh, she's MOODY LOLOLOl!!11 Oh, the dad is a bumbling idiot when she goes into labor!!LOLOLolOLOLoLOL!!11!!!), or it's a tragic downer, or just unrealistic in general. Juno was REALLY cute, laid back, humorous. It's about a teenage girl (16) who finds out she's pregnant and follows her as she decides to give the baby up for adoption to a local couple she meets through a newspaper ad. I really liked that abortion was a non-issue, as in she went to the clinic, decided she couldn't go through it, but there was nothing a pro-lifer or pro-choicer could take much issue with. There was no agenda pushing, it was so nice! A few warm gooey moments but nothing overly dramatic or was just really really good.

Hmmm, this makes me think of one of my first prenatal appointments with Ray. They brought out the oversized picture book that showed big cutaway pictures of mom and baby every few months. I'll have to see if I can't find the last picture and share it because wow. They had the little cutaway, baby all fully formed and ready to go. While mom was just a normal cutaway the baby was turned to face you and had its eyes open and was SMILING. CREEPY.

Ok, I'm done.

Major babyproofing to be done when Anthony gets home and Ray wakes up. Time to ditch the old coffee table the TV is on. It's old, flimsy, ugly, and splintery. He's been grabbing at it and since it's kind of low he can even reach some of the stuff near the edge. (He lays kind of on his side, propped up on an elbow and reaches up.) We've been wanting to buy a new entertainment center (something low, simple, with glass doors on the front. Not some ginormous closet thing, you know?) but so far the only one we've found to our liking was about 90E out on town. More than we're willing to pay for some POS hunk of particle board that we have to assemble ourselves, you know? So in the meantime we're putting the TV on the higher, nicer coffee table, since it's been shuffled off to the side anyway to make room for Wii playing and wiggly baby. Anthony is overjoyed at the prospect of real housework. Whiner.

Saturday, 26 January 2008

Picture day!

Ok, last post of the day I promise! I really need to sleep, blah.

Some pics I managed to get yesterday (much to the dismay of Ant, but he requested pics of JUST him and I knew we needed more!). Not perfect but man, really hard to get Ray looking at the camera with no one behind it!

Friday, 25 January 2008

I have a big mouth

This poor gal that I scarcely know from BMSynagogue just hit her due date. I say "poor" because I just wrote her an unsolicited small novel about empowerment or inductions or something. I try to keep my opinions to myself on such topics (unless it's something glaringly wrong, obviously) and don't give too much advice unless it's requested.

However, few things tick me off more than hospitals badgering perfectly healthy women and babies into unecessary procedures, especially inductions, which bear so much inherent risk and lead so often to c-section. I know it's the latest rage these days to Type A the whole shebang and play God, set your babies birthday yourself because you like the numbers or you don't want to miss your hair appointment or whatever the hell. Elective inductions, don't get me started.

But inducing at 41 weeks and claiming the poor girl is overdue? Please. Assuming her fluid levels are good, placenta still healthy and baby is normal, no high BP...there's no reason. ESPECIALLY when they KNOW that the "due date" is a flexible number to begin with, and the added statistics that show heavily that women on average go 7-10 days past their due date with a first child. Really, they should probably just revise the damn info and make 41 weeks the average gestation. Whatever.

So I tried not to be too preachy and didn't throw out too much info, rather encouraged her to do her own research and you know, believe in herself and follow her heart and all that mushy shit. I cannot stress enough that I barely know this woman. Like, we've shared a few jokes at youth group and some lovetaps on the rear and that's pretty much the depth of our relationship. Oh well, she can hate me but if something I say helps her have a better birth then woohoo!

Ok, I'm going to add in here what I HATED about the induction. I didn't like the hospital setting overall, really, because it made me feel like there was something WRONG with me. It absolutely goes against everything I believe about birth. Obviously, there is a time and a place (Ray's birth was one of them) for interventions, doctors and all that. But I think America has reached (and far surpassed) a point where they're just making too many things into diseases and problems and things that need to be fixed with unnatural chemicals, scalpels, and machines. Back to basics people, especially with something so very much a part of life as birth. Go find a midwife and give her a freaking hug or something.

Much thanks

Much appreciation to those that sent some happy thoughts to S yesterday. I talked to her late last night and she was in a much better state mentally, found out she didn't have to put her dog down and some other good news on top of that. Hooray! I was expecting to call and have a good cry with her and instead had a nice long chat with lots of laughter. :D

The Cat has a tapeworm. Gross. Or some kind of fucking worm. The little seed pods are all over the places she sleeps, most notably the pile of about thirty I found under her favorite chair out in the dining area. (Much to my horror, thankfully we never eat there.) I'm deathly afraid though with Ray always down on the floor. BLARGH. And they won't see her till monday, then we get meds, and then it's another two weeks of meds before she's "clean". VILE.

Thursday, 24 January 2008

I was moving, a little

Ahhhh, few things feel better than a good workout. I love my old fat lady class paddling around with our floaties, thank you very much.

Much to my surprise I discovered today that my "of age" ass CAN rent a car, I just get to pay lots and lots more. Screw that.

Thoughts and prayers for my girl S, please. She's going through a hell of a time and moving in a week on top of it all.

Well I need to feed the Bug and hit up Taco Bell with Stacy. Damn military Karma 101, you will not get a close friendship with anyone unless 1. You're about to move across an ocean or 2. They are. I hate you military. Blah!

Monday, 21 January 2008

I dream of youuuuUUUUUuuuu!

I have a few minutes to kill in the "waiting hour" here. This is the time when Ray is more or less down for the night, and I'd love to lay down as well but for my sanity I wait about an hour to make sure he doesn't wake up screaming. Which he inevitably will, if I got to bed immediately. Umbrella = no rain insurance. Keep one on you at all times.

I've been wanting to write down a couple of odd dreams I've had in the last few days.

The cat dream first. I was taking a bath, when Claudia (our cat) came in through a hole in the wall under the bathroom sink (it's a stand sink, no cupboard) and went straight into the house. Soon after Scarlet (troublesome/sweet feral we rescued, now living at the local no-kill shelter) showed up on the side of the tub. She actually got into the water and started paddling around. Yuck. I got her out and she sat on the edge cleaning herself off. A few more ferals came in through the hole, and one of them (a bizarre looking yellow cat, kind of mean) got into the water with me. Then I woke up.

The other dream was a little more strange. I was in an apartment with a group of people, apparently the main characters on Lost. (Yeah yeah, I'm one of THOSE people now!) The apartment seemed to always be very dimly lit, and was shaped just like our house from the inside (blackout shades and all) but was situated a few stories up. We were evidently being held there against our will by Jack. Locke and one other had escaped, although Jack told us that those people had fulfilled their duty by giving him websites with basic info on their home countries before being allowed to leave. Somehow I got into an argument with Jack, who accused me of being some sniveling, whiny, self-hating teenager or some such, and he claimed to have drawn this conclusion about me because he'd read the summary of the books I was reading. (The Kushiel's series by Jacqueline Carey.) I was righteously angered, yelled at him, felt rather trapped and depressed, and then woke.

Second dream was just downright weird, since I've not had any real self-esteem issues in years (who didn't feel not quite right in their skin during puberty?) and jesus, way to judge a person by the covers of their books! LMAO.

Ok, now that I've effectively slain you all with my corniness, off I go to the shower.


Concrit = CONstructive CRITicism, for those that may not know.

If you haven't read the post before this (Rays' story) then please do so now.

Ok, read it? Here we go.

First off, wow, it's obviously been a few years since I've written anything seriously. That was atrocious. Some nasty mash-up of facts, keeping it simple, sad attempts at waxing poetic and just...yeah, bad.

Things it calls to my attention: Once the labor part of the story hits I seem to have removed myself from the narrative almost entirely. A little troubling to me but not terribly surprising. I was aware that I had some feelings of failure in that arena for my body not doing "what it should", and the way I wrote it, it really brought to mind the fact that I basically had to beat it to a bloody pulp to get myself IN active labor and dialating.

I have trouble visualizing how the labor flowed.

I have trouble translating my experience into a normal act of the body and a natural part of life. I think this is made fairly clear in how I glossed over most of the labor, interventions, and hesitantly mentioned the "medicine", ie pitocin, which actually did nothing for the labour except make my life harder. That's probably the only decision I do regret a little...from 1-5cm the pitocin did absolutely nothing, it was all done with cytotec, the foley catheter, and the last cm in the few hours I spent resting while NOT on the pitocin, before they broke my water. I think I should have taken a break from the pit once they broke my water, walked around a bit, and seen if the labor would go ahead on its own.

I really couldn't think of a nicer term for the c-section than "make a new way for you to come out". While this story is not something I'll be introducing Ray to at a young age it'll obviously need some revision over time. But honestly...there just isn't a nice way to present a c-section. I don't want him feeling like it was some horrific, violent thing, that they cut him out of me, but what other way is there to say it? I don't mind the scar, and the little reminder of his birth. It's a little sore still and kind of a bother but I'm not ashamed, you know? The recovery wasn't terrible (thank you Mama) but I don't want him to think I at all blame him. I dunno.

It is Anthonys opinion that Ray was ready to come when the contractions started in early May, and that putting a stop to those (while obviously the right decision, 30 weeks is doable but risky) put a wrench in my bodies natural rythym. I'm actually thinking this could be a big factor. As a result I made a few more trips in, ended up on terbutaline (nasty, jittery stuff) for a week or more, and I think as far as contractions go I ended up in a rut, so to speak. Like the old ruts in a dirt road from a cart, worn so deep that it's nigh impossible to guide the cart out of them? Makes some sense to me.

Well this is the last post on this subject for a while. I don't mean it to set the tone for the whole blog or come off as terribly whiny, this has all just been mulling around in my brain the last few weeks and as ever, writing it down helps me order my thoughts a bit.

Sunday, 20 January 2008

The story of you

I suppose I should start at the beginning, Ray. In the middle of October, 2006, your dad and I started talking about having you. After a week or two of discussing we decided that it would be as good a time as any, as we had a nice home, life was calm, and you'd have a little time to grow before we moved and daddy had to go away on a ship.

So within a month, there you were, growing in my tummy!

At the start, pregnancy was very easy on me. I wasn't very sick, but I did sleep a bunch! It took a lot of energy to help you grow strong. I ate and ate and ate. Sometimes I had to eat in the middle of the night!

By mid-January we could even feel you moving. You LOVED to move, you were still so tiny that the doctor didn't believe me when I said I felt it. But it was true, daddy and I could feel your tiny, feathery kicks against our fingertips.

I was very slim before I had you, so it was easy to tell I was pregnant even early on. I was so excited to see how quick you grew just by measuring my tummy that I made daddy take alot of pictures.

Time passed slowly in the day to day, but looking back it flew. I cherish the times I spent with a hand on my tummy, sending you warm loving energy and thoughts, telling you that daddy and I were preparing a safe, loving home for you where you would be warm and comfortable and taken care of. I would lay in bed after a shower, spread lotion on my belly and laugh as you kicked at my hand. If I tried to read a book and rest it on my tummy you would knock it off.

Soon you were so big that you moved my whole stomach with your kicks. We could see the outline of your elbows and knees as you grew frustrated with the increasingly cramped living quarters. You would let me know every time you were uncomfortable, and I would obediently roll over.

You seemed so eager to be out in the world, my body began having contractions very early. At first we were a little scared, you were still so small! We found out that I was just practicing for the big day, however. In the weeks that followed I took life a little slower, making sure you were comfortable enough to stay in there and finish growing.

It was getting very hard to sleep, move, or be comfortable doing much of anything as it came close to the time for you to be born. You felt so big and heavy, but since daddy and I are small people we assumed you were probably still just a tiny guy as well.

Once we knew you were grown enough to be ready to join us we took lots of walks. The contractions were painful sometimes but they made me excited, I couldn't wait to hold you in my arms! I waited as patiently as I could and reassured you that we were ready to meet you, and that you would be safe and warm even in the big outside world.

Long after you were due, we decided that we might need a little help from the doctors to encourage you to come out. I went with daddy and grandma to the hospital early on a Tuesday. We got settled into the hospital room and they started giving me medicine to start the labour.

Things went very very slowly. The medicine was only doing half the job, I started feeling the rhythym of labor but my body was reluctant to open so you could come out. I thought, sometimes, that we would have to find another way to bring you out into the world, but everyone around me was so encouraging that you could come out on your own that I agreed to try many different things. We waited many hours, as I nibbled bits of food, talked and laughed with friends in between waves, and watched Star Wars. Daddy read a book, grandma read magazines. I found it hard to concentrate on anything but you, and so I focused on what I had to do.

After a day we were almost halfway there. Another lady came into the room next to us, and in just a few short hours we heard the cries of her new baby. I bounced on a big ball...they checked me again...still not open enough for you. I was so discouraged that I cried in daddys arms.

We took a break. I took a shower, and a nap. Ate a good meal, and talked to some friends. Late wednesday night we started again. Before they gave me more medicine they broke my water, all the warm fluid you'd been living in the last 9 months came rushing out. The doctor and nurse talked to us quietly in the darkened room and we laughed. More medicine and last, things were happening!

I didn't have much time to rest in between the waves, I moaned through the pain and held onto daddy or grandma for strength. After a while I got lost, and asked for help. Grandma kept me calm and held me while they gave me something to ease the pain. At last, a little relief. I rested a little whenever I could, but you were still coming.

Early thursday morning I was ready to start pushing! You would join us soon! I was very concentrated on what was happening within as you prepared to come out into the world. Everyone helped support me as I pushed, and pushed HARD! After two hours you seemed so close to being born, daddy and grandma could even see the top of your head!

Then things slowed down again. I pushed and pushed, the doctor and nurse and grandma and daddy said "Just one more, he's RIGHT there! Just one more!". But after two hours, and many 'one more's later, you hadn't moved far. We tried everything, even a giant suction cup on your head! But you were stuck!

Slowly, slowly, the contractions stopped. I signed some papers, and they let me relax a little while. I had done all I could, I was so very, very tired. I kept pushing for a little while because my body still told me it was what I had to do. I so wanted to push until you came sliding out! They laid me down, and pushed my bed to a different room with alot of bright lights. It was cold in there, so they covered me with warm blankets.

They made sure I was good and comfortable, and then they washed off my belly. Daddy came into the room with me and stood near my head. The doctors worked quickly but carefully, they had to make a new way for you to come out. After twenty minutes lying there, we heard you cry! You were so loud and annoyed that we brought you out of your dark, warm, cozy home in my belly. The doctors exclaimed, "Well no wonder, he has to be at least nine or ten pounds! He's so BIG!"

You were so big, they had to make a new, special way to come out! If you look, you can still see the line where you were born. You cried and cried until you met your daddy. He calmed you down while the nurses made sure you were healthy. After a few minutes daddy carried you over to me, snuggled in a warm blanket, quiet and alert. Daddy thinks you were squished up and a little silly looking at first, but I don't think I've ever seen a more beautiful baby.

That is how you were born.

Getting into it

So I've been reading a blog by this amazing doula in Canada. I've not really started my "studies" just yet, waiting to settle into texas and have some real resources nearby outside the internet, and she's just...wonderful. She's not really writing to educate, it's not a how-to, and her birth stories are simple, elegant, and mostly very empowering.

It's made me really want to feel that way about Rays birth. Not that it was horribly traumatic, or that I was at all treated badly. As some of you know I was hoping for a natural birth, and ended up with an induction, almost every intervention in the book, and a c-section. It wasn't unexpected, really. I wasn't horribly disappointed because things didn't go "my way" or anything like that. I know that labor and birth are what they are, and the best laid plans are just plans, and do not equal outcomes. Well, the outcome was spectacular, obviously. The road to it was bumpier than I ever thought it would be, and the road after even more so!

I'm not terribly depressed about it and not even that negative. My husband, my mother, my dear friend Eva and (most) of the nursing staff and all the doctors I met were kind, respectful, and I never felt pushed into an intervention that I knew nothing about or felt was unnecessary.

And humanity wins over. Against all logic, reason, I still sometimes find myself envious when I hear about others having vaginal deliveries. Moreso if they were at home and rather natural. I know it's wrong but I can't help feeling it.

Keep in mind, this is not something I beat myself up over on a daily basis. It doesn't affect my day to day or my bond with Ray. But it lingers there, and I don't feel that I can honestly start my life as a doula until I've worked through it and really feel GOOD about the birth. It's a very spiritual process and I don't want any of my negative feelings - however subconscious they may be - to be around if I'm trying to support another woman through her labor. I don't want to affect her in that way, you know?

So I'd like to do a little exercise, and write up Rays birth story...for him. Highlight the positive, the empowering, the on-top-of-the-world feeling I felt after I had him. I don't want him to feel like the way he came was a harsh thing for me, because it wasn't.

I want to regain the strength that I know I gained through his entrance into the world. Without all the second-guesses and feelings that my body somehow failed me by not going into labor sooner, or allowing me to rest beforehand, or dilating faster, or being strong enough to push from different positions know?

The doula I mentioned before, Jacqui, wrote about how we learn so much of how to parent each specific child just by looking at their labor and what we had to overcome in it. I want to find those lessons. I want to remember more of the labor.

So here I go. (Well, here I go later, I think he's awake now. Haha.)

Here we go!

Well I'm not quite sure how the networking works with these things, but my LJ is pretty blah looking and I'd like someplace to write that's a little more focused on Ray, mother-hood, and hopefully my future as a doula. I'm so excited to start down that road!