Saturday, November 6, 2010

wow who knew??

Recently i outed myself as a non-weener. We do not celebrate Halloween, however this topic still affects us. Though we limit the amount coming into our home our thoughts on candy don't extend much further than that. All is good in moderation. I did not pass out candy for Halloween but i do wish i had learned about this sooner. I wish I could have gotten the word out before all the chocolate folks enjoyed one of their most profitable seasons, but its never to late for learning and sharing.

A mama friend shared her knowledge on chocolate with me. So where does it come from..well  most of it comes from cocoa plantations in africa. That sounds nice enough right? but no, think a little deeper. The average African is under 20 years old. This makes most of Africa populated by children. Many African children work hard to support their families, that alone would be considered illegal and abusive by American standards. It would be nice to think that cocoa plantations help these children to support their families and pay them a fair wage, but that is not the case. Similar to the diamond situation, children are forced into slavery. Taken from their homes and families, they are beaten, sold, even killed when the beatings don't produce fruitful results. As usual  Americans tend to assume this is someone else's fault/problem etc. but this is a very American problem and though there is no real instant cure, there is a very easy way to help. I absolutely would love to purchase all organic and fair trade foods for my family all the time, but the reality is they are very expensive and not quite compatible with our supersized troupe. All that said, nobody needs to eat chocolate in bulk and if you make a choice to only accept and purchase fair trade chocolate you are making a choice not to support MAJOR human rights violations. Most of the companies buying the bloodstained cocoa are the companies you know and love, Hershey's, Nestle etc. Many of these companies do produce their own brands of fair trade chocolates and if they don't , well, too bad. They have been promising for a decade to change their ways so lets pray for these children and lets make a statement to these companies that Americans will not allow children to be harmed for the sake of a sweet tooth. This is unacceptable!

for more info on this subject please check out this site and the links provided there 

and if your not quite sure what fair trade is check it out. if you are already buying organic then consider a switch. it doesn't cost more and  i will gladly ingest a few pesticides if it means the life and comfort of another human is protected. often fair trade products are organic as well and its just a matter of switching brands.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

a whole year ago!

Actually this post is 2 days late, so a year and two days ago to the hour I began my journey to becoming a mother of 5.......

Upon conception of P 5 I determined my due date to be Halloween. I had never once made it to my due date. I was the proud owner of two 38weekers and two 39weekers. I had never been induced so the dates were always the naturally occurring sort. I just didn't seem to be a full term birther, but i was determined, this one would be different. I wanted a Halloween baby. I declared it so, but as the weeks drug on and the belly grew I became restless. At 38wks i decided i couldn't make it, here i was so huge i could barely stand up without flipping over. My birthy friends assured me that most women due in fact make it past 38 and 39 and if given the chance typically stay pg past the due date. I tried hard to believe them, and once i got past 39wks i finally did. At that point I believed I would just stay pg forever. This was my new norm and apparently God was just gonna leave me that way permanently.

I woke up on Halloween sick of the pregnant state which I had succumbed to only 1 mere week ago. I had said I wanted the Halloween baby and here it was, the day was here, I was still pregnant, but showing zero signs of imminent labor. I told my MIL to go ahead and fly on down because I had sent this baby an eviction notice and realistically i figured i couldn't possibly stay pregnant much longer. I put on a pair of carefully chosen elastic waist pleasedontletanybodyrealizetheseareactuallypajamas black pants, and a white dress shirt of beau's. Apparently my maternity clothes didn't get the memo that we would be going past 39wks and they checked out 7days ago. We headed to the older boy's football games. People were surprised to see me still sporting the torpedo, after all it was a small town and I had told everyone that i would in fact be having a natural birth on Halloween. During I refused to sit down, i didn't pay attention to the players at all, i just walked the sidelines occasionally doing a few squats. I had never heard of this as a labor technique but i figured gravity is free so we might as well take advantage of it while we are here. My MIL arrived mid squat and as we left the came contraction-free I waved goodbye letting everyone know they would not see me tomorrow because I was having a baby today :)

I heard Greek food had magic labor vibes, so we headed straight to the Greek restaurant. We left there around 1pm and stopped at the drug store to pick up some evening primrose oil and Castor oil. I didnt even wait till we were home to start popping capsules. I mixed the Castor oil in some strawberry milk and it really wasnt that bad if you like melted lipstick in your beverage. I sat, i waited, nothin :( Around 3 or so I decided I would take the dog for a walk. First I took Peanut, the mastiff who outweighed me. I walked her farther than normal, she walked me for the first mile. I got home and sat down and opened up count my contractions,......hmmm....or not. So I decided to walk the pit bull Paris. She was the real runner/puller so i figured i was in for a workout. i was gone for awhile and starting to struggle. I was tired, and I think, maybe i felt something. My mil caught up with me and I told her i thought this was it. I sent her to take home the dog and I would take my time getting in. I truly thought i was gonna give birth on the playground, just a few more yards but i didn't think id make it. Slowly  but surely I arrived at home and announced to my husband and friends that I was in labor. Fifteen minutes later I gave birth to something.........but it was not a baby.......and again, no contractions :(

I was beginning to lose faith in my birth predictions. It was 5 pm. At this point I knew that if i was showing no signs, there was a slim chance I could actually give birth before midnight on Halloween. I was one sad cookie, I knew that realistically id give birth within a week or so but in the mere span of a few hours i'd gone from definitely giving birth today, to permanently pregnant again. I sent the family out to dinner and stayed home to sulk, or rather roll around on the trampoline like a beached whale bouncing every now and then.

And then I decided to sit down and give up. I checked contraction master just for fun....but wait....there was kinda hurt....maybe it is something. It was around 6pm so at this point I was shooting for a Nov. 1st baby. when everyone arrived home, close to 7pm I told them i was pretty sure I am in labor. Beau said something like "yeah right" "heard that one before" lol. I said it really hurts and i think this is it. He suggested I calm down, walk around and try to time some more contractions. I was nososecretly planning a homebirth. Beau was not very on board and MIL was totally not on board. There was no midwife near but i did have a school nurse down the street for back up. What happens when you tell people you are planning a secret accidental homebirth......and then you tell them you are in labor....they try to kick you out the door. So grammie said, go to the hospital. Beau said i wasn't really in labor anyway. I said, even if this is it , we aren't at the hospital going point yet and I'm not totally sure this isn't just wishful thinking.

I had contractions 3, 10, 5 min apart, nothing regular like on tv. Close to 8 I decided that even though they werent regular, this was definitely labor. I figured Id miss my deadline but i was excited to give birth and get rid of the torpedo atleast :) things were looking up. I distinctly remember my 8pm contraction, it hurt, for real, and everyone could tell. At this point beau decided that I was in labor. he began to do male nesting things like airing up tires, loading his ipod, kenneling giant dogs etc. MIL was following me around suggesting I go to the hospital. Beau would suggest that, then he would sit down as if he had no intentions of following his own suggestion. I thought the homebirth might just happen. About 9pm they started hurting, the kids were following me around getting upset, everyone was suggesting i go to the hospital. Beau said, we are going! and called our sitters so MIL could come too. I dawdled a bit, gathering up last minute things. Around 9:15 I said I kinda need to push. Beau said to forget taking the kids to be sitters, we are going straight to the hospital. I reminded him how twice before we had arrived early and been told to walk around, I didnt want that to happen again. We would just sit there for hours, hiding from the PitocinPrincess. He said He was willing to take his chances, he didnt want to do the homebirth thing so he whisked me away.

As usual they made me pre-register...and as usual, they still took forever in processing. It was 9:30 and I finally told them I could not walk and I could not wait and I could fill out my address one more time...grrr! We were met with the triage nurse who sized us up in about 5seconds. Smiling made-up young couple, having their first baby, and totally not in labor :) She took her time fiddling with this and that and gave me my gown while she began asking questions. I said, just check me and simultaneously she was reading, fifth baby, fast birth etc she complied :) and it took her awhile, and I began to dismay. I was sure with all that feeling around that she was deciding between 2 or 3 centimeters..she was frowning, i was doomed. And then it was if the choir began their heavenly chorus, the orchestra started, and her frown became panic as she pressed the "help" button announcing one of my greatest achievements....COMPLETE...."we are having a baby right now, call the doc, do not push, DO NOT PUSH".

I got to my room via speed gurney and promptly began pushing. I recall telling other women not to push. I truly believed they would/could listen. But really, it isn't optional. This was not the first time someone told me not to push. And this was not the first time i silently pushed away, giving Beau the "I'm pushing, your catching right?" look which he has come to know so well. Over the course of the next ten minutes I assured her that i was not pushing just holding my breath for fun. When the doc arrived it did take a few pushes but there he was, a gorgeous baby boy, we are done right? ....DO NOT PUSH...what, i am done, i don't want to push because i am done, but i need to push, what is going on????? finally after i threatened a push they explained that the chord was so tight he couldn't come any further. They clamped and cut the chord and as the clamp and chord shot across the room like a rubberband and gave the last push and there was pumpkin Pike all blue and sticky at 10pm on Halloween. He needed a little help to get going but all was well. Id love to say that I bond with my babies immediately after birth, we nurse instantly and have lots of skin to skin, but i cant. I do believe those are great things to do and every mom should, I swear each time that I am gonna, but it never fails that immediately afterward I am exhausto mom. Dad always gets the first snuggle and until the first whimper of hunger he enjoys being the best thing that child has ever seen :) then its my turn. Pike's birth was perfect, though I didnt get that homebirth, I'm glad i went ahead and went in. The chord issue is easily dealt with during a homebirth with a midwife or someone present who knows how to do the flip, but i would not have known and Beau most certainly was only prepared for the perfectly easy homebirth so the hospital was ok for us.  However, should their be another P, heck no i wont go, they will have to carry me out on a stretcher lol.

Pike has been a pretty awesome baby every since. He sleeps, cries alittle, loves snuggling mom. He adores his siblings and his carrier stash and isn't even beginning to protest his rear facing carseat. Though Dad would miss Pike's big day due to deployment, I was determined to celebrate it and a Halloween birthday cannot be postponed.

I feared that we wouldn't even know enough people to invite to a party but it turns out he had 15 special friends here to celebrate and a few more that we sick, no doubt from us, and couldn't make it. We have been so blessed to make so many friends so fast and they are all the great wonderful special never forget rare sort, how does that happen in 4 months? AWESOME.

I made a giant pumpkin cupcake with regular cupcakes to match. We served the regular ones but it turns out that somehow the giant cupcake was more moist and delicious, in fact I'm having a slice right in hindsight, skip normal cupcakes, go big or go home, i wish i would have served big daddy. Pike didn't get any though, instead he had some pumpkin pie. He isn't a messy guy so he carefully placed a few bites in his mouth.

The big kids had some pinata fun.

and then it was time for presents. Pike got some blocks which we tested for a three years as Sunday school teachers of 3yos. We love them, pike does to, as does every kid that sees them. They are awesome! slinky dog, notsomuch. He got some Little People, some super cute new outfits, his first toolbox, a dumptruck, some super stylish hats, a shape sorter, snuggly jammies, a fun soft book, a hooded shark towel but there are three that he is absolutely in love with. One is his new swing for the playground, two is his racetrack (in fact 4 out of five Ps play with this all day) and last but not least the monsters in his tub   he carries them around all day like they are precious treasures. He is smitten :)

I'm so thankful for his beautiful birth story and the amazing child the Lord blessed us with. He is truly a blessing and I'm so happy we went for one more :)