Thursday, February 17, 2011

18 weeks and running again!

Today was a much needed great day. We kept S home from school because she woke up with a fever in the middle of the night, but she really did okay all day. This meant that I got to spend the day with her, which makes me so happy! She needed some extra TLC and sleep, but that's what mamas are for. Mike came home in the early afternoon and I had to take a student to a long appointment in a neighboring town. I came prepared, ie in my running clothes, dropped her off and went for my first real run in about 3 weeks. It has been sunny and in the 40's for several days, but today was blustery, cloudy, and new wet snow blanketed the ground. I didn't care. After several 12 hour days in a row (flu hit boarding school, enough said) and no chance for exercise, I was SO excited to get out, it could have been any weather in the world. I chose to run up a snowy gravel road that winds its way up 1800 feet in 3.25 miles to the top of a mountain. The road is gated, so no traffic, and one of my favorite year-round routes. My foot was acting up a little in the beginning of the run, but it warmed up as I did and hurt just a tiny bit! I am so happy!! Mike called when I reached the top of the mountain and told me I had to be back home in an hour, showered and ready to go, he wouldn't tell me what for. I had over 3 miles to run and a 20+ minute drive to make it, plus had to get ready and I just barely made it. When I got home, he gave me directions and sent me back out the door. My sweet man had scheduled a full body massage for me as a surprise! I have been pretty irritable lately with the long hours, lack of running, and prego hormones. This afternoon was just what I needed. Now I have to control myself and not overdo it. I remember having a similar experience when I was pregnant with S--foot pain due to Relaxin weakening the tendons and ligaments in my feet. I also need to figure out how to combat the nausea! I'm 18 weeks and nauseous most of the day, worse than in my first trimester. Ugh.

Mike raced in the 12 Hours of Sunlight this weekend with his friend Bobby Lowe. It's a skin up, ski down course and whoever does the most laps in 12 hours wins in his/her respective category (solo, duo, 4 person team). Mike and Bobby pulled off consistently very fast laps, all in the 30-35 minute range, but that was only good for 2nd place. The winners were still breaking 30 minutes/lap after having done 10 or 11 laps each! The course involves a 1500' climb, transition from skinning to skiing, and then the descent. Breaking 30 minutes is incredibly fast, especially after going hard for so long. The racers enjoyed gorgeous weather this year. I remember several years ago watching our friend Mark Regier race the same course, but it was about 50 degrees colder and the race was 24 hours instead of 12. I'd call this an improvement.

I had a request for a post on having a natural birth the second time around. I have given this much thought and would like to share my ideas on the subject. If I were honest, I'd have to say that I'm more fearful this time. Having experienced a natural birth, I know how difficult and painful it is. Last time, I wasn't afraid because I didn't know what to expect. Last time I also said "been there, done that, next time I get an epidural!". Why then, you ask, would you choose to go through this again? In my opinion, the benefits to a natural home birth outweigh the risks and difficulties. I know I won't have any pain relief, but epidurals often, through a twisted chain of events, lead to unnecessary C-Sections. I know I'll feel everything while pushing the baby out, but I am convinced that feeling everything allowed me to slow the pushing down, support myself where I felt I needed it, and thus keep all my parts intact. I am also convinced that my quick recovery was due to the natural birth: running at 10 days post partum and road biking at 12. I also know that second labors are usually quicker and easier than first labors. It took me 12 hours of hard contractions every 3 minutes, vomiting, and me thinking I couldn't handle any more, than I must be in get to 1 cm and 85% effaced. I almost gave up. Many women that have already had children walk around in the end of their pregnancies dilated to 2 or 3--I think of that as 12 hours off my labor time! The biggest factor in my decision to have another home birth is the memory of our new family going into our bed together the night Selah was born. After getting cleaned up, Mike and I just layed in bed and stared at her in pure adoration. The three of us bonded very deeply that night, and that experience would have been completely missed at a hospital. In our hospital, at least, the beds are slightly smaller than a twin and the babies are not allowed to sleep in bed with the mothers. I really really really want to have that bonding experience with my family again. I would appreciate the thoughts of my readers on the matter, as I understand how controversial home birth can be.

And of course, belly shots! Mike took these tonight, at 18 weeks 2 days.

Baby is sitting quite high this time. I was out of my regular jeans at 10 weeks with Selah, but I'm still buttoning normal pants with this one as long as they're low and stretchy. I swore I wouldn't gain 45 pounds again, but I'm already up about 15. I was up 20 pounds at 16 weeks with Selah, so better this time but still not great.

Mom found the following photos from Christmas and just sent them. They're so cute, I had to share:

Selah and Wesley. She talks about Wes every single day, but it usually has something to do with pooping, farting, or boogers. Sometimes she talks about how he throws her in the air and gives her toys.

Puzzles with Aunty Stef.

My gorgeous girl.

My gorgeous mom. She uses Rodan and Fields, by the way. Try to tell me her skin doesn't look unbelievable for a 58 year old! If you're interested in looking like her, email me at or check out my website,

Cute family photo despite the snow giving us a funny blurred look.


Jessie Thomas said...

I am really, genuinely happy that you had a long over due good day!!! I am in the throws of nausea myself and a pleasant day is worth celebrating, Your belly pics are also so stink'n cute! As for the homebirth, I am with you. I have chosen a home birth and my reasons are simple. I don't want to be in a place where I have to put my energy towards deflecting the traditional medical environment where medicine is not needed. It seems like a distraction that would easily lead someone into interventions/complications that could other wise have been avoided. The story of your last birth, you were amazing and I will take your experience with me when I am laboring. Where I live homebirth is popular but highly controversial and politicized. There is only one hospital that delivers babies and you can perhaps have the birth experience you want if you map it out for the staff and then re-map it out for the staff that comes into replace them if your labor doesn't fit into their shift. Why, would anyone want to spend their precious resources trying to convince people in that environment that you are fine and need privacy. Meanwhile you are subject to all the noises and smells of an environment that are traditionally associated with something being wrong with our bodies. It just doesn't seem conducive to getting the job done in the best way possible. Medicine is there if it's needed and you can go to the hospital if something goes wrong (sure it might be more uncomfortable and more painful) but it has clearly been negotiated before, there is no reason it can't be a useful part of your homebirth plan. Plus, being in your own bed with your family after birth, priceless and not necessarily available at the hospital. Separating the babe from the parents is just really crazy. That's why I am staying at home. I really don't let people know about my choice unless they ask very directly. Then I will share. But i have been finding that people internalize the cultural fear that has been spiked into our daily social diets. In other words people have a lot of baggage around the subject that has no basis in reality. I am wondering... with your first birth did you consider or do you now consider having a doula at your HB? Do you think with a midwife it would be overkill? I am trying to figure this out myself and wanted to know what you think. Thanks!

Betsy Rivers said...

Hi Joy - I visit your blog via Aubyn's (I was the gal playing violin at her wedding :). I really appreciate your talking about your natural birth experience. I am 17 weeks along with my first baby and would really like to deliver naturally. Hearing you say that even though it was super painful, you are willing to do it again is really inspiring. I will not be having the baby at home, but will be attended by midwives at the hospital. Thanks again for sharing - it is so interesting to hear everyone's unique stories!

Lindsey K said...

So glad to hear your foot is better! injuries are annoying and frusterating without prego hormones, so even more with them I am sure!
Also the belly shots are much appreciated :)
As far as the natural birth goes, as one who has not experienced labor but worked in a Family Practice residency, I think as long as you are willing (as you were with S) to go to the hospital should any complications arise, you are making a great choice. women deliver outside the hospital every day all over the world.

Addie said...

What a great post! Hurrays all around! I saw your comment on FB about staying home with a sick kiddo, and I thought, "I'm so glad she gets to be home with her, even if S isn't feeling super."

As for home birth, I think you are really brave... and yet, I think I'll always defer to a hospital. Still, I want any future birth experience to look very different than Blake's (the obvious reasons, plus it just felt chaotic in there to me). The way Lane had Maddox was just beautiful to me. I got to be in the room the whole time, it was quiet, peaceful, and semi-lit. The midwife helped when needed, but Lane pretty much did all the work. No docs, no nurses, and I just cried and cried at the whole marvelous experience. That said... I think I really like epidurals. Only God knows what my heart will look like giving birth again, and if there's physical AND emotional torment going on, I'll take care of the one I can make go away (just like I did with little B).

I miss you guys a lot. Miss your folks, miss your brother and Stef, want to rub your belly. Love you bunches!

Crystal Young said...

I am one of those who ended up with an unnecessary c-section. My body still hasn't recovered from it and probably never will. If I had it to do over again I would stick out the vomiting and taken in more fluids. I was vomiting because I was dehydrated. The hospital should have given me fluids and sent me home but my doctor has a "three times and you are in" policy. The first two visits were not my idea and if I had known, I would have waited to go in.

I was scared to death and the doctors were talking to each other and not to me. I was so angry. I am not planning on having any more kids anytime soon but if there are more children in my future I am going to do vbac - which is more highly controversial than home birth but I am certain it can be done and am willing to try. I will take the pain of child birth over the pain of recovering from a c-section any day. Any. Day.

K said...

Totally loving that you are planning a second home birth. I had 2 and a half home births - I say half because my #2 baby was born during our transfer to hospital. I think I expected her labour to go much faster but she was posterior so in hindsight I shouldn't have put so much pressure on myself. All labours are different. My easiest and biggest baby was #3 - crazy!
I agree 100% about that special bonding time post birth. So excited for you, you get to do this again!

Joy Joy said...

Thanks for your thoughts, also wonderful to hear you're planning a home birth. In regards to your question about having a doula in addition to your midwife, I personally don't think it's necessary. I think of a doula more as an advocate for the mom and against unnecessary interventions, but a homebirth midwife would provide that same support. You should also make sure your husband is ready to focus on you 100%.

Betsy- Good luck in your natural birth endeavor. I don't know if I would have gone natural had drugs been available, so I am super impressed by women who do. One of the things that made a big difference for me when I was considering going to the hospital for pain relief was my midwife telling me that the vast majority of women around the world that were giving birth were doing so without pain meds. That made me think "if they can do it, I can do it!".

Addie- I hear you that there is a time and a place for epidurals. My good friend labored for 24 hours and quit progressing despite the hard contractions she was having. She was extremely dehydrated and absolutely exhausted. An epidural gave her the chance to focus on getting through the labor process in one piece instead of just suffering in pain.

Crystal- Is there a hospital near you that does VBAC's? If so, awesome!! They are illegal almost everywhere these days, which is so unfortunate. Another option if a VBAC is not possible is an HBAC (homebirth after C Secion).

K-Thanks for your kind words!

Kasey said...

Love the belly pics and the pics of Wes and Stef. My kids talk about them all the time too. :)
I was nauseous with Jaylee for 8.5 months. Not fun! Sparking apple cider helped (random I know) and cinnamon bears. that and costco potstickers were about all I could hold down for awhile.
Yay for running! So glad you are feeling up to it. Makes for a much happie mommy.