Monday, May 25, 2009

Yikes! I've Reached the Nesting Phase

Teresha: It's happened. That maniac stage of pregnancy where expectant mothers develop a sudden urge to clean, organize, and plan everything down to the last detail. I thought I had another month before the madness set in. I am barely 7 months and I am already feeling the need to get everything right now! It started innocently this weekend with shopping for baby gear. Babies R Us had a huge Memorial Day weekend sale. Armed with a 15% off coupon and a gift card from a friend, I was ready to hunt for a car seat. I swear I did not plan to have my husband drive 80 miles in one day to procure said car seat, but the one we wanted was not available at the first store. So, we had to drive to another location 30 miles away to get our hands on it. I am sure DH would have preferred to wait until the next sale, but I already had a mental checklist going and was not about to procrastinate. You want to know what else I did this weekend during my period of hyperactivity? I bullied the DH into spring cleaning on Saturday. We had our first childbirth education class on Sunday evening. Friends came over on Monday for BBQ and to paint a mural in the nursery. My husband is dead tired, and I'm just getting started ladies and gentleman! Next, I am going to see a pediatric chiropractor to get adjusted, shop for the rest of the nursery furniture, and schedule appointments to interview prospective pediatricians. Oh, and that's just this upcoming week. As long as I have the energy and motivation, I am going to complete as many tasks as possible because, once Miss M is here, I know I won't be up for anything except feedings and diaper changes.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Shower Me with Love, Cake, and Gifts!

Teresha: Damon has been complaining that my posts are too long. So in the spirit of compromise, I will keep this short and sweet. We had a wonderful time this past weekend at our co-ed baby shower in Atlanta. It was one part reunion and one part baby shower, full of celebration and nostalgia. The hardest part of this pregnancy has been being in a new city away from all my family and friends. It was rejuvenating to be surrounded by people "who knew us when" and to share this special moment with them. We hadn't seen most of them in nearly a year. Everyone was so excited about our first baby and it showed in their video messages (which can be viewed on my Facebook page) and thoughtful cards and gifts. I felt so loved! I was also geeked to have my two favorite cakes...Chef Haynes' famous strawberry cake and a carrot cake with whipped, cream cheese frosting from Matty Cakes. Special thanks to the Ruffins who opened their Neighborhood Gallery Arts Center for the event and to the planning committee...Bonita, Charnae, Gwen, Lauren, Tameyer, and Tene. I love you ladies!

Damon: It was nice seeing friends and being back in Atlanta. Oh…life was soooooo simple then. The Atlanta shower was the second one I have attended. While I had a good time at the Atlanta shower, I don’t think that baby showers were meant to be co-ed. Guys don’t write poems about other guys and we really don’t like playing party games – unless they involve drinking. Our friend Tene was nice enough to let us stay with her – thanks Tene! We got to go to our FAVORITE pizza place in the world – Mama Rosa’s in downtown Atlanta. So, all in all it was a great trip. So officially our little bun has visited Florida, Louisiana, Alabama and Georgia. That is a good amount of travel to be only seven months old!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Our Birth Plan: Going Natural

Teresha: With 100 days to go, we had our first appointment at our birthing center today. You read that right! We decided a long time ago to commit to a natural birth. We just needed a health care professional and a facility that would facilitate our wishes. Dr. Foxworth is a great obstetrician, but the hospital where she has privileges did not provide the options we were seeking. So we switched. After watching the Ricki Lake documentary The Business of Being Born, we both agreed that a hospital is the last place to go if you are adamant about having a natural birth (go ahead and watch the movie). Damon went online and found the Birth and Women's Center. During the tour, we were both so impressed with the level of care, the cozy labor and delivery room, and the feeling that we were going to be treated as partners (not patients) in the birth of our child. We signed up on the spot! I could not wait to tell people about our plan and was not prepared for the negative comments and backlash, which ranged from skeptical curiosity to outright questioning our sanity. Apparently, planning a natural birth is just foolhardy! I was told in various ways that I would never be able to stand the pain, that drugs are they only way to go, that I would never want to have another kid, that so many things could go wrong, etc... You'd think I was telling people that we were going to deliver our baby ourselves in a cornfield with only some towels and a pot of boiling water for supplies. I actually found myself on the defensive, explaining our decision to do this naturally! We didn't make this decision lightly. We educated ourselves and made a choice based on all the facts we gathered. This whole thing has left me wondering, when did having babies naturally become counterculture? All that medical establishment propaganda has really done a number on our society. For the unenlightened, birthing centers are typically staffed with nurse-midwives and have the same equipment as hospital maternity wards. In case complications develop, they transfer you to a hospital. Our birthing center is three blocks from Baylor University Hospital, so our bases are covered. If something does go wrong, get me to a doctor stat! But I personally believe this is a last resort. I also believe in doing what's right for you. I know women who have opted for epidurals and scheduled C-sections. I have never judged the way anyone else decided have her baby. So, it has been hard for me not to receive the same support in our decision to go the natural route. But I got over the hurt quickly once I realized that no one else's opinion matters. I am all about bringing my baby into the world au natural! I have been eating all the right foods, doing prenatal yoga, kegels, and signed up with a birthing coach who teaches a combination of the Bradley method and Birthing From Within. I can't wait to post pictures and video from our delivery at the birthing center!

Damon: So Teresha REALLY needs to stop making her post soooooo long. This is way to much pressure for me. Let's see...where to start. I would, like Teresha, recommend that anyone who is having kids or thinking about it watch The Business of Being Born. And I will not get off of my soap box. Since I am not having the baby, I will let Teresha lead the blogging on taking pain killers and other medications involved in the birthing process. I will say that having children is a natural process and pregnant women are not sick - so why is there so much fuss being make about not birthing in a sterile hospital full of sick people? Seems like that would be the last place you would want to bring a child into the world. Although - you should be in a hospital if you are having a high-risk birth. Anywhooo...I am going to briefly talk about how our little one coming in the world is slowly re-shaping the way I think/act.

Point #1: I am gradually coming to the realization that I will now have someone who it will be my responsibility to care for - this is a very scary proposition for me! While I think I am a fairly nice guy - I am not the most caring person in the world. And yeah - as a husband you take care of your wife. But - Teresha was taking care of herself before me and if anything happens she will happily (well, eventually after grieving for like 15 years) move on with her life. I also did not have any say in the process of my wife being brought into this world. That being said, I feel a greater responsibility to make sure that my child has everything she needs to lead a happy and healthy life. Scariness......

Point#2: While I have always begrudgingly understood that my actions affect (did I use the right one??) others, the personality and value system of this little person will be shaped by me and Teresha. Does the world really need another little me running around? And what if I screw her up? Teresha and I will be responsible for shaping this little being. Scariness....

Point #3: On a more practical note, I (we) am responsible for providing for our little bun in da oven. Historically, we have always had pretty low overheard so that we could quit a job at a moments notice if we felt like saying "screw the man". Now with a relatively large mortgage and Miss M on the way - I don't think that will be happening anytime soon. And we also need to think about our health and how our child will be taken care of if anything happens to us. Scariness....

Okay...that is about enough of the serious side for me. The immediate threat is that I may be asked to catch Miss M as she escapes from the womb. They have pictures of the fathers doing this on the wall at the birthing center - none of them have a look of joy/bliss! It must be something similar to catching a hot, wet, muddy football - except your wife will kick your butt if you drop it. So, I don't know if I am up for this task - and it looks like it's pretty messy. We have a box of ShamWows at the house. I am thinking of using one of them as a "net" to catch Miss M. It is pretty soft and it "holds 12 times its weight in liquid". Sounds like a winning idea to me.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

April Showers (Technically, it was May)

Teresha: Call me crazy! My six-months-pregnant self got on a plane Saturday at 6:00 am CST and flew from Dallas to Miami to celebrate my impending motherhood with friends and family at 1:00 pm EST...the very same day! Not to mention, the swine flu panic was evident at the airport as we saw several people in hospital masks (are they kidding me?). Again, you are free to call me crazy. In my defense, I have adopted this new way of thinking based on the Laws of Attraction (a central philosophy in The Secret). So, I was confident that nothing bad would happen because I took precautions and only had positive thoughts. I did not swell up or get Deep Vein Thrombosis from the flight because I got up and walked around. I did not collapse from exhaustion or dehydration because I took a nap and drank plenty of water. I did not get the pig pneumonia because I kept my immune system healthy with vitamins and lots of fresh, nutrient-rich foods, washed my hands frequently and kept them away from my eyes, nose and mouth (thanks for the tips Dr. E and Dr. Foxworth!). There is something to be said for the power of positive thinking and taking care of yourself. I was glowing and happy and absolutely enjoyed myself. Nothing and no one was going to spoil my special occasion. It was an intimate affair, attended my some really loving people, including a friend from elementary school with whom I recently reconnected on Facebook. Rhonda (BFF, Maid of Honor at my wedding) bought a gorgeous cake, had us play fun baby shower games, and made adorable party favors with rubber duckies and bubble bath products. A good time was had by all! Up next, the Atlanta baby shower!