Grace’s Kitties and Cans First Birthday

I can’t believe I have a one-year-old. I spent most of last night crying, thinking about this very thing. I feel like I’ve wished it all away. Every IMG_9177 (2) stage I’ve just looked to the next in anticipation that it’ll be easier. And I’ll tell you what… anything is easier than the first 3 months of Grace’s life.

In my meager 12 months of experience with her, I’d compare Grace to a delicious barrel aged stout. She only gets better with age. Each month has been better than the last. She has turned into such a spunky, smart and fun little girl. My heart is bursting! I just love this kid!

So now on to the good stuff…. we celebrated Grace’s first birthday with a Kitties and Cans party. DISCLAIMER: I wanted it to be a kitties and keg party (mostly because it sounds better). But my fuddy-duddy [read: logical] husband refused to get a keg because he thought it would be too much.

Gracie girl loves kitties and we love beer. And let’s be real friends, a first birthday is for the parents. Hell. We made it. Chris and I have successfully kept Grace alive and healthy. And damn it… I deserve a beer. Or 10. Or a keg.

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On another note… I have pom-pom garland, kitty and fish cut outs, and yarn balls galore. If anyone out there wants to throw a kitty party but would like to spare themselves the pain for cutting out kitty faces or wrapping yard around forks to create pom-poms I’d be more than happy to mail you these decorations! Just comment below!!

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Intentional Time with your Little One

Our daughter, Grace, was born was right side microtia and atresia. And while she’s bright and motivated, she does have a unilateral hearing loss; which could mean a potential speech and language delay. Fortunately, her left ear has perfect hearing, but we’ve purchased a BAHA hearing aid and take her to speech and language therapy multiple times a month – just to give her every opportunity for success.

IMG_0386Speech and language therapy is typically only thought to be for children who have a hearing loss or speech delay, but it’s occurred to me that the skills our family has learned through therapy are useful to every family. I’ve spoken with several mama friends about the things we learn and practice in therapy – and every one of them has said, “why aren’t we doing this with our kids?” The skills we’ve been taught are really tools to help Grace localize sounds, stimulate brain development, encourage an environment where language can be easy heard and learned, and help her assimilate sounds with basic activities and toys. This isn’t just for families withdealing kiddos with hearing loss. It’s for all families who want their kids to learn, grow and thrive.

The therapy sessions are really more of a training session for parents. It’s a time to teach us skills to apply in our daily activity with Grace. Also, as a first time mom of a now 10 month-old, I have really struggled with how to spend intentional time with Grace. I mean – she can’t hold a conversation, sing a song, understand a story or throw a ball. BUT with my help she WILL be able to do these things. And this is where intentional time with your infant/baby plays a roll.

So enough of my babbling. Here are several tools and skills we’ve learned in therapy that I hope all you mamas can use to spend intentional time with your little ones!

READ, READ, READ. At 2.5 months our speech and language therapist told us to read 10 books a day to hIMG_0419er. We said, “WHAT!?” I may totally get this number wrong, but I believe she said that our little ones should be hearing around 40,000 words a day! I talk a lot. But I can’t talk that much to someone who doesn’t talk back. So we read. And read. And read. In fact, Grace could totally care less about toys; but she could sit in a pile of books for an hour. Nerd alert! Or she’s a genius. I’ll tell myself she’s the latter.

Quiet. Do you have the TV on all the time? Or the radio? I’m an NPR junkie. I used to have the radio on all the time. But I’ve minimized my radio time for my daughter’s language development. I’m a martyr,  I know. This is particularly important for Grace, because it can be difficult for kids with unilateral hearing to tune out background noise. But this truly is important for all kids. Create an environment that will foster room for listening and learning. Your kids aren’t going to learn to speak from NPR’s Morning Edition – much to my dismay.

Rich Language. In our latest therapy session our therapist mentioned the term rich language; meaning, to say the same idea in a few ways using different words, expanding ideas and using new words. So as an example, we have a toy cow. I audition before I pull out the toy. “Mooooo. I hear a cow. Do you hear a cow Grace?” I pull out the cow. “Here’s a cow. The cow says ‘Mooooo’.” Then I sit in silence of a bit to see if she has anything to say. Then I sing Old McDonald (using a cow as the animal). I try to prompt her to say what the cows says. Then I may talk about what it looks like for a bit. Then we wave bye-bye to the cow and I put the cow away. Move on to the next animal. The fruits of my labor have only recently been seen. She can now pick out animals – even just by their sound. And with certain animals – like the owl – she tries to make the sound. We’ve begun working on shapes.

Eliminate distractions. Grace is busy. Busy, busy, busy. The kid cannot sit still and she’s always moving on to the next toy. So in an effort to eliminate distraction while I’m trying to spend intentional time with her, I keep her toys in her toy box hidden from view and pull out one at a time. After we’re done we wave bye-bye, as mentioned above, and move on.

Encouraging kids to learn and grown in language and listening at a young is important for ALL families – not just families dealing with a hearing loss. I hope these suggestions can help you spend quality, intentional time with your littles!

Seven Years and Counting

Today, I celebrate seven years of marriage with my husband. Normally, when I mention how long we’ve been married I receive an wedding2astounded look with the question: “how old are you?” And while I look like I’m 20, I’m actually 28…though we did get married pretty early.

Now that I have a daughter I think to myself… if my 20 year-old came to me and said, “mom, I’m getting married,” I’d say, “hell no.” Well, maybe I wouldn’t. But that’s pretty young. Chris was still finishing his undergrad degree, I was working as a reporter for a small town Nebraska newspaper making less than $9 an hour and we paid $300/month in rent for our crappy apartment. We had a total of $2500 in the bank on our wedding day, and this was of no concern to us!

This post is a simple ode to my husband. This guy is patient, kind, selfless and loving. He loves our daughter and he loves me. He lives a life of service to Jesus and his family. He’s fun, adventurous and hot. Grace and I are two lucky ladies.

I’m “THAT” Mom

“Don’t be THAT mom.”

This phrase haunts me. I feel ashamed that I’ve said it; and I would be willing to bet there’s not a woman reading this who hasn’t said this to a mama and meant it to be sage wisdom.

I’ve been thinking on this phrase for months, after a dear friend and dedicated mama came to visit with her family. Her sweet almost-one-year-old often has trouble falling asleep; so to help her, they walk her in the stroller or take her on a drive. One night her husband loaded their baby in the car for a goodnight drive and she looked at me and said, “I was never going to be that mom.” And my heart felt so sad. This woman is THAT mom who doesn’t want her baby crying in her crib for hours. This woman is THAT mom who pumps 5 times a day in order to feed her baby nutritious, immunity-building breast milk for the first year of her life. This woman is THAT mom who loves her baby. I learned so much about being a mom from my friend that weekend.

Before becoming a mom, I said I wasn’t going to be THAT mom who takes her baby on a drive to help them fall asleep. Guess IMG_0191what? I’ve done this when Grace refuses her nap for 1.5 hours and I am about to pull my hair out.

I wasn’t going to be THAT mom who shamelessly breastfeeds her baby in public. Guess what? I refuse to cover my daughter’s head in public because her eating offends you. Guess what? It shouldn’t be the social norm that I need to leave a conversation or a social situation because my child needs to eat.

I wasn’t going to be THAT mom who babywears because their child doesn’t like to be put down. I’ve vacuumed the whole house with Grace in the carrier because she would not stop crying. Guess what? I love baby wearing. And Grace loves to be carried. So it’s a win-win.

I wasn’t going to be THAT mom who lets her baby sleep in her bed. Guess what? Grace sleeps in our bed [part of the night]! Oh the horror! And I bet you would be surprised at the number of people who bed share but keep it a family secret. And for those of you concerned: No I’m not afraid we’ll crush her. And guess what? I have been getting a full night’s sleep since 2 months. Sleep regression? What is that??

And just because Chris and I have chosen this parenting style for our family does not mean we think it’s for everyone. Because every baby is different, every mom is different and every family is different.

No 16 year-old is going to need dad to drive them around the block to fall asleep. No 18 year-old will want mom to carry them everywhere (and I think my back hurts NOW). No 20 year-old will want to share mom and dad’s bed. Every stage is a temporary season which brings new challenges, new joys and new judgements.

We should love THAT mom who is struggling with a nap schedule and exhausted from driving around town 3 times a day for hours. We should encourage THAT mom who is having anxiety about leaving her child for the first time. We should be patient with THAT mom who calls the pediatrician for every sneeze. And we should support THAT mom who doesn’t want to let her baby cry it out.

I’m THAT mom. The one you’ve warned other moms not to be. The one I’ve warned other moms not to be.

And I’m a damn good one.

 

 

 

Our Daughter’s Unique, Special and Adorable Ear

A month ago I was in the post office with Grace. There were two sweet little boys and their dad; and as all children are, they were very interested in Grace. After asking a million questions about her, the older of the two turned to his dad and said, “look at her little ear.” The dad, completely mortified, tried to shovel his sons comment under the rug and hoped I didn’t hear. I tookIMG_9604 the opportunity to show off my daughter’s incredibly unique, special and adorable little ear to the first person who ever commented on it.

Grace was born with Microtia and mostly likely Atresia. Here’s a formal definition taken from The Ear Community:

Microtia is a congenital deformity affecting the outer ear (pinna) where the ear does not fully develop during the first trimester of pregnancy. A Microtia ear is often smaller in size, can have a peanut shaped appearance, only have a small nub or lobe present, or be completely absent at birth.

Atresia (also known as aural atresia) is the absence or closure of the external auditory ear canal.

We had no idea of this until Grace was born, and we’ve been learning more and more about what this will mean for our daughter and our family. Often times, Microtia is accompanied by other things – including kidney problems or nerve problems in the face. She, thankfully, seemly has no other “issues” accompanied with her little ear.

Grace recently had an extensive hearing test called an ABR. This ABR test determined that she has excellent hearing in her normal ear and a moderate hearing loss on her little ear. While she has no ear canal that we know of, she can still have a hearing aid  on a headband that will vibrate on the bone behind her ear. Don’t ask me how it works, because I haven’t gotten that far in my research. Grace will get one of these in a month.

IMG_9857The reason I write about this is most people notice her ear, but don’t ask. I wouldn’t ask either, to be fair. So for those of you who’ve met Grace but are afraid to ask – it’s Microtia.

A sweet friend asked me how I felt about it… if I was upset that she had this. And the honest answer is yes. Yes, I’m upset that my child isn’t “perfect” (as if there’s such a thing). I’m upset that she has to grow up with a small ear and answer to stupid people who will make fun of her. I’m upset that she could potentially be behind her peers in speech. I’m upset that she needs a hearing aid. And I’m selfishly upset that I have to pay for all the doctors and equipment that will help Grace live a “normal” life.

Why couldn’t this happen to a family with excellent insurance? A family who didn’t have to pay a sick amount out-of-pocket for these doctors and hearing aids? [On a small side note…I’d love to smack those people who complain about paying a co-pay. Or who complain about paying whopping $1000 to have their child delivered at the hospital. Boohoo. I digress…]

Grace could have something much, much worse then a small ear. She’s beautiful and healthy with a blooming personality. She doesn’t have a life-threatening illness, nor a sickness where she will need to pump medicine into her body daily. She will live a normal, comfortable, blessed life (well, at least that’s the hope). So while it’s normal to feel disappointed about her small ear and feel frustrated that all my friends have babies with normal and perfect ears… I love my daughter’s unique, special and adorable ear. And Chris and I hope we can teach her to love it, too.

Reflections on Motherhood: Two Months and Counting

I feel as though I needed to write this post to assure you all that I am still alive. And Grace is still alive. And Chris is still alive. We are all living – running solely on coffee and love. Mostly coffee.

Two months have passed and things have gotten better. Not easier… but certainly better. Not sure if Grace is crying less/hating her life less; or if I am getting used to her misery and tuning it out. I think it’s a little of both. After months of trying to figure out why my child is so miserable, I believe I’ve finally thrown my hands in the air and accepted that this is just how it is. Don’t even try to make a suggestion on how to fix it. Because I’ve tried it. Out efforts include:

  • Colic Drops (Probiotics)
  • Happy Tummy heat pad
  • Giving up dairy
  • Giving up about EVERTHING in my diet
  • Bouncing on the yoga ball
  • Car rides
  • Football hold
  • Gripe water
  • Gas drops
  • The womb app
  • The swing
  • The mamaroo
  • Doing bicycles with her legs
  • Chiropractor (for the record I’m convinced this is the only thing that makes a consistent difference)

It would be unfair to say she cries all the time. I am counting my blessings where they come. She is a great sleeper – particularly at night. Also, she’s started smiling and cooing. And while it sounds incredibly cliche, this all gracemakes the misery worth it. My shirts are covered in leaking breast milk, my arms and hands are consistently soaked with drool and there’s poop under my finger nails (because who has time to wash their hands)… but it’s really worth it.

In just the last week we started putting her in the crib to nap. Previously she was napping in a wrap while we wore her, or in our arms. I cried when she took her first nap in the crib and felt completely morbid because I thought her silence must have meant she died. I’ve also started putting her to bed on her own before us. She goes down between 8:30 and 9:30. And it’s glorious. Seriously. I have time to write this blog post.

And while I now have a little bit of time to myself in the evening and several hours during the day while she’s napping – motherhood is still hard. I’m currently on a diet where I eat only meat, beans, vegetables and fruit. I am hangry all the time. I’m freaking starving. I can’t go out to eat. I can’t go to anyone’s house to eat. I spend a small fortune at the grocery store on flax milk and quinoa pasta. The worst part is – I’m not convinced it’s doing anything. I will be having a heart-to-heart with the pediatrician next week about this. I cannot live this way.

Phew! Now to positives. Grace is so stinking cute. She’s growing and learning every day. She’s laughing, “talking”, trying to imitate my hand movements, kissing (with her mouth wide open) and bringing me incredible joy. I feel as though my greatest success as a mom is our great breastfeeding relationship. She’s a great eater and I love feeding her. In my next life I want to be a lactation consultant and empower women to breastfeed for the health of babies and the incredible bonding it ensues.

We’ve also been surrounded by incredibly loving, caring and supportive people. People that we are proud to surround our daughter with. To help us love her, pray for her and teach her. It takes a village, and we have an amazing village. Right now, these people are mostly loving on us, encouraging us and praying for us, but we know that it will translate into raising a beautiful, loved, woman of God. And this is the true desire of our hearts.

So again, we’re still alive. I could not believe the amazing outpouring of encouragement I received from my last post. The amount of women – some who I know and many who I don’t – who shared that my experience was also there’s gave me great hope and encouragement.

Hopefully I will get back to crafting and cooking soon and will post something other than an update on motherhood.

The First Four Weeks of Motherhood – Is This Real Life?

Damn. This is hard. Everyone tells expecting mothers (often in a taunting or demeaning manner) that motherhood is the hardest thing they’ll ever do. And sure, I understood it would be hard. But, damn… this is hard.

I consider the first four weeks of motherhood successful because Grace is still alive. And that’s the ultimate goal right? To keep this totally dependent new life alive. Here’s how I am measuring the first four weeks:

  • 4 emotional breakdowns
  • Over 400 tucks
  • Over 100 pads/panty liners
  • 10 depends
  • 16 pounds of epsom salt
  • Hundreds of diapers (who can count?)
  • 7 packages of wipes
  • Too few hours of sleep
  • Close to 300 times of whipping out the breastarants for feedings

The final round of family left this past Wednesday, and if it wasn’t for them I don’t think I would have eaten, slept or showered over the last four weeks. Let me tell you what mamahood is like…

Time is no longer a reality. I have zero concept of day, night, Monday or Friday. It doesn’t matter. The only reason to keep track is I have an occasional doctors appointment.

Grace doesn’t like to be put down so I’m still trying to master a one-handed life style. And for those of you reading this that roll IMG_9626your eyes and think I’m spoiling my four-week-old rotten because I’m not letting her “cry it out”… let me drop some knowledge on you… It’s impossible to spoil a four-week-old. Talk to any decent pediatrician and they’ll back me up.  Anyway, back to my one-handed lifestyle – I can’t put her down while I heat up dinner (because making dinner is no longer a reality), or eat dinner. So her clothes are covered in food that I drip all over her. And showering? Only on days when Chris goes into work at 2pm do I shower. And makeup? HA!

I still have yet to recover 100%, so I spend most of my days sitting. Primarily on the couch, but occasionally outside. I’m fairly tired of sitting and can’t wait to walk and run again. Just when I think I could maybe walk about the block, I bounce Grace  around the house to pull her out of a freakout moment and I’m sore again. Ugh.

My house looks like a bomb went off. Seriously. My family cleaned multiple times when they were here and it was wonderful. But now that they’re gone… it’s a disaster. You can’t clean with one hand very well. Also, I said I would never let my house be overtaken with kid crap. Well, I now have receiving blankets strewn across the living room, a play mat, a napper and a swing. I bite my tongue.

IMG_9748Grace hates taking baths. This makes me very sad because I thought this would be one of my favorite things as a mom. But instead, her screaming is mind-numbing, she moves around so much I fear she will drown and she craps in her towel EVERY TIME we take her out.

A few other highlights from the first four weeks – I had an emotional breakdown to a total stranger who came to drop off dinner for our family. I went to bed in the clothes I wore during the day on Wednesday because I was afraid to get out of bed and put Grace down to put my PJ’s on, for fear that I would awaken the beast. No one has seen Grace in my favorite outfit yet because every time she’s in it she craps out of her diaper and up her back before we can leave the house.

So I’m making it seem like I hate motherhood… but this is not the case. I love Grace. And I love being her mom. I have spent most of my days since Grace sitting on the couch, feeding her and staring at her. You would think this would cause time to stand still, but when the sun goes down each day I can’t believe another day has passed. Each day passes and she’s one day older, it’s one day closer to when I have to go back to work and one day closer to when she won’t want me to hold her all the time anymore. And as easy as it is to be frustrated that my hygiene has gone down the tubes, that I have no time to bake or cook, that my house is a mess and that I’m so sleep deprived that I can’t see straight… I am cherishing these moments when my daughter needs me and wants me. Because one day neither will be the case and I’ll look back on this time fondly.

 

My [Unplanned] Birth Story

Disclaimer: If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, maybe you should reconsider reading this. Unless, of course, you want to hear a less-than-perfect birth story to fuel your fear of labor. Then, by all means, read on.

Grace Aline came into the world on April 1 at 10:05 am. She was 6 lbs 12 oz, 20 inches long and literally the most beautiful IMG_9565thing I have ever seen – though I could be biased because I made her. This entrance, however, was not easy on either of us.

March 31 at 4:30 am I had my first contraction. I wasn’t sure if I was experiencing contractions until a few hours in when I Googled “what does a contraction feel like.” Let me tell you what it feels like – the worst menstrual cramp of your life + someone is wringing out your uterus like a wet dish towel. Throughout the day I worked, rested, drank electrolytes and baked brownies, and by 5:30 pm I was no longer able to focus on much of anything. All the while Chris was counting my contractions on his contraction counting phone app and waiting for 3-1-1 (contractions 3 mins long, 1 min apart for 1 hour). This is when we were to call the midwife.

The contractions were never this close, but my water broke at 1:30 am, while I was on the couch. I ran to the bathroom like a raving lunatic screaming that the amniotic fluid is everywhere! Chris assured me that it was not everywhere – just all over me – and called the midwife. We decided to go to the birthing center at this time – to which I rode in the passengers seat backwards, on my knees, hugging the seat and writhing in pain. Very illegal – in case you were wondering. Upon arrival at the birthing center I remember very little except that I was 9 cm dilated. So I thought – Yeah! I’m going to push out a baby in less than an hour! HA! What false expectations. Two hours of pushing later there was no baby, really not even any progress and meconium on the bed.

IMG_9569What I also remember at the birthing center was the loving support of the midwife, Chance, and the nurse who was coaching me, breathing with me and speaking words of encouragement – even when I said I couldn’t do it. The midwife shift change happened just as the meconium was discovered and my favorite midwife, Laura, was the new midwife and encouraged us to consider a transfer for Grace’s safety. So off to the hospital we went (I should mention the hospital is across the street). Chris drove, Laura was in the passengers seat (with three pairs of my underwear that Chris threw in the car in a state of panic) and I was in the back seat on all fours with my head in the car seat screaming. It’s actually fairly hilarious when I think back on it.

At the hospital I was blessed with the most amazing labor and delivery nurse – Yarka. Additionally, my blessings kept coming with an incredible Doula and friend, Lauren, AND my midwife who both stayed for the whole delivery. All three of these women, in conjunction with my husband, spoke words of love and encouragement to me, gave me strength to continue and helped decipher the less-than-caring words of the a-hole doctor who delivered Grace.

The hospital was a total blur, but I can tell you this much – while an epidural was offered and encouraged by the doctor I didn’t take it. The thought of getting a HUGE needle in my back, in conjunction with all the side effects of an epidural for both me and Grace were MUCH more terrifying than continuing on with no drugs. Plus, then I wouldn’t have gotten the self-dubbed title of badass mama. So after 2.5 hours of pushing at the hospital and no baby, but significant progress, we decided on a local anesthetic and a vacuum to assist in getting Grace out.  In case your not familiar with the vacuum, it’s not an electric suction. Instead, it’s a little suction cup that goes on the baby’s head to help guide her out. I still had to do all the pushing work.

So after 5 hours of pushing, 2 catheters, 13 hours with little-to-no food, a hospital transfer and a vacuum – Grace FINALLY came out. Granted, she was covered in poop and had a very pointy head – due to the vacuum – but she was still beautiful. All in all, I’m happy we were transferred to the hospital for several reasons – the biggest being that she would not have been able to come out without a vacuum. Also, the postpartum care I received from the nurses was incredibly helpful, as I had significant tearing and could hardly get out of bed. But, will I go to the Midwifery again for baby #2 (which will be several years down the road)? You bet!

39 Weeks Preggo

39 weeks has brought the “I’m so done with this” attitude. Truly, I have little to complain about. I don’t feel sick, I’m not too IMG_9550uncomfortable, I’m sleeping pretty well and I have zero heartburn. So I’m basically throwing myself a huge, unnecessary pity party because I feel as though I’m entitled. And while it may not be anything new – I’ve been particularly emotional, crying about everything and nothing.

A very sweet friend asked me my “secret” for my comfortable pregnancy – particularly for my apparently super-human ability to not swell up like a balloon during my last weeks. So here’s my recipe for a lovely pregnancy:

  • Good genes. Pregnancy is just poison to some women. But not me.
  • Get in shape. Before we decided to start trying to have a baby, I knew that I wanted to be in prime baby carrying condition. Not sure what that looks like – but basically, I wanted to be the healthiest version of myself I could be. So I started running and eating super healthy a year or so before we got pregnant.
  • Stay in shape. I walk every day 2 to 3 miles. As I’ve gotten bigger it’s been more on the end of 2 (mostly because I have to pee so bad by 2 miles I can hardly walk anymore). I also do prenatal yoga most days. I do not know how women do pregnancy without prenatal yoga. I found a series of 5 videos that I do religiously and to which I owe most of my comfort in pregnancy.
  • Water and more water. I drink a disgusting amount of water. AT LEAST 3 liters a day, but most days it’s closer to 4. We had an ultra sound for the first time since 18 weeks 3 weeks ago and the midwife kept commenting on the amazing amount of fluid I had for Grace and how healthy it is. Considering the amount of water I drink – she should literally be swimming.

So, that’s my advice for all you pregnant women and those who hope to become pregnant. It’s pretty basic – but sadly, many care providers during pregnancy do not encourage these things as they should. When we were seeing an OB I was NEVER asked about my diet or exercise routine. Because healthcare providers aren’t talking about these things they are failing mamas! So I’ll get off my soapbox now…

38 Weeks Preggo

[Note: this picture was taken days ago – since I’m 39 weeks tomorrow!] 38 weeks and no baby. I often get questions IMG_9540like, “Are you feeling close?” or “Do you have a feeling of when she’ll come? Like a mama’s intuition?” To the first question I say – no. I don’t feel near miserable, swollen or cranky enough to be close. To the second question I say – no. If she has sent me a personal note with the date of her arrival I would have told you. And PS – thanks for making me feel self-conscious about my “mother’s intuition.”

Pregnancy also must put a huge sign on my head that says, “please tell me your horrific birth story.” It seems like the worse the story the more anxious people are to share. WHY? The teacher of my natural birth class says an appropriate response is, “I’m sorry that happened to you. But that’s not my story.” I prefer, “that sucks. Now shut up.” And no, I haven’t actually said that to anyone.

When Chris tells people that we’re delivering at the birthing center he says he often receives the following response, “oh yeah… my wife said that she didn’t want drugs. She’ll change her mind.” To which he wants to say, “you don’t know my wife.” But really… drugs aren’t even an option at the birthing center. And even if I do need to be transferred to the hospital and have drugs – at least I tried. And that will be my birth story.

Again, to quote my wise father [and Grace’s Poppy]: opinions are like assholes – everyone has one and they all stink.

In other news, today Chris and I practiced folding up the stroller and putting the car seat into the stroller adapter. Needless to say – the directions were easier to follow than the Pack N’ Play. It took us an hour to set up the Pack N’ Play. The directions were very minimalistic and gave extremely unrealistic expectations of it’s ease to set up. Lies. If you ever need to put together a Pack N’ Play – call parents who have done it before.

We cannot wait to meet our little girl! Please join us in praying for my continued good health, for Grace to be a healthy and happy baby, and for a safe and natural birth at the midwifery.