A Million and One Reasons I Love Bedsharing

Breastfeeding symbol

Breastfeeding symbol (Photo credit: Topinambour)

Okay, maybe there aren’t really THAT many reasons that I love to bedshare with our now 5 month old ninjababy ( Five months?  How the heck did that happen?!) but when I open my eyes in the morning to see a huge gummy smile … well, my whole day starts off better.  Here’s a few reasons I love it so much…

I’m lazy.  Really, honestly and truly.  I love my sleep.  I breastfeed partly because I have no desire to get up at 2 am and stumble around my kitchen trying to make a bottle.  In the spirit of laziness, we bedshare.  Heck, I don’t even have to roll over to feed the baby, much less walk to a different room and get him out of a crib.  When the baby is in the bed, and the food is only a head turn away…well, all of us sleep better, and my older kids thank me for not being sleep deprived and grumpy in the morning.

We believe it’s the anthropological norm.  Yes, WE.  Not only is TBA totally on board with bedsharing, he actually has me grab the ninjababy early some nights, well before he’s ready to wake up and bed fed.  “From an anthropological point of view, bed-sharing is the norm and is for 90 per cent of the world’s population,” Young says. “It’s only Western industrialised societies that conceptualise separate sleeping as the norm and that’s really only in the last 200 years. Then you have to look at SIDS rates; in China, for example, they don’t have a word for SIDS in the language.”  (Dr Jeanine Young, a spokeswoman for SIDS and Kids, and nursing director of research at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Brisbane) (By the way, those who are interested in studying societal differences in child-rearing might want to check out an Online Concordia masters in public health program.)

Ninjababy is adorable.  Truly.  From sleeping like a starfish and pushing his dad and I out of the bed, to waking up to pokes in the eye and “Da da DA!” at the top of his voice.  Ninjababy learned to roll over while laying between us in an early morning dance party, and he’s totally practicing how to crawl while using his dad as the best practice mountain ever.

It helps keep my milk supply high.  I’m committed to breastfeeding until the wee one weans himself, and on demand night nursing helps make up for some of the booby time that he might be missing during a busy day when grass is WAY more interesting than hanging out with mama on the couch.

Do you co-sleep or bedshare?  Do you love it?

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#Ninjababy’s Freebirth

As I sit here with a baby two weeks new it occurs to me that I should write the story of his birth before I lose the details. I’m sure that I’ll add and edit in the coming days, so bear with me!  Whether you call it freebirth or unassisted birth I know that not everyone agrees with delivering your own baby at home without a medical professional present – but this was our educated choice and the decision we felt was best for our family. Enjoy!  Parts of it are graphic, so consider this your warning!

I had been experiencing prodromal labor for three weeks by the time October 8th rolled around. I was only three days “late” and my other children were all born closer to 42 weeks, but I was getting tired with the near-constant contractions. I was on Twitter mentioning that some of the contractions tonight actually hurt and received a joking reply about #ninjababy arriving the next day – October 9th – which happened to be John Lennon’s birthday. ( #ninjababy is a big Beatles fan – the first time I felt him move we were listening to the White Album and he reacted with kicks and wiggles every time we played the Beatles for him.) Shortly after midnight I started to time contractions, realizing they were coming pretty regularly and were getting my attention. I didn’t want to say that I was “in labor” yet or get The Man’s hopes up, so we headed to the bedroom to watch the first season of The Walking Dead on Netflix. Romantic, I know … but I think I watched every zombie movie in existence the last two weeks of my pregnancy!

By about 3am I was definitely uncomfortable. The contractions weren’t painful, but I was sure at that point this was the real thing and asked The Man if he’d like to fill the birthing tub for me. “Really?” he said, and got an excited look on his face. I knew it was too soon to get IN the tub, but I wasn’t sure how long it would take to fill and I knew we’d have to stop at least once to let the hot water refill. While he was hooking up the hose and filling the tub I got up to walk a bit, rearranged the pillows and put a chux pad down on the bed just in case. I found a semi-reclined position felt the best and let me relax the most during a contraction.

We kept watching TV, and by the tub was full ( about an hour and a half ) I was really, really ready to get in. Sitting wasn’t comfortable, I couldn’t lay on my side, and standing and walking intensified the contractions to the point that it took my breath away. The hot water felt incredible! I draped a towel over the side, leaned on it and found that stretching out kind of frog-legged was the most comfortable way to be. My belly was almost resting on the bottom of the tub, but when a contraction had ended I got on my knees. We were still watching TV and I was focusing on breathing and staying totally relaxed and loose during each contraction. The pain was SO much less in the water and I loved how easy it was for me to move and change position, but …

After maybe two hours in the tub I realized I wasn’t progressing. The contractions were getting stronger, but further apart — from 4 minutes when I got in to nearly 10 minutes apart. I didn’t want to get out, but I knew that’s what I had to do to get things going again. The Man woke up when I got out of the tub ( I told him to take a nap while he could) and I wrapped up in his bathrobe. While my fantastic partner bailed water from the tub so he’d have room to top it off with hot for me, I walked. I labored on the toilet, leaned against the sink, made a trip to the kitchen for a cold drink. Contractions ramped up fast, and they hurt. I was having a hard time relaxing and breathing and just wanted to get back in the water!

I waddled back into the bedroom, determined to stay out of the pool until I couldn’t take it anymore. I got as comfortable as I could in bed and attempted to nap, and almost managed to doze off between contractions. I had labored nearly 12 hours at this point and had been awake more than a day, and I was getting tired. I sat there, looking at the gently steaming water – incense and candles burning – and realized this was as close to a perfect birth environment as I was going to get. I also realized that I was to the point that I had to close my eyes to focus through each contraction and they were coming faster. I was headed back into the tub!

I asked The Man to go start the dryer ( I had towels in there for after the birth) and asked him to make me my labor martini.  He was only gone ten minutes or so, but by the time he came back into the bedroom everything was getting moving.  I was having to vocalize through the contractions at this point, laying flat in the tub during a contraction and then moving back to my knees between.  I didn’t want to open my eyes, and it took concentration to stay very relaxed and open and just let the pain go.  My legs started to shake, and I said “Oh – this is transition.  It’s going to really suck for the next twenty minutes or so, but it’s almost over now.”  He came to the foot of the bed and held my hand during contractions, but I found that I didn’t want to squeeze – making a fist made everything else tight as well – but just holding his hands was enough.  I remember talking to the baby, saying things like “c’mon, then — come on down” and “not much longer.”  I was way  more aware of what was going on than I thought I would be, and was giving a running commentary of what was happening.  I never felt the urge to push – my body just did it all on its own.  After three very fast, hard, contractions I could feel his head coming through my cervix and said “Oh! I feel his head!” followed almost immediately by a pop and my announcing “and….my water just broke.” I let go with one hand and told The Man I wanted to check and see where the baby was – he couldn’t have been more than three inches away!  Four pushes and he was out – the first one had him crowning, and I was able to reach down for the first time ever and FEEL my babies head.  The second push and his head was out — I moved off my knees back on to the seat in the pool so that he could see what was happening as well, and told him that the next contraction would free him to the shoulders, then another and he should be free so be ready to catch.  I was almost laughing saying “It’s his head! It’s his head!”  I probably sounded like a nutter!  The next contraction came very fast and hard and I felt his shoulder and one arm pop free, then the other.  There was a pause that felt like forever between that and the next contraction, but in reality probably only lasted 45 seconds or so.  The Man reached into the pool, ready to catch … my body pushed, and the #ninjababy was free.  He lifted him out of the water, said “Oh my GOD!” and handed him to me, then ran off for towels.  I unwrapped the cord from around his neck, held him to my chest and rubbed his back … he gurgled twice, then opened his eyes and took a deep breath.  The cord had already stopped pulsing by then, and I was afraid the water was getting too cold in the pool, so as soon as the towels were there we wrapped him.  The man reached over my shoulder to tie and cut the cord, and #ninjababy looked up at him with these wide eyes and grabbed his wrist with his little hand.  As soon as he was free dad got some great skin to skin time while I was delivering the placenta.

I hadn’t intended originally to deliver the placenta in the tub, but I was having horrific afterpains and it was right there … so out it came, along with a clot the size of my fist.  I stood up, kind of shaky, and wrapped a chux around me to head into the bathroom to clean up, then back to bed.  I was bleeding more than I felt comfortable with, and I knew I hadn’t torn at all, so I took two doses of HemHalt while nursing the newbie — passed one more large clot and a gush that saturated the chux I was lying on and then the bleeding seemed to almost completely stop.  Funny side note, and probably TMI, but about an hour later I headed to the bathroom to pee and felt something dangling …. only to reach in and find the amniotic sac right there, nearly completely intact, and another large clot.  I remember thinking it odd, but my bleeding had nearly stopped at that point and I was tired.

We headed to bed, the three of us, and took a lovely nap while the #ninjababy nursed.  Well … the boys napped!  I laid there staring at the beautiful new baby that I had just delivered – on my own – and almost in the same spot that he was conceived.  It was both surreal and the most normal experience ever.

INTRODUCING:

Leonidas Danger Perry 9 pounds 7 ounces and 21′ long with a 12.5 inch head!

Born at 1:53 pm – in the water at home

Update

Yes, if you were wondering — I AM still pregnant.  I’ll be 39 weeks tomorrow, and though all my other babies have been 41+ I’ve always had an idea that #ninjababy may arrive early.  I have to say, I’m ready when he is.  Though I’m being patient, and I know he’ll come when he’s ready, the last two weeks have been uncomfortable!

I developed SPD ( symphysis pubis dysfunction ) which is something that I hadn’t had to deal with in my previous pregnancies, and a little over a week ago I started prodromal labor.  I’ve had Braxton-Hicks contractions every 3-7 minutes for 14-16 hours a day for nearly nine days now.  I’m tired, it’s hard to find even a reasonably comfortably position to sleep in, and the last day or so my back has ached like you wouldn’t believe ( well, maybe you would? )

Even with all that has gone on, and the incredibly stressful pregnancy we’ve experienced, I’m at peace.  I know that when #ninjababy is ready, he will appear.  I have everything I need to welcome him home.  The house isn’t as clean as I’d like, but I don’t think he’ll notice…and if I have to wait three more weeks?  Well, I know it will be worth it 🙂

It’s Going to Be Okay.

I know that I’ve seemed down lately.  Blame it on wildly changing pregnancy hormones, or the crazy that has invaded my life recently.  I know that it’s hard when you just can’t fix what’s broken.  I’m trying very hard to focus on what I CAN fix and change right now instead of the flood of things that are going on around me that I just CANNOT fix or change.  One day at a time, sometimes one breath at a time, and I’m getting through.  It will be okay.  It will all work out.  I must have faith.

Several people have messaged me recently asking if we need/want anything for the arrival of the #ninjababy.  Honestly, there isn’t much we “need” but there are things that it would be nice to have.  After three kids I’ve pretty much realized that all you “need” is some cloth diapers, a car seat, and some clothes.  I had set up an amazon.com baby registry a while back, mostly to get the 10% discount later on for ourselves, but I attached the link to the list at the bottom of this note.

Honestly, the only thing we truly NEED at this point is a place for the #ninjababy to sleep when he isn’t in bed with us.  I have my heart set on a baby hammock, but they’re expensive and I can only find the one I like in Australia.  @juliecottle from Natural Transitions sells them, and I love supporting my Twitter moms when I can instead of some nameless corporation.  It’s called the Happy Hangup, and it is on the list below.  Because it’s so pricey ( sad face ) I had actually started a donation fund a while back to try to get some help with it…the hammock, stand and cushion end up being less than a traditional crib price wise, but it’s still a chunk of change.  I like the hammock because of its motion, and the fact that it’s easily portable for travel or just switching rooms…and because I guess I’m now shameless, here’s the link to the FundRazr for the baby’s bed: Ninjababy Hammock

Again, I’m not asking for anyone to buy anything – this is for those people who had asked, and my fingers have been slow in sending the same message with the same information over and over.

Here’s the link to the Amazon list, carefully arranged into “wants” and “needs.”  There’s also some fun stuff on there  (we don’t “need” an oriental styled gliding bassinet, but thought it would be fun for a “ninjababy” to have).  We’re a babywearing, clothdiapering, cosleeping crunchy family … but I still squee over the cute factor of some of this stuff.  Hey, I’m only human!  We may be getting a hand me down car seat, but the rest of it is here.

In addition to all this, as much of the profit from my Etsy shop as I can save is also going to buy things for the arrival of the #ninjababy.  Minus shipping and material fees, every time you buy a dryer ball you add to my “baby needs” fund.  If you want to go check out ( cough cough *buy* ) some wooly goodness, the link to the Etsy store is here AND  I’ll have a perma-coupon for free shipping (domestic OR international) if you use ninjababy at checkout.

I think that’s everything?  I’ve added a contact me page if anyone needs more information, and I’m always happy to take hand me downs for clothing and clothdiapers.   ( I’ll even pay your shipping!)

I Finally Get It: Nobody Really Cares

Tonight I was texting with a woman I call my friend ( though I’ve never met her in real life) in an attempt to talk through some of the things that have been bothering me, and hopefully feel better. The plan backfired horribly, and I ended the conversation feeling worse than I had when it begun. In the middle of it, however, I came to an epiphany:

Nobody Really Cares.

That seems to be the root of most of my stress and sadness at the moment. Pay attention, now — NOBODY really cares. This weighs on me, more than I realized until I started to talk about it.

Now, I have to add a disclaimer. I have some friends on Twitter that have gone above and beyond what I would expect any stranger to do for another. They have helped me out of jams, encouraged my home based business, and sent me boxes of hand me downs and diapers for the arrival of the the #ninjababy. These people make me cry, and give me hope for humanity. I’ve NEVER met any of them in person, and yet they give of their time and resources without being asked and expecting nothing in return. To these people (you know who you are) I say THANK YOU, and mean it from the bottom of my heart. You have kept me going.

Here in my real world, however, I feel like some lone tree on an island. There is so much drama and chaos going on in my life, and no one can be bothered to so much as send an email or text message to make sure that I’m still breathing.

I’m going to have a son in October, I’m going to bring another human being onto this planet, and I don’t think my family and “friends” even know when my due date is, or what we’ve chosen for his name, or anything pertaining to our plan for birth. No one really cares. No one has called to see how I’m feeling. No one asks if there is anything I need, or want. I’m fairly sure that half of them don’t even know how far along I am. I didn’t expect a baby shower, but maybe the offer of a casserole for the freezer, or some acknowledgement that a major life changing event is about to happen? I’ve given up my dreams of having a doula here, or a professional to do birth shots for me. I can’t do it alone, and nobody else really cares.

I’ve stopped doing pregnancy photos and weekly updates. I’ve given up the idea of a belly cast or henna or lovely maternity shots. I’m the only one who seems to care about any of that. My heart is breaking at the thought of not getting the pictures I had envisioned at the lovely waterfalls not far away…but nobody really cares.

I don’t think TBA has felt his son kick more than twice in the last seven months. Every time I mention there is a hand or knee or elbow poking around, or try to slide his hand onto my stomach to feel the rolls and somersaults as we lie in bed at night, he doesn’t really care. I’m hurt by this, I don’t understand it. How could you NOT want to bond with your child? Even if you aren’t really “into” it, do it to humor me… take two seconds, let the #ninjababy kick your hand, smile and make me happy.

I’m excited for the new arrival, and yet every time I try to talk about anything pertaining to #ninjababy with anyone in real life…well, they don’t care. I shouldn’t be made to feel guilty for being excited or wanting to buy little diapers or look at onesies in a store. I feel rushed if I try to stop and price car seats, or look at a swing or bouncer. Nobody else really cares. I get the impression, though, as if the somber “meh” mood that everyone else has should somehow filter it’s way into me. NO! I CARE. Just because this isn’t the first baby, or the first boy, or the first grandchild does not mean that he is somehow less deserving than my other children!

Its been three weeks now that we’ve been car-less. Three weeks since the accident in Philadelphia. I have friends that live less than a mile from here, that are ON my Facebook page, that follow me on Twitter, that had NO IDEA we didn’t have a car. They didn’t realize that we’ve been walking everywhere for the last three weeks. I have family and other relatives that are more than well equipped financially to have helped us rent a car, or at least offered to chip in and buy us a month’s bus pass. Nobody really cares. Nobody cares that I’m walking everywhere that a bus can’t take me, or that its been in the high 90’s with heat indexes in the 100’s. Nobody cares that after a few blocks I’m having Braxton-Hicks that are strong enough to take my breath away and force me to sit. Nobody cares that by the time we get home from one of these trips my legs are swollen beyond belief and my back aches so badly it hurts to sit. Nobody cares that I can’t seem to keep weight on with this pregnancy, and that between stress and the miles of walking I’m exactly * two * pounds above my pre-pregnancy weight at 28 weeks. Nobody has even bothered to ask if there was something they could do, or something to help with.

All these things hurt my heart. There are other stresses in my life, of course, and things that need to be worked on. What is tearing me up is that fact that I’m seemingly alone in all this. I’ve always believed that anything can be faced and overcome with support and the love of friends and family. But now I finally get it.

Nobody really cares.

(Nearly) Wordless Wednesday

Lil' Joey with Umbilical Snap Down

Back of the Lil' Joey

 

Inside the Lil Joey

 

I can’t wait until NinjaBaby is here and we can start to use these!  They’re SO tiny 🙂  Lil’ Joey’s are made by Rumparooz and I bought mine at Diaper Junction.

Trying My Hand at This Crafty Thing Again

Once upon a time, not so very long ago, I used to do things that were crafty.  Shocking, I know!  In fact, I made SO much crafty stuff that I had a shop on Etsy and one on Artfire, and I made a nice little bit of extra spending money.  Not enough to travel to Hawaii, you see, but enough so that “I” had a little mad money once in a while.  Then things happened, and I got busy, and had NO time for myself and my stores fell by the wayside ( insert sympathetic mom sigh here.)

Now I find myself with not a lot of extra time, but enough that I can do things for myself on a pretty regular basis.  I also find that with the expectation of Ninjababy’s arrival in October I’m going slightly crazy with trying to figure out how I’m going to afford! all! this! stuff! that I didn’t think I’d have to buy again.  I have some wonderful friends that are passing on things to me, but there are some big items ( like a car seat *cough cough*) that I know we’ll have to swing on our own.  As a result, I’ve become crafty again.

I re-opened my shops on Etsy and Artfire, and crossed my fingers.  I’ve had a few sales lately, mostly thanks to well meaning friends on the Twitter, but  really need more.  I have no illusions of somehow making a living as a stay at home mom, crafting organic dryer balls (though that would be fantastic!) but if I could somehow manage enough to buy the newbie a Happy Hangup I’d be incredibly grateful.

So, cats and kittens, here’s the link to my shop on Etsy.  I have everything on sale right now, and a special 10% off to anyone who uses the code Twitter10.  Wanna help a mom out?  I promise you won’t be disappointed!  The organic and naturally dyed wool dryer balls are to DYE for ( hee hee.)  I have some beeswax up too, and I’m waiting til it cools off just a bit to start making solid lotions and lip balms again … but I always take special orders, so message me if you want some now!

Look at those beautiful colors!

 

Organic Dryer Balls, Solid Wool!

Organic Dryer Balls, Solid Wool!

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