Wednesday, September 22, 2010

It's another boy :(

So, after nearly a year of using Shettles method, of hoping and trying for a girl, we find ourselves with another boy.  The ultrasound left no doubt.  The scrotum and penis were painfully obvious about 5 minutes into the ultrasound, and I felt really sorry for the tech, because it was awkwardly silent after that.  We'd been chatting before, but once the gender was revealed, I just wanted to go home and cry.  He's very healthy, but he's another son.

I did cry... a lot...and I'm still struggling to recreate my vision of my family.  I struggled to conform to my husband's desire for only two children, and now I have to struggle to expand it to three again.  As much as I like the idea of having so many resources available for two kids, I just can't cope with the idea of never having a daughter.  I loved my relationship with my mother, and knowing that I'll never experience the other end of that relationship is too much to bear.  It's also hard knowing that all my other siblings who have kids have at least one girl.  I'm the only one left out.

I'nm having a hard time understanding why I'm taking this so hard.  I was a tomboy growing up, who hated dresses.  I don't like pink, princess parties, Hannah Montana, lace or ruffles.  I like climbing in trees, dinosaurs, hiking, fishing, and camping.  I like playing rough and occasionally getting dirty.  Don't I sound like the ideal boy mom?

Yet it was devastating to hear that I'm carrying another boy.  Being told that I was having another son was earth shaking.  I cried until my head ached and my face hurt.  My contacts were clouded from all the salt by the end of the day.  I hated feeling that way.  I wanted to be one of those women who genuinely didn't care one way or the other, so long as the baby was healthy.  I would have given anything to make myself be happy about the baby.  Instead, I felt like my world came crashing down.  It was awful thinking about all the women who can't have babies of their own, ones who have babies who have horrible problems, or the mothers of babies who have died.  They would kill to trade places with me, and yet I felt about as bad as I could possibly feel about my situation.  Being told to think about these women is also pretty pointless.  It's like telling someone whose husband left them, "Think of all the widows.  They'd rather be in your shoes."  Or, "At least you didn't have any kids together."  It's not helpful.  Yes, there are people who are worse off.  There always are, no matter what your situation is.  That doesn't mean you shouldn't be thankful for what you have, it just means that thinking about how much worse it could be does nothing for this depression.  I never wanted to feel this way.  No one in their right mind does.  Gender Disappointment is an ugly, black thing to experience, and most people don't understand it, or don't want to.

The online community I've found on In-Gender has helped me a lot.  It's beneficial to know that I'm not alone in these taboo feelings and thoughts.  It's even inspired me to write them down.  I have a few volunteers to contribute to my short stories about Gender Disappointment.  I want to compile them into a book and use it to show other GD sufferers how normal their feelings are.  I want to show them the wide range of reactions, feelings and causes related to GD, and that they are not alone.

I am healing, but the process is slow.  I want to be completely over this by the time my baby boy is born.  He deserves a mommy who love and adores him no matter what, and that's where I aim to be by mid February.  I love my first son, and I know that my second will be just as precious to me.  My son will have a brother, a relationship that he'll grow to treasure.

I also wonder if this isn't fate.  I've always wanted a larger family, and had to be convinced that two was a good number.  I was worried about having grandchildren at all with only two kids.  I thought about how hard it would be to relate to a girly girl, and I know that girls with older brothers are more likely to end up tomboys.  Perhaps this was the only way (besides twins) that my husband would accept having a bigger family.  Perhaps this is the universe's way of giving me what I wanted, just not in the way I pictured.  I DO know that we'll be using high-tech methods to make sure the next one's definitely a girl, since three is our absolute max number of children (once again, unless we get twins.)  We'll have to see what the next few years offer for us.  In the meantime, the clouds are clearing from my GD depression, and everything looks different...but it's really not bad.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

17 I that far along already?

Yep, 17 weeks today.  My midwife decided I needed to do something about my all-day "morning" sickness.  She's been on my about hydration, since every time I come in for I visit I test as dehydrated on the urine dipstick.  So, she put me on a 90 oz hydration regimen that's been really difficult to keep up.  I'm just not used to drinking all that liquid everyday.  More than that, it was 30 oz of water, 30 oz of herbal pregnancy tea (which tasted all right,) and 30 oz of coconut water, a substance I'd never tried before.  She said it was sweet, and that it was "nature's Gatorade," full of electrolytes and other good stuff.  So I went out and bought a ton of it, expensive as it was, only to gag on the first sip.  Ugh, it was awful!  I spent an hour struggling to keep it down.  Later it occurred to me, coconut water tastes like semen!  No wonder I can't stomach more than a sip of it.  Anyway, my midwife said I could drink the flavored coconut water, which has added sugar and fruit puree (and twice the calories) but tastes like juice, so I've been on that.

I have to say, I've been feeling much better.  I still get carsick, and threw up a few days ago, so I'm not totally over it, but it's a world different than the morning dry-heaving-in-the-toilet-for-20-minutes routine I had down for the last few weeks.

I've been feeling a lot more flutters and even a few first kicks, so the baby is becoming more and more real to me.  It's so weird, but most mornings I wake up having forgotten that I'm pregnant.  It's just not as monumental as it  was the first time around.  I'm trying to enjoy it, especially since it will be my last pregnancy if I'm carrying a girl, but it's hard.  This baby's caused me a lot more nausea, fatigue and overall feeling-crappiness than my son did.

I'll probably feel better after I know the gender, too.  for better or for worse, I need to just get it over with and find out.  At week 14 I took an at-home urine gender test.  It's called Best Baby Gender Test, and it boasts 80% accuracy, with more false boy results than false girl results.  I added the little packet, and got an immediate girl result!  I know it's not a good idea to raise my hopes on something like that, but I couldn't help it.  I've also been hearing the same Old Wives' Tale "sick all day means a girl" from everyone and their mom.  I'm excited and really scared to find out, but I'll be finding out the gender in about a week and a half.

In the meantime, my cravings have changed dramatically.  Tuna, that nefarious food that made me vomit with my last pregnancy, is at the top of my craving list.  My poor husband is terrified of me eating too much and endangering the baby's developing brain, and I don't blame him.  It's all I've wanted these past few days.  Ooh, and deviled eggs.  Yum!  What's wrong with me?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Back from my hiatus

I know that my blog is just for fun, and I shouldn't beat myself up over not posting, but I feel pretty worthless lately.  I don't feel like doing anything but sleeping and eating and laying on the couch.  The eating this is in question, too.  Most of the time, I feel queasy, and eating makes me feel only marginally better if I can find something that doesn't sound disgusting.

Cravings in the past four weeks have included Spam, corned beef hash, pepper bacon, buttery hash browns, potato salad, bread, french onion soup, nectarines, microwave asian noodles, Spaghetti-O's, sharp cheddar, baked potatoes, and table salt.  Yes, just granulated salt in my hand.  I didn't indulge that one, or the awful Spam craving...but I thought about it.

In week 8 of my pregnancy, and this past 4th of July weekend, I went back to San Diego to visit my family.  I have to say, it was one of my better family visits.  I was able to see and spend time with every member of my sizable family, the weather could not have been better at 67 degrees, and the family drama was remarkably low.  On the other hand, the drive there and back were Road Trip From Hell I & II.

It all started on Friday when my husband got off work early so that we could beat the traffic.  We packed up, and were ready to go before everyone else got on the road, and my poor hubby had diarrhea.  It took him a few hours before he was sure he'd be okay to drive, and by then it was 5 pm, and everyone we had wanted to beat to the freeway was there with us.  Sigh.  So then my son sat in the back complaining for 3 hours that his stomach hurt.  I figured it was because I really couldn't get him to eat much all day.  Wrong!  At the restaurant in Yuma, my son threw up on the booth.  We cleaned him up, and he felt better.  Then we got back on the road and I felt incredibly sick and nauseous the rest of the way.  I even ended up dry heaving in the back seat.  It was bad.

No one was sick on the way back, but the construction on the freeway in Yuma turned our 6 hour drive into an 8 hour one.  Suffice it to say, I informed my family that I would not be visiting them again until the construction in Yuma was finished.

I'm 12 weeks pregnant today.  I saw my baby on ultrasound on Tuesday, and everything looks good so far.  I saw a little brain, waving arms and legs, and a beating heart.  It was wonderful!  It's funny, but it ever really sinks in that there is a living being inside me (despite the nausea, fatigue and expanding waist)  until I see it on screen.

I'm freaking out now that this baby may be a boy.  I've always known it was a possibility, but having the first ultrasound and knowing that the gender scan is around the corner is making me a little crazy.  I want a little girl so badly that I really don't know how I'll react to an "It's a boy!" announcement.  It's not just the idea of having two boys that's awful. It's never having a daughter that I can't stand.  I know my dear husband only wants two, and it'll be a huge fight and a strain on our marriage if I tell him I can't have just to boys. Then we start this all over again with another pregnancy, and I could end up with 3 boys.

Besides, I was just beginning to be sold on the idea f only having two.  I'd always wanted 4, but my hubby talked up the advantages of only having two so much, that it sounds really appealing.  Only two college funds, not having to buy a huge car, easily arranged family vacations, and more resources for the kids overall sound great.  Now I don't think I can handle only having two if I can't have my one of each.

Guess I have 6 more weeks to worry about it.

Here's my 11 week belly shot.  I'll post my 12 week one later.  And yes, I'm holding in my tummy as much as I can.  Only a 2.8 lb weight gain so far, though!

Friday, June 25, 2010

7 weeks~ Sleeping for Two

I refuse to buy into the "eating for two mentality."  I think that's an easy way to balloon in early pregnancy, and an excuse that a lot of women, who have been watching their weight their entire lives, use to eat whatever they want in massive quantities.  I understand feeling more hungry, and I also understand that food (that you're craving, not having an aversion to) tastes so much better while pregnant.  It's also important to realize that the embryo only needs about 300 calories a day.  Today, my baby is about the size of a blueberry.  So yes, my baby may need some more salad, or a quarter of a sandwich.  My baby does not need a pint of Ben & Jerry's Phish Food (though you wouldn't know that from the cravings I'm having!)

No, I'm eating for one.  I'm eating for one extremely picky little being who has taken over my body and is controlling it through nausea, food aversions, cravings and fatigue.  This little being demanded a ham sandwich today.  Yes, a ham sandwich, of all things.  I specifically wanted the ham stack sandwich that I ate all the time while I worked at Marie Callendar's.  So I called them to place an order for pick up, and of course, they discontinued this fabulous sandwich just a few months ago.  Sigh.  So I settled on Cheba Hut, which is nearby, and very tasty.  Now, I understand that Cheba Hut proudly employs stoners.  The 420's and pot leaves painted all over the interior (as well as the names of the sandwiches, like Chronic, Panama Red and Griefo) should tip off anyone who was not in the know before walking through the doors.  So knowing that the employees were, in all likelihood, working here because they could come to work high did not bother me at all.  What pissed me off was how slowly they moved making my sandwich.  I was salivating and staring at my sandwich on the assembly line like a starving lunatic.  By the time it was done toasting and they asked me what I wanted on it, everyone behind the counter was giving me funny looks.  The girl shoved the sandwich at me to get me out of there as fast as possible.  But oh, it was heavenly!  The salty delicacy, ham with bacon on white with extra mayo and a pickle, was so good that I ate it in the tiniest bites possible, savoring it.  After 10 minutes I'd only eaten half of my 8 inch sandwich, but I was full and the craving was satisfied.  I know, my sandwich probably sounds gross to you, and I think it might've sounded icky to me a month or so ago, but that's how a craving works.  It's a desperate need, like an addiction.  I think the key to satisfying cravings without getting huge is to eat them slowly, in small portions.  Oh, and satisfy healthy cravings with wild abandon.  Want fruit and salad?  Eat them to your heart's content and don't worry about the portions.  Craving Ben & Jerry's?  Try a quarter cup and then see how you feel.  I managed to make a pint of Phish Food last a week.

So no, not eating for two.  But I am most definitely sleeping and resting for two.  I just can't get enough time in bed and on the couch.  It's getting bad.  The laundry, dishes, and errands are piling up and I feel like I'm getting ill from the lack of energy.  I know that keeping up on my workouts is making this particular symptom worse, but I know that laying around and sleeping all the time, even if that was an option, is only going to make this worse.  So I'm trying to grit my teeth and get through it, and just make it to bed as early as possible every night.  Except for Wednesday and Thursdays.  So You Think You Can Dance is on, and exhaustion be damned, I'm going to watch!

I wanted to post a belly shot for this week, but there's really no point since there's been no change yet.  In fact, I've lost half a pound so far in this pregnancy.  My bloodwork came back from my midwife, and she says that I'm one of the healthiest clients, according to my labs, that she's ever seen.  Yay me!  I'm glad to know that all this effort and working on my nutrition hasn't been for nothing.  We'll see how those numbers change with all these unhealthy cravings, but hopefully they'll stay good.

In fact, the only number she said was a little off was the salt in my blood.  That was low, which is good. But it really got me to thinking about something my father in law said to me.  He honestly thinks that I have some disorder that prevents me from properly absorbing salt like a normal person.  I'm the butt of my husband's family's jokes for the way I dump salt on everything set before me, and I was even given my own personal salt shaker last Christmas at dinner, so that there would be a shaker for everyone else to pass around.  My father-in-law has observed my eating habits for almost 10 years now, and he's an MD. After these bloodwork results, I'm pretty inclined to believe him.  I also know that I tend to get light-headed if I cut the salt in my diet even to levels considered high for normal people.  So maybe I'll have to investigate this.  I think it's hereditary, if there is something, because all the women in my mom's lineage have low blood pressure (like me) and eat tons of salt.

Man, I wrote a novel this week!  Anyway, here's a picture of what my baby should look like by now.  It's looking more like a baby than a seahorse, finally!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Chalk this one up to "Every pregnancy is different"

I can't believe it.   My food aversions have begun for this pregnancy.  And the winner is...chicken!  Yes, innocuous chicken.  Last time it was eggs and fish, and no one seemed surprised that the smell of those two foods made me gag.  But chicken?  Boneless, skinless chicken breasts have become a staple in our house, and we have them at least once a week.  But the idea of chicken, raw or cooked, is seriously grossing me out now.

This is so lame.  I've been really trying to eat better, and this baby really isn't interested in fruits or veggies, can't stand to be around lean chicken, and wants starches, sweets and greasy salted meats.  Ugh!

On the other hand, so far eggs and seafood haven't been an issue thus far.  I'm not going to jinx it and assume that I won't have any problems with those later on, but I have to say I've actually been craving shrimp and omelettes recently.  I had a three-egg omelette at brunch, and it really hit the spot.  Yum!

So, we'll have to see how this one goes.  I'm going to try really hard to only indulge one unhealthy craving a day.  Today wasn't great.  I had bacon and half a Sprinkles chocolate cupcake.  Tomorrow will be better though.  I'm resolved to make it so!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Week 6....Fatigue, cravings, and fatigue

I'm now 6 weeks pregnant with kid #2.  Did I mention that I was feeling fatigued last week?  I was kidding.  I'm dying this week.  My day revolves around nap time.  I pretty much spend the afternoon in a post-nap haze, just waiting for dinner and bedtime.  I'm not always ready-to-sleep tired, but I'm almost always wanting-to-lay-still-on-the-couch-and-not-move tired.

I feel bad for my son.  He's getting a lot more TV time than normal, and mommy is being really lame and asking him to entertain himself quite a bit more than normal.  In fact, I'm letting some things slide.  He plays in the bathroom sink, "washing his hands" for 20 minutes at a time.  I know he's just playing in the water.  But tired me lets it go, figuring that it's easier to take 2 minutes to mop water off the floor than entertain him for 20.  His birthday is around the corner, and I'm thinking seriously about getting him the Spanish DVD's of Muzzy on eBay (the only place where they're reasonably priced!)  That way he can be learning a language while watching TV and I don't have to feel so guilty about being a slug and letting him be a couch potato for the summer.

I've decided to post belly shots this pregnancy.  I kind of regret not doing it last time, but I admit it's easier to show your friends pictures of your belly when you've lost 25 lbs.  Here's my 6 week shot

I have not gained any weight so far this pregnancy, so this will be my baseline photo.  Hopefully, I'll be able to keep the weight down this time, especially since i have no intentions of putting CrossFit on hold anytime soon.  It's really hard to motivate myself to go to the gym when I'm really tired, but I'm trying to keep in mind that I'm doing this to keep myself healthy, avoid gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, spider veins, and excessive weight gain.  I also want the shorter, easier labor that active, fitter pregnancies usually guarantee.

One thing I miss from my previous pregnancy is the cravings.  I used to crave fruit, fruit, and more fruit (and nothing else) for breakfast.  I ate mostly fruits and veggies through the first trimester, and I felt like someone had pulled my sweet tooth.  Dessert just sounded yucky to me.  But this pregnancy?  Nope!  A sausage, a sausage, my kingdom for a sausage!  I want a crispy, greasy, flavorful sausage and soft, fragrant fresh white bread.  Oh, and dessert.  Yes, I want cookies, cake, chocolate and whipped cream.  Fruit is still good, and I force myself to eat at least one, if not two, really healthy meals a day.  But man, I really want dessert!  And a bratwurst.  Maybe together?

I know better than to think that just because my cravings are different that this baby will necessarily be a girl, but I'm hoping it's a good sign.  I read my tarot today, asking for the truth no matter what it was, of my baby's gender.  The card I picked was the two of swords, upside down.  Yikes, right?  Well, the picture on the card was a blindfolded woman with her back to me.  What does that mean?  Does that mean my daughter will come to me, but this is not the family she wants?  Or that she's coming in not knowing what she's in for here?  Or, since it was upside down, and therefore opposite, and I getting a daughter who knows what this family is about and is coming with eyes wide open?  I have no idea.  I'll be seeing my friend, Sienna, in a few days, and I'll ask for her to read my tarot and tell me what she thinks.

Hopefully this is my girl!  I hope, I hope!

Friday, June 11, 2010

It's official.

I'm pregnant.  Yep, finally pregnant.  Today is the day my period was due, making me 4 weeks along.  It's so exciting!

I took my first pregnancy test at about 7 and a half days post-ovulation, and the line on the test was so faint that I couldn't have possibly assumed that test was conclusive.  I thought it might have been a trick of the light, or that I was seeing something that wasn't really there.  In fact, I had to hold it up to the light and change the angle back and forth before I saw a thin, pinkish shadow.  Either way, I took another test the next morning that was a conclusive, if faint (but darker than the last) positive result.  It was kind of hard knowing that it was way too early to shout my joy to the world.  Since I was in vacation in San Diego with my family, it was really hard not to share with my sisters and mom, especially.

My husband and I have agreed no to tell everyone until I'm 5 weeks along, or one week late for my period.  That way, if it's another chemical pregnancy/spontaneous abortion, I don't have to deal with calling everyone and telling them it was a false alarm, while dealing with my own emotions.

My starting pregnancy weight is 143.  Not too bad!  I'm pretty proud of myself that I was able to drop all my baby weight plus 25 lbs.  I've also gained a much higher level of fitness that I intend to maintain throughout this pregnancy.  I'll do CrossFit as much as I can, at least through the first and second trimesters, and I intend to do prenatal yoga and belly dance the entire time.  I vow that I will end up bouncing back from this pregnancy a HELL of a lot faster than last time.


Everything above that line was written last week.  I just didn't want to post anything before my official announcement.

Since then, I've seen my midwife, Shell Walker.  She is awesome!  She's pagan and understands my desires for a natural birth with ritual and cleansing as part of the process.  She said I can smudge the room and have as many people (or as few) as I want in the room or in the living room area.

Oh, and the birth center looks amazing.  I'll admit, it's not the gorgeous villa that the previous birth center site was, but that didn't work out and I need to look forward, rather than glancing backwards at what could have been.  Anyhow, the new center is homey and cozy, and I'm sure it will be a very comforting environment while laboring.  I can have my waterbirth, if I want, and there is a major hospital about 2 minutes away if anything scary happens.

I'm ecstatic to be pregnant, but in some ways I'm still in shock and disbelief.  I was actually disappointed that my midwife couldn't feel my uterus at my 5 week appointment.  I mean, I have the positive pregnancy tests, but I guess I'll be in denial until I see an ultrasound or hear a heartbeat.  Now that I think about it, I was in denial with my son, too.  I was almost expecting them to find nothing at that 8 week ultrasound, and to tell me I actually wasn't pregnant after all.  That's probably how this pregnancy will play out too.

I haven't had any nausea or weight gain, but it's still so early that I'm not counting my chickens just yet.  I have had the same implantation/uterine expansion cramping that I did with my first pregnancy, although those just feel like period cramps.  Oh, and no bleeding or spotting, so I guess that's good.  I am completely exhausted though.  The fatigue hit me a lot harder and earlier this time around.  Or maybe it's just that at this point in my pregnancy last time, my new husband and I were galavanting around Ireland for our honeymoon.  That could be it.

I just really want some more confirmation that I'm pregnant.  I'll be going in for bloodwork on Monday morning to get a full metabolic and gynecologic panel, just to make sure everything's copacetic between the pregnancy and my intense workouts.

My emotions are different this time around.  I'm excited, but it doesn't consume my every thought.  I'm not rushing out to buy maternity clothes (like I did the day I found out I was pregnant last time!) and I don't have that weird, overriding fear that the pregnancy would cease to be if I concentrated on anything else.  I know, I know, that was a totally crazy thing to be convinced of.  I cannot explain the strange logic of the pregnant mind.

So the information is out there for the world to see now.  I am pregnant.  Thank goddess, finally pregnant!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Getting Excited

I don't want to jinx it, but I'm pretty excited for this month.  I'm ovulating on the 20th, and so far, everything is going according to plans.  It actually doesn't feel like it's been a year, but we have, indeed, been trying for a year now.  I'm so happy to have finally figured ot what was going on with my body, that I guess I'm almost expecting it to happen this time.

My 31st birthday is coming up, too.  I was really hoping everything could work out so that I could take my pregnancy test on the morning of my birthday, but that will only be 7 days post-ovulation, and therefore highly unlikely to come up positive, even if I was pregnant.  On the other hand, this might be a blessing in disguise.  If I end up not getting pregnant this month, I don't need to start my birthday out with a big, fat negative staring at me.

I read my cards last week.  I asked just a general question about my future baby, and the Reincarnation card came up, in my Druid Tarot deck.  It got me to thinking, this baby could be someone from my past, or my husband's.  Could one of our grandfathers be ready to come back already?  They've only been gone a few years, but they would be welcome in our home.  All of them were wonderful men.  I just wonder how they'll feel about coming back with a uterus?  Haha....

Or, perhaps this little soul is someone who was important to me in a past life, and is coming to reunite with me.  A past sibling, mother, father, friend or lover?  Anything's possible.

It's hard not to get excited about meeting someone who will be so important in your life.  After all, one's children should be some of the most prominent figures in one's life.  I thought about it a lot with my son. I wondered how we would relate.  What tensions would exist in our relationship?  What would we have in common?  He's not even 3, so I don't know the answers to these questions yet.  Funny, but I thought about them more while he was living inside of me than I do now, and I'm closer to knowing the outcome.  I wonder why that is?

Either way, I think I need to plan something fun on the day I test, so that I can't dwell on it if I'm not knocked up this month.  I don't know why this month seems so urgent.  Maybe because I think having an Aquarius would be awesome?  Or maybe because giving birth in late January/early February would give me some cool spring weather to get back in shape before summertime, and only the early part of my pregnancy would be in the hellish heat?  I need to calm down.   It would be just as cool to have a Pisces, and one month later wouldn't make a whole lot of difference, in the scheme of things.  Yeah, that's what I have to tell myself.  :)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Check-in after a long hiatus

It's certainly been awhile since my last post, and life has been getting in the way of writing.  My son is involved in swim classes that clash with dinnertime, my father-in-law moved to Tucson which takes up some our weekend time (happily so!) and I've finally become a full-time Crossfit gym member, so that I can become as buff as my hubby.  Okay, maybe I'll just be able to keep up with him, but that's good enough for me.

My quest for a daughter is ongoing, but there have been breakthroughs.  The last two months my cycles have been longer and ovulation much later than normal.  I've also had a lot more fertile cervical fluid, which makes conception more likely.  Unfortunately, I've been timing sex much too early for conception to occur because my ovulation has always been on day 11 or 12 and my cycles always been 24 or 25 days.  But in March, my cycle lengthened to 28 days, with ovulation occurring on day 15.  This is the stereotypical normal cycle for women to have.  It happened in March and again in April.  I didn't want to correct my ovulation calculations for it, because it was so sudden and I wasn't sure that it would happen again.  Then, I read the FAQ (which I skimmed over in my first reading) of How to Choose the Sex of Your Baby.  One of the questions was, "Should I try the Shettles Method while breastfeeding?"  The answer was no, that you should wait until 3 months after weaning to allow your cycle to regulate itself.   Funny, my cycle lengthened about 3 months after I quit nursing my son.  So, while it has been an interesting year of trying to conceive, I think this revelation will finally allow me to get my baby girl sometime in the next few months.  Besides, my dad called last week asking if I was pregnant.  I mean, he knew we were trying, but nothing beyond that.  He told me that he had a dream that he bought me a beautiful crib made out of driftwood.   I think this is a sign that it's coming soon!  At least, I hope it is.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Okay, NOW I'm ready

I've been ready to be pregnant with my little girl for some time now, but I'm wondering if she was waiting for ideal circumstances to show up.  If that's the case, this is the time!  My loving, but reluctant, hubby just added out-of-network coverage to our medical insurance, so that I can go to my midwife instead of the lame nurse-midwives (who all work out of hospitals) or the OB-GYN's covered by our old insurance.  I also just got word last week that Babymoon Inn, the only birth center in Phoenix, has found a building and should be up and running in 9 months or less.  Yay!  Those were the things I really wanted for my birth, and now I'm ready. I'm also super excite that my man is finally on board with a non-hospital birth.  It took a hell of a lot of convincing, but now we're ready to roll.

I don't think it'll happen this month, but you never know.  At least now I have a bunch of extra reasons to celebrate when I get that big fat positive!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Some months are ridiculous

I think this month was fated to not happen, pregnancy-wise.  As of today, I ovulated a day late, which is not great for conception.  It's still possible, just a lot less likely.  Anyhow, I knew, from observing my body, that I was going to ovulate a day early last month, and I saw the same things this month, so I naturally thought I was just back to ovulating on day 11 every month again.  Sigh.  Not this month.  Day 12.

I suppose I really can't be too upset, since we could not have possibly have tried a single day later than we did.  My wonderful husband hurt his back working out, aggravated it mowing the lawn, and actually threw it out having sex on (what I thought) was our last possible night to conceive our little girl.  I did not have the heart to tell him I ovulated early and that he probably threw his back out for nothing this month.

This was my month to conceive a little Sagittarius, and I'm sad that it probably won't happen.  Next month is Capricorn territory, and I don't think I want to go for that.  But then again, I don't want to miss another opportunity to try since this is taking so much longer than I thought it would.  Sigh.  What a dilemma.  I mean, if I tell my man I want to take a break from trying to conceive for a month because I don't want our baby born so close to the winter holidays, he'll agree and understand, but then I'll always wonder if I had conceived that month if the baby would be born late and be an Aquarius, which is what I originally wanted to have anyway.  Besides, I could calculate to have an Aquarius and end up going into labor early (like I did with my son) and have a Capricorn anyway.  I guess I'll just err on the side of caution next month and not even come close to pushing into conceiving a boy territory.  Then, if it's meant to happen, it'll be possible.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


Aunt Flo came to visit this morning.  Right after my intense morning workout, it came in a gush and smothered my hopes for the month.  This happened right after I took another pregnancy test this morning and got an ambiguous answer.  There was just enough of a hint of line to make me want to go out and get another test for the next morning.  After seeing that, I was pretty sure in my mind that I was probably pregnant.  Any line at all in a pregnancy test is supposed to be taken as a positive result, and, adding that in with my weird symptoms, I figured this was the month for us.

Then my period came.  I didn't cry.  I wasn't even really disappointed when I first saw it.  It was more than twice as much blood as I normally have on my first day, and I've never cramped for four days before I began bleeding either.  Adding it all up, I figure I probably just had a spontaneous abortion.  My body rejected the zygote, or it died on its own.  Either way, I think I had been pregnant momentarily, and now I wasn't.  It was for the best though.  A spontaneous abortion most often happens when there is a serious problem, and I would not have wanted to carry the pregnancy out any further.  It was all very logical at the moment.

Then, the crying happened.  I realized that even though I understand scientifically what happened, and I know beyond a doubt that this was the better outcome, I still have a flood of hormones and emotions associated with it to deal with.  I still have to let myself mourn the baby I really wanted, and have been waiting for.  It's okay to be upset that this journey, which is becoming a bit stressful, isn't over yet.  It's understandable that I'm upset that the Thanksgiving baby that I thought I'd have isn't going to be here.

I hate crying.  It's just not something I often feel okay doing.  But it's okay today.  Today I will mourn, and tomorrow I will start preparing to try again.

One busy month

I haven't blogged in a while, but this has been an eventful month in my quest to conceive my little girl.  First, the lameness: we only had sex once during my fertile time.  Yep, once.  And even getting that in was difficult.  he was tired, he didn't want to, and it was late.  I admit, I was so not in the mood.  But making a baby on purpose isn't fun... making one on accident is!  I knew that going in, so I figured this month would be a total wash since we only did it the once.  Oh, and my dear loving husband spent about 30 minutes in a scalding hot tub earlier that day.  Yep, he's out to wound his little soldiers before sending them off to battle. I was not pleased.

So, I definitely thought this could not even possibly be the month.  Then the cramping started.  About three days after ovulation, I had cramps.  They felt just like the cramps I had when I got pregnant with my son.  It was just like getting period cramps way too early.  Hope filled me, and I've been paying super-close attention to my body ever since.  The cramping has been off and on ever since, and I had two days of nausea about 10 days post-ovulation.  My skin has been breaking out (I rarely get adult acne now,) I've been a bit over-emotional (crying over the death of my grandfather a year and a half past while showering,) and once my husband's kiss tasted like copper to me.  All these things make me really think this could be the month.

But I got a negative pregnancy test two mornings ago, 12 days past ovulation.  My period was due today, and it hasn't come yet, but that one negative test was enough to make me want to wait until Saturday morning to test again.  I know that some women don't show up pregnant on the pee-stick until 19 days past ovulation, but with my son 14 days was enough.  So I figure 16 days should do it. We'll see!

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Still not pregnant.  Sigh.  I started cramping within an hour of getting the negative result on the test.

Some people wonder why I bother testing as soon as my period's due, rather than just waiting a few more days to see if I bleed or not.  The answer is simple, really.  Stress can delay your period.  If I'm at all excited or worried on way or the other, that can delay my period for days, and I want it to start asap so that I can get started on the next month of trying to conceive.  I've waited before.  It seems like every time I wait and I'm either hopeful or scared, my period starts as soon as I get the single line on the pee stick.

I'm done playing games.  I'm still not going to stress about it, or cry that I'm not pregnant yet, but as long as the 99 cent store sells pregnancy tests, I'm going to test the morning that my period is due.

So, maybe next month will be the one.  Actually, next month could be perfect.  I've always wanted to be obviously pregnant for Samhain/Halloween so that I can paint my belly like the Earth, and dress up as Gaia.  It's my perfect costume!  Also, I'd love to have a Sagittarius, and this baby would still be born in the year of the Tiger.  Although, next year is the year of the Rabbit, and that would be great, too.  Well, either way, let's hope this cycle is the one!

Tomorrow morning

Okay, it's been about 9 months of trying and I'm hoping that tomorrow will be the day I find out that I'm pregnant.  Timing was perfect this month, with our last attempt to conceive at 2 1/2 days before ovulation, so I'm feeling good about my chances.

When you're trying to get pregnant, it's so easy to try to interpret every twinge and irregularity in your body as a signal of conception.  My stomach has been a little odd the last few days,  I had a little cramping yesterday and I saw a little pink that may have been implantation bleeding 3 days ago.  But all of that might have been nothing, too.

I meditate on conceiving my daughter most of the month, right before bedtime.  I close my eyes, with my hands over my lower belly, and envision my womb as a nursery, being decorated and prepared for her.  When I'm not successful and I'm having my period, I picture each cramp as a "cleaning out" of my uterus, making room for baby.  Then, after I know I've ovulated, I concentrate on inviting my daughter to come and join our family.  I tell her that we're all waiting for her, and that she is wanted more than she'll ever know.

I sleep with a fertility charm under the mattress.  Sometimes I wonder if I'm a little obsessed, but then I think about how much I freaked out about conceiving my son as fast as possible.  Compared to that experience, this one is relaxed and casual.  Sure, there's disappointment when I pee on the stick and it confirms that this month isn't the one, but I don't cry about it.  I don't panic or get depressed.  I just shrug and think about how next month I'll try again, with renewed hope.

Little girl of mine, your brother has been asking about you.  He wants to know where you are.  I've told him that your father and I are trying to bring you here as fast as we can, but in the end, you'll arrive when you're ready.  We're ready for you.  We think about you a lot, and I hope I'll get a message from you that you'll be coming tomorrow.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

My progress so far

It's been a while since I've really updated my status in my journey for fitness and weight loss, and, since I've been feeling good about it today, I figured now was as good a time as any.  I'm 22 lbs below my pre-pregnancy weight, and I fit into a size 12 pair of jeans.  My size 16's used to be tight.  I lost nearly all of the "back fat" that really bothered me, and my face has really thinned out.  Yay, me!

My husband has been behind a lot of my motivation.  He's 65 lbs less than what he used to weigh, and about 75 lbs less than his peak weight.  He started with Crossfit and pulled me in.  I have to admit, my attitude has never been the same since I began attending Crossfit classes.

Crossfit is a style of exercise that combines a lot of gymnastics training and Olympic style weight lifting with basic calisthenics.  All the movements are functional, and designed to build a physique that is strong with lots of endurance.  I think the best way to describe it is that it's like a boot camp style workout without any of the abuse.  Encouragement and smiling faces are all that you get at Crossfit.  The trainers at my gym are wonderful.  No matter what the exercise is, or how impossible it looks, their attitudes are always that I'll work up to it and conquer it, not that the harder movements are beyond my capabilities.  I've never felt that way before.  I've also never thought I'd be close to a handstand or that I'd ever even consider running a 5K.

My attitude has certainly changed.  I still really want to lose the weight, but my focus has shifted somewhat.  I'm more interested in running farther and faster, doing more pull-ups, push-ups and sit-ups, and building the endurance to hike, swim or bike all day.  I want to be able to walk on my hands and do a cartwheel one day.  I feel strong after my workouts now, not just tired.  I feel tough and capable of handling anything, much like I used to feel in JROTC.  That's the part of physical training in high school ROTC that I miss the most.  I remember crawling under barbed wire on my belly in the dirt, a fake M-16 in my hands as I crossed a field with simulated gunfire overhead.  It was painful and awful as I went through it, but as I stood up, dirt in my mouth and nose, muscles sore and cramping and eyes watering, I felt like I could have conquered the world.  I felt so alive and so capable at that moment.  I know now that there were a lot of things wrong with what I did, looking back.  The desensitization to violence and war left me with issues that took a few years out of high school to heal.  But the feeling I got from those exercises really gave me confidence in myself and my body.  I missed that, and, up until recently, had no idea that I could get that feeling back without all the bad stuff. Crossfit to the rescue!

Crossfit has really changed the way I work out, and my attitude toward working out.  I used to think I wouldn't be motivated to exercise if I wasn't going to be doing something fun like hiking, bellydancing or climbing.  I also used to think that I couldn't get any meaningful exercise in without putting in an hour or more three or four days a week.  Now I do exhausting workouts 5 or six days a week that are almost all less than half an hour including warm-up and cool down.  I still fit some yoga and bellydance into my week, and hiking will always be my first love, but I see me regular workout as tools to help me do whatever I want with my body when it's time for fun.  I used to think the idea of me skiing or snowboarding was laughable.  Now I can't wait to try them.  I have a confidence in my body that I haven't known in a long time.

I still eat what I want in smaller portions, but at least 3 dinners a week are lean meats and veggies or salad.  I still refuse to eat fake sweeteners or fats, and I have cut the sugar in my diet down to just the necessities.  I love dessert, and I need a drop or two of agave nectar in my coffee, but spaghetti sauce needs no sugar, and I can't believe that I ever ate things like baked beans, chocolate chip pancakes, or catsup.  Only dessert needs sugar, damnit!  I also can't eat pre-packaged foods the way I used to.  Years of "detoxing" from all the crap and preservatives in the stuff you can buy at convenience stores has changed my taste buds.  I used to LOVE Ho-ho's.  Not the crappy Little Debbie knock-offs, but the real Hostess Ho-ho's.  I could eat two packages of those for lunch in high school.  I thought they were divine.  So, I decided to be nostalgic and eat one on a recent road trip back to San Diego.  Ugh!  I couldn't get through the first bite.  It didn't taste like the creamy, chocolatey cake roll I remembered.  It tasted like chemicals and plastic.  I felt wasteful, but I threw the whole thing out.

I eat more fruits, veggies and eggs than I ever used to.  I have a dessert everyday, but I have a small one that I savor and really enjoy.  Yoga still makes me crave whole, nutritious food like nothing else I've ever done before.  When I'm done with half an hour of yoga, I can't imagine eating pizza or cookies.  I just crave yogurt (plain, of course) and hummus and fruit.  There's something about quietly listening to my body that makes me feel that way.

I'm at a plateau now, stuck at about 146 lbs, but I'm okay with it.  I'll just stick to working out and feeling good, and I'm sure a few pounds will start to drop off eventually.  Pregnancy is the only thing that worries me now, but I think I have the tools to keep me fit through my pregnancy and ready to go after the baby's born.  Now I just need to work on getting pregnant...

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Wow! Some of these people are beyond crazy.

I have been doing more and more research into the Fundamentalist Christians who have descended into the Quiverfull movement, and I'm considering buying some of the books they use to better understand their motives and methods.  Debi Pearl and her husband Michael are prolific writers in the movement, and her book Created to be his Help Meet is a popular marriage resource for such Christians.  Anyway, another book they've written is To Train Up a Child.  I read one review of the book and now I'm pretty sure I have to get it and read through it.  I'm a sucker for a train wreck....just can't look away.  Here's the review:

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
1.0 out of 5 stars Please do not buy this book.December 31, 2009
By R. Craig "Mother" (Texas) - See all my reviews
Barnes and Noble no longer sells this book.

Here are some details:

1) The Pearls recommend whipping infants only a few months old on their bare skin. They describe whipping their own 4 month old daughter (p.9). They recommend whipping the bare skin of "every child" (p.2) for "Christians and non-Christians" (p.5) and for "every transgression" (p.1). Parents who don't whip their babies into complete submission are portrayed as indifferent, lazy, careless and neglectful (p.19) and are "creating a Nazi" (p.45).

2) On p.60 they recommend whipping babies who cannot sleep and are crying, and to never allow them "to get up." On p.61 they recommend whipping a 12 month old girl for crying. On p.79 they recommend whipping a 7 month old for screaming.

3) On p.65 co-author Debi Pearl whips the bare leg of a 15 month old she is babysitting, 10 separate times, for not playing with something she tells him to play with. On p.56 Debi Pearl hits a 2 year old so hard "a karate chop like wheeze came from somewhere deep inside."

4) On p.44 they say not to let the child's crying while being hit to "cause you to lighten up on the intensity or duration of the spanking." On p.59 they recommend whipping a 3 year old until he is "totally broken."

5) On p.55 the Pearls say a mother should hit her child if he cries for her.

6) On p.46 the Pearls say that if a child does obey before being whipped, whip them anyway. And "if you have to sit on him to spank him, then do not hesitate. And hold him there until he is surrendered. Prove that you are bigger, tougher." "Defeat him totally." On p.80 they recommend giving a child having a tantrum "a swift *forceful* spanking." On the same page they say to whip small children on their bare skin until they stop screaming. "Don't be bullied. Give him more of the same." They say to continue whipping until their crying turns into a "wounded, submissive whimper."

7) On p.47 they recommend their various whips, including "a belt or larger tree branch" to hit children.

8) The Pearls recommend pulling a nursing infant's hair (p.7), and describe tripping their non-swimming toddler so she falls into deep water (p.67). They recommend ignoring an infant's bumped head when he falls to the floor, and ignoring skinned knees (p.86). They also say "if your child is roughed-up by peers, rejoice." (p.81) And on p.103 the Pearls say if children lose their shoes, "let them go without until they (the children) can make the money to buy more."

9) The Pearls claim their "training" methods are Godly, yet they have *no religious training or credentials* They never mention Jesus' injunctions to forgive "seventy times seven" and be merciful, and they decry the "extraordinary ingnorance of modern psychology."

The Pearls' methods have resulted in parents being investigated by Child Protective Services, children being taken away from parents, a restraining order against a father, and even a babysitter going to jail on felony charges! 

Friday, January 29, 2010

19...isn't enough?

Really?  The Duggars are still leaving the size of their family "up to God," according to their interview in People magazine.  What possible justification could they have for this after 19 children, 2 cases of preeclampsia, 4 cesarean sections, a micropreemie whose future is still uncertain, and gallstones?  Oh, that they put their faith in God, of course!

In my previous post, I mentioned (okay, raved about) No Longer Qivering, a blog about the Quiverfull movement and patriarchy.  After reading so much insider information about the lifestyle and the destruction it causes, I can no longer just shrug and smile sadly about Michelle and Jim Bob's decisions regarding birth control.  It's not cute, or sweet or even adorably naive.  It's sad.  It's crazy.  It just goes to show how brainwashed they are by their extreme religion and the recommendations of some of the authors and pastors within it.

I once just figured that they were truly a "what you see is what you get" kind of family, but that was just wishful thinking on my part.  I love babies and for much of my life, all I could think about was having babies and becoming a mother.  I never imagined that my first baby would be born when I was 28.  My goddess, my own mother had 5 children by that age!  I'm 30 now, trying for #2, when my mom had #6 and was done adding to her family.  So I compulsively watched shows like A Baby Story, Maternity Ward, House of Babies, and later Kids by the Dozen and the Duggar family specials.  I was obsessed with the latter two.  Even though my conscious self never wanted more than 4 children, I watched these shows in envy.  I had wanted to have my first baby by 25, and some of these people had 4 by then.  They ran their homes like clockwork, had as many babies as they wanted, and seemed to have the family closeness that I had as a child and want for my own family.  It was more than addictive.  It was seductive.  The religion I rejected as a small child contained the possibility of so much that I wanted...and yet it was never enough for more than just a daydream.

I've said before that I would love the certainty of Christianity.  Knowing that the world is so black and white must be so reassuring.  And though I was raised Catholic (and not even strictly Catholic) rather than in a more conservative sect of Christianity, I knew even at 8 years old that the Christian religion demanded too much.  I saw it, even then, as unfair and too restrictive.  As soon as I found out what sex was I knew I wasn't waiting for marriage.  I had no intention of ever going to church again the moment I was no longer being forced to.  I thought the mythology was boring and that many of the lessons were ridiculous.  I hated the authoritative nature of it, and I scoffed at the idea of someone making a sacrifice for such ideology.  I thought you would have to be stupid to give up family life for service as a priest or a nun, and that only those who were gluttons for punishment would bother to "save themselves for marriage" or fast for Lent.  Why bother?  There was so much freedom to be had outside of religion, so much unrestricted fun to be had guilt-free.  So I willfully left, dragging my family with me, by the age of 15.  Mom just couldn't take the fighting about it anymore, since dad would ground me for a week for misbehaving in church.  I was supposed to "prove myself" the next Sunday by being a proper young lady during services.  Instead I was perpetually grounded.  Dad, being a big kid himself, hated grounding me that much, and mom started to feel like it wasn't worth the effort to drag all 6 kids (my minions who I'd turned against church, as well) through a boring hour of church where we all did our best to amuse ourselves to our parents' embarrassment.  It was dumb.  Mom was a real martyr for carrying it on as long as she did.

So why did I even think for two seconds that an even stricter version of this religion had any appeal?  That's crazy!  Well, it helped that I wasn't living it, so all I saw was the pretty package presented on TV of a large, close, happy family.  I had a boyfriend (now my husband) who wanted only two children and wouldn't let me start our family until we were done with college (which was taking forever) and married.  Through all of the ridiculousness, all I saw was a woman who was allowed to have as many children as she wanted, when she wanted them.  Ultimately, I think that's where my obsession stemmed from.

I have to wonder if, after I have my second child, would I even want any more children if my husband gave in and let me have as many babies as I want?  I don't know.  I'll probably never know, since he's pretty staunch about only wanting two.  I wish I could know in my heart if I'm just fighting him and clinging to my dream of having (what I think of as a) medium-sized family, or if I really truly won't feel complete until I have birthed a fourth child.

Either way, I'm happy that I'll never know the back-to-back pregnancies, multiple cesarean sections, complete exhaustion of keeping up with so many children, and submission to patriarchy that these women in the Quiverfull movement are subjected to.  The multitude of miscarriages that they often face toward the end of their childbearing years is heartbreaking, and the lack of support and empathy is horrific.

No, I can't be angry at the Duggars for their conviction of faith.  They are sheep.  They have been conditioned to blindly follow, without thought, where their religion leads.  Sheep are dumb creatures.  They'll walk off a cliff if that's where they're led.  And it's now clear to me that one doesn't just decide to become a sheep.  It's a slow process of taking away independent thought and chipping away at self-identity.  I can't be angry at them when they're doing only what they've been told is right and good.

Nope, it's the fundamentalist Christian religious movements that are so destructive.  It makes promises it can't deliver, sets impossible goals and ideals, demands more than one can give, and still makes good people determined to stick with it to their deaths.  Sad.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My new addiction

Anyone who really knows me understands my fascination (cough...obsession!) with the Duggar family and the Quiverfull movement that is the underlying cause for their supersized family.  Well, I finally found something better than 18 Kids and Counting which satisfies my need to know more about the movement and the ultra-religiousity that motivates people like the Duggars to seemingly withdraw from society and normalcy to pursue a creepy "closeness with God."

The blog is called No Longer Qivering.  It's misspelled on purpose because there is no "you" in the Quiverfull least not for the women who belong to it.  It's the blog of a woman and a few other contributors who left the movement.  It's their stories about how they fell into such an extreme lifestyle and religion, the horrors of living such a life (depression, overwhelming expectations, constant pregnancies and pressure,) the first clues that lead them to realize that this life was killing them, and then their final escape back to "the real world."

I just can't get enough of it.  I check it multiple times a day for updates and new stories.  There is so much about that life that I never thought about, so many compelling little elements and horrifying details that are (of course) not part of the Duggar family's public face.  It makes me really wonder what's going on once the cameras are turned off.

Patriarchy was the biggest surprise to me.  I mean, I understood that women were second class citizens in most of Christianity, and certainly within the Quiverfull movement, but I never understood that QF and patrirchy pretty much went hand in hand, one seldom existing without the other.  It amazes me that in this day and age there are women in the US who blatantly reject feminism and women's rights.  They think that it's wrong for a man to ever be in a subordinate position under a woman.  Therefore, women should avoid any profession outside the home, should always be submissive to men, and should especially never challenge the authority of their fathers or husbands.  Just like in the old days, a girl is the property of her father until she is married, and then she passes to the authority of her husband.  Sometimes, a courtship is arranged between parents who want to join their families, and as long as the boy is agreeable to the match, the two are married.  There is the slightest veneer of choice on the girl's part in all this, but by the time in her life that courtship comes around, she is so conditioned to submit to her father that she'll likely agree to the match her father is so clearly approving of, even if she doesn't care for or she's not particularly attracted to the boy.  Sad, huh?

There's so much more!  I could literally read this site for ours every day and not get through all there is in a week.  I just can't pimp this blog enough.  Oh! And Vyckie, the main contributor, is writing a book all about her life and her story.  So, for the time being you can read much of Vyckie's Story on her blog for free.  But once her book deal goes through, she's going to take it all down.  Take my advice: visit this site!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Toilet Training in Less Than a Day...or three

He did it!  He did it!  My little man ran to the bathroom and went potty all by himself without being prompted to, despite the fact that he was watching the movie Cars.  Yep, he dragged himself away from a fun distraction to pee.  Supposedly that's the turning point that means the hard part of the training is over, and the new behaviors just have to be reinforced.  I really hope they're right.  The last couple of day have been awful, and the first day was the most emotionally and psychologically draining experience of my life.

The book I read on potty training is called Toilet Training in Less Than a Day, and, after reading it, I decided to give it a try.  Changing diapers really isn't a big deal to me, in the scheme of things.  But reviewing the diaper bill made me reconsider just letting him stay in diapers any longer.  He's been dry through the night for more than 6 months, which was the one thing I insisted on before training him.  The idea of having a child who is completely toilet trained during the day and then needs a diaper at night makes me roll my eyes.  That's not potty trained.  Besides, some of those kids take years to stop needing diapers to make it through the night.  I figured it would be best to just get it all done at once.

So, the book advocates clearing your schedule so that your child receives your undivided attention.  No cooking, cleaning, talking on the phone, no doing anything but paying attention to your child and talking about the potty.  I dressed him in his cloth training pants and took him into the bathroom with Potty Scotty, the anatomically correct wetting doll I bought to use as a prop to teach my son about peeing in the toilet.  My little man taught Scotty how to use the potty, rewarding him when he peed correctly, scolding him when he "wet" his pants, changing his wet pants and flushing the toilet after a successful round.  The idea is that, since we absorb so much more of the information that we teach than the information that;s simply given to us, children learn faster his way.  In less than an hour my son was bored with Scotty and ready to pee on his own.  I had given him all the drinks he wanted all morning.  Even juices and natural sodas, which I never keep in the house, he was given free access to.  With a full bladder, more teaching opportunities present themselves, so I encouraged him to drink every few minutes.  Oh, and there are to be no distractions of any kind at this time.  If my son found a light fixture interesting, I was to change the subject to potty training, and how happy I am when he has dry pants, or how sad I am when he has wet or dirty pants.  I was also supposed to ask him a lot of questions about the adults around him that he loves.  "Does ______ go pee-pee in her pants?  No!  She has dry pants.  Only babies have wet pants.  Big girls and big boys have dry pants and go pee-pee in the toilet."  I sounded like a broken record all day for two days.  I annoyed myself into a state of misery, so I can't imagine how he was feeling.

I think in the end, this method worked because my son was sick of the torturous boredom.  He wanted to know why he couldn't have his toys, or play in any other rooms.  When I told him he could go play with his toys as soon as he used the potty all by himself, he immediately turned around and peed in the toilet.  Of course, I clapped and smiled and told him how wonderful he was, offering a chocolate as a reward for using the potty all by himself.  He just looked up at me and said, "No treat.  Just want toys."  Sigh.  So I let him play with his toys and the vicious cycle began.  He played with the toys and became so absorbed in building a tower of Duplos or reading a book that he had an accident.  I took the toys away, saying that he could have them back when he went potty by himself, then he forced himself to squeeze out a few drops of urine on the toilet to get the toys back.  Oh, did I mention that I did a lot of laundry over the past coupe of days?

Anyway, The first day was the worst, the second markedly better, and our aforementioned breakthrough came this morning around 10 am.  I felt like an idiot, jumping and clapping and dancing around, singing that my son was a big boy, not a baby anymore.  I called my mom and told her that I had so much more respect for her now, knowing that she did this five times with grace and patience.  I barely held on to patience by a thread, nearly losing it more than once.  To be fair, her methods took about a week and involved a more relaxed atmosphere (with more accidents.)

I suppose I would recommend this to other moms with the caveat that they need to make sure they have nothing else to do for a couple of days after the planned toilet training day, just in case it takes longer than advertised.  The book says that most kids are trained in half a day, 3-4 hours.  Hmph!  Not mine.  My stubborn little guy even tried to save his reward chocolates to eat after he had an accident (I wouldn't let him have them then, though!)

I should mention that I deviated from the prescribed method a tad.  I refuse to clean out potty chairs because they are gross.  I had to dump out the cup of the potty chair while my mom was toilet training my siblings, and even then I thought it was foul.  So my son has a special potty seat that fits over the regular toilet seat in his bathroom, and a step stool to make sure he can reach it.  That way, he poops and pees directly into the toilet, and all that I have to do is wipe him and be sure that he flushes.  This is not what the book advocates.  They also recommend toilet training in the kitchen, where there is more space and you're less likely to feel claustrophobic.  Because I had chosen not to use a little potty, I obviously couldn't do this, either.  I wonder if my son's personality was what caused this to drag on so long, or the fact that I chose not to follow their rules to the letter?  I suppose I'll never know.

Either way, it's done!  My baby is a big boy who potties by himself now.  I am one relieved mama!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Purity Pledge Gross Out

I just watched VH1's special "The New Virginity."  It made me roll my eyes.  It went over Jordin Sparks and Miley Cyrus' purity pledges, Brittney Spears and Jessica Simpson's supposed virginity, the Jonas Brothers, selling one's virginity, and purity balls.  Gag.  The most disturbing thing I saw was the iPhone Purity Pledge ap.  It read:

My Pledge

I pledge my purity to my father, my future husband, and my Creator.  I recognize that virginity is my most precious gift to offer to my future husband.  I will not engage in sexual activity of any kind before marriage but will keep my thought and my body pure as a very special present for the one I marry.

After that screen, there was a screen with a rotating purity ring.

The purity balls were awful, too.  Girls from age 4 to 20somethings, showed up in princess gowns with their fathers to have dinner, dance, and pledge that they will honor their fathers by saving themselves for marriage.  I squirmed when the girls then made their promises and each laid a white rose at the foot of a cross to seal their pledge to God.

The whole thing is ridiculous.  First of all, I find the princess culture in and of itself damaging to young women.  Girls are made to think that they will experience mutual "love at first sight," that their mate will be a perfect prince charming with whom they never experience any conflict, and that they will live happily ever after.  It's preposterous and it sets them up for failure and disappointment in their relationships with men.

That aside, the entire purity movement is pulling feminism a step backwards.  Girls are essentially told that they are the property of their father, and that they need to be respectful of their father's property by keeping it intact and untainted while it's in his care.  When they become the property of their future husband, then they can (and need to) submit to his will.  It's disgusting and beyond repulsive.

I was so icked out that I had to stop my internet research.  It was turning my stomach.  I also now feel the need to start some kind of young women's empowerment program.  Like a weekend retreat in which we talk about being feminists, taking control of our futures, knowing about birth control and our options (of which chastity is one) while having time away from men.  Sigh.  Maybe that would be something fun to do in the future when I have a pubescent girl.  We'll see.  In the meantime, I'm tempted to find out if there are any purity balls in my area and protesting them.  I'll wear my Birkenstocks, a trucker shirt over a wife-beater.  Maybe I can get dropped off in a Subaru.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Weaned my son, so I'm hoping this is the month!

So this month our timing was excellent.  Exactly three days prior to ovulation...perfect girl conceiving territory.  I know I could have tried a little closer to ovulation (48 hours before is the cutoff) but I didn't want to be too close to the deadline.  Besides, my system hasn't been working like normal.  Normally My ovulation and period come like clockwork, but between the morning after pill I took a few months ago and weaning my son, my poor reproductive organs are confused and predicting my ovulation hasn't been as easy as in the past.

Yep, that's right, I weaned my baby.  He nursed one last time in Phoenix before we left for Christmas vacation with my in-laws.  Of course, I didn't know at the time that it would be his last nursing.  Most likely I would have been sentimental about it and cried, if I had.  As it is, I still feel bad about it.  Ever since I've weaned him, he's been telling me that he's scared of everything from his stuffed animals to his mobile.  My husband and mother-in-law think it's the movies he's been watching, but I think that taking that nightly comfort and bonding has had an effect on him.  I try to cuddle and comfort him more tan normal to make up for it, but I'm not sure that it's the same.  Oh well.  I'm just glad he didn't cry and ask for it a lot.  I totally would have given in and just weaned him later in that case.  I freely admit that I was only ready to wean him if he was ready and it wouldn't be a big deal.

I'm still making milk, though.  It's weird.  I thought I'd dry up after a couple of days, but nope!  My jugs are still holding some milk.  I'm not making any effort to staunch lactation, though.  Binding my breasts and using cabbage leaves has been suggested, but I'm not experiencing any discomfort, so I'll just let it go away on its own.

In the meantime, I'm sure that weaning my little man will help with the baby-making process.  Here's hoping for our little girl!