On Being Beautiful.

[I promise this isn’t as vain and facetious a post as the title may imply, just bear with me. and enjoy some baby photos for once!]

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Just look at that beautiful wee babe. Isn’t she amazing?! I love her so, SO much. I hope she never sees herself as anything but the beautiful human being that she is.

So, I have vowed not to see myself as anything but beautiful either. 

I will not be the mother who hides when she sees a camera. I will not be the mother who critiques every photographic version of herself. I will not be the mother who despairs when others see her when she first wakes up. I will not be the mother who is embarrassed to be seen in a swimsuit. I will not be the mother who cannot accept a compliment.

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I will not be the mother who does not believe her children, when they tell her she is the most beautiful person in the world. Because didn’t we all think that about our mothers/mother figures at some point?

Body image is contagious, and I’d rather pass on a good one.

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She is worth it.

It’s not going to be easy, but those are my goals. That is who I would like to become. That is someone I think we all could become – women and men, mothers or not – because we are all beautiful. Each and every one of us. And it’s time we start seeing ourselves that way.

Speak kindly about yourself. Don’t criticize your physical features. Treat your body right. Accept what is there and learn to love it. Don’t criticize others either. Get rid of the bathroom scale. Take lots of selfies. Grow to be comfortable in your own skin.

We are worth it.

love, rach
*photo cred goes to my amazing sister! you should hire her and stuff. she is BRILLIANT.

Prodromal Labor?!

L&D false alarm

Photo from our “false alarm” Monday night. Free cranberry juice and good ice! Wooooo.

Have you ever heard of prodromal labor???

I hadn’t either, until yesterday, when my lovely midwife kindly explained what it is to a very tired and frustrated me.

I was so happy I could have hugged her. Actually, I did hug her. She started it though, so it wasn’t weird or anything. I think. Anyways….

I was just so grateful to finally have an explanation, because this week has been dang confusing/frustrating/emotionally draining.
It all started Monday night – when we somehow found ourselves admitted to the most spacious delivery room in the hospital after going there for what we thought would be a quick checkup. We were sent home three hours later (after walking up and down the same hallway for two of those hours, no cervical change, and funky contractions). All of the staff was so nice, so awesome, and didn’t make us feel embarrassed for coming in at all….but I was discouraged because my contractions didn’t seem to “fit” into any mold I’d ever heard of.

“False labor” and Braxton Hicks contractions aren’t supposed to get worse when you walk around. They’re not supposed to get longer and stronger and closer together. You’re not supposed to feel them in your back and all that jazz.
That junk is only for “real” labor.
But “real labor” isn’t supposed to stop when you rest sometimes (but start, without fail, every time you stand up). It’s not supposed to last for a couple hours and then take a break. It’s not supposed to putter out when they hook you up to monitors. Contractions aren’t supposed to last 90+ seconds every time and come at unpredictable intervals.

So if it’s not “real” labor but it’s not “false” labor either, what the heck is going on?!

Answer: Prodromal Labor.
Essentially, this is labor that starts and stops at irregular intervals for an indefinite amount of time before actually progressing to active labor – or, labor that continues to augment until the baby is born.

Most medical definitions equate Prodromal Labor to ‘false labor’, or simply ‘failure to progress’. But I submit that this is not true. It is merely a different laboring pattern than what is seen in standardized/traditional/normal/textbook childbirth these days, and some doctors don’t like it. The American hospitalized labor and delivery system is not designed to handle it well. Most women who end up in this pattern of labor end up being induced nowadays, because it isn’t conducive to the monitoring and timing that most doctors/nurses/hospitals are trained to do.

But, my midwife assured me that it is a normal thing. No, it’s not much fun, but’s a perfectly fine, natural, normal, and safe way to deliver a baby. I completely believe that. I have total trust in my body and biological processes that have been around much longer than hospitals/modern medicine – and absolute faith in the Lord who I know designed this whole process and is watching out for me/supporting me through it all.

So, yeah. I’m going on day five of (intermittent) labor over here. Hanging out at home, staying hydrated, going on walks, waiting for something more to happen! The contractions haven’t been terrible – nothing excruciating or that I can’t talk through yet. Just uncomfortable and tiring. This process is extremely long and drawn-out and I have no idea when things will kick into high gear…

ANYWAY. I found these two wonderful blog posts that do a much better job of explaining what this kind of labor is all about, if you’re interested to learn more!
Red Light, Green Light…A Tale of Prodromal Labor
Bella Dolce Births: Prodromal Labor – what is it?

I’m not really upset about all of this, for the most part. Sometimes I feel like Nacho though:

“How come?” “HOW COME YOU THINK?!” hahaha.

So, yeah. How are YOU these days?! Done anything exciting?? Heard any good jokes? Have any good movie recommendations???? Seriously, tell me anything! There’s only so much I can do to entertain myself over here 😉

love, Rach

*****I just wrote an addendum to this post, and answered more prodromal labor questions here!*********

Yes, I have a midwife, but no, I’m not having a home birth. I am blessed to be part of a great healthcare system that has an awesome hospital no more than a 10 minute drive from my house. They have Certified Nurse Midwives on-staff that attend 85% of the births and have done nearly all of my prenatal check-ups, and I love them. The OB’s there are great too – they specialize in low-risk, low-intervention care.
Since I am not at risk, my baby is healthy and active, and I’m not planning on getting an epidural…getting to the hospital “early enough” isn’t a concern in my case. I am free to labor at home for a while! (until the nature of the contractions changes, or my water breaks. whatever comes first!)

Recollections of Babyhood

I was just talking to my Momma dearest. As was giving me words of motherly wisdom and encouragement she added, “I KNOW you will be able to do anything you set your mind on doing! You are determined and you DO things! No matter what it is! You came out that way!!”

She then recounted the story of how, as a baby, I couldn’t quite get the hang of how to crawl at first. But I didn’t let that stop me from going where I wanted to go, all by myself….I taught myself how to roll instead. I was a steamrollin’ machine!

crazy-haired, steamrollin’ child

My Mom would take me to playgroups with other ladies and their babies, and they’d have the Mommy talks, “Oh, how is she eating, how are her naps, and is she crawling yet??”

My Mom would always reply, “Oh, no, she doesn’t crawl….but she is DEFINITELY mobile,”

And the ladies would just smile and give a rousing, “Oh that’s nice.”

Until they’d been distracted for a while and suddenly couldn’t find me, and I turned up all the way across the living room and halfway down the hall.

Then they were giving a rousing, “HOW THE HECK DID SHE GET THERE?! You said she doesn’t even crawl!!”

“Well, I told you she was mobile.” was my Momma’s tongue-in-cheek reply…

mobility is for makin’ messes and eatin’ onions. YUM.

This story is pretty funny to me. But what’s even funnier, is that it speaks volumes about who I still am as an individual.

Even though this happened when I was less than a year old, the same basic personality traits can apply to my twenty-something self.

Impressive, ain’t it?!

I am so grateful to have parents around to remind us who we are, with simple silly stories like this.

Are there any stories from your childhood that you love/are hilarious/mean something to you?! I love hearing baby stories : ) and seeing others’ baby photos. It’s one of my hobbies. Not that I sneak into parents’ homes and look through family photo albums…that would be creepy. But if it happens to come up somehow, I secretly love it. So feel free to share 🙂

love, rach

PS – I’ve noticed I’ve gotten quite a few new followers recently…and I don’t know any of you! Please say hello! I’d love to meet you 🙂

Family time!

We escaped the concrete jungle of LA/Santa Monica/Venice/etc!! Woohoo! Don’t get me wrong, I love that place more than I expected, but you can’t beat the ‘burbs. and family. and friends. : )

Our rental car is a bit worse for wear…it smells like cigarettes (and has the accompanying burns on the interior), and the plastic interior of a wheel well flew clean off when we were smack in the middle of the 580, but no harm done! It definitely did a better job than our ‘Ol Bess (AKA the miracle $10 machine) would have done. We think she is on her last legs, sadly : (

It is so much fun being back in the Bay.

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My man is a baby whisperer, y’all! They love him. Especially Ada! It was quite endearing : D

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FINALLY GOT TO SEE BRAVE (after hearing all about it for over a year, with this guy refusing to give anything away)!!!! Seeing my hubster’s name in the credits was a pretty awesome moment : ) and it is a simply WONDERFUL film. You should go see it. Now.

I’m pretty bad at taking pictures, so that’s all I’ve got. Unless you wanted to see the dying bee we found on the front porch today.

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Oh, you didn’t want to see that? Sorry. I apologize for my family’s many eccentricities involving dead and dying bugs/insects/arachnids….

I do wish I had snapped a picture of Rosemary and I in our super cool unicorn shirts, because that was a really special moment : P

Anyway this is disjointed. But basically I am relishing this family time and a break from life, and I hope you are all loving your lives too, because there is so much to be grateful for : )

Love — Rach

Disneyland!

I think I have a love/hate relationship with Disneyland.

I know, I KNOW, it’s the happiest place on Earth! how could I even THINK of having hateful feelings toward the epitome of childhood and smiles and all things good?!?

well.

I do love that place. I love it a lot. the rides are great, the people are nice, the shows are awesome, the souvenir shopping is fun, the food is yummy, the background music is lovely and catchy, and you get to meet real live princesses and other awesome cartoon characters that have been brought to life!!

I guess the only part I don’t really like is the “Disney hangover” that comes from walking around a theme park for fifteen hours in the heat and consuming copious amounts of MSG. and also the times when I forget to bring a sweater because it was 70 degrees that morning and suddenly it is night time and 50 degrees and I am freezing my booty off.

that’s about it, really.

our family vacation was truly wonderful 🙂 I’m so happy I got to hang out with my awesome family!

photographic evidence of awesomeness:

just chillin, ridin coasters, doing the YMCA….nbd.

Love — Rach